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+ - Natural Born Killers: Chimpanzees and Murder Explored

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Our fellow members of the family Hominidae, chimpanzees, have long been known to engage in murder far more frequently than most of our primate cousins. The reasons for this have been much debated, with many seeking to point blame for the phenomenon on humans, for a variety of reasons. New research suggests that the proclivity for this intra-species killing is innate [Nature abstract]. Quoting one researcher, "It's a natural behaviour — it's not something that we've induced by disturbance or intervention." The BBC also reports on the findings and the controversy."

Comment: Of course it is. (Score 1) 231

by Rambo Tribble (#47927875) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?
Fear has been effectively used to manipulate and manage humans since before recorded history. It has marshalled armies, driven religious conversions, mass exodus, and chilling human sacrifice. How would you imagine so effective a tool might be abandoned by those who would control their fellow man, for their own gain? Every day we are pummelled with fear-driven political ads and "news" broadcasts. Even our parents use fear to manage their upstart offspring. Fear as a tool of control is, I fear, here to stay.

+ - Browser to Facilitate Text Browsing in Emergencies

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Programmers at Fast Company are developing the Cosmos browser to allow text browsing from Android phones when networks are buckling under the load of local disasters. A common phenomenon when disaster strikes is the overloading of cell and data networks by massively increased traffic. The Cosmos browser is intended to facilitate using SMS text messages, which often still get through in such circumstances. To quote one developer, "We want this to be a way for people to get information when they're in dire need of it." Sort of a Lynx comes to Android affair. The Smithsonian contemplates the possibilities, here."

Comment: Learning starts with engagement (Score 1) 182

by Rambo Tribble (#47897107) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't
The best lecturer, when reduced to an image on a screen, is no better than the worst lecturer in person. Reality is immersive, while an image of a talking head is not. Film makers learned this long ago and implemented jump cuts, zooms, cameo close-ups, and the 15-second rule to maintain audience engagement. Until on-line courses learn from the past, they will not be harbingers of the future.

+ - Trout and Eels Form Reef-hunting "Dream Team"

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Researchers are reporting on investigations into interspecies cooperation to hunt prey in coral reefs. Using behavior observations in the wild and in controlled, aquarium environments, scientists have found a high level of communication and cooperation between coral trout and moray eels in hunting prey fish. The result is a mutually beneficial boost in hunting success. "This shows that a big mammalian brain is not necessarily required to undertake these sophisticated forms of communication," said study leader, Alexander Vail ."

+ - Critters Got Game: Animals Love Touchscreens

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Across a broad range of animals, from reptiles to apes, researchers have found our fellow fauna are attracted to performing tasks on touchscreens. The implications are broad, from studying animal perception and learning, to keeping zoo-bound creatures mentally active. Interestingly, much as with humans, it is the young who seem most attracted and engaged with the devices. Did you just lose at WoW to a bonobo?"

+ - Researchers Harness E. Coli to Produce Propane

Submitted by Rambo Tribble
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "A team of British and Finnish scientists have used the common bacteria, Escherichia coli, to produce the environmentally-friendly fuel, propane. By introducing enzymes to modify the bacteria's process for producing cell membranes, they were able directly produce fuel-grade propane. While commercial application is some years off, the process is being hailed as a cheap, sustainable alternative to deriving the gas from fossil fuel production. As researcher, Patrik Jones, is quoted as saying, "Fossil fuels are a finite resource and...we are going to have to come up with new ways to meet increasing energy demands.""

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