Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:How do the "poorest residents" own homes (Score 1) 269

by Reziac (#49792315) Attached to: California Is Giving Away Free Solar Panels To Its Poorest Residents

Per the last stats I saw, home ownership in CA is actually higher than average. A great many hovels are owner-occupied, especially in the rural areas. And there's an astonishing lot of CA that still doesn't have electric service, including well-populated canyons -- some within 15 miles of Los Angeles.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 148

by Reziac (#49777163) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Fleas, ticks, chiggers, hookworms, whipworms, horseflies, deerflies, doubtless others (especially the wide array of parasites found in Africa and Australia) ... can't think of any downside, other than possibly to their own parasites. Oh well!

I read somewhere that anemia due to the arctic's twin-engine mosquitoes is the leading cause of death in caribou.

Comment: Re: Oxitec This stuff can be very risky indeed .. (Score 1) 148

by Reziac (#49776763) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Very interesting. Now if they can target the other species that feed on humans... I'm sure there will be plenty left of the species that only feed on plants, or not at all in the adult phase.

Ironic that some folks scream "GMO!" on the one hand, and ignore "invasive species" on the other...

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 148

by Reziac (#49776731) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Actually roundworms, at least in dogs, are a symbiote, not a parasite. Recent research found that they serve to stimulate development of the puppy's immune system. It's possible to produce puppies that never experience roundworms, but they are very prone to neonatal diarrhea and pre-weaning unthriftiness, which is a lot more of a problem for the puppy.

As I point out above, it's probable that the ecological niche will be filled by crane flies, and probably gnats and other small pests, but that's a pretty good trade for being rid of mosquitoes.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 148

by Reziac (#49776695) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

I suspect the niche will be filled by crane flies, which are both edible and harmless. That's what I've observed in the wild already -- one has a population that is predominantly mosquitoes, or predominantly crane flies, without appearing to change much else. Sure, the balance may change at some levels, but wholesale collapse? Not unless something is so narrowly adapted that it feeds ONLY on mosquitoes. Doubtless there are some specialty parasite that would suffer, or have to adapt to a new host. I can't think of any mosquito predators that are so limited.

Comment: Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 1) 148

by Reziac (#49776667) Attached to: Sex-Switched Mosquitoes May Help In Fight Against Diseases

Yep, but if you can rig things so most females only produce males, you can radically shrink the population. And that would be good enough for a start. Worry about eliminating pocket populations later.

As to their ecological niche, I've noticed that when there are a lot of crane flies, there are few or no mosquitoes, and v.v. I take this to mean they can more or less substitute. Crane flies are harmless, and just as edible for mosquito predators.

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action (Score 1) 529

by Reziac (#49763981) Attached to: Harvard Hit With Racial Bias Complaint

Another consequence is that because it digs deeper in the pile, it tends to put a lot of affirmatively-actioned applicants in over their heads, who otherwise wouldn't have qualified academically. So it actually increases the failure rates among those minorities. And this is somehow seen as evidence that we need more affirmative action...

Comment: Re:Kaspersky is not special (Score 1) 288

I bought the Hacking Exposed books.... they were enlightening: Linux isn't really 'safer' than Windows; it just has a different set of vulnerable points (fewer of 'em, but penetrating deeper into the system and more likely to persist across versions). If you want true security, run Netware.

The patching system may be the real culprit, tho: It's been pointed out that when a Windows version becomes "unsupported" there's an abrupt cessation of newly-found vulnerabilities. Why? Because the bad guys discover the holes mostly (perhaps entirely) by reverse-engineering the official patches ... which with Windows, tend to be monofocused on a single bug, making the hole fairly easy to ID, and thereby paint a handy target on unpatched machines. Conversely linux updates are, to my grok, more likely to address a bunch of stuff at once, making any single hole harder to identify. Likewise, Windows service packs (which address a bunch of stuff at once) have not typically been followed by a rash of newly-found vulnerabilities.

Comment: Re:Nostaligia (Score 1) 123

by Reziac (#49744841) Attached to: Jason Scott of Textfiles.com Wants Your AOL & Shovelware CDs

I used to maintain a BBS list for my local SoCal calling area. That was about 55 BBSs, and as you say -- all different, all with their own unique flavor -- which depended on the mix of board software, file areas, message areas, and the users those attracted. A few survive as internet-accessable (including Techware, which was also the last of our local dialups) but for the most part... a lost era.

http://www.techware2k.com/publ...

Comment: Re:Cats vs windmills (Score 1) 164

by Reziac (#49719559) Attached to: Wind Turbines With No Blades

I had a neutered male cat who from about 9 months old spent all day, every day, killing gophers. Within a few months he'd completely exterminated them within about half a mile of my house. He only ate part of the first gopher of the day, far as I ever saw.

Most predators kill for fun as well as for food and for training their young; it's not at all unusual. -- That's the real problem with wolves vs domestic sheep; it's so much fun to shoot fish in a barrel that they wind up killing a whole flock just for jollies.

Nothing happens.

Working...