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Medicine

Submission + - Indian pharmaceutical Cipla slashes cancer drug prices by 76% (yahoo.com)

suraj.sun writes: Indian generic drug company Cipla said Friday it had slashed by up to 76 percent prices of three anti-cancer medicines in what it called a "humanitarian" move and promised to cut the costs of more products. There are 2.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed in India each year, according to the World Health Organisation, with most patients receiving inadequate treatment as drugs are priced beyond their reach. "Business is business, but it has to be linked with one's social responsibilities. This initiative of price reduction is a humanitarian approach by Cipla to support cancer patients," company chairman Y.K. Hamied said. The family-led company first hit headlines in 2001 when it offered to supply life-saving triple therapy AIDS drug cocktails at prices sharply below those of multinational firms with Hamied saying the move was for "social reasons". Cipla has been pushing the Indian government to allow widespread use of so-called "compulsory licences" for production of life-saving patented drugs to overcome barriers for people in accessing affordable medicines. Compulsory licences are allowed under the World Trade Organization's TRIPS Agreement, which governs trade and intellectual property rules. Analysts said Cipla's move could prompt a price war in the 15-billion-rupee Indian drug market — challenging multinationals which sell costly patented medicine and Indian firms whose generic range is less expensive but not as cheap as Cipla's.
Idle

Submission + - First-grader suspended for sexual harassment for singing 'I'm sexy and I know it (yahoo.com)

suraj.sun writes: First-grader suspended for sexual harassment for singing 'I'm sexy and I know it' :

Yahoo news reports that a first-grader student from Colorado elementary school was suspended for three days from school this week for singing a lyric from a popular LMFAO song, "I'm sexy and I know it." School officials said D'Avonte was suspended for sexual harassment after he sang and the line to a female classmate who was standing in a lunch line. Unfortunately, it wasn't the first time he'd serenaded this girl with this particular lyric. District policy, as outlined in the student handbook, states that sexual harassment "must have negative effects on the learning or work of others." D'Avonte's mother, Stephanie Meadows, told ABC7 News that her son had had disciplinary problems before this week's infraction. Last month, she said, he was sent to the principal's office for singing the same song to the same girl.

Google

Submission + - Google Said to Face Fine by FTC Over Apple Safari Breach (bloomberg.com)

suraj.sun writes: Bloomberg is reporting on Google's negotiation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine, which could amount to more than $10 million, it will have to pay for its breach of Apple’s Safari browser. The fine would be the first by the FTC for a violation of Internet privacy as the agency steps up enforcement of the Web. Google signed a consent decree with the FTC last year in which it agreed it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies in introducing the Buzz social-networking service in 2010. The 20-year settlement bars Google from misrepresenting how it handles user information and requires the company to follow policies that protect consumer data in new products.

To quote the ars, Google was found to be working its way around Safari's tool that allows users to block third-party cookies earlier this year in order to, well, "track" users with cookies. (The code used by Google was part of its program to place the "+1" button in advertisements.) At the time, the company issued a statement saying that the circumvention wasn't intentional, but privacy groups were still quick to file complaints with the FTC over Google's actions. That was quickly followed by a class-action lawsuit and an investigation by European regulators.

Microsoft

Submission + - Windows 8 to include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, Media Center as an add-on feature (msdn.com)

suraj.sun writes: On Buidling Windows 8 blog Bernardo Caldas of Windows Business Group explains that, given the changing landscape, and the cost of decoder licensing, we’ve decided to make Windows Media Center available to Windows 8 customers via the Add Features to Windows 8 control panel. Windows Media Player will continue to be available in all editions, but without DVD playback support. Metro style apps can use any of the decoders included in Windows. These decoders are optimized for system reliability, battery life, and performance, and cover all key playback scenarios for mainstream content such as YouTube video, Netflix video, Amazon audio/video, H.264 web browsing/streaming, Hulu video, MP4 video, AVCHD video from camcorders, Ultraviolet video, and the HTML5 video tag. Metro style apps can also include additional decoders (such as FLAC, MKV, OGG, etc.) in their apps package for use within the apps.

Microsoft will offer two ways to acquire Windows Media Center, either as a Windows 8 Media Center Pack to add on Windows 8 Pro or as Windows 8 Pro Pack to add on to Windows 8. Acquiring either the Windows 8 Media Center Pack or the Windows 8 Pro Pack gives you Media Center, including DVD playback (in Media Center, not in Media Player), broadcast TV recording and playback (DBV-T/S, ISDB-S/T, DMBH, and ATSC), and VOB file playback. The company also signed an agreement with Dolby Laboratories to include Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel decoding and Dolby Digital two-channel encoding in all editions of Windows 8.

United States

Submission + - Mississippi Teens Jailed After Video Recording Police Investigation From Balcony (wlbt.com)

suraj.sun writes: Two Mississippi teenagers were arrested after video recording a police investigation from their balcony Tuesday. Pearl Police, who charged up the stairs to arrest the teens and burst through their apartment door without a warrant after a shooting took place in the parking lot below, charged the teens with disorderly conduct. Terrell Madison and his twin sister Shanell were jailed for several hours before they were released. Police returned their phone but kept their SIM card, which is unlawful to do without a subpoena.

According to WLBT, "The Colony Park Apartment resident said she and her twin brother Terrell were on their apartment balcony when Tuesday's tragic police shooting unfolded. But she said minutes later they were being manhandled by officers after they saw her brother recording the scene with his cell phone. "The police came up here after they took his phone. They slammed him down and arrested him, and I'm like 'Why are y'all arresting him', and then they grabbed me and slammed me also and arrested me," said Shanell Madison. She said they didn't know why they were targeted in their own home."

Android

Submission + - Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recog 1

suraj.sun writes: Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recognition:

At its Unpacked event tonight in London, Samsung unveiled its new flagship, Android 4.0 Galaxy S III smart phone boasting 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor aided by a fresh GPU that is supposedly 65 percent faster than the companion Mali 400 graphics chip on the Galaxy S II, 1 GB RAM, 8-megapixel & 1.9-megapixel cameras, removable 2,100mAh battery, cocooned in Gorilla Glass 2, 8.6mm thick and weighing at 4.7 ounces(133g). The phone will come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage that can be increased by up to 32GB via its microSD slot.

There's plenty to admire in this phone. A Smart Page feature keeps the screen from going to sleep when you're reading a Web page because the phone's front-facing camera can "see" that you're watching it. Using a proximity sensor, the phone senses that you want to call the person you're texting when you hold the phone to your ear.

The Galaxy S III's S Beam uses NFC technology to exchange phone content, such as videos, between similarly equipped phones when you bump them together. And Samsung's DLNA-powered All Share feature now enables the Galaxy S III to stream content to and from multiple phones, HDTVs, computers, and other compatible HDLNA devices—not just one. The Galaxy S III's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera's burst-shot feature lets you take a volley of 20 pictures and automatically picks the best one. It also allows you to snap still pictures while shooting HD videos at 1080p. The front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera can shoot video at 720p.
Android

Submission + - Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recog (engadget.com) 2

suraj.sun writes: Samsung unveils the next Android superphone, Galaxy S III with face, voice recognition:

At its Unpacked event tonight in London, Samsung unveiled its new flagship, Android 4.0 Galaxy S III smart phone boasting 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor aided by a fresh GPU that is supposedly 65 percent faster than the companion Mali 400 graphics chip on the Galaxy S II, 1 GB RAM, 8-megapixel & 1.9-megapixel cameras, removable 2,100mAh battery, cocooned in Gorilla Glass 2, 8.6mm thick and weighing at 4.7 ounces(133g). The phone will come with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of internal storage that can be increased by up to 32GB via its microSD slot.

There's plenty to admire in this phone. A . Using a proximity sensor, the phone senses that you want to call the person you're texting when you hold the phone to your ear. The Galaxy S III's S Beam uses NFC technology to exchange phone content, such as videos, between similarly equipped phones when you bump them together. And Samsung's DLNA-powered All Share feature now enables the Galaxy S III to stream content to and from multiple phones, HDTVs, computers, and other compatible HDLNA devices—not just one. The Galaxy S III's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera's burst-shot feature lets you take a volley of 20 pictures and automatically picks the best one. It also allows you to snap still pictures while shooting HD videos at 1080p. The front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera can shoot video at 720p.

Businesses

Submission + - CEO Pay Increased 127 Times Faster Than Worker Pay Over Last 30 Years (thinkprogress.org)

suraj.sun writes: From 1978 to 2011, CEO pay at American firms has risen 725 percent, a rise substantially greater than stock market growth and the painfully slow 5.7 percent growth in worker compensation, more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the same time period, according to new data from the Economic Policy Institute. In 1978, CEOs took home 26.5 times more than the average worker. They now make roughly 206 times more than workers, EPI found. The pay isn’t always tied to the performance of their businesses — as ThinkProgress has noted, CEOs at companies like Bank of America often pocket huge pay increases even as the company’s stock price plummets and jobs are cut. On the other end, workers’ wages aren’t tied to productivity either. Despite substantial gains in productivity since the 1970s, worker pay has remained flat.

As a result, American income inequality has skyrocketed, growing worse than it is in countries like Pakistan and Ivory Coast. Wealth inequality is worse than it was even in Ancient Rome. And, as pay skyrockets and tax rates fall for the richest Americans, the rising inequality has left the bottom 95 percent of Americans saddled with more debt than ever before.

The Courts

Submission + - Apple Double Bills Customers for iTunes Purchases, Citing TOS to Refuse Refunds (justia.com)

suraj.sun writes: A class-action lawsuit against Apple accuses the tech giant of double billing customers for downloads made from the company’s iTunes Store. The lawsuit filed by New York resident Robert Herskowitz alleges that Apple charged him twice for purchasing a single pop song, “Whataya Want from Me?”

According to the lawsuit, he immediately contacted Apple and informed them about the double-billing snafu. The next day, Herskowitz received Apple’s ‘personal response.’ The company refused to make things right by fixing the double billing error, citing its Terms of Service (‘TOS’):

        Your request for a refund for “Whataya Want from Me” was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are ineligible for refund. This policy matches App1e’s refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.

Privacy

Submission + - Rand Paul has a quick fix for TSA: Pull the plug (politico.com)

suraj.sun writes: Rand Paul has a reform plan for the Transportation Security Administration: Scrap the whole thing. A personal message from Paul (R-Ky.) came atop emails this week from the Campaign for Liberty Vice President Matt Hawes, asking for readers to sign a petition in support of Paul’s “End the TSA” bill. A Paul spokeswoman said that legislation is being finalized next week.

Every inch of our person has become fair game for government thugs posing as ‘security’ as we travel around the country. Senator Rand Paul has a plan to do away with the TSA for good, but he needs our help,” reads the petition, which also asks signers to “chip in a contribution to help C4L mobilize liberty activists across America to turn the heat up on Congress and end the TSA's abuse of our rights.”

“The American people shouldn’t be subjected to harassment, groping, and other public humiliation simply to board an airplane. As you may have heard, I have some personal experience with this, and I’ve vowed to lead the charge to fight back,” Paul wrote at the top of a C4L fundraising pitch, according to blogs that received the email. “Campaign for Liberty is leading the fight to pressure Congress to act now and restore our liberty. It’s time to END the TSA and get the government’s hands back to only stealing our wallets instead of groping toddlers and grandmothers.”

News

Submission + - Russia threatens to use "destructive force pre-emptively" on US missile defence (bbc.co.uk)

suraj.sun writes: Russia threatens to use "destructive force pre-emptively" on US missile defence system based in Central Europe:

BBC:

Russia says it is prepared to use "destructive force pre-emptively" if the US goes ahead with controversial plans for a missile defence system based in Central Europe. The warning came after the Russian defence minister said talks on missile defence were nearing a dead end. Moscow fears that missile interceptors would be a threat to Russia's security. But the US and Nato say they are intended to protect against attacks from Iran or North Korea. "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," chief of the Russian defence staff Gen Nikolai Makarov said.

President Barack Obama, who succeeded Mr Bush in the White House in 2008, scrapped plans for a network of bases spread across Poland and the Czech Republic with the capacity to intercept long-range missiles. But in 2010, the US signed an agreement with Poland to use an old airstrip at Redzikowo, near the Baltic coast, as a missile defence base.

Piracy

Submission + - Pirate Bay blockade begins with Virgin Media (guardian.co.uk)

suraj.sun writes: The filesharing website The Pirate Bay has been blocked to millions of UK internet users following a high court ruling earlier this week. Customers of the country's second-biggest internet service provider, Virgin Media, were on Wednesday denied access to site. Other internet providers, including BT and Sky, are expected to follow suit within weeks. Virgin Media has 21.5% of the market share, behind BT with 27.5%. The provider said in a statement: "Virgin Media has received an order from the courts requiring it to prevent access to The Pirate Bay in order to help protect against copyright infringement.
Cellphones

Submission + - Windows Live to be rebranded as Microsoft Account (neowin.net)

suraj.sun writes: In a blog post, Steven Sinofsky, and Chris Jones details the cloud services integration that will be featured in Windows 8 and Windows Phone and will serve as an update to Microsoft's Windows Live platform, which has not met Microsoft's expectations of "a truly connected experience." At the forefront of the company's cloud services will be a Microsoft account, which creates an identity to be used across Microsoft services, from the Xbox to SkyDrive and beyond. Microsoft accounts were previously known as Windows Live IDs. In Windows 8, a user's account settings will roam across PCs via the user's Microsoft account.

Windows 8 and Windows Phone will make use of the following Microsoft cloud services: Microsoft accounts, SkyDrive, Mail/Hotmail, Calendar, People, Messaging and Photos. According to Sinofsky, Windows Live services are currently used by more than 500 million users a month. Additionally, Hotmail has 350 million, Messenger has 300 million and SkyDrive has 130 million, active users.

Cellphones

Submission + - The dark side of in-app purchases: EA shuts down Rock Band for iPhone (guardian.co.uk)

suraj.sun writes: The Guardian is reporting on the thorny issue that emerges whenever a game involving in-app purchases shuts down. People who own the game have been reporting a pop-up message titled "Dear Rockers", which continues thus: "On May 31, Rock Band will no longer be playable on your device. Thanks for rocking out with us!" Yes, and thanks for spending money via in-app purchases on songs to play at 69p a time, too.

EA is also shutting down iOS social game Restaurant City: Gourmet Edition on 29 June and Outside EA, social games firm ngmoco – nowadays owned by Japanese social games company DeNA – is also closing one of its first ever freemium games on iOS, Eliminate. All this is a reminder that virtual items and currency are just that – virtual.

Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft to offer $99 Xbox 360 Kinect bundle with two-year subscription (theverge.com)

suraj.sun writes: According to TheVerge, Microsoft is planning to launch a $99 Xbox console package with a monthly subscription as early as next week. The company will offer the 4GB console with a Kinect sensor at its range of Microsoft Stores in the US, subsidized with a monthly cost of $15. We're told that the two-year subscription will provide access to the Xbox Live Gold service and possibly some additional streaming content from cable providers or sports package providers. Customers who sign-up for the deal will also be covered under a two-year warranty. With E3 2012 on the horizon, and Microsoft working on a "Woodstock" music service — it's clear that the company wants to ensure as many people as possible have an Xbox in their living rooms.

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