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Medicine

Submission + - DNA cancer codes cracked by international effort (news.com.au) 1

Enigma23 writes: As reported on news.com.au, scientists from the International Cancer Genome Consortium of 12 institutes around the world will today release the first DNA profiles of some of the most prevalent types of tumours. While the story asserts that "A new era of cancer treatment has dawned" I'm a bit more sceptical, given that gene therapy and immunotherapy are still very much in their infancy at the current time.
The Military

Submission + - Military Asserts Right to Respond to Cyberattacks

Hugh Pickens writes: "AP reports that National Security Agency director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander says the US should counter computer-based attacks swiftly and strongly and act to thwart or disable a threat even when the attacker's identity is unknown. "Even with the clear understanding that we could experience damage to our infrastructure, we must be prepared to fight through in the worst case scenario," wrote Alexander in a 32-page Senate questionnaire he answered in preparation for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to head Cyber Command. Alexander offered a limited but rare description of offensive US cyber activities, saying the U.S. has "responded to threats, intrusions and even attacks against us in cyberspace," and has conducted exercises and war games adding that it is unclear whether or not those actions have deterred criminals, terrorists or nations. Alexander stressed that any US response to a cyber attack must be authorized by the president and must conform to international law and guiding military principles requiring that the reaction be deemed militarily necessary and in proportion to the attack. "It is reasonable to assume that returning fire in cyberspace, as long as it complied with law of war principles ... would be lawful.""
Science

Submission + - Power your house with a bottle of water (popsci.com)

hlsmcc writes: MIT chemist uses artificial photosynthesis to create energy. From the article, "MIT chemist Dan Nocera showed how well he put that stimulus money to use by highlighting his new photosynthetic process. Using a special catalyst, the process splits water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel efficiently enough to power a home using only sunlight and a bottle of water.

Like organic photosynthesis, Nocera's reaction uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy. However, whereas plants create energy in the form of sugars, this process creates energy in the form of free hydrogen. That hydrogen can either be recombined with the oxygen in a fuel cell to generate electricity, or converted into a liquid fuel.

In about four hours, water treated with Nocera's catalyst can produce 30 kilowatt-hours of energy. Moreover, the process is cheap. So cheap, in fact, that Nocera has no problem envisioning a day when each house generates its own fuel and electricity from photosynthesis." Video at the source shows more.

Linux

Submission + - Patch submitting and developers say...

zerointeger writes: Being fairly new to programming, patch creation etc. within the Open Source community I would like solicit information regarding patch submissions, feature additions to existing projects.

Most administrators are aware of the sometimes confusing and albeit difficulty in configuration regarding a linux desktop to authenticate against a kerberized directory. Necessary service configurations(samba, nss, winbind, ldap, etc), pam authentication stack configuration, schema configuration... I cannot say it is difficult but I also cannot say it is not time consuming to implement a single sign on solution for linux desktop clients to rival that of an active directory roaming profile implementation.

A few years ago my employer tasked me with adding features to the existing pam_krb5 authentication module. The features I was asked to include were dynamic OpenLDAP/Active Directory account lookup prior to the UID/GID mapping per TGT request (which at the time required additional configuration of the nss_ldap, pam_ldap, nsswitch, ldap.conf files) and to dynamically create a password less account in the local passwd database. Not to toot my own horn here but it also includes features to dynamically add the authenticated user to local groups. All of this is made a little simpler by integrating the configuration directives into the krb5.conf file in the pam section.

I have already submitted a patch to the original developer but am afraid it may not get integrated which will then require me to apply my patch to every version that gets released in the future. Realistically this is not a big problem however, in regards to an open source community, at which point do features get implemented to make administrators, end users and the task of promoting linux for the desktop?

Submission + - What platform to use for an Interactive website? 1

AusPublishingWorker writes: I work at a fairly large publishing company, and we're currently looking at revamping our website. At the moment, like most publishers, our website consists of little more than a cumbersome catalogue, generated from our database. What we are looking to do is create a website which will allow us to have the ability to upload regular content with a minimum of effort and better communicate with our customers. Things like Author Blogs, Customer comments, rich media e.g. Author Interviews, Technology Demos etc. are high on the priority list. It's important to keep a fairly simple interface, but that is more of a design issue. My question is: which platform would best allow us to create this sort of site, without a huge investment, and without high maintenance?

I've heard a fair bit recently about wiki based websites (generated using something like Atlassian's Confluence http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/) but I'm not sure if this will have the flexibility needed. Others have suggested things like Joomla and Drupal. I do some basic web design in my job, but this sort of thing is way beyond me; so I was hoping you guys could offer up some suggestions, and the reasoning behind them?
Power

Astrium Hopes To Test Grabbing Solar Energy From Orbit 144

goldaryn writes "Word from the BBC today is that Europe's biggest space company is seeking partners to help get a satellite-based solar power trial into orbit: 'EADS Astrium says the satellite system would collect the Sun's energy and transmit it to Earth via an infrared laser, to provide electricity. Space solar power has been talked about for more than 30 years as an attractive concept because it would be 'clean, inexhaustible, and available 24 hours a day.' However, there have always been question marks over its cost, efficiency and safety. But Astrium believes the technology is close to proving its maturity.'"

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