Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Childs Play (Score 4, Informative) 196

You've apparently missed all the heartfelt and often tearful thank-yous they get from parents with their kids in the hospital. I was in the room only a few yards away from the woman who broke down crying during PAX East thanking them for doing Child's Play because such things meant so much to her. It's on the episode of their reality show for PAX East that came out recently if you want to see it for yourself. Child's Play does make a real difference in people's lives and that shouldn't be discounted.

Comment Re:Fingerprints (Score 1) 94

That rat heart story is exciting, but it's not organ printing. I'd urge caution about the heart experiment. It's cool that they pulled it off, but some of the caveats from the Nature Medicine paper reporting it are that it doesn't beat nearly as strongly as a normal heart, nor is it beating properly in time. No actual blood flow has been pushed through the thing, so we don't know if it can perform well enough to replace even diseased tissue in a person. Finally, if you think about doing this in a person, you'd need a donor heart. There's very few of these available, and the vast majority of them are from old people who probably don't have the best hearts available. And it's not at all clear yet that we could print an effective heart scaffold de novo and have it work as well, although it's a possibility. Proof of concept is still waiting.

So, at least in this really challenging case (replacing a blood vessel and a heart aren't even remotely on the same scale of complexity) it really does look like we're still decades away.

Comment Re:Dodging the driver question... (Score 1) 244

To be fair, as you well know X driver hackers (or X hackers in general) are few and far between, and so aren't the easiest group to hire. Pretty much everyone got snapped up by Intel and RH, so there's no one competent for Canonical to hire right now. That said, I'd like to see some serious X/mesa/whatever code come out of Canonical too.

Comment Re:More than just those three reasons (Score 2) 387

It's still far too young to see any real successes. Prior to the past year, there wasn't any realistic way to make use of stem cells in many circumstances because of the paucity of cell lines available. Now there's more coming online. The real breakthrough though, Induced pluripotent Stem (iPS) cell technology, is brand new, and people have spent the last year making it safer by removing cMyc and whatever other oncogenes were necessary in the original formulation. That's basically done now and iPS cells should be less cancerous, so people are starting to move forward.

Remember that clinical trials take a very long time, so don't expect to see results so soon. Clinical trials for stem cell therapy are underway and from what little I've read they seem to be going well. You're right that the cancer problem still needs to be solved, and that it's never a good idea to believe wild predictions, things are looking vastly more positive for stem cell therapy than you make out.

Comment Re:Media using teachers as punching bags again (Score 1) 1322

Rather than just reading the first paragraph, try reading the whole article.

In the Polanco case, as in Daniel's, there was no shortage of documentation. The account of the history teacher's interactions with the apparently suicidal boy came primarily from his teaching assistant, who wrote a detailed letter to administrators. In addition, students submitted written statements that were introduced at Polanco's hearing.

If you think that the TA is a "an emotionally disturbed 12 year old" then you fail at reading comprehension. Bringing your own prejudices to the article is cute and all, but no one, especially not a teacher should be telling a kid who tried to commit suicide that he should "Carve deeper next time". If you don't trust the TA's word then that's your business, but if you want to side with a teacher who's encouraging an eighth grader to commit suicide then I think you're one sick fuck.

Comment Re:Screw the statistics... (Score 1) 501

Have you actually been in the channel recently? #debian has gotten a lot more civil than it used to be. On either oftc or freenode, honest (and there tends to be a lot of trolling fake newbs) questions get answered. Some of the questions are answered with a very polite version of RTFM, usually with a link of some sort or a factoid stored in the bot (named dpkg), but honestly those tend to be better answers than painfully working through a problem. Most of the time, even the experts don't know the real answer to the question, but we know how to go about finding out. That's where the RTFM-style answers tend to come from, because it's exactly what we'd do if we were in their situation. Most help-seekers in #debian seem to understand this.

Comment Re:Maybe they ought to change those options... (Score 2, Insightful) 501

I've run Debian for close to a decade now, and I doubt that most Debian users think that the defaults are bad, so much as just not what they're used to. Most of us have our peculiar choices that we've made and like to stick with. If you want a full featured vim on your system rather than the stripped down default, you need to install the appropriate packages. If you want emacs, you have to install it. If you don't like xchat because you've been using irssi for years, you have to install it. If you have no need for OpenOffice, but desperately need a LaTeX installation, you need to add it. If you like awesome or some other tiling window manager instead of gnome, you just install it and go. Many people using Debian, especially those of us who've been using it for a very long time, have specific needs that aren't really appropriate for everyone. Debian's great strength has long been the ease of managing software installation and removal to craft the system that you need and want. Debian users just tend to leverage that strength.

Submission + - Freenode and OFTC IRC networks buddy up

exeme writes: After growing apart for six years, Freenode and OFTC are now working together, and seeing where cooperation might take them.

"Two Internet Relay Chat (IRC) networks that are used heavily by free and open source software projects, Freenode and the Open and Free Technology Community (OFTC), are building bridges by swapping staff and observing each other's operations. The rapprochement brings together two organizations that sprang from a single project, and may be a precursor for more intimate ties."

Full article.

Submission + - Is brand name Ubuntu over hyped ?

An anonymous reader writes: When you go by the readings in diverse media, you are sure to find only eulogies of Ubuntu — a linux distribution which has been very popular as a neophytes Linux distribution. But this provocative article asks whether, after all is said and done, is not the brand name Ubuntu over hyped to the extent of over shadowing other Linux distributions including Ubuntu's parent distribution Debian? Because as this author has experienced, the succeeding Ubuntu releases after 6.06 has only gone down a gradual incline in the quality department.
Linux Business

Submission + - Dell will pre-install Ubuntu Linux

atamyrat writes: "http://www.fabianrodriguez.com/blog/archives/2007/ 04/30/its-d-day/ It's now official. That's it, the embargo is over. We can talk. Many people have been involved in this and I can only say I am excited to be a tiny small part of it: Ubuntu will be officially supported on Dell computers. Any other details will come on www.ubuntu.com, check it for the official press release, but we can now all put the matter to rest and go about our normal lives — or can we ? :) This from your humble servant at Canonical Global Support Services. http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8661763902.html http://www.boingboing.net/2007/04/30/dell_will_pre install.html"

Submission + - Why do Device Developers Prefer Debian?

An anonymous reader writes: LinuxDevices.com's survey results consistently show Debian to be the most popular distribution among device developers. For example, the just-completed 2007 survey indicated that Debian was used in device-related projects by 13 percent of the survey's 932 participants, roughly double the score of MontaVista, the most popular strictly-embedded distribution. In addition to Debian's 13 percent score, Ubuntu, which is based on Debian packages, jumped to 6 percent this year, its first year in the survey. In contrast, Red Hat, achieved a 5 percent score and Fedora came in at 6 percent, while SUSE scored just 2 percent. The complete 2007 Embedded Linux Survey results and analysis are here.

Submission + - Debian at the crossroads

Tookis writes: The Debian GNU/Linux project has come to some kind of crossroads — due to many factors, some of them artificial — and the man who takes over leadership next month will have to make some crucial decisions on the future direction of the project. At the moment strong leadership appears to be lacking — or so founder Ian Murdock believes. http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/10788/1090/

Slashdot Top Deals

The amount of time between slipping on the peel and landing on the pavement is precisely 1 bananosecond.