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Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2009, 02:07 AM
Number of posts: 1,915

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Supreme Court to rule on patentability of human genes

Supreme Court to rule on patentability of human genes
Lower court ruled that genes can be patented once isolated from the body.

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will consider a legal challenge to a patent on a breast cancer gene held by the firm Myriad Genetics. The case could have broad implications for the future of medical diagnostic techniques.

In March, the Supreme Court ordered an appeals court to reconsider a 2011 decision holding that genetic material could be patented once it has been "isolated" from the human body. At the time, the Supreme Court had just rejected patents on medical diagnostic techniques, and the high court wanted the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to re-consider its previous ruling in light of this new precedent.

In August, the Federal Circuit, which is responsible for hearing all patent law appeals, decided to stick with its previous ruling. It once again concluded that DNA sequences could be patented once they had been isolated from the human body. Now the Supreme Court will have a chance to check the Federal Circuit's work.
The Federal Circuit's ruling was decided by a 2-1 margin. The dissenting judge, William Bryson, compared isolating the DNA to snapping a leaf from a tree. "Prematurely plucking the leaf would not turn it into a human-made invention," Judge Bryson wrote in August. "That would remain true if there were minor differences between the plucked leaf and the fallen autumn leaf, unless those differences imparted 'markedly different characteristics' to the plucked leaf."

more here

The patent system needs SERIOUS reform.

GOP recommends Lamar Smith, SOPA author and global warming critic, as chairman of Science,Space,tech

GOP recommends Lamar Smith, SOPA author and global warming critic, as chairman of Science, Space, and Tech committee

US Congressman Lamar Smith has long expressed doubt that global warming is a man-made phenomenon, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that environmentalists are dismayed by news that Smith is likely to chair the Science, Space, and Technology committee for the upcoming 113th Congress. US House Speaker John Boehner has put forth recommendations of the House Republican Steering Committee as to who should lead the various committees, with Boehner naming Smith as his preferred pick for the all-important science/tech position. As the Huffington Post notes, Smith acknowledges a changing climate but has previously lambasted the media for pinning fault for global warming on human activity.

Should the GOP ratify Smith's nomination as is widely expected, it wouldn't mark the first time a skeptic has held the job. Outgoing chairman Rep. Ralph Hall expressed similar qualms about what many consider a clear-cut issue, once saying, "we have a lot of science that tells us they're not basing it [global warming] on real scientific facts."

Additionally, those following net neutrality will instantly recognize Rep. Smith as the author of the controversial, much-maligned Stop Online Piracy Act. Though SOPA legislation was ultimately tabled in response to fierce backlash, Smith's promotion to committee chairman could raise new concerns that he'll again attempt to address online piracy with similarly heavy-handed measures. It's expected that the House will vote in favor of Smith's new role today.


This comes even as the US is fighting off heavy competition from other nations on science and tech.
This news just blows my mind.

Google Launches “VetNet” To Help Military Veterans Re-Enter The Civilian Life

^^ VetNet Intro Video From Google

Today, Google launched a new initiative called VetNet, to help people connect and re-enter the working life. The company is putting its social backend, Google+, to work on this project.

We recently went to the “Vets In Tech” hackathon, where we met some amazing folks who are trying to build great things outside of military life. This new initiative is a fantastic addition to the cause.

Here’s what the company had to say about it today:

We’ve put the powers of Google+ behind a single hub called VetNet. Today, VetNet launches as a partnership with three founding organizations: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Hire Heroes USA. In the long run, other organizations will be able to offer their services to the veteran community, all in the same easy-to-use place.

Why is this important? For many reasons. First off, Google is huge and can move mountains for just about any cause or situation...

By connecting vets with actual helpful resources for employment and support, Google is doing something great here. Will folks in the military gravitate to it? Will it be too “geeky”? That’s the question we have to wait to answer. Until then, it’s worth a look.

read more

Google helps launch VetNet, a G+ powered hub for veterans and spouses to rebuild their civvy careers

Back in November last year, Google launched a new site called Google For Veterans to provide tools and assistance for the American men and women who have fought for their country.

And now Google has lent its Google+ platform to VetNet, a partnership between the US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Hire Heroes USA. Though there are three founding organizations, others can offer their services through the site too.

The purpose of the hub is pretty simple – it will serve up resources around employment, be it a from-scratch job-search or helping those looking to build their own firm.

While the various strands are pulled together under a single online domain, the individual resources are organized into three Google+ tracks, each on its own page – Basic Training Track (resumes, interviewing tips etc), Career Connections Track and Entrepreneur Track.


Link to the VetNet Site

This puts three major veteran organizations(more to join),training courses and a database of about 1 million Veteran preferred jobs under one roof. Good job Google . They do not stand to gain a penny from doing it, but it's great to see them do it for the sake of doing something good.

