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Medicine

Scientists Crack 'Entire Genetic Code' of Cancer 235

Entropy98 writes "Scientists have unlocked the entire genetic code of skin and lung cancer. From the article: 'Not only will the cancer maps pave the way for blood tests to spot tumors far earlier, they will also yield new drug targets, say the Wellcome Trust team. The scientists found the DNA code for a skin cancer called melanoma contained more than 30,000 errors almost entirely caused by too much sun exposure. The lung cancer DNA code had more than 23,000 errors largely triggered by cigarette smoke exposure. From this, the experts estimate a typical smoker acquires one new mutation for every 15 cigarettes they smoke. Although many of these mutations will be harmless, some will trigger cancer.' Yet another step towards curing cancer. Though it will probably take many years to study so many mutations."
Media

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
Science

Aussie Scientists Find Coconut-Carrying Octopus 205

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from an AP report: "Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal. The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot. ... 'I was gobsmacked,' said Finn, a research biologist at the museum who specializes in cephalopods. 'I mean, I've seen a lot of octopuses hiding in shells, but I've never seen one that grabs it up and jogs across the sea floor. I was trying hard not to laugh.'"
Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

Comment Started my own business (Score 1) 932

If you're that good at doing, you could also try starting your own business on the side doing it. It's extremely easy to start up a small LLC and keep yourself protected with a legitimate business. That's what I did. It's amazing how quickly you stopped getting pestered to do things when you charge for it. Either the person corrects their actions or they find another sucker. Either way, you're getting paid for your time or no longer having your time wasted.
The Military

Submission + - DD-214 Now Available Online

pdragon04 writes: When leaving the US Armed Forces, it was always stressed how important it was to never loose your copy of your DD-214 as it was your only record of having served. Getting a new copy if you lost it was a long and arduous process and significantly delayed obtaining veterans benefits. An email today from my college's financial aid office stated:

"It's official, DD-214's are NOW Online. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214's online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov/

This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files. Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new on-line military personnel records system to request documents. Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the on-line web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records centers mailroom and processing time."

Submission + - Your Brain On Junk Food (sciencedaily.com)

pdragon04 writes: "Brain pleasure centers became progressively less responsive in rats fed a diet of high-fat, high-calorie food, a new study has found. As the changes occurred, the rats developed compulsive overeating habits — and became obese. The overeating continued even when it meant the rats had to endure an unpleasant consequence (a mild foot shock) in order to consume the food."
Google

Submission + - Google Voice now lets you use your existing number (blogspot.com)

no.good.at.coding writes: If you're lucky enough to get an invite for Google Voice, you'll now have an option to use your existing mobile phone number instead of having to pick a 'Google' number.

Google will give you the cool voicemail features (searchable online, transcription and custom greetings) for your mobile but you'll be missing out on the controversial 'Listen In' feature along with the ability to screen and block calls and make conference calls.

Software

Submission + - Lost Northwest Pilots Were Trying Out New Software

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that two Northwest Airlines pilots who flew about 110 miles past their destination to the skies over Wisconsin as more than a dozen air-traffic controllers in three locations tried to get the plane's attention had taken out their personal laptops in the cockpit, a violation of airline policy, so the first officer could tutor the captain in a new scheduling system put in place by Delta Air Lines, which acquired Northwest last fall. "Both said they lost track of time," said an interim report from the National Transportation Safety Board countering theories in aviation circles that the two pilots might have fallen asleep or were arguing in the cockpit. "Using laptops or engaging in activity unrelated to the pilots' command of the aircraft during flight," said a statement from Delta Airlines, "is strictly against the airline's flight deck policies and violations of that policy will result in termination." Industry executives and analysts said the pilots' behavior was a striking lapse for such veteran airmen who have a total of 31,000 flying hours of experience between them. In the case of Flight 188, "Neither pilot was aware of the airplane's position until a flight attendant called about five minutes before they were scheduled to land and asked what was their estimated time of arrival," the interim report said. Flight attendants have not had keys to open a plane's heavy cockpit door since the 2001 terrorist attacks, and there is no procedure in which they regularly check on pilots. The cabin crew communicates by phone or through a series of chimes that can be heard in the passenger cabin."

Comment Petition & Email HTC (Score 1) 181

Someone on the xda-developers forums started a petition here

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/herokernel/signatures-1.html

You can also go to htc.com and fill out the Contact Us form with the contents of the petition as several people have already done.

More people doing the latter would probably generate more concern at HTC if their customer service department is getting flooded with them.

Comment Bloatware (Score 1) 68

Like almost all fee-based malware products marketed to home users, Adaware now-a-days is just bloatware crap that seems to cause as many problems as it tries to solve. The performance degradation of its background service is almost worse than what some malware causes. Avoid like the plague.

I advise all my home user customers to never pay for ANY antivirus/antispyware software. None of it prevents anything anymore and isn't worth spending money on. All it's good for anymore is notifying you after the fact when you get an infection and then most people have to pay to have it cleaned anyway. Install Firefox & set it as the default browser then install AVG/Avast/Spybot/etc (anything as long as its free) to provide infection notifications.
Censorship

Submission + - Google bans the public domain from Kindle (sacred-texts.com) 1

John B. Hare writes: "Many publishers of public domain content on the Kindle are being turned away for reasons which Amazon declines to clarify. In the past two weeks any publisher posting a public domain book (or a book which appears to be a public domain book) have received the message "Your book is currently under review by the Kindle Operations team as we are trying to improve the Kindle customer experience. Please check back in 5 business days to see if your book was published to the store."

Amazon claims that this is a quality control issue, that readers can't figure out on their own that a five page Kindle book for $9.99 is a rip-off or yet another Kindle edition of 'Pride and Prejudice' is pointless. This was supposed to be the point of user feedback and the Kindle return policy: the user can quickly decide what the best choice is, and if they don't like it, back out without any harm done.

I own and run one of the primary contributors of new public domain etexts on the web: sacred-texts.com. When the ban went into effect, I was just back from an intense round of chemo. I was disappointed to get this message. I am (was?) in the process of converting all of the 2000+ ebooks at sacred-texts into Kindle editions. I use a homebrew preflight Kindle filter to construct the Kindle binary from my master files, which we have invested nearly a million dollars into creating. We spend thousands a month in-house doing legal clearance, scanning, OCRing, and proofing, often by domain experts. So we are hardly a fly-by-night operation. In fact, many of the PD texts floating around on the Internet and on the Kindle were originally done at sacred-texts at great investment of labor and time. Our Kindle return rate is close to zero.

This morning I received an email stating:

Dear Publisher,

We're working on a policy and procedure change to fix a customer experience problem caused by multiple copies of public domain titles being uploaded by a multitude of publishers. For an example of this problem, do a search on "Pride and Prejudice" in the Kindle Store. The current situation is very confusing for customers as it makes it difficult to decide which 'Pride and Prejudice' to choose. As a result, at this time we are not accepting additional public domain titles through DTP, including the following: The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ
Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Medieval Mysticism
The History of the Knights Templar by Nicolas Notovitch...


If you believe that we have wrongly identified this title as a public domain title, and you are the copyright holder or are authorized to sell it by the copyright holder, then please reply to title-submission@amazon.com with appropriate documentation of your e-book rights.

Thank you, Amazon.com

As can be seen, this brings an entirely new issue into play: apparently, if I owned the rights to a public domain book and can prove it, they will reconsider. However, nobody can own a public domain book. This is the point. Amazon is telling us that in order to post our books we need to prove a contradiction!

One key point is that Amazon has applied this ban completely non-selectively. Established publishers such as myself and others who have never had any quality control issues whatsoever, and give good value for the price, have all been tarred with the broad brush of 'Public Domain Publisher--do not post'.

By banning new public domain books from the Kindle, they are making an implicit decision as to which books people should read. You can argue that 'you can get these texts anywhere' but by excluding high quality Kindle books of them from the nascent Kindle marketplace, Amazon is implicitly trying to decide what is a valid part of our culture and what isn't. This trend does not bode well for the future of ebooks."

Submission + - British film 'Creation' banned in USA (digitaljournal.com) 8

thesappho writes: "From the story : "British film 'Creation' will not be coming to the United States because of its controversial theme. While the film opened the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, the religious undertones surrounding this Darwin biopic appear to be to much for the U.S. ". It seems that the film could not find even one distributor to be aired. Is this a kind of banning? negligence? censorship? or business decision?"
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Achron — an RTS With Time Travel 141

An anonymous reader writes "As much as I'm looking forward to StarCraft 2, there's a new RTS gaming tech that has me even more enthused. The Escapist Magazine has posted interviews and footage of the upcoming 'meta-time strategy game' Achron, which was announced at GDC earlier this year. It's a multiplayer RTS where you can send things through time. The official site has some gameplay footage as well, and it looks like their tech is useful outside of gaming."

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