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Security

+ - Mac Loses to Windows in Year's Vulnerability Stats->

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "In what will likely come as a shock to many readers, a ZDNet blog shows stats claiming (via secunia.com) that shows in average flaws per month OSX averaging 20.25 while XP & Vista combined averaged 3.67. Is this report card accurate or is this a symptom of one company turning a blind eye while the other concentrates on its own flaws?"
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Biotech

+ - Closing in on synthetic life forms

Submitted by Doofus
Doofus (43075) writes "The Washington Post is running an excellent story this morning, Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms, about the rapid development of synthetic genomics, the crafting of DNA to generate synthetic organisms with specific purposes. Examples of successful bug generation include a DuPont creature that generates a chemical used to manufacture synthetic fiber, and Craig Venter's efforts to engineer a range of fuel-generating microbes.



Unlike conventional biotechnology, in which scientists induce modest genetic changes in cells to make them serve industrial purposes, synthetic biology involves the large-scale rewriting of genetic codes to create metabolic machines with singular purposes.

"I see a cell as a chassis and power supply for the artificial systems we are putting together," said Tom Knight of MIT, who likes to compare the state of cell biology today to that of mechanical engineering in 1864. That is when the United States began to adopt standardized thread sizes for nuts and bolts, an advance that allowed the construction of complex devices from simple, interchangeable parts.

If biology is to morph into an engineering discipline, it is going to need similarly standardized parts, Knight said. So he and colleagues have started a collection of hundreds of interchangeable genetic components they call BioBricks, which students and others are already popping into cells like Lego pieces.
"
Television

+ - New KITT car for Knight Rider remake

Submitted by JoeyJam
JoeyJam (845213) writes "Jalopanik is running the exclusive pics and video on the newly annouced Knight Rider television movie due to air in early 2008. Pontiac fans will be disappointed to hear that the new K.I.T.T. is a Ford Mustang GT 500! Although Hasselhoff is reprising his role as Michael Knight, do not expect to hear the voice of William Daniels emanating from this car."
Space

+ - Does Active SETI Put Earth in Danger? 3

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "There is an interesting story in Seed Magazine on active SETI — sending out signals to try to contact other civilizations in nearby star systems. Alexander Zaitsev, Chief Scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, has access to one of the most powerful radio transmitters on Earth and has already sent several messages to nearby, sun-like stars. But some scientists think that Zaitsev is not only acting out of turn by independently speaking for everyone on the entire planet but believe there are possible dangers we may unleash by announcing ourselves to the unknown darkness. "We're talking about initiating communication with other civilizations, but we know nothing of their goals, capabilities, or intent," says SETI researcher John Billingham. This ground has been explored before in countless works of science fiction most notably "The Killing Star," a 1995 novel that paints a frightening picture of interstellar civilizations exterminating their neighbors with relativistic bombardments, not from malice, but simply because it is the most logical action. Billingham urges a broad, interdisciplinary discussion of Active SETI. "At the very least we ought to talk about it first, and not just SETI people. We have a responsibility to the future well-being and survival of humankind.""
Space

+ - Voyager 2 30 years->

Submitted by
Mick Ohrberg
Mick Ohrberg writes "The Voyager 2 spacecraft (part of the ongoing Voyager Mission) today celebrates 30 years of faithful service, by far surpassing the 4 years that was its inteded lifespan. Voyager 2 is today 7.8 billion miles from the sun, placing it almost as far out as the heliopause. At the speed of light that's about 12 hours away, and it's clocking about 1 million miles per day. Voyager 1, launched a couple of weeks after Voyager 2, is at 9.7 billion miles from the sun the farthest man-made object. So when are we going to get around to sending up Voyager 6?"
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Movies

+ - Leonard Nimoy to play Spock in next Star Trek movi 1

Submitted by
mcgrew
mcgrew writes "The AP (via the Chicago Tribune) is reporting that Leonard Nimoy will 'don his famous pointy ears again' in the next Star Trek movie, due out Christmas of next year.

"This is really going to be a great movie. And I don't say things like that lightly," Nimoy told a gathering of 6,500 fans Thursday at Comic-Con, the nation's largest pop-culture convention.

He greeted the crowd with a Vulcan salute.

Nimoy was joined by the newly named young Spock, "Heroes" star Zachary Quinto, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Nimoy.

Both Spocks were introduced by the film's director and co-producer, J.J. Abrams.
I've lost track, is this an even numbered Trek movie or an odd numbered one?"

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