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Submission + - Danish scientists on brink of HIV cure (

quixote9 writes: HIV is hard to cure because it hides inside the patient's DNA. The Danish research follows a strategy to unpack the DNA, expose the viral bits, and then use immune stimulation to get rid of it.

The technique uses drugs called HDAC Inhibitors, which are more commonly used in treating cancer, to drive out the HIV from a patient’s DNA. ... The scientists are currently conducting human trials on their treatment, in the hope of proving that it is effective. It has already been found to work in laboratory tests. ... In vitro studies — those that use human cells in a laboratory — of the new technique proved so successful that in January, the Danish Research Council awarded the team 12 million Danish kroner (£1.5 million) to pursue their findings in clinical trials with human subjects. ... “The challenge will be getting the patients’ immune system to recognise the virus and destroy it. This depends on the strength and sensitivity of individual immune systems.”

But the really interesting bit is this:

The Danish team’s research is among the most advanced and fast moving in the world, as that they have streamlined the process of putting the latest basic science discoveries into clinical testing.

Cutting edge molecular biology and bureaucratic breakthroughs. How cool is that?

Submission + - SOPA Creator Now in Charge of NSF Grants (

sl4shd0rk writes: Remember SOPA? If not, perhaps the name Lamar Smith (R-TX) will ring a bell. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology chose Smith to Chair as an overseer for the National Science Foundation's funding process. Smith is [PDF] preparing a bill which will require that every grant must benefit "national defense", be of "utmost importance to society" and not be "duplicative of other research". Duplicating research seems reasonable until you consider that this could also mean the NSF will not provide funding for research once somone has already providing results — manufactured or otherwise. A strange target since there is a process in place which makes an effort to limit duplicate funding already. The first and second requirements, even when read in context, still miss the point of basic research. If we were absolutely without-a-doubt-certain of the results, there would be little point in doing the research in the first place.

Comment Admin wasn't just the default password (Score 2) 110

I've used Wordpress since forever (2006?), and I seem to remember that at least back in the bad old days the admin username had to be "admin." Nothing else. There are probably millions of people who set their blogs up back then and haven't looked at that setting since.

I wonder what they're doing this for? What does blowing up a planet's worth of little blogs get anyone? Does anyone know what this thing actually does?

Comment Re:Exactly. Help set it up and they're happy users (Score 1) 366

Yup, work and games are the two biggies. Two profs (and me) who are linux users from way back (around '95, Suse; '98 Redhat to Ubuntu to Debian; 2005 Ubuntu to Linux Mint) all have to have fairly actively used installs of virtualbox or vmware to work with colleagues.

My friends and relations are using it on their home/personal stuff, and aren't gamers. Linux is actually working way better for them than Windows because they don't lose all their files every few months because they catch something nasty and need re-installs. (Yes, I told them about a million times not to download wallpapers and ringtones from Transdniester :P, or to click on email links promising pictures of cute cats.) They're the opposite of power users of anything, not just the OS.

An insightful commenter once said that Linux works great for people willing to learn it or for people who just want an appliance. It's the medium-level users who have the hardest time switching, and that sounds more like your circle of friends and relations.

Comment Exactly. Help set it up and they're happy users (Score 1) 366

I have a bunch of friends and relations for whom I've set up Linux (ubuntu, more recently LinuxMint). Usually what made them willing to try it was total fed-up-ness with endless viruses. I made sure to install with a desktop arranged as much like what they were used to as I could.

Result: not one single complaint, not one single reinstall, not one single virus of course. They range from a 65 year-old tech Luddite, to a fourteen (now 17) year old facebooking teenager. They've installed software they want. ("Oh? I just go to the Software Center? That's all? Cool.") I haven't had to help with any of that. One support issue in three years: setting wireless back up when a provider changed settings.

I think the best thing we could do is a system of (not-Tupperware)Linuxware parties/installfests. Like Arlo Guthrie said long ago, first there'd be one, and they'd think we were weird. Then there'd be two and they'd think we were gay. Then there'd be three, and they'd know it was a movement.

Comment So, time for some rights online yet? (Score 1) 333

When is the legal system going to catch up? (I know. Stupid question.) Years ago I didn't sign up for Facebook because it was pretty clear there were zero protections for my rights to my data or my privacy. I'll wait till there's some laws so which reduce the chance of being screwed over, I thought. Won't take long, I thought.

Well I'm still waiting. And when it comes up, I see more and more people who've convinced themselves this is just the modern world and there's nothing to be done about it. (Read: nothing they need to do about it.) Like epine's brilliant comment said in the Google Glass thread, it's the pragmatism of the damned.

Comment Re:wikis are the way to share knowledge (Score 1) 185

And I agree with all the comments to my comment. Use goog, get oriented, ask question (noting how previous searches didn't find the answer) on the right forum ... get told to use search to find answer deeply buried in noise. (To anyone who leaves that kind of comment: You know what? If you're so smart, provide the direct link to that answer.)

Yup. I've heard of IRC. It's like Mary in Mary Had A Little Lamb. When it's good, it's very very good, and when it's bad, it's awful. See signal deeply buried in noise, above.

As for information dying in wikis, too true at this point. I'm arguing that's what we need to fix. Have one place, on Wikipedia for instance, called Linux How-to, that we (i.e. us *nix users) all settle on as "the one how-to to rule them all," that has paid (gasp!) editors to curate it. We all add our nuggets of wisdom to it, but there are editors to keep the currently relevant signal on top. And it should be organized with a nice clear For Beginners tutorial we can point beginners to, and every distro can point to their subsection in their first-use screen. We're a community. We can do this. (Hah.)

Comment wikis are the way to share knowledge (Score 2) 185

That needs to be in large bold caps. I've gotten a few of those "Google it. You can do this" comments, too, without even the courtesy of suggesting appropriate search terms. Obviously I don't know them, if my searches so far haven't done better than land me on that forum. Lack of an easy, fast clear way to find current answers is the biggest thing holding linux back.

Comment "Get used to it" only works for a monopoly (Score 1) 675

Does MSFT still think they're a monopoly? Really? They want users to get used to a phone/tablet interface, where they have a 2% share (? less?), so they put it on their desktop where people keep buying Macs these days every time they pull these boneheaded stunts.

The other huge thing waiting to be noticed is that there are Linux distros out there (e.g. LinuxMint) that take less "getting used to" for a WinXp user than Win8. The only thing saving MSFT is that Linux has no advertising budget. And we'd never agree on which distro to recommend.

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