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Submission + - HIV Tracking Technology Could Pinpoint Who's Infecting Who (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: No man is an island, but evolutionarily, each person functions like one for the HIV virus. That's according to Thomas Leitner, a researcher working on a project aimed at creating technology for tracking HIV through a population. The technology, which is being studied at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, may allow people to identify who infected them with the virus, a development that could have major implications in criminal proceedings. “If you’re familiar with Darwin’s finches, you have a population of birds on one island and they keep moving and evolving as they spread to other islands so that each population is a little different,” Leitner said. “With HIV, it’s the same. Every person infected with HIV has a slightly different form the the virus. It’s the ultimate chameleon because it evolves this way.”

Submission + - U.K. changed law to allow NSA to spy on Brits (

Taco Cowboy writes: USA and UK have have a more than 70-years relationship in sharing and exchanging secret information

But there was a rule preventing USA from spying on the British citizens.

But that was changed in 2007 !

In 2007, the US and UK struck a deal allowing NSA to spy on Brits, even if they are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

To do that, England actually changed its rules.

In 2007, the rules were changed to allow the NSA to analyse and retain any British citizens' mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet. Previously, this data had been stripped out of NSA databases – "minimized", in intelligence agency parlance – under rules agreed between the two countries.

A separate draft memo, marked top-secret and dated from 2005, reveals a proposed NSA procedure for spying on the citizens of the UK and other Five-Eyes nations, even where the partner government has explicitly denied the US permission to do so. The memo makes clear that partner countries must not be informed about this surveillance, or even the procedure itself.

A spokeswoman for the NSA declined to answer questions from the Guardian on whether the draft directive had been implemented and, if so, when.

The NSA and the White House also refused to comment on the agency's 2007 agreement with the UK to store and analyze data on British citizens.

Submission + - Moon Express Aims to Make the Moon the Final Commercial Frontier (

MarkWhittington writes: With NASA's LADEE moon probe on its way and the Chinese planning to attempt its first lunar landing before the end of 2013 with the Chang'e 3, the question arises, what comes next for the exploration of Earth's nearest neighbor?

None other than the staid, respectable business publication Forbes suggests that the next lunar expedition after 2013 will not be launched by a government at all, but will be a private venture by a company called Moon Express. The company plans to place a rover on the moon by the end of 2015 as part of the Google Lunar X Prize Competition.

Moon Express' goals go beyond just winning the $20 million dollars that being the first private group to land on the moon will entail. The company plans to exploit the trillions of dollars worth of natural resources that the moon contains, including platinum group metals, gold, and water ice, the latter of which would help fuel space exploration and colonization. Forbes suggests that the moon is the "next emerging market" with the plus that there is no government upheaval or social instability on the moon to mess things up.

Submission + - Can Even Apple Make a Watch Insanely Smart?

theodp writes: Throwing some cold water on the buzz surrounding the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch launch, The New Yorker's Matt Buchanan questions how smart a watch can really be. Calling offerings like the Galaxy Gear useful but not the stuff of dreams and revolutions, Buchanan writes, 'So there remains a strange undercurrent of hope that somebody-Apple-will figure out, soon, some grander vision for wearable technology, transforming it from something that people have vaguely imagined into something people intensely desire. It did it for smartphones, once, and again, for tablets. The question that Apple has been charged with, since nobody has definitively answered it yet, is whether the lack of an invention that truly carries us beyond the last five hundred years of wrist-mounted technology is the result of a failure of imagination or simply a fact of nature-that a watch will always just be a watch, no matter how smart it might think it is.' So, will you be an early adopter and drink Samsung's or Sony's smartwatch Kool-Aid, wait to see what Apple comes up with, or hold out for a Windows Forearm Pad 8?

Comment Re:Sacking... (Score 4, Insightful) 151

If you have different political views you could undermine the government / elected officials through what you pick up behind closed doors and then expose.

You can't possibly expect a civil servants political views to always align with those of the government unless you assume they change them every time a different political party comes into power. Would you overturn the civil service every time an election is held?
And unless you civil service is composed entirely of apolitical workers, you can't expect them all to be 'neutral' outside of the office.

Comment Re:Security and Market Dominance by Obscurity (Score 2) 118

Contrast that with the products of Microsoft, Oracle

Apples to apples, I don't believe either of those companies provide an 'Express' version of the ERP software (Oracle/JDE/PeopleSoft/Dynamics AX/NAV). As an independent, it's always been frustrating to try to evaluate new releases from those vendors.

Comment Re:Two sides to a coin (Score 4, Informative) 279

He committed no violence. And as a veteran, I'm sure he had a belly full of violence in his life and is more than likely sick of it. I'm inclined to believe that a veteran - especially one that has saw combat - would be much less inclined towards violence than the general population.

Statistics disagree

While overall the armed forces are less likely than civilians to offend, they are three times more likely to be convicted of violent offences; 20% of younger males (under 30) have been convicted of violence compared with 6.7% of civilians. Those who served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were 53% more likely to offend violently than those not on the frontline. Those with multiple experiences of combat had a 70%-80% greater risk of being convicted for acts of violence.

That doesn't mean that I agree with 'profiling' veterans, just that your assumption may be off.

Comment Re:not a fan (Score 4, Interesting) 514

You may want to listen to the content of that 'endless discussion' sometime. There's very few significant topics that weren't addressed somewhere in the Star Trek franchise. And it had a somewhat novel way of addressing them - often from the point of view on non-humans. Sure, that had been done before - but not on that scale.

Very few entertainment franchises, and certainly none as successful as Star Trek, have addressed the breadth of topics that it has.

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C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]