The idea behind that study was relatively simple: expose rats to microwave radiation similar to that emitted by cell phones, then examine their brain cells to see if any DNA damage resulted. Such damage is worrisome because DNA carries the bodyĺs genetic code and breaks, if not repaired properly, could lead to mutations and even cancer.
When the study was first published, a spokesperson from the cell phone industry said it was ônot very relevant because they didn’t use the [same] cellular frequency or cellular power.ö
True, responds Lai. But effects at one frequency could also happen at another frequency, and the exposure level in the experiment was actually lower than one can get from a cell phone. What it indicated was potential problems with the type of radiation the devices emit.
To this day, the cell phone industry continues to dispute Lai and Singhĺs findings.
While Lai is the first to say there are ôno solid answersö to the controversy over cell phones and DNA damage, there is ôcause for concernö and more work needs to be done. Instead, Lai says, he and his colleague have been the focus of a campaign to discredit their research. Consider:
- Internal documents from Motorola in the 1990s point to an organized plan to ôwar-gameö Laiĺs work.
- When a scientist in California published results that seemed to support Laiĺs findings, he lost research funding and eventually left the field.
- At one point, the director of a group created to manage $25 million in industry-donated research money sent a memo to then-UW President Richard McCormick saying that Lai and Singh should be fired.
- Federal money for scientific investigation in the field has dried up, supplanted by funding from the industryŚfunding that Lai and others say can come with restrictions so oppressive they hamper scientific inquiry.
Reminds me of both the tobacco industry, or less well known, the soft-drink industry (on aspartaam)
Adopt the role of a late 19th century character…
… and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette.
Terry Gilliam would love the animations…
Since I saw a couple of features about Allofmp3 on Gizmodo, and used them myself a few times, I just wanted to update you on the Allofmp3.com legal voes – today, the DA for Moscow’s South-West district, denied IPFI’s request to open a criminal case against Allofmp3.com.
The DA’s office determined that while Allofmp3′s action are in fact theoretically illigal – they do not have the permission of all the artists they feature on the website to distribute their music – in the Russian copyright law there is no specific prohibition of digital distribution over the internet, thus the law couldn’t be applied against them.
Basically the catch is in the definition of “distribution” under that law implies actual physical sale of pirated cassetes and disks, in case of downloads the DA office said that “Allofmp3 does not distribute copies of CD’s, but creates conditions for its users to use the content themselves”, and they don’t have an article against that. I think its their online encoding feature that ‘saved’ them – with it, the user supposedly makes a copy of the song himself, and this is not something that was assumed under the anti-piracy law.
Eventually they will update the law I’m sure, but that will take a while (especially in Russia) so I figure we’re ok to use Allofmp3 for a couple more years).
TV host Jay Leno drafted in a substitute to tell his jokes about Michael Jackson because a gag order prevents him telling them himself.
Leno brought in Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett to read the lines he had written for his NBC Tonight Show.
“As I’m sure you know, I was called as a witness in the Michael Jackson trial,” Leno told his audience.
“I’m not allowed to tell any Michael Jackson jokes. I can still write them,” he added.
Leno is on the list of possible witnesses who could be called by Mr Jackson’s defence team.
It’s a common occurrence in Iraq: A car speeds toward an American checkpoint or foot patrol. They fire warning shots; the car keeps coming. Soldiers then shoot at the car. Sometimes the on-comer is a foiled suicide attacker, but other times, it’s an unarmed family.
As an American journalist here, I have been through many checkpoints and have come close to being shot at several times myself. I look vaguely Middle Eastern, which perhaps makes my checkpoint experience a little closer to that of the typical Iraqi. Here’s what it’s like.
You’re driving along and you see a couple of soldiers standing by the side of the road – but that’s a pretty ubiquitous sight in Baghdad, so you don’t think anything of it. Next thing you know, soldiers are screaming at you, pointing their rifles and swiveling tank guns in your direction, and you didn’t even know it was a checkpoint.
If it’s confusing for me – and I’m an American – what is it like for Iraqis who don’t speak English?
