Saturday, March 24, 2007

Scientist Uses 60,000 Interconnected PCs To Find AIDS Cure

Researcher David Baker believes the key to an AIDS vaccine or a cure for cancer may be that old PC sitting under a layer of dust in your closet or the one on your desk doing little else but running a screen saver.

Those outdated or idle computers may be just what Baker needs to turn his ideas into scientific breakthroughs.

Baker, 43, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington, realized about two years ago that he didn't have access to the computing horsepower needed for his research — nor the money to buy time on supercomputers elsewhere.

So he turned to the kindness — and the computers — of strangers.

Using software made popular in a massive yet so far fruitless search for intelligent life beyond Earth, Baker and his research team are tapping the computing power of tens of thousands of PCs whose owners are donating spare computer time to chop away at scientific problems over the Internet.

Baker's Rosetta@home project is attracting PC users who like the idea of helping find a cure for cancer and admire the way Baker has involved regular people in his research that aims to predict how protein structures unfold at the atomic level.

Baker's work could one day lead to cures of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. The project takes a more direct approach to other diseases, including the search for an HIV vaccine. In that case, his team hopes to develop a way to help the body recognize critical parts of the virus' proteins so that it can no longer hide from the body's immune system.

The project sends work to computers that have installed the necessary free software. When the machine is idle, it figures out how an individual protein — a building block of life — might fold or contort, displaying the possibilities in a screen saver. When the PC is done crunching, it sends the results back to Baker's team and grabs more work.

More than 60,000 people are donating computer power to Baker's research — equivalent to the power of one supercomputer. He hopes to increase that number by at least tenfold — enough to lead to major scientific breakthroughs.

The technology, known as distributed or network computing, isn't new. In the late 1990s, a project at the University of California at Berkeley started inviting people to donate their computer power to scan distant radio signals for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. Millions of people have participated in the SETI@home project.

Baker's project now has participants from around the world, but the earliest donor of idle computer time came from across campus at the university's Housing and Food Services.

"I knew the kind of power that personal computers could have if you pulled them all together," said Ethan Owens, 27, an employee who first offered his department's 200 computers to the Astronomy Department before taking his offer to Baker.

Soon, dormitory front desks, computer labs, maintenance offices and kitchen business centers became part of Rosetta@home.

By the time school started last fall, the two organizations were working together to recruit students to put the networking software on their PCs.

The project has grown both on and off campus ever since.

Many of the most active volunteers are cancer survivors or people who have lost close friends or relatives to the disease.

The volunteers also have recruited more people to help, made useful suggestions about software issues and helped test new software versions before they are sent to everyone using Rosetta@home.

Williams said Baker's participation in project message boards has made Rosetta much more than a quirky project of the month.

David P. Anderson, director of the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, said Baker's lab has done a particularly good job of connecting the participants to the science, including sharing the potential medical impact of the project.

Mark Pottorff, 40, a computer programmer in Rochester, Minn., was contributing computer time for the search for extraterrestrial life when he heard about Rosetta@home and decided to switch.

"The outcome is much more beneficial," and more likely to get results than a search for ET, Pottorff said, adding, "If you reach him, he's still 100 million light years away."


iMacros Scripting Edition

TV guardante sul vostro Cellphone? Sta venendo nel Regno Unito
As Online Dating Sites Novelty Wears Off, Offline Dating Becomes More Profitable And Popular

Friday, March 23, 2007

Weird Weapons Part One. The US Camel Corp.

In 1848, before the 1st iron horse went West, the U.S. Army was desperately searching for a cheap, fast, efficient means of supplying its bases for the constant fight against the Indians. Also, spoils of the Mexican War had added 529,000 sq. mi. to the nation's Western wilderness and by the terms of the treaty the U.S. was responsible for the protection of settlers, towns, and travelers in what is now California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and the western portions of Colorado and New Mexico. About this time, Lieut. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a friend of Kit Carson and superintendent of Indian affairs in California and Nevada, revived the idea of importing camels into the U.S. Five years later, Jefferson Davis, who was Secretary of War under President Pierce, advised the 33rd Congress, "For military purposes, for expresses, and for reconnaissances, and for transportation with troops rapidly moving across the country, the camel, it is believed, would remove an obstacle which now serves greatly to diminish the value and efficiency of our troops on the western frontier."

