Canada

Erasing Neuronal Memories May Help Control Chronic Pain 80

An anonymous reader writes "A team of researchers led by McGill neuroscientist Terence Coderre, who is also affiliated with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, has found the key to understanding how memories of pain are stored in the brain. More importantly, the researchers are also able to suggest how these memories can be erased, making it possible to ease chronic pain."
Government

UK Law Enforcement Starts Seizing Music Blogs 310

Grumbleduke writes "From Dajaz1 (a site that is no stranger to unjustified copyright takedowns) we learn that the popular R&B website rnbxclusive.com (warning: threatening message on site) has allegedly been seized by the Serious Organized Crime Agency, a UK law enforcement agency, and its operators arrested on fraud charges. Not only does the replacement message contain a number of factually dubious claims, it also shows the visitor's IP address, browser and operating system, and threatens to track and monitor them. At a time when copyright lobby groups are strongly pushing for even greater powers through laws such as SOPA and ACTA, one is left wondering why they think they need them, when police can shut down websites such as this at will."
NASA

Congress Warns NASA About Shortchanging SLS/Orion For Commercial Crew 170

FleaPlus writes "NASA and the White House have officially released their FY2013 budget proposal, the first step of the Congressional budget process. As mentioned previously on Slashdot, the proposal decreases Mars science funding (including robotic Mars missions) down to $361M, arguably due in part to cost overruns by the Webb telescope. The proposal also lowers funding for the in-house SLS rocket and Orion capsule to $2.8B, while doubling funding for the ongoing competitive development of commercial crew rockets/vehicles to $830M. The ranking member of the Senate science committee, Sen. Hutchison (R-TX), expressed her frustration with 'cutting SLS and Orion to pay for commercial crew,' as it would allegedly make it impossible for SLS to act as a backup for the commercial vehicles."
Blackberry

Amazon Blocks Video Streaming On BlackBerry Tablet, Blames Apple 128

AZA43 writes "Amazon.com has blocked its Instant Video streaming service on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in an apparent effort to make its Kindle Fire device more attractive to tablet buyers. And it says Apple is the reason why it blocked the service. But the company hasn't blocked comparable Android tablets from streaming Instant Video, and Android tablets hold a much larger portion of the overall tablet market than PlayBooks. Amazon will likely succeed only in alienating customer with PlayBooks who have already purchased lots of streaming video content."
Canada

Against Online Surveillance? You Must Be 'For' Child Porn, Says Legislator 583

An anonymous reader writes "Following up on yesterday's story about the Canadian government's internet surveillance legislation, one of the bill's proponents is now accusing those who oppose it of standing with child pornographers. Those against the legislation include: Law professor Michael Geist, Open Media, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Council of Canadians and many others. 'Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told a Liberal MP he could either stand with the government or "with the child pornographers" prowling online.' Toews is enjoying his Parliamentary Privilege, which grants him the freedom to say pretty much anything he wants without fear of a slander suit."
United States

"Cyberwar" As a Carrot For Those Selling the Stick 115

New submitter sackbut writes with a story at Wired about the often-discussed concept of "cyberwarfare," and the worst-case scenarios that are sometimes presented as possible outcomes of concerted malicious hacking. According to Wired, which calls these scenarios "the new yellowcake," "[E]vidence to sustain such dire warnings is conspicuously absent. In many respects, rhetoric about cyber catastrophe resembles threat inflation we saw in the run-up to the Iraq War. And while Congress' passing of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation wouldn't lead to war, it could saddle us with an expensive and overreaching cyber-industrial complex." Writes sackbut: "Perhaps good for programmers, but not so good for rights."
Open Source

