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Medicine

Ultrasound As a Male Contraceptive 599

Posted by kdawson
from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.
TeslaBoy writes "The BBC has an article about using ultrasound aimed at the testicles as a reversible male contraceptive. This can last for six months. With a grant of $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, researchers at the University of North Carolina will push ahead with more clinical trials, fine tuning, and safety tests."
Displays

Pixel Qi Introduces a DIY Kit 74

Posted by kdawson
from the good-reason-to-void-the-warranty dept.
jones_supa writes "Pixel Qi has just revealed their DIY kit for netbooks, planned to be out near the end of Q2 — sounds like June. This makes it possible to retrofit a screen to one fully readable in direct sunlight. In her blog, Mary Lou Jepsen says: 'It’s only slightly more difficult than changing a lightbulb: it’s basically 6 screws, pulling off a bezel, unconnecting the old screen and plugging this one in. That’s it. It’s a 5 minute operation.' She also talks about the 'laptop hospital,' a service depot started by kids in Africa."
NASA

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-perspective-on-an-old-tragedy dept.
longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."
Google

Yes, Google Does De-List Pages; But When? 133

Posted by kdawson
from the how-offensive-is-too-offensive dept.
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "Google finds itself inserting a disclaimer once again above some offensive search results. But the disclaimer still leads many to believe (incorrectly) that Google doesn't tamper with search results even in cases of 'harmful' or 'offensive' material. We know that Google has in fact de-listed some pages at the request of offended parties. What is their real policy on the issue?" Read on for Bennet's essay.
Biotech

Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets 427

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-be-beet dept.
countertrolling writes "A federal judge has ruled that the government failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of genetically engineered sugar beets before approving the crop for cultivation in the United States. The decision could lead to a ban on the planting of the beets, which have been widely adopted by farmers. Beets supply about half the nation's sugar, with the rest coming from sugar cane. The Agriculture Department did conduct an environmental assessment before approving the genetically engineered beets in 2005 for widespread planting. But the department concluded there would be no significant impact, so a fuller environmental impact statement was not needed. But Judge White said that the pollen from the genetically engineered crops might spread to non-engineered beets. He said that the 'potential elimination of farmer's choice to grow non-genetically engineered crops, or a consumer's choice to eat non-genetically engineered food' constituted a significant effect on the environment that necessitated an environmental impact statement. There's still hope, isn't there? That we can at least get this stuff labeled properly?"
Books

Google Books As "Train Wreck" For Scholars 160

Posted by kdawson
from the mishmash-wrapped-in-a-muddle dept.
Following up on our earlier discussion, here's more detail on Geoffrey Nunberg's argument that Google Books could prove detrimental to academics and other scholars. Recently Nunberg gave a talk at a conference claiming that the metadata in Google Books is riddled with errors and is classified in a scheme unfit for scholarly use. This blog post was fleshed out somewhat a few days later in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Quoting from the latter: "Start with publication dates. To take Google's word for it, 1899 was a literary annus mirabilis, which saw the publication of Raymond Chandler's Killer in the Rain, The Portable Dorothy Parker, [and] Stephen King's Christine... A search on 'internet' in books written before 1950 and turns up 527 hits. ... [Google blames some errors on the originating libraries.] ...the libraries can't be responsible for books mislabeled as Health and Fitness and Antiques and Collectibles, for the simple reason that those categories are drawn from the Book Industry Standards and Communications codes, which are used by the publishers to tell booksellers where to put books on the shelves. ... In short, Google has taken a group of the world's great research collections and returned them in the form of a suburban-mall bookstore." The head of metadata for Google Books, Jon Orwant, has responded in detail to Numberg's complaints in a comment on the original blog post — and says his team has already fixed the errors that Nunberg so helpfully pointed out.
NASA

Ares Manager Steve Cook Resigns From NASA 153

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-revolving-door-in-space dept.
FleaPlus writes "Steve Cook, project manager for the Ares I-X, Ares I, and Ares V rockets, announced that he will resign from NASA MSFC after 19 years at the agency, leaving for an executive position at Dynetics, Inc. This raises doubts about the future of the Ares program, which has been plagued with development problems and massive cost/schedule overruns since its inception. Steve Cook also oversaw the (since discredited) 2005 ESAS study which scrapped NASA's prior plans to adapt already-existing commercial rockets for human/beyond-LEO exploration in favor of internally developing the Ares rockets."
Government

