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Submission + - British woman arrested after reporting rape (guardian.co.uk) 2

reporter writes: According to a shocking report just published by guardian.co.uk, "A British woman who made a rape complaint in Dubai has been arrested for having illegal sex with her fiance, according to reports. The woman, a 23-year-old from London, said she was raped by a waiter in a luxury hotel after celebrating her engagement to her 44-year-old boyfriend, also from London.

But when she reported the alleged rape to police in the Middle Eastern state she and her boyfriend were arrested for having sex outside marriage and illegal drinking outside licensed premises.


Police began to question the couple about breaking the emirate's strict decency laws. Usual rape procedures were ignored and the woman was given a full medical check and a morning-after pill only after the intervention of British embassy staff, the [Sun] reported."


Submission + - Natural Selection Found in Non-Living Organisms 3

Hugh Pickens writes: "Lab Spaces reports that researchers have determined for the first time that bits of infectious protein devoid of DNA or RNA called prions are capable of Darwinian evolution. "On the face of it, you have exactly the same process of mutation and adaptive change in prions as you see in viruses," said Charles Weissmann, M.D., Ph.D. "This means that this pattern of Darwinian evolution appears to be universally active. In viruses, mutation is linked to changes in nucleic acid sequence that leads to resistance. Now, this adaptability has moved one level down – to prions and protein folding – and it's clear that you do not need nucleic acid for the process of evolution." Infectious prions are associated with some 20 different diseases in humans and animals, all of them untreatable and eventually fatal including mad cow disease and a rare human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The researchers transferred prion populations from infected brain cells to culture cells. When transplanted, cell-adapted prions developed and out-competed their brain-adapted counterparts, confirming prions' ability to adapt to new surroundings, a hallmark of Darwinian evolution. When returned to brain, brain-adapted prions again took over the population. "We know that mutation and natural selection occur in living organisms and now we know that they also occur in a non-living organism," says Weissmann. "I suppose anything that can't do that wouldn't stand much of a chance of survival.""

Submission + - Programmers Need To Learn Statistics (zedshaw.com) 2

David Gerard writes: "Zed Shaw writes an impassioned plea to programmers: Programmers Need To Learn Statistics Or I Will Kill Them All. "I go insane when I hear programmers talking about statistics like they know shit when it’s clearly obvious they do not. I’ve been studying it for years and years and still don’t think I know anything. This article is my call for all programmers to finally learn enough about statistics to at least know they don’t know shit. I have no idea why, but their confidence in their lacking knowledge is only surpassed by their lack of confidence in their personal appearance.""

Submission + - Should Dolphins Be Treated As 'Non-Human Persons'? (physorg.com) 3

krou writes: Should dolphins be treated as 'non-human persons'? Behavioural studies indicate dolphins think of the future, have self-awareness, and distinct personalities, complex social structures 'with individuals co-operating to solve difficult problems or to round up shoals of fish to eat, and with new behaviors being passed from one dolphin to another'. This and more has led two scientists, zoologist Lori Marino and Diana Reiss, professor of psychology at the City University of New York, to claim that this understanding of dolphins may 'mean it [is not] ethical to keep dolphins in aquatic amusement parks for our entertainment, or to kill them for food'. Thomas White, professor of ethics and business at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has gone so far as to claim that dolphins should be treated as "non-human persons". Would /.'ers agree? What are the implications of such a move?

Submission + - Blu-ray capacity increase via firmware (blu-ray.com) 2

LordofEntropy writes: Blu-ray.com reports that Sony and Panasonic have announced a new optical disc evaluation technology that increases capacity from 25GB to 33.4GB. The tech uses existing Blu-ray diodes and is accomplished via firmware upgrade. The article says that it is not know if and when the upgrade will be adopted into the Blu-ray spec. However, given that Sony and Panasonic are behind it "it will likely happen later this year."

Submission + - What Intel's New Integrated GPU Means 1

meustrus writes: So Intel has released new Arrandale and Clarkdale processors with integrated GPU's. For some reason, it seems like I'm the only one who's worried about this. Early last month, Bright Side of News posted a rumor that Apple would skip this generation of Intel processors, demanding a version without built-in GPU. Why would they do this? For the last couple of years, Apple has had a good thing going with nVidia chipsets in their laptops, using GeForce 9400M integrated graphics which perform vastly superior to Intel graphics. Even with the recent developments concerning nVidia chipsets, it is still a sad day that such an arrangement becomes more and more of a faded reality.

What Intel proves to me with the integrated GPU is that it intends to pour salt in nVidia's wounds and push its graphics chips on PC designers and consumers. In my opinion this is monopolistic behavior, like trying to kill Netscape by shipping Windows with Internet Explorer. In a review of the new processors, there is a description and picture of the die for the new CPU's. Most notable is that it combines a 32nm CPU with a 45nm GPU. This is not some engineer's dream of perfection. It's a hack job pushed by management as a strategic move to put an Intel graphics chip in every computer in the world, with the eventual goal of weakening competition for third-party GPU's and chipsets which use them.
The Internet

Submission + - Net users in Belarus may soon have to register. (msn.com)

Cwix writes: A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34633201/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/

MINSK, Belarus — Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts and special services.


Submission + - Sceptical climate researcher withholds code (newscientist.com) 1

xav_jones writes: New Scientist is reporting that Nicola Scafetta, a physicist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina — whose work is often highlighted by climate-change sceptics, including US senator James Inhofe — is refusing to provide the software he used to other climate researchers attempting to replicate his results. Emails between Rasmus Benestad of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo and Scafetta over the past week had Scaffetta repeatedly refusing to provide the code. "If you just disclose your code and data, then we will manage to get to the bottom of this," Benestad writes in one email. "I really do not understand why you are not able to write your own program to reproduce the calculations," responds Scafetta.

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.