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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 69 declined, 38 accepted (107 total, 35.51% accepted)

Cellphones

+ - Is T-Mobile Selling an iPhone Solution?

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "David Pogue reports on his blog at the New York Times that a reader has written in telling about his experience with a T-Mobile representative who offered to explain how to hack an iPhone and continue to use T-Mobile service after the customer said he was cancelling his T-Mobile service to buy an iPhone. Although T-Mobile has officially denied that this is an authorized solution, several posters on Pogue's blog recounted similar experiences including one customer who said a representative allegedly offered to guide him "through the steps to tweak the iPhone's settings so it could access EDGE data" on T-Mobile's network. "Sure, you're violating your warranty if you hack the phone. But is there anything illegal about it? And, if not, what's wrong with other companies talking openly about it, or even putting together "how to" kits?""
Businesses

+ - Neuromarketers Pick the Brains of Consumers

Submitted by
Pickens
Pickens writes "Thanks to recent breakthroughs in brain science, companies can now actually see what goes on inside our minds when we shop. Teams of academic and corporate neuromarketers have begun to hook people up to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines to map how their neurons respond to products and pitches. By watching how different neural circuits light up or go dark during the buying process (pdf), the researchers found they could predict whether a person would end up purchasing a product or passing it up. In the future, marketers won't have to ask us what we think or try to decipher our intentions from our actions. They'll be able to monitor what we think directly — at the cellular level. If businesses can know more about what and how we think than we do ourselves, they'll also gain the power to control our perceptions and even our behavior in ways we won't be able to detect."
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft to continue XP for ultra-low-cost PCs

Submitted by
Pioneer Woman
Pioneer Woman writes "Microsoft announced that it will continue to allow Windows XP Home edition to be sold for a class of computers it calls "ultra-low-cost PCs" that includes machines with slower processors, smaller screens, and in many cases flash memory for storage, rather than a traditional hard drive. Computer makers will be able to sell XP Home on new ULCPC machines through June 30, 2010, or one year after the launch of Windows 7, the next major release of Windows, whichever is later, Microsoft said. Overall, big-name computer makers are still scheduled to have to stop selling Windows XP for all other uses by the end of June, 2008. Microsoft has already extended the Windows XP sales deadline once. In September, it said that computer makers would be able to sell Windows XP until June, rather than the original January 2008 deadline."
The Courts

+ - Does Covert DNA Sampling Violate Your Privacy?

Submitted by
Pioneer Woman
Pioneer Woman writes "Rolando Gallego is on trial for murder after detectives watched Gallego light a cigarette, smoke it, throw away the butt, and matched DNA from the cigarette to blood on a towel found 15 years earlier at the scene of the murder of Gallego's aunt. The practice of surreptitious DNA sampling is growing in popularity even as defense lawyers and civil liberties advocates argue that it violates a constitutional right to privacy. Critics say that by covertly collecting DNA contained in the minute amounts of saliva, sweat and skin that everyone sheds in the course of daily life, police officers are exploiting an unforeseen loophole in the requirement to show "probable cause" that a suspect has committed a crime before conducting a search. The privacy implications may extend beyond individual investigations. The police, critics say, could collect DNA deemed "abandoned" from targeted individuals and monitor their movements even if they are not suspected of committing a serious crime and innocent people whose DNA turns up unexpectedly may find themselves identified by a database file that they did not know existed."
Biotech

+ - Did Gas Kill Dinosaurs?

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Nature reports that volcanic eruptions from the Deccan Flood Basalts in India that released huge amounts of sulphur dioxide gas to the atmosphere may have had more to do with wiping out dinosaurs 65 million years ago than the meteorite strike at Chicxulub on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Marine sediments reveal that Chicxulub hit Earth 300,000 years before the mass extinction while the Deccan volcanism released vast amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over a period of more than a million years raising worldwide temperatures. "On land it must have been 7-8 degrees warmer," says Princeton University paleontologist Gerta Keller. "The Chicxulub impact alone could not have caused the mass extinction, because this impact predates the mass extinction.""
The Almighty Buck

