VIDEO: Somalia ‘on top’ of drought aid effort

Somalia’s Prime Minister, Mohammed Abdiweli, says Somali forces are taking the lead to defeat Al Shabab and are delivering aid to the regions worst affected in the drought.

Trichet retires after rough 8 years

Monday marks the last day on the job for European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, after a bumpy eight-year ride characterized by the Great Recession and Europe’s ongoing debt crisis.

Turn Off Time-Zone Sensing To Improve iPhone Battery Life? [iOS Blog]

Switching off automatic time-zone sensing in iOS 5 can improve iPhone battery life significantly, according to iDownloadBlog. The site claims that a bug in iOS 5’s GM release causes the GPS-enabled location tracking connected to the automated time-zone function to run constantly. This unnecessary use of the GPS circuitry may drain the battery exceptionally quickly.

To fix the alleged bug and avoid the battery drain, head to the Settings app in iOS 5 and tap Location Services and then scroll to “System Services” at the bottom of that window. Then switch off “Setting Time Zone”.

It’s not an official bug yet, though Apple is reportedly working on iOS 5’s battery life issues. Anecdotal evidence suggests flipping this switch may significantly improve battery life.

EA estimates 5 million copies of Battlefield 3 sold, says stability issues solved

Last week’s Battlefield 3 launch had its high and low points, with sky-high consumer interest, but stability issues plaguing many players. EA has announced that the game has sold an estimated 5 million copies worldwide in its first week of availability. That’s a big success by any metric, although we’re curious about the split in sales between the console and PC versions of the game.

In addition, EA is claiming that the issues with the game’s stability have been largely solved. “We are happy to report that we had a great weekend with server stability at roughly 98.9 percent. While some players experienced intermittent outages of online services due to high volume, internal estimates show that servers and service stabilized, ensuring that players were connected and enjoying the game,” the company told Ars. “With a commitment to support the game as a software service, EA is listening to consumer feedback and is making daily updates and improvements to ensure an optimal online experience for all.”

The demand for the game exceeded the company’s “best expectations” coming out of the beta, and EA notes that they’re finding new ways to “optimize and improve” the game’s performance now that the system is operating under a full load.

I’ve been playing every night since launch for at least an hour, and the stability certainly seems to have been improved greatly. We’re interested in your experiences as well. The game is now a bonafide hit, and with the Back to Karkand expansion releasing in December, the game is sure to have legs going into the holiday season.

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REFILE-UPDATE 2-Wi-Lan walks away from Mosaid bid

Oct 31 (Reuters) – Wi-Lan Inc said on Monday it
has no plans to sweeten its hostile takeover bid for rival
Canadian patent licensing firm Mosaid Technologies
after U.S. private equity firm Sterling…

Apple’s 2012 iPhone 4S China Debut To Help Lift The Stock To $510

Value chain suppliers suggest Apple’s newest iPhone will arrive in China somewhere between February and June 2012, UBS explains. China Telecom will offer the service, providing substantial catalysts for Apple’s stock price.

Mozart meets colonoscopies, better adenoma detection rates result

You may have noticed that our weekly Weird Science column has disappeared. What we’re going to do instead is try to incorporate a few stories from the stranger side of science into our regular weekly mix. We’ll kick this off by having a look at what happens when Mozart meets your colon.

Colonoscopies are a key bit of preventative medicine; adenomas caught during a colonoscopy are removed before they get the chance to develop into threatening cancer, and failure to catch them raises the risk of serious problems later. So, anything that can improve adenoma detection rates would be a good thing.

Listening to music may be able to do just that. Two experienced endoscopists were tracked for a year to provide a baseline for their typical adenoma detection rates. Then the two performed a series of 118 additional colonoscopies whle being randomly assigned to listen to music or not. This was not what’s called a “blinded” trial (nor a deaf one, for that matter)—the endoscopists were very much aware of whether they were listening to music.

For one, the music didn’t seem to make much difference, although being in a study seemed to heighten his performance: he went from a baseline detection rate of 27 percent up to 37 percent without music, 41 percent with. But the second saw a huge shift. From a baseline of just over 20 percent, he went up to 30 percent without music, and a staggering 67 percent with. The only difference between the two is that the one with the showed the smaller effect was aware of the outcome as the study proceeded; the other remained blinded to the results until it was complete.

Although the researchers refer to the “Mozart effect,” it’s not clear what music the endoscopists were actually listening to. For all we know, they were working their way through Senior Editor Nate Anderson’s hair metal collection.

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