In 1855, through the pressure of Illinois Senator Shields, Congress voted an appropriation for $30,000 "to be expended under the War Dept. in the purchase and importation of camels."

Two men were assigned to carry through the strange experiment. One, Maj. Henry Wayne, hurried to Britain to study camels in the London Zoo. The other, David Porter, took a U.S. Navy ship, the Supply, to Italy. Major Wayne and Porter met in Pisa, Italy, to watch 250 camels, owned by the Duke of Tuscany, accomplish the work of 1,000 horses. The pair then went on to Malta, Tunis, Constantinople, observing camels. The Crimean War was on, and the British were proving a single camel could carry 600 lbs. about 30 mi. a day.

The Americans acquired 3 camels in Tunis, 9 in Egypt, and 21 in Smyrna, 33 in all. And they hired Arab and Turkish camel drivers--Elias Calles, George Caralambo ("Greek George"), and Hadji Ali ("Hi Jolly"), men who knew how to handle the beasts--to accompany the cargo to the U.S. When the Supply arrived in Egypt, a flat-bottomed boat was used to ferry the camels aboard. The loading took 16 hours. One camel, 7'5" tall, was too large to fit into the ship--a hole had to be cut in the deck to accommodate his hump.

The journey from Egypt to Texas took 3 months. The camels proved excellent sailors. During gales they were tied down, in kneeling positions, which they didn't seem to mind at all. On May 14, 1856, the ship arrived at Indianola, Tex., a port about 120 mi. south of Galveston. When the camels were taken on land they "became excited to an almost uncontrollable degree, rearing, kicking, crying out." They were camped 60 mi. northwest of San Antonio. When the citizens of San Antonio laughed at the camels, doubting their strength, Major Wayne took this as a challenge. He assembled a crow, brought forth one camel, made the animal kneel, hoisted 2 bales weighing together 613 lbs. on its back, and then, to convince even the worst skeptics, loaded on 2 more bales. The camel had a total of 1,256 lbs. on its back. At a signal from the major, it rose easily and walked off. The crowd went wild. The feat was considered a miracle, and the local press even ran poetry about it.

It is interesting to note that the total cost of the camel-buying spree up to 1856 was $7,331. The balance left, after the 1st draw upon the original $30,000 appropriation, was returned to Washington--setting a precedent that didn't catch on.

The arrival of a 2nd shipload of camels at Indianola on February 10, 1857, brought their number to 75.

In the months of semi-idleness at the Camp Verde caravansary before June 25, 1857, a great deal was learned about the camel. They require about as much food and water as a horse, but they drink 20 to 30 gallons at a time. They do not perspire, having a much higher body-heat tolerance than the horse or mule. When possible, they browse constantly on whatever food is available; this allows them to store energy in the form of fatty tissue. This is what their humps are composed of, and these serve as a commissary in time of famine. Ordinarily the camel will travel 3 to 4 days, covering a distance of perhaps 300 mi., under a heavy load, without food or water. Contrary to common belief, a camel's backbone is as straight as that of a horse. Their humps of pure fat will vary in size from relatively flat, after days without food, to pleasingly plump under regular feeding. The normally docile animals are capable of anger when abused and can expel their foul-smelling cuds with uncanny accuracy. On occasion 2 males will become angry enough to fight to the death. Their act of rising hind-part 1st from a kneeling position is not unique to the camel, but a characteristic of the entire ruminant (cud-chewing) family, including cattle, sheep, goats, deer, giraffes, and others.

In March, 1857, the Secretary of War ordered the formation of the 1st U.S. Army Camel Corps and appointed 35-year-old Lieut. Edward Beale, originator of the project, to command it. The animals were under fire now. Critics claimed the whole corps was a useless waste of money. Gossips whispered that Beale was using them for work on his own properties.

To answer the rumormongers, Beale decided to use the Camel Corps to open up a new supply route across the hot American desert between New Mexico and California. The journey was a minor epic, a battle against thirst, Indians, loneliness.

