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Submission + - New Yeast Strain Doubles Biofuel Production ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers has developed a new strain of yeast that could make the production of biofuels two times more efficient by breaking down an elusive sugar chain present in plant stems called xylose. Up until now, two processes have been used to break down all of the sugars contained in plants — one for simple sugars and one for complex sugars. This new yeast has the ability to break down simple and complex sugars at once, making the production of biofuels faster and yielding more end product.
The Courts

Submission + - Russian Court Decides Against Political Prisoner (

reporter writes: According to a report just published by the "Wall Street Journal", "A Moscow court Monday found tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky guilty of embezzling and laundering billions of dollars worth of oil from OAO Yukos, the company he once controlled, confirming widely held expectations of a conviction in a case that has come to define the rule of Vladimir Putin.". This "legal" judgment is the latest attempt by the Kremlin to silence Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

His legal troubles began when he used his wealth and influence to support the liberal political forces in Russia. Putin warned him to back off from politics, but Khodorkovsky ignored the warning. So, in 2003, the Kremlin arrested his partner, Platon Lebedev. Still, Khodorkovsky continued to dabble in politics. The Kremlin responded by arresting Khodorkovsky himself, and a Russian court then sentenced him to 8 years in prison. Before today's court ruling against him, he would have been released from prison in 2011. Today's ruling means that he will likely stay in prison until 2017.

The report just published by the BBC offers another view of this matter.

Submission + - 'Six crimes a day' solved by CCTV in London (

stoilis writes: "CCTV cameras across London help solve almost six crimes a day, the Metropolitan Police (Met) has said. According to the article, "the number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year. The rise in the number of criminals caught also raises public confidence and counters bad publicity for CCTV"."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Is power consumption affected by OS? 1

dbbd writes: I was told that a 32 bits OS will make the CPU consume less power, than a 64 bits OS.
If that is so, it would make sense to choose 32bit OSes on laptops whenever 64bits is not a must.

Is that correct? If so, why does a 32bits OS consume less power than a 64?

Submission + - UK Banks Attempt to Censor Academic Publication (

An anonymous reader writes: Representatives of the UK banking industry have sent a take-down notice (PDF link) to Cambridge University, demanding that they censor a student's webpage as well as his masters thesis. The banks' objection is that the information contained in the report might be used to exploit a vulnerability Chip and PIN system, used throughout Europe and Canada for credit and debit card payments. The system was revealed to be fundamentally flawed earlier this year, as it allowed criminals to use a stolen card with any PIN. Cambridge University has resisted the demands and has sent a response to the bankers explaining why they will keep the page online.

Submission + - Couple Tried for Child Abuse over Bath Photos (

An anonymous reader writes: After the American Child Protection Agency took away their children, Vuk and Verica Nasti will appear in court and try to get their children back. In June the Agency took eight-year old son Damjan and daughter Nastasija from their parents because of alleged sexual abuse.
Psychologists claim that the case amounts to "cultural misunderstandings". Photographs of the couple's naked children taking a bath in a bathtub were found in their father's computer when he took it to a repair shop, and the shop owner notified police.

It is becoming increasingly easy to lose your children over what used to be asexual parenting activities.

Comment Patent Chess (Score 2) 71

To me it seems more and more like these companies with their huge patent pools are bored and now play a game against each other.
company1: "Hey company2, I hold a patent vaguely describing what you do with product X"
company2: "Hey company1, I have two patents even more vaguely describing what you do with product Y"
company3: "Hey both of you, I hold ten patents that you both infringe on"
company1: "Oh yeah, well guess what, I have twelve other patents, that ..."
...Ad infinitum...
It's getting ridiculus...

Submission + - Amazon selling Wikileaks Cable documents as a book ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: Perhaps they didn't filter this book before approving it but a book with the leaks from cablegate is available as a Kindle ebook for download. Many amazon users have written 'reviews' condemning amazon and vowing never to use amazon again. How long before this one is pulled?

Submission + - Ubuntu Rolling release rumours wrong ( 1

ddfall writes: Previously on /. — — This is wrong! Engineering Director of Ubuntu Rick Spencer says "Ubuntu is not changing to a rolling release". He goes on to say, "We are confident that our customers, partners, and the FLOSS ecosystem are well served by our current release cadence. What the article was probably referring to was the possibility of making it easier for developers to use cutting edge versions of certain software packages on Ubuntu. This is a wide-ranging project that we will continue to pursue through our normal planning processes".

Submission + - Kuwait Bans DSLR Cameras Use For Non-Journalists (

DaveNJ1987 writes: Kuwait has banned the use of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras in public places for anyone who is not a journalist. The ban, which was passed by the unanimous agreement of the country's Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Finance, prevents the public from using DSLR devices on the streets of the Middle Eastern State. Tourists are to be affected by the new laws and must be aware of this before travelling to Kuwait. Smaller digital cameras and camera phones are exempt from the ban.

Submission + - Can't Remember Faces? Blame your Reading Skills (

Hugh Pickens writes: "Have you ever been embarrassed by introducing yourself to someone only for them to point out that you've met before? The New Scientist reports that new research suggests that learning to read competes with face recognition ability. To test the hypothesis Stanislas Dehaene at the INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit in Saclay, France carried out functional MRI brain scans on 10 people who could not read, 22 who learned to read as adults and 31 who did so as children. When the researchers showed participants pictures of faces, the visual word form area of those who could read was much less active than that of participants who could not read. Dehaene speculates that the ability to read may have hijacked a neuronal network that evolved to enable us to visually track animals. "The hypothesis suggests that this brain area has not evolved for reading but results from a reconfiguration of evolutionarily older brain circuits dedicated to object processing," says Manuel Carreiras at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language who prevously found that the brains of adults who learn to read as adults are structurally different to those who cannot read."

Submission + - Cracks found in Shuttle external fuel tank (

Mysticalfruit writes: During an inspection of Discovery's external fuel tank, two cracks in the stringers were found. Currently NASA is evaluating its possible repair options. Considering how critical these stringers are to the structural integrity of the tank, I'm surprised that they'd be so willing to repair in place. This launch will the the last launch of Discovery before she is mothballed.

Submission + - Gran Turismo 5 Delayed. Again. (

RogueyWon writes: Sony have just announced via the official Playstation blog that Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 has been delayed yet again. This delay hits just three weeks before the game was supposed to arrive on the shelves. A release before Christmas is still being suggested, but a healthy degree of skepticism might be wise. Delays have already hit other Playstation 3 exclusives, such as Littlebigplanet 2, meaning that Gran Turismo 5 had been increasingly central to Sony's strategy for the holiday period. This delay isn't just bad news for racing game fans; it's also seriously bad news for Sony and their investors.

Comment Re:Learn my language! (Score 1) 674

English is my second language. Let me tell you something, English is very hard to learn. To me, it is a very disorganized language that seems like it was designed by a committee. A very drunk and disorderly committee. The rules of grammar and spelling frequently contradict itself. Often, the exceptions are as numerous as the rules.

That's French you're describing there.
At least that's how it seemed to me in school. English on the other hand was a lot easier.
I don't think you can generalize that way and label certain languages easy or hard to learn, it probably depends on how your native language has influenced your brain structure for languages, on the circumstances in which you try to learn another language (I didn't really get along with my French teacher, I don't think that helped) and many other things.

(my native language is German)

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