Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

When Are You Dead? 516

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-soon-as-the-organleggers-spot-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Dick Teresi writes in the WSJ that becoming an organ donor seems like a noble act, but what doctors won't tell you is that checking yourself off as an organ donor when you renew your driver's license means you are giving up your right to informed consent, and that you may suffer for it, especially if you happen to become a victim of head trauma. Even though they comprise only 1% of deaths, victims of head trauma are the most likely organ donors. Patients who can be ruled brain dead usually have good organs, while organs from people who die from heart failure, circulation, or breathing deteriorate quickly. But here's the weird part. In at least two studies before the 1981 Uniform Determination of Death Act, some 'brain-dead' patients were found to be emitting brain waves, and at least one doctor has reported a case in which a patient with severe head trauma began breathing spontaneously after being declared brain dead. Organ transplantation — from procurement of organs to transplant to the first year of postoperative care — is a $20 billion per year business, with average recipients charged $750,000 for a transplant. At an average of 3.3 donated organs per donor, that is more than $2 million per body. 'In order to be dead enough to bury but alive enough to be a donor, you must be irreversibly brain dead. If it's reversible, you're no longer dead; you're a patient,' writes David Crippen, M.D. 'And once you start messing around with this definition, you're on a slippery slope, and the question then becomes: How dead do you want patients to be before you start taking their organs?'"
Input Devices

Electronic Skin Gives Robots a Sense of Touch 22

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-gonna-need-more-lotion dept.
Zothecula writes "Providing robots with sensory inputs is one of the keys to the development of more capable and useful machines. Sight and hearing are the most common senses bestowed upon our mechanical friends, but even taste and smell have gotten a look. There have also been a number of efforts to give robots the sense of touch so they can better navigate and interact with their environments. The latest attempt to create a touchy feely robot comes from the Technical University Munich (TUM) where researchers have produced small hexagonal plates, which when joined together, form a sensitive skin."
Communications

White Space Radio To Be Tested In Cambridge 32

Posted by timothy
from the pssh-pssssshhhhhhh-pssshhhhh dept.
judgecorp writes "White space radio, the technology which could provide broadband networks by using TV spectrum more efficiently, will be tested in Cambridge. A consortium including Microsoft, BT and the BBC will check the technology does not interfere with TV, and test it for mobile broadband and telemetry. The regulator, Ofcom, has already set out likely terms for legalising white space radio and seems on track to approve it soon."
Microsoft

Devs Worried Microsoft Will Dump .NET 440

Posted by Soulskill
from the long-term-strategy-is-beholden-to-the-dollar dept.
joelholdsworth passes along a story summing up concerns from developers that "Microsoft seems to be set on adopting HTML5 and JavaScript as its main application development tools for Windows 8," and asking, "is this the end of .NET?" The article continues: "To bet the farm on HTML5 and JavaScript being the next big thing is a good bet, but it's not a bet that Microsoft can easily take and make good. Even if the world does turn to JavaScript and platform-independent apps, this still means that Microsoft loses. The problem is that Microsoft needs a technology that gives it an edge, and HTML5/JavaScript is everybody's edge. Microsoft developers feel left in the dark and very angry at the way they are being treated. You only have to browse the Microsoft forums to discover how strong the feeling is: forum post 1, forum post 2 and an open letter." Reader Sla$hPot points out a similar story at OS News.
Google

Why Doesn't 'Google Kids' Exist? 561

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
theodp writes "Slate's Michael Agger wishes there was a website his 6-year-old son could visit on his own to watch amateur Star Wars Lego movies and other stuff he's curious about. 'But I don't leave him alone on YouTube,' he laments, 'because I never know if some strange-ass video will appear in the 'Related Videos' section.' Agger suggests that Google should create Google Kids, a search engine that filters the Web for children. 'Think back to when you were a kid and your parents dropped you off at the library,' explains Agger. 'In the children's section, the only "inappropriate" stuff to be found was Judy Blume's Forever, which someone's older sister had usually already checked out anyway. Similarly, Google Kids would be a sort of children's section of the Web, focused on providing high-quality results based on age.'"
Google

Mozilla Rejects WebP Image Format, Google Adds It 262

Posted by timothy
from the rose-by-any-other-raster-based-representation dept.
icebraining writes with a link to Ars Technica's look at the recent rejection of WebP by Mozilla Developer Joe Drew."Building mainstream support for a new media format is challenging, especially when the advantages are ambiguous. WebM was attractive to some browser vendors because its royalty-free license arguably solved a real-world problem. According to critics, the advantages of WebP are illusory and don't offer sufficient advantages over JPEG to justify adoption of the new format. (...) 'As the WebP image format exists currently, I won't accept a patch for it. If and when that changes, I'll happily re-evaluate my decision!' wrote Mozilla developer Joe Drew in a Bugzilla comment.'" However, as the article explains, Google sees enough value in WebP to add it as a supported image format for Picasa.
NASA

Solar Flare Interferes With Radio, But No Big Auroras 37

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-no-fun dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "The largest solar flare in several years has disrupted some communications, though it was not in the right position to create auroral displays visible from lower latitudes. The flare, which erupted on Feb. 15, sent what is called a coronal mass ejection, or CME, towards the Earth. A CME is billions of tons of charged particles, mostly protons." Most of the reported disruptions were in China, says the article.
Book Reviews

Book Review: jBPM Developer Guide 39

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
RickJWagner writes "jBPM is a mature, open source business process management (BPM) solution. This book, written in a developer-centric manner, guides the reader through the framework and exposes many important considerations for production use. BPM tools are used to define and execute business processes. They usually come with a graphical editor, which is used to drag and drop boxes onto a graph. The boxes represent activities performed by programs, activities performed by humans, and decision points. If this all sounds like 'graphical programming', it isn't. The picture does draw out the desired series of steps, but there's always configuration and maybe some programming involved as well." Read below for the rest of Rick's review.

System checkpoint complete.

Working...