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Ask Slashdot: Store Umbilical Cord Blood — and If So, Where?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's freezer-at-the-overlook-hotel-is-good department:
gambit3 writes "My wife and I are expecting our first child in 3 months, and one of the decisions we still have to make is whether to store our baby's cord blood. Even if we decide the upfront cost is worth it, there is still the question of using a public bank or a private one (and which one to trust), and whether to also store umbilical cord tissue for stem cells. Does you have any experience or suggestions?"

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European Parliament Takes Step Toward Burying ACTA
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's some-buried-caesar-some-buried-acta department:
An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament's INTA Committee yesterday soundly
rejected
a proposal to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement to the European Court of Justice for review. ACTA critics viewed
the proposal

as a delay tactic designed with the hope that public opposition to the
agreement would subside in the year or two it would take for a court
review. The 21-5 vote against the motion means that the INTA committee
will conclude its ACTA review later this spring with a full European
Parliament vote expected in June or July. The lack of support for ACTA
within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple
parties indicating
they are ready to bury it
."


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Monster Solar Tornadoes Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-just-in-kansas-anymore department:
astroengine writes "For the first time, huge solar tornadoes have been filmed by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) swirling deep inside the solar corona — the sun's superheated atmosphere. But if you're imagining the pedestrian tornadoes that we experience on Earth, think again. These solar monsters, measuring the width of several Earths and swirling at speeds of up to 300,000 kilometers (190,000 miles) per hour, aren't only fascinating structures; they may also trigger violent magnetic eruptions that can have drastic effects on our planet. 'These tornadoes may help to produce favorable conditions for CMEs to occur,' said Xing Li, solar physicist at Aberystwyth University and co-discoverer of the phenomenon."

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Raspberry Pi Gets a Red-Tape Delay; Awaits CE Certificate
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bureaucrats-are-middle-management department:
judgecorp writes "After many delays, the Raspberry Pi computer has arrived in Britain, but has been stopped by the need for a CE approval sticker to say it meets European regulations. The Raspberry Pi Foundation expects the sticker to be a formality, and says it failed to apply because it thought the Pi did not qualify as a 'finished end product.'"

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Apple May Need To Rethink 4G Claims (and Pay Refunds) In More Countries
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bathing-in-lawyer-saliva department:
redletterdave writes "After the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won a battle with Apple after alleging the Cupertino-based company was misleading customers about its third-generation iPad, authorities in other countries are now assessing the compatibility of the new iPad with local 4G LTE networks to see if their customers should deserve refunds too. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) confirmed on Tuesday that it is investigating complaints of Apple's misleading '4G' claim, while Sweden and Denmark are also reportedly considering investigations, after agencies within both countries received 'several complaints' from customers about 4G connectivity. Even though these countries carry broad LTE coverage, the new iPad isn't supported on any of those networks."

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Student Expelled From Indiana High School For Tweeting Profanity
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's language-you've-probably-heard-from-your-boss department:
First time accepted submitter OopsIDied writes with the story that high-school senior Austin Carroll of Garrett, Indiana was recently expelled after tweeting profanity from his own home, writing "Supposedly the school has a system which tracks students' social networks after they have logged in at school. Although the tweet was done at home at 2 AM, the school decided that such behavior was unacceptable and that the most fitting punishment was expulsion. He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school because the school claimed the tweet was associated with the school's IP address." As usual, TechDirt has some biting commentary about the expulsion. But Hey, at least they didn't throw him in jail.

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Two Florida Judges Quash Copyright Fishing Lawsuits
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out department:
Fluffeh writes with a piece of good news on the privacy front: "Two rulings in related cases this week have dealt a serious blow to the plaintiffs and their dodgy legal strategy. Ordinarily, copyright law is handled by the federal courts, but Florida plaintiffs have begun using an obscure provision of state law called a 'pure bill of discovery' to attempt to force ISPs to reveal the identity of suspected file-sharers. The rulings, one on Monday and one on Wednesday, saw two different judges siding with the objecting ISPs. 'These back-to-back rulings against the plaintiffs suggest that they're likely to lose any time ISPs raise objections to fishing expeditions against their customers.'"

