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Submission + - Mother wins MMR case (

An anonymous reader writes: A mother from the UK has won her case claiming that the MMR vaccine severely retarded her child. The main factor in her winning the case was, as the panel put it, "the balance of probabilities". A doctor Michael Fitzpatrick said, "...although a causal link has been established in law in this instance, exhaustive scientific research has failed to establish any link between MMR and brain damage." ( Since when did law trump exhaustive scientific research in scientific matters?

It's a shock that such a case has succeeded as, despite the mother's claims that she is not anti-vaccination and it has been stated in every article which prints the story that it does not confirm a link between MMR and autism, this will only fuel the anti-vaccination movement.

Does anyone else find this story slightly troubling?


Submission + - Blizzard Boss Says DRM Is A Waste Of Time ( 2

Stoobalou writes: Blizzard founder, Frank Pearce reckons that fighting piracy with DRM is a losing battle.

His company — which is responsible for the biggest videogame of all time, the worryingly-addictive online fantasy role player World of Warcraft — is to release Starcraft 2 on July 27th and Pearce has told Videogamer that the title won't be hobbled with the kind of crazy copy protection schemes which have made Ubisoft very unpopular in gaming circles of late.

Starcraft 2 will require a single online activation using the company's servers, after which players will be allowed to play the single-player game to their hearts' content, without being forced to have a persistent Internet connection.


Submission + - Inside the Terry Childs Conviction (

snydeq writes: "Jason Chilton, aka Juror #4, provides an inside look at the jury deliberations that led to the recent conviction of San Francisco IT admin Terry Childs on one count of 'denial of service.' The conviction, which may have significant negative ramifications for other IT admins, will be appealed by Childs, who faces up to five years in prison for withholding passwords to the City of San Francisco's FiberWAN network after his employment was terminated. Chilton, a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert and senior network engineer, says there's much more to the Terry Childs case than most people realize. His interview, conducted the day after the verdict was handed down, shows the issues that framed the deliberations and how the jury went about answering questions central to the case. 'The questions were, first, did the defendant know he caused a disruption or a denial of computer service. It was rather easy for us to answer, "Yes there was a denial of service." And that service was the ability to administer the routers and switches of the FiberWAN. That was the first aspect of it, the second aspect was the denial to an authorized user. And for us that's what we really had to spend the most time on, defining who an authorized user was. Because that wasn't one of the definitions given to us.'"

Submission + - IBM denies blame for Bungled $40M Payroll System (

CuteSteveJobs writes: IBM has refused to take responsibility for a bungled $40 Million payroll system that didn't work. IBM was system integrator of the off-the-shelf SAP Payroll system customised by CorpTech; the Queensland Government's oft-criticised IT department. The project could set a record as the worst IT project ever. Since its introduction three pay cycles ago, the new system has been underpaying 75,000 staff with doctors and nurses shortchanged thousands of dollars and many receiving nothing at all. The system is expected take several more months to fix. Incredibly, the existing payroll system which worked fine wasn't kept as a backup.

Queensland Health Management suggested unpaid workers turn to charity, and in an e-mail offered free coffee as compensation (later retracted to just one cup, and not large, and hazelenut is extra!) To add insult to injury on the day of the first run when problems were apparent, management celebrated with a roof-top party at department's expense. A year ago IT Minister Robert Schwarten boasted the new payroll system was most complicated system ever seen in Australia. Health Minister Paul Lucas was warned nine months ago the system was headed for disaster, but claims not to have read the memo until last week. Is this the most bungled IT installation of all time? Surely a payroll system would be thoroughly tested? How did it ever get signed off? How could a payroll system cost $40M anyway? How can IBM and SAP justify those sort of fees? Now KPMG will profit from cleaning up the mess.

Open Source

Journal Journal: About time too 1

The UK's Information Commissioner has ruled that research data must be made public. I have little sympathy for the likes of Keenan. But I have even less sympathy for so called scientists who refuse to make their data available for others to study. This isn't just about climate change, either, but about science in general. The recent spate of falsified results in Chinese and Korean papers should be ample evidence that data needs to be made

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5