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Comment Refractive surgery is not elegant (Score 1) 550

Since I'm a PhD-student in ophthalmology and my subject touches this I'd like to add my two ören...

Fundamentally all refractive surgery creates two optical systems where there previously was one. I.e a small central area in the cornea with the new refraction and a periphery with the original refractive error. So in darkness the vision will be worse. This is not an elegant solution. Further, the incision to create the corneal flap permanently severs the (some) nerves going to the flap. This might lead to problems such as dry eyes etc. Annoyingly the cornea heals badly. Thus, the corneal flap is much weaker than the rest of the cornea, so in case of trauma it can break.

It is problematic that the standard measurement of visual function is (best corrected) visual acuity. Visual acuity measures only a small subset of our visual function. A more correct measurement is contrast vision and the contrast sensitivity function (CSF) of the eye. The CSF is analogous to the optical transfer function of the eye, but it also incorporates the neuronal contrast transfer at the retina.
The CSF can be, slightly incorrectly, described as the information transfer ability of the eye and visual system. The problem with refractive surgery is that while you might increase the visual acuity it often comes at the expense of decreased contrast vision. But since contrast vision is seldom tested....

Generally ophthalmologists aren't keen on having refractive surgery, at least those at the university hospital where I work.

Comment We have had it for quite some time in Sweden (Score 3, Informative) 64

The internet registrar that manges the Swedish top lever domain, .se, has done a similar thing for a couple of years now. Crowd sourced using an app for iPhone/iPad as well as Android.
They have a cool map where you can see mobile coverage and connection speed in Sweden. Intrestingly enough it also covers a large part of Europe, probably swedes on holiday.

Comment IBM OmniFind - a simple easy solution (Score 1) 438

IBM OmniFind should do the trick, It indexes your files and then you can search the index very quickly. It also does caching of documents and other nifty stuff. It is based on Apache Lucene and there is a free (as in beer) version, IBM OmniFind Yahoo Edition. The free version will work with up to 500 000 documents. I used it for searching a number of networked drives with circa 50 000 files on them which it did very well.


Jobs Not Giving This Year's Macworld Keynote 371

Many readers including thermopile wrote in about Apple withdrawing from Macworld Expo after this year. The other bad news for Apple fans is that Steve Jobs won't be delivering the keynote in 3 weeks — we may have seen his last "one more thing." Apple VP Phil Schiller will be doing the honors. He's "an Apple executive notably lacking in Jobs's showmanship and star power," according to the Fortune blogger. Apple's press release states that "trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers." While this may be true, the keynote addresses have been a critical venue for major new product announcements. Apple's stock is taking a 6% hit in after-hours trading, possibly on concerns about Jobs's health. Reader Harry has gathered together YouTube clips from most of the Macworld keynotes Jobs given since 1997.
The Courts

RIAA's Oppenheim Tries To Protect MediaSentry 216

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA's 'Prince of Darkness,' Washington DC lawyer Matthew Jan Oppenheim of The Oppenheim Group, who controls and supervises all of the RIAA litigations against ordinary folks, has requested permission to intervene in the 'probable cause' hearing scheduled next week in Raleigh, North Carolina, against MediaSentry. The hearing was convened by North Carolina's Private Protective Services Board, after complaints were filed by a law firm representing a number of North Carolina State University students who had been targeted by the RIAA based on the unlicensed 'investigation' conducted by SafeNet (the new name for MediaSentry). I guess the RIAA is worried. They should be."

Submission + - Pirate Bay faces block over child porn

mernil writes: The Local reports: "File sharing site The Pirate Bay could be shut down, after Swedish police alleged that it is possible to access child pornography via the site. The Pirate Bay denies the charge, while the Pirate Party described the police's strategy as "a scandalous abuse of power". "After complaints from the public we have been able to establish that there is child pornography on Pirate Bay," wrote the head of the National Criminal Investigation Department's IT crimes unit Stefan Kronkvist in a statement.

BBC Chooses Microsoft DRM Platform 384

bazorg writes "The BBC has chosen Microsoft's DRM technology to limit the viewing of content downloaded from their website. These downloads would allow viewers to catch up on shows that were broadcast on the previous 7 days; they would be compatible only with Windows Media Player and a new product called 'iPlayer'. This iPlayer is not yet available for platforms other than MS Windows, which caused the Open Source Consortium (OSC) to file a complaint to national and EU authorities. 'The BBC aims to make its content as widely available as possible and has always taken a platform agnostic approach to its internet services. It is not possible to put an exact timeframe on when BBC iPlayer will be available for Mac users. However, we are working to ensure this happens as soon as possible and the BBC Trust will be monitoring progress on a six monthly basis.'"
Media (Apple)

Apple and AT&T Announce iPhone Service Plans 538

daveschroeder writes "Apple and AT&T today announced service plans for iPhone, 4 days before its release in the US at 6pm local time on Friday, June 29. The plans are $59.99/mo for 450 minutes, $79.99 for 900 minutes, and $99.99 for 1350 minutes, and all include unlimited data, 200 SMS messages, rollover minutes, and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. Any other standard AT&T service plan may also be used. A two year service plan is required, with a $175 cancellation fee if terminated early. In addition, activations are done via iTunes, so only the hardware is purchased in the store. Interestingly, activation of a contract via iTunes is required to enable the iPod/syncing functionality of the phone as well. (It will remain to be seen whether there are workarounds for this for those who only want the iPod functionality of iPhone, and whether the iPhone is easily unlockable for those who wish to try it on alternate carriers, and so on.)"

Comment Oddities in the Swedish law (Score 3, Informative) 299

It's all because of foolish requirements in the fifth and sixth section of the "Lag om ansvar för elektroniska anslagstavlor " , approximately translated, The Electronic bulletin board responsibility act.

Which states that the provider is responsible for the comments if they obviously contains either illegal content (hate speech, child pornography, calls for riots) or
  illegally republished copyrighted content (i.e a very blatant copyright violation).

And even if you didn't have the time to check all the comments or if you missed something, you are responsible, since you have been negligent ( sixth section).

However even if he had been covered by the Freedom of the Press part of the Swedish constitution he would have been under investigation anyway, since hate speech is exempt.

He will probably receive a small fine and that's the end of it.


Submission + - Flash Player 9 with no sound playing

wessman writes: Ever since installing Adobe Flash Player v9.x, I have been unable to hear the audio in any Flash-enabled websites. Kind of annoying when you are visiting a band website that has a Flash developed music player in the header and you cannot hear the music! The video plays fine, just no audio. And all other audio on my PC works fine. Searching Google and Adobe, I've found other users experiencing this same bug on various O/S and browser combinations. I have Windows XP Pro (w/ no SP2) w/ IE6 or Firefox 2. I've tried the various registry fixes and reinstalls suggested to no avail. Help!

Submission + - What's In A Twinkie?

ctwxman writes: "I grew up on Devil Dogs. Alas, there's no Devil Dog book, but now there is one about Twinkies — nature's perfect food thanks to the miracle of modern science and advanced chemistry! "Why is it you can bake a cake at home with as few as six ingredients, but Twinkies require 39? And why do many of them seem to bear so little resemblance to actual food?" Pure goodness doesn't come easy. Steve Ettlinger is the author of "Twinkie, Deconstructed," the definitive Twinkie story... even without the official help of the keepers of the Twinkie secret. It's all summarized on MSNBC. Before clicking, make sure you have a glass of milk handy."

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