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Banjo Used In Brain Surgery 164

Ponca City, We love you writes "Legendary bluegrass musician Eddie Adcock has undergone brain surgery to treat a hand tremor, playing his banjo throughout to test the success of the procedure. Adcock suffers from essential tremor, a condition where there is a continuing deterioration in areas of the brain that control movement, causing a tremor that usually appears when the person tries to act or move. Deep brain stimulation can be used to treat the movement difficulties of both Parkinson's and essential tremor by sinking an electrode into the thalamus, a deep brain area that is part of the motor loop — a circuit that helps coordinate movement. Surgeons placed electrodes in Adcock's brain and fitted a pacemaker in his chest, which delivers a small current that shuts down the region of his brain causing the tremors. The most sensible thing to do was to tweak the system while Adcock was playing the banjo to optimize the effect for the thing that's most important to him."

India Joins Nuclear Market 377

figona brings news that India will be allowed to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). A waiver was approved yesterday that provided an exception to the requirements that India sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. This means India will be able to buy nuclear fuel from the world market and purchase reactors from the US, France, and Russia; something it has been unable to do since it began nuclear testing in 1974 (which inspired the creation of the NSG). The waiver does not include terms to cut off access if India resumes nuclear testing, but the US Congress drafted a letter stating their willingness to do so. Opponents of the waiver have called it a "non-proliferation disaster."

Robotic Aircraft To Supply Troops 111

Cowards Anonymous writes "PC World reports on a prototype driverless aircraft designed to shuttle hundreds of pounds of supplies to soldiers in war zones. Dubbed a flying Humvee by Frontline Aerospace's CEO, the robotic vehicle can fly 600 to 1,000 miles carrying a full cargo of 400 pounds. It's about the size of a large SUV, weighing in at 2,400 pounds and measuring 21 feet long and up to 26 feet wide."

Widespread Keyboard Failures on OLPC's XO-1 264

otakuj462 writes "Many participants in OLPC's 'Give 1 Get 1' program of last November are now encountering what has come to be known as the 'stuck key' problem, in which one or more of the keys on their XO-1 laptop's built-in keyboard become stuck in an activated position, or are activated when adjacent keys are pressed. As of January 30th, the official word from OLPC is that the root cause of this problem is unknown because '[t]here are several manufacturers of the keyboards.' ('So far we don't know of any _reliable_ method of fixing the keyboard or the exact root cause.') It is unknown just how widespread this problem currently is, as the 30-day manufacturer's warranty has already expired for most G1G1 participants. However, the OLPC forums are full of reports. OLPC is currently deploying the XO-1 to children in Mongolia and Peru, as well as other developing nations. If OLPC is actively deploying units with known, critical hardware bugs, without a dedicated support infrastructure in place, to children who have never seen a computer before, should they still be considered to be a responsible organization? Did OLPC deploy their hardware too soon?"

Submission + - Firefox Memory Hogging Is Due to Fragmentation (

A beautiful mind writes: It has been long claimed by users that Firefox leaks memory, and on the other hand the developers claimed the number of leaks are minimal. It turns out both groups were right. Stuart Parmenter, one of the authors of the RAMBack extension started investigating and found out that the issue is memory fragmentation. He discovered that while loading about:blank uses 12,589,696 bytes of memory in the test he performed (image), after exercising Firefox with different websites and then clearing the caches with the help of the RAMBack extension the picture is wholly different: "Our heap is now 29,999,872 bytes! 16,118,072 of that is used (up 4,634,208 bytes from before... which caches am I forgetting to clear?). The rest, a whopping 13,881,800 bytes, is in free blocks!"

Data Loss Bug In OS X 10.5 Leopard 603

An anonymous reader writes "Leopard's Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in progress. This author first came across it when Samba crashed while he was moving a directory from his desktop over to a Samba mount on his FreeBSD server."

Supercomputer On the Cheap 133

jbrodkin writes "You don't need Ivy League-type cash to get a supercomputer anymore. Organizations with limited financial resources are snatching up IBM supercomputers now that Big Blue has lowered the price of Blue Gene/L. Alabama-Birmingham and other universities that previously couldn't afford such advanced technology are using supercomputers to cure diseases at the protein level and to solve equally challenging problems. IBM dropped the price of the Blue Gene/L to $800K late last year before releasing a more powerful model, Blue Gene/P, last month. Sales of Blue Gene/L have more than doubled since then, bringing supercomputing into more corners of the academic and research worlds."
It's funny.  Laugh.

AC = Domestic Terrorists? 519

Miang writes "A video from a recent FOX 11 (Los Angeles) newscast has surfaced on YouTube. In the segment, reporter Phil Shuman investigates so-called "Hacker Gangs" comprised entirely of anonymous users. The segment, which focuses mainly on users at 4chan, 7chan, and 420chan, seems to confuse /b/ raids and motivational poster templates with a genuine threat to the American public. For added FUD, the FOX team inserted an unrelated video of a van blowing up — twice! Presumably, one is intended to equate anonymous posting with domestic terror. The story and video can be found on the local FOX website, so it does not appear to be simply a clever parody." Cringe as you watch this video explain terms like 'LULZ' and show inspirational poster parodies as evidence of the evils of this terrifying "Group".

GameStop Short PS3s For Launch Day 134

GameSpot reports that GameStop will have too few units for preorders on launch day. Employees are being "asked" to wait until the second shipment of consoles to purchase units, to ensure customers can receive what they paid (and waited in the cold) for. From the article: "For launch day, preorders will be filled in the order they were received, and those who had a preorder but are denied a system on day one will receive something for their troubles. GameStop will give those unfortunate customers (as well as unfortunate employees) a free used game or DVD valued at $19.99 or less when they eventually wind up purchasing the system. Those who reserved a system won't need to wait long to find out if they can expect a system on launch day. Starting tomorrow, customers who preordered a PS3 will be contacted personally by phone and updated on the status of their reservation, the rep said."

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