On the long march westward across uncharted territory the camels' surefootedness in rocky terrain, deserts, and mountains allowed them to set a pace difficult for the mules to follow. In fording rivers they were found to be strong swimmers. On seeing an approaching rider or wagon, an advance man would go forward from the caravan shouting: "The camels are coming, the camels are coming!" Invariably the encounter would be a repetition of previous near-calamities. The strange appearance of the camels, their tinkling bells and unfamiliar odor caused horses and mules to go berserk, thus adding further to the camels' unpopularity.

The camels covered the last lap, between San Bernardino and Los Angeles, 65 mi., in 8 hours. One camel, without water for 10 days, refused the drink offered him. Beale continued showing what the Camel Corps could do. At the end of the 1st year, he submitted his report to Congress. "I have tested the value of the camels, marked a new road to the Pacific, and traveled 4,000 mi. without an accident."

The Secretary of War agreed the experiment was a success. He ordered 1,000 more camels from the Middle East. But while Congress debated the request, the Civil War broke out. The project was shelved--and soon forgotten.

What happened to the original 75 camels? Beale gave 28 to the growing city of Los Angeles. They were housed on Main Street, used to transport mail and move harbor baggage up from San Pedro. In 1864 the U.S. Government auctioned the remaining camels to the highest bidder. A rancher named Sam McLeneghan bought them, sold 3 to a circus, employed the remaining 30 in a freight service between States. Gradually they were separated, and spread throughout the West. The Confederates captured several in Texas, but the mule drivers couldn't understand them and turned them loose.

There were other camels, too. Beale's success with them earlier had encouraged private companies to import them. One concern brought 32 over from China, auctioned them for $475 each in San Francisco. They were used in the Nevada salt mines, mistreated, abandoned. Another concern brought 22 camels from Tartary. These were equipped with leather shoes in order-to traverse rough roads in British Columbia. But they frightened horses and were abandoned.

While most of the imported Arab drivers settled on the coast, they turned to other trades, although each of them managed to obtain or retain one camel from the original herd.

Of the imported camelteers, Elias Calles ended up in Sonora, Mexico. His son, Plutarco Calles, became President of Mexico in the early 1920s. "Greek George" served a long term with the U.S. Army and died in Montebello, Calif., in 1913. Hadji Ali, known as "Hi Jolly," became a living legend until his death in Arizona in 1903. Once, insulted because he had not been invited to a German picnic in Los Angeles, he broke up the gathering by driving into it on a yellow cart pulled by 2 of his pet camels. In the 1930s, a monument was erected to his memory in Quartzsite, Ariz.

For years prospectors kept sighting the abandoned camels. Just 50 years ago Nevada had a law fining anyone $100 for using a camel on a public highway. In Arizona, a great red camel carrying a worn saddle on its back was seen at the turn of the century. In 1907 a prospector ran into 2 wild camels in Nevada. In April, 1934, the Oakland Tribune printed the following: "THE LAST AMERICAN CAMEL IS DEAD. Los Angeles--Topsy, the last camel that trekked across the desert of Ariz. and Calif. is dead. Attendants at Griffith Park destroyed her after she became crippled with paralysis in the park lot where she spent the declining years of her life." Actually, Topsy may not have been the last of the U.S. Army's camels. According to rumors, one was recently seen in the Texas desert.

The U.S. Camel corps, which had successfully kept open communications between Texas and Colorado and had carried military loads throughout the new West, finally died of mistreatment and neglect--because it was too strange.

© 1975 - 1981 by David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace

Mocha congelado uma guia a amor dur�vel?
Les idiots succ�dent l'Internet

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World Cup Of Spyware

Angola may have a better chance of beating Brazil in the World Cup than the bookies first thought, if research from McAfee SiteAdvisor is correct.

An analysis of screensaver pages associated with World Cup teams and players found that pages linked with Angola contained the highest percentage of risky websites.

The study searched Google for each of the 736 World Cup players, adding the phrase 'World Cup Screensaver' to the search.

The results were then cross-checked with SiteAdvisor's database of spyware and spam and the 'winners' were searches that resulted in the highest percentage of risky sites.

