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Submission + - Windows 10's New Feature Steals Your Internet Bandwidth (vortex.com) 5

An anonymous reader writes: t's a devious little feature called Windows Update Delivery Optimization. It's enabled by default. For Enterprise and Education users, it operates over the local LAN. For ordinary Home type users, Microsoft can send their data update goodies to potentially any PC on the global Internet — from your PC, over your Internet connection. On your dime.

We could get into the pros and cons of local updates being staged between local machines on a LAN as opposed to the outside Internet.

But as soon as MS decided that it's A-OK for them to use my Internet connection to cut down on their bandwidth costs serving their other customers — without asking me for my specific permission first — the situation blows into the red zone immediately.

Patents

Submission + - Novartis denied cancer drug patent in landmark Indian case (guardian.co.uk)

beltsbear writes: Following a reasonable view of drug patents, the Indian courts have decided that making small changes to an existing patented drug are not worthy of a new patent. This ruling makes way for low cost Indian cancer drugs that will save lives.
From the Article:
"Novartis lost a six-year legal battle after the court ruled that small changes and improvements to the drug Glivec did not amount to innovation deserving of a patent. The ruling opens the way for generic companies in India to manufacture and sell cheap copies of the drug in the developing world and has implications for HIV and other modern drugs too."

Privacy

Submission + - Why Surveillance is Bad (ssrn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: We have a sense that surveillance is bad, but we often have a hard time saying exactly why. In an interesting and readable new article in the Harvard Law Review, law professor Neil Richards argues that surveillance is bad for two reasons — because it menaces our intellectual privacy (our right to read and think freely and secretly) and because it gives the watcher power over the watched, creating the risk of blackmail, persuasion, or discrimination. The article is available for free download at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2239412, and is featured on the Bruce Schneier security blog here: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/03/the_dangers_of.html.
Cellphones

Submission + - FCC To Update 15-Year-Old Cell Phone Radiation Standard (cnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It's been more than a decade and a half since the FCC adopted a set of standards for radiation exposure from cell phones. The guidelines set in 1996 (and based on studies from the '80s) have applied to all cell phones released in the U.S. since then. Now, the FCC has decided that modern devices are just a tiny bit different than models from the '90s (where did those suitcase phones go?), so they're going to review and update the standard. 'Even though the FCC hasn't changed its standards for evaluating the safety of cell phones, it has provided consumers with information about how to minimize the risk of exposure to cell phone radiation. For example, the FCC recommends people use the speakerphone feature or an earpiece when talking on the phone, since increasing the distance the device is held from the body greatly reduces exposure. But the agency has not advocated for stricter warnings nor has it even endorsed these safety measures as necessary. The current review of the standards could change that as the agency will look at its testing procedures as well as the educational information it provides to the public about cell phone safety.'

Submission + - President can sign ACTA into effect (techdirt.com)

msheekhah writes: In a TechDirt article, Mike Masnik asks Senator Wyden about ACTA:

Senator Wyden says, " It may be possible for the U.S. to implement ACTA or any other trade agreement, once validly entered, without legislation if the agreement requires no change in U.S. law..." but "...the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter a binding international agreement covering issues delegated by the Constitution to Congress' authority". However, then he states that "...if you allow the USTR to express your assent to ACTA, then the agreement can bind the U.S. under international law even without Congress' consent, because international law, not U.S. law, determines the binding effect of international agreements. According to many international law scholars, customary international law recognizes the ability of the chief executive of a country to bind its nation to an international agreement regardless of domestic legal requirements."

So while the treaty won't stand up before judicial review inside of the United States, it can still be considered binding in International Law. You then have to determine which has greater sovereignty in American courts.

Submission + - Rural broadband cost $7 million per home (forbes.com)

dave562 writes: In an analysis of the effectiveness of the the 2009 stimulus program (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or ARRA), one of the programs that was investigated was the project to bring broadband access to rural America. Some real interesting numbers popped out.

Quoting the article, "Eisenach and Caves looked at three areas that received stimulus funds, in the form of loans and direct grants, to expand broadband access in Southwestern Montana, Northwestern Kansas, and Northeastern Minnesota. The median household income in these areas is between $40,100 and $50,900. The median home prices are between $94,400 and $189,000.

So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself."

Cellphones

Droid X Gets Rooted 97

An anonymous reader writes "The Droid X forums have posted a procedure to root the new Motorola Droid X, putting to rest Andoid fans' fears that they would never gain access to the device's secrets due to a reported eFuse that would brick the phone if certain boot files were tampered with. Rooting the phone is the first step in gaining complete control over the device."
Medicine

Submission + - Method to Repair Adult Damaged Nerves Discovered (theglobeandmail.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have discovered a promissing method to regrow damaged nerves in adults. Brain and spinal-cord injuries typically leave people with permanent impairment because the injured nerve fibers (axons) cannot regrow http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/scientist-discovers-new-way-to-repair-damaged-nerves/article1396395/. A study from Children's Hospital Boston (Harvard) and Carleton University, published in the December 10 issue of the journal Neuron shows that axons can regenerate vigorously in a mouse model when a gene that suppresses natural growth factors is deleted. Link to Neuron Article (subscription required to view whole article) is http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(09)00937-4
Software

Dev Booted From App Store For Inflated Reviews 178

An anonymous reader writes "Molinker, a Chinese developer of iPhone apps, has been booted from the App Store after being caught trying to game the App Store review system. It seems reviewers were being paid off with free apps in return for 5-star reviews." This means the removal of over 1000 apps, described in this article as "knock-offs of existing applications."
NASA

Submission + - NASA to possibly be sued for climate data. (washingtontimes.com)

lacaprup writes: The fight over climate science is about to cross the Atlantic with a U.S. researcher poised to sue NASA, demanding the release of the same kind of information that landed a leading British center in hot water over charges that it skewed its data.

Christopher C. Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data dating as far back as the 1930s.

Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.
Software

Submission + - Windows 7 to sell in UK for half the US price (cnet.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: In the UK, full versions of Windows 7 Home Premium is going to cost less than the half price Americans have to pay for their full version, and in fact less than Americans have to pay just for the upgrade-only edition. Full details and prices were published in an article on Cnet, in which it was concluded that, at least for the time being, Microsoft is honoring the prices it set for the now-discontinued European version of Win7, which did not contain Internet Explorer 8 and was only available as a full-install edition.
Microsoft

Submission + - Less than 1/2 of VISTA licenses in use

texas neuron writes: So Bill Gates reports more than100 million Vista sales prior to the end of December and Steve reports a total OS X market of about 26 million users (19% = 5 million sales). Netapplications reports VISTA market share of 10.48% versus total OS share of 7.3% . The math works out to about 38 million VISTA users online in December. The numbers could be even worst for Microsoft since the October figure of 88 million did not include business volume sales. It is not clear to me if Gates was talking total volume or only retail volume. The percentages are not perfect but it appears that only 1/3rd to 1/2 of VISTA licenses are in use.
Biotech

Submission + - Reversal of Alzheimers Symptoms Within Minutes (jneuroinflammation.com)

Gene_Machine writes: "Reversal of Alzheimers after perispinal injection of Enbrel. Patients recovered within minutes. Enbrel has been used for 15 yrs to treat inflammation in arthritis. Approval of enbrel for Alzheimers treatment may be rapid. RNAi may now be used to find brain inflammation cause. Is the Sigularity near? Rainbows End book discusses Alzheimers recovery in 2025. It may already be here."

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