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Comment: Snake oil? Perhaps not quite (Score 1) 93

Harvard scientists have invented a new artificial spleen that is able to clear toxins, fungi and deadly pathogens such as Ebola from human blood

The what? I would have expected that to be all over the news, if it was actually something as momentuous as it is presented. Looking at the fact that this has been accepted in Nature after peer review would suggest that it isn't complete nonsense, however, and the abstract makes sense in a way. I suspect this is about coating very small, magnetic particles with antibodies; these will likely be specific to the pathogen, but the strategy is to let the antibodies bind to pathogens and then use magnets to ectract them. Sounds like something that could work.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 1) 35

by jandersen (#47915411) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

But classical gravity varies with the inverse square of the separation, and half of a sphere will be more separated than the other half - hence the tidal force experienced by an orbiting satelite. This effect will only vanish if the two bodies are moving on a straight line through the two centres of gravity of each.

+ - Corporate FOSS Users seek to tell developers what to do.

Submitted by jralls
jralls (537436) writes "OK, maybe the headline is a tiny bit inflammatory. The New York Times broke a story today (paywalled if you look at more than 10 stories a month) about ToDo, "an open group of companies who run open source programs" who are seeking to "committed to working together in order to overcome" the challenges of using FOSS, "including ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and using and contributing back to other projects effectively". The more militant among us will read that as "It's not enough getting a free ride off of developers building great software, we want to shove our roadmap down their throats and get them to work harder for us — without having to pay for it, of course." That might be a bit harsh, but none of the companies on the page are exactly well known for cooperating with the projects they use, with Google being one of the worst offenders by forking both Linux and WebKit."

+ - Funding Tech For Government, Instead of Tech For Industry->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you're a creative engineer looking to build a product, you're probably going to end up starting your own business or joining another one. That's where ideas get funding, and that's where products make money. Unfortunately, it also siphons a lot of the tech-related talent away from government (and by extension, everybody else), who could really benefit from this creative brilliance. That's why investor Ron Bouganim just started a $23 million fund for investment in tech companies that develop ideas for the U.S. government. Not only is he hoping to transfer some of the $74 billion spent annually by the government on technology to more efficient targets, but also to change the perception that the best tech doesn't necessarily come from giant, entrenched government contractors."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Will continue to be developed for other platfor (Score 2) 308

by dgatwood (#47911603) Attached to: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

And you know what Mojang's opinion means at this point? Absolutely NOTHING. They can't tell their new owner to honor their intended promises, even if it were written into the deal. All they have to do is replace the boss with someone willing to change the company on Microsoft's behalf and POOF! It's happened with every other developer that's been bought out thus far that came out and said they were told/promised nothing would be changing.

Depends on how good their lawyers are. If they write into the contract a term that says that all rights revert to the original authors if the new owner violates such a term, then yes, they can force the new owners to honor those promises.

Comment: Re:Sounds challenging. (Score 2) 35

by jandersen (#47909385) Attached to: European Space Agency Picks Site For First Comet Landing In November

It would be very strange indeed to find an object in space that doesn't rotate at all - any external influence on an irregularly shaped object is likely to result in a change in rotation. In fact, it holds true even for a spherical object in a gravitational field, since that field will vary over the diameter of the object.

+ - Australia's Submarine Play: Run Silent, Run Japanese?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Australia resides in a tough neighborhood. China is rising and building weapons that soon will have the ability to hit most targets in Asia thanks to advances in ballistic and cruise missiles. At the same time, Australia sells China a ton of natural resources--making Beijing its largest trading partner. So needless to say Australia needs to hedge its bets. Other nations around the region are building advanced, conventional arms as fast as possible. But they are also working together to develop systems that can compete with China just in case conflict did ever occur. It seems Australia will be buying Japanese submarines--some of the most advanced in the world.

