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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Glaxo Open Sources Malaria Drug Search Data 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-as-a-mosquito dept.
smellsofbikes writes "GlaxoSmithKline, the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company, is putting thousands of possible malaria-treating drugs into the public domain in a move that the Wall Street Journal calls a 'Linux approach' to pharmaceutical screening. Andrew Witty, who is described as the boss of GSK, says the company thinks it is 'imperative to earn the trust of society, not just by meeting expectations but by exceeding them.' Of course, synthesis or discovery of new chemicals is cheap compared to efficacy and qualification studies, but this is a refreshing change from not handing out any information until after everything is patented."

Microsoft Clears MechWarrior4 Free Launch 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the done-and-done dept.
Vamman writes "If you've been following the drama surrounding the free release of MechWarrior4, then you're probably aware that the initial announcement, made last summer, was a bit premature. Now, nearly a year since that announcement was made, MekTek Studios has announced that Microsoft Legal has given clearance for the free release of Mechwarrior4. This move by Microsoft Games couldn't come at a better time for the community, as the owners of MechWarrior are attempting a reboot of the franchise."

NASA Solar Satellite's First Sun Images 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the picture-in-the-sun dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA today showed off the amazing first pictures of the Sun taken from its 6,800lb Solar Dynamics Observatory flying at an orbit 22,300 miles above Earth. The first images show a variety of activity NASA says provide never-before-seen detail of material streaming outward and away from sunspots. Others show extreme close-ups of activity on the sun's surface. The spacecraft also has made the first high-resolution measurements of solar flares in a broad range of extreme ultraviolet wavelengths."

Group Calls For Google Antitrust Probe 372

Posted by samzenpus
from the break-it-up-over-there dept.
CWmike writes "Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog called on the DOJ to launch a broad antitrust investigation into Google's search and advertising practices and consider a wide array of penalties, including possibly breaking the company up (PDF). The watchdog, along with a mobile entrepreneur and two lawyers representing Google rivals, called for an investigation focusing on a number of issues, including Google's marriage of search results to advertising and its book search service. '...We think all remedies should be on the table, including, we think, the possible breakup of the Internet giant,' said John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog. Adam Kovacevich, senior manager for global communications and public affairs at Google, discounted the criticisms, saying Consumer Watchdog has been 'relentlessly negative' about Google. The group recently questioned the reasons why Google stopped censoring search results in China, and criticized Google's privacy Dashboard as inadequate, Kovacevich said."

UK University Researchers Must Make Data Available 352

Posted by timothy
from the time-to-pay-the-public-piper dept.
Sara Chan writes "In a landmark ruling, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office has decided that researchers at a university must make all their data available to the public. The decision follows from a three-year battle by mathematician Douglas J. Keenan, who wants the data to do his own analysis on it. The university researchers have had the data for many years, and have published several papers using the data, but had refused to make the data available. The data in this case pertains to global warming, but the decision is believed to apply to any field: scientists at universities, which are all public in the UK, can now not claim data from publicly-funded research as their private property." There's more at the BBC, at Nature Climate Feedback, and at Keenan's site.

+ - OS software claims NASA Software of the Year award->

Submitted by Bull_UK
Bull_UK (944763) writes "You may remember NASA World Wind from previous Slashdot stories, for those who haven't heard of it before World Wind is an open source 3D interactive world viewer, it was created by NASA Learning Technologies, and released in mid-2004. It is now developed by NASA staff and open source community developers.

The original version was built using .NET, but was switched to Java to promote cross platform development, this current incarnation has been recognised by NASA who have awarded it the NASA Software of the Year award.

As a community member who has worked on this project for several years I feel this shows how the public and Government agencies can work together to produce great software, which is beneficial to the Government, Private sector and the public in general."

Link to Original Source

+ - Are Streetview privacy concerns taken seriously?->

Submitted by
Bull_UK writes "After hearing about a rude word written on a school's roof visible in Google Maps I decided to check it out, it wasn't that impressive a typical prank, what was more interesting was when I zoomed in further and explored the area using Streetview. In under three minutes I noticed an unblurred car license plate and two unblurred faces, now I understand the technological problems involved in detecting faces and number plates but I genuinely expected Google to do a better job than this. They have got the publics acceptance by promising the blurring features, but in my opinion the promises should be kept, and if they can't be kept Google should at the very least stop adding new Streetview imagery until their software is improved. I will probably lose lots of Karma for this post and get flamed by the Google fanboys, to preempt some of the inevitable comments, yes you can contact Google and ask them to remove any photos, but why is this our job? Don't they have a QA department with paid staff? Yes I can walk down the street and see people with unblurred faces, but they can also see me, plus I'm one person not several million. Another thing worth considering is what would happen if you walked around a town taking photos of everyone and everything? I'm pretty sure you would end up being interviewed by the police, and I doubt promising to blur the images of faces, especially childrens faces, would get you very far."
Link to Original Source
The Media

Wikipedia Bans Church of Scientology 665

Posted by timothy
from the there's-no-pleasing-some-people dept.
El Reg writes "Showing a new-found resolve to crack down on self-serving edits, Wikipedia has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology. According to Wikipedia administrators, this marks the first time such a high-profile organization has been banished for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the 'free encyclopedia anyone can edit.'"

Comment: Sell cheaper ebook versions? (Score 1) 987

by Bull_UK (#27957413) Attached to: What Can I Do About Book Pirates?
This may not be applicable to you but recently I was looking for several e-books and found the price stupidly high, I can buy a paperback for £3.99 but an e-book costs $16.00,to me this makes no sense, producing a paper based book and distributing it is surely more expensive than producing an electronic version, don't the publishers get the book in electronic form from the authors anyway? Where are the costs? Off topic, I also find extremely frustrating that most books I want are not available in electronic form, and some that are are restricted to the U.S. and Canada, I could understand this for new books but not ones published in 2004. I have resorted at times to downloading torrents of books I own already as paperbacks, this probably isn't legal either but it satisfies my moral code

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil