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oDDmON oUT (231200) writes ""After more than five years of planning, a national emergency alert system that will send messages to cellphones during disasters is set to be launched in New York City and Washington by the end of year. A special chip is required to allow a phone to receive the messages, and soon all new phones will have the technology. The plan was approved by Congress in 2006.
Officials close to the program said “These are really focused on the highest levels of alerts, and those that require urgent action,’’
There will be at least three levels of messages... users will be able to opt out of receiving all but the presidential alerts."
oDDmON oUT writes ""The human penis lost the sensitive ridges common to many animals more than 800,000 years ago in an evolutionary move that promoted longer sex and monogamy, U.S. researchers say.
Men are missing a sequence of DNA that indirectly leads to the development of penile spines in animals including macaques, chimpanzees and mice, researchers from Pennsylvania State University said Wednesday in the journal Nature."
And you thought it was your walking upright and choice of Linux distro that distinguished you from other animals." Link to Original Source top
oDDmON oUT writes "Ever wonder why your medical insurance is so expensive?
"Since 2003, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that doctors offer the progesterone shots to at high risk for premature birth. But because there has not been a commercial product available, women have obtained the drug from so-called compounding pharmacies, which make it to order. The pharmacies have typically charged about $10 to $20 per shot for the drug, which is given weekly.
Last month, however, the FDA approved a commercial form of the drug, called Makena, manufactured by K-V Pharmaceutical Co. of St. Louis. The company said Wednesday that the drug will be available for shipping on Monday, and that it will cost $1,500 per dose."" Link to Original Source top
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "Move over Google / Verizon, the RIAA and NAB [National Association of Broadcasters] are hashing out a deal to fatten each others coffers and ensure the survival of analog tech in the 21st century.
The short form is, that in return for paying only $100M / year in performance fees (rather than a more onerous amount), the RIAA will support the NAB in lobbying for the inclusion of an FM receiver in every portable device made for the US market, be it cell phone, PDA or Speak and Spell®.
The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage.
I for one welcome my new entertainment overlords mandating the surgical insertion of an FM receiver into my left gluteus, which is the next logical progression I see to legislation like this." Link to Original Source top
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "Why is there so much disagreement about whether using recreational drugs is morally wrong? A University of Pennsylvania psychology study shows that the debate about drugs might really be about sex.
The study compared two competing theories.
One theory — the conventional wisdom in political science — sees drug attitudes as primarily coming from people's political ideology, level of religious commitment, and personality, for example, openness to experience.
The other theory, proposed by the researchers and driven by ideas from evolutionary psychology, holds that drug attitudes are really driven by people's reproductive strategies.
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "Early this morning I went for my daily random of PBF only to find the expected page replaced with this. Checking the Google cache gave the same thing.
A quick whois elicited this result: Administrative Contact:
Empius Interactive Pty Ltd
Michael Shortill (email@example.com)
PO Box 398
Perth, WA 6065
AU The record shows a creation date of 2010-03-23, with an update on the 24th.
Empius bills itself as "a dynamic and creative Internet-based company which offers exceptional products and services at very competitive prices. Our passion for technology and innovation is what drives us to continuously offer you better products and services." Others, including the AU Domain Regulator have found Empius' activities suspect at best. I'm left wondering what Nicholas Gurewitch has to say about this." top
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "MSNBC is reporting that a Columbia Business School study shows that those who hold power over others make better liars.
According to one of the study's coauthors:
"“People in power are able to lie better,” said Dana Carney, a management professor at Columbia Business School and one of the co-authors of the study. “It just doesn’t hurt them as much to do it.”
For the average liar, she said, the act of lying elicits negative emotions, physiological stress and the fear of getting caught in a lie. As a result, she added, liars will often send out cues that they are lying by doing things like fidgeting in a chair or changing the rate of their speech.
But for the powerful, the impact is very different:
“Power, it seems, enhances the same emotional, cognitive, and physiological systems that lie-telling depletes. People with power enjoy positive emotions, increases in cognitive function, and physiological resilience such as lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Thus, holding power over others might make it easier for people to tell lies.”"" top
"[Fast forward to] 2010. The ability to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission is becoming a dying art. The sales numbers tell the story: In 1985, according to Ward’s Communications, 22.4% of all vehicles sold in the United States came with a manual transmission. By 2007, the number had plummeted to 7.7%.
