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Humans Evolving Faster Than Ever 253

Kwyj1b0 writes "In a massive study on genetic variation among humans, researchers found that most changes have occurred in the last 200 generations, too fast for natural selection to catch up. Recent papers show that rare genetic variations have a more drastic effect than previously believed. Another result shows that 'we carry a much larger load of deleterious variants' (as well as positive variants) than our ancestors 200 generations ago."

Submission + - Secure Bootloader for Distributions Now Available (dreamwidth.org)

TrueSatan writes: Matthew Garrett, formerly of Red Hat, is providing a shim bootloader that will allow installation/booting of secure boot enabled computers. The shim is designed to chain boot GRUB (Grand Universal Bootloader) without the need for a distribution to obtain a key from Microsoft.

Garrett asks that further contacts regarding the shim be made to him and not to Red Hat as he no longer works there and they may not have knowledge of the product.


How Free Speech Died On Campus 530

theodp writes "The WSJ catches up with FIRE's Greg Lukianoff and his crusade to expose how universities have become the most authoritarian institutions in America. In Unlearning Liberty, Lukianoff notes that baby-boom Americans who remember the student protests of the 1960s tend to assume that U.S. colleges are still some of the freest places on earth. But that idealized university no longer exists. Today, university bureaucrats suppress debate with anti-harassment policies that function as de facto speech codes. FIRE maintains a database of such policies on its website. What they share, lifelong Democrat Lukianoff says, is a view of 'harassment' so broad and so removed from its legal definition that 'literally every student on campus is already guilty.'"
The Internet

Bittorrent To Replace Standard Downloads? 591

Max Sayre writes "Have you ever tried to download an operating system update only to have it fail and have to start all over? What about patches for your favorite games? World of Warcraft already uses Bittorrent technology as a way to distribute large amounts of content at a lower cost to the company and faster speeds to all of their clients. So why haven't they replaced the standard downloading options built into any major OS? Companies like Opera are including the downloading of torrents in their products already and extensions have been written for Firefox to download torrents in-browser. Every day Bittorrent traffic is growing. Sites like OpenBittorrent already exist and DHT doesn't even require a tracker. So why isn't everyone doing it? Is it finally time to see all downloads replaced with Bittorrent?"

The Surprising Statistics Behind Flash and Apple 630

Barence writes "PC Pro's Tom Arah has dug up some statistics that cast severe doubt over Steve Jobs' assertion that Flash is the technology of the past, and Apple's iOS is the platform of the future. He quibbles with Net Applications' assertion that iOS growth is 'massive,' considering that mobile accounts for only 2.6% of web views, and the iOS share stands at only 1.1%. By comparison, Silverlight penetration now stands at 51% while 97% of web surfers have Flash installed, according to Stat Owl. 'At least when Bill Gates held the web to ransom he had the decency to first establish a dominant position,' Arah claims. 'In Steve Jobs' case, with only 1.1% market share, the would-be emperor isn't even wearing any clothes.'"
The Internet

Network Neutrality Is Law In Chile 180

An anonymous reader writes "Chile is the first country of the world to guarantee by law the principle of network neutrality, according to the Teleccomunications Market Comission's Blog from Spain. The official newspaper of the Chilean Republic published yesterday a Law that guarantees that any Internet user will be able to use, send, receive or offer any content, applications or legal services over the Internet, without arbitrary or discriminatory blocking."
The Courts

Landmark Ruling Gives Australian ISPs Safe Harbor 252

omnibit writes "Today, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its ruling in favor of the country's third largest ISP, iiNet. The case was backed by some of the largest media companies, including 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. They accused iiNet of approving piracy by ignoring thousands of infringement notices. Justice Cowdroy said that the 'mere provision of access to internet is not the means to infringement' and 'copyright infringement occurred as result of use of BitTorrent, not the Internet... iiNet has no control over BitTorrent system and [is] not responsible for BitTorrent system.' Many Internet providers had been concerned that an adverse ruling would have forced themselves to police Internet traffic and comply with the demands of copyright owners without any legislative or judicial oversight."

Facebook's HipHop Also a PHP Webserver 304

darthcamaro writes "As expected, Facebook today announced a new runtime for PHP, called HipHop. What wasn't expected were a few key revelations disclosed today by Facebook developer David Recordan. As it turns out, Facebook has been running HipHop for months and it now powers 90 percent of their servers — it's not a skunkworks project; it's a Live production technology. It's also not just a runtime, it's also a new webserver. 'In general, Apache is a great Web server, but when we were looking at how we get the next half percent or percent of performance, we didn't need all the features that Apache offers," Recordon said. He added, however, that he hopes an open source project will one day emerge around making HipHop work with Apache Web servers.'"

