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Submission + - New Study Links Autism with Schizophrenia (

Magdalene writes: "According to a new study out of Simon Fraser University, Autism and Schizophrenia share associated gene pathways in the brain. Researcher Bernard Crespi and his colleages have found four regions in the human genome where mutations known as copy number variants can arise — stretches of DNA that contain accidental duplications or deletions. The investigators found deletion mutations in people with autism and duplications in people with schizophrenia, Their findings are further reported in this week's online issue of the Proceedings of the of the National Academy of Sciences. here"

Submission + - Why do you think Slashdot sucks? (

An anonymous reader writes: As a long time reader and anonymous contributor, it saddens me to say Slashdot sucks. This has been going on for some time it seems. But I was the last to be told. I started hanging out at Reddit -Google it!- and noticed everything happened there 2 days in advance of Slashdot. But that's not why *I* think Slashdot sucks.

I think Slashdot sucks because its comment system is broken.

1) Comments take up too much screen real estate. 3 comments max can appear on the screen. On Reddit, you get more, thus...
2) Reddit is easier to skim and find what is useful. Slashdot forces you to scroll scroll scroll, then move the comments bar down to get more in view, then click click click on the add more comments button, then play with the stupid bar again. This is ridiculously complicated. Back in the good old days, you would just change the rating level, and all the posts that level and above would appear below. Now God only knows what posts will appear, thus...
3) The dynamic commenting system buries Anonymous posts much worse than before. Posting as anonymous is like writing on a napkin, wiping your mouth with it, and tossing it in the garbage. Why bother? I mean, unless you're eating tacos.

I, A. Coward, no longer want to contribute content to Slashdot if it ends up in some unnavigable comment hell. If I'm skipping the comments out of frustration with the script (along with the main stories, hell, the whole site these days), so are many others.

Proposed solution. Reduce screen real estate for comments. (Yes it solves everything!) Strive to get 8 one-line posts onto an average 15" laptop screen.

1) Get rid of the subject line, pointless rounded bubble edging, big honking reply buttons, all those vertical lines that exist only as symptoms of the underlying problem.
2) Use visual cues for up-voted content / posters with good karma (green = good, red = bad). Dim/shrink downvoted content, but don't hide its existence.
3) Instead of hiding posts, concatenate all posts more aggressively, maybe at 250 words for registered users, 150 words for anonymous cowards. Concatenate flamebait and trolls to one line, ~20 words. If you want to read more, click the post to dynamically load the rest of it.

While you guys are busy fixing the site, I'll write my ideas down on napkins and hang out at Reddit.

So why do *you* think Slashdot sucks?

Comment Re:Where do you still find those? (Score 1) 233

depends where you are. Check out the used computer warehouses in your area, they are sure to find one in the back that is gathering dust. All you need is an adapter, which they should also have. If you have trouble finding one give me a shout, I have about 3 in my dead tech closet with the commodore 64 ;).


Comment 30 - 60 hz headache (Score 2, Funny) 384

I'm not sure about you, but at that low a refresh my eyes would walk right out of their sockets and donate themselves to science in protest.

Which, in foresight (heh) would be proceeding the rest of the body by only a few hours if I was lucky enough. By dying horribly in one of the following ways: flattened by a Hydrogen powered bus for wandering into traffic, skating right off the skytrain platform and falling the 60 meters or so to my doom or rolling onto the train right-of-way and becoming instant mincemeat. All because I was checking my daytimer and was too airbrained to realize where I was roller-blading.(obtuse old telus ad reference, I *hated* that ad.)



Submission + - Microsoft Downplays Serious IIS Bug Threat

snydeq writes: "Microsoft confirmed that its IIS Web server software contains a vulnerability that could let attackers steal data, but downplayed the threat. The flaw, which involves how Microsoft's software processes Unicode tokens, has been found to give attackers a way to view protected files on IIS Web servers without authorization. The vulnerability, exposed by Nikolaos Rangos, could be used to upload files as well. Affecting IIS 6 users who have enabled WebDAV for sharing documents via the Web, the flaw is currently being exploited in online attacks, according to CERT, and is reminiscent of the well-known IIS unicode path traversal issue of 2001, one of the worst Windows vulnerabilities of the past decade."

Comment Hubris (Score 1) 658

It never fails to amaze me just how much hubris the human race can muster up on its own behalf.

The thing is, if you want to take an actual look at the history of the earth's geological age, and say, use a year as an analogy for how long its been around compared to us, we don't show up till around 5 seconds to midnight December 31. --thank you David Attenborough for that image--

Life on earth will continue blithely on without us. The earth will sweep us off its back as surely as a water-buffalo swats a gnat, with about as much notice, and future palaeontologists will look back at the 'human' era as one of the many branches that was doomed to fail and become extinct .... something just a wee bit more successful than the Neanderthal.

And we thought the dinosaurs were a failure. Take a look at how long they lasted in geological time compared to us so far. I think they win.

Claws down.

Comment Go to the Source and the water is Sweeter (Score 2, Informative) 96

The article in Wired seems to be a 'dumbed down for public consumption' version of an article that appeared in Scientific American in August 2007. The original was authored by Dr Susana Martinez-Conde and Dr Stephen L Macknik, and referred to a study they had completed in 2006. There is a preview available here:

unfortunately one would have to pay for the whole article as they are a subscription magazine. But the proof is in the preview, and if anyone should want more, I would encourage them to go to their local library and find the magazine there. The article in Scientific American is much more educational.


Submission + - Dark energy lurks in hidden spatial dimensions? ( 1

Magdalene writes: "According to Stephen Battersby of the news service; The mysterious cosmic presence called dark energy, which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, might be lurking in hidden dimensions of space. This idea would explain how the dimensions of space remain stable — one of the biggest problems for the unified scheme of physics called 'string theory'. In the article, Brian Greene and Janna Levin of Columbia University liken the extra dimensions, including our our own 3d universe to membranes in higher dimensional space, they suggest that a "sterile neutrino" could exist in the extra dimensions, making its presence felt only as the source of dark energy.

There is no word yet on whether or not Sphere or Square are available for comment.



PHP 4 End of Life Announcement 125

perbert writes "The PHP development team has announced that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. Critical security fixes will be made available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. For documentation on migration for PHP 4 to PHP 5, there is a migration guide. There is additional information available in the PHP 5.0 to PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 to PHP 5.2 migration guides as well."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Don't Shave Your Butt Hair!!! (

Tadpole writes: "This poor bastard has one very unfortunate lesson to share with us all... apparently, butt hair serves a purpose, and terrible things happen when you shave it... Read on, but avoid drinking while reading so you don't choke while laughing!"

Submission + - YouTube to Begin Using Video Fingerprinting (

Spamicles writes: "YouTube will begin testing video recognition technology in conjunction with Time Warner and Disney. Testing will begin next month in hopes that the software, designed to recognize copyright content in videos, will be ready to roll out later this year, the company said. Google, which now owns YouTube, had agreed to implement some kind of technology to identify copyright content on its site so it can remove pirated content or negotiate with owners for a license."

Submission + - Judge Orders FBI to Release Abuse Records (

Spamicles writes: "A judge has ordered the FBI to release agency records about its abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) to collect Americans' personal information. The ruling came just a day after the EFF urged the judge to immediately respond in its lawsuit over agency delays. This is the same case in which an internal FBI audit found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years."

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