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Comment Re:Prices aren't close to right. (Score 1) 282 282

It's not fair to assume that the consumer is already being shafted and thus discount the base cost. I'm using an unlocked iPhone without data plan for about $15/month but it doesn't make sense to say that, for only $25/month more, I can get a subsidized AT&T iPhone.

Comment Re:This is news? (Score 1) 305 305

Sounds a bit like Google Sky for Android: You just hold the phone up against the night sky, and it labels the stars in the sky based on your location (via GPS!) and time (sync'd with the cell network). Should you need to find something, the screen will tell you which way to turn.

http://www.google.com/sky/skymap.html

Comment Re:And was never heard from again. . . (Score 1) 648 648

Or maybe you didn't have the gift of exploiting your "giftedness". Some people start a business or invent things or go into research. Maybe it's not that the world didn't know what to do with gifted people, but that these "gifted" people didn't figure out what to do with themselves.

Or blame the world. I'm sure that falls under some high-brow philosophical school of thinking.

Comment Re:overwritten once CAN be recovered (Score 1) 780 780

That can be a dangerous way of thinking. Suppose that several years ago, you designed a system that relied on the MD5 algorithm for life-critical security on several fronts. After all, since there were no techniques at the time to compromise MD5, you didn't believe it could be done so it was perfectly safe.

Fast forward to 2005. MD5 is broken. Updating your system to use SHA1 is either impossible or would take far too long. Hackers exploit your high-profile system. Santa Claus falls down your chimney.

Biotech

"Miraculous" Stem Cell Progress Reported In China 429 429

destinyland writes "In China's Guangdong Province there's been 'almost miraculous' progress in actually using stem cells to treat diseases such as brain injury, cerebral palsy, ataxia and other optic nerve damage, lower limb ischemia, autism, spinal muscular atrophy, and multiple sclerosis. One Chinese biotech company, Beike, is now building a 21,500 square foot stem cell storage facility and hiring professors from American universities such as Stanford. Two California families even flew their children to China for a cerebral palsy treatment that isn't available in the US. The founder of Beike is so enthusiastic, he says his company is exploring the concept of using stem cells to extend longevity beyond 120 years."

Comment Re:Potatoes and patents (Score 1) 395 395

It's because that we expect that anybody can create new artistic works, so if a particular song you want is under copyright, then you can always create a new one. On the other hand, patents can be critical to industrial and technological progress, and nobody would tell you to simply make your own transistor to work around the original patent. When artistic copyrights start severely holding society back, then this will change. Until then, when was the last time society was severely hurt by a work being under copyright? This isn't an issue of entitlement because nobody will ever agree who's entitled to earn what.

Comment Re:We haven't seen an outbreak yet (Score 1) 53 53

You'd be surprised at how much you can do in a tiny amount of memory, and even cheap cellphones have a relatively huge amount of memory. Virus writers who know enough to exploit cellphones could code rings around your average cellphone app programmer. Just take a moment and compare your average cellphone's processing power to nineties-era computers and you'll see that memory-usage is the last thing a cellphone-virus writer needs to worry about.
Space

Most Extreme Gamma-Ray Blast Yet Detected 128 128

Matt_dk sends in a quote from a story at NASA: "The first gamma-ray burst to be seen in high-resolution from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is one for the record books. The blast had the greatest total energy, the fastest motions and the highest-energy initial emissions ever seen. ... Gamma-ray bursts are the universe's most luminous explosions. Astronomers believe most occur when exotic massive stars run out of nuclear fuel. As a star's core collapses into a black hole, jets of material — powered by processes not yet fully understood — blast outward at nearly the speed of light. The jets bore all the way through the collapsing star and continue into space, where they interact with gas previously shed by the star and generate bright afterglows that fade with time. ...Fermi team members calculated that the blast exceeded the power of approximately 9,000 ordinary supernovae, if the energy was emitted equally in all directions."
Security

Adobe Flaw Heightens Risk of Malicious PDFs 193 193

snydeq writes "Security companies warn of a new flaw in version 9 of Adobe Reader and Acrobat that could compromise PCs merely by the opening of a malicious PDF. Although attacks are not yet widespread, hackers are exploiting the flaw in the wild, gaining control of computers via buffer overflow conditions triggered by the opening of specially crafted PDFs." Adobe is calling the flaw "critical" and says a patch for Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 will be released by March 11.
Medicine

German Doctor Cures an HIV Patient With a Bone Marrow Transplant 639 639

reporter writes "HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Until now, HIV has no cure and has led to the deaths of over 25 million people. However, a possible cure has appeared. Dr. Gero Hutter, a brilliant physician in Germany, replaced the bone marrow of an HIV patient with the bone marrow of a donor who has natural immunity to HIV. The new bone marrow in the patient then produced immune-system cells that are immune to HIV. Being unable to hijack any immune cell, the HIV has simply disappeared. The patient has been free of HIV for about 2 years. Some physicians at UCLA have developed a similar therapy and plan to commercialize it."
Sci-Fi

Michael Crichton Dead At 66 388 388

Many readers have submitted stories about the death of Michael Crichton. The 66-year-old author of Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain died unexpectedly Tuesday "after a courageous and private battle against cancer," a press release said. In addition to writing, he also directed such sci-fi classics as Westworld and Runaway. Crichton was married five times and had one child.
Programming

How Should I Teach a Basic Programming Course? 452 452

riverman writes "I have been 'provisioned' at the school where I work to teach a new Computer Science/Programming course. I'm supposed to be teaching everything from the very-very basics (i.e. where that myspace thing is in your computer monitor, and how it knows who your friends are) to the easy-advanced (i.e. PHP classes and Python/Google App Engine). I'm an experienced programmer, but I'm not sure where to start — I could easily assume that my students know something basic they don't. Are there any resources on the internet that could help me find a solid curriculum? What are your suggestions?" I'm sure many of us have gone through intro-level programming courses of some sort; what are some things your teacher or professor did that worked well, and what didn't work at all?

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.

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