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Links 1/4/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 1/4/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 1/4/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Health and Environment News: Nature Still Not a Priority

Posted in News Roundup at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Health and Nutrition

  • Surgeons perform ‘world’s first’ implant of entire 3D-printed plastic skull dome (VIDEO)

    Dutch surgeons have successfully placed an entire 3D-printed skull dome over the brain of a 22-year-old woman suffering from a rare bone disorder. Doctors say this surgery is unprecedented.

  • Homeopathic remedies recalled for containing real medicine

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled homeopathic remedies made by a company called Terra-Medica because they may contain actual medicine — possibly penicillin or derivatives of the antibiotic.

  • 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution

    In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

  • Over 168,000 Gallons of Oil Spills into Ecologically Sensitive Galveston Bay

    A barge moving through Galveston Bay collided with another ship Saturday afternoon, spilling over 168,000 gallons of marine fuel oil. The spill is particularly devastating, even though it isn’t the largest in recent memory, because Galveston Bay is a migratory bird habitat and shorebird season is fast approaching. On top of that, the type of fuel that spilled is particularly difficult to clean up. The ship was being towed when it collided with the other vessel, though there are no details at this point on how the collision occurred.

  • U.S. fisheries dump 500 million pounds of bycatch back to the ocean annually: Report

    Seafood is an integral part of American cuisine. However, the ocean pays a steep price for every plate of tuna sashimi and every serving of grilled salmon that Americans consume.

  • Information poses bigger bioterrorism threat than microbes
  • Thanks, Anti-Vaxxers. You Just Brought Back Measles in NYC.

    Measles was considered eliminated at the turn of the millennium. Now it’s back, thanks to the loons who refuse to vaccinate their children.

  • With confirmed resistance, western corn rootworm worthy of being watched

    It isn’t an epidemic and it won’t shut down corn production anytime soon. However, researchers have confirmed that western corn rootworms have developed resistance to Bt corn hybrids that express the Cry3Bba trait in some areas of Nebraska.

  • Open Source Seeds

    Open-source software is now everywhere. For example, Android, Google’s open-source operating system, now accounts for 80% of the smartphone and tablet market. Our next guest dreams of the same kind of explosive success by applying the open-source model to one of humanity’s oldest technological achievements: agriculture. Jack Kloppenburg, a professor of community and environmental sociology at the University of Wisconsin, co-founded the Open Source Seed Initiative to help protect the public domain of seeds. He joined the Buzz on Monday, March 30th to tell us more about the project.

  • Scientists’ hidden links to the GM food giants

    He is group director at the Sainsbury Laboratory, and is also the founder of and adviser to biotech company Mendel Biotechnology, which counts Monsanto – a GM giant – as a major client. Mendel has been granted more than 20 biotechnology and GM patents.

  • CropLife America and the European Crop Protection Association discuss joint proposal during TTIP negotiations

    CropLife America (CLA) and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) called for a more harmonized risk assessment framework for pesticide regulations during the fourth round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The comments follow the submission of a joint proposal on U.S. – EU regulatory cooperation that CLA and ECPA sent to Assistant United States Trade Representative Daniel Mullaney and Director of DG Trade for the European Commission Ignacio Garcia Bercero on March 7, 2014.

  • Watch an expert teach a smug U.S. senator about Canadian healthcare

    A U.S. politician’s I-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-facts approach to health policy ran smack into some of those troublesome facts Tuesday at a Senate hearing on single-payer healthcare, as it’s practiced in Canada and several other countries.

  • MEPs reject draft seed regulation

    The European Commission’s proposal for plant reproductive material law, also known as the “seed regulation”, was voted down by Parliament on Tuesday, amid concerns that it would give the Commission too much power and leave EU countries without any leeway to tailor the new rules to their needs. Following the Commission’s refusal to withdraw its draft text and table an improved one, Parliament closed the first reading.

  • GM foods and application of the precautionary principle in Europe

    European regulations restricting the growth of genetically modified (GM) foods in the UK and across the continent are to be scrutinised in a new cross-party parliamentary inquiry launched today by MPs on the Science and Technology Committee.

