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Comment: Understandable, maybe. (Score 1) 567

by The Step Child (#25063997) Attached to: Should Organic Chemistry Be a Premed Requirement?

It would be insane to remove *all* organic chemistry from the pre-medical required set of courses. I could, however, see why one would question the second half of the year-long course. I'm pretty sure no MD or student will ever need to run into a chemistry lab and synthesize X organic compound (an MD/PhD, maybe, but they're a rare breed).

The value in that second course, however, lies in the understanding of how certain functional groups behave. A medical student WILL need this information to fully grasp how, for example, beta-lactam inhibitors like clavulanic acid can widen the spectrum of other antibiotics like amoxicillin. Or in the future, perhaps understand more specific theories on how free radicals can play a role in diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Perhaps a single, more intensive course could be designed. I can't imagine many chemistry departments jumping to the task, though.

Difficulty aside, would it hurt for a future MD to learn to appreciate the art of organic synthesis - if only just as a single element in what will be his or her vast scientific repertoire?

Is Wikipedia Failing? 478

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the everybody-successful-is-failing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A growing number of people are concerned about where Wikipedia is heading. Some have left Wikipedia for Citizendium, while others are trying to change the culture of Wikipedia from within. A recent essay called Wikipedia is failing points out many of the problems which must be solved with Wikipedia for it to succeed in its aim of becoming a reputable, reliable reference work. How would you go about solving these problems?"
The Courts

Apple Sues Over iPhone Smartphone Skins 197

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-talk-about-that-thing-we-don't-like dept.
ghostcorps writes "Australian Newspaper 'The Age' reports that developers of iPhone skins (skins for smartphones that resemble the iPhone) have been legally attacked by Apple. Beyond that, bloggers who have reported on the skins have been threatened with legal action as well. From the article: 'Ironically, Apple's attempts to have the files removed from the web have only given the skins greater publicity, and they have already begun spreading to other websites. The issue marks a distinct change in tone for many bloggers and journalists, who just last week praised Apple for its 'revolutionary' and 'game-changing' phone despite being unable to conduct a proper hands-on test of the product.'"
Media (Apple)

Apple is DRM's Biggest Backer 400

Posted by Zonk
from the set-my-mp3s-free dept.
parvenu74 writes "Arstechnica is running an article pointing out that while some pockets of the entertainment industry are experimenting with DRM-free distribution, Apple Inc, which announced that they have now sold over 2,000,000,000 songs on iTunes, is now the strongest pro-DRM force in digial media. From the article: 'DRM is dying. It's a statement being echoed with increasing frequency around the Web over the last few weeks, and is perhaps best articulated in this Billboard article. But there's a powerful force standing in the way of this DRM-free panacea, and it might not be the one you expect: Apple, Inc.'"
The Internet

Researchers Create Selfish BitTorrent Client 281

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the surprised-it-took-this-long dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from the computer science department at the University of Washington have released BitTyrant, a new BitTorrent client that is designed to improve download performance via strategic selection of peers and upload rates. Their results call into question the effectiveness of BitTorrent's tit-for-tat reciprocation strategy which was designed to discourage selfish users. Clients are available for Windows, OS X, and Linux."
Spam

HTML Encoded Captchas 177

Posted by kdawson
from the type-this dept.
rangeva writes to tell us about a twist he has developed on the common Captcha technique to discourage spam bots: HECs encode the Captcha image into HTML, thus presenting an unsolved challenge to the bots' programmers. From the writeup: "The Captcha is no longer an image and therefore not a resource they can download and process. The owner of the site can change the properties of the Captcha's HTML, making it unique,... add[ing] another layer of complication for the bot to crack." HECs are not exactly lightweight — the one on the linked page weighs in at 218K — but this GPL'd project seems like a nice advance on the state of the art.
The Internet

Judge Rules Against Deep-Linking of Content 418

Posted by Zonk
from the this-makes-a-lot-of-sense-honest dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Texas judge has ruled that, if a copyright owner objects to the linking of content from another web site, that link must be taken down. This case, which may have some far-reaching implications, centered around a motorcross website. The site, run by a Robert Davis, provided links directly to live feeds of 'Supercross' events streaming from the SFX Motor Sports site. The company filed suit, claiming that the direct links were denying it advertising revenue. The article cites previous cases, where sites were prohibited by judges from linking to files which violated copyright law (such as DVD decryption software). From the article: 'But in those lawsuits, the file that was the target of the hyperlink actually violated copyright law. What's unusual in the SFX case is that a copyright holder is trying to prohibit a direct link to its own Web site. (There is no evidence that SFX tried technical countermeasures, such as referrer logging and blocking anyone coming from Davis' site.)'"
Security

