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+ - Creating bacterial 'fight clubs' to discover new drugs->

Science_afficionado writes: Vanderbilt chemists have shown that creating bacterial "fight clubs" is an effective way to discover natural biomolecules with the properties required for new drugs. They have demonstrated the method by using it to discover a new class of antibiotic with anti-cancer properties.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Large charities (Score 1) 27 27

It's a critical point, one that Parker also mentions, that scale matters -- in fact I think it should be the first constraint before deciding what you want to do. Some things are too big for a small charity; some things are too big (malaria, polio) for any single government to make a difference for long. I also agree that MSF is one of the best -- when I visited Sudan 10 years ago they were the only NGO I bumped into (although I was there for other things). They take on the really difficult shit without complaint.

+ - : NSA Hack of North Korea is How Obama Was Convinced NK Was Behind Sony Hack->

Mike Lape writes: The evidence gathered by the “early warning radar” of software painstakingly hidden to monitor North Korea’s activities proved critical in persuading President Obama to accuse the government of Kim Jong-un of ordering the Sony attack, according to the officials and experts, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the classified N.S.A. operation.
Link to Original Source

+ - State of the YOUnion: President Obama to Seek Advice from YouTube Stars

theodp writes: For better or worse, YouTube stars are a big deal these days. Last December, Microsoft and Code.org turned to YouTube Stars iJustine and The Fine Brothers to help recruit the nation's K-12 schookids for the Hour of Code. And next week, in what the White House is touting as the State of the YOUnion , President Obama will turn to a trio of YouTube Stars for advice on the issues of day following his State of the Union Address. "We're inviting a handful of YouTube creators to the White House to talk with the President in person," explains the White House Blog, "and you can watch it all live on Thursday, January 22. YouTube creators Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green will interview President Obama about the issues care they most about and what they’re hearing from their audiences." Commenting on the choice of the YouTube interviewers, CNN's David Acosta asked (confused) WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest, "I'm just curious, was 'Charlie Bit My Finger' or 'David After Dentist' not available?" So, how long until the U.S. is redistricted into YouTube Channels?

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 438 438

In 1987, I bought an 80 MEGAbyte drive for $775 (around $1600 today), thinking how amazing it was that disk drives had broken the $10/MB barrier. When the first 1GB drives came out a few years later, I remember thinking, "Who would trust that much data to a single device? What an amazing single point of failure!" Now there are 128GB MicroSD cards for under $1/GB. Even understanding the technology, the mind boggles.

You got a deal. Around 1989 I sold a 315MB IBM "Winchester" drive to the phone company, for a whopping $10,095 (list price at the time). It slid into a fairly clunky PS/2 Model 80, as I recall.

Comment: Re: Why giving ? (Score 1) 92 92

China has the right idea. If you don't work, you don't eat.

I imagine that would do wonders to clean up my city's streets from the hundreds of young people who prefer to camp there 24/7 versus getting a job.

Where I live and work (as a CSR consultant), Indonesia, people also don't eat if they don't get a job. Among other failings, malnutrition of children under 5 years runs at around 35%. That causes stunting and is associated with poor cognitive test scores, which is in turn correlated with lower income. I don't have the data for China handy, but your solution is overly simplistic and reflects poorly on your understanding of the article and the issue.

Comment: Re:Don't go the way of Vancouver (Score 1) 169 169

Was just in Vancouver and learned that they've done away with Uber. It was horrible. Not enough taxis so it was impossible to get around the city. Frankly, it will impact my decision on whether or not I go back to visit. Unless your taxi companies can offer the same level of service, killing Uber will result in an impact to tourism... maybe just from me, but it'll be an impact. :)

Toronto has poor to adequate taxi service. Vancouver has NO taxi service. It is not a taxi town, everyone drives cars. Taxis, when you can get them (airport or phone in) cost real money. Public transit is perfectly fine for the young and poor. Vancouver also has the worst traffic in North America, according to Wikipedia.

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405 405

You could work the same hours (per family) today and still have a vastly higher standard of living than people had in the 60s. You might have a lower standard of living than your neighbors, with 2 earners, and that's mostly what people care about, but that's a relative, not absolute, measure. And we are absolutely doing better now.

I understand your point -- please don't jump up and down saying I don't get it. I disagree with it. You are correct that your money today, even in nominal terms, can arguably buy more value in manufactured goods. That may or may not be true, but it is only a small subset of what we buy. Manufacturing (both what we buy and who we employ) is a constantly decreasing share of the economy in most countries -- including some in the developing world. Services can generally be grouped into professional and unskilled, and there are more and more people looking for fewer and fewer unskilled jobs.

Others are correctly pointing out that the important criterion is what the person with the median income can buy. That excludes the education many of us older folks got, the DB pension our parents got and many other things. Medicine is probably a wash, depending on where you live and in the US your coverage.

There is, tragically, no doubt that the median earner has experienced a decline in his standard of living. Real median incomes are declining, and the cheaper cost / higher functionality of manufactured goods today is not enough to compensate.

+ - JP Morgan Chase Attacked; data for 76million stolen

JakartaDean writes: J.P. Morgan Chase said about 76 million households were affected by a cybersecurity attack on the bank this summer in one of the most sweeping disclosed breaches of a financial institution.

The largest U.S. bank by assets said the unknown attackers stole customers’ contact information—including names, email addresses, phone numbers and addresses. The breach, which was first disclosed in August and is still under investigation by the bank and law enforcement, extended to the bulk of the bank’s customer base, affecting an amount equivalent to two-thirds of American households. It also affected about seven million of J.P. Morgan’s small-business customers. It isn’t clear how many of those households are U.S.-based.

The bank said hackers were unable to gather detailed information on accounts, such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers or dates of birth. Customer money is “safe,” the bank said in a statement to customers on Thursday.

Comment: Re:The London Bus is a good place to start (Score 2) 491 491

I've long thought flywheels were an ideal component of an urban bus, but you wouldn't need them for an electric bus with batteries since the motors are efficient-enough generators under braking. For a diesel bus they make a lot of sense in theory, but machining them is expensive, and to be really efficient they would need to spin really, really fast, with possibly deadly results if it begins to wobble.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1, Insightful) 465 465

But the bottom line is: people aren't as stupid as you'd like to think they are...

Your post is strong evidence that at least one of us is. Since you're taking on and defaming scientists as a group, perhaps you would care to share your analysis leading to your figures of "trillions" and "5%".

+ - IBM Creates Custom-Made Brain-Like Chip

An anonymous reader writes: In a paper published Thursday in Science, IBM describes its creation of a brain-like chip called TrueNorth. It has "4,096 processor cores, and it mimics one million human neurons and 256 million synapses, two of the fundamental biological building blocks that make up the human brain." What's the difference between TrueNorth and traditional processign units? Apparently, TrueNorth encodes data "as patterns of pulses". Already, TrueNorth has a proven 80% accuracy in image recognition with a power consumption efficiency rate beating traditional processing units. Don't look for brain-like chips in the open market any time soon, though. TrueNorth is part of a DARPA research effort that may or may not translate into significant changes in commercial chip architecture and function.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.

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