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Australian Federal Court Rules For Patent Over Breast Cancer Gene 160

Bulldust writes "The Federal Court in Australia has ruled in favor of U.S. biotechnology company Myriad Genetics, enabling them to continue to hold the patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1. The same patent is also being reconsidered by the U.S. Supreme Court in the current session. From the article: 'Federal court Justice John Nicholas has ruled that a private company can continue to hold a patent over the so-called breast cancer gene BRCA1, in a decision that has devastated cancer victims.The decision is the first in Australia to rule on whether isolated genes can be patented, and will set a precedent in favor of commercial ownership of genetic material.'"

Comment The worst thing since ActiveX (Score 2, Insightful) 290

That's pretty much all.

The best that this idiocy can possibly produce is further fragmentation of "The Web": right now, we have "kinda sane" standards in HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1, as well as CSS 2.1; everything beyond that are half-baked hacks in the form of several implementations of HTML 5, CSS 3 modules, their DOM APIs, and whatever browser vendors decided to implement. Adding DRM to the fray will not help things, since no matter how you look at it, you will end up with content only available on specialty browsers like Chrome, IE, or fringe mobile platforms, all the while still blissfully carrying the "HTML" tag.

At the end of the day, it will be cheaper for content peddlers to just cut out the bullshit and keep doing things in Flash, and I can't even say that I'm sad about it anymore.

Oh, and the W3C? They can go die in a car crash FWIW, it wouldn't be a huge loss beyond the humanitarian impact. Not like they did anything useful in the past 10 years.


Officials Warn: Cyber War On the US Has Begun 292

snydeq writes "Security pros and government officials warn of a possible cyber 9/11 involving banks, utilities, other companies, or the Internet, InfoWorld reports. 'A cyber war has been brewing for at least the past year, and although you might view this battle as governments going head to head in a shadow fight, security experts say the battleground is shifting from government entities to the private sector, to civilian targets that provide many essential services to U.S. citizens. The cyber war has seen various attacks around the world, with incidents such as Stuxnet, Flame, and Red October garnering attention. Some attacks have been against government systems, but increasingly likely to attack civilian entities. U.S. banks and utilities have already been hit.'"

Comment Who writes that kind of bullshit? (Score 1) 333

That whole homo-semi-erotic topic in SWOR is blown out of proportion by a small bunch of loud idiots.

What really happens is that (1) those idiots have been crying about Bioware not providing homo romances with companions since the day the beta started. Then, (2) Bioware is so kind as to look into it, and puts it on their todo list. Later, (3) the whole game has its business model revamped, which makes for a huge reprioritisation of future plans; this means that low-priority add-ons like 8 all-new written, voiced, posed companion stories go to the backburner.

Now, they are finally going to release a new planet and offer a few [flirt] options in the conversations. The original minority of smacktards feels emo and nobody listens to them and waaaaaah!, and the anti-gay idiots crawl out of their holes and make it out to be the new holocaust or something.

Some people need to be kicked off the internet. Seriously.

Star Wars Prequels

BioWare Launches "Gay Planet" For the Old Republic 333

DavidGilbert99 writes "Labelled as an 'oddly regressive move,' developers of Star Wars: the Old Republic have decided that all gay characters will be stuck on a single planet called Makeb. The move comes with the release of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel pack and the Makeb planet will be the only place in the game where players can select 'flirtatious' dialogue options with characters of the same gender. From the article: 'BioWare executive producer Jeff Hickman apologised for same sex relationships taking so long to be added to the game, referring to the company's most famous title Mass Effect, where homosexual relationships are available by default: "First of all, I want to apologize that this is taking so long to get in the game," wrote Hickman in a blog post. "I realise that we promised SGR (same gender relationships) to you guys and that many of you believed that this would be with a companion character. Unfortunately, this will take a lot more work than we realised at the time and it (like some other pieces of content we talked about earlier in the year) has been delayed as we focused on the changes required to take the game Free-to-Play. '"

LG Introduces Monitor With 21:9 Aspect Ratio 311

skade88 writes "LG has released an ultra wide monitor. It really is wide (WxHxD: 699.7 X 387 X 208.5 mm) — take a look at the thing! It looks like it would be good for movies shot in larger aspect ratios such as 2.20 for 70mm film or 2.39 for modern cinemascope films. But OS GUI designs need to catch up to the ever horizontally expanding waistline of our monitors."
Open Source

Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use (If You Want Open Source) 218

WebMink writes "GitHub is a great open source hosting site, right? Wrong. There's no requirement that projects on GitHub provide any copyright license, let alone an open source one, so roughly half the projects on GitHub are "all rights reserved" — meaning you could well be violating copyright if you make any use of the code in them. And GitHub management seem just fine with this state of affairs, saying picking a license is too hard for ordinary developers. But if you're not going to give anyone permission to use your code, why post it on GitHub in the first place?"

Microsoft Complains That WebKit Breaks Web Standards 373

Billly Gates writes "In a bizarre, yet funny and ironic move, Microsoft warned web developers that using WebKit stagnates open standards and innovation on the Web. According to the call to action in its Windows Phone Developer Blog, Microsoft is especially concerned about the mobile market, where many mobile sites only work with Android or iOS with WebKit-specific extensions. Their examples include W3C code such as radius-border, which is being written as -WebKit-radius-border instead on websites. In the mobile market WebKit has a 90% marketshare, while website masters feel it is not worth the development effort to test against browsers such as IE. Microsoft's solution to the problem of course is to use IE 10 for standard compliance and not use the proprietary (yet open source) WebKit."