Mozilla Accepts Chinese CNNIC Root CA Certificate 256

Josh Triplett writes "Last October, Mozilla accepted the China Internet Network Information Center as a trusted CA root (Bugzilla entry). This affects Firefox, Thunderbird, and other products built on Mozilla technologies. The standard period for discussion passed without comment, and Mozilla accepted CNNIC based on the results of a formal audit. Commenters in the bug report and the associated discussion have presented evidence that the Chinese government controls CNNIC, and surfaced claims of malware production and distribution and previous man-in-the-middle attacks in China via their secondary CA root from Entrust. As usual, please refrain from blindly chiming into the discussion without supporting evidence. Since Mozilla has already accepted CNNIC as a trusted root CA, the burden rests with those who argue for its removal."

Using Windows 7 RC? Pay Up Or Auto Shutdown Warned 430

CWmike writes with a warning that free preview copies of Windows 7 in the wild will start nagging users to pay up in a couple of weeks until ultimately shutting down the PC altogether in a month. "Microsoft unveiled the schedule for Windows 7 Release Candidate's retirement in May 2009, when it issued the early look to the public. At the time, it said Windows 7 RC would expire June 1, 2010. Before that date, however, users are to receive warnings of the impending end. Starting on Feb. 15, Windows 7 RC will display notices every few hours that the machine will periodically shut down beginning on March 1. As of March 1, PCs running Windows 7 RC will automatically shut down every two hours. Those shutdowns will come without warning."

Toyota Pedal Issue Highlights Move To Electronics 913

cyclocommuter writes with an excerpt from a brief WSJ story on increasing electronic control of car components: "The gas pedal system used Toyota Motor Co.'s recall crisis was born from a movement in the auto industry to rely more on electronics to carry out a vehicle's most critical functions. The intricacy of such systems, which replace hoses and hydraulic fluid with computer chips and electrical sensors, has been a focus as Toyota struggled to find the cause for sudden acceleration of vehicles that led the company to halt sales of eight models this week."

Newzbin.com Usenet Indexing Trial Set To Begin Next Week 76

An anonymous reader writes "Only a few weeks after a jury acquitted Alan Ellis, the owner of the BitTorrent site 'OinK's Pink Palace,' of copyright infringement, another high profile case is about to start next week, this time for the newsgroup side of things. The MPA (Motion Picture Association) trial against Newzbin.com, a website that indexes NZB files and content on the newsgroups, will begin in London on Monday. Will lightning strike twice in favor of website indexing?" Torrentfreak points out one major difference between the cases: "Ellis’s charge was one of fraud, allegedly conducted by an individual and dealt with under criminal law, while that leveled against Newzbin is one of allowing and inducing illegal copying, i.e copyright infringement, but carried out by a bona fide company under civil law."

Obama Budget To Triple Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees 373

Hugh Pickens writes "When President Obama said in his State of the Union address on Wednesday that the country should build 'a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants,' it was one of the few times he got bipartisan applause. Now the NY Times reports that administration officials have confirmed their 2011 federal budget request next week will raise potential loan guarantees for nuclear projects to more than $54 billion, from $18.5 billion, and a new Energy Department panel will examine a vastly expanded list of options for nuclear waste, including a new kind of nuclear reactor that would use some of it. The Energy Department appears to be getting close to offering its first nuclear loan guarantee. Earlier this week, Southern Co. Chief Executive David Ratcliffe said the company expects to finalize an application for a loan guarantee 'within the next couple months,' while Scana Corp., which has also applied, is 'a couple months behind Southern' and is hopeful of receiving a conditional award 'sometime in the next months.'"

US Dir. of Citizen Participation Patents the News 66

theodp writes "Ex-Googler and now White House Director of Citizen Participation Katie Stanton is charged with promoting open public dialogues. Last Thursday, Stanton and Google snagged a patent on displaying financial news. Google explains that Stanton's invention — Interactive Financial Charting and Related News Correlation — will 'facilitate and encourage the user's use and understanding of financial information,' which does jibe nicely with Stanton's appointment to Obama's New Media Team. Too bad it'll be encumbered by a Google patent until 2027."

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.