Penguinshit (591885) writes "Francis Tsai, famous fantasy and video game artist, has overcome the debilitating effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease" — the same affliction as Stephen Hawking) by using a computer system that follows his eyes as a cursor. Despite being completely paralyzed, he continues to make amazing art." Link to Original Source top
Penguinshit writes "People with advanced stage Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) are often fully quadriplegic and have a machine pushing air into their lungs. They need someone to always be within earshot of alarms, but what happens if the caretaker goes to sleep? Thanks to eyegaze computer technology and social media, one can call on another to sound the alarm!" Link to Original Source top
As reported in the July issue of Cell Stem Cell, the task force said they had been aware of many misleading direct-to-consumer claims by various global clinics touting therapies for a wide variety of conditions. Such unethical marketing "could place individual patients at risk and jeopardize the progress of legitimate research". The guide aims to evaluate these clinics on the basis of, among other criteria, preclinical research (or lack thereof), regulatory oversight, whether an ethics committee is involved to protect patients rights, and whether the clinic provided information to the ISSCR group. The website has a form where patients can submit clinics for investigation by the ISSCR." top
Penguinshit (591885) writes "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a little "easter egg" on her Youtube channel. In an attempt to promote the channel, the Speaker's office posted a video of two cats roaming the Capitol Building. Approximately 37 seconds in, the video cuts to the old clip we all know and loathe. To participate in "rickrolling" jumping the shark, go to the Speaker's channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/NancyPelosi" Link to Original Source top
Penguinshit (591885) writes "ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder with no effective treatment. In this study, Italian researchers found that daily doses of lithium delay disease progression in human patients affected by ALS. None of the patients treated with lithium died during the 15 months of the follow-up, and disease progression was markedly attenuated when compared with age-, disease duration-, and sex-matched control patients treated with riluzole for the same amount of time. Follow-up trials of this breakthrough discovery are ongoing at various locations internationally.
ALS affects notable people like Stephen Hawking, and anonymous people like me." top
Penguinshit writes "A select handful of NHL players are about to begin using heated skate blades produced by a Verdun, Que., company to enhance performance.
Using a rechargeable battery and a microprocessor the warm blade increases the thickness of the water layer between the blade and the ice surface, and the company says its tests have shown this reduces gliding friction and starting resistance for skaters.
"The NHL is very interested in confirming the data provided by Therma Blade Inc. to establish the safety and reliability of the blade under NHL game conditions and we have agreed to allow a small group of players to test these blades in practices over the next few weeks," says Kris King, the NHL's senior manager of hockey operations." top
The premise of the show will essentially remain the same as the original, which centered on a mulleted man righting wrongs with the help of a particularly chatty and souped-up automobile. No word yet on who will play the hero this time around, but the Peacock is looking for some new blood (and Hoff is busy with America's Got No Shame^W^WTalent)." top
Penguinshit (591885) writes "Today Mercedes-Benz launched Search & Send, a new service that enables you to send destinations directly from Google Maps to select Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with Tele Aid. Mercedes-Benz is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this functionality in the U.S.
Search and Send is a convenient way to plan trips from the comfort of your own home or office. Using Google Maps, you can search for a destination online and send it right to your car. You can even have colleagues or family members send a destination to your car while you're on the road." top
Penguinshit writes "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by rapid loss of muscle control and eventual paralysis due to the death of large motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Growth factors such as glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) are known to protect motor neurons from damage in a range of models. Human cortical neural progenitor cells derived from fetal tissue (ie. stem cells) can be expanded in culture for long periods and survive transplantation into the central nervous system, in some cases making large numbers of GFAP positive astrocytes. They can also be genetically modified to release GDNF and thus act as long-term 'mini pumps' in specific regions of the brain. In this study a team at UW-Madison's Waisman Center genetically modified human neural stem cells to release GDNF and transplanted them into the spinal cord of rats with mutant SOD1. Following unilateral transplantation into the spinal cord of the rats there was robust cellular migration into degenerating areas, efficient delivery of GDNF and remarkable preservation of motor neurons at early and end stages of the disease within chimeric regions.
This work is especially important to me, as I have been living with ALS for almost three years." top
Penguinshit writes "What makes the Internet so great, beyond showing a glimpse of a confusing world to millions of mouth-breathers? The answer, of course, is GOATSE (relax, this isn't THAT link...). One of those lame YouTube questions featured a split-second image of the horrible anus. As of this time, it is unclear as to how many Americans witnessed the outrage, but there are reports of as many as 200,000 phone calls made to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reporting the obscenity. CNN has yet to make an official statement regarding the matter, but a top spokesman was reportedly overheard denouncing the incident as "despicable."
