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Submission + - Parted Magic Silently Goes Commercial 2

someSnarkyBastard writes: Users of the popular disk management toolkit Parted Magic may have noticed a disturbing change of late on the sites download page: a "Buy Now" button. Users are now required to pay $4.99 USD to download a copy of the latest disk image. To add insult to injury, the site's link to Source Forge for old files is now monetized by AdFly banners. Parted Magic is comprised mostly of various OSS tools (ClamAV, Clonezilla, GParted, Firefox ,etc.) so is this legally in line with GPL?
Open Source

Submission + - Linux 3.7 Kernel to Support Multiple ARM Platforms (

hypnosec writes: The yet to be released Linux 3.7 kernel is getting exciting by the day prior to its release as it has been announced that the kernel will be supporting multiple-ARM System on Chips (SoCs) / platforms. Up until now there is a separate Linux kernel build for each of the ARM platform or SoCs, which is one of the several problems when it comes to ARM based Linux. The merging of ARM multi-platform support into Linux 3.7 will now put an end to this problem thus enabling the new kernel to not only target multiple platforms but, also be more in line with its x86 counterpart.

Submission + - Researchers bypass spinal cord paralysis with brain-computer interface (

MrSeb writes: "Scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, have successfully bypassed the spinal cord and restored fine motor control to paralyzed limbs using a brain-computer interface. The researchers have created a neuroprosthesis that combines a brain-computer interface (BCI) that’s wired directly into 100 neurons in the motor cortex of the subject, and a functional electrical stimulation (FES) device that’s wired into the muscles of the subject’s arm. When the subject tries to move his arm or hand, that cluster of around 100 neurons activates, creating a stream of data which can then be read and analyzed by the BCI to predict what muscles the subject is trying to move, and with what level of force. The end result is a computer network that effectively replaces the nervous system and restores remarkably accurate fine motor control to a paralyzed arm. The subject, in this case, was a rhesus monkey rather than a human — but our anatomy is very, very similar to that of our primate cousins. The research paper notes that, worldwide, 130,000 people per year sustain spinal cord injury — with half of those becoming paralyzed from the neck down. Many of these could be helped with such a neuroprosthesis."

Submission + - Computer game designed to treat depression as effective as traditional treatment (

sirlark writes: Researchers at the University of Auckland tested an interactive 3D fantasy game called Sparx on a 94 youngsters diagnosed with depression whose average age was 15 and a half. Sparx invites a user to take on a series of seven challenges over four to seven weeks in which an avatar has to learn to deal with anger and hurt feelings and swap negative thoughts for helpful ones. Used for three months, Sparx was at least as effective as face-to-face conventional counselling, according to several depression rating scales. In addition, 44% of the Sparx group who carried out at least four of the seven challenges recovered completely. In the conventional treatment group, only 26% recovered fully.

One has to wonder if it Sparx specifically, or gaming in general that provides the most benefit. Given that most of the symptoms of depression relate to a feeling of being unable to influence one's environment (powerlessness, helplessness, ennui, etc) and games are specifically designed to make one feel powerful but challenged (if they hit the sweet spot).


Submission + - Did fish poisoning drive Polynesian colonization? (

rhettb writes: "The reasons behind the colonization of the Pacific islands have long been sources of controversy and fascination. Now a new study looks into toxic fish poisoning as a possible migration catalyst.

Between AD 1000 and 1450, Polynesian colonization of the South Pacific flourished. The voyages that were undertaken in the discovery of these new lands were very dangerous and the people who conducted them undoubtedly had good reasons to do so. Researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology have performed research which shows that toxic ciguatera fish poisoning would provide sufficient impetus for such risky voyages.

Ciguatera fish poisoning occurs when fish inadvertently ingest toxic species of dinoflagellate microbes while swimming through infected areas. The toxin then accumulates in the food chain, reaching high levels in predatory fish such as tuna and barracuda. Ciguarera poisoning in humans is characterized by gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological symptoms, with extreme cases resulting in paralysis or death. Currently it affects between 50,000 and 500,000 globally per year, mostly in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Today, alternative food sources are available when ciguatera fish poisoning occurs; this was often not the case prior to the last century, with exploration of and subsequent migrations to unaffected islands the only course of action if local fish populations became compromised for long periods of time."

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How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.