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Craig Venter Wants To Rebuild Martian Life In Earth Lab 142

Hugh Pickens writes "Karen Kaplan reports in the LA Times that Craig Venter is making plans to send a DNA sequencer to Mars. Assuming there is DNA to be found on the Red Planet – a big assumption, to be sure – the sequencer will decode its DNA, beam it back to Earth, put those genetic instructions into a cell and then boot up a Martian life form in a biosecure lab. Venter's 'biological teleporter' (as he dubbed it) would dig under the surface for samples to sequence. If they find anything, 'it would take only 4.3 minutes to get the Martians back to Earth,' says Venter, founder of Celera Genomics and the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). 'Now we can rebuild the Martians in a P4 spacesuit lab.' It may sound far-fetched, but the notion of equipping a future Mars rover to sequence the DNA isn't so crazy, and Venter isn't the only one looking for Martian DNA. MIT research scientist Christopher Carr is part of a group that's 'building a a miniature RNA/DNA sequencer to search for life beyond Earth,' according to the MIT website 'The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes.' SETG will test the hypothesis that life on Mars, if it exists, shares a common ancestor with life on Earth. Carr told Tech Review that one of the biggest challenges is shrinking Ion Torrent's 30-kilogram machine down to a mere 3 kg – light enough to fit on a Mars rover."

White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standard 1184

The Obama Administration announced today it has finalized new fuel efficiency standards that will require new cars and light-duty trucks to have an average efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This adds to the requirement that 2016's new cars must average 35.5 miles per gallon. "The final standards were developed by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA following extensive engagement with automakers, the United Auto Workers, consumer groups, environmental and energy experts, states, and the public. Last year, 13 major automakers, which together account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards." According to the administration, the standards will reduce dependence on foreign oil, save money at the pump, protect the environment, and everything else that sounds good in an election year.

US ISPs Become 'Copyright Cops' July 12th 409

An anonymous reader writes "Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon are among the ISPs preparing to implement a graduated response to piracy by July, says the music industry's chief lobbyist. ISPs, including Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, have officially agreed to step up efforts to protect the rights of copyright owners. From the article: 'Supporters say this could become the most effective antipiracy program ever. Since ISPs are the Internet's gatekeepers, the theory is that network providers are in the best position to fight illegal file sharing. CNET broke the news last June that the RIAA and counterparts at the trade group for the big film studios had managed to get the deal through — with the help of the White House.'"
The Media

Rupert Murdoch Plans a Digital Newspaper For the US 237

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports that Rupert Murdoch plans to launch a digital newspaper in the US geared specifically to younger readers and to digital outlets such as the iPad and mobile phones. The paper, as yet unnamed, will pool the huge editorial muscle of Murdoch's combined holdings within News Corporation, which include the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the financial wire service Dow Jones, as well as his newspapers in the UK and Australia. Earlier this month, Murdoch said of the iPad: 'It's a real game-changer in the presentation of news,' adding 'We'll have young people reading newspapers.'"

Russia To Build an Orbital Construction Plant 182

jamax writes "Russia plans to build an orbital plant for the production of spacecraft (link to sketchy Google translation of the Russian original) that are too big to build planetside, or are just too bulky to fire into orbit once built. Presumably these are the ships we would fly to the Moon and Mars. Plans seem to be rather sparse at the moment, with the tentative construction date set for 2020, after the ISS is scheduled for decommissioning."

Proposed Amendment Would Ban All DVD Copying 354

Ynefel writes in with a PC Magazine article reporting that the DVD Copy Control Association is considering an amendment to the agreement equipment vendors must abide by, which would completely ban all DVD backups, whether fair use or not, and prevent DVDs from playing without the DVD disk being present in the drive. The amendment is being voted on imminently and if approved would go into effect within 18 months. Quoting: "The proposed amendment was made public in a letter sent by Michael Malcolm, the chief executive of Kaleidescape, a DVD jukebox company which successfully defeated a suit by the DVD CCA this past March."

$16,000 Bounty for Sendmail, Apache Zero-Day Flaws 173

Famestay writes "Verisign's iDefense is putting up a $16,000 prize for any hacker who can find a remotely exploitable vulnerability in six critical Internet infrastructure applications. The bounty is for a zero-day code execution hole on the following Internet infrastructure technologies: Apache httpd, Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) daemon, Sendmail SMTP daemon, OpenSSH sshd, Microsoft Internet Information (IIS) Server and Microsoft Exchange Server. 'Immunity founder Dave Aitel, who also purchases flaws and exploits for use in the CANVAS pen testing tool, says its doubtful iDefense will get any submissions from hackers. "It's very hard to exploit [those listed applications]," Aitel said. "IIS 6 hasn't had a public remotely exploitable bug in it. Ever." Several other hackers I spoke to had very much the same message, arguing that $16,000 can never equate to the amount of work/expertise required to find and exploit a hole in the six targeted technologies.'"
Red Hat Software

Red Hat Develops Online Desktop 119

pete314 writes "Red Hat announced this week at their San Diego Red Hat Summit that they are planning to compete with Microsoft on the desktop by building an 'online desktop' that will integrate local data with online services. Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens argued that: 'To user the desktop metaphor is dead. We don't believe that recreating a Windows paradigm in an open source model will do anything to advance the productivity in the life of users.'"

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