Links for July 6th
Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer’s disease, US scientists say.
The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.
Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.
About 800 pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible have been recovered and put on the internet.
Visitors to the website www.codexsinaiticus.org can now see images of more than half of the 1,600-year-old Codex Sinaiticus manuscript.
Fragments of the 4th Century document – written in Greek on parchment leaves – have been worked on by institutions in the UK, Germany, Egypt and Russia.
Experts say it is “a window into the development of early Christianity”.
It all started on Friday when a story appeared on Techcrunch concerning music recommendation service Last.fm. Back in February, Techcrunch ran a story alleging that Last.fm had passed listening (or “scrobbling”) data to the RIAA, the trade body representing American music labels. The story came from an anonymous source close to CBS who, apparently, was subsequently fired (leaving them slightly less close to CBS).
In a looks-obsessed world, are blind people immune to appearances when they fall in love? As a new film looks at how sight-impaired people find romance, Damon Rose who is blind, says you don’t have to be sighted to be shallow
Britain’s longest living married couple have celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary.
Frank and Anita Milford, who live together in a nursing home in Plymouth, Devon, exchanged vows on 26 May, 1928.
Frank is 101 and Anita will be 101 next month.
Disagreement over the definition of atheist and agnostic has cluttered up various threads here, scattering confusion in its wake like a muckspreader in autumn.
The cause of the confusion is that atheists and theists have different definitions of the words agnostic and atheist, and adamantly refuse to accept the validity of each other’s definitions.
Here is a short form of the definitions from the two separate points of view.
Theist version: An atheist is certain there is no God, an agnostic is not certain.
Atheist version: An atheist believes there is no God, an agnostic doesn’t know.
The two versions are only subtly different, but a great deal of hot air has been expended on this difference.
Even the new gets old – and that includes the Internet, says regular columnist Bill Thompson
An inquiry into child abuse at Catholic institutions in Ireland has found church leaders knew that sexual abuse was “endemic” in boys’ institutions.
It also found physical and emotional abuse and neglect were features of institutions.
Schools were run “in a severe, regimented manner that imposed unreasonable and oppressive discipline on children and even on staff”.
Apple has reversed a decision blocking a Nine Inch Nails (NIN) iPhone app.
The application – nin: access – was rejected last week on the grounds it had “offensive or obscene content”.
Nin: access allows users to access streamed music and video content from the NIN homepage, including a song called The Downward Spiral.
The band’s frontman, Trent Reznor, accused Apple of double standards – the song could be bought on iTunes – and a few days later Apple relented.
A web tool that “could be as important as Google”, according to some experts, has been shown off to the public.
Wolfram Alpha is the brainchild of British-born physicist Stephen Wolfram.
The free program aims to answer questions directly, rather than display web pages in response to a query like a search engine.
The “computational knowledge engine”, as the technology is known, will be available to the public from the middle of May this year.
The UK is risking sliding unwittingly into a police state because of the growing use of surveillance technology, says security guru Phil Zimmerman.
“When you live in that society and it changes incrementally over time you are less likely to notice the changes,” he told the BBC. “But if you come from outside the picture as it stands is more abruptly visible as something wrong.”
The UK’s electronic intelligence agency has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement to deny it will track all UK internet and online phone use.
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) said it was developing tracking technology but “only acts when it is necessary” and “does not spy at will”.
The denial follows the home secretary scrapping plans for a single government database for all communications.