LibreOffice 3.5 Released 205

First time accepted submitter wrldwzrd89 writes "The Document Foundation, the team behind the free and open-source office suite called LibreOffice, has released their latest and greatest version. As is typical with major releases of LibreOffice, there are significant new features making their debut in this version. The component with the biggest upgrade is Calc, which now has support for up to 10,000 sheets per workbook among its new features. Also noteworthy among the new features is support for importing Microsoft Visio files in Impress and Draw. The full feature list is available in a PDF hosted on Dropbox; LibreOffice itself can be downloaded here."
Businesses

Apple-Approved Fair Labor Inspections Begin At Foxconn 334

redletterdave writes "Apple announced on Monday that the Fair Labor Association has begun inspecting Foxconn's Chinese factories, upon Apple's request. Apple said that Auret van Heerden, the president of the FLA, is leading a group of labor rights experts in the first round of inspections at the sprawling plant in Shenzhen, China, more informally known as 'Foxconn City.' The FLA's independent assessment — completely supplementary to Apple's own auditing practices — will involve interviewing thousands of Foxconn employees about the working and living conditions, including working hours, compensation, managerial issues, and health and safety conditions. Foxconn has 'pledged full cooperation with the FLA,' and will reportedly allow unrestricted access to all of their operations. The investigative team will report their findings in early March on the FLA's website. Apple's other suppliers, including Quanta and Pegatron, will be inspected later this spring. By the time summer rolls around, the FLA hopes to have covered 90 percent of facilities where Apple products are built and assembled."
Businesses

EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal 187

angry tapir writes "European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility. The U.S. $12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, including Consumer Watchdog, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions." Later in the day the DOJ announced an end to its investigation, greenlighting the acquisition in the U.S. as well.
Security

Cryptome Hit By Blackhole Exploit Kit 49

wiredmikey writes with an excerpt from Security Week:"Whistleblower site Cryptome has been hacked and infected by the Blackhole exploit kit. ... Cryptome co-founder John Young however told SecurityWeek that the Cryptome site is in the process of cleaning everything up, and that process should be finished by the end of the day. Founded in 1996, Cryptome publishes thousands of documents, including many related to national security, law enforcement and military. On Feb. 12, a reader advised the site that accessing a file had triggered a warning in their antivirus about the Blackhole exploit kit. ... Subsequent analysis found thousands of files on the site had been infected." Cryptome has certainly seen worse.
Education

MIT's Online Education Prototype Opens For Enrollment 42

OldHawk777 writes with news that MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's online learning initiative, has opened free enrollment for its first course: 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics. "Modeled after MIT’s 6.002 — an introductory course for undergraduate students in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) — 6.002x will introduce engineering in the context of the lumped circuit abstraction, helping students make the transition from physics to the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. ... 'We are very excited to begin MITx with this prototype class,' says MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif. 'We will use this prototype course to optimize the tools we have built by soliciting and acting on feedback from learners.' To access the course, registered students will log in at mitx.mit.edu, where they will find a course schedule, an e-textbook for the course, and a discussion board. Each week, students will watch video lectures and demonstrations, work with practice exercises, complete homework assignments, and participate in an online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart. Students will also take exams and be able to check their grades as they progress in the course. Overall, students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours each week on the course."
Canada

Ontario Teachers' Union Calls For Health-Related Classroom Wi-Fi Ban 365

New submitter KJE writes "The CBC is reporting that an Ontario teachers' union is calling for an end to new Wi-Fi setups in the province's 1,400-plus Catholic schools. The Ontario English Catholic Teacher's Association (OECTA) says computers in all new schools should be hardwired instead of setting up wireless networks. The OECTA, in its paper (PDF), said the 'safety of this technology has not thoroughly been researched and therefore the precautionary principle and prudent avoidance of exposure should be practiced.'"
Government

Obama Budget Asks For 1% Boost In Research 351

sciencehabit sends this excerpt from ScienceInsider: "One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president's 2013 budget request released this morning. The $4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy's Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times. ... Obama is asking for a 1% increase in overall federal spending on research, to $140 billion. Within that total, the White House seeks a similar 1% hike in the $30 billion devoted to basic research."
Businesses

