AdamnSelene writes: It looks like something out of a Gothic movie: a metre-long monster that emerges slowly through blistered human skin, its victim writhing in agony. No one is spared. It can creep out from between the toes of a child or from the belly of a pregnant woman.
In the mid-1980s Dracunculus medinensis, the Guinea worm, as this horror is called, afflicted 3.5m people a year in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. But last year that number was down to just 22, all of them in Chad, Ethiopia, Mali and South Sudan. Dracunculiasis is thus poised to become the second human disease to be eradicated, after smallpox.
This blessed state of affairs is thanks to a 30-year campaign led by the Carter Centre, a charity set up by former US president Jimmy Carter.
AdamnSelene writes: Forbes reports on a National Republican Congressional Committee sanctioned campaign worthy of the NSA: Fake Candidate Websites that use identical or similar pictures and color schemes to solicit donations to defeat the Democratic candidate. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the NRCC initially refused to refund the contribution from a Tampa Bay doctor who caught onto the scam, and he had to contact his credit card company to challenge the charges. The National Journal reports that the NRCC-sponsored effort may run afoul of Federal Election Commission regulations, though it expects that the bipartisan FEC will be toothless when it comes to enforcement. However, I have to wonder whether this is finally a good enough reason to use the DMCA and file take-down notices against the faux websites. Perhaps the candidates could solve this themselves, and get a judgement for copyright infringement so absurdly large that it puts the NRCC out of business?
AdamnSelene writes: The daughter of Mark Frauenfelder, a founder of the website Boing Boing, was 'shamed' and 'humiliated' by a LAX Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officer who told her to 'cover up'. Frauenfelder detailed the story of his daughter’s experience with the TSA yesterday evening. The TSA is investigating the incident.
There is additional commentary on women's rights activist Maureen Herman's blog.
And we thought the TSA agents and scanning machines were there to grope and ogle fliers...
AdamnSelene writes: After being caught spying on people across Europe and Australia with its Wi-Fi-slurping Street View cars, Google had told angry regulators that it would delete the ill-gotten data. Google broke its promise.
AdamnSelene writes: "The Wall Street Journal has an article profiling why partners in top patent law firms are leaving to start their own 'Non-Practicing Entities' (aka Patent Trolls). Apparently corporations are now approaching lawyers to sell of their patent portfolio in order to squeeze cash from their IP without the embarrassment of suing their own customers. One lawyer says that 'As patents develop from a nascent to a mature asset class, you're just going to see a whole different set of players enter this game. The curve is just starting to accelerate.'"