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Sci-Fi

Ricardo Montalban Dead At 88 280

Posted by samzenpus
from the welcome-to-fantasy-island dept.
DesScorp writes "Ricardo Montalban, immortalized as Khan in the Star Trek franchise, is dead at age 88, passing at his Los Angeles home. Montalban had a long and successful career on television and film. The voice of Rich Corinthian Leather is silenced, but we still have the memories."
Image

More Brains Needed 232 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-not-unreasonable-I-mean-no-one's-gonna-eat-your-eyes dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that more people need to donate their brains to medical research if cures for diseases like dementia are to be found and are urging healthy people as well as those with brain disorders to become donors. 'For autism, we only have maybe 15 or 20 brains that have been donated that we can do our research on. That is drastically awful,' said Dr Payam Rezaie of the Neuropathology Research Laboratory at the Open University. 'We would need at least 100 cases to get meaningful data. A lot of research is being hindered by this restriction.' Part of the problem, according to Professor Margaret Esiri at the University of Oxford, may be that people are reluctant to donate their brains because they see the organ as the basis of their identity. 'It used to be other parts of the body that we thought were important,' says Esin. 'But now people realize that their brain is the crucial thing that gives them their mind and their self.' Dr Kieran Breen, of the Parkinson's Disease Society, said over 90% of the brains in their bank at Imperial College London were from patients, with the remaining 10% of 'healthy' brains donated by friends or relatives of patients. 'Some people are under the impression that if they sign up for a donor card that will include donating their brain for research. But it won't,' says Breen. 'Donor cards are about donating organs for transplant, not for medical science.'"

Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off 1002

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fear-mongering-works dept.
An anonymous readerwrites "On Friday the wonderfully customer centric AirTran decided to remove a family of 9 US born Muslims after a comment between two family members regarding how close to the Jet engine they had been seated. The wonderful part is that after the FBI cleared the family 2 hours later, AirTran refused to fly the family, and refused to rebook them on their way from Washington to Orlando, Florida. The family purchased additional tickets on US Airways later that day, after AirTran requested that the irate father be escorted from their booking podiums by security. This whole story highlights the pathetic customer service we are getting from the Airlines these days — they actually treat us like criminals first and ask questions later. Just don't get me started on Delta." It's nice to see that stupidity still knows no bounds.
Space

Alien Comet May Have Infiltrated the Solar System 208

Posted by kdawson
from the starseed-lure dept.
New Scientist has a piece about Comet Machholz 1, whose uncommon molecular composition suggests, but does not prove, that it may be an interloper from another star system. "Comet Machholz 1 isn't like other comets. David Schleicher of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, measured the chemical makeup of 150 comets, and found that they all had similar levels of the chemical cyanogen (CN) except for Machholz 1, which has less than 1.5% of the normal level. Along with some other comets, it is also low on the molecules carbon-2 and carbon-3."

Comment: Re:Someone sent us up the brain! (Score 3, Informative) 204

by Vexorg_q (#25914551) Attached to: Stephen Hawking Going To Canada
The taxes may be higher in Canada, and it is true that healthcare and education costs are lower. However, as an American who goes to university (McGill) in Canada, I can tell you that its far from being a socialist paradise.

You say that infrastructure is crumbling in California, and I think you are probably right (I've only been to California a couple of times). But on the other hand, it is too in Quebec, which has had a spate of lethal collapses in the last couple of years (this being the most recent). Last year a bridge collapsed and killed a person on a busy highway, and the same thing happened several years before that. This spring, a major elevated concrete highway interchange in Montreal (the Turcot Interchange) was closed after the authorities discovered a 1m (!!) deep pothole IN THE BRIDGE. Canadians like to blame the weather, but having grown up in New England, where we get all the same weather, I can assure you that our bridges are not collapsing.

Sure the healthcare is free, and everyone has access, but I'll tell you, having to wait 4 hours to see a doctor (as I have done many times) really sucks.

