Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery

An ancient script that’s defied generations of archaeologists has yielded some of its secrets to artificially intelligent computers.
Computational analysis of symbols used 4,000 years ago by a long-lost Indus Valley civilization suggests they represent a spoken language. Some frustrated linguists thought the symbols were merely pretty pictures.
"The underlying grammatical structure seems similar to what’s found in many languages," said University of Washington computer scientist Rajesh Rao.
They fed the program sequences of four spoken languages: ancient
Sumerian, Sanskrit and Old Tamil, as well as modern English. Then they gave it samples of four non-spoken communication systems: human DNA,
Fortran, bacterial protein sequences and an artificial language.
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Danger from the Bird-Flu drug, Tamiflu!

In 2004 a 17-year-old boy in the Japanese town of Gero suddenly ran out of his home and into the middle of a busy street, where he was struck and killed by a truck. In 2005 a 14-year-old boy Chiryu got out of bed, climbed the wall outside his parent's ninth-floor apartment and dropped from the edge. And last month, in two separate incidents, a 14-year old male and a 14-year old female fell to their deaths from their respective high-rise apartment buildings. No one left a suicide note.
What they have in common is that each victim took the influenza antiviral Tamiflu shortly before they died. According to the Japanese Health Ministry, 54 people have died after taking Tamifluthe drug governments around the world have stockpiled for use against avian flu since the drug was approved for use in Japan in 2000. Most suspiciously, in multiple cases people, including those cases above, acted erratically after taking Tamiflu. Though the Health Ministry has said there is no clear evidence linking Tamiflu to the deaths, there is growing concern among doctors and parents in Japan over the drug's possible side effects. That is potential cause for concern in the rest of the world, because in the absence of a vaccine, Tamiflu will be the drug of first and last resort in the event of a pandemic.[!!!!!]
Don't take Tamiflu! Read on...

Is Swine Flu A Biological Weapon?

There are some factors that suggest the swine flu killing people in Mexico may be a biological weapon, but obviously no such conclusion can be drawn at this time. The World Health Organization and the U.S. government have been quick to deny such claims.
The swine flu virus is described as a completely new strain, an intercontinental mixture of human, avian and swine viruses. Tellingly, there have been no reported A-H1N1 infections of pigs.
According to a source known to former NSA official Wayne Madsen, A top scientist for the United Nations, who has examined the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa, as well as HIV/AIDS victims, concluded that H1N1 possesses certain transmission “vectors” that suggest that the new flu strain has been genetically-manufactured as a military biological warfare weapon.
Madsen claims that his source, and another in Indonesia, “Are convinced that the current outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in Mexico and some parts of the United States is the result of the introduction of a human-engineered pathogen that could result in a widespread global pandemic, with potentially catastrophic consequences for domestic and international travel and commerce.”
Fears that a mass pandemic was being readied as a biological attack have rumbled on in the conspiracy community ever since 9/11. Investigators point to the highly unusual number of deaths of top microbiologists to suggest that people with knowledge of the program are being eliminated.

Lonely? Bond with a TV character

Good news for anyone who's ever spent a solitary night with the gang from Grey's Anatomy: it's not just you.[!!!]
A new study suggests favourite TV shows serve as proxies when real friends are in short supply, leaving people feeling less lonely in the company of their favourite programs.[...yeah, I know. Crazy, isn't it?]
"We need connections to other people almost as much as we need food and water," says author Jaye Derrick, a research associate at the State University of New York at Buffalo. "To me, it made sense that television could be an extension of that need, a way of temporarily fulfilling that need while we aren't able to seek connection to other people."
The idea for the [!]study[!] came when Derrick noticed that watching TV made her feel better after an argument with a boyfriend or friend.
Ha! For more laughs click here...

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Exclusive: The Monsanto Connection

I[Dprogram.net's Sakerfa] recently published an article “Grandmother Scores Huge Victory over Monsanto”.
The article was a magnet for controversy because I claimed the best way to fight Monsanto and HR 875 was by growing your own food and saving seeds.