The deal looks promising, and much more affordable than a domestic solution while Australia gets one of the worlds most advanced subs:

"By all accounts, Australia will be getting a good deal. At roughly $1.87 billion dollars each, the Soryu-class submarines are a bargain against Future Submarine Program projections of $3 to $5 billion each. Yet the decision to buy Japanese is a politically risky one for the government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. A survey by the Australian Industry Group estimated a next Australia generation submarine program would employ “about 5,000 workers and 1,000 Australian businesses”."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google's Android One initiative launches in India with three $100 phones

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google has unveiled its first set of Android One low-cost smartphones in the Indian market, partnering with Indian hardware vendors Spice, Micromax and Karbonn. The three phones will be available online on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal and via Reliance Digital, Croma and The Mobile Store, offline. The phones provide a minimum set of features determined by Google, which has sourced several of the components to help cut manufacturing costs. The company has also teamed up with a local network to make it cheaper to download Android updates and new apps."

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 5, Insightful) 562

There may all sorts of good reasons for why it has happened and why it isn't an evil conspiracy to pollute the minds of young people, but it misses the point, really.

Happily, I don't own a smartphone, but I think I would have been rather annoyed too. It's like being spammed or getting a huge wad of unwanted advertising in garish colours through the door - it's something you never asked for and wouldn't have wanted if you had been asked, it's simply inflicted on you and you now have to do something to get rid of the useless crap. At the root of this lies the feeling that you're not being given a choice, because your opinion doesn't matter, and whoever makes the decisions thinks you are just a mindless automaton who will go out and spend money on whatever the loudest advert tells you.

In the end, it's about respect: you show respect to earn respect. But if producers of eg. music don't respect their potential customers, why should people respect them back? Particularly, why respect the copyright they claim ownership of? I don't condone piracy, but I do understand where it comes from.

Comment: Re: (Score 1) 528

by jandersen (#47906523) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

Full blown communism requires tyrants

Full blown anything requires tyrants.

Communism isn't the same thing as "whatever some regime calls Communism"; just like Christianity or Islam or Capitalism isn't defined by what they are being used for. Just look back at the horrifying atrocities committed in the name of Christ throughout history; or look at what is called Capitalism in the US today. Is Capitalism really about huge corporations monopolizing the marketplace, buying political influence and bullying anybody who tries to threaten them? Of course not - capitalism at its best is a force for good, because it gives people an incentive to improve their lives, and in the process improving society. In the same way, communism seeks to improve society by sharing resources and caring for everybody. Both principles are necesary, and no society is good if there isn't a good balance between the two.

Comment: Re:it's means it is (Score 2) 130

by mjwx (#47905057) Attached to: 3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

I figured as much; but don't knock that. Talk to anybody who has wrecked the plastic on their sport motorcycle. If you could print that stuff at a reasonable price, that wold be HUGE.

Not just motorbikes. Today I noticed another scratch on my quarter panel (Perth, this is why we cant have nice things). If I knew I could replace the thing for less than $100 I wouldn't care so much (then again, the people who think it's OK to bang their door carelessly against my car might become even more reckless).

Comment: Re:Great idea! Let's alienate Science even more! (Score 1) 855

by mjwx (#47904983) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

If bigot Yankees wouldn't have started to teach Creationism at school, or open the Creation Museum, or all the bizarre stuff I periodically read about religion in the US, maybe atheists would not have felt the need to "fight back" in that way...

The Creation Museum was founded by an Australian.

Not any more... he had to give up his Australian citizenship to get US citizenship.

He's your nutbar now.

Comment: Re:Fallacy (Score 1) 855

by mjwx (#47904933) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Sorry this whole story is some attempt to fill a boring summer void.

The pedant in me desperately wants to point out that Spock is half human and feels emotions too.

The pendant in me desperately wants to point out that the Vulcans have emotions, they just control (suppress) them and because of his Vulcan upbringing, Spock learned to do the same.

Comment: Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (Score 1) 855

by mjwx (#47904903) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

I think part of what you're pointing out is that atheism is not a belief system, and so people shouldn't expect atheists to all think the same way or believe the same things.


People who dont understand what the word "atheism" means dont know that atheism describes everyone from the non-religious to LeVayan Satanists to Buddhists (yep, Buddhism is an atheist religion, they dont believe in a god or gods).

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson