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Submission + - A post-antibiotic future is looming

radaos writes: A gene enabling resistance to polymyxins, the antibiotics of last resort, has been found to be widespread in pigs and already present in some hospital patients. The research, from South China Agricultural University has been published in The Lancet.
"Our results reveal the emergence of the first polymyxin resistance gene that is readily passed between common bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Klesbsiella pneumoniae, suggesting that the progression from extensive drug resistance to pandrug resistance is inevitable", according to researcher Jian-Hua Liu.

Submission + - Large scale survey shows correlation between 'autism' and STEM jobs (

Bruce66423 writes: A 450,000 response survey in the UK has shown there is a significant correlation between a higher score on the Autism Quotient and being a scientist or engineer. AQ scores are also higher for males than female. This appears to provide a rationale for the underrepresentation of women in STEM field other than institutional structures.

Submission + - National coalition in favor of campus censorship (

schwit1 writes: A large coalition of advocacy groups has asked the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to pressure colleges to (1) punish students for their speech and (2) block student access to certain Web sites — especially sites such as Yik Yak, which allow students to anonymously post their views.

Yet another example of today’s Anti-Free Speech Movement for American universities — unfortunately, one that fits well into the Education Department’s attitudes. Fortunately, courts have firmly rejected these kinds of calls to restrict college student speech, though the OCR and the college administrations it pressures can get away with a lot of restrictions until the lawsuits are actually brought.

Submission + - What is Open Source Pharma (and why should you care)? (

Andy Updegrove writes: Humanity today is almost completely dependent on huge pharmaceutical companies to create the drugs we need. But these companies focus exclusively on drugs that can be sold at high prices to large populations — in other words, to patients in developed nations. This means that those who live in the emerging world that suffer from the remaining "neglected diseases," like Malaria and drug resistant TB, have no one to depend on for relief except huge charities, like the Gates Foundation. They also have no way to afford many of the patented drugs that do exist. But there is another way, modeled on open source software development, which relies on crowd sourced knowledge, highly distributed, volunteer efforts, and advanced open source tools. That methodology is called Open Source Pharma, and it has the potential to dramatically drive down drug development while saving millions of lives every year.

Submission + - Stress Is Driving Developers from the Video Game Industry (

Nerval's Lobster writes: For video game developers, life can be tough. The working hours are long, with vicious bursts of so-called “crunch time,” in which developers may pull consecutive all-nighters in order to finish a project—all without overtime pay. According to the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Developer Satisfaction Survey (PDF), many developers aren’t enduring those work conditions for the money: Nearly 50 percent of respondents earned less than $50,000 annually. Faced with what many perceive as draconian working conditions, many developers are taking their skills and leaving video games for another technology sector. The hard and soft skills that go into producing video games—from knowledge of programming languages to aptitude for handling irate managers—will work just as well in many aspects of conventional software-building. Fortunately, leaving the video-game industry doesn’t have to be a permanent exile; many developers find themselves pulled back in at some point, out of simple passion for the craft.

Submission + - The two winners of the Gamergate (

Taco Cowboy writes: The saga of Gamergate has ended up with a whole lot of lowers, but two entities may be potentially BIG WINNERS

Digitimes has an interesting commentary on the Gamergate, something that at least, to me, toe the neutral line, with arguments that are at least logical

According to the commentary, the two potential big winners are

Google and Amazon

Submission + - New study suggests patent trolls really are killing startups ( 1

mpicpp writes: Heavy patent litigation scared off about $22 billion in VC funding over 5 years.

Patent reform advocates have long argued that "patent trolls"—companies that do nothing but sue over patents—are harmful to innovation, not just a plague on big companies. A new study attempted to find out if there's any real data behind that accusation or if it's just a few sad anecdotes.

Turns out there is a very real, and very negative, correlation between patent troll lawsuits and the venture capital funding that startups rely on. A just-released study [PDF] by Catherine Tucker, a professor of marketing at MIT's Sloan School of Business, finds that over the last five years, VC investment "would have likely been $21.772 billion higher... but for litigation brought by frequent litigators."

The study defines "frequent litigators" as companies that file 20 or more patent lawsuits, which limits the definition to true-blue "patent trolls," or Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), the term used by the paper. The study covers the period from 1995 to 2012.

Tucker's paper estimates a 95 percent confidence interval for the amount of lost investment to be between $8.1 billion and $41.8 billion. Those numbers are relative to a baseline of just under $131 billion of investment that actually occurred during that five-year period time.

