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Biotech

+ - Blindness - Restoring Vision with Genetic Therapy

Submitted by pizzaman100
pizzaman100 (588500) writes "A clinical trial has begun in the UK to to treat blindness by genetically modifying DNA. The same method has already been used to restore vision to dogs. The treatment works by injecting a genetically modified virus into the retina. The virus attacks the cells in the retina in a beneficial way by inserting good DNA into the cells.

According to the article: Robin Ali at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and colleagues are treating adults and children with Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), caused by an abnormality in the RPE65 gene. This gene is important in recycling retinol, a molecule that helps the retina detect light. People with LCA usually lose vision from infancy. Ali's team are inserting healthy copies of RPE65 into cells in the retina, using a viral vector. Previously, dogs with LCA have had their vision restored in this way, allowing them to walk through a maze for the first time without difficulty."
The Internet

Chinese Official Vows to "Purify" the Net 321

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the good-luck-with-that dept.
Sleeping Kirby writes to tell us China's Communist party leader, Hu Jintao today announced the intent to leverage the economic potential of the web while seeking to "purify the internet environment". He proposes to do this by maintaining "the initiative in opinion" on the internet and to "'raise the level guidance on the internet," thus civilizing and purifying the internet environment.
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft attempting to pay for Wikipedia edits

Submitted by
Kram_Gunderson
Kram_Gunderson writes "CNN reports that Microsoft offered to pay a blogger to "correct" Wikipedia articles. Needless to say, the folks at Wikipedia aren't happy about this. From the article:
Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.
"
Books

+ - Why is Carter so shocked?

Submitted by livnah
livnah (969701) writes "In a news article, former United States President Jimmy Carter claimed to be hurt by comments about himself and his latest book, Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid while speaking at Brandeis University near Boston, where strict security measures were put in place to assure his safety by both the University and the Secret Service. Will there ever be a day when someone as well-known in the public eye as an ex-President could write a book with a title which they themself admit was only used to get noticed and prompt discussion, even though it sadly may have hindered the peace process, and not be shocked by members of society saying potentially hurtful things about them, their family, their ideas, or even their responsibilities as a former head of state? All he had to do was let any one of his numerous Secret Service agents look at the cover of his book before publication to appropriately prepare for the shock which apparently followed."
Media

+ - DRM, Vista and your rights

Submitted by
michuk
michuk writes "In the US, France and a few other countries it is already forbidden to play legally purchased music or videos using GNU/Linux media players. Sounds like sci-fi? Unfortunately not. And it won't end up on multimedia only. Welcome to the the new era of DRM!"
Data Storage

+ - Scientists unveil most dense memory circuit ever m

Submitted by
adamlazz
adamlazz writes "The most dense computer memory circuit ever fabricated — capable of storing around 2,000 words in a unit the size of a white blood cell — was unveiled by scientists in California. The team of experts at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who developed the 160-kilobit memory cell say it has a bit density of 100 gigabits per square centimeter, a new record. The cell is capable of storing a file the size of the United States' Declaration of Independence with room left over."
Security

+ - U.S. cities don't make the intelligence cut

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "For the second year running, no U.S. city has made the list of the world's top Intelligent Communities of 2007, as selected by global think tank Intelligent Community Forum. The ICF selects the Intelligent Community list based on how advanced the communities are in deploying broadband, building a knowledge-based workforce, combining government and private-sector "digital inclusion," fostering innovation and marketing economic development. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2007/012407-icf-p tc.html"
Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Pays Writer to Edit Wikipedia Entry

Submitted by
My Iron Lung
My Iron Lung writes "
Microsoft Corp. landed in the Wikipedia doghouse Tuesday after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web encyclopedia site.
Microsoft acknowledged it had approached the writer and offered to pay him for the time it would take to correct what the company was sure were inaccuracies in Wikipedia articles on an open-source document standard and a rival format put forward by Microsoft.
Full story
The articles in question:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OOXML"
Space

+ - NASA to Launch Magentic Storm Probes

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "The aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) has long been known to be an effect resulting from the Sun's solar wind pushing particles into the earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. In light of the possible danger that these substorms could pose to astronauts & equipment, NASA is now planning a mission to track down these magnetic storms and disturbances. The program's not so catchy name of Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms has a slightly catchier acronym of THEMIS. From the article, "In order to scan the Earth's magnetic field and pinpoint the origin of substorms, THEMIS researchers plan to stagger their spacecraft in different orbits that range in altitude from 10 to 30 times the radius of the Earth (the planet's radius is about 3,962 miles, or 6,378 kilometers).""
The Internet

+ - Press the Button, Crash the Data Center

Submitted by
miller60
miller60 writes "Emergency Power Off (EPO) buttons on data center equipment figure prominently in many stories of downtime nightmares, including one this week at the Daily WTF involving Take Your Child to Work Day. Sometimes these stories involve janitors or night watchmen, and some believe these anecdotes about "red buttons" are either embellished or the technology equivalent of urban legends. Has this ever happened in your data center?"
AMD

+ - Processor Price War Likely to Continue in 2007

Submitted by freshmoon7
freshmoon7 (1054612) writes "Shares of semiconductor company Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD) fell more than 4 percent on Tuesday after the company said its margins shrunk in the fourth quarter as a result of its brutal pricing war with rival Intel Corp., (Nasdaq: INTC). With both firms increasing capacity and becoming more aggressive, some analysts believe prices on CPUs will continue to decline AMD did well at the start of 2006 as it took a head start in the high margin server market by introducing more powerful and energy-efficient chips compared to its crosstown competitor"
Handhelds

+ - Switzerland bans the use of GPS units in cars.

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "If you're traveling with a GPS in your car to Switzerland, be very careful! As of January 10th, the Swiss authorities (ASTRA) have forbid the use of GPS systems in cars. They also banned the selling of car GPS units throughout the country.
The reason is that the software running on these devices reveal the location of traffic radars, through which less people have been fined in the recent years and thus Swiss authorities miss a lot of money. The controversial ban has been created a large commotion inside and outside the country, forcing the authorities to put an official document online [pdf — in Germans], with answers to most frequently asked questions.
GPS devices such as TomTom, Garmin, Mio, Navman, Medion, Route 66, Packard stand Ring, Sony and ViaMichelin are all in the banned list."
Security

+ - Conn. Teacher "spyware" case in-depth comm

Submitted by
boyko.at.netqos
boyko.at.netqos writes "Network Performance Daily has two interviews dealing with the case of Julie Amero, the Connecticut schoolteacher convicted of harming minors from porn pop-up ads that the defense contends was the result of a spyware infection. The first is from defense witness Mr. Herb Horner, the second from prosecution witness Detective Mark Lounsbury."
The Internet

+ - Which shipping rates engine do you use?

Submitted by captaindomon
captaindomon (870655) writes "The software company I work for is currently trying to find the best shipping rates calculator to use. If we can't find one that is reasonably cheap and powerful then we will have to write one ourselves, but we would rather avoid that if possible. The end solution needs to support the current rates for FedEx, UPS, and USPS, and calculate rates based on weight, dimensions, and destination. It needs to be easily updateable as rates change. So my questions to everyone at Slashdot include: Which shipping engine do you use? Are you happy with it? How easy was it to obtain and integrate into your software? What would you recommend?"

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