The public high schools are sufficient, but are not by any means greatly superior to americans. 50% dropout rates are commonplace in many places and years of price freezes on tuition has greatly hindered the ability of universities to fund their students (everything from research to maintenance of buildings has been cut for the last 5 years at my university). Many of the cuts would be unheard of at an American university. My first year undergrad chemistry class was 1500 students.

To be fair, Canada does a lot of things better than the United States. And we do things better than Canada, although I think we could both learn from each other, and I don't mean to repudiate social democracy or universal healthcare. These are certainly things we could use in the US. But to say that Californians are "royally screwed" is uninformed - Canadians are plenty screwed in other ways (that you take for granted in the states).
Transportation

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Posted by kdawson
from the recharge-it dept.
Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.
Image

Artist Wants to Replace Lost Eyeball With Webcam 156 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-film-you-with dept.
A one-eyed San Francisco artist, Tanya Vlach, wants to replace her missing eye with a Web cam. There has even been talk of her shooting a reality TV show using the video eye. "There have been all sorts of cyborgs in science fiction for a long time, and I'm sort of a sci-fi geek, with the advancement of technology, I thought, 'Why not?'" said Vlach. I'm a bit perplexed that the obvious things you'd want in a cyborg eye: range finder, infrared/lowlight vision, and a hypno-ray are not discussed in the article.
The Internet

Only 4.13% of the Web Is Standards-Compliant 406

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-woulda-guessed-less dept.
Death Metal writes "Browser maker Opera has published the early results of an ongoing study that aims to provide insight into the structure of Internet content. To conduct this research project, Opera created the Metadata Analysis and Mining Application (MAMA), a tool that crawls the web and indexes the markup and scripting data from approximately 3.5 million pages."
The Almighty Buck

Facebook Finds Grass Greener In Ireland 287

Posted by kdawson
from the o'tax-break dept.
theodp writes "Facebook announced it has chosen tax-haven Dublin for its international HQ, but not all are buying COO Sheryl Sandberg's line about local world-class talent being the motivation behind the move. The Irish Times recently reported that Irish subsidiaries owned by US multinationals are opting to convert to unlimited liability status, concealing the financial performance of their Irish operations from public view. They include Microsoft's incredibly profitable Irish subsidiaries Round Island One and Flat Island Company, Google Ireland Holdings, and a subsidiary of Apple Computer. The conversions have occurred as US tax authorities have increased their scrutiny of international mechanisms used by American multinationals to reduce their taxes at home."
Security

Home Secretary Requests Fingerprint-Activated iPods 262

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the losing-battles-to-fight dept.
John Reid, Home Secretary, has called upon tech manufacturers to improve the security on their gadgets to help with his recent push to frustrate criminals. Inviting Apple, Sony, and several others to his crime fighting summit Reid hopes to attack the rising robbery numbers in the most recent Home Office figures.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Top 10 April Fools Stories 234

Posted by Zonk
from the true-history-in-the-making dept.
SlashRating©
10
slashdottit! tm
ddelmonte writes with a link to a brietbart story on the top ten April Fools Day hoaxes, as determined by the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes. Two great British examples: "In 1957, a BBC television show announced that thanks to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees prompted a barrage of calls from people wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti at home. In 1977, British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement for the 10th anniversary of San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semicolon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of the two main islands, named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse."
United States

+ - How would you change America?

Submitted by
isntwargreat
isntwargreat writes "Seems like Americans love to talk about making change in America, but there are some things (such of as the constitution, or the structure of the government) that are never touched on.... How would you change America if you could change just about anything? What are the obstacles that would prevent current American society from making these changes? Can democratic movements (such as the mass organization of people via the Internet) bring about these sorts of changes? If so, How??? And most importantly, since this is Slashdot, how does technology fit into all of it?"
The Internet

Chinese Official Vows to "Purify" the Net 321

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
Sleeping Kirby writes to tell us China's Communist party leader, Hu Jintao today announced the intent to leverage the economic potential of the web while seeking to "purify the internet environment". He proposes to do this by maintaining "the initiative in opinion" on the internet and to "'raise the level guidance on the internet," thus civilizing and purifying the internet environment.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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