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Submission + - GM diet stunts growth and fertility in hamsters (thinq.co.uk) 1

Stoobalou writes: Just days after two leading scientists quit the UK's advisory body on food safety amid allegations of pro-GM bias, a study has suggested the consumption of genetically modified crops may pose major health risks.

Researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences, led by Alexey Surov, have said that hamsters eating a diet of GM food stand a greater chance of developing problems with growth and reproduction.

United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"

Ubisoft DRM Causing More Problems 279

Joe Helfrich writes "Ubisoft's Settlers 7 servers have been causing problems for over a week for users worldwide, and Australian gamers are hardly able to connect at all. 'The problem reportedly strikes after the game has already confirmed an active Internet connection, and prevents the user from playing even the single-player campaign, returning the error "server not available." But they are available, because other people are logged into them and merrily playing away.' Wonder how they're going to describe this one as an attack."

The Year of the E-Bicycle 494

theodp writes "Electric bicycles have been around for more than a century, but they have never quite captured the imagination of auto-obsessed Americans. That may be about to change. At CES this month, Sanyo showed off its sleek, lightweight Eneloop Hybrid Bicycle. Priced at $2,300, the e-bike sports a black lithium-ion battery strapped to the frame beneath the seat. Press a button on the left handlebar, and a 250-watt motor kicks in, providing about twice as much power as your own pedaling. Some basic e-bike models, like the Ezip Trailz can be had for as low as $500. Both Trek and Schwinn began selling e-bikes last year, and Best Buy is offering e-bikes in three test markets: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, OR."

App Store Piracy Losses Estimated At $459 Million 202

An anonymous reader passes along this quote from a report at 24/7 Wall St.: "There have been over 3 billion downloads since the inception of the App Store. Assuming the proportion of those that are paid apps falls in the middle of the Bernstein estimate, 17% or 510 million of these were paid applications. Based on our review of current information, paid applications have a piracy rate of around 75%. That supports the figure that for every paid download, there have been 3 pirated downloads. That puts the number of pirate downloads at 1.53 billion. If the average price of a paid application is $3, that is $4.59 billion dollars in losses split between Apple and the application developers. That is, of course, assuming that all of those pirates would have made purchases had the application not been available to them for free. This is almost certainly not the case. A fair estimate of the proportion of people who would have used the App Store if they did not use pirated applications is about 10%. This estimate yields about $459 million in lost revenue for Apple and application developers." A response posted at Mashable takes issue with some of the figures, particularly the 75% piracy rate. While such rates have been seen with game apps, it's unclear whether non-game apps suffer the same fate.

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."

Microsoft Denies It Built Backdoor Into Windows 7 450

CWmike writes "Microsoft has denied that it has built a backdoor into Windows 7, a concern that surfaced yesterday after a senior National Security Agency (NSA) official testified before Congress that the agency had worked on the operating system. 'Microsoft has not and will not put "backdoors" into Windows,' a company spokeswoman said, reacting to a Computerworld story Wednesday. On Monday, Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's information assurance director, told the Senate's Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security that the agency had partnered with the developer during the creation of Windows 7 'to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide.' Thursday's categorical denial by Microsoft was accompanied by further explanation of exactly how the NSA participated in the making of Windows 7. 'The work being discussed here is purely in conjunction with our Security Compliance Management Toolkit,' said the spokeswoman. The company rolled out the Windows 7 version of the toolkit late last month, shortly after it officially launched the operating system."

AU Senator Calls Scientology a "Criminal Organization" 511

An anonymous reader passes along news that an Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, has denounced the Church of Scientology as "a criminal organization" from the floor of Parliament. "Senator Xenophon used a speech in Parliament last night to raise allegations of widespread criminal conduct within the church, saying he had received letters from former followers detailing claims of abuse, false imprisonment, and forced abortion. He says he has passed on the letters to the police and is calling for a Senate inquiry into the religion and its tax-exempt status." It wasn't that long ago that the CoS was calling for Net censorship in Australia; a month later the organization was convicted of fraud in France.

T-Mobile UK Employees Sold Customers' Information 65

angry tapir writes "Workers at T-Mobile UK have been selling customer data to brokers who worked for the competition, according to T-Mobile and the UK's Information Commissioner's Office. Criminal charges are being prepared. 'Many thousands' of customers' account details, millions of records, were sold to several brokers for substantial amounts of money, the ICO said. In an announcement (PDF) from the ICO, the agency does not name the operator involved, but T-Mobile acknowledged that it had alerted ICO about the data breach. The BBC reports that after the other mobile operators said they were not the subject of the investigation, T-Mobile confirmed its involvement."

NVIDIA Ships Decent DX10 Graphics Card For Under $100 208

MojoKid writes "NVIDIA is launching a new mainstream graphics card today, aimed at consumers in the market for a relatively low-cost upgrade from an integrated graphics solution or older entry-level GPU. The new GeForce GT 240 features a GPU with 96 processor cores, 8 ROP units, and 32 texture filtering units. The GPU is manufactured using a 40nm process, features a GDDR5 memory controller (that's also compatible with GDDR3), and unlike NVIDIA's current high-end GPUs, the GT 240 is DirectX 10.1 compatible. For $100 or less, what's perhaps most interesting is that this graphics card actually puts up respectable frame rates with AA turned on and no external power needed beyond what a standard PCIe slot provides."

CERN Physicist Warns About Uranium Shortage 581

eldavojohn writes "Uranium mines provide us with 40,000 tons of uranium each year. Sounds like that ought to be enough for anyone, but it comes up about 25,000 tons short of what we consume yearly in our nuclear power plants. The difference is made up by stockpiles, reprocessed fuel and re-enriched uranium — which should be completely used up by 2013. And the problem with just opening more uranium mines is that nobody really knows where to go for the next big uranium lode. Dr. Michael Dittmar has been warning us for some time about the coming shortage (PDF) and has recently uploaded a four-part comprehensive report on the future of nuclear energy and how socioeconomic change is exacerbating the effect this coming shortage will have on our power consumption. Although not quite on par with zombie apocalypse, Dr. Dittmar's final conclusions paint a dire picture, stating that options like large-scale commercial fission breeder reactors are not an option by 2013 and 'no matter how far into the future we may look, nuclear fusion as an energy source is even less probable than large-scale breeder reactors, for the accumulated knowledge on this subject is already sufficient to say that commercial fusion power will never become a reality.'"

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.