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Submission + - Nicotine is the new wonder drug. (

Fantastic Lad writes: Smoking may be bad for you, but Researchers and biotech companies are quietly developing pharmaceuticals that are decidedly good for brains, bowels, blood vessels and even immune systems — and they're inspired by tobacco's active ingredient: nicotine. Nicotine acts on the acetylcholine receptors in the brain, stimulating and regulating the release of a slew of brain chemicals, including seratonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Now drugs derived from nicotine and the research on nicotine receptors are in clinical trials for everything from helping to heal wounds, to depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, anger management and anxiety. Smoking will kill you, but also keep you in good health? Another story about nicotine warding off Parkison's disease here seems to agree. -Who knew?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - WikiWrit: The Holy Book Anyone Can Edit ( writes: "Take Wikipedia. Infighting aside, it's quite a remarkable source of information. Thousands of people edit it every day, so you'd think it would be a chaotic mess of competing agendas, but it is a valuable resource for knowledge. So I was wondering what would happen if you took a holy text, and let anyone edit it. I started uploading one "real" piece of religious text — the beginning of Genesis — and just let people go at it.

Now, from the pages of WikiWrit!: "3:4. Both of them were naked at this point, and the Human saw genitals for the first time, and was so surprised that they too grew genitals out of the sheer amazement of it. 3:5. It is not known if the first Human became Male or Female because nobody except God, Satan, Bob, or an Enchanted hobo saw it happen, and none of them remember which of them it was. 3:6. By this time, however the other eggs had begun hatching, and soon the Human with Genitals was surrounded by a group of amazed and genital-ed humans. Thus it was that there were sufficient humans to reproduce without mutation.3:7. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to anyone, the pot tree sprouted apples, for it was not a pot tree at all.""

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Intelligent octopus

ocean_soul writes: "An octopus in the National Aquarium of New Zeeeland has learned to open bottles with to tentacles. From the article: "It's a trick she honed with the help of her keepers, who noticed she was friendly and would latch on to them when they put their hands in the tank. She can now open the bottle in 2 1/2 minutes when there's a tempting crab inside." One would not expect this level of inteligence from an octopus."

Submission + - Load Testing Software becomes Open Source

thefoz writes: "I've been using RadView's WebLoad for load testing Web Applications for some time. I got the inside scoop that it was to be released as open source. And today it's happened. Load Testing tools are one of the 'must haves' in the professional developers toolbox. This is probably one of the best tools out there, and now it's open source.

RadView WebLoad Press Release .

Download from Here

P.S. Before you ask, I am not affiliated in any way with Radview."

Feed US Air Force Aims High With Bluespam (

It seems that more and more brands and companies are trying to market themselves via Bluespamming -- sending out unsolicited messages and requests for connections to nearby mobile phones via Bluetooth. Marketers that use the practice, of course, don't call it Bluespam, and see it as a wonderful mechanism to use, even though the vast majority of people that receive the messages aren't interested in them. Now, it's the US Air Force that's turning to Bluespamming, as it plans to use the method to harass mobile phone users at a NASCAR race this weekend. A rep says Bluespamming will help prove the Air Force's high-tech chops to impressionable kids, while somebody from its ad agency says that it will help attract "tech savvy" recruits. Would they say the same things about email spam? Probably not. It's hard to see how annoying just about anybody with a Bluetooth phone in a particular area is a good way to market yourself, and never mind the horrific user experience of delivering content via mobile marketing. Needless to say, it's great to see the US government getting into the spamming business.

Submission + - Survey: few intend to upgrade to Vista

thefickler writes: A recent Harris Poll has found that while most online computers users are aware of Microsoft's Windows Vista, few are intending to switch over to the new operating system anytime soon.

The Harris Poll of 2223 US online adults in early March found that 87% were aware of Vista. Unfortunately for Microsoft, only 12% of Vista-aware respondents were intending to upgrade to Vista in the next 12 months.

The poll revealed that 39% of those intending to move over to Vista planned to upgrade their existing computer so it would meet Vista requirements, 35% planned to buy a new computer with Vista preinstalled, 17% planned to purchase a new "Vista-ready" computer, and 8% said that they would install Vista on their existing computer without any upgrade.

