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Biotech

Could Colorblindness Cure Be Morally Wrong? 981

Posted by timothy
from the don't-forget-deaf-culture dept.
destinyland writes "One in 12 men suffers from colorblindness, though '[t]he good news here is that these folks are simply missing a patch of DNA ... which is just the kind of challenge this Millennium is made for. Enter science.' But NPR's Moira Gunn (from Biotech Nation) now asks a provocative question. Is it wrong to cure colorblindness? She reports on an experiment that used a virus to introduce corrective DNA into colorblind monkeys. ('It took 20 weeks, but eventually the monkeys started distinguishing between red and green.') Then she asks, could it be viewed differently? 'Are we trying to 'normalize' humans to a threshold of experience?'"

Comment: Use an obnoxious name and password. (Score 1) 695

by chris_sawtell (#28179707) Attached to: Keeping a PC Personal At School?

Call your lappie some exotic female name so the login screen says Welcome to Linux on Samantha, or whoever

Tell the nuisances who want to use your computer that the guest login name is ROOTER

and the passphrase is "is going to catch AIDS"

That fact will get around the dorm. before you can say Jack, and you won't have any more problems.

Let us know if that doesn't work please.

Comment: I am going from NZ to Europe in about 6 months. (Score 1) 1002

by chris_sawtell (#26311087) Attached to: Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off

I will attempt to avoid the whole of the airline industry if I possibly can, but if not, please be assured that there is absolutely no way whatsoever that I will be on a US aircraft or passing through US airspace. It's just too inconvenient, and frankly, dangerous.

Sorry folks, but the behaviour your government and its servants on the international scene is just the pits and I'd much prefer to put my travel dollars into a country which is actually a responsible member of the family of nations.

Earth

Leap Second To Be Added Dec 31, 2008 255

Posted by timothy
from the pregnant-pause dept.
ammorris writes "Don't be the laughingstock of your friends when you shout 'Happy New Years' a second too early ... The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service has announced that a leap second will be added on December 31, 2008 at 23h 59m 60s, meaning that this year will be exactly one second longer. The last leap second occurred Dec 31, 2005; they are added due to fluctuations in the rotational speed of the earth. You can read all about leap seconds on Wikipedia."

Comment: Re:XP Linux MacOS (Score 1) 823

by chris_sawtell (#26232365) Attached to: Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen?

Daybot:: You must be Yet Another Opinionated and Ignorant Yankee who does not know that there are many English patois, of which yours is but one . There are more English speakers in the rest of the world than there are in the US. I assure your there is nothing whatsoever wrong with Domini's ability to spell. Didn't you notice the .za domain?

Comment: Re:pop caps lock off (Score 1) 823

by chris_sawtell (#26232155) Attached to: Configuring a Windows PC For a Senior Citizen?

No! Re-map it to CTRL which is what it should be. At 66 I'm junior senior, and that mis-placement of the control key on the PC keyboard almost drove me insane.

And yes, my main current complaint about computers is that the text size is always too small, and fixing it always breaks the aesthetics of the window and desktop. Is it not possible for the box to be sized around the text? KUbuntu is as bad as all the rest in this regard.

Yes /. you are just as bad as all the others. Please oh please fix that.

Education

Cornell University FPGA Class Projects for 2008 112

Posted by timothy
from the ok-dad-now-about-that-money-I-asked-for dept.
Matt writes "The new crop of Cornell University ECE 5760 projects are now online. Some really cool projects, as well as the previous two years' worth of projects." Since it's mid-December, many other schools, too, have either just let out or are about to; can you point to any other online collections of cool technical projects?
Communications

FCC Publishes "White Spaces" Rules 63

Posted by timothy
from the dude-white-spaces-totally-rule dept.
Stellian writes "The Federal Communications Commission adopted a Second Report and Order that establishes rules to allow new, sophisticated wireless devices to operate in broadcast television spectrum on a secondary basis at locations where that spectrum is open. It's the first time we have access to clear specifications for these devices, dubbed TVBDs — 'TV band devices' by the FCC. The published guidelines allow manufactures to create protocols and build compatible devices, which could be available in 18 Months, according to Larry Page. The full PDF text of this Second R&O is published on the FCC site."
Graphics

NVIDIA Releases New Video API For Linux 176

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the finally-starting-to-play-ball dept.
Ashmash writes "Phoronix is reporting on a new Linux driver nVidia is about to release that brings PureVideo features to Linux. This video API will reportedly be in nVidia's 180 series driver for Linux, Solaris, and *BSD. PureVideo has been around for several nVidia product generations, but it's the first time they're bringing this feature to these non-Windows operating systems to provide an improved multimedia experience. This new API is named VDPAU, and is described as: 'The Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) provides a complete solution for decoding, post-processing, compositing, and displaying compressed or uncompressed video streams. These video streams may be combined (composited) with bitmap content, to implement OSDs and other application user interfaces.'"
Data Storage

New Datacenter In Underground Lair 109

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the mwahahahahahahahah dept.
lobo235 writes to tell us that a new underground data center designed by Sweden's largest ISP is fit for a classic supervillain, complete with greenhouses, waterfalls, German submarine engines, simulated daylight and can withstand a hit from a hydrogen bomb. "'Rather than just concentrating on technical hardware we decided to put humans in focus,' he said. 'Of course, the security, power, cooling, network, etc, are all top notch, but the people designing data centers often (always!) forget about the humans that are supposed to work with the stuff.'"

Comment: Re:"/."liza. (Score 1) 372

by chris_sawtell (#25730743) Attached to: Gadgets For a Budding Geek?

> My six year old is pissed I won't let him have his own soldering iron yet.

Why on earth not? If he picks it up by the wrong end, he'll yell and squeak, drop it soon enough, and never repeat the exercise.

It's called learning from experience, and it's just so wrong that we seem hell-bent on stopping that form of learning, because it's by far and away the most effective way.

Sci-Fi

+ - seti

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "Arecibo loses funding, may close by 2011. The New York Times (11/20, Chang) reported that the Arecibo radio telescope's annual budget has been "slashed to $8 million from $10.5 million," which will decrease the amount of time that the telescope is operational. "A quarter of its staff was laid off last year," and Arecibo, which is located in Puerto Rico, could possibly be completely closed in four years, according to the "National Science Foundation (NSF), which pays for the operation of the telescope." This comes after "a review panel for the foundation's astronomy division two years ago" suggested cutting Arecibo's financing by 25 percent as a way to pay for new facilities. There has been "[a]n outcry" in response to the "decision, particularly from planetary scientists" who argued that the panel "overlooked Arecibo's role in cataloging potential dangers from asteroids." The Times notes that in Arecibo's favor is the fact that it "may be much cheaper to keep...open" than dismantle, which "could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.""

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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