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Google

Submission + - Google Earth to include Google Deep Sea (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: You may have heard about the swash buckling adventures to be undertaken by Virgin Oceanic — visits to the bottom of the deepest parts of the oceans of the world. What you might not have noticed is that in the future we can all join in. The data from video cameras taken down on the five planned dives will be fed back to Google Earth.
As Sir Richard Branson said at the launch of Virgin Oceanic, more men have been to the moon than have ventured further down than 20,000 feet. As long as everything goes according to plan, the entire population should be able to experience a trip to the bottom of the oceans — if only virtually courtesy of Google Earth.

Medicine

Are Human Beings Organisms Or Living Ecosystems? 397

Hugh Pickens writes "Every human body harbors about 100 trillion bacterial cells, outnumbering human cells 10 to one. There's been a growing consensus among scientists that bacteria are not simply random squatters, but organized communities that evolve with us and are passed down from generation to generation. 'Human beings are not really individuals; they're communities of organisms,' says microbiologist Margaret McFall-Ngai. 'This could be the basis of a whole new way of looking at disease.' Recently, for example, evidence has surfaced that obesity may well include a microbial component. Jeffrey Gordon's lab at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published findings that lean and obese twins — whether identical or fraternal — harbor strikingly different bacterial communities that are not just helping to process food directly; they actually influence whether that energy is ultimately stored as fat in the body. Last year, the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project to characterize the role of microbes in the human body, a formal recognition of bacteria's far-reaching influence, including their contributions to human health and certain illnesses. William Karasov, a physiologist and ecologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes that the consequences of this new approach will be profound. 'We've all been trained to think of ourselves as human,' says Karasov, adding that bacteria have usually been considered only as the source of infections, or as something benign living in the body. Now, Karasov says, it appears 'we are so interconnected with our microbes that anything studied before could have a microbial component that we hadn't thought about.'"
Government

Slashdot Mentioned In Virginia Terrorism Report 779

megamerican alerted us to a leaked document (PDF) from a Virginia Fusion Center titled "2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment." The document is marked as "Law Enforcement Sensitive," not to be shown to public. Citizens for Legitimate Government has a write-up. Slashdot gets a mention on page 45 — not as a terrorist organization itself, but as one of the places that members of Anonymous may hang out: "A 'loose coalition of Internet denizens,' Anonymous consists largely of users from multiple internet sites such as 4chan, 711chan, 420chan, Something Awful, Fark, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Slashdot, IRC channels, and YouTube. Other social networking sites are also utilized to mobilize physical protests. ... Anonymous is of interest not only because of the sentiments expressed by affiliates and their potential for physical protest, but because they have innovated the use of e-protests and mobilization. Given the lack of a unifying creed, this movement has the potential to inspire lone wolf behavior in the cyber realms." According to the report, cell phones and digital music players have been used to transfer plans related to criminal activity, and therefore presumably could be grounds for suspicion. Podcasting is also suspicious.
Censorship

FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied 364

Penguinisto writes "According to CNET, Knowledge Ecology International's FOIA request for information about ACTA was denied. ACTA is the pending copyright treaty believed to have been authored by lobbyists for the content cartels. Even stranger, the denial cited 'national security reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, one would think that a treaty affecting civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this." KEI is not alone; the European Parliament wants to see the ACTA documents too.
Science

Higgs Territory Continues To Shrink 118

PhysicsDavid writes "Announced this morning by Fermilab, the possible territory for the Higgs boson has shrunk even further. Combined results from the CDF and DZero experiments at the Tevatron have ruled out the existence of the Higgs with a mass between 160 and 170 GeV/c^2 with 95% confidence. At 90% confidence the Higgs is ruled out between about 157 and 185 GeV/c^2. Here is Fermilab's press release. If the Higgs is to be found at the lighter end of the currently allowed range of 114 GeV/c^2 to 185 GeV/c^2, its detection will be harder than at the heavier end due to the kinds of signals that the Large Hadron Collider and the Tevatron will see. Some physicists think that a lighter Higgs will be easier to spot at the Tevatron as the background processes which obscure the faint signal are not as prevalent in those experiments."
The Military

How Do Militaries Treat Their Nerds? 426

An anonymous reader writes "Cyber Warfare is a hot topic these days. A major reorganization may be looming, but a critical component is a culture where technologists can thrive. Two recent articles address this subject. Lieutenant Colonel Greg Conti and Colonel Buck Surdu recently published an article in the latest DoD IA Newsletter stating that 'The Army, Navy, and Air Force all maintain cyberwarfare components, but these organizations exist as ill-fitting appendages (PDF, pg. 14) that attempt to operate in inhospitable cultures where technical expertise is not recognized, cultivated, or completely understood.' In his TaoSecurity Blog Richard Bejtlich added 'When I left the Air Force in early 2001, I was the 31st of the last 32 eligible company grade officers in the Air Force Information Warfare Center to separate from the Air Force rather than take a new nontechnical assignment.' So, Slashdot, how has the military treated you and your technical friends? What changes are needed?"

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