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Biotech

Family Dog Cloned, Thanks To Dolly Patents 261

patentpundit writes "BioArts International announced today that they have delivered the world's first commercially cloned dog, a 10-week old Labrador named Lancey, to Florida residents Edgar and Nina Otto. According to the press release issued by the company, 'BioArts International is a biotech company focused on unique, untapped markets in the global companion animal, stem cell and human genomics industries. The Best Friends Again program is a collaboration between BioArts and the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in South Korea, home to the best and most experienced dog cloning team in the world.' The technology that makes this animal cloning possible stems from the cloning patents developed at the Roslin Institute for the cloning of the now famous, or infamous depending on your view, Dolly the sheep."

Comment Pirate TV (Score 2, Interesting) 438

I'm just wondering when the offshore pirate broadcasts in protest are going to start. It doesn't take much to start a pirate TV station (most HAM radio FSTV transmitters can be tuned to other frequencies than are allotted in the HAM bands). Rig a boat with a studio, anchor in international waters, crank up the transmitter power, and go wild.

Also makes me wonder if the business is open up here in Canada and down south in Mexico to start border blasters.
Bug

Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas 559

Voidsinger writes "The latest firmware updates to correct Seagate woes have created a new debacle. It seems from Seagate forums that there has yet to be a successful update of the 3500320AS models from SD15 to the new SD1A firmware. Add to that the updater updates the firmware of all drives of the same type at once, and you get a meltdown of RAID arrays, and people's backups if they were on the same type of drive. Drives are still flashable though, and Seagate has pulled the update for validation. While it would have been nice of them to validate the firmware beforehand, there is still a little hope that not everyone will lose all of their data."

Comment Re:Is this that important ? (Score 3, Interesting) 434

Amen.

I'll try not to bore you all with the rant you've heard thousands of times before, but today's music is so... cold. While the advent of MIDI sequencers and cheap pro audio equipment caused a grassroots indie revolution on the internet (Creative Commons/Jamendo), it also allowed the labels to easily produce a single sound. Today's "artists" have very little creative input on their work.

Any idiot can open up one of the many audio editors, lay down a synthesized rhythm track, and make a dance single. Try it yourself. Pop open an editor, get a beat, record some shitty lyrics (you can fix them with a harmonizer, just like the pros), and add tons of distortion and digital effects. Hey, look at that: you have a rap song that sounds just like one of the top 40.

You think with the power of modern synthesized composition, real artists could actually take advantage of the limitless possibilities. Need a 300-member orchestra for a difficult piece? No problem! A good composition program and a nice set of sampled sound and you've got it in a few days' work.

The problem, really, is the labels. There are LOTS of good independent artists and composers out there, who are doing good things with all these new tools. But the mainstream labels seem to stonewall all of them. All we get is dancefloor song after dancefloor song with the same sound.

Of course, the related issue is the conglomerate ownership of radio. I know of very few independent stations left that aren't owned by some massive corporation. In the local radio market where I live up in Canada, we have four main stations. They are/were called Jet, Magic, CBC, and Jump. Jet and Magic are/were both owned by one of the media conglomerates. CBC needs no introduction, as it is the Canadian national public radio service. Jump is a community-licensed, volunteer run station.

So, massive conglomerate decides that Magic (more locally-focused than Jet) is under threat from the community station, Jump. So they shut Magic down, and seek a new license from the CRTC to open a new station.

Now here's the fun part. The CRTC grants the license to the conglomerate. The new station, Sun, has as of now almost entirely eradicated the publicly-accessible community station, which appears will have to shut down. The airwaves are now pumped with top-40 crap, instead of locally produced content. What gets me is that the CRTC WILLINGLY chose to give priority to the station airing music that has ALREADY SATURATED the market, rather than LOCALLY PRODUCED content. The CRTC needs to be shut down and control transferred to Industry Canada, who at least understand the importance of niche radio applications (Canadian HAMs enjoy some of the laxest restrictions in the world).

Whew... now that that's off my chest...

Comment Re:Constitutionality (Score 3, Insightful) 630

I'm Canadian, so I'm no expert on American law, but are you sure that's a valid interpretation of double jeopardy? The additional rapes, it seems, would indicate separate offenses, not protected by double jeopardy. On a similar note, just because you've been acquitted of one murder does not grant you the right to slaughter people left and right without recourse.

Comment Re:without any humans ever having been involved (Score 1) 898

That's because our whole Canadian car insurance system is FUBAR'd.

The fact that some provinces hold public insurance systems not only causes problems for those provinces, but others too. It makes it hard for any insurance company (a tricky and expensive business at the best of times) to penetrate the Canadian market (why bother incorporating in Canada if half the country is right out anyway?) and the result is corrupt insurance companies no better than the others.

What we need to do is legislate at the federal level and privatize insurance in all the provinces. I'm not saying we need to kick out the NDP's prized public insurance altogether (it would anger too many socialists and split the left and right further) but severely reduce it. Perhaps a dual-insurance system where crown insurance exists but capitalist insurance is also an option alongside it? In BC we've already taken a step in the right direction - collision insurance no longer needs to be purchased from ICBC and can be bought from a private insurer. Now if we make the whole thing optional, I think we can satisfy both groups (the socialists can still get their insurance with the associated tax benefits from public insurance while others can go and insure privately).
The Media

Submission + - RCMP investigating "Kick a Ginger" faceboo (canada.com)

freyyr890 writes: "After a Facebook joke to declare November 20th "Kick A Ginger Day" resulted in violence in some schools in Canada, the Canadian police are investigating teenagers believed to be involved in the organization of the event. Investigators are drawing links to a South Park episode believed to inspire the prank, and are currently questioning the youth who was administrator of the group."
The Courts

Canadian Court Rules "Hyperlink" Is Not Defamation 120

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a landmark ruling, a Canadian court has ruled that a web site's publication of hyperlinks to an allegedly defamatory web site is not in and of itself a 'publication,' and therefore cannot in and of itself constitute defamation. In a 10-page decision [PDF], Crookes v. Wikimedia, Sup. Ct., British Columbia, Judge Keller dismissed the libel case against Jon Newton, the publisher of p2pnet.net, which was based on the fact that his article contained links to the allegedly defamatory site, since hyperlinks, the Court reasoned, are analogous to footnotes, rather than constituting a 'republication.' Mr. Newton was represented in the case by famous libel, slander, and civil liberties lawyer Dan Burnett of Vancouver, British Columbia."
Space

DIY Live Photos From ISS 42

leighklotz writes "The international amateur satellite organization AMSAT is reporting live reception of TV images directly from the orbiting ISS via the ARISS-SSTV project. The images are said to be preparations for the upcoming visit to the ISS by Richard Garriot (W5KWQ), which will provide images from space as part of the Windows on Earth project."
Biotech

Repairing Genetic Mutations With Lasers? 65

Roland Piquepaille writes "German researchers at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU) think they've proved that genetic information can be controlled by light. The group studied the interaction between the four DNA bases — adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T) — by using femtosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The researchers think that they've demonstrated that DNA strands differ in their light sensitivity depending on their base sequences. The team thinks that it might be possible in the future to repair gene mutations using laser radiation. One of the project leaders said that 'it might even be possible under some circumstances to make transistors from DNA that would work through the hydrogen bonds.' It's not the first time I've heard about DNA computing, but this new approach looks promising."
Communications

Guide to DIY Wiretapping 183

Geeks are Sexy writes "ITSecurity.com has a nice piece this week on how wiretapping works and how you can protect yourself from people who wants to snoop into your life. From the article 'Even if you aren't involved in a criminal case or illegal operation, it's incredibly easy to set up a wiretap or surveillance system on any type of phone. Don't be surprised to learn that virtually anyone could be spying on you for any reason.'" Maybe I'm on the wrong track here, but I guess I assumed that wiretapping now happened in secret rooms at the telco, and not by affixing something physically to a wire in your home, but I'll definitely be aware next time I hear a stranger breathing next time I'm stuck on hold.
Power

Consumer Ethanol Appliance Promised By Year's End 365

Newscloud brings us news of a startup called E-Fuel promising to ship a home-brew ethanol plant, the size of a washer-dryer, for under $10,000 by the end of this year. We've had plenty of discussions about $1/gal. fuel — these guys want to let you make it at home. The company says it plans to develop a NAFTA-enabled distribution network for inedible sugar from Mexico at 1/8th the cost of trade-protected sugar, to use as raw material for making ethanol. A renewable energy expert from UC Berkeley is quoted: "There's a lot of hurdles you have to overcome. It's entirely possible that they've done it, but skepticism is a virtue."

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