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Books

Submission + - Terry Pratchett Knighted

ackthpt writes: Headlines have been popping up on Google News, again abruptly yanked from news servers, such as Times Online and International Herald Tribune. A Google News snippet for The Times Online states, "Terry Pratchett declared himself "flabbergasted" to receive a knighthood as he led a group of writers, actors and performers honoured today." The Discworld author and stalwart adversary of Alzheimers Disease has been a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Literature since 1998. He will be entering the new year as Knight Commander. Well done and Oook, Sir Terry.
Censorship

Submission + - Cartoon child porn falling down slippery slope. (msn.com) 1

BenFenner writes: "Two out of the three Virginia judges involved with Dwight Whorley's case say cartoon images depicting sex acts with children are considered child pornography in the United States. Judge Paul V. Niemeyer noted the PROTECT Act of 2003, clearly states that "it is not a required element of any offense under this section that the minor depicted actually exists.""
The Internet

Canadian Groups Call For Massive Net Regulation 318

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist is reporting that Canadian cultural groups including ACTRA and SOCAN have called on Canada's telecom regulator to implement a massive new Internet regulation framework. This includes a new three-percent tax on ISPs to pay for new media creation, Canadian content requirements for commercial websites, and licensing requirements for new media broadcasters, including for user-generated content."
Medicine

Submission + - SPAM: Magic mushrooms to treat cancer anxiety?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "In a 2006 study, U.S. researchers have shown that psilocybin, a substance contained in 'sacred mushrooms,' produced substantial spiritual effects — when administered under controlled conditions. The scientists recently interviewed the volunteer subjects and they've noted that most of them 'continued to say 14 months later that the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction.' These lasting benefits of 'magic mushroom' therapy — which included a single dose — are giving new ideas to the researchers. Why not using hallucinogens to treat cancer-related anxieties? New studies are being planned to answer this question and the researchers are recruiting volunteers. But read more for additional references and pictures of the living room-like session room used in the Johns Hopkins hallucinogen research studies."
The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: FTC recruiting identity theft victims

coondoggie writes: "In an effort to buttress its enforcement and better understand the scourge that is identity theft, the Federal Trade Commission said today its plans to conduct a wide-ranging study of victims of the crime. The FTC is looking for people harmed by the crime and said the survey will examine the remedies available to victims under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act). Among other things, the FACT Act gave consumers the right to place fraud alerts on their credit files if they are, or suspect they may become, victims of identity theft; block information on their credit reports that resulted from identity theft; and obtain copies of their credit reports free of charge. [spam URL stripped]"
Link to Original Source
Medicine

Submission + - SPAM: Man's own cells killing his skin cancer 1

Roland Piquepaille writes: "As you probably know, melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, usually caused by too much exposure to the sun. Now U.S. researchers have developed a way to use a patient's own cloned T-cells against this skin cancer — without chemotherapy or radiation. For example, 'a 52-year-old man whose Stage 4 melanoma had spread to a groin lymph node and to a lung,' is now tumor-free two years after being treated by 'immunotherapy.' Even if these results are encouraging, 'more studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the experimental T-cell therapy.' But read more for additional details and references about this advance in cancer fighting."
Biotech

Submission + - SPAM: DNA study unlocks mystery to diverse traits in dog

FiReaNGeL writes: "What makes a pointer point, a sheep dog herd, and a retriever retrieve? Why do Yorkshire terriers live longer than Great Danes? And how can a tiny Chihuahua possibly be related to a Great Dane? Dogs vary in size, shape, color, coat length and behavior more than any other animal and until now, this variance has largely been unexplained. Now, scientists have developed a method to identify the genetic basis for this diversity that may have far-reaching benefits for dogs and their owners. "By applying this research approach, we may be able to decipher how genes contribute to physical or behavioral traits that affect many breeds.""
Link to Original Source
NASA

