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Comment Re:Um... (Score 1) 574

Someone better not tell this guy that cell towers are omnidirectional so he'll experience that radiation regardless.

But the radiation is subject to an inverse-square law. A high-power source at a considerable distance (the tower) can give this guy less radiation than a low-power source at a close distance (her cell phone), as Opportunist's dad pointed out.

As an example: the guy is probably in a near-rural area, if he's trying to get away from radiation, on the outskirts of town. In hilly country, Wikipedia says a rural area can get a maximum of 5-8km. Let's say he's 5km away. (This is Santa Fe, so it's not exactly hill country, but it's probably not exactly totally rural either.) Let's also say the tower is using the regulatory maximum of 2000W output. (Most use much, much less, and I don't remember if modern cell towers are even allowed to use 2kW. But it's no more than that.) Using I=P/(4*pi*r^2), we see that the intensity at his house from the tower is 6.37 uW / m^2.

Her cell phone, if it's GSM, is capped at 2W output. The article doesn't say how far apart their houses are; just "on the next block". I'm going to just guess 150m away. (Manhattan blocks are 80m x 200m; central Melbourne blocks are 100m x 200m.) Using the same formula, the radiation intensity from her cell phone is 7.07 uW / m^2. With this set of assumptions, her cellphone could be irradiating him more than the tower (at peak; of course, she's probably not continuously on her phone).

The actual numbers are probably vastly different; different assumptions can change these by orders of magnitude. I'm ignoring modern cell realities, too: cell towers tend to be much lower power, but closer together these days. They also tend to use a non-uniform radiation pattern, not wasting power by radiating cell signals at the birds. Cell phones rarely radiate 2W of power. There's lots of other stuff that means that my numbers aren't anywhere near right, but it does demonstrate that it's POSSIBLE that her cell phone gives him more radiation than the tower.

Then again, the sun provides 750 W / m^2 to the ground (after atmospheric effects), a hundred million times more intense radiation (remember, my other numbers were in microwatts per meter squared), and at higher frequencies. So yeah.


Child Receives Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells 103

kkleiner writes "Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) along with colleagues at the University College London, the Royal Free Hospital, and Careggi University Hospital in Florence have successfully transplanted a trachea into a 10 year old boy using his own stem cells. A donor trachea was taken, stripped of its cells into a collagen-like scaffold, and then infused with the boy's stem cells. The trachea was surgically placed into the boy and allowed to develop in place. Because his own cells were used, there was little to no risk of rejection. This was the first time a child had received such a stem cell augmented transplant and the first time that a complete trachea had been used."

Submission + - Intel, VC Firms To Invest $3.5B in US Tech Firms

An anonymous reader writes: Announcing what he called "a bet on America's next generation of innovators," Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. that in addition to the $3.5 billion VC investment, Intel and 16 other large U.S. companies will hire 10,500 additional graduates from U.S. colleges in 2010. In his speech, Otellini made a point of saying that the college graduates would not necessarily be U.S. citizens and complained about current limits on the number of foreign workers U.S. tech companies can hire. 'Our immigration policy seems deliberately designed to prevent us from attracting the best minds in the world,' he said.

Submission + - Google faces anti-monopoly probe by EC (

jvillain writes: Google is facing a preliminary anti-monopoly probe by the European Commission into its dominant position in online browsing and digital advertising following allegations that it demotes competing websites to the lower echelons of customers' search results.

The Silicon Valley internet company revealed today that the commission has sent out formal questionnaires seeking information about complaints from three firms – the British price comparison site Foundem, a French legal search engine called eJustice and a shopping site, Ciao, which is owned by Microsoft.


Submission + - YouTube to stop supporting IE6 from 13 march (

kai_hiwatari writes: Users visiting YouTube on IE6 (or some other old browsers), will will now see an interstitial warning them that support for their browser will be dropped by 13 March. It also gives a links to some browsers that the user can use. The interstitial will appear every two weeks to remind any users still on older browsers to upgrade to the most recent version of their browser. While users on these old browsers will still be able to watch the video, Google says that some new functions that they will be rolling out will not be supported in these browsers.

Submission + - Chinese Hacker Behind Google Hacks Identified (

Knee Socks writes: A few days ago, the US government traced the online attack on Google and other companies back to two Chinese schools. Now US analysts say they have identified the author of the code that exploited a security loophole in IE8. Interestingly enough, the hacker, who works as a freelance security consultant, did not launch the attacks himself and has said he would have preferred his code "not be used in such offensive efforts." As things go in China, however, the government had unique access to his work, which analysts say makes it much harder for China to deny allegations of involvement with the attacks.

Submission + - The Morevna Project: Free and Open Source Anime (

shadowmage13 writes: "Even if you don't particularly like anime, any free culture advocate should appreciate this effort. The Morevna Project is using only FOSS tools to produce a full-length anime film to be released as Free content similar to the Blender Foundations Open Movie (and Game) Projects. This project is being picked up by the previously covered Ubuntu @ Anime Boston project to be showcased at the convention. More should be done to target the anime community which is perhaps the most far-reaching group sitting in such a perfect position to embrace the Free culture philosophy. They are more ready than most and this could help revive their hurting industry as well as validate the viability of Free content for creators around the world."

Submission + - Utah considers warrantless internet subpoenas (

seneces writes: The Utah State Legislature is considering a bill, HB150, granting the Attorney General's Office the ability to demand customer information from internet or cell phone companies via an administrative subpoena, with no judicial review. This is an expansion of a similar law passed last year, which granted that ability when "it is suspected that a child-sex crime has been committed", and has led to more than one non-judicial request for subscriber information per day since becoming law. Pete Ashdown, owner of a local ISP and 2006 candidate for the United States Senate, has discussed his position and the effects of this bill. This would undoubtably set an uncomfortable precedent for ISPs being compelled to release subscriber information on the mere suspicion of a crime, or even "electronic communication harassment".

Federal Judge Orders Schools To Stop Laptop Spying 359

CWmike writes "A federal judge on Monday ordered the Pennsylvania school district accused of spying on its students to stop activating the cameras in school-issued MacBook laptops. According to the original complaint, Blake Robbins was accused by a Harriton High School assistant principal of 'improper behavior in his home' and shown a photograph taken by his laptop as evidence. In an appearance on network television last Saturday, Robbins said he was accused by the assistant principal of selling drugs and taking pills — but he claimed the pictures taken by his computer's camera showed him eating candy. Also on Monday, the company selling the software used by the school district to allegedly spy on its students blasted what it called laptop theft-recovery 'vigilantism.'" jamie found two posts from stryde.hax pointing out suggestive information about one school district network administrator, and coaching students how to determine if their school-issued laptops were infected with the LANRev software used to operate the cameras remotely and in secret.

Submission + - Textbooks That Professors Can Rewrite Digitally (

An anonymous reader writes: Macmillan is releasing textbooks in a digital, professor editable format. "Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs, equations or illustrations." This looks like a sincere attempt to take the focus away from "open source" books like Wikibooks.

NHTSA Has No Software Engineers To Analyze Toyota 459

thecarchik writes "An official from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told investigators that the agency doesn't employ any electrical engineers or software engineers, leaving them woefully unable to investigate correctly what caused the most recent Toyota recall. A modern luxury car has something close to 100 million lines of software code in it, running on 70 to 100 microprocessors. And according to consultant Frost & Sullivan, that number will rise to 200 to 300 million lines within a few years. And the software that controls the 'drive-by-wire' accelerators of Toyota and Lexus vehicles is one potential culprit in the tangled collection of issues, allegations, and recalls of many of those vehicles for so-called 'sudden acceleration' problems."

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