The Null Device
Medical researchers are now saying that cleanliness and perfect vegetables may be responsible for cancer, by allowing immune systems to atrophy: (via Leviathan)
Researchers are now raising the possibility of deliberately exposing new-born children to a cocktail of microbes to give their immune systems the cancer-fighting abilities once acquired from grubby housing conditions.
Studies of broad-leaf vegetables like lettuce have shown that when attacked by plant viruses, they fight back using compounds called salicylates. Related to aspirin, these compounds are thought to be natural anti-cancer agents. Vegetables grown under strictly controlled conditions - as they are for supermarkets - are however protected from the infections that trigger the release of these compounds.
The street finds its own uses for things: In Taiwan, a debt collection agency has started employing HIV-positive patients as collectors, in order to capitalise on public squeamishness. Not surprisingly, this stroke of inventiveness is not without controversy:
Mr Tung said he had a contract with the management of a half-way house for HIV and Aids patients, and would pay each one about $100 a day for visiting debtors and urging them to pay.
Are Pete Waterman's pre-teen-oriented Spice-clone act Steps racist, or just clueless?
The Register gives the G8 conference, and its e-commerce-based solution to third-world problems, a righteous bucketing. (via Found)
Don't miss this: Bell Labs has a good history of the UNIX operating system, from the 1960s to now, online; there is a lot of detail about the early days and the formation of the UNIX philosophy.