A quick check of vehicles for sale on AOL Autos tells a similar story. Of the 4,391,747 vehicles recently listed for sale, only 241,560 — or 5.5% — came with a manual."
I have to concur that on the showroom floor manual models were as scarce as hens teeth when I bought, just over a year ago." Link to Original Source top
"A long-time Apple software developer from Sydney fears he may have to lay off most of his staff after draconian Apple legal threats and a rare personal email from Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs.
Mathew Peterson, 25, has been creating Mac software since he was 17 and one of his most popular products has been "iPodRip", which allows people to back up their music collections from their iPods on to their computers.
Despite iPodRip being available for the past six years, about 2 weeks ago, Peterson received a cease and desist letter from Apple's lawyers, Baker & McKenzie. It asked him to stop using "iPod" in his software's name, remove any Apple-related logos from his product and relinquish control of his domain name, ipodrip.com."" top
oDDmON oUT writes ""Maintaining a reliable command and control (C&C) structure is a priority for back door Trojan writers.... Symantec has observed an interesting variation on this concept in the wild. A back door Trojan that we are calling Trojan.Grups has been using the Google Groups newsgroups to distribute commands." according to Symantec employee Gavin O Gorman.
He goes on to state that "The Trojan itself is quite simple. It is distributed as a DLL" and while the decrypted commands indicate it is used "for reconnaissance and targeted attacks" he does go on record as saying "It's worth noting that Google Groups is not at fault here; rather, it is a neutral party. The authors of this threat have chosen Google Groups simply for its bevy of features and versatility."" Link to Original Source top
oDDmON oUT writes "According to an article from the New York Times (registration req.) contestants in reality TV shows face conditions more daunting than those of many incarcerated felons.
"...with no union representation, participants on reality series are not covered by Hollywood workplace rules governing meal breaks, minimum time off between shoots or even minimum wages. Most of them, in fact, receive little to no pay for their work."
Sleep deprivation, mood altering drugs, isolation, and lack of food "...can make for a miserable experience but compelling entertainment, creating a sort of televised psychological experiment that keeps contestants off-balance and vulnerable."
"The bread and butter of reality television is to get people into a state where they are tired, stressed and emotionally vulnerable," said Mark Andrejevic, an associate professor of communications studies at the University of Iowa and the author of "Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched."
"That helps make them more amenable to the goals of the producers and more easily manipulated."
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "Falling into a black hole might not be good for your health, but at least the view would be fine. A new simulation shows what you might see on your way towards the black hole's crushing central singularity. The research could help physicists understand the apparently paradoxical fate of matter and energy in a black hole.
Andrew Hamilton and Gavin Polhemus of the University of Colorado, Boulder, built a computer code based on the equations of Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes gravity as a distortion of space and time.
They follow the fate of an imaginary observer on an orbit that swoops down into a giant black hole weighing 5 million times the mass of the sun, about the same size as the hole in the centre of our galaxy." top
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "I had a college professor pose an interesting question, which I had no answer for. Some background first:
As an educator tied to MS products he has been embedding sounds and videos in his PowerPoints for years, only to undergo much frustration as after updates, patches, reimaging of classroom computers, or for no discernible reason at all, his presentations broke.
He has found (along with others in his department) that YouTube is an excellent source of material for class use and has taken to ALT+tabbing out of his PowerPoint to a browser, showing a video and then returning to his lecture topic.
His question, which I had no good answer for, given that takedownnotices and DMCA abuse have become a fact of life at YouTube is:
"Can I count on something being there? If so, for how long?"
I know that unless you have a copy of anything on your own media (CD / DVD / Flash drive / Etc.) you shouldn't count on it being there at all, but for someone looking to use the internet as an adjunct to teaching without downloading, ripping, embedding, or otherwise manipulating content, is there a straight answer to that question?" top
"Despite economic crisis and collapse of leading tech retail chains, the world's largest developer of software plans to create its own worldwide chain of retail stores.