1. Monsanto is one of the most powerful multi-national corporations in the world. The Global One-World Government New World Order conspiracy, of which Monsanto is a part, is aimed at controlling millions via the food they eat. “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people,” said Henry Kissinger in 1970.
2. Monsanto uses overt and covert strategies to accomplish their goals. Monsanto is behind both sides of the battle over HR 875. They don’t leave important matters like these to chance.
3. Monsanto’s tentacles reach into every aspect of our society: government, private industry, the military, law enforcement and, of course, agriculture. Large, small, organic and non-organic farmers—and don’t forget libertarian grass roots activists—are all influenced directly and indirectly by Monsanto. The company that rose to power in the 20th century as a leading chemical giant now focuses on agriculture. In Monsanto’s world, there is no room for the family farmer. The company’s well-known corporate bullying tactics have made this clear. Just ask Percy Schmeiser, the brave Canola farmer who dared to take on Monsanto.
4. HR 875’s vague wording was intentional.
5. Family Farmers (organic and non-organic) are under attack, but not by Congresswoman DeLauro, the author of HR 875 whose husband was a political consultant to Monsanto 10 years ago.
6. The timing of HR 875 coincides with the slow food, Locavore, and urban gardening movements in the United States and, for that matter, any slow food movement anywhere in the world.
7. The E-coli and salmonella outbreaks related to spinach, tomatoes and peanuts are the work of Monsanto’s agents: Things don’t happen; they’re made to happen.
8. Healthy Family Farm owner Sharon Palmer was arrested for selling raw goat milk, and the Ohio food co-op raided Gestapo-style was obviously instigated by Monsanto agents in a move designed to intimidate urban gardeners.

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Corn fortified with vitamins devised by scientists

Scientists[...from what company?] have engineered vitamin-fortified corn[!!!!!] designed to boost consumption of three key nutrients that are sorely lacking in the diets of millions of people in developing countries, according to a study published today.
The genetically modified African corn has bright orange kernels, reflecting the 169-fold increase in beta carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. The corn also has six times the normal amount of vitamin C and double the usual level of folate, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Though genetic engineering has been used to enhance vitamin content in a variety of crops -- including rice, potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes -- this is the first time scientists have been able to amplify multiple vitamins in a single plant. [They're not giving up, are they? Berlin banned, just recently, Monsanto's GM corn. Most of Europe opposes GM foods, but they won't let go, will they?]
To grow in Africa, Central America or elsewhere, they would have to be crossed [!!!!!] with the many corn varieties adapted to specific regions. That process could take 10 years, said Gary Toenniessen, an agriculture specialist at the Rockefeller Foundation[...now we know who!] in New York who is involved with the rollout of a genetically engineered crop, Golden Rice, fortified with beta carotene.
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A Tiny Hominid With No Place on the Family Tree


Six years after their discovery, the extinct little people nicknamed hobbits who once occupied the Indonesian island of Flores remain mystifying anomalies in human evolution, out of place in time and geography, their ancestry unknown. Recent research has only widened their challenge to conventional thinking about the origins, transformations and migrations of the early human family.
Indeed, the more scientists study the specimens and their implications, the more they are drawn to heretical speculation.
Were these primitive survivors of even earlier hominid migrations out of Africa, before Homo erectus migrated about 1.8 million years ago? Could some of the earliest African toolmakers, around 2.5 million years ago, have made their way across Asia?
Did some of these migrants evolve into new species in Asia, which moved back to Africa? Two-way traffic is not unheard of in other mammals.
Or could the hobbits be an example of reverse evolution? That would seem even more bizarre; there are no known cases in primate evolution of a wholesale reversion to some ancestor in its lineage.
The possibilities get curiouser and curiouser, said William L. Jungers of Stony Brook University, making hobbits “the black swan of paleontology — totally unpredicted and inexplicable.”
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The internet is God's present to China

·On the day he receives a human rights award, a Chinese dissident reveals his gratitude to the web.
Liu Xiaobo
Today there are more than 100 million internet users in China. The Chinese Government is ambivalent towards it. On the one hand, the internet is a tool to make money. On the other, the Communist dictatorship is afraid of freedom of expression.
The internet has brought about the awakening of ideas among the Chinese. This worries the Government, which has placed great importance on blocking the internet to exert ideological control.
In October 1999 I finished three years of jail and returned home. There was a computer there and it seemed that every visiting friend was telling me to use it. I tried a few times but felt that I could not write anything while facing a machine and insisted on writing with a fountain pen. Slowly, under the patient persuasion and guidance of my friends, I got familiar with it and cannot leave it now. As someone who writes for a living, and as someone who participated in the 1989 democracy movement, my gratitude towards the internet cannot be easily expressed.
The internet has made it easier to obtain information, contact the outside world and submit articles to overseas media. It is like a super-engine that makes my writing spring out of a well. The internet is an information channel that the Chinese dictators cannot fully censor, allowing people to speak and communicate, and it offers a platform for spontaneous organisation.

