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Submitting a review for consideration is easy; please first read Slashdot's book review guidelines. Updated: 20051129 by hemos

Science: New Possible SIDS Genes Identified

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Sunday May 21, @05:05AM
from the sudden-discoveries dept.
ScienceDaily is reporting that researchers at the Mayo Clinic have identified two more cardiac genes that could contribute to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). From the article: "In the two recent separate studies, researchers examined caveolin-3 (CAV3) and the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) and found molecular and functional evidence in both to implicate them as SIDS-susceptibility genes. Researchers examined the tissue of 135 unrelated cases of SIDS -- in infants with an average age of 3 months old -- that had been referred to Mayo Clinic's Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory for molecular autopsy. In each study, two of the 135 cases possessed mutations in either CAV3 or RyR2."

Hardware: Giant Paramount Auction of Star Trek Items

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Sunday May 21, @02:39AM
from the scott-me-up-beamie dept.
Alien54 writes "The first official studio auction of memorabilia from all five 'Star Trek' television series and 10 movie spinoffs, to be held from October 5 to 7 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the original 'Star Trek' series, was announced by Christie's on Thursday. CBS Paramount Television Studios is cleaning out its vaults for the sale, comprising more than 1,000 lots totaling some 4,000 items. Items to hit the block include props, weapons, prosthetics and set dressings unearthed from five Paramount warehouses, as well as many special and spectacular items highlighted in the various shows."

Your Rights Online: Pearl Jam Releases Video Under Creative Commons

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @11:58PM
from the popular-to-be-free dept.
minitrue writes "Pearl Jam released their first music video in quite a while under a Creative Commons license allowing anyone to "legally copy, distribute and share the clip" for noncommercial purposes. Creative Commons thinks this may be the first video produced by a major label ever to be CC-licensed. So although the file is only available as a free download via Google Video through May 24, fans can continue sharing it online themselves in perpetuity."

Ask Slashdot: Should Students Be Taught With or Without an IDE?

Posted by Cliff on Saturday May 20, @11:50PM
from the why-the-zero-sum dept.
bblazer asks: "Beginning this next school year, there is a strong possibility I will be teaching an intro to Java and an intro to Python course at the local community college. I was wondering what the prevailing wisdom is when it comes to teaching languages - should students be taught with or without an IDE? I am a bit old school and wouldn't mind having them all use vi or emacs, but using a good IDE does have some advantages as well. I should note that the students I will be teaching will have had at least 1 semester of programming in VB or C++." Even though there is limited time in a semester, could a curriculum be constructed to accommodate both methods?

Your Rights Online: PTO Seeks Public Input on Patent Applications

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @09:21PM
from the changing-the-definition-of-patent-troll dept.
KingAdrock writes to tell us Sciencemag is reporting that the US Patent and Trademark office (PTO) is floating the idea of an online pilot program to gather public input on patent applications. From the article: "Speaking last week at an open forum, officials said that tapping into the expertise of outside scientists, lawyers, and laypeople would improve the quality of patents -- and might also reduce a backlog that this month topped 1 million applications. "Instead of one examiner, what if you have thousands of examiners reading an application?" says Beth Simone Noveck of New York University Law School, who is an independent advocate of the idea."

Apple: MacSaber Turns Your Macbook into a Lightsaber

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @07:39PM
from the macs-and-other-jedi-mind-tricks dept.
Petey_Alchemist writes " forum goon isnoop has developed a useless but fun app that takes advantage of the new sudden motion sensor available in Macbooks. The MacSaber 1.0 causes your Macbook or Macbook Pro to whoosh and crash like a lightsaber depending on how you swing it around. The reviews from those who have installed it say it is quite fun--although there is some concern about whether or not 'lightsaber battles' fall under warranty."

Hardware: Clocking the Movements of Atoms

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @05:27PM
from the just-a-guy-who-is-really-quick-with-his-stopwatch dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "With special microscopes, scientists and engineers involved in nanotechnologies have been able to 'see' atoms for a while. But they couldn't clock the atomic response to events which typically occur in nanoseconds. Now, U.S. physicists have found a way to clock the movements of atoms at the nanometer scale. In their experiments, they were able to literally watch atoms switching positions in ferroelectric materials. Adding the dimension of time to the observation of the nanoworld could lead to easier developments of 'materials for improved memory applications in microelectronics.'"

Games: Everyone Hates UMD 101 of 145 comments

Science: New Wide-Angle Telescope to Capture Night Sky

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @03:34PM
from the storage-nightmare dept.
NewScientist is reporting that a new telescope located in Chile is aiming to capture images of the entire night sky every three nights. From the article: "The telescope will use a digital camera with 3 billion pixels to image the entire sky across three nights, producing an expected 30 terabytes of data per night. This will allow astronomers to detect objects that quickly change their position, such as near-Earth asteroids, or their brightness, such as supernovae."

