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Submission + - Obesity linked to gut bacterial population

krishn_bhakt writes: "Joel Elmquist (The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA), a Physiology Faculty 1000 Member, comments "This is one of the most provocative papers to be published in the field of obesity research in some time. The evidence provided in this paper demonstrates that obese and non-obese mice have alterations in bacterial populations that apparently affect energy availability and utilization and the body weight of the host."

The nature article is available at s/nature05414.html ."

Submission + - Neural "extention chord" developed

moon_monkey writes: Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a 'neural extention chord' by growing neurons attached to a microchip. The chord is made by gradually moving two batches of neurons apart, as they naturally grow towards one another. This biological 'data cable' could then naturally interface with the brain once implanted, the researchers say.

Submission + - Whatever happened to Aerogel?

BK117 writes: "When I first saw the news releases for this amazing material (in the early 1990's) they said it would revolutionize refrigerators, hot water heaters and many other devices needing lightweight insulation. Well, I have yet to see any consumer-level appliances using aerogels. Why not?"

Submission + - OpenMoko Schedule Announced

levell writes: "The schedule for the OpenMoko Open source, Linux based Neo1973 smart phone was posted to the community mailing list by Sean Moss-Pultz this morning. On Feb 11, free phones will be sent to key community developers and the community websites/wiki/bug tracker will be available. Then on March 11 ("official developer launch") we'll be able to buy an OpenMoko for $350 (+p&p) (worldwide from After allowing some time for innovative, slick software to be created there will be a "Mass market launch" at which point Sean hopes that "your mom and dad will want one too"."

Submission + - KDE on Windows

AlanS2002 writes: "This week's KDE Commit Digest tells about an installer for KDE on Windows and the problems the developers encountered setting up a working environment for KDE to run on. Many screenshots included, showing the first applications (such as Konqueror) running natively."

Submission + - MacFUSE: write to NTFS partitions from OS X

Beiden Baeren writes: "After an announcement at MacWorld, Amit Singh from Google has released the code for MacFUSE While FUSE has been available to Linux users for a while, MacFUSE means that OS X users have now support for a variety of filesystems:
  • Windows NTFS includes write support
  • FTP includes write support
  • WebDAV
  • BeagleFS
  • etc... (PicasaFS, GoogleFS)
While installing and configuring the software requires use of the command line and compiling from source, users are quickly stepping forward to provide more user-friendly installation packages such as this one by Jeff McCune of The Ohio State University's mathematics department. Personally, as a switcher to Mac from Windows, I find the ability to write to Windows NTFS invaluable, but MacFUSE provides significantly more than this. Thanks to Amit Singh and his team!"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Carmack Blasts Vista, Questions Direct X 10.

222 writes: "Apparently id's John Carmack is also having trouble finding a reason to upgrade to Vista. ""Nothing is going to help a new game by going to a new operating system. There were some clear wins going from Windows 95 to Windows XP for games, but there really aren't any for Vista," Carmack told Game Informer." He also seems to feel that Direct X 10 is more of a gimmick than anything. "They're artificially doing that by tying DX10 [DirectX 10] so close it, which is really nothing about the OS. It's a hardware-interface spec. It's an artificial thing that they're doing there." With this coming from an industry leader, will you be upgrading?"

Submission + - Why blurring sensitive information is a bad idea

Rub3X writes: "For the most part this is all fine with peoples' faces as there isn't a convenient way to reverse the blur back into a photo so detailed that you can recognize the photo. So that's good if that is what you intended. However, many people also resort to blurring sensitive numbers and text. I'll illustrate why that is a BAD idea."

Submission + - scientific basis for race: genome Hamming distance

An anonymous reader writes: Physics professor describes how genetic clustering corresponds to racial identity. Individual genetic data, when plotted in an abstract genome space, tends to cluster into groups corresponding to traditional continental ethnic groups (Europeans, Africans, Asians, etc.). Race is more than a matter of pigmentation or other superficial traits: it determines the likelihood an individual is carrying a particular gene variant.
The Internet

Submission + - Map of the Internet

Wellington Grey writes: "Author of the popular webcomic xkcd has put up a hand made map of the internet as today's comic. He also has an interesting blog entry detailing some of the work that went into it, such a pinging servers and creating a method of fractal mapping to display related regions as contiguous sections on the grid."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - The Environmental Cost of Your MMORPG Avatar

markmcb writes: "Taking into consideration that people in developing countries use less than 2400 kWh a day; your MMORPG avatar may be consuming more energy to exist than a real person. Given the vast array of servers that must keep avatars in the newest games like Second Life alive, an MMORPG Avatar's Eco-Footprint is large, very large. Some math from the article, 'If the average PC uses 120 watts, and a server uses 200 watts, plus 50 more for air-conditioning, then (4,000 servers x 250 watts x 24 hours) + (12,500 avatars x 120 watts x 24 hours) = 60,000,000 watt-hours or 60,000 kilowatt-hours. That gives a per-capita usage of 60,000 / 12,500 = 4.8 kWh. Over a year's time that equates to 1752 kWh per avatar.'"

Submission + - Giant tent to be built in Astana, Kazakhstan

aitsu writes: The BBC reports :"Kazakhstan has unveiled a new architectural project for its capital Astana — a giant transparent tent that will contain an indoor city. The 150m-high (500ft) dome, designed by UK architect Norman Foster, will be built in just over a year...Underneath, in an area larger than 10 football stadiums, will be a city with squares and cobbled streets, canals, shopping centres and golf courses.The idea is to recreate summer, so that when the outside temperature is -30C, the residents of the Kazakh capital can play outdoor tennis, take boat rides or sip coffee on the pavement cafes."
Linux Business

Submission + - Malaysian Open Source Procurement Policy Reversed

Ditesh writes: "The Malaysian Open Source Masterplan, which favoured open source over proprietary public sector procurements when all other evaluations are equal, has been reversed to a purely "neutral technology platform" policy due to "negative reaction towards open source (from the IT market)". This comes after months of hard lobbying by Microsoft Malaysia. This reversal is certainly unfortunate, as the policy has helped raise comfort levels of other policy makers worldwide in pursuing similar goals. The Malaysian Open Source Alliance has published a position statement asking for clarification of the term "neutrality", and has received support from MNC's, local companies and free software developers in Malaysia."
The Internet

Submission + - VC says Second Life is not sustainable

skoobafly writes: "Some VC calls Second Life an incredible innovator but won't be able to get mass market adoption and probably isn't sustainable. She's apparently an old text MUD developer and says that Second Life might be like Prodigy — a walled garden service that ultimately didn't have any long term staying power. Philip Rosedale, Second Life's CEO responds to the blog posts and admits that Second Life has some design flaws. What do you think? Do you think Second Life is all marketing hype? Do you think this is what the mass market wants? What do you think comes next in the virtual world space?"

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