In situations like this, I’ve often had Iraqi drivers who step on the gas. It’s a natural reaction: Angry soldiers are screaming at you in a language you don’t understand, and you think they’re saying “get out of here,” and you’re terrified to boot, so you try to drive your way out.
Another problem is that the US troops tend to have two-stage checkpoints. First there’s a knot of Iraqi security forces standing by a sign that says, in Arabic and English, “Stop or you will be shot.” Most of the time, the Iraqis will casually wave you through.
Your driver, who slowed down for the checkpoint, will accelerate to resume his normal speed. What he doesn’t realize is that there’s another, American checkpoint several hundred yards past the Iraqi checkpoint, and he’s speeding toward it. Sometimes, he may even think that being waved through the first checkpoint means he’s exempt from the second one (especially if he’s not familiar with American checkpoint routines).
I remember one terrifying day when my Iraqi driver did just that. We got to a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops. Chatting and smoking, they waved us through without a glance.
Relieved, he stomped down on the gas pedal, and we zoomed up to about 50 miles per hour before I saw the second checkpoint up ahead. I screamed at him to stop, my translator screamed, and the American soldiers up ahead looked as if they were getting ready to start shooting.
After I got my driver to slow down and we cleared the second checkpoint, I made him stop the car. My voice shaking with fear, I explained to him that once he sees a checkpoint, whether it’s behind him or ahead of him, he should drive as slowly as possible for at least five minutes.
He turned to me, his face twisted with the anguish of making me understand: “But Mrs. Annia,” he said, “if you go slow, they notice you!”
This feeling is a holdover from the days of Saddam, when driving slowly past a government building or installation was considered suspicious behavior. Get caught idling past the wrong palaces or ministry, and you might never be seen again.
I remember parking outside a ministry with an Iraqi driver, waiting to pick up a friend. After sitting and staring at the building for about half an hour, waiting for our friend to emerge, the driver shook his head.
“If you even looked at this building before, you’d get arrested,” he said, his voice full of disbelief. Before, he would speed past this building, gripping the wheel, staring straight ahead, careful not to even turn his head. After 35 years of this, Iraqis still speed up when they’re driving past government buildings – which, since the Americans took over a lot of them, tend be to exactly where the checkpoints are.
The EU Council has approved the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, despite opposition from software developers, businesses and some European countries
The European Council adopted the software patent directive on Monday, despite requests from Denmark, Poland and Portugal to reject the directive.
An EU Council spokeswoman said on Monday morning that the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive had been adopted, but was unable to give more details.
According to Florian Mueller, an anti-patent campaigner who watched the public part of the meeting, a minister from Luxembourg said the directive is being adopted to ensure that the Council adheres to its processes, to avoid creating problems for other directives.
“We are adopting the position for institutional reasons so as not to create a precedent which might have a consequence of creating future delays in other processes,” the minister said, according to Mueller.
That’s it. From now on, the EU, and all organisations part of it, can count on my opposition. In June they’re going to ask us to vote on a new constitution, but since this total lack of democratic accountability is not addressed, that will get a NO! from me… and I fucking hate it that they’re making my work more difficult, if not impossible, just to “not delay processes”.
Oh, and how much respect for any European Law do they expect me to have after this?
De internetaanbieder XS4ALL is een bodemprocedure begonnen tegen de Nederlandse Staat om kosten vergoed te krijgen voor het aftapbaar maken van zijn internetverbindingen. De dochteronderneming van telecomconcern KPN verklaarde maandag dat het sinds eind 2001 al een half miljoen euro heeft ge├»nvesteerd om te voldoen aan deze wettelijke verplichting.
“Het gaat ons om het principe”, verklaarde een woordvoerster van de provider over de stap. “Bij de overheid zit er nu geen enkele rem meer op om een kosten-batenanalyse te doen. Ze vraagt zich niet meer af of het aftappen de investering nog wel waard is.”
Volgens XS4ALL moeten de internetaanbieders de komende jaren nog eens miljoenen euro’s investeren als zij te maken krijgen met nieuwe Europese wetgeving. De Europese ministers van Justitie hebben een voorstel op tafel liggen om telecomaanbieders te verplichten om informatie over het internet- en telefoongebruik van hun klanten een tot drie jaar te bewaren.
See the big picture here…