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Submission + - Obamacare Is No Starship Enterprise (

Shakrai writes: Megan McArdle from Bloomberg has penned this wonderful article, about the development of the technology behind the Affordable Care Act. It is a tale of mission creep, distant supervisors, and otherwise smart people who fail to grasp the limitations of modern technology. The experiences shared herein are all to familiar to those of us who have worked on large IT projects, with Star Trek: The Next Generation analogies as icing on the cake.

Submission + - STD Test? There's an App for That (

Shakrai writes: British health officials are hard at work on a new app that will allow users to pee into their cell phones and find out within minutes if they have an STD.

Doctors and technology experts are developing small devices, similar to pregnancy testing kits, that will tell someone quickly and privately if they have caught an infection through sexual contact.

People who suspect they have been infected will be able to put urine or saliva on to a computer chip about the size of a USB chip, plug it into their phone or computer and receive a diagnosis within minutes, telling them which, if any, sexually transmitted infection (STI) they have. Seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have put £4m into developing the technology via a forum called the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

Prof Noel Gill, head of HIV and STIs at the Health Protection Agency, the government agency that monitors infections and advises on containment strategies, said: "HPA surveillance has shown that the impact of STIs is greatest among young people and we hope that the application of new technology will help to reduce transmission of infection in this age group.

Submission + - Cisco's New Router: Trouble for Hollywood (

Shakrai writes: Time Magazine has published an article about the impact of Cisco's new CRS-3 router on the business practices of the MAFIAA. This new router was previously mentioned here on Slashdot and is expected to alleviate internet bottlenecks that currently impede steaming video on demand services. Some of the highlights from the article:

"The ability to download albums and films in a matter of seconds is a harbinger of deep trouble for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which would prefer to turn the clock back, way back."

"The hard fact is that the latest developments at Cisco, Google and elsewhere may do more than kill the DVD and CD and further upset entertainment-business models that have changed little since the Mesozoic Era. With superfast streaming and downloading, indie filmmakers will soon be able to effectively distribute feature films online and promote them using social media such as Facebook and Twitter."

"Meanwhile, both the MPAA and the RIAA continue to fight emerging technologies like peer-to-peer file sharing with costly court battles rather than figuring out how to appeal to the next generation of movie enthusiasts and still make a buck."

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang