kandela writes " The Australian reports that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy will debate Coalition and Greens shadows Tony Smith and Scott Ludlam at the National Press Club next Tuesday. Amongst topics covered in the debate will be the national broadband network and internet filter policy. The event is being put on by the Australian Computer Society and which will be shown on Sky News and hosted by the station's political editor David Speers."Link to Original Source
kandela writes "A feministing blogger has comprehensive coverage of the decision by U.S. federal district court Judge Robert Sweet that human genes cannot be patented. "The judge declared that all 15 patent claims that [were] challenged are invalid, based on the fact that they cover products of nature and abstract ideas. He wrote in his decision: 'The resolution of these motions is based upon long recognized principles of molecular biology and genetics: DNA represents the physical embodiment of biological information, distinct in its essential characteristics from any other chemical found in nature. It is concluded that DNA's existence in an "isolated" form alters neither this fundamental quality of DNA as it exists in the body nor the information it encodes. Therefore, the patents at issue directed to "isolated DNA" containing sequences found in nature are unsustainable as a matter of law and are deemed unpatentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101.'" The blogger goes on to declare the result a victory for scientific freedom and women's health."Link to Original Source
kandela writes "The Telegraph is reporting that for a mere $1.99 you can download a new punctuation mark that will revolutionise communication online. The SarcMark, described as "a dot inside a single spiral line," is to be used just like a question mark or exclamation mark to indicate sarcasm. And for those worried that this company's unique invention may be shamelessly copied by eager and unscrupulous grammarians – grammarians being the type to quickly adopt new ideas without heed to proper procedure – fear not, the Michigan based company has applied for a patent to protect their invention."Link to Original Source
kandela writes "The BBC has a short slide show of a type of cloud that the Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS) wants classified as 'asperatus.' These types of clouds are currently called 'undulators,' but the term is also used to describe "those regular, gentle ripples you often see in the cloud layers of a calm sky." The CAS argues that "violent, chaotic undulations deserve their own term." So, what do slashdotters think? Is a new cloud type required to prevent discussions being clouded in ambiguity, or do those at the CAS have their heads in the clouds?"