Links for 30th September 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Targeting Tumors With Bee Venom

    "… the researchers have found a way, using the burgeoning field of nanotechnology, to pinpoint tumors for attack by melittin while largely shielding healthy cells. They do this by attaching the bee-venom ingredient to nanoparticles, which are ultra-tiny, synthetically manufactured spheres. The resultant product, called nanobees, are injected into the blood stream where they circulate until they reach and attack cancerous tumors. The approach also has the potential to avoid some of the toxic side effects seen in older cancer therapies like chemotherapy."

    Tagged with: sciencemedicinenanotechdelivery-systemcancer

  2. Use SUSE Studio to Build a Linux OS From Scratch

    "SUSE Studio is what powered the fan-made "Chrome OS" we posted yesterday, which, in that case, was a semi-stripped-down system loaded with the developers' version of Chrome, Google webapp links, and OpenOffice. If speed and cloud computing aren't your bag, you can create a fully functional system with Firefox, 3D graphics, and whatever apps you can find installed. Want your system to start up with an AWN dock and Launchy keystroke launcher running? Not a problem." Bespoke OS builder; nice touch.

    Tagged with: linuxcustomOSbuildtutorialSUSE-studio

  3. Increase in sea levels due to global warming could lead to ‘ghost states’

    ""What would happen if a state was to physically disappear but people want to keep their nationalities? It could continue as a virtual state even though it is a rock under the ocean and its people no longer live on that piece of land."

    Gemenne said there was more at stake than cultural and sentimental attachments to swamped countries. Tuvalu makes millions of pounds each year from the sale of its assigned internet suffix .tv to television companies. As a nation state, the Polynesian island also has a vote on the international stage through the UN.

    "As independent nations they receive certain rights and privileges that they will not want to lose. Instead they could become like ghost states," he said. "This is a pressing issue for small island states, but in the case of physical disappearance there is a void in international law."" I guess I should be flattered that reality catches up to my fictional ideas so damned fast…

    Tagged with: climatepoliticscultureterritorynation-statesghost-statesnationalitylawgovernmentexilenew-southsea

  4. Anti-wi-fi paint offers security

    ""By painting a solution containing our magnetic particles on the walls, you would quickly, and effectively, shield the room from stray electromagnetic radiation from outside."

    While paints blocking lower frequencies have been available for some time, Mr Ohkoshi's technology is the first to absorb frequencies transmitting at 100GHz (gigahertz). Signals carrying a larger amount of data – such as wireless internet – travel at a higher frequency than, for example, FM radio.

    "I'm working on a material that can absorb a larger range of frequencies. We are capable of making a paint that can absorb over 200 gigahertz."

    He hopes that soon the technology could be woven into clothing." Hmmm. Loads of plot-point uses for this stuff, and a lot cheaper than a Faraday cage.

    Tagged with: technologywifipaintaluminium-oxidesignalsecurityprivacy

  5. why i am not afraid to take your money by amanda fucking palmer

    "artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks.
    please welcome them. please help them. please do not make them feel badly about asking you directly for money.
    dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it." Amen, Ms Palmer, amen.

    Tagged with: musicartbusinessmoneystrategyfandomamanda-palmerincomeeconomics

  6. Wanted – Home Computers to Join in Research on Artificial Life

    "The EvoGrid goal is to detect evidence of self-organizing behavior in computerized simulations that have been constructed to model the first emergence of life in the physical world. Pattern recognition software on home computers would seem a perfect tool.

    The project is a new effort in the field of computer-based artificial life research, which generated great interest among computer scientists and biologists in the 1980s and ’90s but waned as rapid progress was made in synthetic biology. In the past decade researchers have begun modifying genetic material for applications like drugs and the growth of fuels. Many scientists believe the field stands close to synthesizing biological life from basic materials."

    Tagged with: EvoGridbiotechcrowdsourcingsimulationcomputingevolutionartificiallife

  7. Geordi LaForge video-to-brain rig built at MIT

    "The implanted chip, according to the MIT team behind it, features a "microfabricated polyimide stimulating electrode array with sputtered iridium oxide electrodes" which is implanted into the user's retina by a specially-developed surgical technique. There are also "secondary power and data receiving coils".

    Once the implant is in place, wireless transmissions are made from outside the head. These induce currents in the receiving coils of the nerve chip, meaning that it needs no battery or other power supply. The electrode array stimulates the nerves feeding the optic nerve, so generating a image in the brain.

    The wireless signals, for use in humans, would be generated by a glasses-style headset equipped with cameras or other suitable sensors and transmitters tuned to the coils implanted in the head."

    Tagged with: cyborgvisionimplanthardwaretechnologybraininterfaceprosthetic

  8. Population: Europe’s problems will grow as it shrinks

    "A demographically sustainable Europe needs to have a stable or slowly shrinking population as the existing infrastructure operates most efficiently when the number of inhabitants remains fairly constant. What would it take to achieve this? At present, the average fertility rate in Europe is 1.5 children per woman, and in countries below this line there is an urgent need for family policies to encourage women to have more children. Countries with fertility rates above 1.8, including France, the UK and Sweden, do not need further pro-birth policies as immigration will fill the demographic gap.

    Europe's biggest challenge is to survive the peak of ageing, which will come around 2045. After that the baby-boom generation will leave the population pyramid, and Europe will enter a new phase of its demographic journey."

    Tagged with: Europepopulationdemographicageinggreyingeconomicsenvironmentsustainability

  9. Richie Rich uses Facebook, not MySpace

    "The market research firm recently examined the segmentation of different social networks to provide better data to advertisers, and revealed that those who lead more "upscale lifestyles"—the top third of the population—are 25 percent more likely to use Facebook than those in the bottom third. Similarly, the bottom third is 37 percent more likely to use MySpace than those in the top third.

    Facebook's academic roots may have gotten it off on the right foot, but there are other factors at play that help solidify this distinction between the two social networks. Nielsen noted that Facebook users were "much more likely" to use "professional" networking site LinkedIn than MySpace users, indicating that Facebook's userbase is more likely to be of working age and therefore more wealthy than the young'uns using MySpace."

    Tagged with: social-networksclassdemographicssurveymyspacefacebookaffluenceeducation

  10. Robert Zoellick of World Bank Sees Dollar’s Role Diminishing

    "In the next 10 to 20 years, he said, the dollar will face growing competition from China’s currency, the renminbi. Though Chinese leaders have minimized their currency’s use in international transactions, largely so they could keep greater control over exchange rates, Mr. Zoellick said the renminbi would “evolve into a force in financial markets.”

    The World Bank, which is financed by governments around the globe and lends money primarily to poor countries, has no say over the economic policies of large nations or over currency matters.

    But Mr. Zoellick’s comments were unusual, in part because he seemed intent on being provocative. He argued that the United States and a handful of other rich nations could no longer dominate the world economy and suggested that America was losing its clout." Well, that's not controversial because it's not obvious; it's controversial because it's not what America wants to hear. Welcome to the decline of Empire, guys.

    Tagged with: USeconomyworldcurrencydollarstrength

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