+ - Personalized Genomes Go Commercial

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Nature reports that two companies have announced plans to commercialize individual human genomes by genotyping millions of regions in customers' genomes, called single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which have been linked to a handful of diseases and nonmedical traits and sell that information back to the customer. Navigenics will focus on medical conditions and estimate composite risk factors for diseases based on each customer's SNPs. 23andMe plans to introduce a social networking component by allowing customers to link their data with others, such as family members. Once customers have their DNA read and the information stored, they will be notified when medical and theoretical advances relevant to them are achieved. One of 23andMe's founders, Anne Wojcicki, is married to Google founder Sergey Brin and Google has invested $3.9 million for a minority stake in her company raising concerns about the privacy of the genetic data. Google is developing its own suite of health tools to allow users to personalize and share health information, and many speculate that 23andMe will feed its data to Google."
Biotech

+ - Chili Pepper Sauce tested on surgical wounds

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Bite a hot pepper, and after the burn your tongue goes numb. The Baltimore Sun reports that Capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their fire, is being dripped directly into open wounds during highly painful operations bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose to numb them for weeks so that patients suffer less pain and require fewer narcotic painkillers as they heal. "We wanted to exploit this numbness," says Dr. Eske Aasvang, a pain specialist who is testing the substance. Capsaicin works by binding to C fibers called TRPV1, the nerve endings responsible for long-lasting aching and throbbing pain. Experiments are under way involving several hundred patients undergoing various surgeries, including knee and hip replacements using an ultra-purified version of Capsaicin to avoid infection. Volunteers are under anesthesia so they don't scream at the initial burn."
Biotech

+ - First Fossil Evidence that Raptors Hunted in Packs

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The New Scientist reports that palaeontologists have excavated a fossil trackway in Shandong Province in China 100 to 120 million years old that contains footprints left by six Dromeosaurs, the more formal name for raptors, showing evidence of group behavior. Up until now, the popular stereotype from Jurassic Park of raptors hunting in packs has had no fossil evidence to back it up. The paths of the six 90 kilo raptors do not overlap where the animals walked alongside a river or stream. "The odds of these tracks being made by different individuals that just happen to be moving in the same direction, without their tracks stepping on one another, are small," said Jerry D. Harris, director of paleontology at Dixie State College. "Groups that do that usually have relatively sophisticated behavior, and they're relatively intelligent," Harris added. "By moving together in groups, it's entirely possible that they hunted in groups.""
Biotech

+ - Evidence Discovered that Raptors Hunted in Packs

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Up until now, the popular stereotype from Jurassic Park of raptors roaming in hunting packs has had no direct fossil evidence to back it up. The New Scientist reports that the first evidence that Dromeosaurs, the more formal name for raptors, were cunning and deadly predators that exhibited group behavior comes from Shandong Province in China where palaeontologists have excavated a fossil trackway 100 to 120 million years old that contains footprints left by six Dromaeopodus shandongensis. The paths of the six raptors do not overlap where the animals walked alongside a river or stream. "The odds of these tracks being made by different individuals that just happen to be moving in the same direction, without their tracks stepping on one another, are small," said Jerry D. Harris, director of paleontology at Dixie State College. "Groups that do that usually have relatively sophisticated behavior, and they're relatively intelligent," Harris added. "By moving together in groups, it's entirely possible that they hunted in groups.""
The Internet

+ - Wikipedia begets Veropedia

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "October saw the launch of Veropedia, a collaborative effort to collect the best of Wikipedia's content, clean it up, vet it, and save it in a quality stable version that cannot be edited. To qualify for inclusion in Veropedia, a Wikipedia article must contain no cleanup tags, no "citation needed" tags, no disambiguation links, no dead external links, and no fair use images after which candidates for inclusion are reviewed by recognized academics and experts. One big difference with Wikipedia is that Veropedia is registered as a for profit corporation and earns money from advertising on the site. Veropedia is supposed to help improve the quality of Wikipedia because contributors must improve an article on Wikipedia, fixing up all the flaws, until a quality version can be imported to Veropedia. To date Veropedia contains about 3,800 articles."
The Almighty Buck