Video Venture Capital in Detroit, Among Other Places (Video) Screenshot-sm 36

If you have a startup idea kicking around in your head, you don't necessarily need to head for California, New York or Massachusetts to find venture capital. In today's video, Timothy Lord visits a venture capital firm called Detroit Venture Partners. (Yes, it's in Detroit.) This not an intimidating company, even though it has some big bucks and big names (including Magic Johnson) behind it. But this doesn't mean you need to rush to Detroit to fund your million-dollar idea. There are lots of local venture capital companies in the U.S. -- and chances are, wherever you are, there's one near you that's panting to invest in your can't-miss business opportunity.
China

What the iPad 3 Looks Like 471

redletterdave writes "If you were expecting a radically different-looking tablet from the iPad 2, prepare for a minor letdown. In the same way Apple upgraded the iPhone 4 into the iPhone 4S, the exterior of the iPad 3 mirrors that of the iPad 2, despite completely renovated and upgraded innards. iLab Factory reportedly provided Sharp with the necessary parts to build the high-resolution iPad 3 display, and in a company blog post, various iPad 3 components are displayed alongside those of the iPad 2 for quick comparison. In addition to a new camera mount that will reportedly match or improve upon the 8-megapixel camera system in the iPhone 4S, the post also revealed that the iPad 3 will be approximately 1 mm thicker than its predecessor to house Apple's upgraded components, including a bigger battery, an improved camera, and a dual-LED lit system to make the 2048 x 1536 display even brighter."
The Almighty Buck

Hungary's Needy Given Money to Burn Screenshot-sm 95

Knowing that ideas are a dime a dozen and eager to think outside the box, Hungary's central bank is burning old currency to help the needy. The bank has found that the 40-50 tons of currency that needs to be burned every year is a blessing in disguise for people caught between a rock and a hard place due to the extreme cold sweeping across Europe.
Canada

Canadian Govt To Introduce Massive Internet Surveillance Law 215

An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian government will introduce new Internet surveillance legislation tomorrow that will mandate a massive new surveillance infrastructure at all Canadian ISPs and remove the need for court oversight of the disclosure of customer information. Michael Geist has a detailed FAQ on the history of the bill, the likely contents, the lack of government evidence supporting the need for the invasive legislation, and what Canadians can do about it."
Businesses

An Open Alternative To Kickstarter 124

angry tapir writes "Crowd-funding website Crowdtilt officially launched last week, expanding upon the collective fundraising model pioneered by Kickstarter to enable raising money for any project — even a beer blitz. Like Kickstarter, Crowdtilt allows users to create a fundraising campaign with a tipping point. If the effort falls short of the set amount, would-be donors are not charged. However, unlike Kickstarter, the platform allows users to "group fund anything." Users can initiate campaigns without first getting the approval of service administrators, which they must do on Kickstarter."
Education

Rethinking the Social Media-Centric Classroom 81

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Wesch has been on the lecture circuit for years touting new models of active teaching with technology. The associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has given TED talks. Wired magazine gave him a Rave Award. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching once named him a national professor of the year. But now Mr. Wesch finds himself rethinking the fundamentals of teaching after hearing that other professors can't get his experiments with Twitter and YouTube to work in their classes. Is the lecture best after all?"
Censorship

Journalist Arrested For Tweet Deported to Saudi Arabia 604

New submitter cosmicaug writes with an update to yesterday's report that journalist Hamza Kashgari had been arrested by Malaysian police acting on a request conveyed from the Saudi government via Interpol. Now, says the BBC, "Police confirmed to the BBC that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests from human rights groups. Mr Kashgari's controversial tweet last week sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. Mr Kashgari, 23, fled Saudi Arabia last week and was detained upon his arrival in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday." Writes cosmicaug: "Sadly, the most likely outcome is that they are going to execute this man for three tweets."

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