Angola beat Brazil 24 per cent to 17 per cent, followed by Portugal, Argentina and the US.

The report also found that the most dangerous player to search for is Luis Mamona Joao 'Lama' from Angola, with 45 per cent of first page results leading to questionable sites.

Fans searching for Beckham and Ronaldinho face a 30 per cent chance of ending up at a risky website.

"Soccer fans are famous for the depth of their feelings for player, club and country. But sadly the vendors of spyware, adware and other unwanted software know how to exploit this passion for financial gain," said Chris Dixon, director of strategy at McAfee SiteAdvisor.


Ashampoo AntiSpyWare - Save 10%

R�gles islamiques sur la famille et les rapports
Todos es rubio y flaco en Cyberspace

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

T-Mobile Bans VoIP Use Over Its Networks

As low-priced Internet phone services for mobile devices emerge, users should first check the fine print in their cell phone contracts to see if they can take advantage of such offerings. There's a chance they can't.

T-Mobile International, which has mobile phone operations in Europe and the United States, is among the first companies to ban the use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, or Internet-based telephone service) over its networks. Its Web 'n' Walk professional service expressly prohibits such usage, and the company reserves the right to terminate contracts.

Like many other mobile phone companies, T-Mobile wants to protect its cash-cow telephone service from new providers of VoIP-over-mobile services, such as Mino Wireless USA.

Last week, the Sunnyvale, California, company launched one of the world's first commercial VoIP-over-mobile services, offering fees as low as US$0.02 per minute for international calls.

That's cheap--really cheap--compared to the $1 per minute or more mobile phone users in many countries currently pay to make international calls.

(Source Yahoo!News)

Cheap Long Distance Calls

Romantisches Leben vom untauglichen
Ognuno � biondo e skinny in Cyberspace

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

EBay Determines The Age Of True Materialism. It's 29.

You don't get any special cards or badges to mark the date - but that doesn't stop 29 being one of the most important years of your life.

At least when it comes to shopping. New research carried out by internet auctioneers eBay has found that the year of waiting to turn 30 is when we are all supposed to be at our earning and spending peak.

It's said to be the year when we are finally earning decent money and haven't yet got the marriage, mortgage, kids or responsibilities to spend it on. According to the eBay poll published this week, 29 is now the age where we are at "the age of true materialism", and when we are all out frittering cash in a stormof conspicuous consumption.

Psychology expert Professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University said: "The work by eBay and Datamonitor identifies this true age of materialism as 29 years old.

"The pressure to keep up with the Joneses and to have the latest gadget, item of clothing or finest wine is something many of us aspire to in today's materialistic society.

"However, with the increase in commitments in later life restricting spending, it appears many of us are making the most of our cash and spending for fun in the late twenties."

Famous 29-year-olds currently include Anna Friel, Audrey Tatou, Ruud vanNistelrooy and KirstyHume.

The average 29-year-old annually spends £2354 on food, drink and takeaways' £836 on clothes and shoes, and £496 on electrical gadgets like straighteners or PSPs.

By 29, it is suggested, most of us will have cleared our student loans and youth-accumulated debt, and hopefully worked our way up the career ladder to be earning enough to pay the rent and bills and have a little wahoo money left over.

But is the shopping spree simply a case of financial means coinciding with lifestyle opportunity? Or could the spending splurges be related to pre-thirties anxiety? We asked two 29-year-old Scots for their thoughts.


LOUISE MARTIN doesn't believe 29 is the best age for shopping - she's too busy saving and trying to build a career.

The aspiring actress from Edinburgh works as a receptionist to help pay the rent, but she keeps all her spare money for acting classes to help further her career.

Louise likes shopping but says she hates wasting cash on expensive items and prefers a good bargain.

However, she adds that she is too young to settle down and enjoys the freedom of her age. She said: "I don't think I'm a typical 29-year-old as I don't drink, I resent paying lots for clothes and I'm not thinking about settling down at all.

"When it comes to shopping, I tend to see what looks are in and fashionable - then I find cheaper versions on eBay or in charity shops.

"Because I'm trying to get into acting, I keep most of my money for lessons.

"A lot of my friends are thinking about getting married and mortgages, but I'm still too young to be tied down.