+ - Apple makes $831 on each iPhone 3

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "The New York Times reports that Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, has studied Apple's financial statement and come to the conclusion that AT&T appears to be paying Apple $18 a month, on average, for each iPhone activated on its network or up to $432 over a two year contract. This shows how much incentive Apple has to maintain its exclusive deal with AT&T rather than to sell unlocked phones or cut deals with multiple carriers. Last week Apple disclosed that 250,000 iPhones had been purchased but not registered with ATT that Apple thinks are being unlocked so Apple has now taken action to curb unauthorized resellers by limiting sales of the iPhone to two per customer and requiring that purchases must now be made with a credit or debit card — cash will not be accepted. The original story on what was happening to the unlocked phones was discussed on Slashdot."
The Almighty Buck

+ - Cash Only and two iPhones to a Customer 1

Submitted by
Ponca City, We Love You
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Last week Slashdot readers discussed the 250,000 iPhones that had been purchased but not registered with ATT that Apple thinks are being unlocked and in many cases sold overseas. The New York Times now reports that Apple has now taken action to curb unauthorized resellers by limiting sales of the iPhone to two per customer. In addition, iPhone purchases must now be made with a credit or debit card — cash will not be accepted."
Biotech

+ - Crime Reduction linked to Lead Free Gasoline

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Even low levels of lead can cause brain damage increasing the likelihood of behavioral and cognitive traits such as impulsivity, aggressivity, and low IQ that are strongly linked with criminal behavior. The New York Times has a story on how the phase out of leaded gasoline starting with the Clean Air Act in 1973 may have led to a 56% drop in violent crime in the United States in the 1990s. Amherst Economics Professor Jessica Wolpaw Reyes discovered the connection and wrote a paper comparing the reduction of lead from gasoline between states (pdf file) and the reduction of violent crime by constructing a panel of state-year observations linking crime rates in every state to childhood lead exposure in that state 20 or 30 years earlier. If lead poisoning is a factor in the development of criminal behavior, then countries that didn't switch to unleaded fuel until the 1980s, like Britain and Australia, should soon see a dip in crime as the last lead-damaged children outgrow their most violent years."
Communications

+ - Apple says 250,000 iPhones Sold to Unlockers 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Timothy D. Cook, Chief Operating Officer at Apple, disclosed during Apple's conference call to discuss their fourth quarter earnings that they estimate that 250,000 of the 1.4 Million iPhones that have been sold were bought by people intending to unlock the phone.

[The elasticity in demand with the price drop] enabled us to far surpass our expectation of hitting around a million units cumulatively by the end of the quarter. Some number of these were sold to people that have an intention to unlock and [while] we don't know precisely how many people are doing that, our current guess is there is probably 250,000 of the 1.4 million that we sold where people had bought them with the intention of doing that. Many of those happened after the price cut.
Apple knows how many iPhones have been sold and how many have been activated with ATT. The difference is the number that are unlocked."
Biotech

+ - Lead Free Gasoline Reduces Violent Crime

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Scientists have long known that even low levels of lead can cause brain damage increasing the likelihood of behavioral and cognitive traits such as impulsivity, aggressivity, and low IQ that are strongly associated with criminal behavior. The New York Times has a story on how the phase out of leaded gasoline starting with the Clean Air Act in 1973 may have led to a 56% drop in violent crime in the United States in the 1990s. Amherst Economics Professor Jessica Wolpaw Reyes discovered the connection and wrote a paper comparing the reduction of lead from gasoline between states (pdf file) and the reduction of violent crime by constructing a panel of state-year observations linking crime rates in every state to childhood lead exposure in that state 20 or 30 years earlier. The theory will be put to the test as children grow up in Indonesia, Venezuela and sub-Saharan Africa, where leaded gasoline has just recently been phased out. Meanwhile, the list of countries that still use lead in gas — Afghanistan, Serbia and Iraq, as well as much of North Africa and Central Asia — does not rule out a connection with violence."

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