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Comment: Relevant discussion. (Score 1) 427

by Assassin bug (#29518581) Attached to: Judge Rejects Approval of Engineered Sugar Beets
So, I'm not really sure why a posting on sugar beets makes it onto /. anyway, but I'll cast in a couple important points for civil discussion. 1) The pollen from sugar beets does travel a very long distance (Darmency, H. et al., 2009. Pollen dispersal in sugar beet production fields. TAG Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 118(6), 1083-1092). 2) This is may be an environmental concern, but it is also a concern for anyone growing sugar beets. That is, there are problems controlling weedy beets when herbicide-resistant beets sprout up. 3) This entire issue is unimportant when beet growers cultivate off the tops of their beets, rendering them sterile. If they receive a higher yield for the herbicide usage, this may be an extra drive across the field may be a good option for preserving the integrity of the resistance trait.

Comment: Re:when does a stone become an axe (Score 2, Informative) 200

by Assassin bug (#26690031) Attached to: Stone Tool 1.83M Years Old Discovered In Malaysia
Look it up (and maybe read the article too). There is usually a considerable amount of evidence that goes along with these axes that makes them much more likely to be tools than the result of geologic processes. This particular item was collected from a a site that has a history of producing items from an ancient culture. Yes, there are stones out there sharp enough to be useful (e.g., naturally broken pieces of obsidian). The point isn't that they are useful, but that they have been used. Some tools are made and some are found.
Republicans

Karl Rove's IT Guru Dies In Small Plane Crash 377

Posted by kdawson
from the discuss-among-yourselves dept.
A dozen readers have submitted the story of the death in a plane crash of Mike Connell, Karl Rove's IT adviser, the man who set up and ran the gwb43.com mail server, and an important figure in GOP tech circles since 1997. The closest thing to straight reporting to be found in a mainstream media outlet is a piece from KDKA in Pittsburgh giving a detailed backgrounder on Connell's work for Rove, two generations of the Bush family, and many GOP congressmen and committees. CBSNews.com is now mirroring the KDKA reporting. Almost all the early media coverage comes from the left and some of it is frankly conspiratorial. Among the milder pieces (although it could not be called balanced) is this interview with Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor and author of two books about the 2004 election in Ohio. Connell was compelled to testify on the day before the US election in a lawsuit involving Ohio election irregularities in 2004. Connell, an experienced pilot, died on Sunday when his plane crashed two miles short of the runway of Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio.

Comment: Re:won't somebody think of the mornings? (Score 1) 276

by Assassin bug (#26094017) Attached to: Waste Coffee Grounds Offer New Source of Biodiesel
Actually, assuming this works, it could increase the cost of coffee for consumers. Coffee producers could get more for their coffee if they sell it directly to a processing company if the coffee beans are contracted for fuel use instead of food. This would mean less coffee for food and higher prices. I'm not sure if coffee beans are graded for quality upon sale, but I suspect that the decision to sell coffee for fuel would happen either by contracted plantations or at the point of sale. I doubt the coffee food consumers will be the point of sale for feedstock. Besides, collecting coffee grounds from consumers would seem to use even more fuel than collecting grain or stover for fuel from coops.
Microsoft

Obama's "ZuneGate" 608

Posted by kdawson
from the et-tu-barack dept.
theodp writes "Barack Obama supporters were left shaking their heads after a report surfaced that the president-elect was using a Zune at the gym instead of an iPod. So why would Mac-user Obama be Zune-ing out? Could be one of those special-edition preloaded Zunes that Microsoft bestowed on Democratic National Convention attendees, suggests TechFlash, nixing the idea that the soon-to-be Leader of the Free World would waste time loading Parallels or Boot Camp in OS X just to use a Zune."
Image

Prescription Handguns For the Elderly and Disabled 1093 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-two-bullets-and-call-me-in-the-morning dept.
Repton writes "Thanks to the Second Amendment, even the elderly have the right to keep and bear arms. The problem is that many of the guns out there are a bit unwieldy for an older person to handle. However, the inventors of the Palm Pistol are planning to change all that with a weapon that is ideal for both the elderly and the physically disabled. In a statement submitted to Medgadget, the manufacturer, Constitution Arms, has revealed the following: 'We thought you might be interested to learn that the FDA has completed its "Device/Not a Device" determination and concluded the handgun will be listed as a Class I Medical Device.' Physicians will be able to prescribe the Palm Pistol for qualified patients who may seek reimbursement through Medicare or private health insurance companies."

Comment: Re:In need of perspective? (Score 1) 138

by Assassin bug (#25889267) Attached to: 1.4 Billion Pixel Camera To Watch For Asteroids
Upon further reflection, and with your succinct description, I think I understand. Obviously, stereoscopic view isn't needed to track orbits, most telescopes are monocular. One just needs to see something moving (e.g., a tool-bag in orbit). I guess for some reason the impression of an object heading straight at the lens came to mind, which is clearly, well silly.
Biotech

Scientists Discover Proteins Controlling Evolution 436

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
Khemisty writes "Evolutionary changes are supposed to take place gradually and randomly, under pressure from natural selection. But a team of Princeton scientists investigating a group of proteins that help cells burn energy stumbled across evidence that this is not how evolution works. In fact, their discovery could revolutionize the way we understand evolutionary processes. They have evidence that organisms actually have the ability to control their own evolution."
Movies

First Trek Film Footage Unveiled 320

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-not-to-me dept.
Ostracus writes "Lost creator JJ Abrams has unveiled footage from his Star Trek prequel at a press event in London. The clips featured US actor Chris Pine as the young Captain Kirk, Heroes star Zachary Quinto as Mr Spock and Simon Pegg as Enterprise engineer Scotty. The audience also saw Leonard Nimoy reprise his role as the older Mr Spock in one of four excerpts from the film. In his introduction, Abrams said he wanted the film to be released in May 2009, to feel 'legitimate and real.' Speaking at London's Vue West End cinema on Tuesday morning, the film-maker admitted he had 'never really been a huge Star Trek fan.'" Note that the article doesn't actually contain the footage, just brief descriptions of it. The video clip included is just the old trailer that we saw many moons ago. But that won't stop me from lusting.

Comment: Bias in accuracy or bias in precision? (Score 1) 1601

by Assassin bug (#25707881) Attached to: Press Favored Obama Throughout Campaign
So, I read the article. After June 4 (only comparisons after this date make sense because the dems. went on so long prior to their nomination) Obama got 42 more stories at the WP than McCain. So, based on their calculations, McCain got 3% less coverage than Obama. You know, some of that 3% could just represent more effort by the Obama camp to push their candidacy to the press. It isn't like the press has to go out and find all of its stories, some portion of stories are released by the campaigns to target specific press agencies. Obama did outspend McCain after all.
Government

UK Police Want DNA of 'Potential Offenders' 578

Posted by Zonk
from the when-everyone-is-special-nobody-is dept.
mrogers writes "British police want to collect DNA samples from children as young as five who 'exhibit behavior indicating they may become criminals in later life'. A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers argued that since some schools already take pupils' fingerprints, the collection and permanent storage of DNA samples was the logical next step. And of course, if anyone argues that branding naughty five-year-olds as lifelong criminals will stigmatize them, the proposed solution will be to take samples from all children."

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