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Biotech

Cancer Cells Detected Using $400 Digital Camera 90

fergus07 writes "Researchers have detected oral cancer cells using a fiber-optic cable and an off-the-shelf Olympus E-330 camera worth $400. The work by Rice University biomedical engineers and researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center could improve access to diagnostic imaging tools in many parts of the world where these expensive resources are scarce. In the tests, a common fluorescent dye was used to make cell nuclei glow brightly and images were taken using the tip of the fiber-optic bundle attached to the camera. The distorted nuclei, which indicate cancerous and pre-cancerous cells, could then be distinguished on the camera's LCD monitor."
United States

State Senator Caught Looking At Porn On Senate Floor 574

Everyone knows how boring a debate on a controversial abortion bill can get on the Senate floor. So it's no wonder that Florida State Sen. Mike Bennett took the time to look at a little porn and a video of a dog running out of the water and shaking itself off. From the article: "Ironically, as Bennett is viewing the material, you can hear a Senator Dan Gelber's voice in the background debating a controversial abortion bill. 'I'm against this bill,' said Gelber, 'because it disrespects too many women in the state of Florida.' Bennett defended his actions, telling Sunshine State News it was an email sent to him by a woman 'who happens to be a former court administrator.'"
Image

Facebook Leads To Increase In STDs in Britain 270

ectotherm writes "According to Professor Peter Kelly, a director of Public Health in Great Britain: 'There has been a four-fold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected, with more young women being affected.' Why the increase? People meeting up for casual sex through Facebook. According to the article, 'Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex. There is a rise in syphilis because people are having more sexual partners than 20 years ago and often do not use condoms.'"
Government

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."

Submission + - Foxconn iWonder Android tablet to sell for $100 (liliputing.com) 1

Xacid writes: "Looking to spend some quality time with Google Android, but don’t feel like plunking down the cash for a smartphone and then shelling out more money each month for a data plan? I already told you about one relatively affordable option this week: The Archos 5 Internet tablet which starts at just $250. But Taiwanese PC maker Foxconn has an Android-powered tablet that cuts that price in half twice."

Interesting competitor to the iPad. Definitely not a prize fighter, but certainly a viable option for those looking for a similar device on a budget.

More details on the gadget here:
http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/18/iwonder-why-the-logo-is-upside-down/
http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/02/iwonder-tablet.html

Robotics

Submission + - Welcome To Robot Land Theme Park In South Korea (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: The world’s first major theme park based on robots is coming to Incheon, South Korea. Robot Land has already raised more than 784.5 billion Won (~$680 million USD) to create the 100+ acre facility. This thing is going to be packed with robots everywhere you look. There will be exhibition halls for popular robot franchises (Astroboy, Star Wars, Transformers, etc), recreations of movie sets (i-robot, Matrix, Minority Report), and plenty of rides and shows. According to the Robot Land website, the park will feature robot cashiers, robotic performances, and robot themed shopping. There will even be a stadium for robotic competitions. Slashdot actually covered this about 2 years ago when it was just a concept...it is nice to see that the idea is actually going to happen.
Science

Submission + - Hawking says humans are evolving (dailygalaxy.com)

jennyfever writes: Although It has taken homo sapiens several million years to evolve from the apes, the useful information in our DNA, has probably changed by only a few million bits. So the rate of biological evolution in humans, Stephen Hawking points out in his Life in the Universe lecture, is about a bit a year.
Books

Novelist Blames Piracy On Open Source Culture 494

joeflies writes "CNN published an article entitled 'Digital Piracy Hits the e-Book Industry.' It quotes the following statement by novelist Sherman Alexie: 'With the open-source culture on the Internet, the idea of ownership — of artistic ownership — goes away. It terrifies me.'" The article also points out a couple of interesting statistics for a "slumping" industry beset by piracy: "Sales for digital books in the second quarter of 2009 totaled almost $37 million. That's more than three times the total for the same three months in 2008, according to the Association of American Publishers," and "consumers who purchase an e-reader buy more books than those who stick with traditional bound volumes. Amazon reports that Kindle owners buy, on average, 3.1 times as many books on the site as other customers."
Microsoft

Microsoft Ordered To Pay $290M, Stop Selling Word 272

Cytalk and other readers tipped us to Microsoft's loss in a US appeals court, in a patent case brought by Canadian company i4i. Microsoft must now pay $290M and either stop selling Word (and probably Office) by January 11, or somehow work around the patent by that date. A Seattle PI blog reports that Redmond has a few options left: "In a statement, Microsoft said it was working hard to comply with the injunction. The company also said it is considering further legal options, including possible requests for a new hearing or a writ of certiorari from the US Supreme Court." Update: 12/22 20:47 GMT by KD : Tim Bray has up a blog post explaining why it would be no great loss if Microsoft dropped the "custom XML" feature in dispute.
Update: 12/22 23:04 GMT by KD : Reader adeelarshad82 pointed out a statement released by Microsoft earlier today, which says in part: "We expect to have copies of Microsoft Word 2007 and Office 2007, with this feature removed, available for U.S. sale and distribution by the injunction date. In addition, the beta versions of Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010, which are available now for downloading, do not contain the technology covered by the injunction."
Image

Microsoft Seeks Patent On Shaming Fat Gamers 553

theodp writes "A newly disclosed Microsoft patent application — Avatar Individualized by Physical Characteristic — takes aim at fat people, proposing to generate fat avatars in gaming environments for individuals whose health records indicate they're overweight, limiting their game play, and even banning them. From the patent application: 'An undesirable body weight could be reflected in an overweight or underweight appearance for the avatar. Only requisite health levels are allowed to compete in a certain competition level. A dedicated gamer could exercise for a period of time until his health indicator gadget shows a sufficiently high health/health credit in order to allow reentering the avatar environment.' Linking one's gaming avatar to one's physique, explains Microsoft, will produce healthy and virtuous behaviors in individuals. Microsoft also proposes shaping gaming experiences by using 'psychological and demographic information such as education level, geographic location, age, sex, intelligence quotient, socioeconomic class, occupation, marital/relationship status, religious belief, political affiliation, etc.'"
Image

Best Man Rigs Newlyweds' Bed To Tweet During Sex 272

When an UK man was asked to be the best man at a friend's wedding he agreed that he would not pull any pranks before or during the ceremony. Now the groom wishes he had extended the agreement to after the blessed occasion as well. The best man snuck into the newlyweds' house while they were away on their honeymoon and placed a pressure-sensitive device under their mattress. The device now automatically tweets when the couple have sex. The updates include the length of activity and how vigorous the act was on a scale of 1-10.
Image

PhD Candidate Talks About the Physics of Space Battles 361

darthvader100 writes "Gizmodo has run an article with some predictions on what future space battles will be like. The author brings up several theories on propulsion (and orbits), weapons (explosives, kinetic and laser), and design. Sounds like the ideal shape for spaceships will be spherical, like the one in the Hitchhiker's Guide movie."

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