Disgruntled Japanese turn to resurgent communists

·Web-savvy Japanese Communist party's message of welfare and jobs, lures young voters away from sleazed-mired political mainstream.
[Warning! Article to be taken with a pinch of salt. It is, after all, The Guardian]
Faced with an economy in steep decline, rising unemployment and an uncertain future, a growing number of Japanese are shunning the conservative consensus and turning instead to a new brand of cuddly communism.
While the leaders of Japan's two main political parties battle poor opinion poll ratings and accusations of sleaze, the Japanese Communist party (JCP) has seen its fortunes transformed after years of being dismissed as an irrelevant hangover from the cold war.
In the last 16 months membership has soared to more than 410,000 as the revamped party courts younger voters from the working poor. Of the 14,000 ­people to have joined since the end of 2007, about a quarter are aged under 30, the party says. That contrasts with the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), whose membership has plummeted from 5 million at its peak to about a million today.
By dispensing with ideological rhetoric and focusing on welfare and jobs, the JCP has struck a chord with students, the unemployed and the estimated 10 million Japanese earning less than 2m yen (about £14,000) a year.

El sector cultural pide desconectar a los 4.500 internautas más piratas

·Solo se actuará contra el resto de usuarios si las descargas no se reducen un 70% en el primer año.[Es decir que, al final, -se actuará- contra el resto de usuarios, ya que una disminución del 70% en el primer año es inalcanzable...es irreal]
·Gestores de derechos de autor y operadoras
[...y los usuarios???] se centran en las webs que permiten intercambios.
Un año después de que se sentaran a negociar por vez primera en la misma mesa, el sector cultural y las operadoras[...y los usuarios???] han llegado a un acuerdo que abarca el 95% de cómo regular el intercambio no autorizado de música, películas y videojuegos. En el 5% restante, sin embargo, reside la parte más controvertida de un plan que, más que en los internautas, se centra en la persecución de las webs que permiten las descargas. La fricción se halla en el modo de actuar contra los usuarios más piratas, aquellos que ponen a disposición de la red la gran mayoría de las primeras copias de las obras protegidas por los derechos de autor, y aquí los proveedores se inclinan por la sanción económica, mientras que la industria audiovisual aboga por algo más drástico: la desconexión para los llamados "primeros difusores", que durante los seis últimos meses han sido identificados y contados. Son 4.500.
"Se trata de hacer algo proporcional al efecto que buscamos --explican fuentes del sector cultural, representado por la llamada Coalición de Creadores e Industrias de Contenidos--. No tendría sentido desconectar a decenas de miles de usuarios". El esquema de Francia, impulsado por su presidente, Nicolas Sarkozy, no se aplicará en España. Allí se prevé emitir 10.000 notificaciones al día para los internautas cazados en plena descarga. Aquí será otra cosa.[!!!!!]
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El comisario de Multilingüismo de la UE apuesta por que los europeos "aprendan idiomas diferentes" y "no sólo el inglés"

El comisario de Multilingüismo de la Unión Europea, Leonard Orban, consideró hoy que los europeos "deben aprender idiomas diferentes" y "no sólo el ingles", al existir dentro de la comunidad "una riqueza enorme" de lenguas que "deberían ser aprendidas".
Orban, que compareció acompañado del consejero de Educación del Ejecutivo foral, Carlos Pérez-Nievas, destacó que España se encuentra "a la cola" del ránking en capacidad lingüística en comparación con el resto de países europeos, como consecuencia "no sólo del sistema educativo", sino también por aspectos como los doblajes de las películas, en vez de simplemente subtitularlas[ :D ], iniciativas que "ayudan al desarrollo de la capacidad de aprendizajes de los distintos idiomas". No obstante, mostró su convencimiento de que esta situación "se enderezca en el futuro".
Para el comisario europeo, el aprendizaje de idiomas no sólo dota a las personas de mayores capacidades para poder encontrar trabajo, sino que aseguró que también es una herramienta para "mediar entre culturas" y que ayuda "a la comprensión cultural y la cohesión social".
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¿Otra pandemia de miedo?

¿Se acuerda alguien de la gripe aviar? Según la ONU, los muertos podían haber sido, como mínimo, entre 2 y 7,4 millones. La realidad, según el organismo, es que sólo algo más de un centenar murieron al principio, y lo que iba a ser una mancha de aceite que se extendería por todo el planeta ha quedado circunscrita a Indonesia, Bangladesh, China, Egipto y, en menor medida, Nigeria (aunque de vez en cuando se da algún caso aislado en otros puntos del planeta), según dijo David Nabarro, coordinador de Naciones Unidas para la Gripe Aviar, en junio de 2008. Eso sí, Roche y Glaxo Smith Kline (dos gigantes farmaceúticos) se hicieron de oro vendiendo unas medicinas (Relenza y Tamiflú) que ni siquiera se podía decir que fueron efectivas. Y la gripe aviar, como la enfermedad de las "vacas locas" o la amenaza del ánthrax se quedaron en nada. Ahora, vuelve el miedo y el negocio.
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