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The Military

Submission + - Targeting the President's DNA 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Atlantic reports that experts in genetics and microbiology are convinced we may be only a few years away from the development of advanced, genetic bio-weapons able to target a single human being based on their DNA. The authors paint a scenario of the development of a virus that causes only mild flu in the general population but when the virus crosses paths with cells containing a very specific DNA sequence, the sequence would act as a molecular key to unlock secondary functions that would trigger a fast-acting neuro-destructive disease that produces memory loss and, eventually, death. The requisite equipment including gene sequencers, micro-array scanners, and mass spectrometers now cost over $1 million but on eBay, it can be had for as little as $10,000. According to Ronald Kessler, the author of the 2009 book In the President’s Secret Service, Navy stewards gather bedsheets, drinking glasses, and other objects the president has touched—they are later sanitized or destroyed—in an effort to keep would-be malefactors from obtaining his genetic material. However no amount of Secret Service vigilance can ever fully secure the president’s DNA, because an entire genetic blueprint can now be produced from the information within just a single cell. How to protect the President? The authors propose open-sourcing the president’s genetic information to a select group of security-cleared researchers who could follow in the footsteps of the computer sciences, where “red-team exercises,” are extremely common practices so a similar testing environment could be developed for biological war games. "Advances in biotechnology are radically changing the scientific landscape. We are entering a world where imagination is the only brake on biology," write the authors. "In light of this coming synbio revolution, a wider-ranging relationship between scientists and security organizations—one defined by open exchange, continual collaboration, and crowd-sourced defenses—may prove the only way to protect the president.""

Submission + - Romney buys voting machines for Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado. (

An anonymous reader writes: "Tagg Romney, the son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has purchased electronic voting machines that will be used in the 2012 elections in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado.

"Late last month, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis at broke the story of the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital investment team involved in H.I.G. Capital which, in July of 2011, completed a "strategic investment" to take over a fair share of the Austin-based e-voting machine company Hart Intercivic," according to independent journalist Brad Friedman."

I guess I'm voting for Romney!


Submission + - Ubuntu 12.10 review: Quantal Quetzal is quite adequate ( 1

colinneagle writes: Let's cut right to the chase: Ubuntu 12.10 is a totally, 100%, utterly, completely acceptable release. In almost every way, it is very, very similar to Ubuntu 12.04 — which makes a great deal of sense, considering that the two releases are only six months apart.

Are you a current Ubuntu user on 12.04? Upgrade to 12.10...but don't fret about being in a rush to do so. It's a good upgrade, but it isn't going to change your life forever.

Still using an older (read: "Pre-Unity") version of Ubuntu? It’s time to upgrade. The Unity desktop environment and user experience is polished enough now that I can safely recommend it to anyone (even Gnome 2 die-hards).

Using a non-Ubuntu Linux distro? Honestly, if Ubuntu 12.04 didn't pull you away from Fedora, openSUSE, etc...then 12.10 isn't going to either. Then again, if you never gave the last release a try, the new version is a completely acceptable place to jump in.

What if, let's say, you work at Apple? You should probably install Ubuntu 12.10 and live in it for a few weeks. You know, just to see what a well-designed desktop environment — that looks nice while not getting in your way — is like.


Submission + - NetFlix caught stealing DivX subtiles (

An anonymous reader writes: NetFlix release it's service in Finland and was caught stealing movie subtitles from local DivX community site.

How were they caught? NetFlix forgot to remove endorsement to the pirate site from the subtitles ;)

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