Listen all y'all, this is sabotage?

"For whatever reasons, the conservative bloggers have latched onto Orca as the reason it all fell apart," Moffatt added. Those bloggers have suggested that developers with Democratic sympathies somehow acted as a fifth column within the Romney camp. Targeted Victory was singled out by some bloggers because a few of its developers worked for Al Gore in the past.

"Why do they have Al Gore's dev working on Romney's social media development?!" blogger Catherine Ann Fitzpatrick asked. "Truly, how can they expect dedication?" She also singled out another developer who is African-American and "who has a 96 percent chance of being an Obama voter… I will be accused of 'racism' for even flagging. But it's the truth."

Moffatt said that this kind of thinking puts too much faith in a single piece of software. "Anyone who knows campaigns knows this was all baked in before that day—there was no magic, Orca wasn't a silver bullet," he said. "But on the flip side, when you're on a campaign that has only six months of infrastructure time, sometimes you have to throw a Hail Mary. It's really hard to go up against someone who has four years of lead time.

more here

On related news..notice how casually Race comes into play?

Oh and also Republicans suck when it comes to technology. Its no secret President Obama has the silicon valley firmly in his pocket.

PS: I love the top rated comment for that article

Well, they /would/ posit sabotage instead of admitting their people were incompetent, wouldn't they?

Reality denial is practically a sport with those folks.

Wrong turn: Apple's buggy iOS 6 maps lead to widespread complaints


Apple has a maps problem.

The major new feature of the company's new iOS 6 mobile operating system is a new mapping module developed by Apple itself — a replacement for the Google-supplied maps that have been standard on the iPhone since it debuted in 2007. It is a change borne not of user demand, but of corporate politics: Google's Android platform is the biggest competitive threat to the iPhone, so Apple is cutting ties with Google. iPhone owners might have loved Google Maps, but Apple has no love for Google.


Unfortunately, Apple's new maps are simply not as good as Google's. The release of iOS 6 yesterday was immediately followed by users complaining about the new maps, which lack a significant amount of detail and omit public transit directions. Access to high-quality maps is a critical feature for modern smartphones, and Apple's decision to swap out Google Maps is a rare example of the company openly placing its own interests above those of its customers. "There was no problem to solve," says Rene Ritchie, editor of iMore. "They're going to get hammered by mom and pop who want to find a store. It's going to be messy for them."


more here





Check more images out at


What happened to the so called “It Just Werks™” ?

No StreetView
No Transit
Almost non-existent outside the US
Totally inaccurate/full of errors (Berlin Germany would point to a minor village instead of the German capitol!)

Apple's IOS 6 maps are about 4 years behind Google/Android Maps. So much for all the Hype.lol


Now on Yahoo front page news as well

Anger over new iPhone, iPod maps app

Atma-Shatakam/Nirvana Shatakam, The Song of the Self. Advaita Vedanata(Non-Dual) school of Hinduism

The Advaita Vedanta School of Hinduism is one of the most famous and ancient schools of Hinduism in Existence. Advaita means "not-two". The basic premise of the Advaita Vedantin is that the Atman(self) is identical to Brahman. Ignorance prevents us from realizing this truth. Jnana Yoga(Yoga of knowledge) is practiced by the Advaitins in order to pierce this veil of ignorance and realize the Brahman they have always been.

The Advaitin looks inward and not outward, as by knowing oneself(realizing that one is Brahman) one realizes everything. This is called 'self-realization"/"Enlightenment"/"Moksha" in the Dharmic traditions. The first textual evidence to the existence of Advaita vedanta can be found in the Hindu Upanishads from the 10th century BCE.

The following is a famous Sloka(Song) of six stanzas called "Atma/Nirvana Shatakam" .

I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego,
nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).
I am not the five senses.
I am beyond that.
I am not the ether, nor the earth,
nor the fire, nor the wind (the five elements).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

2) Neither can I be termed as energy (prana),
nor five types of breath (vayus)
nor the seven material essences
nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).
Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,
procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

3) I have no hatred or dislike,
nor affiliation or liking,
nor greed,
nor delusion,
nor pride or haughtiness,
nor feelings of envy or jealousy.
I have no duty (dharma),
nor any money,
nor any desire (kama),
nor even liberation (moksha).
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

4) I have neither merit (virtue),
nor demerit (vice).
I do not commit sins or good deeds,
nor have happiness or sorrow,
pain or pleasure.
I do not need mantras, holy places,
scriptures (Vedas), rituals or sacrifices (yagnas).
I am none of the triad of
the observer or one who experiences,
the process of observing or experiencing,
or any object being observed or experienced.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

5) I do not have fear of death,
as I do not have death.
I have no separation from my true self,
no doubt about my existence,
nor have I discrimination on the basis of birth.
I have no father or mother,
nor did I have a birth.
I am not the relative,
nor the friend,
nor the guru,
nor the disciple.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.

