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Biotech

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 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v444/n7122/ab s/nature05414.html ."
Education

Submission + - Young Earth Creationist Gets Paleontology Ph.D.

dnarepair writes: "The New York Times is reporting that a Young Earth Creationsist named Marcus Ross has just gotten his Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of Rhode Island. Ross is apparently a supporter of Intelligent Design (as well as Young Earth Creationism) and is on the faculty now at Liberty University) his home page is here ). Apparently his Ph.D work is on the up and up and did not raise any concerns. The key question raised by the Times article seems to be — if you were an evolutionary biologist and someone like Ross wanted to do a PhD with you — what would you do? On the one hand, he is likely to use his credentials as a formally trained paleontologist to promote Intelligent Design as a scientific theory. On the other hand, he did the work, and apparently did it well. Should someones long term goals and their motivation play a role in determining whether they are admitted to a PhD program or whether, once admitted they get their PhD?"
United States

Submission + - U.S. Navy, Dolphins, and Fricken LASER Beams

WED Fan writes: "The U.S. Navy is getting ready to deploy Anti-Terrorism Dolphins and Seals.

Dozens of dolphins and sea lions trained to detect and apprehend waterborne attackers could be sent to patrol a military base in Washington state, the Navy said Monday. In a notice published in this week's Federal Register, the Navy said it needs to bolster security at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, on the Puget Sound close to Seattle.


Those of us living in the area know this could be a problem for certain types of criminals, proving a problem for anyone who shoots sea mammals in the area."
Security

Submission + - "Hacking" a Fake Snow Day

Class Act Dynamo writes: "Two students in Trenton, Ohio face expulsion from their school and possibly some time in juvie for posting a fake snow-related announcement on the school district website. According to the article, there was no hacking involved. The girls somehow must have gotten the password. It will be interesting to find out how that happened. We'll probably find out next week that it was on a post-it note on the principle's desk."
Censorship

Submission + - Google News and Censorship: Is this a Pattern?

Jon Meyer writes: The Google YouTube handling of Nick Gisburne is very similar to their News page's handling of Uruknet.

According to Alexa, the web-ranking organization, Uruknet is highly rated as an Iraqi news source. Yet, with no convincing reason, in late January Google delisted Uruknet from Google News. A campaign to restore Uruknet to Google News is underway. See this link for the full story.

Does the YouTube incident, Uruknet and Google's recent defusing of Google Bombs indicate the search giant is entering a new phase of more strident and direct information censorship?
Education

Submission + - Sex-ed the Tex-ed way

zoltamatron writes: The SF Chronicle is running a story about the Bush administration's abstinence only sex-ed program and how there is no evidence to show that it works any better than the comprehensive education it replaces. Still, California is one of only three states that does not participate in the program that pushes the Texas born curriculum. From the article:

"California took a very progressive approach," [Douglas Kirby] said. "Texas pushed abstinence and made it a little more difficult for teens to receive contraceptives. Pregnancy did go down between 1991 and 2004, but Texas had the second-lowest decline of all states, 19 percent. California had the second-greatest decrease, 46 percent."
The article says there is more than $1 billion in federal money going to these programs.
The Internet

Journal Journal: U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em! 359

We've all heard of Google bombing, well the US Government takes the expression sort of literally...

U.S. cyber counterattack: Bomb 'em one way or the other

National Cyber Response Coordination Group establishing proper response to cyberattacks

The Internet

Submission + - Wrong Phone Number = No DNS = No Income

FishinDave writes: The customer service staff at domain registrar Enom.com seems a bit standoffish, to put it charitably. They didn't email pioneering Web publisher Randy "This Is True" Cassingham to warn him that someone had changed the phone number on several of his income-producing Web sites' registry records to "0000000000".

They just shut off DNS to those sites and others registered to Cassingham, and even to a site that listed him only at the technical contact. They didn't bother to email any concerned parties about that, either.

It took several hair-tearing hours for Cassingham to figure out why no one could reach his sites and all his email addresses were down — why his livelihood had suddenly vanished, in other words. After he learned that Enom had cut him off, it took nearly 24 hours more to get his DNS restored.

Enom never responded to Cassingham's desperate communications with a single word of acknowledgement, explanation, apology, or advice.

The phone number was changed by Cassingham himself as he updated obsolete registry information. Like most sane people, he was loathe to put his office phone number in the registry for every con artist and crank to harvest, so he entered a placeholder number until he could get a voicemail flak-catcher. All of his DNS records contain a valid email address that auto-responds to incoming messages with Cassingham's full contact info, including a valid voice phone number.

OK, so Cassingham made a hasty mistake by not waiting until he had a valid voicemail number. More likely, his real mistake was using such an obviously bogus placeholder as "0000000000". Whois records are rife with plausible-looking contact info that doesn't work. Indeed, Cassingham's income would not have been interrupted and his heart slammed into fibrillation had he simply left in place the contact info that was obsolete since he moved in 2003.

But Enom made a bigger mistake by biting the hand that feeds it, without so much as a warning snarl.

Any domain registrar can do likewise to anyone at any time. I wonder how many have.

How do Slashdot readers manage their DNS records for privacy and security? If you manage a registry, what do you do when you discover possibly bogus contact info? What would you do if your registrar pulled a stunt like Enom's?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - New eBay scam, without violating ebay policy

Bert64 writes: "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."
Power

Submission + - not enough lithium available in the Earth's crust

pH7.0 writes: From this Toronto Star story: http://www.thestar.com/article/175800 "there's simply not enough lithium available in the Earth's crust to stick a lithium-ion battery in the world's 900 million cars, and at the same time expect the auto market to grow. It's just not sustainable." Is this true? AFAIK there are more Lithium in the earth's crust than Tin or Lead. May it's still not enough? OTOH, that story try to plug "Zebra Battery" but fail to mention "Molten salt"...
Privacy

Submission + - UK police given power to search without cause

An anonymous reader writes: Tony Blair announced today that UK police are to be given new powers to enter and search the homes of convicted sex offenders, with or without "suspicion of a crime".

The powers, which come into effect later this year, allow police to enter a property to look for evidence that a paedophile might be planning an offence.

Officers will search computers as well as looking for evidence of magazines, or the presence of children's toys or clothes.

However, unlike now when they can enter a property only if they have a reasonable belief a crime may be committed, the new power allows searches even where no such evidence exists.


What if they find virus tools on the computer? Does their unlimited search power restrict the scope of their search to children's clothing or photos?

The law essentially gives the police the power to "search whenever we want for whatever reason". Seeing how this is already common practice in the case of those on parole or probation, the new law clearly applies to those offenders who have completed all aspects of their sentence and are "free men" (as it were).

That is likely to raise some civil liberties concerns, but ministers believe the public will support the move.


Is the "pedophile panic" just a convienant tool on which to pass this legislation or is this new law justified to bring further reductions to child abuse?

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