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Submission + - Science's Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2013 (

sciencehabit writes: Every year, the editors of Science huddle together and pick an outstanding scientific achievement as the Breakthrough of the Year. This year’s winner is CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY: harnessing the immune system to battle tumors. Scientists have thought for decades that such an approach to cancer therapy should be possible, but it has been incredibly difficult to make it work. Now, many oncologists say we have turned a corner, because two different techniques are helping a subset of patients. One involves antibodies that release a brake on T cells, giving them the power to tackle tumors. Another involves genetically modifying an individual’s T cells outside the body so that they are better able to target cancer, and then reinfusing them so they can do just that. (Runners up at link)

Comment Re:Morons (Score 3, Insightful) 457

I'm tired of hearing people say, "the terrorists have won" when the government infringes on our freedom, because it's wildly inaccurate. Terrorists win when their tactics cause outcomes that meet their objectives. Terrorists literally could not care less whether Americans are oppressed by their own government.

With these terrorists that may be true, maybe. But, as an example, the RAF in Germany in the 1970s considered the increase in surveilance and oppression that resulted from their actions to be a win. As it revealed to the general public the true nature and wishes of their government (as they believed them to be).

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 397

To steer away briefly from some of the ridiculous hyperbole this is generating, this looks like nothing more than a position statement. Its enforcement would be subjective to the point that I can't see it ever being enforced. I get the concerns being raised, definitely I do, but like a lot of EU proposals I'll wait to see if it ever genuinely goes anyway before tripping out.

Submission + - SXSW: Elon Musk Talks Reusable Rockets, Tesla Controversy (

Nerval's Lobster writes: "Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, took the keynote stage at this year’s SXSW to talk about everything from space exploration to electric cars. Joining him onstage to ask questions was Chris Anderson, the former Wired editor and co-founder of 3DRobotics. Musk used his keynote discussion to show off a video of a rocket test, which he said had taken place earlier that week. In the video, a ten-story rocket takes off from a launching pad and hovers several hundred feet in the air before landing in the same spot, upright. It’s an early test of SpaceX’s reusable-rocket project. “Reusability is extremely important,” Musk told the audience. “If you think it’s important that humanity extends beyond Earth and becomes a multitenant species” then reusable rockets will prove essential. Musk also talked about the recent controversy involving his Tesla Motors, which started when a New York Times reporter claimed in a much-circulated column that his electric-powered Model S sedan had ground to a halt during a test drive up the East Coast. “I have no problem with negative feedback,” he told Anderson, in response to the latter’s question. “There have been hundreds of negative articles, and yet I’ve only spoken out a few times. I don’t have a problem with critical reviews, I have a problem with false reviews.”"

Submission + - Sugar industry's secret docs echo Big Tobacco's anti-science tactics

Freshly Exhumed writes: Evidence of the Sugar Association's decades-old attempts to stifle its critics and shape public opinion has been uncovered by Dr. Cristin Couzens, who went on a sabbatical to hunt for proof after noting that sugar was never being discussed in dental forums as a causative source of health problems. She is a dentist by training, not an investigator, but what Couzens found was something food industry critics have been seeking for years: confidential industry documents going back to the 1970s showing that the sugar industry used Big Tobacco's tactics to deflect growing public and professional concern over the deleterious health effects of sugar, such as the alarming rise in childhood obesity and diabetes levels and the ongoing high cost of dental cavity treatment, from which the poor are often left out.

Submission + - First Google Glass Ban arrives (

dakohli writes:

A Seattle bar has issued a preemptive ban of Google Glass to preserve the privacy of its tipplers. The 5 Point Cafe in Seattle announced plans to suppress the futuristic devices on its Facebook page this week, and didn't mince words. "The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses," the bar wrote. "And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."

Apparently, It is a self described Dive Bar and they already do ban recording and pictures. I'm pretty sure this will come as no surprise, even Steve Mann has had issues with acceptance by the general public.

Do you think this technology will become so mainstream that people will give up trying to protect their privacy?

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 522

Is it really completely beyond the wit of a developer to start doing some functional capture themselves, you know, ask around maybe ? Or do developers want to be battery chickens where you feed a spec in one end and code comes out the other ? Seriously, I expect my devs to be capable of independent thought and action. A dev should not just sits on their arse doing goldfish impressions when there's no discernible direction to take they should, as far as I'm concerned, be trying to find out wtf is required. I don't expect this of fresh junior developers, but any developer with a few years of experience should have achieved a modicum of the skills required to do the above. Not saying they'll get it right, and they may not have the access to capture all the requirements, but some energy expended in that direction is the least I'd expect. If they can't do that, what hope is there of capturing a change that may seriously impact the application development. In software development everyone should feel they can contribute to any part of the application build with their thoughts (from design to delivery). I don't want dev staff completely incapable of thinking outside of a functional spec.

Comment Re:Rewrite it (Score 1) 236

Probably not true. If its truly cobbled together as described, and therefore a lot of it has been created 'key to disk', then most of it is probably unnecessary code. Replacing it with a rewrite would more than likely require code that is a considerable order of magnitude lighter than 200k (say between 50-100K). I've seen this kind of crap before a few times, and have succesfully replaced with rewrites, and in reasonable time frames. The main key to doing a rewrite succesfully however is NOT to look at, or replicate the code as it is (but just a bit tidier). The best approach is to go through a proper design to functional specification process, just as if it was a new application. Doing it that way you'll probably find far more elegant coding solutions than are currently being used by the 200k mess and these will cut down on coding time. Moreover it will produce better and more maintainable code, more than you ever would through a tidy and document process. If you think about it, documenting what the spaghetti is doing would probably take as much time, if not much longer, than a fresh design/spec process. Basically the time taken to do a good rewrite is very rarely going to be longer than it would be to unpick the mess. Just keep your team very, very small and make sure everyone including your programmers are involved from the first design/spec discussions onwards. Things go much faster, and you get a far better design, if your coders are invested fully in the project.
The Internet

Submission + - Controlling Bufferbloat with Queue Delay (

CowboyRobot writes: "We all can see that the Internet is getting slower. According to researchers, the cause is persistently full buffers, and the problem is only made worse by the increasing availability of cheap memory, which is then immediately filled with buffered data. The metaphor is grocery store checkout lines: a cramped system where one individual tasks can block many other tasks waiting in line. But you can avoid the worst problems by having someone actively managing the checkout queues, and this is the solution for bufferbloat as well: AQM (Active Queue Management). However, AQM (and the metaphor) break down in the modern age when Queues are long and implementation is not quite so straightforward.

Kathleen Nichols at Pollere and Van Jacobson at Parc have a new solution that they call CoDel (Controlled Delay), which has several features that distinguish it from other AQM systems.

"A modern AQM is just one piece of the solution to bufferbloat. Concatenated queues are common in packet communications with the bottleneck queue often invisible to users and many network engineers. A full solution has to include raising awareness so that the relevant vendors are both empowered and given incentive to market devices with buffer management.""

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