6) I am all pervasive.
I am without any attributes,
and without any form.
I have neither attachment to the world,
nor to liberation (mukti).
I have no wishes for anything
because I am everything,
every time,
always in equilibrium.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva, pure consciousness.


I love how non-duality is expressed in this song.
Note: Shiva is used interchangeably with us, human beings in this song. In other words Shiva/Brahman and I are the same.

The four most popular Advaita Vedanta Sayings (Zen Koanish in nature, are used to impart the knowledge of Advaita)

1) prajñānam brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman"
2) ayam ātmā brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman"
3) tat tvam asi - "Thou art That"
4) aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman"

^^ All of Advaita philosophy can be found condensed in these words.

"The knowers of Brahman become Brahman"

(To clarify, they are always Brahman, they never were anything else, but due to their ignorance they believe they are different..but when they realize Brahman they realize themselves.. for they have always been "that"

For a lot for Advaitins the question about the existence of God is of no use and makes no sense.In fact Advaita Vedanta explicitly states that God is but an illusion and a projection of ignorance. Often they are either agnostics (like buddhists) or Atheists.

"This self was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew itself only as "I am Brahman". Therefore it became all. And whoever among the gods had this enlightenment, also became That Brahman. It is the same with the seers (rishis), the same with men. The seer Vamadeva, having realized this self as That, came to know: "I was Manu and the sun." And to this day, whoever in a like manner knows the self as "I am Brahman," becomes all this universe. Even the gods cannot prevent his becoming this, for he has become their Self. Now, if a man worships another deity, thinking: "He is one and I am another," he does not know. He is like an animal to the gods. As many animals serve a man, so does each man serve the gods. Even if one animal is taken away, it causes anguish to the owner; how much more so when many are taken away! Therefore it is not pleasing to the gods that men should know this."
~Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10:

Brahman is the totality of all knowledge, of all perception and all experience. There is nothing to be known, nothing to be had, nothing to be enjoyed. Brahman is just existence.

"Consciousness minus conceptualization is the eternal Brahman."
~Valmiki’s Yoga Vasistha-

Youtube has some videos of the Nirvana/Atma Shatakam. I've embedded one here

PS: A considerable number of Ancient India's philosophers and scientists were Advaitins. They were also the ones who first invented and used the number zero. It was used to refer to a philosophical concept which was both "everything" and "nothing" at the same time. Later on it was also used in mathematics and the end result was the number zero

Jimmy Kimmel Proves: Apple’s Magic Is In The Brainwash

Apple has definitely perfected their magic trick. There’s no doubt about that. The company has the ability to brainwash, and I say that as someone who has been brainwashed myself by the beauty and simplicity of Apple products. But it stretches far beyond the actual hardware, software or services, and delves straight into brand perception.

Reports even suggest that fanbois brains respond to Apple imagery the same way that religious fanatics’ brains respond to religious imagery. It’s an incredible feat, and some are so very indoctrinated that they stop trusting in their own sensory perception and simply trust the brand. Whole-heartedly.

Such is the case with this spoof from Jimmy Kimmel. The comedian took an iPhone 4 out on the streets and told people it was the new iPhone 5. To be clear, no one but Apple employees has the new iPhone yet. It goes up for pre-order at 12:01am on Friday.

In any case, every person in the video thinks that the two-year old iPhone 4 is “faster,” “lighter” and even more durable than the iPhone 4S. Just because they were told it’s the iPhone 5. In fact, one guy was actually holding the iPhone 4S in his hand as he inspected what he thought to be the iPhone 5 (which, again, was the iPhone 4).


Check out the hilarious Jimmy Kimmel Video

In the video, Apple fans think an Iphone 4 is Better than an Iphone 4S Simply because they believed that it(the iphone 4) was the new iphone5. They even say it feels lighter, much faster, more user friendly etc etc

This tallies very well with the results from a research the BBC reported on

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says

Next time Grandma asks why you're going to the mall on Sunday morning instead of church, tell her you're going to Apple Chapel.

For Apple fans, the brand triggers a reaction in the brain that's not unlike that of religious devotees, according to a BBC documentary series that cites neurological research.

The neuroscientists ran a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on an Apple fanatic and discovered that images of the technology company's gadgets lit up the same parts of the brain as images of a deity do for religious people, the report says


This just proves what we PC/Android/Open-source guys have been saying all along. Apple is not a company that innovates, but its a company that relies on marketing its brand-identity amongst its cultist followers...followers who are identical to the religious fanatics from the religious right/Taliban

PS: let the flame wars begin



UC,Microsoft, Google folks are top sources for Obama funds While WallStreet tops Romney's list


Democratic President Barack Obama gets campaign support from the tech community while Republican challenger Mitt Romney courts Wall Street.