Submission + - Massive star burps, then explodes

gollum123 writes: "Tens of millions of years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a massive star suffered a nasty double whammy ( 4/04_supernova.shtml ). Signs of the first shock reached Earth on Oct. 20, 2004, when the star was observed letting loose an outburst so enormous and bright that Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki initially mistook it for a supernova. The star survived for nearly two years, however, until on Oct. 11, 2006, professional and amateur astronomers witnessed it blowing itself to smithereens as Supernova (SN) 2006jc. All the observations suggest that the supernova's blast wave took only a few weeks to reach the shell of material ejected two years earlier, which did not have time to drift very far from the star. As the wave smashed into the ejecta, it heated the gas to millions of degrees, hot enough to emit copious X-rays. The Swift satellite saw the supernova continue to brighten in X-rays for 100 days, something that has never been seen before in a supernova. All supernovae previously observed in X-rays have started off bright and then quickly faded to invisibility."

Submission + - New Large Caves Found on Mars

David DelMonte writes: " is reporting the discovery of seven dark spots near the Equator on Mars. They are thinking that these are cave openings. The openings are the size of football fields, and one of them is thought to extend approximately 400 feet below the surface. The full story is here. rs_caves.html
United States

Submission + - EPA forced to defend the environment

Nitack writes: The NY Times is reporting that the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is required by the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions. Senator John Kerry is quoted as saying "It's an historic moment when the Supreme Court has to step in to protect the environment from the Bush administration."

Submission + - Sunspots on Sale - Robot Rocket Built in a Day

shanmoon writes: "Robotic enthusiasts have long awaited the production release of the Sunspots. These Java based development kits include two "Sunspot" units and base station. Included on each Sunspot: Temperature sensor,Light sensor,8 tri-color LEDs, 6 analog inputs, 2momentary switches, 5 general purpose I/O pins and 4 high current output pins,180 MHz 32 bit ARM920T core — 512K RAM/4M Flash, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio with integrated antenna. Using this kit, in a single day, some researchers launched two (redundant) Sun SPOTs on a single model rocket that streamed light, temperature and acceleration data live over the radio to the ground stations that were busy plotting the data.

Lots of possibilities for robotic fun here, guys. Although they're about twice as expensive as a Mindstorm NXT kit ($550), they're more powerful and more versatile. Can't wait to get mine!

Check them out at Sunspot World."

Submission + - Exempt Employees and the fight against Overtime

An anonymous reader writes: I'm employed as a Software Engineer, to clarify; I'm a combination third-level tech support and systems engineer. I work for a fairly large company in Michigan. My boss, under the stress of completing the latest huge project, has started to demand that I, and the rest of my team, complete mandatory overtime to meet some very shortsighted deadlines. I'm an exempt employee, which means that I make a salary and am not required to keep track of my time each week. I don't feel I'm compensated well enough to work unlimited hours, but that seems to be my boss's goal. What options do I have in restricting my employer and my boss's ability to destroy every little bit of my free time while still staying employed?

Submission + - Fortune 1000 Companies Sending Spam, Phishing

An anonymous reader writes: TheRegister takes a look at spam touting everything from Viagra to phishing sites being blasted out of Fortune 1000 networks. Oracle was found to have a machine pushing out a PayPal phishing scam, and BestBuy had a system sending thousands of spams a month. The Washington Post's Security Fix blog also is tracking this story, finding stock spam being pumped from ExxonMobile and from American Electric Power, among others. Another machine at IndyMac Bank was the source of spam touting generic prescription drugs. From the story: " IT engineer with American Electric Power, said the stock spam came from a bot-infected computer belonging to a contractor at one of its power generator plants."

Submission + - Carbon Post-it Notes - Look Ma, No Pen!

davidwr writes: Imagine the carbonless paper 2-copy checks use. Now put Post-It note glue on the back. That's what a team of freshmen from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology came up with at the EntrepreneurshipWeek USA Challenge.

Finally, I don't need to find a pen for all those yellow things encircling my monitor: I can just use the edge of my USB memory stick.

Submission + - Dell's Driver plan

Shadow_mil writes: "Direct2dell finally posted more information about their Linux support, entitled Linux: Driver Support is Key" this post includes talks about dells plans to improve their drivers, and use GPL drivers when ever possible. But they will also provide closed-source drivers to those you wish to use them (which you need for some 3D effects on certain video cards)."

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