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Submission + - Reprogrammed Skin Cells Turned into Baby Mice (

InfiniteZero writes: According to this WSJ story, 'Two teams of Chinese researchers working separately have reprogrammed mature skin cells of mice to an embryonic-like state and used the resulting cells to create live mouse offspring. The reprogramming may bring scientists one step closer to creating medically useful stem-cell lines for treating human disease without having to resort to controversial laboratory techniques. However, the advance poses fresh ethical challenges because the results could make it easier to create human clones and babies with specific genetic traits.'
Media (Apple)

Submission + - AVG Update Breaks Itunes ( 1

nate_in_ME writes: "After getting a virus detection while playing music on iTunes just a few minutes ago, I did a bit of research. It appears that AVG has recently pushed an update to the virus definitions that flags every iPod/iTunes related file as being infected with the 'Small.BOG' trojan. Interestingly enough, AVG does not have any information on this particular virus in their virus encyclopedia. Discussion on the Apple forums is up to 4 pages and still climbing. One user there had an interesting thought, "Maybe Palm has some shares in AVG...MUAHAAAA!!" (on page 3)"
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - iPhone 3Gs Encryption Cracked in 2 Minutes

An anonymous reader writes: In a Wired News article, iPhone Forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski explains how the much touted hardware encryption of the iPhone 3Gs is but a farce, and demonstrates how both the passcode and backup encryption can be bypassed in about 2 minutes. Zdziarski also goes on to say that all data on the iPhone — including deleted data — is automatically decrypted by the iPhone when it's copied, allowing hackers and law enforcement agencies alike access the device's raw disk as if no encryption were present. A second demonstration features the recovery of the iPhone's entire disk while the device is still passcode-locked. According to a similar article in ARS Technica, Zdziarski describes the iPhone's hardware encryption as, "like putting privacy glass on half your shower door," he told Ars. "What, pray tell, is the advantage in that?" with the iPhone being sold into 20% of Fortune-100s and into the military, just how worried should we be with such shoddy security?

Submission + - Russia sees Skype as economic & security thre

NotBornYesterday writes: It appears that Skype's growing popularity in Russia is causing concern among big business and government types alike.

"Infringing the interests" was clarified by Vitaly Kotov, Vice President of TTK, a telecoms unit of state-owned Russian Railways, who called on regulators to stop VoIP services from causing "a likely and uncontrolled fall in profits for the core telecom operators."

In addition to corporate interests, Skype is alleged to be a security risk for Russia, because it is not controlled by the state. VoIP applications like Skype are not connected to the SORM telephone conversation wiretapping system, and according to Vedomosti business daily on Friday, "Delegates at the meeting also warned that it has been impossible for police to spy on VoIP conversations".

Interestingly, authorities in Italy (according to a Russian News site) are voicing a similar concern, but with what sounds like an Open Source twist: "The encryption system used in this computer program is not being uncovered by a developer which strongly complicates the work of law-enforcement agencies." Are they just looking for the source code? Or are they looking for developer cooperation in making the crypto crackable? The likely Italian-to-Russian-to-English translation makes it hard for me to guess the answer.

One wonders how available Skype services are in Iran.


Submission + - Microsoft boldy patenting the study of evolution (

jestill writes: It appears that US patent application #20090030925 'Clustering phylogenetic variation patterns' from Microsoft is an attempt to patent the study of evolutionary biology. The broadly written application attempts to patent the process that nearly every evolutionary biologist uses to reconstruct the tree of life. The prior art for phylogeny reconstruction is immense and is extremely well documented in the scientific literature. The applications of clustering and classification algorithms to the study of evolutionary relationships is certainly not new, and many open source programs that molecular biologist depend on make use of these approaches. Everything in biology ranging from the next wave of cancer and AIDs research to the study of relationships in Cichlid Fishes depends on these algorithms. Patenting such a core concept of basic biology could do great harm to a broad range of disciplines.

Submission + - Microsoft agrees to EU Browser Ballot Screen

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has decided that the last thing it needs in this economy is some combination of the following: fines, legal bills, and a delay of Windows 7. It has offered to adopt the European Union's preferred solution for bowser competition: a browser selector screen at startup.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Spore Patch Nearly Lets Creatures Into Other Games (

Dalambertian writes: The release of Patch 5 lets players export their creatures (and soon vehicles and buildings) in Collada format. This includes textures, bump mapping, and rigging for animation. Maxis developer Ocean Quigley recently posted a nice tutorial for getting said creatures into Maya, and other 3D packages are soon to follow. This could have a huge impact on the games industry, and the indy games scene in particular. Unfortunately, if the patch falls under the usual EULA, then any legitimate use of the art assets outside of the Spore community becomes impossible. EA is apparently just teasing us with its taste but don't swallow policy, and at present it's not clear whether the genius that came out of Spore's development will ever truly be accessible to the game dev community.

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