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Education

Submission + - Facebook Users Get Lower Grades in College 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. "I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied." One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. "It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online." As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. "For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.""
Privacy

Senate Committee Votes To Fingerprint Lenders 146

tjstork recommends a blog post up at Openmarket.org on the passage by a Senate committee of a fingerprinting provision in a foreclosure assistance bill. The provision would require thousands of people connected with the mortgage industry, even tangentially — possibly including part-time and seasonal real estate agents — to send fingerprints to the feds for storage in a database. No explanation is in evidence as to how this would help the problem of loan fraud. The measure passed the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan majority of 19 to 2. "The measure the committee passed states that 'an individual may not engage in the business of a loan originator without first... obtaining a unique identifier.' To obtain this 'identifier,' an individual is required to 'furnish to the newly created Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry 'information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission' to the FBI and other government agencies."

Feed Science Daily: Gold Nanoparticle Probes May Allow Earlier Cancer Detection (sciencedaily.com)

Using tiny gold particles embedded with dyes, researchers have shown that they can identify tumors under the skin of a living animal. These tools may allow doctors to detect and diagnose cancer earlier and less invasively. Studded with antibody fragments called ScFv peptides that bind cancer cells, the gold particles grab onto tumors after their injection into a mouse. When illuminated with a laser beam, the tumor-bound particles send back a signal that is specific to the dye.
Supercomputing

Submission + - Iran builds supercomputer from banned AMD parts 2

Stony Stevenson writes: Iranian scientists claim to have used 216 microprocessors made by AMD to build the country's most powerful supercomputer, despite a ban on the export of U.S. computer equipment to the Middle Eastern nation. Scientists at the Iranian High Performance Computing Research Center at the country's Amirkabir University of Technology said they used a Linux-cluster architecture in building the system of Opteron processors. The supercomputer has a theoretical peak performance of 860 giga-flops, the posting said. The disclosure, made in an undated posting on Amirkabir's Web site, brought an immediate response Monday from AMD, which said it has never authorized shipments of products either directly or indirectly to Iran or any other embargoed country.
Books

Submission + - Group hopes to rename street after Douglas Adams.

interstellar_donkey writes: "After the recent brouhaha over the renaming of 4th Ave after César Chávez, a Portland group is pushing to rename a local street after the late writer Douglas Adams. The street? Why, 42nd Ave, of course. According to their website, the renaming will reflect Portlanders' commitment to the arts, respect for the environment, desire to provide technological access to all, their passion to further education to all people, and most importantly remind Portlanders DON'T PANIC. This appears to be a serious movement, with preliminary paperwork already in the works."

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