Penguinshit writes "NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy left Texas for Southern California to continue engineering flight tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. During its expected 20-year lifetime, SOFIA will be capable of "Great Observatory" class astronomical science, providing astronomers with access to the visible, infrared and sub-millimeter spectrum with optimized performance in the mid-infrared to sub-millimeter range. SOFIA's science and mission operations are managed jointly by the Universities Space Research Association and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut, and are based at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field near San Jose, Calif." top
Penguinshit writes "The Terminator is making good on its coming-back word. Plot details for the fourth film have been kept under tight wraps. As the film will mark the beginning of a new trilogy, rather than a continuation of the previous three installments, its unlikely that Schwarzenegger will even take part in the film reinvention other than perhaps a cameo.
From TFA: "This new Terminator trilogy will build upon the already huge worldwide Terminator fan base, which was both revitalized and expanded with the global success of T3."
Will this franchise suffer the same fate as Star [Wars | Trek]?" top
An official said the problems were substantial and involved multiple systems, adding that U.S. officials were working to reestablish contact with the satellite because of the importance of the new technology it was meant to test and demonstrate." top
Penguinshit writes "$100 laptop project launches 2007. "The first batch of computers built for the One Laptop Per Child project could reach users by July this year. The computer runs on a cut-down version of the open source Linux operating system and has been designed to work differently to a Microsoft Windows or Apple machine from a usability perspective [and] comes with a web browser, word processor and RSS reader, for accessing the web feeds that so many sites now offer.""
So, with yet another "closest-in-history" and "disputed-by-a-sizable-number" election, Bush has the nerve to say this in public? I guess by that logic the whole "Blue Dress Witch Hunt" against Clinton during his second term should have been a moot point. Whatever happened to all of the recent pandering to America's ignorance and prejudice; now that they are no longer needed, BushCo suddenly feels free to abandon the promise to "vigorously pursue a Constitutional Amendment" banning marriage between gay couples? How used should Red-staters feel right about now?
At this point we have an Administration which has waged pre-emptive war against a foreign country based on false pretenses (no WMDs, no "imminent threat", no connection to al-Qaeda or the events of 9/11/2001) while drawing the majority of American intelligence and expendable military assets away from the real enemy (al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the perpetrators of 9/11/2001, which organization continues to flourish and prosper while the nascent Afghani government holds little power outside of its capital city). In this pre-emptive war based on false pretenses we have lost ~1,500 US soldiers, seriously wounded tens of thousands more, and sent ~$200 Billion extra-budgetary dollars down a spider-hole while our own economy sputters, resulting in impending deep cuts in domestic programs at the same time recording the greatest budgetary deficit in US history. Again, I ask how used and betrayed die-hard Conservatives in the "Red States" should feel right about now.
Meanwhile our civil liberties are being encroached upon at a rapid pace, with police agencies able to invade and search a person's home, tap a person's communications, and investigate a person's financial and social dealings, all without judicial oversite. The man proposed for the new Attorney General (the supposed defender of American civil liberty) is the admitted author of a strategy for evading US and International law. The Bush Administration, by its own admission, is in material breach of a basic tenet of US law (habeus corpus) by holding US citizens without due process (not forgetting the foreign nationals who are prisoner without any plans to charge or prosecute them). This Administration has also twice been found guilty by the GAO of engaging in illegal domestic covert propaganda, having paid unethical journalists to create fabricated, unidimensional, "news" videos ("VNRs") heralding the opinions of the Administration.
Now we have a President who has just said that there is no reason to hold him or any of his Cabinet accountable for past deeds simply because of another suspect election. This man truly believes that he is above any checks and balances.
It is high time that we remind him and his Cabinet of the ultimate "check and balance" and call for Congress to initiate immediate (and wholesale) impeachment proceedings before the damage becomes irreparable.
Any shred of legitimacy Bush may have had left is now firmly destroyed. We used to be the shining model of human rights and respect for the rule of law. The only reasons still standing for the invasion/occupation of Iraq was "enforcing the rule of International Law" (UN Resolution 1440) and to stop an evil dictator's ongoing human rights abuses.
It's amazing that BushCo isn't even trying to hid their malfeasance anymore. Perhaps Bush is so convinced of his "mandate" that he believes he can do no wrong? With some of the rumblings coming out of Congress, Bush may want to rethink his infallibility.
Can we start the impeachment process NOW before the damage is irreversible?
Abolish the IRS (and replace it with something better)
Penguinshit writes | more than 10 years ago
How about abolishing the IRS?
Imagine the impact that campaign platform would have on the American populace. Imagine the mortal blow that would cause to the Republican agenda.
The IRS was a controversial institution from the beginning. It is now widely regarded as the financial gestapo of the Federal government. Not a single citizen looks forward to April 15. The Republican Party has long derided Democrats as "Tax-N-Spend" politicians. The single strong platform of the current Bush campaign is the misinformation that John Kerry will "raise taxes".
Let's do away with the IRS altogether. In its place, institute a Federal Sales Tax of 2% on all taxable goods. Adding a Federal Sales Tax of 2% would be a negligible increase to State and/or County taxes (that exist) on all but the most expensive goods (and those would be goods that are not purchased often, on a repeat basis). However, based on the large volume of commerce that occurs in the US on a daily basis, imagine the income for the Federal Government...