    The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) believes that GM is one of several technologies necessary to foster a “vibrant sector” in UK agriculture. But the European Union’s application of the ‘precautionary principle’ has been criticized for holding back development of the technology, despite European Commission reports finding no scientific evidence associating GM organisms with higher risks for the environment or food and feed safety.

  • You’re Absorbing BPA From Your Receipts, Study Shows
  • Store Receipts on Thermal Paper Can Transfer BPA

    Volunteers who handled receipts containing the hormone-altering compound bisphenol A for two hours showed elevated BPA levels in their urine. Dina Fine Maron reports

  • ​Monsanto’s Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease, new study suggests

    The new study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

    Researchers suggest that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the kidney once mixed with “hard” water or metals like arsenic and cadmium that often exist naturally in the soil or are added via fertilizer. Hard water contains metals like calcium, magnesium, strontium, and iron, among others. On its own, glyphosate is toxic, but not detrimental enough to eradicate kidney tissue.

  • Sweden to sue the Commission for delaying hormone-affecting criteria

    Sweden’s government is considering suing the European Commission for stalling on criteria which are required to stop hormone-affecting substances, says the minister for the environment, Lena Ek.

    In December, the Commission was supposed to publish the necessary criteria for banning different endocrine-disrupting substances found in anti-bacterial agents for shoes and clothes.

    However, Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik has delayed the clearance. According to Ek, Potočnik has told the Swedish government that the Commission wants to make an impact analysis first.

  • China’s toxic air pollution resembles nuclear winter, say scientists

    Chinese scientists have warned that the country’s toxic air pollution is now so bad that it resembles a nuclear winter, slowing photosynthesis in plants – and potentially wreaking havoc on the country’s food supply.

    Beijing and broad swaths of six northern provinces have spent the past week blanketed in a dense pea-soup smog that is not expected to abate until Thursday. Beijing’s concentration of PM 2.5 particles – those small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream – hit 505 micrograms per cubic metre on Tuesday night. The World Health Organisation recommends a safe level of 25.

  • UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

    UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

  • Take a stand for Organic Farmers around the World!

    Right now an important case is being heard halfway around the world in Western Australia about organic farmer Steve Marsh, whose organic field was contaminated by his neighbor’s genetically engineered canola. As a result, Steve lost his organic certification and as much as 70% of his Steve’s farm has been contaminated with Monsanto’s patented genes.


Nuclear Energy


  • Oil spills into Lake Michigan from BP refinery
  • Pollution Caused by Chip Fabrication

    It is a sobering fact that the chip fabrication industry which is so vital to our modern society is also the cause of a lot of pollution. This unglamorous topic doesn’t get much media attention. No one wants to be reminded that the hi-tech world of computers isn’t possible without the use of a lot of caustic chemicals.

  • Great Barrier Reef authority argued against dredge dumping, FOI reveals

    The dredging and dumping of 3m tonnes of spoil in Great Barrier Reef marine park waters posed an “unacceptable social and environmental risk”, the authority in charge of the world heritage area wrote in draft assessments just months before it approved the permit to carry out the disposal.

  • Is The Solution To Climate Change In Vancouver?

    Across America, the impacts of climate change are already being felt as temperatures rise, droughts are prolonged, and weather becomes increasingly severe and unpredictable. But solutions seem few and far between — and solutions that both sides can agree on even fewer. Outraged Republicans and recalcitrant conservative Democrats cut down the cap-and-trade bill in 2009; and President Obama’s promised regulations are probably destined for years of give-and-take between the Environmental Protection Agency, the courts, and the power industry. The result: America remains one of the few advanced nations with no national policy of any sort to curb its carbon dioxide emissions.

  • EU to force large companies to report on environmental and social impacts

    The negotiations were long and painful, but in the end a deal was done. EU member states finally agreed to back reforms that will mean large listed companies are required to report on their environmental and social impacts.