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IETF Attendees Reengineer Their Hotel's Wi-Fi Net
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's better-than-legionnaires-disease department:
alphadogg writes "What happens when a bunch of IETF super nerds show up in Paris for a major conference and discover their hotel's Wi-Fi network has imploded? They give it an Extreme Wi-Fi Makeover. Members of the Internet Engineering Task Force, who gathered for the outfit's 83rd meeting this week in France, discovered earlier this week as they arrived at the toney Hotel Concorde Lafayette that the Wi-Fi was flakey and became flakier still as scores more attendees arrived and tried to connect, and the wired net was having issues of its own. Working behind the scenes, a team of IETF attendees negotiated with the hotel and were granted access to the wireless network, and began rigging up all sorts of fixes, which even included taping a Nexus S phone to a ceiling and turning off the radios on numerous access points to reduce noise."

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Conservatives' Trust In Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's scientism-too department:
An anonymous reader writes "While trust in science remained stable among people who self-identified as moderates and liberals in the United States between 1974 and 2010, trust in science fell among self-identified conservatives by more than 25 percent during the same period, according to a study by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 'Over the last several decades, there's been an effort among those who define themselves as conservatives to clearly identify what it means to be a conservative,' said the study's lead author. 'For whatever reason, this appears to involve opposing science and universities and what is perceived as the "liberal culture." So, self-identified conservatives seem to lump these groups together and rally around the notion that what makes "us" conservatives is that we don't agree with "them."'"

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Maryland Team Completes Most Extensive Face Transplant Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-he-only-wanted-a-nosejob department:
An anonymous reader writes "A 37-YEAR-OLD man injured in a 1997 gun incident has been given a new face, teeth, tongue and jaw in what doctors say is the most extensive face transplant ever performed. The transplant was performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The first full face transplant was performed in France in 2005, on a woman who was mauled by her dog. In a review of the first 17 cases since then, it was found that the overall survival rate after face transplant was 88%, with only two deaths."

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Needed: A LAMP Stack For Robotics
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's help-wanted-apply-through-the-usb-port department:
waderoush writes "If you visit Menlo Park, CA-based Willow Garage, you'll meet a $400,000 humanoid robot called PR2 that has stereo vision, a pair of dextrous arms, and enough smarts to roam the building indepedently and even plug itself into the wall when it needs to recharge. But in a sense, PR2 is just a demo. The real action at Willow Garage is around ROS, the Robot Operating System, a free meta-operating system that's already being used by hundreds of roboticists around the world and may soon be handed over to an independent foundation analogous to the Apache Software Foundation. Brian Gerkey, Willow Garage's head of open source development, says 'What we need is a LAMP stack for robotics,' and hopes that ROS will jumpstart innovation in robotics in the same way Linux and other free software components provided the foundation for the Internet boom. Today's roboticists 'have to come at the problem with a very deep expertise in all aspects of robotics, from state estimation to planning to perception, which automatically limits the number of people capable of building new things,' Gerkey says. 'But by providing a basic toolset analogous to the LAMP stack, we can get to a point where all you need to know is how to write code and what you want your robot to do.'"

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House Kills Effort To Stop Workplace Requests For Facebook Passwords
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's password-so-strong-you-yourself-don't-know-it department:
An anonymous reader writes "House Republicans today defeated an amendment introduced yesterday that would have banned employers demanding access to Facebook accounts. While the practice isn't widespread, it has caused a big brouhaha after reports surfaced that some organizations were requiring workers to hand over Facebook passwords as a condition of keeping their current job or getting hired for a new one."

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In Your Face, Critics! Red Hat Passes $1 Billion In Revenue
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's flash-in-the-pan-I-tell-you department:
head_dunce writes "Now that Red Hat has officially posted more than a billion dollars in revenue, ($1.13 billion to be exact), the company's PR department sent this funny list of quotes predicting doom. For instance, 'We think of Linux as a competitor in the student and hobbyist market but I really don't think in the commercial market we'll see it in any significant way.' Bill Gates, 2001."

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Researchers Create Living Human Gut-On-a-Chip
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's waiting-for-the-snl-sketch department:
cylonlover writes "In an effort to provide a more accurate alternative to conventional cell culture and animal models, researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed a microdevice that mimics the structure, physiology, and mechanics of the human intestine. The so-called "gut-on-a-chip" could help provide new insights into intestinal disorders and be used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of potential treatments."

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Jeff Bezos To Retrieve Apollo 11 Rocket Engines
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-only-a-wetsuit-and-a-pair-of-flippers department:
Hugh Pickens writes "AFP reports that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos plans to retrieve the F-1 engines that rocketed astronaut Neil Armstrong and his crew toward the moon in 1969. 'We're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor,' Bezos wrote in his blog at BezosExpeditions.com. 'We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in — they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see.' Bezos wrote that he was five years old when Armstrong made history during the Apollo 11 mission by becoming the first person to set foot on the moon, and 'without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration.' Bezos stressed that he is using private funds to try to raise the F-1 engines from their resting places 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and that they remain the property of NASA. 'I imagine that NASA would decide to make it available to the Smithsonian (National Air and Space Museum) for all to see.' Bezos's efforts come just days after Titanic director James Cameron became the first person in 40 years to descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the ocean's deepest point, in a privately-funded expedition."

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Blind Man Test Drives Google's Autonomous Car
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sight-to-site-transport department:
Velcroman1 writes "'This is some of the best driving I've ever done,' Steve Mahan said the other day. Mahan was behind the wheel of a Toyota Prius tooling the small California town of Morgan Hill in late January, a routine trip to pick up the dry cleaning and drop by the Taco Bell drive-in for a snack. He also happens to be 95 percent blind. Mahan, head of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, 'drove' along a specially programmed route thanks to Google's autonomous driving technology. Google announced the self-driving car project in 2010. It relies upon laser range finders, radar sensors, and video cameras to navigate the road ahead, in order to make driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient — and clearly more accessible. In a Wednesday afternoon post on Google+, the company noted that it has hundreds of thousands of miles of testing under its belt, letting the company feel confident enough in the system to put Mahan behind the wheel."

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How Linus Torvalds Helped Bust a Microsoft Patent
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wondertux-powers-activate department:
New submitter inhuman_4 passes along this quote from an article at Wired:
"Last December, Microsoft scored a victory when the ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex found that Motorola had violated four Microsoft patents. But the ruling could also eliminate an important Microsoft software patent that has been invoked in lawsuits against Barnes & Noble and car navigation device-maker Tom Tom. According to Linus Torvalds, he was deposed in the case this past fall, and apparently his testimony about a 20-year-old technical discussion — along with a discussion group posting made by an Amiga fan, known only as Natuerlich! — helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid."

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S+M Vs. SPDY: Microsoft and Google Battle Over HTTP 2.0
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's two-will-enter-one-will-maybe-eventually-leave department:
MrSeb writes "HTTP, the protocol that underpins almost every inch of the world wide web, is about to make the jump from version 1.1 to 2.0 after some 13 years of stagnation. For a long time it looked like Google's experimental SPDY protocol would be the only viable option for the Internet Engineering Task Force to ratify as HTTP 2.0, but now out of left field comes a competing proposal from Microsoft. Lumbered with the truly awful name of HTTP Speed+Mobility, or HTTP S+M for short, Microsoft's vision of HTTP 2.0 is mostly very similar to SPDY, but with additional features that cater toward apps and mobile devices. 'The HTTP Speed+Mobility proposal starts from both the Google SPDY protocol and the work the industry has done around WebSockets,' says Jean Paoli from the Microsoft Interoperability team. Basically, the S+M proposal looks like it's less brute-force than SPDY: Where server push, encryption, and compression are all built into SPDY, Microsoft, citing low-powered devices and metered connections, wants them to be optional extensions. Judging by the speed at which the internet (and the internet of things) is developing, I think MS's extensible, flexible solution has its merits."

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Ask Slashdot: How To Feed Africa?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's infinite-gnutella department:
gbrumfiel writes "Africa has some of the poorest soil of anywhere on the earth, and over farming is only making matters worse. As the population grows, governments and NGOs must decide whether to subsidize chemical fertilizers like those used in the west or promote more sustainable agricultural practices. In Malawi, the government has decided to subsidize fertilizers, with impressive results. Corn yields have tripled since the subsidies were introduced. More sustainable practices, such as fertilizer trees can't deliver those kind of results in just a few years. The question is simple: does Africa follow the same, unsustainable road as the rest of the world? Or do they become a testing ground for potentially game-changing new techniques? OR is there a third path? Discuss."

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See-Through 3D Computer With Gesture Controls Gives Us a Glimpse of the Future
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's like-a-pre-cog-you-might-say department:
silentbrad writes with this excerpt from Boy Genius Report:
"Some believe a future full of massive, gesture-controlled computer displays like the ones seen in Twentieth Century Fox's Minority Report are an inevitability, and a prototype PC designed by an intern with the Microsoft Applied Sciences Group may be among the first steps in making that future a reality. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D student and MIT Media Lab research assistant Jinha Lee recently set out to change the way we interact with desktop computers. While progress has been made with 3D display technology, 3D has not yet proliferated in the personal computing space and Lee wants to change that. The end result of his work is a fascinating desktop computer with a transparent 3D display and a unique gesture-based interface that could change the way we use computers."

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