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+ - GlaxoSmithKline "Accidentally" Released 45 Lts of Live Polio Virus->

Submitted by ferespo
ferespo (899921) writes "Belgium – As reported to ECDC by Belgian authorities, on 2 September 2014, following a human error, 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution were released into the environment by the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Rixensart city, Belgium. The liquid was conducted directly to a water-treatment plant (Rosieres) and released after treatment in river Lasne affluent of river Dyle which is affluent of the Escaut/Scheldt river. Belgium’s High Council of Public Health conducted a risk assessment that concluded that the risk of infection for the population exposed to the contaminated water is extremely low due to the high level of dilution and the high vaccination coverage (95%) in Belgium. (Official ECDC press release http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/p...)"
Link to Original Source

+ - Physisists observer the Majorana fermion for the first time->

Submitted by Charliemopps
Charliemopps (1157495) writes "For the first time Princeton University scientists have observed a Majorana fermion. A long predicted but never observed exotic particle that acts as both matter and anti-matter. The material is surprisingly stable. Being in both states at once seems to make it act very weakly with its surrounding. This could also be a major step towards quantum computing."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Woody Allen's Sleeper movie (Score 1) 291

by ferespo (#47883949) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."

Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.

Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or ... hot fudge?

Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy ... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

Dr. Melik: Incredible.


+ - When Scientists Give Up->

Submitted by ferespo
ferespo (899921) writes "Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.
But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science."

Link to Original Source

Comment: "Liberty" is ideology, too (Score 1) 299

by ferespo (#45134223) Attached to: Silicon Valley Stays Quiet As Washington Implodes

"Liberty", Individualism are all tenents of Libertarianism or simple Right wing ideology, so it is no surprise that Silicon Valley is against (or indiferent) to the Government or the State.

There is this idea, that there are choices that go beyond "left or right", choices that are not subjective but objective and universal.

Anytime that someone tells me that he has "no ideology" or "no political stance" I suspect he is a closeted right winger.

Comment: Pareto's principle (Score 1) 440

by ferespo (#41211987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I De-Dupe a System With 4.2 Million Files?

If you can live with less than perfect results (wasted space) you could apply pareto's principle, and start working with a list of file sizes in descending order and dedup manually until you recovered enough space. Chance are that 20% of files make up for 80% of space.

More info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

Comment: Borges (Score 1) 1244

by ferespo (#39271713) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Forgotten Fantasy & Science Fiction Novels?

(From wikipedia)

The Aleph
In Borges' story, the Aleph is a point in space that contains all other points. Anyone who gazes into it can see everything in the universe from every angle simultaneously, without distortion, overlapping or confusion. The story continues the theme of infinity found in several of Borges' other works, such as The Book of Sand

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
In the story, an encyclopedia article about a mysterious country called Uqbar is the first indication of a massive conspiracy of intellectuals to imagine (and thereby create) a world known as Tlön

The Garden of Forking Paths
According to Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, "The concept Borges described in 'The Garden of Forking Paths'—in several layers of the story, but most directly in the combination book and maze of Ts'ui Pên—is that of a novel that can be read in multiple ways, a hypertext novel.

The Book Of Sand
The titular "Book of Sand" is the Book of all Books, and is a monster. The story tells how this book came into the possession of a fictional version of Borges himself, and of how he ultimately disposed of it.

Comment: Polanyi's counter movement (Score 1) 944

by ferespo (#37733836) Attached to: Occupy Wall Street Protests Go Global


“For a century the dynamics of modern society was governed by a double movement: the market expanded continuously but this movement was met by a countermovement
checking the expansion in definite directions. Vital though such a countermovement was for the protection of society, in the last analysis it was incompatible with the selfregulation of the market, and thus with the market system itself.
“That system developed in leaps and bounds; it engulfed space and time, and by creating bank money it produced a dynamic hitherto unknown. By the time it reached its maximum extent, around 1914, every part of the globe, all its inhabitants and yet unborn generations, physical persons as well as huge fictitious bodies called corporations, were comprised in it. A new way of life spread over the planet with a claim to universality unparalleled since the age when Christianity started out on its career, only this time the movement was on a purely material level.
“Yet simultaneously a countermovement was on foot. This was more than the usual defensive behaviour of society faced with change; it was a reaction against a dislocation which attacked the fabric of society, and which would have destroyed the very organization of production that the market had called into being” (Polanyi, 1957: 130).


The market, once it considers land, labor and money as "fictitious commodities" (fictitious because each possesses qualities that are not expressed in the formal rationality of the market) “subordinate[s] the substance of society itself to the laws of the market.”[1] This, he argues, results in massive social dislocation, and spontaneous moves by society to protect itself. In effect, Polanyi argues that once the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism is society’s natural response; this he calls the ‘counter movement’. Polanyi did not see economics as a subject closed off from other fields of enquiry, indeed he saw economic and social problems as inherently linked. He ended his work with a prediction of a socialist society, noting, "after a century of blind 'improvement', man is restoring his 'habitation.'"

