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+ - Researchers fully 'delete' HIV from human cells for the first time

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "So far, HIV has eluded a cure because it installs its genome into human DNA so insidiously that it's impossible for our immune system to clear it out. While current treatments are effective, a lifetime of toxic drugs are required to prevent its recurrence. But researchers from Temple University may have figured out a way to permanently excise it using a highly-engineered HIV "editor." Here's how it works: the team analyzed a part of our immune system that fights infection and built a "guide RNA" strand consisting of 20 nucleotides (RNA building blocks). Those strands were then injected into cells typically infected with HIV, like T-cells. There, they targeted the end parts of the virus's gene and snipped out all 9,709 nucleotides that made up its genome. Since the guide RNA strand contained no human DNA sequences, it left the host cell intact — but free from HIV."

+ - RJ Reynolds told to pay wife of cancer victim $23.6bn

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A US court has ordered the country's second largest cigarette company to pay $23.6 billion to the wife of a smoker who died of lung cancer. RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company was hit with the punitive fine in addition to $16.8m in compensatory damages. Cynthia Robinson took action against the firm in 2008, seeking compensation for her husband's death in 1996. A company official said the verdict was ``grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law.'' During the four-week trial, lawyers for Ms Robinson argued that RJ Reynolds was negligent in informing consumers of the dangers of consuming tobacco. This negligence, the lawyers said, led to her husband Michael Johnson Sr contracting lung cancer from smoking after becoming "addicted" and failing multiple attempts to quit."

+ - Edward Snowden Says NSA Workers Pass Around Your Nude Photos

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "If you thought that nude photo you took of yourself was just for you and your significant other, you may be wrong. According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, young NSA employees occasionally get a hold of nude photos while searching through personal data and, if the person is attractive, the photos get passed around the office. Snowden explained how this happens to The Guardian during a 7-hour interview. Here's the relevant bit: You’ve got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old, they’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records. Now in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sense. For example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation, but they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around and they show their coworker. And their coworker says ‘Oh hey, that’s great. Show it to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom, and sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people."

+ - Manuel Noriega sues Activision over Call of Duty

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, is suing Call of Duty's video games publisher.

The ex-military ruler is seeking lost profits and damages after a character based on him featured in Activision's 2012 title Black Ops II. The 80-year-old is currently serving a jail sentence in Panama for crimes committed during his time in power, including the murder of critics. One lawyer said this was the latest in a growing trend of such lawsuits. "In the US, individuals have what's called the right to publicity, which gives them control over how their person is depicted in commerce including video games," explained Jas Purewal, an interactive entertainment lawyer. "There's also been a very well-known action by a whole series of college athletes against Electronic Arts, and the American band No Doubt took action against Activision over this issue among other cases. "It all focuses upon the American legal ability for an individual to be only depicted with their permission, which in practice means payment of a fee. "But Noriega isn't a US citizen or even a resident. This means that his legal claim becomes questionable, because it's unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision.""

+ - Massive Job Cuts Are Reportedly Coming For Microsoft Employees

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Microsoft Corp is planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years as the software maker looks to integrate Nokia Oyj's handset unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the company's plans. The reductions, expected to be announced as soon as this week, could be in the Nokia unit and the parts of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as in marketing and engineering, Bloomberg reported. The restructuring may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the 5,800 jobs cut in 2009, the report said."

+ - Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy paedophiles

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that "about 2%" of clergy in the Catholic Church are paedophiles. The Pope said that abuse of children was like "leprosy" infecting the Church, according to the Italian La Repubblica newspaper. He vowed to "confront it with the severity it demands". He wants to show a more compassionate attitude towards Church teaching than his predecessors, but this can sometimes cause consternation among his media advisers, our correspondent adds."

+ - The First Person Ever To Die In A Tesla Is A Guy Who Stole One

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Elon Musk can no longer say that no one's ever died in a Tesla automobile crash. But few people will be pointing fingers at the electric car maker for this senseless tragedy. Earlier this month, 26-year-old Joshua Slot managed to successfully ride off with a Model S he'd stolen from a Tesla service center in Los Angeles, but police quickly spotted the luxury vehicle and gave chase. According to Park Labrea News, the high-speed pursuit was eventually called off after officers were involved in a fender bender of their own, leaving the police department strained for resources and without any feasible way of catching up to Slot. Reports claim he was traveling at speeds of "nearly 100 mph," but losing the police tail apparently didn't convince Slot to hit the brakes. Instead he sped on, eventually colliding with three other vehicles and a pair of street poles. The final impact was severe enough to "split the Tesla in half" and eject Slot from the car's remains. The Tesla's front section wound up in the middle of the road and caught fire. Its rear portion flew through the air with such force that it slammed into the side of a local Jewish community center and became wedged there."

+ - ISPs take legal action against GCHQ

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Seven internet service providers have filed a legal complaint against the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ. ISPs from the US, UK, Netherlands and South Korea have joined forced with campaigners Privacy International to take the agency to task over alleged attacks on network infrastructure. It is the first time that GCHQ has faced such action. The ISPs claim that alleged network attacks, outlined in a series of articles in Der Spiegel and the Intercept, were illegal and "undermine the goodwill the organisations rely on". The allegations that the legal actions are based on include: claims that employees of Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom were targeted by GCHQ and infected with malware to gain access to network infrastructure. GCHQ and the US National Security Agency, where Mr Snowden worked, had a range of network exploitation and intrusion capabilities, including a "man-on-the-side" technique that covertly injects data into existing data streams to create connections that will enable the targeted infection of users. The intelligence agencies used an automated system, codenamed Turbine, that allowed them to scale up network implants
German internet exchange points were targeted, allowing agencies to spy on all internet traffic coming through those nodes."

+ - Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A court permitted the NSA to collect information about governments in 193 countries and foreign institutions like the World Bank, according to a secret document the Washington Post published Monday. The certification issued by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2010 shows the NSA has the authority to “intercept through U.S. companies not just the communications of its overseas targets, but any communications about its targets as well,” according to the Post’s report. Only four countries in the world — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — were exempt from the agreement, due to existing no-spying agreements that the Post highlights in this document about the group of countries, known as “Five Eyes” with the U.S."

+ - Hover cars to be built in Tel Aviv

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A 500m loop will be built on the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) followed by a commercial network, according to skyTran, the company that will build it. Two-person vehicles will be suspended from elevated magnetic tracks, as an alternative transport method to congested roads, the firm promised. The system should be up and running by the end of 2015. The firm hopes the test track will prove that the technology works and lead to a commercial version of the network. The plan is to allow passengers to order a vehicle on their smartphone to meet them at a specific station and then head directly to their destination."

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