It is not a secret that Microsoft Corp. is not a pure software company: the firm competes with Apple for the market of portable digital media players and supporting services, the company rivals Sony and Nintendo in video game console business, Microsoft also produces keyboards and pointing devices and thus competes with Logitech. It is very likely that in future the lineup of hardware from Microsoft will expand: there are rumours about own-brand smartphone from Microsoft.
In order to be more competitive against its rivals in the hardware business as well as in the light of the fact that major retailers in the U.S. have become victims of economic crisis, Microsoft plans to open a chain of its own retail stores." top
PATANCHERU, India — When researchers analyzed vials of treated wastewater taken from a plant where about 90 Indian drug factories dump their residues, they were shocked. Enough of a single, powerful antibiotic was being spewed into one stream each day to treat every person in a city of 90,000.
And it wasn't just ciprofloxacin being detected. The supposedly cleaned water was a floating medicine cabinet — a soup of 21 different active pharmaceutical ingredients, used in generics for treatment of hypertension, heart disease, chronic liver ailments, depression, gonorrhea, ulcers and other ailments."
Enough hoopla was made about drugs in American water, imagine a prescription witches brew 150 times as strong being dumped directly into water used for drinking, irrigation, livestock and sewage disposal for a semi-rural area roughly twice the size of Manhattan, near a major metropolitan population center.
oDDmON oUT writes "Fortune is profiling the quiet and unassuming Tim Cook, COO of Apple and, along with Gizmondo, asking an intriguing question:
"Can Cook become Apple's CEO?"
We all know there is only one Steve Jobs, one table-pounding visionary who can refashion whole industries with a wave of his hand. The mere hint of a Jobs health scare knocks billions of dollars off Apple's market value. (Temporary hit from a false web post in early October about a Jobs heart attack: $10 billion.)
The most influential promoter of Steve Jobs' indispensability, of course, is Steve Jobs. But another person who is very much with that program is the one executive who has actually filled in for Jobs as CEO. That would be Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer and its interim chief executive for two months in 2004, when Jobs was recovering from cancer surgery.
"Come on, replace Steve? No. He's irreplaceable," Cook said recently, according to a person who knows him well. "That's something people have to get over. I see Steve there with gray hair in his 70s, long after I'm retired."
"By default Tim Cook would be the logical guy," says Toni Sacconaghi, an influential Apple analyst at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein. "Yet that hasn't been spelled out. And the stakes are just higher at Apple, because Steve is larger than life, and Tim isn't a known quantity."
Cook has been showing more at Apple events recently. He is right that Steve Jobs is irreplaceable: Nobody can match his charisma and vision in the industry, as he has demonstrated again and again during this years. But Cook has other qualities that match those of Jobs. And coupled with abilities of the rest of the Dream Team (Ive, Schiller, Serlet, Johnson et al), he may well the best guy to get into the iCEO's chair as Steve takes a more laid back role in the company." top
Environmental Destruction May Cost World $5T A Yr.
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "Wired has a piece reporting that the Wall Street bailout is peanuts.
That's nothing compared with the $2 to $5 trillion per year ecological damage costs the world each year, according to the preliminary report from an European Union-sponsored group of economists.
The calculation attempts to value the services, such as absorbing carbon dioxide and nitrogen fixation, that natural systems like forests provide for humans.
"So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today's rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year," Pavan Sukhdev, a Deutsche Bank economist and the study's leader, told the BBC today"" top
oDDmON oUT (231200) writes "The Huffington Post is shining a light on the new fiscal responsiblity meme, that as Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin rid the state of an unnecessary jet using a creative and cost-effective online measure.
One her favorite lines on the campaign trail, repeated with such frequency that it has already become a catchphrase of the general election is, 'That luxury jet that came with the office... I put it on eBay!'.
What is left unmentioned is that Palin didn't come up with the idea to sell the plane using eBay in the first place.
Moreover, because of the unique purchasing terms of the aircraft — which required the state to make payments amounting to $20,000 per month even if the jet wasn't in use — the decision not to hire a broker to help sell the property appears in hindsight to have been a costly mistake.""