Fukushima Ocean Radiation Won't Quit 210

mdsolar writes with an update on how the oceans around Fukishima are doing. From the article: " The Fukushima disaster caused by far the largest discharge of radioactivity into the ocean ever seen. A new model presented by scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts estimates that 16.2 petabecquerels (1015 becquerels) of radioactive caesium leaked from the plant — roughly the same amount that went into the atmosphere. Most of that radioactivity dispersed across the Pacific Ocean, where it became diluted to extremely low levels. But in the region of the ocean near the plant, levels of caesium-137 have remained fixed at around 1,000 becquerels, a relatively high level compared to the natural background. Similarly, levels of radioactive caesium in bottom-dwelling fish remain pretty much unchanged more than 18 months after the accident." The article suggests run-off from contaminated land and possibly a leak in the plant itself are to blame for the levels not dropping as expected.

Comment There is nothing "forward-looking" about it. (Score 1) 473

The current mess this country is in is pretty much the result of an incompetent back-and-forth between elected governments that always try to push through some bullshit to get re-elected. Several years back, a "left"/green coalition (the chancellor from back then coincidentally got into a leading position at Russias gas racket Gazprom when he was done with that) actually decided to phase out nuclear power with a set timeframe. Nobody in the industry gave a shit by then, because everyone banked on the next government reverting the whole thing. There were also enough loopholes in there to drive the entire US nuclear arsenal through without anyone bothering: stuff like transferring lifetime from new, safer reactors to old crappy ones that were already beyond their planned lifetime. Why? Simple: the old ones were fully written off, and everything they produced was pure profit.

Some years later, enter right-conservative/capitalist government (the one we have now), the whole thing was actually scrapped for good! The industry rejoiced, but of course they continued generating income through the financing plan for renewables. Politics didn't care: they actually tax the tax, so more taxes on top of higher fees!

Some years later, enter the tsunami and upcoming elections, it was, of course top priority for our current ruling fascists (actually those are the ones at least partly responsible for some Greek islands having no water sometimes, austerity measures can be fun) to make it their idea to phase out nuclear power. Now. No thought, no brains, just now. Of course, in the past years, nobody bothered to invest in the infrastructure because the whole thing was canned earlier in the legislative period.

Oh, of course we also stopped paying for ITER, so we will always need to import some fossil fuel, preferably through the new pipeline from Russia, to meet base demand, so that was a smart move.

That "plan" deserves shooting of everyone involved, not recommendation.


Canada's Supreme Court Tosses Viagra Patent For Vagueness 100

Freshly Exhumed writes "In a 7-to-0 decision, the Supreme Court Of Canada has ruled that Pfizer Canada Inc.'s patent on well-known erectile dysfunction remedy Viagra is now invalid due to insufficient information in Pfizer's patent application. The upshot is that competitors can now manufacture cheaper, generic versions of Viagra for sale in Canada."

Linus Torvalds Tries KDE, Likes It So Far 289

sfcrazy writes "Linus Torvalds has never been a big fan of Gnome owing [to] its extreme simplicity. Even Gnome 3.x failed to impress the father of the Linux kernel. He has now given KDE a try after a long time. Linus using your software is double edged sword, especially if Linus doesn't like it — get ready for the harshest, yet the most honest and useful criticism. Interestingly, Linus has so far liked KDE, and for one simple reason: 'But ah, the ability to configure things. And I have wobbly windows again.' This should make KDE developers a bit happier." Evidently, Linus didn't get the message that desktop UIs for Linux don't matter any more, since he keeps acting like they do.

Windows Browser Ballot Glitch Cost Firefox 6-9 Million Downloads 245

nk497 writes "Microsoft's failure to include the EU browser ballot in Windows 7 SP1 cost Mozilla as many as 9 million Firefox downloads, the organization's head of business affairs revealed. Harvey Anderson said daily downloads of Firefox fell by 63% to a low of 20,000 before the ballot was reinstated, and after the fix, downloads jumped by 150% to 50,000 a day. Over the 18 months the ballot was missing, that adds up to six to nine million downloads — although it's tough to tell if the difference has more to do with Chrome's success or the lack of advertising on Windows systems. The EU is currently investigating the 'glitch,' and Microsoft faces a massive fine for failing to include the screen, which offers download details for different browsers to European Windows users, as part of measures ordered by the EU to balance IE's dominance."

Comment And it should never matter today! (Score 3, Insightful) 479

Code editors (at least most of them) are still stuck in a dark age where everything comes down to hand-crafted ASCII-art, which is complete and utter bullshit. Editors could and should work much closer, if not directly on, the AST of the language in question, and completely abstract away all those pesky details like indenting scopes or formatting comment blocks "properly". That stuff should be left to user preference and style sheets.

But I guess that would put an immediate end to the religious zeal displayed in tabs-vs-spaces (it's of course ts=8 sw=4 noexpandtab, noobs!), would not mask syntax errors in gobs of meticulously crafted gunk, and take all the "fun" out of programming.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre