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"Normal" Prions May Protect Myelin 81

thomst writes "Nature Neuroscience just published an online article about the function of 'normal' prions in protecting myelin, the substance that sheathes and protects sensory and motor nerves. The international study (which has 11 authors) concluded that 'normal' (i.e., not mis-folded) prions may form a protective coat around myelin. The researchers found that Prnp -/- mice (mice with the gene for prions knocked out) consistently developed progressive demyelination, inevitably leading to persistent polyneuropathy by 60 weeks of age. Their data suggest that damage to myelin sheaths cause normal prions to cleave, and the resulting prion fragments activate Schwann cells, which are known to play a part in myelin repair. This research might eventually lead to possible treatments for progressive polyneuropathies in humans, including those mediated by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and even diabetes."
The Courts

Judge in Capitol v. Thomas Considers New Trial 234

Jay Maynard writes "The judge in Capitol Records v. Thomas said today he's thinking about granting a new trial because he may have committed a 'manifest error of law' in his jury instructions. He says that his instruction that simply uploading music to a P2P network without any proof that anyone actually downloaded it may conflict with a case in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that said 'infringement of [the distribution right] requires an actual dissemination.' Briefs are due by May 29, with oral argument July 1. The judge invited friend of the court briefs by May 29, as well." NewYorkCountryLawyer links to the Judge's order itself (PDF), in which the Judge notes that he may (in NYCL's words) "have overlooked controlling Eighth Circuit authority, the case of National Car Rental v. Computer Associates, which held that you can't have a violation of the 'distribution right' without an 'actual dissemination of copies or phonorecords.'" Update: 05/15 18:54 GMT by T : Note that while the linked story as well as Jay Maynard's summary use the term "upload," Thomas wasn't uploading the files themselves, only making them available.
Portables (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone Exploits, Metasploit Style

lol slashdot writes: Thanks to the crafty coders behind Metasploit, exploits for the iPhone are now available and readily usable, possible through the same flaw that allowed developers to unlock the iPhone.

From the article:

"This week Moore posted some payload exploits and provided detailed instructions for writing more of them. Attackers could conceivably write code to hi-jack the contacts in an iPhone address book, access the list of received and sent calls and messages, turn the phone into a listening device, track the user's location or instruct the phone to snap photos of the user's surroundings — including any companions who may be in sight of the camera lens."

Functionality to gain remote shell access to the iPhone through Metasploit was added last month.

Submission + - Hole in the Patch for the Windows URI Hole (

dg2fer writes: The author of the Patch for the Windows URI Hole, KJK::Hyperion, found a big bugger in his patch: 'I just found a gruesome memory leak in it. A silly bug, brown paperbag-grade shame.'

According to the article on heise security he did already publish a bugfixed version of his patch — hoping the best it's not buggy again.


Submission + - Longest time you've waited for a warranty part?

burrodomo writes: "What is the longest time you've waited for a warranty replacement part for a computer? I bought an HP dv9000 laptop at the beginning of August. After 3 weeks the Intel 4965 wireless card stopped working (in both Linux and Windows). After dealing with the first-line tech support and declining to re-image the entire drive, I'm now on my second case manager. It's been over a month and a half, I still haven't received a replacement, and the estimated date for it to ship has slid all the way to November 30. At the same time, though, still offers this laptop with the same wireless card, and the online HP Parts store estimates the part would ship next Monday, October 22. I don't feel like I should have to pay for a new part, since the laptop was brand new when it failed. Misery loves company, so I'd get some satisfaction at least from hearing others' tales of woe. Any advice on how to deal with customer service to possibly speed up the service (other than a public shaming on slashdot)?"

Submission + - Google to Update Urchin ( 1

mytrip writes: "Slashdot recently ran a story about Google's failure to update Urchin(

Google Inc. is set to roll out new features to its Google Analytics service and beta of a new version of the Web analytics server software from its acquisition of Urchin Software two-and-a-half years ago.

Google Tuesday is set to announce that site search and event tracking features will be added to its Google Analytics software within the next few weeks.

The site search tool is designed to apply Google-like features to searches of internal Web sites, said Brett Crosby, senior manager of Google Analytics. The search tool will allow Web site operators to identify keywords, categories, products and trends across time and user segments to help companies measure the effectiveness of the site and marketing efforts, he added.

The new event tracking feature will help companies more accurately measure how visitors are using interactive Web site elements like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), JavaScript, Flash movies, page gadgets and other multimedia tools, Crosby added."


Submission + - The SourceForge Story (

jammag writes: "This article about talks about its up and its downs, including that rough period when its CVS servers ran as slow as molasses and the download counter didn't work. But it also quotes a few developers as saying that things have really bounced back — especially when Subversion was installed. The article calls Slashdot "a mother lode of unexpurgated opinion." No! Say it isn't so — I thought we were the shy type. Overall, a a good inside glimpse at SourceForge."

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