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Social Networks

Twitter Considered Harmful To Swine-Flu Panic 383

judgecorp writes "Twitter is being criticized for spreading panic about swine flu. This is not just knee-jerk Luddism 2.0: it's argued that Twitter's structure encourages ill-informed repetition, with little room for context, while older Web media use their power for good — for instance Google's Flu Trends page (which we discussed last winter), and the introduction of a Google swine flu map." On a related note, reader NewtonsLaw suggests that it might be a good idea, epidemiologically speaking, to catch the flu now vs. later.

US Declares Public Health Emergency Over Swine Flu 695

mallumax sends word from the NYTimes that US government officials today declared a public health emergency over increasing cases of the swine flu first seen in Mexico. Here is additional coverage from CNN. From the Times: "American health officials [say]... that they had confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the United States and expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. Other governments around the world stepped up their response to the incipient outbreak, racing to contain the infection amid reports of potential new cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong to Spain, raising concerns about the potential for a global pandemic. The cases in US looked to be similar to the deadly strain of swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico and infected 1,300 more." Reader "The man who walks in the woods" sends a link to accounts emailed to the BBC from readers in Mexico. While these are anecdotal, they do paint a picture of a more serious situation than government announcements have indicated so far.

New Flu Strain Appears In the US and Mexico 315

Combat Wombat writes with this excerpt from Reuters: "A strain of flu never seen before has killed up to 60 people in Mexico and also appeared in the United States, where eight people were infected but recovered, health officials said on Friday. Mexico's government said at least 20 people have died of the flu and it may also be responsible for 40 other deaths. [The government] shut down schools and canceled major public events in Mexico City to try to prevent more deaths in the sprawling, overcrowded capital. ... Close analysis showed the disease is a mixture of swine, human and avian viruses, according to the CDC. Humans can occasionally catch swine flu from pigs but rarely have they been known to pass it on to other people. Mexico reported 1,004 suspected cases of the new virus, including four possible cases in Mexicali on the border with California.

Submission + - Vanguard Web System Down in Busy Week

Stunt writes: A computer network outage at The Vanguard Group, which manages $1.1 trillion in mutual fund assets, temporarily left customers unable to access online accounts Thursday afternoon. The glitch blocked customers from using Vanguard's Web site to place trades or check 401(k)s and other accounts in the wake of Tuesday's big sell-off on Wall Street.

Submission + - One Step Closer to the Higgs Boson?

eldavojohn writes: "New Scientist is running an article on the Higgs Boson and the very recent progress that's being made to prove/disprove the theory behind it. John Conway has been blogging about his work at CERN in December of last year and January of this year. While he is remaining skeptical, he has stated in his blog that "there was about a 2% chance that a random fluctuation could have given us a bump of the magnitude we saw." The current status of the supersymmetric Higgs theory is still unknown as we all await for another team to independently verify the findings or for more analysis to be done of the Fermilab experiment's data."
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple's cook up success formula for iPhone?

webchem writes: Apple's COO cooks up recipe for iPhone success

The secret of Apple's success in being able to keep innovating and make leading-edge products is down to hiring people who want to make them and giving them a challenging atmosphere to work in, according to Tim Cook, the company's chief operating officer (COO).

Cook's remarks came at the beginning of a Q&A session at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium, in which he discussed the forthcoming iPhone and the reasons behind many of the technology choices in the phone/iPod/communicator.

Cook's boss, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs, unveiled the iPhone at the beginning of the year, and yesterday Cook echoed Jobs' claim that it will revolutionise the phone market.

"The iPhone is a revolutionary product," he said. s-up-recipe-for-iphone-success.html

Submission + - Where are IPv6 security products?

coondoggie writes: "The U.S. government wants civilian and defense agencies to adapt their networks by mid-2008 to support IPv6-based traffic, but the lack of security products to support this transition is causing problems. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Gaithersburg, Md.-based agency that sets information technology standards, is circulating a draft report that sounds the alarm over the absence of IPv6-based commercial security products in the market, including firewalls, intrusion-detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and other kinds of security gear. The IPv6 protocol is over a decade old, and while applauded for benefits such as easier administration, tighter security and an enhanced addressing scheme over IPv4, experts say what's lacking is the constellation of security gear that protects IPv4 networks. html"

Submission + - Microsoft Exchange users beware of DST

OnlineAlias writes: "Because of Federal Daylight Saving Time changes this year, the administrators of the calendering and collaboration software that is part of Microsoft Exchange are having fits. Earlier this year, Microsoft released a patch for the desktop, which would correct the meetings one sent. Then Microsoft released a new patch for the patch, which supposedly fixed it again. Meanwhile, administrators were being asked to run crude tools to fix appointments that may or may have not been sent from a machine that was patched. Last week (2 weeks before DST!)Microsoft updated that tool, and gave options to send that tool out to users. The tools are meant to be packaged up and deployed to thousands of desktops within a week, and there is no guarantee that those will work either. In fact, testing shows that they may do more harm than good.

So beware all of you Exchange users, most companies are just not taking the risks associated with the Microsoft tools and are asking users to fix their calenders manually. Get ready for much confusion as companies try to figure out when meetings are actually supposed to occur. Thanks Microsoft!"

Submission + - Microsoft donating to charity for your IMs

Mini-Geek writes: Microsoft has launched i'm. After you put the code in your Windows Live Messenger (needs to be 8.1, so no Linux without some sort of emulator) Display Name, Microsoft will donate money to the charity you chose for every ad you see in the message window. From the link: "i'm is a new initiative from Windows Live(TM) Messenger. Every time you start a conversation using i'm, Microsoft shares a portion of the program's advertising revenue with some of the world's most effective organizations dedicated to social causes. We've set no cap on the amount we'll donate to each organization. The sky's the limit. There's no charge, so join now and put our money where your mouth is."
PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Finally Ready to Rumble? 99

An anonymous reader writes "Sony has finally settled its longstanding legal dispute over infringement of Immersion Corporation's force feedback patents, which reportedly led to Sony's decision to remove rumble technology from the PS3 controller, by agreeing to pay Immersion at least $150.3 million in damages and royalties. The agreement presumably will result in rumble and perhaps other of Immersion's force-feedback technologies being incorporated in future Sony controllers. Microsoft previously settled a similar lawsuit brought by Immersion, but Sony hung on tenaciously despite complaints about its controller products and disappointing PS3 sales." There's no guarantee that the tech will show up in the Sixaxis controller, of course. After all, rumble is a 'last-gen' feature.

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