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Science

Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"
Biotech

Using Sound Waves For Outpatient Neurosurgery 152

eldavojohn writes "Got a piece of malfunctioning brain tissue in your head? Want to avoid messy lobotomies and skull saws? Well, you're in luck; a study shows that acoustic waves can do the trick and will hopefully treat patients with disorders like Parkinson's disease. A specialist said, 'The groundbreaking finding here is that you can make lesions deep in the brain — through the intact skull and skin — with extreme precision and accuracy and safety.' They focus beams on the part of the brain needing treatment and it absorbs the energy, which turns to heat. The temperature hits about 130 F, and they can burn 10 cubic millimeters at a time. Using an MRI to see areas of heat, they can watch the whole time and target only what needs to be burned. The study consisted of nine subjects suffering from chronic pain that did not subside with medication (normally they need to go in and destroy a small part of the thalamus on these patients). After the outpatient procedure, all nine reported immediate pain relief and none experienced neurological problems or other side effects after surgery."
The Internet

Amazon To Block Phorm Scans 140

clickclickdrone writes "The BBC are reporting that Amazon has said it will not allow online advertising system Phorm to scan its web pages to produce targeted ads. For most people this is a welcome step, especially after the European Commission said it was starting legal action against the UK earlier this week over its data protection laws in relation to Phorm's technology. Anyone who values their privacy should applaud this move by Amazon."
The Courts

Conviction of Sen. Ted Stevens Is Thrown Out 440

A federal judge has thrown out the conviction of the senator who educated us all about the true nature of the Internet. Ted Stevens had been convicted last fall of lying about free home renovations that he received from an oil contractor, 8 days before he lost his Senate re-election bid. The judge blasted the US Department of Justice prosecutors for mishandling the case in ways that might rise to the level of criminality. "In 25 years on the bench, I have never seen anything approach the mishandling and misconduct in this case," Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said. He called the allegations "shocking and disturbing." According to the article, "Several jurors have told The Washington Post that the evidence against Stevens was overwhelming during a month-long trial that ended in October."
Television

Norwegian Broadcasting Sets Up Its Own Tracker 187

eirikso writes with an interesting story from Norway; the state broadcaster there has decided to put up some of its content on BitTorrent. "The tracker is based on the same OpenTracker software that the Pirate Bay has been using for the last couple of years. By using BitTorrent we can reach our audience with full quality, unencrypted media files. Experience from our early tests show that if we're the best provider of our own content we also gain control of it."

Comment Re:About Nexuiz (Score 1) 75

Nexuiz has had CTF for ever, as well as Key Hunt (my personal favourite) and lots of other game types. The only new game type added since 2.4.2 is Onslaught. Blub's new scoreboard is very good, the developers have added a team score element to CTF.

Nexuiz 2.5 is about to be released, although the developers keep on adding new features (shakes head). You can download the code and compile it yourself, it's very easy.

Databases

MySQL Co-Founder Monty Widenius Quits Sun 140

BobB-nw writes "Michael 'Monty' Widenius, the original developer of the open-source MySQL database, has left Sun Microsystems and is starting his own company, Monty Program Ab, he said in a blog post Thursday. Widenius and Sun had a slightly rocky relationship since the vendor bought MySQL last year for $1 billion. In a much-discussed November blog post, he trashed Sun's decision to give MySQL 5.1 a 'generally available' designation, saying it was riddled with serious bugs. Meanwhile, Monty Program Ab will be 'a true open-source company,' with only a small number of employees who 'strive to have fun together and share the profit we create.' The company will work on the Maria project, a storage engine Widenius and others developed, he wrote.'"
Earth

Alaskans Prepare For Volcanic Eruption 293

An anonymous reader writes "Mount Redoubt, or Redoubt Volcano, is an active stratovolcano in the largely volcanic Aleutian Range of Alaska. The once quiet volcano has begun to roar once again. Its last eruption was in 1989 and geologists suggest that the next one is upon us. Alaskans who lived through the earlier eruption are stocking up on breathing masks and goggles. Starting on Friday, January 23 2009, the level of seismic activity increased markedly, and on Sunday AVO raised the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level to WATCH. On the basis of all available monitoring data AVO regards that an eruption similar to or smaller than the one that occurred in 1989-90 is the most probable outcome. We expect such an eruption to occur within days to weeks." From the AP article: "Alaska's volcanoes are not like Hawaii's. 'Most of them don't put out the red river of lava,' said the observatory's John Power. Instead, they typically explode and shoot ash 30,000 to 50,000 feet high — more than nine miles — into the jet stream. 'It's a very abrasive kind of rock fragment,' Power said. The particulate has jagged edges and has been used as an industrial abrasive. 'They use this to polish all kinds of metals,' he said." The server for the Alaska Volcano Observatory appears to be overloaded and is unresponsive.
Math

Crackpot Scandal In Mathematics 219

ocean_soul writes "It is well known among scientists that the impact factor of a scientific journal is not always a good indicator of the quality of the papers in the journal. An extreme example of this was recently uncovered in mathematics. The scandal is about one El Naschie, editor in chief of the 'scientific' journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, published by Elsevier. This is one of the highest impact factor journals in mathematics, but the quality of the papers in it is extremely poor. The journal has also published 322 papers with El Naschie as (co-)author, five of them in the latest issue. Like many crackpots, El Nashie has a kind of cult around him, with another journal devoted to praising his greatness. There was also a discussion about the Wikipedia entry for El Naschie, which was supposedly written by one of his followers. When it was deleted by Wikipedia, they even threatened legal actions (which never materialized)."
Earth

Inside the Active Volcano On Montserrat 42

Roland Piquepaille writes "An international team of researchers has begun collecting imaging data on the Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat, which has been erupting regularly since 1995. They're using the equivalent of a CAT scan to understand its internal structure and how and when it erupts. The experiment is dubbed SEA-CALIPSO and 'will use air guns and a string of sensors off the back of a research ship combined with sensors on land to try to image the magma chamber.' Early results are surprising. Quoting one of the leading scientists: 'The interesting thing is that much more magma is erupting than appears represented by the subsiding bowl. ... The magma volume in Montserrat eruptions is much larger than anyone would estimate from the surface deformation, because of the elastic storage of magma in what is effectively a huge magma sponge.'"
Biotech

Baby To Be Born Without the Gene For Breast Cancer 259

manoftin writes to tell us that next week a baby will be born without the gene for breast cancer, according to the BBC. "But he said that, in this case, not carrying the BRCA1 gene would not guarantee any daughter born to the couple would be unaffected by breast cancer because there are other genetic and environmental causes. Dr Alan Thornhill, scientific director of the London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Centre, said: 'While the technology and approach used in this case is fairly routine, it is the first time in the UK that a family has successfully eliminated a mutant breast cancer gene for their child. It is a victory for both the parents and the HFEA that licensed this treatment.'"

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