Submission + - Wyoming Is First State To Reject Science Standards Over Climate Change 2

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Time Magazine reports that Wyoming, the nation's top coal-producing state, has become the first state to reject new K-12 science standards proposed by national education groups mainly because of global warming components. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of science standards developed by leading scientists and science educators from 26 states and built on a framework developed by the National Academy of Sciences. The Wyoming science standards revision committee made up entirely of Wyoming educators unanimously recommended adoption of these standards to the state Board of Education not once but twice and twelve states have already adopted the standards since they were released in April 2013. But opponents argue the standards incorrectly assert that man-made emissions are the main cause of global warming and shouldn’t be taught in a state that ranks first among all states in coal production, fifth in natural gas production and eighth in crude oil production deriving much of its school funding from the energy industry. Amy Edmonds, of the Wyoming Liberty Group, says teaching “one view of what is not settled science about global warming” is just one of a number of problems with the standards. “I think Wyoming can do far better." Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has called federal efforts to curtail greenhouse emissions a “war on coal” and has said that he’s skeptical about man-made climate change.

Supporters of the NGSS say science standards for Wyoming schools haven't been updated since 2003 and are six years overdue. "If you want the best science education for your children and grandchildren and you don’t want any group to speak for you, then make yourselves heard loud and clear," says Cate Cabot. "Otherwise you will watch the best interests of Wyoming students get washed away in the hysteria of a small anti-science minority driven by a national right wing group – and political manipulation."

Submission + - US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Darryl Fears reports in the Washington Post that according to the government’s newest national assessment of climate change, Americans are already feeling the effects of global warming. “For a long time we have perceived climate change as an issue that’s distant, affecting just polar bears or something that matters to our kids," says Katharine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and lead co-author of the changing climate chapter of the assessment. "This shows it’s not just in the future; it matters today. Many people are feeling the effects.” The assessment carves the nation into sections and examines the impacts: More sea-level rise, flooding, storm surge, precipitation and heat waves in the Northeast; frequent water shortages and hurricanes in the Southeast and Caribbean; more drought and wildfires in the Southwest. "Residents of some coastal cities see their streets flood more regularly during storms and high tides. Inland cities near large rivers also experience more flooding, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Insurance rates are rising in some vulnerable locations, and insurance is no longer available in others. Hotter and drier weather and earlier snow melt mean that wildfires in the West start earlier in the spring, last later into the fall, and burn more acreage. In Arctic Alaska, the summer sea ice that once protected the coasts has receded, and autumn storms now cause more erosion, threatening many communities with relocation." The report concludes that over recent decades, climate science has advanced significantly and that increased scrutiny has led to increased certainty that we are now seeing impacts associated with human-induced climate change. "What is new over the last decade is that we know with increasing certainty that climate change is happening now. While scientists continue to refine projections of the future, observations unequivocally show that climate is changing and that the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases. These emissions come mainly from burning coal, oil, and gas, with additional contributions from forest clearing and some agricultural practices."

Submission + - Net Neutrality legislation approved.

rwiggers writes: Known as the Marco Civil — or Bill of Rights — it would enshrine freedom of expression, the right to privacy and the principle of web neutrality. This could be understood as a response from the president Dilma to the NSA spying on her and is expected to be sanctioned soon.
Some aspects are quite interesting, content can only be removed by judicial order, net neutrality is written in law ans ISPs must take action to ensure privacy of communications.

Submission + - Bitcoin: The Gamification of Waste (

Marc D Hall writes: Bitcoin is a way to get people to tie up physical resources to produce entities that exist for no reason other than as a means to transfer physical resources into their possession. We have produced a system that encourages people to tie up resources in order to gain resources while doing literally nothing productive. You could argue something similar about gold coins; but at least an argument could be made (IMO an invalid one) that the upside is we get gold out of the ground. Not even this upside exists for Bitcoins. Bitcoins are literally useless whether we have them or not.

Submission + - DARPA developing the ultimate auto-pilot software (

coondoggie writes: Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety.

Submission + - Study Finds U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy. What this means is that, although 'Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance', 'majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.' Their study (PDF), to be published in Perspectives on Politics, found that 'When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.'

Submission + - Study Shows American Policy Exclusively Reflects Desires of the Rich (

CamelTrader writes: A forthcoming paper by Princeton's Martin Gilens and Northwestern's Benjamin Page analyzes policy over the past 20+ years and conclude that policy makers respond exclusively to the needs of people in the 90th wealth percentile. A summary at the Washington Post by Larry Bartels:

Submission + - SPAM: It was the worst industrial disaster in US history—and we learned nothing 1

superboj writes: Forget Deepwater Horizon or Three Mile Island: The biggest industrial disaster in American history actually happened in 2008, when more than a billion gallons of coal sludge ran through the small town of Kingston Tennessee. This story details how, five years later, nothing has been done to stop it happening again, thanks to energy industry lobbying, federal inaction, and secrecy imposed on Congress.
Link to Original Source

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.