  • Excuse me, but we shouldn’t be moving on from West Virginia’s chemical spill

    America has grown a vast and complex regulatory and financial support system for cheap, dirty energy. This isn’t over


  • Cameron’s Prime Aberdeen Angus Bullshit

    David Cameron is peddling bullshit of the premium Aberdeen Angus kind today. At today’s oil prices, recoverable North Sea oil is worth a minimum of 1.2 trillion and a maximum of 2.4 trillion dollars. Cameron is claiming that potential will not be released without government subsidy of 24 billion dollars, and that only the UK government’s “broad shoulders” can raise this.

  • A Small Little Bolt: The Tar Sands Poisoning of An Alberta Family
  • Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery

    It was 2am when a fireball pierced the inky night sky above a small community in the Niger delta. The explosion near Port Harcourt last June killed several people and released 6,000 barrels of crude oil. The cause: contractors hired by Royal Dutch Shell to stop pirates siphoning oil from a huge pipeline were themselves stealing fuel, and something went terribly wrong. The blast led to the shutdown… Shell, the largest foreign operator in the country, was responsible for more than 20,00 barrels of last year’s spills.

Financial News: Bitcoin and Financial Issues Around the World

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz





North America

Censorship News: Russia Mocks Copyright-driven Blocking, China Can’t Block Like Google and Microsoft Block

Posted in News Roundup at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Copyright and Monopoly News

Posted in News Roundup at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




  • US says India should prefer US business and workers for its solar plants
  • US is bent on raising the price of drugs in developing countries

    Recent developments by the Obama administration seem bent on making it more difficult to purchase top rated drugs in developing countries. The move follows patent rulings around the globe that may place U.S. drug companies at a disadvantage in the industry; a matter which is not taken lightly by the U.S. of course. India has made the news for ordering drug companies to give up their patent rights, all in an effort to help lower the spiraling costs of drugs. Canada, likewise, became something of a villain when several court rulings dismantled the patents of popular drug companies in favor of the country’s generic industry. The threat has been detected, and there is an urge to act, but it’s not that simple.

  • Networks Skip Controversial Trade Deal

    The proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has drawn heavy criticism. Over 500 labor, environmental and farm groups oppose granting the White House “fast track” authority to speed the pact through Congress. The deal, still being negotiated in secret, has spawned protests around the world. Even some Democrats are pushing back against the White House.

  • How Big Pharma (and others) began lobbying on the Trans-Pacific Partnership before you ever heard of it

    In 2009, four years before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a widely-debated trade deal, few would have noticed a new issue popping up in a handful of lobbying reports. That year, 28 organizations filed 59 lobbying reports mentioning the then far-off trade agreement. Almost half of those organizations were pharmaceutical companies or associations.

  • Obama Nominates Former SOPA Lobbyist to Help Lead TPP Negotiations

Free Software/Open Source Software News

Posted in News Roundup at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz






  • Fake Tor Browser finally removed from App Store

    Almost three months after being alerted to its presence, Apple has taken down from the App Store an allegedly fake Tor Browser containing adware and spyware.

  • Report: Tor Project Leaders Call Out Fake Tor Browser

    It’s notable that according to recent statistics available through Tor Metrics Portal there has been a large 1increase in the number of Tor clients used and more than a million users are now connecting to the network. Tor, from the Tor Project, is one of the most powerful and flexible open source solutions for online anonymity, and it’s clearly gaining popularity.


  • Blender Foundation’s 5th Open Movie “Gooseberry” Teaser Trailer [Video]

    Blender is perhaps open source’s biggest poster child for years now. And in every year or two, Blender foundation showcases the product’s 3D graphics capabilities by releasing animated movies created exclusively using Blender software. They are called “open movies” and you’re free to download and reuse the movies the way you want, standing true to its open source credentials. We have featured each and every Blender “open” movie ever released here and here. Now its time for the fifth one codenamed “Gooseberry”, and unlike its predecessors, the project’s goal would be to produce a feature length animated film.

  • Blender 2.70 Enhances Its UI, Cycles Rendering

    Out today is another big update to the open-source Blender 3D animation software.

  • Blender 2.70 Release Notes

    New features include initial support for volumetrics in Cycles, and faster rendering of hair and textures. The motion tracker now supports weighted tracks and has improved planar tracking. For mesh modeling there are new Laplacian deform and wireframe modifiers, along with more control in the bevel tool. The game engine now supports object levels of detail.



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