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The Ultimate Hopes For the New Cosmos Series 183

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-big dept.
StartsWithABang writes "So unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware that it's only a few short weeks until the premiere of the new Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey starring Neil de Grasse Tyson. Many have hopes (and fears) concerning what the series will (and won't) be, but this perspective — on what a 'successful' Cosmos series could mean for the future of humanity — is worth a read for anyone who hasn't given up on dreaming big."

South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards 665

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-just,-like,-your-opinion,-man dept.
Toe, The writes "The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee approved new science standards for students except for one clause: the one that involves the use of the phrase 'natural selection.' Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, argued against teaching natural selection as fact, when he believes there are other theories students deserve to learn. Fair argued South Carolina's students are learning the philosophy of natural selection but teachers are not calling it such. He said the best way for students to learn is for the schools to teach the controversy. Hopefully they're going to teach the controversy of gravity and valence bonds too. After all, they're just theories."

Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In India 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-a-business-model dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), are leaning on the United States government to discourage India from allowing the production and sale of affordable generic drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. India is currently on the U.S. government's Priority Watch List — countries whose practices on protecting intellectual property Washington believes should be monitored closely. Last year Novartis lost a six-year legal battle after the Indian Supreme court ruled that small changes and improvements to the drug Glivec did not amount to innovation deserving of a patent. Western drugmakers Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche Holding, Sanofi, and others have a bigger share of the fast-growing drug market in India. But they have been frustrated by a series of decisions on patents and pricing, as part of New Delhi's push to increase access to life-saving treatments in a place where only 15 percent of 1.2 billion people are covered by health insurance. One would certainly understand and probably agree with the need for for cheaper drugs. But don't forget that big pharma, for all its problems still is the number one creator of new drugs. In 2012 alone, the U.S. government and private companies spent a combined $130 billion (PDF) on medical research."

Comment: What are the advantages over... (Score 1) 139

by BobSutan (#45578429) Attached to: R2-D2: Mall Cop

What are the advantages over strategically placed cameras? Why not use what's already there, or upgrade them, and feed all of that into a system that does the heuristics they're talking about? Seems like a much more acceptable route, not to mention cheaper, than putting in robots that will need to be maintained, and most likely vandalized on a regular basis.


Largest US Power Storing Solar Array Goes Live 377

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-somes-the-sun dept.
Lucas123 writes "A solar power array that covers three square miles with 3,200 mirrored parabolic collectors went live this week, creating enough energy to power 70,000 homes in Arizona. The Solana Solar Power Plant, located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, was built at a cost of $2 billion, and financed in large part by a U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee. The array is the world's largest parabolic trough plant, meaning it uses parabolic shaped mirrors mounted on moving structures that track the sun and concentrate its heat. A first: a thermal energy storage system at the plant can provide electricity for six hours without the concurrent use of the solar field. Because it can store electricity, the plant can continue to provide power during the night and inclement weather."

Scientists Describe Internal Clocks That Don't Follow Day and Night Cycles 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the up-all-night dept.
sciencehabit writes "Almost all organisms, from bacteria to mammals, have a circadian clock—a mechanism in their cells which keeps them in sync with Earth's day-and-night cycle. But many organisms follow other rhythms as well. Now, new research provides the first evidence that animals have molecular cycles independent of the circadian rhythm. They include a sea louse whose swimming patterns sync up with the tides, and a marine worm that matures and spawns in concert with the phases of the moon. The discoveries suggest that noncircadian clocks might be common and could explain a variety of biological rhythms."

Group Attacks Bad Software Patents Before They're Approved 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-on-our-watch dept.
Curupira writes "Ars Technica discusses how the Linux Defenders group are exercising the rights granted by the America Invents Act to identify and fight the patents that potentially threaten Linux and open source software. From the article: 'In a session at LinuxCon today, Linux Defenders director Andrea Casillas explained how the group is using rights granted by the new law to fight patent applications. A project of the Open Invention Network, Software Freedom Law Center, and Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders examines the 6,000 new patent applications published each week, attempting to identify those that are potentially threatening to Linux and open source. Then, the group looks for prior art that would invalidate at least some of the claims in the patents.'"

Comment: Re:Should have done it on MTV (Score 1) 762

by BobSutan (#44823423) Attached to: Sexist Presentations At Startup Competition Prompt TechCrunch Apology

You are making my point. You're so steeped in the ideology you likely can't see it's faults. Take a break and look at it from the outside, in context to the rest of the world, and you'll see things from a perspective you've probably never seen before. One such example was NOW fighting AGAINST equally shared custody, feminsm's hand in biased family court laws (eg tender years doctrine), unequal and biased domestic violence laws (eg VAWA and predominant aggressor policies), and a whole host of social problems that are the direct result of feminist blinders and baked academic studies.

Comment: Re:Should have done it on MTV (Score 1) 762

by BobSutan (#44799149) Attached to: Sexist Presentations At Startup Competition Prompt TechCrunch Apology

Yeah, but they're feminists. When are they NOT indignant about something? Here's an article where feminists equivocate the use logic in an argument as a form of domestic violence:

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren