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Fastest (and Most Compact) Stellar Spinner Confirmed 47

gregg writes "HM Cancri has been confirmed as a binary system of two white dwarfs orbiting each other so closely that they complete one orbit every 5.4 minutes; they are separated by a mere 8 Earth diameters. 'These are the burnt-out cinders of stars such as our Sun, and contain a highly condensed form of helium, carbon and oxygen. The two white dwarfs in HM Cancri are so close together that mass is flowing from one star to the other. HM Cancri was first noticed as an X-ray source in 1999, showing a 5.4 minutes periodicity, but for a long time it has remained unclear whether this period also indicated the actual orbital period of the system. It was so short that astronomers were reluctant to accept the possibility without solid proof. '"

Comment Re:Singularity? (Score 1) 804

Change "brilliant medical ethicist" to "faceless bureaucratic peon"

Change "faceless bureaucratic peon" to members of the community who voluntarily work on ethics panels.

If I can afford to pay for a private doctor and the private equipment to keep my "vegetable" family member alive for an extra week at home, completely out of the health system should I be "allowed"

Who ever said that?! Thats fine. You can do whatever you want with your money. Personally I would be horrified if I found out that I would be kept as a vegetable for an extended period of time. There is such a thing as dying with dignity

what's to stop the rich from hiring all the best doctors privately for themselves?

Shock, Horror. Some people go into the the medical profession to help people, not keep vegetables alive and pander to the rich.

Totalitarian is the best word to describe the NHS and any model that places heavy restrictions on doctors practising privately

Where an Earth did you get this? It is simply not true. This idea that the NHS is awful is totally wrong. Is it perfect, no, would we like to get rid of it, hell no! Yeah we complain about the NHS all the time but we are British, we complain about everything!

Comment Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (Score 1) 1100

Sure, but you need not be conclusive to publish.

And in this case, we need not be conclusive to act. We've got a problem that won't wait around, we can't afford to wait for 3-sigma evidence. Even deferring the decision is, itself, a decision that we're making all the time. So really, all we can do is go with the best data available and do what we can.

Comment Re:"Scientific Consensus Over Climate Change" ? (Score 1) 1100

If you read a little further into the report they state that global warming is due to human activities at a 90% confidence level. Now, in the real world this seem definative but as a scientist this is certainly not conclusive. This is less than a 2 sigma detection, if I want to publish anything I need at least 99.7% confidence (3 sigma) that my result is correct.

China Jails Four For Microsoft XP Piracy 164

adeelarshad82 writes "Chinese court has jailed four people for spreading their bootleg 'Tomato Garden' version of Microsoft's Windows XP program, in what the Xinhua news agency called the nation's biggest software piracy case. One of the four men Hong Lei, the creator of the downloadable 'Tomato Garden Windows XP' software, was jailed for three and a half years by a court in Suzhou in eastern China, Xinhua."

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.'"

Submission + - Smart rooks - Aesop's fables based on facts? (

Sven writes: "'One of Aesop's fables may have been based on fact, scientists report. In the tale, written more than 2,000 years ago, a crow uses stones to raise the water level in a pitcher so it can reach the liquid to quench its thirst. Now a study published in Current Biology reveals that rooks, a relative of crows, do just the same when presented with a similar situation. The team says the study shows rooks are innovative tool-users, even though they do not use tools in the wild. Another paper, published in the journal Plos One, shows that New Caledonian crows — which like rooks, are a member of the corvid group, along with ravens, jackdaws, magpies and jays — can use three tools in succession to reach a treat. ' For further information please visit the official BBC release:"

Submission + - Finnish man prosecuted for discussing CSS (

Repossessed writes: From

A Finnish man has asked the European Court of Human Rights to defend his right to discuss encryption systems used by the entertainment industry. He says that Finland's implementation of the EU's Copyright Directive restricts his right to free speech.

The original court dismissed the case, since European law requires the DRM to be effective, but a Finnish high court reversed the ruling. An application to appeal before Finland's supreme court was also denied.

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