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Submission + - Echinacea 'can prevent a cold' (

Kyojin writes: Taking the herbal remedy echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold, US researchers say. They found it decreased the odds of developing a cold by 58% and the duration of colds by a day-and-a-half, but the results in The Lancet Infectious Diseases conflict with other studies that show no beneficial effect.

What do you Slashdotters take when your extreme programming partner has a cold that you really don't want to catch? Which research do you trust?

Linux Business

Submission + - Venezula to produce its own Linux PCs (

christian.einfeldt writes: "The Venezuelan Government announced the roll-out of four different models of Linux-powered consumer computers, consisting of three desktop models and one notebook model. Brand-named "Bolivarian Computers", these computers will be will be produced by a joint venture of a Chinese company named Lang Chao and the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce. The goal of the project is to jump start a domestic IT industry and become an IT exporter. According to Chris Carlson of,

'Until now Venezuela has always imported computers both from well-known brands and generic brands from the developed world. With this new venture the Venezuelan government hopes to diversify national production, integrate national productive chains, and work towards technological independence for the country.'
The computers will first be assembled in Venezula out of Chinese-built parts, but the joint venture plans on substituting domestic-made parts by the end of the year."

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The perversity of nature is nowhere better demonstrated by the fact that, when exposed to the same atmosphere, bread becomes hard while crackers become soft.