Vista Exploit Surfaces on Russian Hacker Site 103

Posted by Zonk
from the exploits-show-up-in-the-funnest-places dept.
Datamation writes "Exploit code for Windows Vista (though at this point only proof-of-concept code) has been published to a Russian hacker site, Eweek reports. Certain strings sent through the 'MessageBox' API apparently cause memory corruption. Though this is obviously cause for concern, at the moment it would seem access to the system would already be required to make use of the exploit. Determina has an analysis of the bug. Just last week, Trend Micro reported that Vista zero-days are being sold at underground hacker sites for $50,000."
Biotech

Blood Protein Used to Split Water 230

Posted by Zonk
from the what-else-are-you-going-to-use-it-for dept.
brian0918 writes "The Imperial College in London is reporting that genetically-engineered blood protein can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The abstract can be viewed for free from the Journal of the American Chemical Society." From the article: "Scientists have combined two molecules that occur naturally in blood to engineer a molecular complex that uses solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This molecular complex can use energy from the sun to create hydrogen gas, providing an alternative to electrolysis, the method typically used to split water into its constituent parts. The breakthrough may pave the way for the development of novel ways of creating hydrogen gas for use as fuel in the future."
Data Storage

256GB Geometrically Encoded Paper Storage Device 462

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the passing-complicated-notes-in-class dept.
jrieth50 noted that a method of using geometric shapes combined with color to store up to 256GB of data on a sheet of paper or plastic. The article says "Files such as text, images, sounds and video clips are encoded in 'rainbow format' as colored circles, triangles, squares and so on, and printed as dense graphics on paper at a density of 2.7GB per square inch. The paper can then be read through a specially developed scanner and the contents decoded into their original digital format and viewed or played."

First Impressions of Halo 3 83

Posted by Zonk
from the hail-to-the-chief dept.
1up and EGM have had some time in the last month with the next iteration of Microsoft's Halo series. Several folks at the site have put up their impressions of the current build of the game, including some multiplayer feelings from EGM editor-in-chief Dan Hsu, a bunch of nice crunchy details from Mark Macdonald, a nostalgia-laiden look at the game from Luke Smith, and a potpourri of details from Crispin Boyer. From Luke's writeup: "Maybe it was the first shooter I played that had some substance? Maybe it was that my best friend bought me a copy of the game for my birthday and I didn't even have the console yet. Maybe it was all of the traveling to play in Halo tournaments on weekends in college, but somewhere between Halo: Combat Evolved's release and now, Halo became my Mario. It is the game that made me care about video games like I did when I was 10."

Microsoft May Delay Windows Vista Again 482

Posted by Zonk
from the redux-redux dept.
UltimaGuy writes to mention a Reuters report, stating that Vista may be delayed again, this time by up to three months. From the article: " The research note, released to clients [by the Gartner Group] on Monday, said the new Windows Vista operating system is too complex to be able to meet Microsoft's targeted November release for volume license customers and January launch for retail consumers. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company disagreed with the Gartner report and it was still on track to meet its launch dates."

Global Warming Dissenters Suppressed? 928

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the come-see-the-violence-inherent-in-the-system dept.
sycodon writes "Global Warming has become more than just a scientific issue and has been portrayed as nothing less than the End of the World by some. However, despite all the hoopla from Hollywood, Politicians and Science Bureaucrats, there is another side, but it's being suppressed according to Richard Lindzen, an Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. From the article: 'Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.'"

World's Most Expensive Mp3 Player 217

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the horribly-disgusting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "TrekStor, a German manufacturer of MP3 players has developed the world's most expensive MP3 player. This unique custom-made portable player is based on TrekStor's i.Beat organix mp3 player, and has one GB of memory, 25 hour battery life, supports MP3, WMA, WAV, ASF, OGG audio files, and is cast in 18 carat gold with 63 diamonds (one carat)."

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