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The Internet

University Taps Sewers for Internet Access 204

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-where-we-breed-the-super-crocs dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "A web connection via the toilet bowl may sound like Google's most recent April Fool, but the University of Aberdeen plans to welcome students back with a high bandwidth internet network connected via the sewers. The university tapped H2O Networks to provide a high capacity link for the next 10 years, enabling students to access the internet from their halls of residence. H2O Networks is a deploying dark fibre in the UK's waste water network to enable connectivity to those who have limited access. The network is known as 'fibre via the sewer'."
Biotech

+ - Stem Cells Shown to Protect Dying Motor Neurons

Submitted by
Penguinshit
Penguinshit writes "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by rapid loss of muscle control and eventual paralysis due to the death of large motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Growth factors such as glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) are known to protect motor neurons from damage in a range of models. Human cortical neural progenitor cells derived from fetal tissue (ie. stem cells) can be expanded in culture for long periods and survive transplantation into the central nervous system, in some cases making large numbers of GFAP positive astrocytes. They can also be genetically modified to release GDNF and thus act as long-term 'mini pumps' in specific regions of the brain. In this study a team at UW-Madison's Waisman Center genetically modified human neural stem cells to release GDNF and transplanted them into the spinal cord of rats with mutant SOD1. Following unilateral transplantation into the spinal cord of the rats there was robust cellular migration into degenerating areas, efficient delivery of GDNF and remarkable preservation of motor neurons at early and end stages of the disease within chimeric regions.

This work is especially important to me, as I have been living with ALS for almost three years."
Media

Games Workshop Forbids Warhammer Fan Films 251

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the wont-last-after-WAR-is-released dept.
EikeHein writes "Made by dozens of fans over a period of several years and featuring impressive special effects, the feature-length Warhammer 40.000 epic DAMNATUS ranks among the most elaborate fan productions ever made — and yet may never see the light of day. Despite initially giving a go-ahead to the project, UK-based Warhammer franchise owner Games Workshop has come around to forbid distribution of the film just as it was being readied for release. What's more, they've amended their IP Policy to forbid any such projects in the future. At the heart of the matter appears to be Continental European copyright law, which grants the German film makers certain irrevocable rights to their creation which they cannot sign away. Given that the owners of the other two SF mega-franchises, Star Trek and Star Wars, have been able to come to terms with such issues and arguably benefit greatly from the media attention paid to popular fan productions, it would seem that Games Workshop still has to learn a thing or two about how to capture fan enthusiasm for their benefit."
Robotics

Robots Teach Autistic Kids Social Skills 171

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bender-not-a-great-model dept.
posys writes "Wired Magazine has an article showing how the eternal patience of robots lends itself well to teaching new social skills to autistic children. 'The researchers hope that the end result is a human-like robot that can act as a "social mediator" for autistic children, a steppingstone to improved social interaction with other children and adults. "KASPAR provides autistic children with reliability and predictability. Since there are no surprises, they feel safe and secure," Robins said, adding that the purpose is not to replace human interaction and contact but to enhance it. Robins has already tested some imitation and turn-taking games with the children and his preliminary findings are positive.'"
Power

+ - Purdue Researchers Generate Hydrogen From Water +

Submitted by Control Group
Control Group (105494) writes "A team of researchers at Purdue University, led by Jerry Woodall, have have developed a method to extract hydrogen from water by using an aluminum/gallium alloy.

Hydrogen is generated spontaneously when water is added to pellets of the alloy, which is made of aluminum and a metal called gallium. The researchers have shown how hydrogen is produced when water is added to a small tank containing the pellets. Hydrogen produced in such a system could be fed directly to an engine, such as those on lawn mowers.
.

The key, they say, is the addition of the gallium, "because it hinders the formation of a skin normally created on aluminum's surface after oxidation." The gallium is not consumed by the process, meaning it can be reused. The aluminum, of course, oxidizes and must be recycled. While the current price of aluminum means this won't be cost-competitive with gasoline in the near term, in combination with fuel cell technology, immediate gains could be realized."

An Inconvenient Truth 1033

Posted by jamie
from the conveniently-packaged dept.

There's a movie teaser line that you may have seen recently, that goes like this: "What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they'd never believe you?" The answer is "I'd try." The teaser's actually for another movie, but that's the story that's told in the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth": it starts with a man who, after talking with scientists and senators, can't get anyone to listen to what he thinks is the most important thing in the world. It comes out on DVD today.

Zune Profits Go To Record Label 155

Posted by kdawson
from the how-to-bleed-the-iPod dept.
genegeek writes, "The New York Times reports that Microsoft has a new deal with Universal to share profits from Zune player sales. David Geffen, the media omniboss, is quoted: 'Each of these devices is used to store unpaid-for material...' The new business rationale is that stolen music should be paid for by profit sharing of newly sold Zune music players. Does that mean if you are not stealing music, you should get a discount on the players? Universal expects a similar deal from Apple when their current contract expires." Reader Gallenod adds, "Microsoft appears willing to spend millions and defer any potential profitability of the Zune simply to weaken Apple's bargaining power with recording companies and set a precedent for hardware manufacturers paying music companies."

IE7 Released As High-Priority Update 438

Posted by kdawson
from the meet-the-new-boss dept.
jimbojw writes, "Internet Explorer 7 was finally released this morning and is available via automatic update or download from Microsoft." And an anonymous reader notes stats on IE7 and FF2 downloads, adding: "Looks like FF2 is already outnumbering FF 1.5, while IE7 is having a hard time to find followers. Will today's release as a high-priority, force-fed update fix this issue?" The sans.org stats site will be updated throughout the day, so perhaps we'll get an indication.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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