+ - Being a Patent Troll Now Patented->

Submitted by ferespo
ferespo (899921) writes "By Paul Kedrosky

The end is nigh: Being a patent troll is now patented. Despair.

A system and methods for extracting value from a portfolio of assets, for example a patent portfolio, are described. By granting floating privileges described herein, a portfolio owner can extend an opportunity for obtaining an interest in selected assets from the portfolio to a client who lacks the resources to accumulate and maintain such a portfolio, in return for an annuity stream to the portfolio owner. The floating privilege can take many forms, depending on the needs of the client and the nature of the assets in the portfolio. The privilege is executed for a set of assets selected by the client and approved by the portfolio owner in accordance with a floating privilege agreement controlling the floating privilege."

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Comment: Re:Interesting, but... (Score 2, Insightful) 598

by ferespo (#28977429) Attached to: Can We Build a Human Brain Into a Microchip?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that was said of binary systems?

It applies to any kind of computation, using binary or decimal or any representation system.

In fact we are talking about the Church-Turing thesis here.

The Church-Turing thesis has been alleged to have some profound implications for the philosophy of mind.[37] There are also some important open questions which cover the relationship between the Church-Turing thesis and physics, and the possibility of hypercomputation. When applied to physics, the thesis has several possible meanings:
1. The universe is equivalent to a Turing machine; thus, computing non-recursive functions is physically impossible. This has also been termed the strong Church-Turing thesis (not to be confused with the previously mentioned SCTT) and is a foundation of digital physics.
2. The universe is not equivalent to a Turing machine (i.e., the laws of physics are not Turing-computable), but incomputable physical events are not "harnessable" for the construction of a hypercomputer. For example, a universe in which physics involves real numbers, as opposed to computable reals, might fall into this category.
3. The universe is a hypercomputer, and it is possible to build physical devices to harness this property and calculate non-recursive functions. For example, it is an open question whether all quantum mechanical events are Turing-computable, although it is known that rigorous models such as quantum Turing machines are equivalent to deterministic Turing machines. (They are not necessarily efficiently equivalent; see above.) John Lucas and, more famously, Roger Penrose[38] have suggested that the human mind might be the result of some kind of quantum-mechanically enhanced, "non-algorithmic" computation, although there is no scientific evidence for this proposal.

There are many other technical possibilities which fall outside or between these three categories, but these serve to illustrate the range of the concept.

Comment: It's worse than that (Score 1) 665

by ferespo (#28783703) Attached to: Undercover Cameras Catch PC Repair Scams, Privacy Violations
Here in Argentina. Sometimes the shops run out of spare parts. Then they take someone else almost functioning laptop and take the good parts out. They fix one computer and wait for the spare parts to arrive for repairing the lobotomized laptop. If they arrive, they will charge you for the old and new parts. If not, they would return your computer saying that they had not been able to repair it. So you get back your computer with far more problems than before.

Comment: The Trouble with Lithium (Score 1) 291

by ferespo (#27765131) Attached to: Bolivia Is the Saudi Arabia of Lithium
Executive Summary
Lithium Ion batteries are rapidly becoming the technology of choice for the next generation of Electric Vehicles - Hybrid, Plug In Hybrid and Battery EVs. The automotive industry is committed increasingly to Electrified Vehicles to provide Sustainable Mobility in the next decade. LiIon is the preferred battery technology to power these vehicles.
To achieve required cuts in oil consumption, a significant percentage of the world automobile fleet of 1 billion vehicles must be electrified in the coming decade. Ultimately all production, currently 60 Million vehicles per year, will be replaced with highly electrified vehicles â" PHEVs and BEVs.
Analysis of Lithium's geological resource base shows that there is insufficient Lithium available in the Earth's crust to sustain Electric Vehicle manufacture in the volumes required, based solely on LiIon batteries.
Depletion rates would exceed current oil depletion rates and switch dependency from one diminishing resource to another. Concentration of supply would create new geopolitical tensions, not reduce them.

+ - Weight-loss area in the brain?.

Submitted by ferespo
ferespo (899921) writes "Experimental Parkinson's therapy may have robust weight-loss effect

When GDNF flooded a bundle of nerves known as the nigrostriatal tract, a potential target for Parkinson therapy, the obese rats lost a great deal of weight — about 80 grams. But when GDNF protein was overexpressed in a different therapeutic target, the hypothalamus, weight loss was only about half as much. In both locations, there was a steady decrease in body weight throughout the experiment that could only partially be explained by food intake.

"These are interesting findings that enhance our understanding of how the dopamine system interacts with obesity," said Dr. Ole Isacson, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Neuroregeneration Research at McLean Hospital who did not participate in the study. "An interesting corollary is that overexpression of GDNF may act on satiation or appetite reduction — clearly this is a unique angle for using GDNF, which has only been applied for neuroprotection for Parkinson's disease or motor neuron disease."

Meanwhile, researchers studying potential obesity therapies that work by influencing how the brain regulates energy use and food intake now have much more to consider.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke