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Comment Re:Evil. (Score 4, Interesting) 390

I remember reading somewhere that there are processes in place for a patent submitter to deprecate a patent and forcefully render its content public domain. Am I remembering incorrectly? If not, then that would surely be a sign of goodwill as it would render the given content unpatentable.

Medicine

Medical Papers By Ghostwriters Pushed Hormone Therapy 289

krou writes "The New York Times reports on newly released court documents that show how pharmaceutical company Wyeth paid a medical communications firm to use ghost writers in drafting and publishing 26 papers between 1998 and 2005 backing the usage of hormone replacement therapy in women. The articles appeared in 18 journals, such as The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The International Journal of Cardiology. The papers 'emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia,' and the apparent 'medical consensus benefited Wyeth ... as sales of its hormone drugs, called Premarin and Prempro, soared to nearly $2 billion in 2001.' The apparent consensus crumbled after a federal study in 2002 'found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.'"
Medicine

Scientists Turn Used LCDs Into Medicine 30

schliz writes "Scientists from the University of York have come up with a new recycling technique that extracts PVA from used LCD panels to create a 'a bioactive sponge.' The technique could allow recovered PVA to be used in pills, wound dressings and tissue scaffolds that aid human tissue regeneration. It could also keep waste LCD screens from incineration or landfill altogether."
Games

Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux 117

christian.einfeldt writes "Halloween has come early for Linux-loving gamers in the form of the scary Penumbra game trilogy, which has just recently been ported natively to GNU-Linux by the manufacturer, Frictional Games. The Penumbra games, named Overture, Black Plague and Requiem, are first-person survival horror and physics puzzle games which challenge the player to survive in a mine in Greenland which has been taken over by a monstrous infection/demon/cthulhu-esque thing. The graphics, sounds, and plot are all admirable in a scary sort of way. The protagonist is an ordinary human with no particular powers at all, who fumbles around in the dark mine fighting zombified dogs or fleeing from infected humans. But the game is remarkable for its physics engine — rather than just bump and acquire, the player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors; and the player can grab and throw pretty much anything in the environment. The physics engine drives objects to fly and fall exactly as one would expect. The porting of a game with such a deft physics engine natively to Linux might be one of the most noteworthy events for GNU-Linux gamers since the World of Goo Linux port."
Censorship

British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes 778

chrb writes "Two British men have become the first to be jailed for inciting racial hatred online. The men believed that material they published on web servers based in the United States did not fall under the jurisdiction of UK law and was protected under the First Amendment. This argument was rejected by the British trial judge. After being found guilty, the men fled to Los Angeles, where they attempted to claim political asylum, again arguing that they were being persecuted by the British government for speech that was protected under the First Amendment. The asylum bid was rejected and the two were deported back to the UK after spending over a year in a US jail."
Social Networks

Where Does a Geek Find a Social Life? 1354

JustShootMe writes "I have a question for my fellow Slashdotters, and yes, I realize I am entering the lion's den covered in tasty meat-flavored sauce. I have never been a very social person, preferring to throw myself into technology; therefore, I've been spectacularly unsuccessful in developing any meaningful interpersonal relationships. Lately I have begun to feel that this situation is not tenable, and I would like to fix it. But I really don't know how and haven't the faintest idea where to start. I know that I am in the minority and that there are many different kinds of Slashdot readers, most of whom have more experience in this realm than I do. So please tell me: how, and more importantly, where do you meet fellow geeks — preferably including some of the opposite gender — in meatspace?"
The Internet

Harvard Study Says Weak Copyright Benefits Society 326

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist summarizes an important new study on file sharing from economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf. The Harvard Business School working paper finds that given the increase in artistic production along with the greater public access conclude that 'weaker copyright protection, it seems, has benefited society.' The authors point out that file sharing may not result in reduced incentives to create if the willingness to pay for 'complements' such as concerts or author speaking tours increases."
Medicine

Submission + - Buckyballs Polymerised into Buckywires (technologyreview.com) 1

KentuckyFC writes: "Scientists have found a way to join buckyballs together so that they form buckywires. The wires form when buckyballs are dissolved in an aromatic hydrocarbon called 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene. The 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene links the balls together to make buckywires shaped like a string of pearls, which then precipatate out. This relatively simple procedure opens the door to industrial scale manufacture. Buckywires ought to be efficient light harvesters because of their great surface area and the way they can conduct photon-liberated electrons. But perhaps the area of greatest interest is drug delivery. The researchers suggest that buckywires ought to be safer than carbon nanotubes because the production method is entirely metal-free. That cannot be said of nanotubes because the reaction that forms them is catalysed by metallic nanoparticles."

Comment With GTK+ & Cairo you can do anything these da (Score 1) 948

I don't understand this. There's a reasonably clear HIG document in GNOME which is continuously updated. The strict packing rules make the resulting interface flexible in regards to RTL languages and reasonably consistent with other applications. GTK+ has widgets for just about every purpose. Since the introduction of Cairo it is trivial to draw custom widgets, especially using the gtkmm and cairomm C++ bindings: the custom tab bar could be done in a day. With those bindings it is even quite easy to modify the behaviour of existing widgets by overloading their signal handlers, Murray Cumming and the others working on those have invested a great deal of effort to truly (and easily) expose the object system via C++.

The Media

Wikipedia Bans Church of Scientology 665

El Reg writes "Showing a new-found resolve to crack down on self-serving edits, Wikipedia has banned contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology. According to Wikipedia administrators, this marks the first time such a high-profile organization has been banished for allegedly pushing its own agenda on the 'free encyclopedia anyone can edit.'"

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