Developers: The CVS Cop-Out

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @01:30PM
from the keep-the-users-happy dept.
NewsForge (also owned by VA) has a short piece attempting to call into focus one of the major complaints of end users, the "CVS cop-out". From the article: "One of my biggest pet peeves with open source software is what I call the CVS cop-out. It works like this: I criticize (accurately) some shortcoming of an open source application either in an article or in conversation, and someone responds with, 'That's not true! That feature was fixed in CVS four weeks ago!' [...] I bring up the CVS cop-out not because I have an answer for it, but to air it out. Sometimes, giving a problem a name helps to foster discussion that leads to resolution."

Your Rights Online: New Patent Reform Proposal Focuses on Education

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday May 20, @12:05PM
from the all-your-eggs-in-one-basket dept.
CNet is reporting that a new proposal before Congress is attempting to increase the number of federal judges who specialize in patent litigation. From the article: "The proposal prescribes $5 million each year in federal funding over the next decade for "educational and professional development" programs for designated judges and to pay the salaries of new, specially appointed clerks with patent expertise. Under the bill, patent cases would continue to be randomly assigned to judges, but with a notable exception. Any judge who practices within a court district offering the pilot program but who chooses not to sign up for the extra training would have the option of transferring patent cases to a program participant." Techdirt also has a short writeup on why this specialization might not necessarily be a good thing.

Science: NASA Seeking Innovative Ideas from Public

Posted by CowboyNeal on Saturday May 20, @10:35AM
from the open-steering-committee dept.
Mike Peel writes "Science Blog is reporting that NASA is seeking proposals 'for creating and managing innovative activities, events, products, services, or other types of formal or informal education methods for the purpose of disseminating information nationally about NASA's projects and programs.'" Sadly I don't think simply providing them with a list of people you want shot into space counts.

Your Rights Online: Law Enforcement Requests for Net Data Multiply

Posted by CowboyNeal on Saturday May 20, @09:20AM
from the big-brother-is-watching dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "It's not just phone companies grappling with reported potentially privacy-intruding requests from the NSA and other branches of government: Banks, Internet-service providers and other companies that possess large amounts of data on their customers say that police and intelligence agencies have been increasingly coming to them looking for tidbits of information that could help them stop everything from money launderers to pedophiles and terrorists, the Wall Street Journal reports. From the article: 'According to AOL executives, the most common requests in criminal cases relate to crimes against children, including abuse, abductions, and child pornography. Close behind are cases dealing with identity theft and other computer crimes. Sometimes the police requests are highly targeted and scrupulously legalistic, while other times they were seen by the company as little more than sloppy fishing expeditions. AOL says that most requests get turned down.'"

Science: Is Evolution Predictable?

Posted by Zonk on Saturday May 20, @07:46AM
from the no-one-predicted-the-tour-de-france dept.
An anonymous reader writes "C|Net is carrying a story about some research out of Rice University. They are exploring the possibility that we can predict the evolution of a species, given environmental factors." From the article: "Typically, the bacteria can continue to thrive when the temperature hits 73 degrees Celsius (163 degrees Fahrenheit). The experimental strain of bacteria contained a mutated version of a gene that, in the naturally occurring strain of the microbe, produces a protein that made existence possible. They then put these mutant strains in environments where the temperature rose slowly but steadily, and studied how different generations coped with the changing temperature. In the breeding that followed, millions of new mutations of the gene in question were produced, but only about 700 of those variants replicated some of the functionality of the naturally occurring gene."

Science: NASA Hopes Discovery's Move Is Not The Last

Posted by Zonk on Saturday May 20, @05:32AM
from the go-go-rocketship dept.
An anonymous reader wrote to mention the movement of the space shuttle Discovery. The upcoming mission, if it launches, is crucial to the future of American manned space flight. From the Washington Post article: "A successful flight will allow NASA to resume construction of the half-built International Space Station and possibly extend the life of the beloved Hubble Space Telescope, which has allowed humans to peer into far galaxies. But with the shuttle fleet due to retire in 2010, any serious problems during July's mission likely would bring a premature end to the shuttle program and disrupt NASA's plans to keep its skilled work force intact while a replacement spacecraft is being developed."

Apple: Apple's New NYC Cube Store

Posted by Zonk on Saturday May 20, @03:41AM
from the its-so-shiny-can-i-have-one dept.
ctar writes "Today Apple will open a new store on 5th avenue that will be open 24/7, and they're giving away 24 macbooks for the first 24 hours the store is open. The NYT article talks about their branding exec, formerly of Target, and the history of their decision to opening retail stores."

Science: Parasitic Infection Flummoxes Victims and Doctors

Posted by Zonk on Saturday May 20, @01:38AM
from the if-you-need-me-i'll-now-be-up-all-night dept.
Toxictoy writes "Imagine having a disease that is so controversial that doctors refuse to treat you. Individuals with this disease report disturbing crawling, stinging, and biting sensations, as well as non-healing skin lesions, which are associated with highly unusual structures. These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous, and are the most striking feature of this disease. In addition, patients report the presence of seed-like granules and black speck-like material associated with their skin. Sound like a bad plot for a Sci-Fi channel movie? Think again - it could be Morgellon's Syndrome."

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