Submission + - SPAM: NASA, DoD agree: earth's weather pattern changed

destinyland writes: ""If you think the weather is getting more extreme, you're right," the AP reports, citing a new report from 10 government organizations which included NASA, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation. It's not getting as cold at night as it did in earlier decades, there are fewer nights with frosts, and there's more extreme rain and heat, with an increasing frequency of tropical storms (leading to more and stronger hurricanes). Yesterday it was 116 in Palm Springs, while the heavy rainfall in Iowa used to happen just once every 500 years (and now happen every 15). And "Droughts will get dryer, storms will get stormier and floods will get deeper with the changing climate," reads another AP report. "Events that have seemed relatively rare will become commonplace, said the latest report...a joint effort of more than a dozen government agencies.""
Link to Original Source
Businesses

Submission + - Why Women Quit Tech Careers (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "What if half the men in science, engineering and technology roles dropped out at midcareer? That would surely be perceived as a national crisis. Yet more than half the women in those fields leave — most of them during their mid- to late 30s. Computerworld interviews one of the reseachers involved with the Athena Factor, a project examining the career trajectories of such women, featured in the Harvard Business Review. One tidbit on why: '...Machismo that continues to permeate these work environments. We found that 63% of women in science, engineering and technology have experienced sexual harassment. That's a really high figure.'"
Sci-Fi

Submission + - SPAM: Professor designs plasma-propelled flying saucer

FiReaNGeL writes: "Flying saucers may soon be more fact than mere science fiction. University of Florida professor Subrata Roy has submitted a patent application for a circular, spinning aircraft design reminiscent of the spaceships seen in countless Hollywood films. Roy, however, calls his design a "wingless electromagnetic air vehicle," or WEAV. Though the design is promising on paper, towering obstacles stand between the blueprint and liftoff. The propulsion system for Roy's saucer sprouts from his extensive U.S. Air Force-funded plasma actuator research, the results of which have appeared in more than 15 scholarly journals. The production of the aircraft will be a joint project of UF's mechanical and aerospace engineering department and its electrical and computer engineering department."
Link to Original Source
Government

Submission + - How to teach a healthy dose of skepticism? 1

c0d3h4x0r writes: "It's no accident that "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" is one of the most common tags applied by Slashdotters to stories about proposed ideas or laws; the ability to spot and predict faults is a big part of what makes a great engineer. It starts with having a healthy skepticism about the world, which leads to actual critical thinking. Many books and courses teach critical thinking skills, but what is the best way to encourage and teach someone to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism? Is it even teachable, or is it just an innate part of the geek personality?"
Bug

Submission + - SPAM: 245 million-year-old burrows of land vertebrates

FiReaNGeL writes: "For the first time paleontologists have found fossilized burrows of tetrapods (any land vertebrates with four legs or leglike appendages) in Antarctica dating from the Early Triassic epoch, about 245 million years ago. No animal remains were found inside the burrow casts, but the hardened sediment in each burrow preserved a track made as the animals entered and exited. In addition, scratch marks from the animals' initial excavation were apparent in some places, said Christian Sidor, a University of Washington assistant professor of biology and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the UW."
Link to Original Source
Censorship

Submission + - Illegal to even REPORT Child Pornography? (kennesaw.edu) 1

thbarnes writes: "I reported suspected Internet child pornography to the FBI and received the attached threatening voicemail from an FBI agent in Washington, DC at 12:30AM. Apparently, it is illegal to even accidentally encounter and report child pornography."
Privacy

Submission + - JFK And LAX Get Scanners That See Through Clothes

Narrative Fallacy writes: "The Transportation Security Administration has announced that it's beginning new pilot tests of millimeter wave scanning technology at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) that allow TSA personnel to see concealed weapons and other items that may be hidden beneath clothes. TSA Administrator Kip Hawley says that that the potentially revealing body scans (youtube) would not be stored and that 90% of passengers subject to secondary screening opt for a millimeter wave scan over a pat down. The agency added that security officers viewing the scans would do so remotely, where they will not be able to recognize passengers but will be able to trigger an alarm if needed. The agency also said that a blurring algorithm is applied to passengers' faces in scanned images as an additional privacy protection."

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