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Medicine

Court Rules Against Vaccine-Autism Claims Again 416

barnyjr writes "According to a story from Reuters, 'Vaccines that contain a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal cannot cause autism on their own, a special US court ruled on Friday, dealing one more blow to parents seeking to blame vaccines for their children's illness. The special US Court of Federal Claims ruled that vaccines could not have caused the autism of an Oregon boy, William Mead, ending his family's quest for reimbursement. ... While the state court determined the autism was vaccine-related, [Special Master George] Hastings said overwhelming medical evidence showed otherwise. The theory presented by the Meads and experts who testified on their behalf "was biologically implausible and scientifically unsupported," Hasting wrote.'"
Communications

Best Smartphone Plan Covering US and Canada? 199

j00bhaka writes "I am a US citizen attending university in Nova Scotia, Canada. I currently have the Verizon America and Canada plan (also known as the North American plan). My bill is currently around $80-$100 per month. I chose this for a couple reasons. One, I have had my number for about 7 years. Two, I do not permanently live in Canada. I live in Canada for 8 months out of the year at school, then travel home for the summer months. Either way, I would be dealing with international roaming without having both countries in my plan. Currently, I obviously don't have a smartphone. Through Verizon, I could purchase one, and add their international unlimited data plan on top of my (already) hefty phone bill. I have looked into Telus and Rogers here in Canada and cannot find anything better. As a student, my budget is obviously limited. Is there any way to reasonably have (and utilize) a smartphone while I am living in both countries? If so, what do you suggest I do?"
Privacy

Chicago's Camera Network Is Everywhere 327

DesScorp writes "Over the past few years, the City of Chicago has installed video cameras all over the city. Now the Wall Street Journal reports that the city has not only installed its own cameras for law enforcement purposes, but with the aid of IBM, has built a network that possibly links thousands of video surveillance cameras all over Chicago. Possibly, because the city refuses to confirm just how many cameras are in the network. Critics say that Chicago is becoming the city of Big Brother. 'The city links the 1,500 cameras that police have placed in trouble spots with thousands more—police won't say how many—that have been installed by other government agencies and the private sector in city buses, businesses, public schools, subway stations, housing projects and elsewhere. Even home owners can contribute camera feeds. Rajiv Shah, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has studied the issue, estimates that 15,000 cameras have been connected in what the city calls Operation Virtual Shield, its fiber-optic video-network loop.' There are so many camera feeds coming in that police and officials can't monitor them all, but when alerted to a situation, can zoom in on the area affected. The ACLU has requested a total number of video feeds and cameras, but as of yet, this information has not been supplied."
The Internet

DNSSEC Implementation Held Up By Tech Delays 57

Jack Spine writes "VeriSign has said that the main obstacle to DNSSEC implementation has been technical delays. The large size of the .com and .net domains would have made it impractical to deploy earlier versions of DNSSEC, according to VeriSign vice president of naming services Pat Kane. Deployment of DNSSEC will close a major security flaw in the DNS, the internet's equivalent to a telephone directory. The problem of DNS cache poisoning was thrown into sharp relief by researcher Dan Kaminsky last year."
Privacy

ICANN Studies Secretive Domain Owners 101

alphadogg quotes from a Network World piece reporting on ICANN's study of the prevalence of proxy services that shield registrants' personal information from WHOIS queries. "Approximately 15% to 25% of domain names have been registered in a manner that limits the amount of personal information available to the public... according to the preliminary results of a report from ICANN... Domain owners who want to limit the amount of personal information available to the public generally use a privacy [proxy] service. ... [Proxy services] register domain names on behalf of registrants. The main objective of ICANN's study — which was based on a random sample of 2,400 domain names registered under .com, .net, .org, .biz, and .info — is to establish baseline information to inform the ICANN community on how common privacy and proxy services are." Spammers and other miscreants abuse the ability to register domains by proxy, in order to avoid being found; but ordinary users have a legitimate interest in keeping their personal information out of the hands of those same bad actors. What's the right balance?

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