Emergency Government Control of the Internet? 853

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the big-brother-bigger-than-ever dept.
TheZid writes "A newly proposed bill would give Uncle Sam the power to disconnect private sector computers from the internet in the event of a 'cyber security emergency.' As usual, our government is trying to take away our privacy by citing security. What actually counts as a 'Cyber-Security Emergency?' Does the president now have the option of disconnecting people when they disagree with his policies? How about disconnecting bloggers that criticize his health care reform? What counts as an emergency? Can political opponents be deemed a cyber-security emergency?"
Medicine

Drug Vending Machines 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the correct-change-only dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If you guessed San Bernardino County prisons as the ideal place to put drug vending machines, come claim your prize. From the article, 'Corrections departments are responsible for so many burdensome tasks that many of their everyday functions, like administering prescription drugs to inmates, are afterthoughts for the public. However, dispensing medication was so laborious and wasteful for the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff-Coroner Department that officials sought a way to streamline the process. The end product was essentially a vending machine that links to correctional facility databases and dispenses prescription medications.'"
The Military

High-Tech Blimps Earning Their Wings 200

Posted by samzenpus
from the truly-goodyear dept.
coondoggie writes "The US Army this week showed off its latest high-tech blimp laden with powerful radar systems capable of detecting incoming threats 340 miles away. The helium-filled blimps, or aerostats, are designed to hover over war zones or high-security areas and be on guard for incoming missiles or other threats. The Army wants them to reduce some of the need for manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights. The aerostat demonstrated this week is known as the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Sensor System (JLENS), which is designed to fly up to an altitude of 10,000 feet. According to GlobalSecurity.org., the $1.4 billion JLENS is a large, unpowered elevated sensor moored to the ground by a long cable. From its position above the battlefield, the elevated sensors will allow incoming cruise missiles to be detected, tracked, and engaged by surface-based air defense systems even before the targets can be seen by the systems."
Television

Nielsen Struggles To Track Modern Viewing Habits 248

Posted by kdawson
from the watching-the-watchers dept.
RobotRunAmok writes "The Nielsen Company has been the principal entity tracking TV shows' popularity, and, by extension, their potential profitability. But as our media consumption practices change, some believe that Nielsen's methods have not kept pace. A new consortium including networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery, and Walt Disney — along with major advertisers — is calling for the creation of a new audience measurement service, and planning to solicit bids from outside firms by the fourth quarter of this year. Nielsen says they're not worried about so many of their customers ganging up on them, having just invested more than a billion dollars in research to stay modern. Except that today Nielsen announced they would pointedly not be adding weights to DVR households, and that adding weights for the presence of a personal computer or Internet access in under-represented households would provide 'no significant change or enhancement' to its national TV ratings sample. The pundits deride Nielsen's 'archaic' methodology and 'disco-era tactics,' but others scoff that such a consortium will only 'put the foxes in charge of the henhouse.' Stay tuned..."
Earth

Earth's Period of Habitability Is Nearly Over 756

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-while-it-lasts dept.
xp65 writes "Scientists at this year's XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil agree that we do not yet know how ubiquitous or how fragile life is, but that: 'The Earth's period of habitability is nearly over on a cosmological timescale. In a half to one billion years the Sun will start to be too luminous and warm for water to exist in liquid form on Earth, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect in less than 2 billion years.' Other surprising claims from this conference: that the Sun may not be the ideal kind of star to nurture life, and that the Earth may not be the ideal size."

Comment: Come on... (Score 5, Insightful) 294

by CWRUisTakingMyMoney (#28931685) Attached to: First Ever Criminal Arrest For Domain Name Theft
The first thing you can imagine the officer asked was, "What's a domain?"

I get it! Cops are all dumb, lazy, and technically illiterate!

Seriously, everyone. I know we all resent cops, but to imply that a whole department can't find a single officer who knows what a domain is is ridiculous and insulting. Let's try to keep our government/authority-hate at least sort of grounded in reality.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!

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