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Submission + - Medicine Lose Effectiveness In Space

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at the Johnson Space Center have shown that the effectiveness of drugs declines more rapidly in space. Engineers are working on a project which could bring space travel to the general public but experiments suggest that the health hazards facing astronauts may be greater than previously thought. Astronauts on long space missions may not be able to take paracetamol to treat a headache or antibiotics to fight infection, a study has found. I wonder if diseases are also affected?

Submission + - New Spin on Graphene Makes It Magnetic (

intellitech writes: A team led by Professor Andre Geim, a recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize for graphene, has shown that electric current can magnetize graphene. The researchers found a new way to interconnect spin and charge by applying a relatively weak magnetic field to graphene and found that this causes a flow of spins in the direction perpendicular to electric current, making a graphene sheet magnetised.

Submission + - Swedish file-sharers file for Religious status ( 1

nloop writes: A group of file-sharers in Sweden have requested that their religion, Kopimism, be officially recognized in Sweden. Although this status has been denied once in the past the struggle for religious freedom from persecution continues. Aside from deeming CTRL+C CTRL+V as sacred symbols other beliefs include the flow of information being ethically right and closed source software being "akin to slavery."

Submission + - Doubling of CO2 not so tragic after all? ( 4

carvalhao writes: The Register reports on a study from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that claims that new climate models that account for the effects of increased CO2 levels on plant growth result on a 1,64 C increase for a doubling of CO2 concentrations, a far less gloomy scenario than previously considered.

Submission + - Ellsberg supports wikileaks (

wierd_w writes: Daniel Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Due to the recent debates over the pros and cons between the wikileaks releases and those of the historic "Pentagon papers", Journalist Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers in 1971, has written an editorial on the subject declaring that he rejects the mantra of “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad", and that further “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”


Astonishing Speedup In Solving Linear SDD Systems 157

eldavojohn writes "A new paper (PDF) out of Carnegie Mellon University shows how to solve symmetric diagonally dominant linear systems much faster than before. The technique employs graph theory, randomized algorithms, and linear algebra to achieve an astonishing advantage over current methods to solve such systems. From the article: 'The result is a significant decrease in computer run times. The Gaussian elimination algorithm runs in time proportional to s^3, where s is the size of the SDD system as measured by the number of terms in the system, even when s is not much bigger the number of variables. The new algorithm, by comparison, has a run time of s*[log(s)]^2. That means, if s = 1 million, that the new algorithm run time would be about a billion times faster than Gaussian elimination.' Developers out there who maintain matrix packages and linear algebra tools might want to take a peak at the paper. Anyone who has modeled real-world systems will be able to tell you that speedups in linear algebra algorithms have a weighty effect on efficiency in simulations — especially as one approaches the theoretical limits of optimality. This research is currently being presented at the IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science."

Submission + - Which 12 ISPs Pass Info to Project Vigilant? (

JumperCable writes: Forbes had a blog post yesterday about the outing of the wikileaks video. The author wrote

A semi-secret government contractor that calls itself Project Vigilant surfaced at the Defcon security conference Sunday with a series of revelations: that it monitors the traffic of 12 regional Internet service providers, hands much of that information to federal agencies, and encouraged one of its "volunteers," researcher Adrian Lamo, to inform the federal government about the alleged source of a controversial video of civilian deaths in Iraq leaked to whistle-blower site Wikileaks in April.

More disturbing to me than the outing of the Wikileaks video whistle blower, is to find out who now has access to my private browsing habits.

He says the 600-person "volunteer" organization functions as a government contractor bridging public and private sector security efforts. Its mission: to use a variety of intelligence-gathering efforts to help the government attribute hacking incidents.

one of Project Vigilant's manifold methods for gathering intelligence includes collecting information from a dozen regional U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs). Uber declined to name those ISPs, but said that because the companies included a provision allowing them to share users' Internet activities with third parties in their end user license agreements (EULAs), Vigilant was able to legally gather data from those Internet carriers and use it to craft reports for federal agencies. A Vigilant press release says that the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can "develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address." "We don't do anything illegal," says Uber. "If an ISP has a EULA to let us monitor traffic, we can work with them. If they don't, we can't."

So who are these 12 ISPs? Why are volunteers being given access to my private browsing information? And who else is this private contractor selling my information to besides the government?


Submission + - Knuth Plans 'Earthshaking Announcement' Wednesday (

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes: "Donald Knuth is planning to give an 'earthshaking announcement' on Wednesday, at TeX's 32nd Anniversary Celebration, on the final day of the TUG 2010 Conference. Unfortunately, nobody seems to know what it is. So far, speculation ranges from proving P!=NP or a new volume of The Art of Computer Programming to retirement. Maybe Duke Nukem Forever has been ported to MMIX?"

Submission + - Downtime for (

1sockchuck writes: The web site is experiencing major problems this afternoon. The site is experiencing "latencies" that are affecting the performance of its web site, Amazon says in a forum for sellers, leaving customers unable to place orders or view item details. The problems don't appear to be affecting Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing platform (see status dashboard).

Submission + - Pac-Man on Google Doodle (

Kilrah_il writes: Although we had much of Google in the last few days, this is just to geekly-cool to pass. In order to celebrate Pac-Man's 30th birthday, Google featured a doodle of Pac-Man on their home page, but with a cool twist: It is a playable doodle of the original Pac-Man game. "To play the game, go to during the next 48 hours (because it’s too cool to keep for just one day) and either press the “Insert Coin” button or just wait for a few seconds." There is also an easter egg for those who want to recall one of the first multi-player games, but you'll have to RTFA to find it.

Submission + - Wikipedia to use large donation to change articles (

so.dan writes: Wikipedia will be using a $1.2M grant donated by the Stanton Foundation — founded by Frank Stanton, ex-chairman of the policy think-tank The RAND Corporation — to "improve" articles dealing with public policy. The Stanton Foundation still sponsors RAND and other research institutions. It frightens me that such a large donation would be accepted by a single donor to change articles which educate the public on political issues from a group which is itself so focused on these issues. I thought that Wikipedia's political articles gained some credibility from the extent to which contributions to these pages were decentralized.

Submission + - 1 Molecule Computes 1000s Times Faster Than PC ( 1

alexhiggins732 writes: A Single Molecule Computes Thousands of Times Faster than Your PC

A demo of a quantum calculation carried out by Japanese researchers has yielded some pretty mind-blowing results: a single molecule can perform a complex calculation thousands of times faster than a conventional computer.

A proof-of-principle test run of a discrete Fourier transform — a common calculation using spectral analysis and data compression, among other things — performed with a single iodine molecule transpired very well, putting all the molecules in your PC to shame.

Submission + - XKCD Color Survey Has Interesting Results (

dragoncortez writes: Randall Munroe has posted the results of his color survey and his analysis is both thorough and surprising. It turns out that men and women name colors pretty much the same as a general rule, although women prefer flower-sounding color names, while men prefer such manly sounding color names as "penis" and "dunno." It also turns out that "nobody can spell 'fuchsia'”.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder