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Biotech

Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors 111

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the accidentally-colossus dept.
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes One of the most interesting emerging treatments for certain types of cancer aims to starve the tumor to death. The strategy involves destroying or blocking the blood vessels that supply a tumor with oxygen and nutrients. Without its lifeblood, the unwanted growth shrivels up and dies. This can be done by physically blocking the vessels with blood clots, gels, balloons, glue, nanoparticles and so on. However, these techniques have never been entirely successful because the blockages can be washed away by the blood flow and the materials do not always fill blood vessels entirely, allowing blood to flow round them. Now Chinese researchers say they've solved the problem by filling blood vessels with an indium-gallium alloy that is liquid at body temperature. They've tested the idea in the lab on mice and rabbits. Their experiments show that the alloy is relatively benign but really does fill the vessels, blocks the blood flow entirely and starves the surrounding tissue of oxygen and nutrients. The team has also identified some problems such as the possibility of blobs of metal being washed into the heart and lungs. Nevertheless, they say their approach is a promising injectable tumor treatment.
Government

Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality? 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-have-an-online-vote-to-find-out dept.
RobinH writes: Our small-ish municipality (between 10,000 to 15,000 in population) has recently decided to switch to online voting. I should note that they were previously doing voting-by-mail. I have significant reservations about online voting, particularly the possibility of vote-selling and the general lack of voter secrecy, not to mention the possible lack of computer security. However, it's only a municipal election, and apparently a lot of municipalities around here are already doing online voting. I'm not sure if the rank-and-file citizens care, or if they would listen to my concerns. Should I bother speaking up, or should I ignore it since municipal elections are not that important anyway?
Power

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline 868

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-a-battery-is-what-you-need dept.
necro81 (917438) writes "Gaza's only power plant (see this profile at IEEE Spectrum — duct tape and bailing wire not included) has been knocked offline following an Israeli strike. Reports vary, but it appears that Israeli tank shells caused a fuel bunker at the plant to explode. Gaza, already short on electricity despite imports from Israel and Egpyt, now faces widening blackouts."
Bitcoin

US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation 172

Posted by timothy
from the hey-these-still-smell-like-dollars dept.
SonicSpike points out an article from the Pew Charitable Trusts' Research & Analysis department on the legislation and regulation schemes emerging in at least a few states in reaction to the increasing use of digital currencies like Bitcoin. A working group called the Conference of State Bank Supervisors’ Emerging Payments Task Force has been surveying the current landscape of state rules and approaches to digital currencies, a topic on which state laws are typically silent. In April, the task force presented a model consumer guidance to help states provide consumers with information about digital currencies. A number of states, including California, Massachusetts and Texas, have issued warnings to consumers that virtual currencies are not subject to “traditional regulation or monetary policy,” including insurance, bonding and other security measures, and that values can fluctuate dramatically. ... The article focuses on the high-population, big-economy states of New York, California and Texas, with a touch of Kansas -- but other states are sure to follow. Whether you live in the U.S. or not, are there government regulations that you think would actually make sense for digital currencies?

Comment: Re:Isn't this Apple's entire shtick ? (Score 1) 291

by uvajed_ekil (#47505457) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
No, Apple products just suck so equally for everyone that people get locked into the brand and don't know or care about the alternatives available to them. iPhone sucks for you? Deal with it until you can buy the new one. iPhone breaks? Get a new one, or keep using it with a shattered screen, like everyone else seems to do. iPod dies a young death? Buy a new one.

Apple makes decent stuff that looks nice in the same way a Honda Accord looks nice - it isn't offensive, or special in any way. But if you care to do a little research you can do much better in most cases and get more for your money. I'm quite satisfied with my LG phone (no need for an ipod), ASUS tablet, and Toshiba laptop - they all do everything a competing Apple product can do, they all do things MY way, they are durable, and I saved enough cash to take a vacation.

Comment: Re:You are the beta tester (Score 1) 291

by uvajed_ekil (#47505421) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
At least with Android phones you have a chance of getting something you'll like and will suite you, even if you don't do any research before buying. With Apple, everyone is in the same boat with the same crappy handsets that are locked-down the same way and crack equally easily, which comparison shopping can not fix. A cracked iphone screen seems to be the norm rather than the exception, as does complaining constantly about how bad your battery sucks, how small the screen, how bulky your Otter Box is, is or how poorly the latest OS upgrade works.

Comment: Re:Errrm, No!?? (Score 1) 291

by uvajed_ekil (#47505405) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
My Samsung Exhibit II 4G (T679?) was pretty decent in its day for a cheap android phone. Everything worked fine, the battery lasted me all day, and it fit great in a pocket. Plus it was easy to unlock and there was enough developer support that there were some pretty good ROMs for it. That said, I've found that high end phones suite me better and keep me from wanting to upgrade as frequently.

Comment: Re:Don't buy cheap android (Score 1) 291

by uvajed_ekil (#47505363) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
They sure are nice looking. I'm still quite happy enough with my Optimus G - enough to skip the G2 and maybe even the G3. How often has anyone had a smartphone (or any cell phone) they weren't dying to upgrade 18+ months after it was released? I was a budget/"free" phone user until android. Now I've learned that I will be much happier if I just shell out the dough and get a high end device (although I buy used a few months after initial release), rather than getting a crappy one and wanting to get rid of it in a few months.

Comment: Re:Don't buy cheap android (Score 1) 291

by uvajed_ekil (#47505323) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
Even high end android sucks? I wouldn't say sucks, but could be better. As soon as I got my LG Optimus G I began flashing aftermarket ROMs, though the stock UI wasn't that unbelievably horrible. Of course that is not to mention LG's absolutely embarrassing track record of not supporting their own phones (even flagships) and not providing timely updates (Optimus G - is 4.4 even available yet? G2x - never even got 4.0, despite perfectly capable hardware. L9 - no updates, bootloader can't be unlocked.), but their hardware is generally very nice.

For me, trying aftermarket/third party firmware is easy and even a bit fun. If you hate bloatware enough, you'll figure out how to do it; if you don't care so much, you probably don't hate the stock versions as much. I will never again buy an Android phone until I know it can be rooted and unlocked - got bit with that once. If you don't think you can live with the carrier's crap on top of the manufacturer's crap, the most important step is simple: don't by a bottom-of-the-barrel phone, or it will likely have little to no aftermarket or community support. I'm currently using Cyanogen 11 nightlies on both my Optimus G and Nexus 7, and mostly loving it. Xda-developers.com is fairly comprehensive and can help any technically-minded person free their phone. Oddly enough, everyone I know with a Samsung S3/4/5 is happy with it as is.
Software

Australian Electoral Commission Refuses To Release Vote Counting Source Code 112

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
angry tapir writes: The Australian Electoral Commission has been fighting a freedom of information request to reveal the source code of the software it uses to calculate votes in elections for Australia's upper house of parliament. Not only has the AEC refused an FOI request (PDF) for the source code, but it has also refused an order from the Senate directing that the source code be produced. Apparently releasing the code could "leave the voting system open to hacking or manipulation."
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs? 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the robot-overlord-exterminator dept.
An anonymous reader writes: My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?

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