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Comment Re:Language Problems (Score 5, Informative) 572

I have to second this. Living in Germany, I can only watch movies and series in German, because apparently the English original soundtrack is not worthy of being added to the stream, although they actually have that audiotrack, while they sometimes even play it silently in the background, apparently just to tease me. I just watched the Formula 1 GP, which is painful with very partial German commentaries. British commentaries would be nice, but GeoIP seems to dislike me watching British tv. And then the question is: why bother with shady proxies when you can also get the same show by pirating? I don't get it. To summarize: audiodubbing leads to piracy!
Operating Systems

Europe Funds Secure Operating System Research 376

narramissic writes "A Dutch university has received a $3.3 million grant from the European Research Council to fund 5 more years of work on a Unix-type operating system, called Minix, that aims to be more reliable and secure than either Linux or Windows. The latest grant will enable the three researchers and two programmers on the project to further their research into a making Minix capable of fixing itself when a bug is detected, said Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor at Vrije Universiteit. 'It irritates me to no end when software doesn't work,' Tanenbaum said. 'Having to reboot your computer is just a pain. The question is, can you make a system that actually works very well?'"

Copyright Lobby Targets "Pirate Bay For Books" 356

An anonymous reader writes "TTVK, a Finnish national copyright lobby, is threatening a book rental service called Bookabooka for allegedly running the 'Pirate Bay for Books.' Bookabooka however does not offer a torrent tracker service, nor does it enable a user in any way to download eBooks; it simply provides a place for book owners to rent textbooks to each other via the traditional mail service. It is mandatory that all textbooks must be originals. The service is used by a lot of School and University students, and it does not handle the shipping or returns of the textbooks. Nevertheless, the Finnish book publishers' association (Suomen Kustannusyhdistys) is convinced the service is breaching the copyright laws and threatening their business. TTVK has given Bookabooka until Friday to cease operations or face a lawsuit. Bookabooka's founders have vowed to keep the service online and ignore the threat."

Comment Re:That might be true, but (Score 1) 505

The simple answer: lots of dikes are built to guide the rivers to the sea. In some places the land is several meters lower than the riverbed. This usually doesn't go wrong, but if it does (during very hot summers) the dikes may break and flood parts of the land. This is what actually happened in Wilnis in 2003. The dike gave away to the water and the canal poured into the surrounding land. The canal was quickly sealed and the water pumped away. Luckily most of the land is divided into separate sections, so that only small parts flood. Basically, when the dikes break, we need to pump like crazy.

Comment That might be true, but (Score 4, Insightful) 505

the country I live in, the Netherlands, has one fourth of the land below sealevel by as much as 48 feet already. I guess we can handle a few additional feet of water. More water spurs great engineering, and has done so since medieval times. That doesn't mean you can't leave your SUV at home and take your bicycle to work today, though.

Comment Might be worth the money (Score 1) 409

First of all, disclaimer: I am a molecular biologist working on gene therapy of the blood system. Cord blood banking has been around for quite a while. In the early days, storing cord blood wasn't a very viable option, mainly because we didn't know how to grow a sufficient number of blood stem cells from the tiny amount of cells in a cord blood sample. This question seem to have been solved and cord blood transplants are used in leukemia cases What makes cord blood banking even more interesting IMHO, is all the research going on in the reprogramming fieldPeople try to 'reset' a cell to a 'embryonic' state and guide its development to the desired tissue (liver and pancreatic tissues are currently under investigation) For these kinds of approaches, cord blood cells might be very suitable, since it essentially is 'newborn' tissue. In the end, it would be really good to have some cord blood saved if you need it for treatment 10-20 years from now. The chances of needing it might, however, be quite slim.
Operating Systems

Best OS For Netbooks and Underpowered Tablets? 272

vigmeister writes "I hopped on the netbook bandwagon early this year in a rather odd fashion by picking up an outdated portable tablet (Fujitsu P1510) which just about matches the latest, greatest netbooks for their performance and portability features, while nipping them by managing to give me a better battery life. I've been happy using XP Tablet on this machine until recently, when I started thinking that by optimizing the OS for targeted use, I may be able to squeeze more out of the device. So, my questions are: What OS would you recommend for a netbook/outdated laptop? Usage is typically light — web surfing (with multimedia), email, word processing, spreadsheet and reading PDFs. Also, what OS would you recommend for a ultraportable tablet? Usage is similar to a netbook; there's a little more document editing going on, and good handwriting recognition and note-taking software would be great." Read on for further details about vigmeister's question.

Researchers Build Logic Gates With RNA 58

Ars Technica reports on research out of Cal Tech where scientists were able to create logic gates out of RNA molecules. Thus far, they've demonstrated AND gates and OR gates, with work proceeding on more complicated systems. The work shows promise for ability to easily detect the presence of particular chemicals. The abstract from the scientists' paper is available at Science. Quoting Ars: "Detecting tetracycline isn't especially interesting, but RNA that binds to specific small molecules is actually relatively easy to make; repeated rounds of amplification and selection for binding can evolve these RNAs in a couple of days. This means that, in a matter of days, researchers can grow yeast colonies that glow in response to a variety of chemicals, or even to combinations of chemicals. More complicated circuits should be possible if the ribozymes are inserted into messenger RNAs that encode transcription factors, which could, in turn, regulate genes that encode yet other ribozymes."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Japanese Company Says Laws of Physics Don't Apply — to Cars 736

Fantastic Lad, among many others, points out another in a long series of claimed "powered by water" cars, this one by a Japanese company called "Genepax," which interestingly enough does not have so much as a Wikipedia entry. What's scary is the uncritical, even serious-sounding, presentation by Reuters of such extraordinary claims quite unbacked by extraordinary evidence. "Almost sounds too good to be true" isn't the half of it; if cars could be made which would run as "long as you have a bottle of water inside" to pour into the fuel tank ("even tea," repeats this report), not only would you know about the car, but you'd notice the long lines of people buying generators, laptops, and power tools that run on the same technology. The snippet Reuters is carrying says "Jun. 13 — Japanese company Genepax presents its eco-friendly car that runs on nothing but water. The car has an energy generator that extracts hydrogen from water that is poured into the car's tank. The generator then releases electrons that produce electric power to run the car. Genepax, the company that invented the technology, aims to collaborate with Japanese manufacturers to mass produce it." Fantastic Lad, deadpan, goes on: "Check out the Reuter's story and accompanying video. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there some sort of conservation of energy thing happening in the whole 'separating hydrogen from water' game? I wonder what the real story is on this. Investment fraud? Magic?" Show your work; bonus points if you use Haiku.

Google Begins "Gmail 2.0" Rollout 250

Stony Stevenson writes "Google on Tuesday confirmed it is giving Gmail a new look. This blog post has screenshots of a new Gmail interface that has been made available to a limited number of users. They are calling it "Gmail 2.0" even if Google isn't. Google confirmed the update is underway at its new San Francisco office, just prior to a briefing on an unrelated upcoming Google announcement. A Google spokesperson said that the new look has been made available to about one percent of all Gmail users and is being rolled out the rest on an ongoing basis."

Comment Re:Doesn't ANYBODY work in bio? (Score 1) 95

No it doesn't take 4 hours: (Disclaimer: IAAMB) New PCR technologies (faster cyclers and faster enzymes now allow PCR in as little as 10-20 minutes, instead of the usual ~90 minutes. Gel electrophoresis is also quite a bit faster than 45 minutes, so all this is definitely possible for specific optimized reactions as described here.

The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.