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Biotech

Submission + - The mystery of vitamin B12 finally solved

Roland Piquepaille writes: "You probably think that scientists know everything about the common and essential vitamin B12, the only vitamin synthesized by soil microbes. In fact, one part of this biosynthesis has puzzled researchers for at least 50 years. But now, MIT and Harvard biologists have solved this vitamin puzzle by discovering that a single enzyme known as BluB synthesizes the vitamin. So what is the next challenge for the researchers? It's to discover why the soil microorganisms synthesize the vitamin B12 at all, because neither them — nor the plants they're attached to — need it to live. Read more for additional references and a picture of BluB."
Math

Submission + - Scientists solved huge theoretical problem

BoredStiff writes: The Weekend Edition of NPR Scientists have solved one of the toughest problems in mathematics, performing a calculation to figure out the symmetry of a 248-dimensional object known as the Lie group E8. The solution is so large that it would take days to download over a standard Internet connection. Lie groups were invented in the 19th century by the Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie [pronounced LEE], to express the symmetry of three-dimensional objects like spheres, cones and cylinders.
Programming

Submission + - Learning Ajax Anti-Patterns prevents design flaws

An anonymous reader writes: You can learn a lot about how to do things correctly by understanding how things are done incorrectly. Certainly, there's a right way and a wrong way to write Ajax applications. Understanding how and why design flaws happen is important and can save you valuable coding time. This article discusses some common coding practices you will want to avoid.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Unveils SME VoIP system

Weather Storm writes: "Microsoft has launched an internet protocol (IP) phone system code-named Response Point, designed for ease of use and manageability at SMEs. The new system, now in beta testing, comes in an easy-to-install box, supports both voice over IP (VoIP) and traditional phone lines, and includes a voice-activated user interface. The Beta 2 release of Response Point is scheduled for early April."
Upgrades

Submission + - OGRE 1.4.0 Released!

Game_Ender writes: The OGRE Team is proud to announce the release of OGRE 1.4.0, codenamed 'Eihort'. OGRE is an open-source, cross-platform real-time 3D rendering engine including all the latest features you would expect, and this version introduces such things as SSE/SIMD support, more advanced lighting and shadowing techniques, threaded loading and much more. Full details can be obtained from the official announcement and change log.
User Journal

Journal Journal: US Air Force Looks to the XBox Generation for Pilots

The U.S. Air Force is creating a new job specialty, UAV pilots. Starting later this year, the air force will recruit people for this job. The details are still being worked out, but it will be an officer position. The army uses NCOs to pilots its UAVs, which are generally smaller than those used by the air force. The new air force program expects to attract those who had applied to be regular pilots, but had been denie
Businesses

Submission + - How Google Could Lose $2.1 Billion From Ads

Weather Storm writes: "An interesting article from informationweek.com explains how online advertisers using Google can spend 30% less and still get the same results if they worked with a capable search engine marketing (SEM) firm, says the head of a search engine marketing firm. "Google's advertisers mostly don't know what they're doing and, if they did, Google could lose as much as $2.1 billion in revenue, according to Jon Morris, founder of SEM Company Internet Marketing Initiative. By Morris' estimate, only about 30% of Internet advertisers understand the intricacies of adverting analytics or are working with an SEM company. That leaves 70% wasting money. Morris says one of his company's clients, America Direct, a life insurance provider owned by Fidelity Life Association, has reduced its cost per lead from $150 dollars to less than $20 per lead since a year ago. Typically, he says, clients can reduce their cost per lead from 30% to 50%.""
Censorship

Submission + - Moscow Trashes Civil Rights

reporter writes: "In a recent report, the BBC states, "Russian riot police have arrested dozens of demonstrators who staged an anti-government rally in the city of Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday. Protesters were dragged into waiting police vans and driven away." As Russia becomes more Western by opposing Iranian nuclear ambitions, the same Russia becomes more anti-Western by opposing free speech and freedom of assembly.

What is the future of relations between Russia and the rest of the West?"
Security

Submission + - First vulnerability in Vista's Windows Mail

An anonymous reader writes: Clicking on a link in an email can be enough to launch a program on you local machine — at least if you are using Windows Mail on Vista. For this to work there must be a folder with the same name like the executable file though. The discoveror of this problem, a hacker called Kingcope, points to winrm and migwiz, heise Security was able to launch the calculator after creating a folder called calc. So while this is not a big deal by itself, it makes you wonder, what else is lurking beyond the surface of the sucessor to Outlook Express.
Privacy

Submission + - RFID Driver's Licenses Instead of Passports

tverbeek writes: Good news and bad news on the RFID privacy front. The good news is that U.S. citizens may not need to carry an RFID-embedded passport just to cross the border with Canada. The bad news is that the driver's license you carry with you nearly everywhere would be embedded with an RFID chip instead. That's the scenario that's going to be tested in the state of Washington as a pilot program starting in January 2008, according to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . Washington is anticipating loads of border-crossing traffic for the 2010 Olympics in adjacent Vancouver BC, shortly after the federal passport requirement goes into effect in June 2009. The "enhanced" licenses would require applicants to submit to an in-person interview and show proof of citizenship to get one.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft owns up to Xbox Live pretexting

jcatcw writes: "Reports of account theft on Xbox Live have been making the rounds of its member forums since at least December. Microsoft yesterday finally admitted that the service's support staff is at fault — victims of "pretexting." But Microsoft responded only after noted security researcher — Kevin Finisterre of "Month of Apple Bugs" fame — last week went public about how his account was hijacked."
Space

Submission + - ESA to create backup satellites

Matthew Sparkes writes: "The frequencies allotted to the Galileo satellite navigation system, the European GPS, will be safeguarded with a new backup satellite. Under the rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an operator risks losing frequency rights if a break in service lasts longer than two years. Therefore, if their satellites malfunction, ESA could lose the frequency altogether. "From now on, there will always be a European navigation satellite in space," the ESA announcement promised. Of course, China could still blow up and replace the system."

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Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.

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