Abolishing personal income tax is a tax cut across the board. The rich, by virtue of more spending on higher priced items, would be taxed their fair share. The poor, by virtue of spending on lower priced items, would retain more of their earnings to pay for their items (making tight budgets easier to manage for working families). The class divide between those with enough money to hide their assets in tax shelters and those without the disposable income to take advantage of these same shelters would disappear overnight.
This, in my opinion, is the best way possible to effect a "flat tax". More money would remain in the pockets of American citizens. The citizens could be rightfully expected to exercise their newfound windfall by purchasing goods they otherwise would not or could not purchase according to their needs, the economy would explode with the surge in consumer spending and confidence, and the Federal government would realize a huge untapped revenue source that would not be felt so acutely and painfully by the American populace (by spreading the taxation out over hundreds, thousands, or even millions of separate small transactions).
I am not an accountant, and lack the exposure to the necessary information to do a proper study on this proposal. But a basic thumbnail sketch of this over the course of a week (largely based on introspective observation of my own spending habits) lends some weight to my intuitive feeling that this could be a win-win situation.
I invite your comments regarding this proposal. Of course, I would beg that you keep the comments to the point of "IRS vs. Sales Tax" such that we all attempt to keep the lid on the fractious political flame-war that threatens to engulf all such discussions.
This message is from moveonpac.org, from the petition to Dubya to accept Kerry's offer of monthly debates on the issues. I urge all (regardless of Party affiliation) to sign this petition. There is even a section for a personal message.
Honest, open debate between the candidates (and not 30-second sound-bites of little contextual significance) is the only way for US Citizens to understand the candidates' stands on issues and their plans for America should they be elected.
Several weeks ago, Tom Cole, a Republican Congressman in Oklahoma spoke to supporters about the upcoming election. "If George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election," he told them. Later, he said that a vote against Bush was like a vote for Adolf Hitler.
These hateful and outrageous remarks -- which neither the RNC nor the Bush/Cheney campaign will repudiate -- are representative of the negative campaign being rolled out against John Kerry. Bush is now airing the first negative ads of the season, which according to nonpartisan monitors seriously misled viewers about Kerry's record.
In response, Senator Kerry is taking the high road. He's asked President Bush to engage in a series of monthly debates on the country's future -- debates on the real substance of the issues that face us. It's a simple proposal that could elevate the campaign and truly educate the country about the positions and records of each candidate. But President Bush's campaign brushed off the suggestion with a snide remark.
Today, MoveOn members and I are asking President Bush to stand up and face a real debate. You can join our petition asking President Bush to debate Kerry on the future of our country at:
Does anyone else think a "Personals" functionality on Slashdot is.. well.. kindy creepy? I can see the logic from a social, and (probably closer to the reason it was implemented) financial standpoint. However, it still gives me the willies; much like Fucked Company Porno does... (oh, and Pud also has a "Personals" site).
This is a link to a Reuters story I found on Yahoo regarding a bill going through the Senate Judiciary Committee. I think this represents the start to a fair and balanced method for combating spam while still allowing some sort of responsible commercial email.
Basically what it seems to do is to attack the four methods by which the "penis enlarger" crowd propagate their annoying garbage:
1. Hiding/obfuscation of return email addresses.
2. Sending through SMTP relays
3. Harvesting email addresses from websites, etc.
4. Sending out messages to millions of "dictionary attack" style addresses.
I believe that these "Big Four" will go a long way towards raising the level of accountability of spammers. These methods employed by spammers are what drives people the most nuts - it's like pulling teeth to track down the sender of each and every message. A few who have been tracked down and exposed have been forced to quit due to complaints/threats/etc. If a spammer were no longer able to hide behind layers of deceipt, I'm certain said spammer would think long and hard about how many people he/she were about to anger.
The Internet was never about "anonymity". It does allow use of proxy-by-avatar which is a great communication tool. But true anonymity is too tempting to control the darker side of human nature which lurks in us all.
this is my first attempt at a journal.. I'd been meaning to start one, or a blog, but in these days of working 3 jobs in a frantic attempt to stay in the computer industry, I haven't had much time.. anyway:
What is spam?
I recently had an argument with someone, splitting hairs over what we considered true spam.
I considered true spam to be one of no redeeming value (typified by offers to enlarge one's penis, etc.) which typically comes in mass quantities and with no attempt at qualifying the recipient outside of being a "live" address, whereas unsolicited commercial email from a legitimate company would typically be from a highly scrubbed list of addresses, would appear only once, and, based on my demographic, be one which could very reasonably interest me.
My opponent took the view that *any* unsolicited commercial email was spam.
I feel that both views are right, but that in the interest of E-Commerce I'm willing to let the legitimate companies send me what would amount to 3 or 4 honest advertisements per week (similar to what I see in my snailmailbox, and similar to what I used to receive in email prior to approximately 1997).
The trick is, how to define "legitimate" and in such a way that it is difficult for the "penis enlarger" crowd to pervert the regulation.
I certainly don't have the answer, so if anyone is listening and would like to posit, go for it.