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Government

World Health Organization Has New Rules For Avoiding Offensive Names 186

sciencehabit writes: Last week The World Health Organization (WHO) decided to address not only the physical toll of disease but the stigma inflicted by diseases named for people, places, and animals as well. Among the existing names that its new guidelines "for the Naming of New Human Infectious Diseases" would discourage: Ebola, swine flu, Rift valley Fever, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and monkey pox. The organization suggests researchers, health officials, and journalists should use more neutral, generic terms, such as severe respiratory disease or novel neurologic syndrome instead. “It will certainly lead to boring names and a lot of confusion,” predicts Linfa Wang, an expert on emerging infectious diseases at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong. “You should not take political correctness so far that in the end no one is able to distinguish these diseases,” says Christian Drosten, a virologist at the University of Bonn, Germany.
Software

Mitt Romney To Announce VP Decision Via Smartphone App 461

redletterdave writes "In 2008, then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama decided to announce his running mate, then-Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, over a text message, which was sent out to Obama's legions of followers. Four years later, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the likely presidential nominee from the Republican Party, has decided to make his VP announcement over a smartphone app. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney's campaign team launched a smartphone app called 'Mitt's VP,' which promises app users will be the first to know the official news of Romney's running mate for the November election. Once Romney makes his decision, he will announce the news over the app, which will alert smartphone owners with a text notification."

Why the Light Has Gone Out on LAMP 443

menion writes to tell us that Cliff Wells has an editorial calling into focus some of the perceived problems with LAMP. Wells calls PHP and MySQL this generation's BASIC citing the Free Online Dictionary of Computing: "BASIC has become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers. This is another case (like Pascal) of the cascading lossage that happens when a language deliberately designed as an educational toy gets taken too seriously. A novice can write short BASIC programs (on the order of 10-20 lines) very easily; writing anything longer is (a) very painful, and (b) encourages bad habits that will make it harder to use more powerful languages well. This wouldn't be so bad if historical accidents hadn't made BASIC so common on low-end micros. As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year."

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