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Comment: Si vis pacem, para bellum (Score 1) 830

by GlobalColding (#27692429) Attached to: Mariners Develop High Tech Pirate Repellents
Lets see: Victims use water cannon - 100 meters max range - WEEEEE! Pirates lately been using grenade launchers as their introductory volley - EFFECTIVE range 300 meters, max range 400-900 meters (depends on the model - your results may vary). Seems obvious why pirates are ahead in this equation. Get armed or be a victim - funny that axiom applies on so many levels.
The Internet

Amazon To Block Phorm Scans 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-this-dpi-and-shove-it dept.
clickclickdrone writes "The BBC are reporting that Amazon has said it will not allow online advertising system Phorm to scan its web pages to produce targeted ads. For most people this is a welcome step, especially after the European Commission said it was starting legal action against the UK earlier this week over its data protection laws in relation to Phorm's technology. Anyone who values their privacy should applaud this move by Amazon."
Medicine

Are Human Beings Organisms Or Living Ecosystems? 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the little-of-column-a,-little-of-column-b dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Every human body harbors about 100 trillion bacterial cells, outnumbering human cells 10 to one. There's been a growing consensus among scientists that bacteria are not simply random squatters, but organized communities that evolve with us and are passed down from generation to generation. 'Human beings are not really individuals; they're communities of organisms,' says microbiologist Margaret McFall-Ngai. 'This could be the basis of a whole new way of looking at disease.' Recently, for example, evidence has surfaced that obesity may well include a microbial component. Jeffrey Gordon's lab at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published findings that lean and obese twins — whether identical or fraternal — harbor strikingly different bacterial communities that are not just helping to process food directly; they actually influence whether that energy is ultimately stored as fat in the body. Last year, the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project to characterize the role of microbes in the human body, a formal recognition of bacteria's far-reaching influence, including their contributions to human health and certain illnesses. William Karasov, a physiologist and ecologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes that the consequences of this new approach will be profound. 'We've all been trained to think of ourselves as human,' says Karasov, adding that bacteria have usually been considered only as the source of infections, or as something benign living in the body. Now, Karasov says, it appears 'we are so interconnected with our microbes that anything studied before could have a microbial component that we hadn't thought about.'"
Cellphones

Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sure-criminals-will-oblige dept.
Alyssey writes "The Mexican government wants to have a database to track every cellphone number in the country (in Spanish, Google translation) and whom it belongs to. They want to tie in the CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) with cellphone numbers. If Mexicans don't send in their number and CURP via SMS before April 10, 2010, their cellphone number will be blocked. The new law was published back in February and is going into effect now."
Privacy

Using Net Proxies Will Lead To Harsher Sentences 366

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-word-on-mask-and-cape-penalties dept.
Afforess writes "'Proxy servers are an everyday part of Internet surfing. But using one in a crime could soon lead to more time in the clink,' reports the Associated Press. The new federal rules would make the use of proxy servers count as 'sophistication' in a crime, leading to 25% longer jail sentences. Privacy advocates complain this will disincentivize privacy and anonymity online. '[The government is telling people] ... if you take normal steps to protect your privacy, we're going to view you as a more sophisticated criminal,' writes the Center for Democracy and Technology. Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments' as Internet and cell phone providers often use proxies without users' knowledge to reroute Internet traffic. This may also ultimately harm corporations when employees abuse VPN's, as they too are counted as a 'proxy' in the new legislation. TOR, a common Internet anonymizer, is also targeted in the new legislation. Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks. The legislation (PDF, the proposed amendment is on pages 5-15) will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and is set to take effect on November 1st. The EFF has already urged the Commission to reject the amendment."

Comment: I am not reading any more Slashdot until (Score 1, Insightful) 243

by GlobalColding (#27420127) Attached to: Interview With the Author of "Mastering Cat"
April 1st is over. Even under normal circumstances it is hard to judge seriousness of typical Slashdot posts, but today, I simply refuse to participate in filtering out April Fools detritus from the usual. I am going to get on my Amiga 2000 and play Giana Sisters. That is all.
The Media

The Guardian Shifts To Twitter After 188 Years of Ink 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the save-the-trees dept.
teflon_king writes with news that renowned British newspaper The Guardian will be abandoning its paper-and-ink distribution scheme and publishing all articles and news as Tweets. Quoting: "A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper's archive, stretching back to 1821, in the form of tweets. Major stories already completed include '1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!;' 'OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more;' and 'JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?' Sceptics have expressed concerns that 140 characters may be insufficient to capture the full breadth of meaningful human activity, but social media experts say the spread of Twitter encourages brevity, and that it ought to be possible to convey the gist of any message in a tweet. For example, Martin Luther King's legendary 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial appears in the Guardian's Twitterised archive as 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by,' eliminating the waffle and bluster of the original."

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