Here are some interesting things

  • Blogroll

Powered by Blogger

Friday, March 31, 2006

Unexpected warming in Antarctica

Winter air temperatures over Antarctica have risen by more than 2C in the last 30 years, a new study shows.

Research published in the US journal Science says the warming is seen across the whole of the continent and much of the Southern Ocean.

The study questions the reliability of current climate models that fail to simulate the temperature rise.

In addition, the scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) say the cause of the warming is not clear.

It could be linked to increases in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere or natural variations in Antarctica's climate system.

Scientists are keen to understand the change in temperatures over the continent as the region holds enough water in its ice to raise sea levels by 60 metres.

Time to start grabbing hilltop real estate ... and boats.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Microsoft warns on browser bugs

Microsoft has urged consumers to be wary as three newly discovered bugs leave people open to attack while using the internet.

All three flaws affect the software giant's Internet Explorer browser.

Security firms said the vulnerabilities were already being targeted by malicious hackers keen to catch out unsuspecting users.

Microsoft said it would produce patches for the vulnerabilities in its next security update due on 11 April.

To avoid falling victim, Microsoft urged users to avoid websites they did not trust and to refrain from opening attachments on e-mail messages from unknown senders.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Pete Burns Sent To Mental Hospital

Pete Burns checked into a mental hospital after concerned friends warned him about the state of his metal health.

Pete has been playing up an awful lot since being kicked out of Celebrity Big Brother and it seems his strange behaviour has finally provoked friends and family into making him seek help.

The 'Dead or Alive' front man has been in the papers this week for running up a massive 12, 000 bill in a swish London hotel and refusing to pay. He was thrown out of the hotel in little more than a pair of tiger-print underpants!

Although Pete has admitted himself into the hospital he still doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong, telling The Sun: “People think I’m a dizzy blonde but I’m 110% sane.”

Shortly after this revelation his friends and beloved boyfriend Michael Simpson persuaded him to get some professional help for his behaviour. They said: “Pete’s in a state. Friends have done their best but now he’s getting the treatment he needs.”

“It’s been stressful. He’s suffering exhaustion and sleep deprivation.”

Maybe his wraith side is kicking in and he needs to feed on humans to get his strength back?


Japan court orders nuclear reactor closed

A court has ordered Japan's newest nuclear reactor to be shut down over fears about its safety in the event of an earthquake.

Residents filed a lawsuit saying the Shika reactor, north-west of Tokyo, could leak radiation during a quake.

The plant, which only began operating nine days ago, will stay open until an appeal filed by the company is heard.

Nine days? Hahahaha!


Sunday, March 19, 2006

South Park 'battling' Scientology

South Park's creators have renewed their 'battle' with Scientology, after a US TV channel dropped a show which mocked its church and actor Tom Cruise.

Tom Southpark

'So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!' Trey Parker and Matt Stone told trade paper Variety.

Comedy Central said the schedule change enabled it to screen two extra episodes featuring Isaac Hayes, who played Chef.

Hayes left South Park this week after objecting to it sending up religion.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Accounting error raises GM's losses by $2 billion

Struggling US car giant General Motors (GM) has been forced to increase its annual 2005 losses by $2bn (£1.1bn) due to accounting errors.

The company now says its losses totalled $10.6bn last year, with the additional $2bn caused by errors at a mortgage subsidiary.

GM said as a result it was now going to delay filing its 2005 annual report.

The company is also going to restate its results for the years 2000 to 2004 due to the same error.

lmao! It isn't funny that such a major employer is in difficulties but it is funny that an 'accounting error' mislaid $2 billion! C'mon, $2 billion? In figures, that is 2,000,000,000. And no-one noticed?


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Viruses leap to smart radio tags (RFID)

Computer viruses could be about to take a giant leap and start spreading via smart barcodes, warn experts.

Security researchers have infected a Radio Frequency ID tag with a computer virus to show how the technology is vulnerable to malicious hackers.

The researchers warn that RFID tags could help mount many different types of attacks on computer systems.

Makers of radio tag systems were urged by the group to introduce safeguards to guard against RFID-borne bugs.

"This is intended as a wake-up call," said Andrew Tanenbaum, one of the researchers in the computer science department at Amsterdam's Free University that did the work revealing the weaknesses on smart tags.

"We ask the RFID industry to design systems that are secure," he said.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Six taken ill after drug trials

Six men remain in intensive care after being taken ill during a clinical drugs trial in north-west London.

The healthy volunteers were testing an anti-inflammatory drug at a research unit based at Northwick Park Hospital when they suffered a reaction.

Relatives are with the patients, who suffered multiple organ failure. Two men are said to be critically ill.

An investigation has begun at the unit, run by Parexel, which said it followed recommended guidelines in its trial.

The men were being paid to take part in the early stages of a trial for the drug to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia until they were taken ill on Monday within hours of taking it.

This has to bring into question the way clinical trials are undertaken.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sharp rise in CO2 levels recorded

US climate scientists have recorded a significant rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, pushing it to a new record level.

The BBC has learned the latest data shows CO2 levels now stand at 381 parts per million (ppm) - 100ppm above the pre-industrial average.

The research indicates that 2005 saw one of the largest increases on record - a rise of 2.6ppm.

The figures are seen as a benchmark for climate scientists around the globe.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) has been analysing samples of air taken from all over the world, including America's Rocky Mountains.

The chief carbon dioxide analyst for Noaa says the latest data confirms a worrying trend that recent years have, on average, recorded double the rate of increase from just 30 years ago.

"We don't see any sign of a decrease; in fact, we're seeing the opposite, the rate of increase is accelerating," Dr Pieter Tans told the BBC.

The precise level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is of global concern because climate scientists fear certain thresholds may be "tipping points" that trigger sudden changes.

The UK government's chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David King, said the new data highlighted the importance of taking urgent action to limit carbon emissions.

"Today we're over 380 ppm," he said. "That's higher than we've been for over a million years, possibly 30 million years. Mankind is changing the climate."


Monday, March 13, 2006

Thames Water imposes hosepipe ban

A 'drought across the south-east' of England has forced the UK's biggest water company to impose a hosepipe ban.

Thames Water's eight million customers will be affected by the hosepipe and sprinkler bans from next month.

Chief executive Jeremy Pelczer said: 'We are reluctant to restrict the amount of water our customers use, but the situation is serious.'

The company operates across the Thames Valley, London, and from Kent in the east to Gloucestershire in the west.

The decision by Thames Water follows a decision by five other water companies to ban hosepipes.

The Environment Agency is warning that the South East of England could be facing its most serious drought of the last 100 years.

The region has had two consecutive winters with below-average rainfall.

The period between November 2004 and January 2006 is the driest such period in south-east and central southern England in over 80 years, surpassing even the notable drought of 1974-76.

Thirteen of the last 15 months have recorded below-average rainfall, and for the period as a whole only 72% of the normal rainfall of 1001mm has been recorded.

The months between October and April are traditionally when rainfall tops up reservoirs, rivers and groundwater, replenishing supplies before the summer.

Atlantic storms are one such source of valuable rainfall, and these moisture-rich weather systems usually cross the UK during autumn and early winter.

This winter, such storms have passed to the north or the south of the country, and as a result the associated rainfall did not fall where it was needed most.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hells Angels sue Disney over film

Hells Angels in California have sued Walt Disney over claims that their logo and trademarked name have been used in a film script without their permission.

The group say that characters in Wild Hogs are identified as members of the club and wear its skull logo.

They assert that Disney did not give them a copy of the film's screeplay which has yet to start production.

A spokesman for the Disney Corporation commented that the legal action is without merit.

LOL! Never thought I would ever read that headline.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

MS vaccine testing to start in US

A US company is set to begin a trial of a vaccine which it claims halts the progress of multiple sclerosis.

PharmaFrontiers is to test its tailor-made vaccine on 100 patients with MS, after a small-scale study showed promise, New Scientist reports.

MS experts have welcomed the research but urged caution because other vaccines have not been successful.

The degenerative disease attacks the nervous system and affects 2.5m people worldwide, of which 1% die each year.

In MS, immune cells destroy the myelin sheath - a protective layer - that surrounds nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord and enables them to transmit impulses.

The vaccine being studied in the US contains inactive myelin-specific T cells - found in the immune system.

To make it, a blood sample is taken from the patient and the cells are extracted.

They are then multiplied in a lab, and treated with radiation before being re-injected into the patient.

The body's immune system then recognises these modified T cells as being damaged and attacks them, priming the body's defence system in the same way a conventionally designed vaccine would, the researchers say.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

BT 'quadruples' broadband speeds

BT is to increase its broadband speeds by up to four times from 31 March.

The firm said 78% of its users would be able to access at least four megabits per second (4Mbps), compared with the maximum of two available now.

Almost half would get 6Mbps and those close to their local exchange would be able to access 8Mbps.

Some rival providers already offer up to 24Mbps, but their services are restricted mainly to clusters of users in big cities.

BT said more than 5,300 exchanges serving more than 99.6% of UK homes and businesses were being upgraded to support the higher speeds.

As well as making web browsing and e-mailing quicker, higher speeds mean people can do more with their net connection, such as watching video, listening to audio, and playing online games.

Cool! About bloody time (cough)


Friday, March 03, 2006

Gary Glitter jailed for abusing girls

Former British rock star Gary Glitter has been jailed for three years after a Vietnamese court found him guilty of sexually abusing two young girls.

The court found that Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, had molested the girls, aged 11 and 12, at his home in the resort town of Vung Tau, southern Vietnam.

The 61-year-old, who claimed he was innocent, said the 'unbelievable' verdict was part of a 'conspiracy'.

He will be deported after he has served his sentence, possibly back to the UK.

Note how the scuzz-bag has changed his appearance to try to look more oriental. Probably in the hopes of eliciting a more sympathetic and favourable sentence.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Deal done on .com domain future

The body that oversees net addresses has approved a controversial deal over the future of the .com domain.

The deal gives US firm Verisign control of .com until 2012 and lets it raise prices in at least four of the next six years.

The board of net overseer the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was split over the agreement.

Critics said the deal virtually granted Verisign an everlasting monopoly over the iconic net domain.

Although the deal is likely to be rubber-stamped by the Department of Commerce, one US politician has written letters protesting about the deal.

Representative Rick Boucher opposes the section of the agreement that gives Verisign a "presumptive renewal" right to keep control of .com when the contract for who administers it comes up for re-negotiation in 2012.

Other critics say this right of renewal effectively means Verisign has everlasting control over .com.

Also criticised are clauses that let Verisign raise prices for .com domains by 7% in at least four of the next six years.