President Obama's campaign is getting financial help from people associated with two big tech firms: Microsoft and Google.

Following the University of California, those companies were listed as the second and third top contributors to his re-election campaign by OpenSecrets.org, followed by the lawfirm of DLA Piper and Harvard University.
Mitt Romney's list is a who's who of Wall Street: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Credit Suisse Group.

Obama's ties to the tech community go back to his first presidential campaign, when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt (now executive chairman) campaigned for him, and served as an adviser. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also backed Obama four years ago.After the election, several Googlers left the company to join the Obama administration, Schmidt became a member of the Transition Economic Advisory Board and he and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, were named to the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

more here

source for image


Interesting and telling split between President Obama and Romney.

An Interactive Visualization of Government Authorized small-arms sales across the globe

I think this is relevant given the recent happenings. Click on countries in the globe to see their small arms imports and exports.Keep in mind that this only tracks small arms though and only uses data from 1992-2010.


Google's Chrome labs

Google Fiber shows speeds 100 times faster than regular a cable Internet,has Free broadband plan too

(CBS/AP) Google unveiled its long-awaited, ultra-fast Internet service in Kansas City Thursday for an affordable price of $70 per month.

The service is intended as a showcase for what's technically possible. Bypassing the local cable and phone companies, Google has spent months and an unknown amount of money pulling its own optical fiber through the two-state Kansas City region.


(an Internet speed test shows that Google Fiber clocks in at over 900 megabits per second versus an average broadband connection, which gets about 5 megabits per second in this demonstration.)

more here

Google just kicked its Google Fiber efforts into overdrive. The company's Kansas City effort is getting a full launch and now includes Google Fiber TV -- a "real" TV service with recognizable channels and its own, fully searchable interface that mixes DVR results with Netflix and YouTube. As many as 500 shows can be stored in full 1080p HD, and several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time.. Not surprisingly, there's also a major mobile component taking advantage of that 1Gbps fiber link, as users will have the option of browsing, sharing and eventually watching live TV directly from tablet apps. The company is also promising an ever-evolving service that includes Google+ video hangouts. For hardware, Google has its own dedicated Network Box with a four-port gigabit Ethernet router and 802.11n WiFi, a TV Box with live viewing and a WiFi access point as well as a Storage Box DVR with 2TB of data and the ability to record eight shows at once. Your remote control? A free, bundled Nexus 7 tablet, naturally.

The overall service will come with 1TB of Google Drive space, although it's expensive to get started: there's a $300 "construction fee" (currently being waived) to wire a home for the fiber optics. Three packages will be on offer, starting with a Gigabit + TV package that includes the essentials, all major channels and "hundreds" of fiber channels (plus on-demand content) for $120 a month. Skip traditional TV and it costs $70 a month -- and if you're a local resident willing to pony up the construction free, you can get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years. Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free, as well. Only small slices of Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas state should have access at first, but Google is conducting a six-week "rally" where the most people paying a $10 pre-registration fee dictate where Google Fiber goes next. Now if only other cities would go the same route.



I love this. The ISP's are now charging insane prices for internet/cable tv.

In the bay area Comcast charges about 70$ for 25Mb/s internet(with like 1MB/s upload). For cable tv +internet the price goes up above 100 (around 130).Other ISP's Cable providers do the same, even though storage and internet service costs have dropped exponentially over the years.

I cant wait for Google Fiber to spread to other states/cities. I would guess that they would provide this first to areas with denser populations, like East Coast cities, and the bigger cities on the west coast before moving out to the rural areas.

And the best option? Free internet of 5mb/s speed for 7 years(after construction cost of 300) at least. Believe me...5Mb/s is more than enough for most people!

Additional benefits i can see

Free 1Tb cloud storage for those to sign up for tv
Free Set top box with 2TB storage at home.
Free Nexus 7 Tablet for them, which doubles as wireless remote.
Free DVR capability with the ability to record 8 shows at once

And full 1080p streaming video (not the 720p streaming others provide)

The only winner I see in this is the consumer. If this service comes to my city I'm switching for sure (for example, businesses that need high speed internet have to pay 299$ per month for Comcast for its 300mb/s speeds...Google fiber would provide 3 times the speed for 1/4rth the cost). ISP's have been pretty much ripping the consumers off with their insane prices for internet/Cable tv.

Remember when Gmail first came out? till then Yahoo and Hotmail were giving only pretty low storage...and soon they all raised the storage allocations to match. Unless there is some challenger who is going to drastically change the game, most companies will not make any changes....right now we are all cash cows for the ISP's and phone carriers.

This is a welcome shakeup to the ISP and Cable industry which was long overdue.

Related links

PS: pardon me if I sound over-enthusiastic...I'm addicted to tech

PPS: Schools and libraries will get Google Fiber connection Free of charge(No 300$ Fiber construction fee either)
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