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Comment Re:Cue the whining about modern society... (Score 1) 240

So what you're saying is that it's better to play genetic roulette than it is to intervene or direct? Do we dare to disturb the universe in its natural state? That argument could be used against any endeavour. If humanity's hubris is so risky and/or counterproductive, then shouldn't we abandon the discipline of engineering and medicine as well? (Cf. Caveman Science Fiction)


Submission + - When geeks meet - do they have autistic kids? (nature.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism, an idea that is fairly common currency in silicon valley. But many reseachers say the proof isn't there yet.
America Online

Submission + - AOL discontinues LISTSERV (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: Ending a service it has offered for well over a decade, AOL is shutting down its free LISTSERV-based mailing-list hosting operations, the company has told mailing list administrators. "If your list is still actively used, please make arrangements to find another service prior to the shutdown date and notify your list members of the transition details," an email notice sent out by AOL stated. "If you are no longer actively using this service then no other action is required." At the peak of the service's popularity in the late 1990s, AOL was the third-largest provider of mailing lists, serving more than a million users.

Submission + - OLPC Project to air-drop laptops (liliputing.com)

sl4shd0rk writes: Nicholas Negroponte and the OLPC project are still going and have a new plan in the works. A laptop air-drop to help facilitate "self-education" in areas with large poor populations. “In the first year we’ll go in and meet with tribal elders and aid organizations, people not involved with education, but then we let the kids learn,” Negroponte said. All of this work by Negroponte and others was essential, he explained, because market forces were leaving the poor of the world behind. Meanwhile, the largest countries had adopted strategies that offer little for the developing world.

Submission + - Regarding Linux Kernel's Missing Code

quarkscat writes: I have been a GNU/Linux user since Slackware 0.96. Always I have appreciated the ability with this linux variant to drop in a source tarball, be it a library, utility, application, or kernel and build a functioning binary. The recent problems with kernel.org servers have left me with high anxiety regarding the viability of the kernel source because of a major gap in both the source tarballs and especially the changelogs.

Can anyone direct me to an alternative mirror of both the kernel source tarballs and changelogs that are now missing from kernel.org, or should I consider the entire linux kernel source tree to be corrupted?

I am well aware of the evil machinations of individuals, corporate interests, and government alphabet agencies regarding the continued viability of linux. I would sooner switch to openbsd than rely upon a compromised linux. And no, I would not rely upon either MS or Apple for mission-critical operations, as both have been compromised by government alphabet agencies, so don't suggest either of therm.

Submission + - Psychoactive strain of marijuana sequenced (genomebiology.com)

tgibbs writes: The genome and transcriptome of a psychoactive strain of cannabis has been sequenced, leading to insights into the biosynthesis of THC. This information will be useful in understanding the evolution and history of cultivation of the marijuana plant and its divergence from non-psychoactive species of hemp. It could also be useful in genetic manipulation of the marijuana plant to control potency, or to develop transgenic plants in which the psychoactive properties of marijuana are conferred onto other plant species.

Submission + - Gecko-Inspired Robot Rolls Up Walls (discovery.com)

RedEaredSlider writes: "We all love climbing robots. A group of researchers in Canada has decided to combine the mechanism geckos use to stick to walls with the simplicity of a tank tread. The result is a 'bot that can roll up smooth (and some not so smooth) surfaces. Such robots are easier to control than those that try to simulate walking directly."

Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths 449

tetrahedrassface writes "When the Sociolinguistics Symposium met earlier this month swearing scholar Timothy Jay revealed that an increase in child swearing is directly related to an increase in adult swearing. It seems that vulgarity is increasing as pop culture continues to popularize vulgarities. The blame lies with media, public figures, politicians, but mostly ourselves. From the article: 'Children as young as two are now dropping f-bombs, with researchers reporting that more kids are using profanity — and at earlier ages — than has been recorded in at least three decades.'"

Submission + - AutoCAD Returns to Mac

mkiwi writes: Scientific and engineering Mac users rejoice! The New York Times reports that AutoDesk has announced a new Mac version of AutoCAD to be available in October. The last version of AutoCAD for Mac was released in 1992, and customer support ended in 1994. While it remains to be seen how well the software will perform compared to the PC version, Mac users should expect better graphics drivers and more availability of high-end workstation graphics cards.

How a Key Enzyme Repairs Sun-Damaged DNA 97

BraveHeart writes "Researchers have long known that mammals, including humans, lack a key enzyme — one possessed by most of the animal kingdom and even plants — that reverses severe sun damage. For the first time, researchers have witnessed how this enzyme works at the atomic level to repair sun-damaged DNA. 'Normal sunscreen lotions convert UV light to heat, or reflect it away from our skin. A sunscreen containing photolyase could potentially heal some of the damage from UV rays that get through.'"

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.