"I don't agree with the report about materialism - it's just not me."


CIVIL ENGINEER Michael Dineen, from Paisley, could be a walking advert for the joys of being 29 and fancy free.

He does own a flat, but isn't tied down by his property and spends his spare time either in the shops or down the pub. He said: "I wouldn't disagree with the research, because having left home and finished university, my salary has increased over the years and I'm free to do whatever I want as long as I don't go too mad and end up in unmanageable debt. I have my own flat, and have a pension through work, but I don't feel tied down or unable to have fun. "You never know what life has in store for you, but I want to enjoy the moment as much as I can."

Michael admits he spends sometimes as much as £300 a month on clothes and socialises whenever he can.

He added: "When I was younger, I thought I'd be married by 29, but I'm happy with my life right now."

Tout le monde est blond et maigre dans Cyberspace
Como sitios que fechan en l�nea la novedad usa apagado, fuera de l�nea el fechar llega a ser m�s provechoso y popular

Monday, March 19, 2007

Did The US Goverment Fix Gold Price Prior To War In Iraq?

Central Bank Intervention and the Iraq War

In the run-up to the Iraq war, a news story suggested, albeit in a subtle manner, that coordinated central bank intervention in the gold market continues. A BBC report included the following:

US and Japan to protect markets

Just days ahead of a war, the US and Japan are prepared to co-operate to support the financial markets if there is a crisis. A deal was struck last week in the US between a former Japanese finance minister and the head of the US central bank, the Federal Reserve's Alan Greenspan.

"There was an agreement between Japan and the US to take action cooperatively in foreign exchange, stocks and other markets if the markets face a crisis," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said.

This agreement was apparently not reported in any major American newspaper, but would represent a huge shift in official U.S. government policy if publicly confirmed. While intervention in the currency markets is very common and known by all market participants, interference in the stock market is not. More importantly for this purpose of this report is the article's reference to 'other markets.' Past central bank manipulation of the gold market (e.g. London Gold Pool), makes it reasonable to believe that it is one of the 'other markets' cited by Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary in the BBC article.

The same day that the BBC report was published, an article in the London Evening Standard questioned whether numerous markets were being manipulated as the Iraq conflict neared. That piece, Plunge Protection and Rallying Shares, observed:

The more astute watchers of markets say that the only explanation for what began last week and continued yesterday was a US government-inspired support action to get markets where they wanted before the outbreak of hostilities.

The trick about buying and selling in markets is to complete the trade without moving the price. The massive and sudden surge of activity last week and yesterday only made sense if it was intended to shift the price. Last week and again precisely at 3.30pm yesterday, massive selling undermined the euro on the currency markets and made the dollar correspondingly stronger. To the minute, there was similar sudden heavy selling in the gold market. Last week this bashed the metal's price from $350 to nearer $330 and yesterday it killed off the recovery.

So much for gold as a safe haven in times of war.

Und eine andere Sache
I nomi femminili di chiacchierata generano pi� minacce

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Watching TV On Your Cellphone? It's Coming To UK

Qualcomm said Tuesday that it will team with U.K. digital television operator British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) to trial mobile television technology in the U.K.

The trials of the company's MediaFLO technology will begin this summer, Qualcomm said in a statement. It will test transmitting about 30 BSkyB channels over a cellular network to mobile phones at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels at a rate of as much as 25 frames per second, according to the company. Streaming audio will also be part of the trials.

Qualcomm has been pushing its MediaFLO technology as a way for cellular operators to increase revenues and for television programmers to extend their reach to new customers. However, other standards such as DVB-H are vying for attention among both programmers and cellular operators.

While Qualcomm has signed an agreement to test the technology with Korean cellular operator KDDI, this is the first trail to be conducted in Europe.

"As one of Europe's largest, most successful and best-known multichannel television platform operators, BSkyB is the ideal company to team up with Qualcomm on our first MediaFLO trial in Europe," Peggy Johnson, the company's president of Internet Service and MediaFLO Technologies, said in a statement.

Google News

Tout le monde est blond et maigre dans Cyberspace
Painkillers atados al riesgo de la disfunci�n er�ctil