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+ - LivingBox 'mini-farm' could help third world feeds itself->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A “mini-farm” that can grow vegetables anywhere with a self-sustaining “closed loop” of energy and nutrition and help feed a billion needy people has won a prize as the most promising project to help developing countries improve their economies

Data gathered by humanitarian organization, World Food Programme, indicates that every year over 847 million people worldwide, suffer from malnutrition and about 3.1 million children under the age of five, die from starvation. While eradicating world hunger is a top priority for both scientists and philanthropists, given the increasing global population and dwindling natural resources, it is not easy. But thanks to new innovations like the recently introduced 'LivingBox', there may be some hope

The brainchild of Israeli entrepreneurs and scientists, Nitzan Solan and Moti Cohen, LivingBox is an environmentally friendly urban-ecosystem made from modular boxes that connect to form a hydroponics mini-farm. This means that the vegetables are grown in nutrient-infused water, instead of soil

Project co-creator Nitzan Solan says the Livingbox “is the perfect system, because it lets anyone anywhere grow vegetables without the need for fertile soil, or running water and electricity, and with minimal farming skills. It could help feed people in the developing world, providing them with access to fresh, nutritious food, while helping them maintain a clean environment.” Once it’s set up, the system is self-sustaining

Livingbox is based on hydroponics — the science of growing vegetables in water. Vegetables can take root in water when the right nutrients are added. Livingbox’s system delivers those nutrients into a five square meter hydroponic growing bed, using organic waste from fish, leftover food, or even animal feces

The technology used by Livingbox isn’t new, what is new is its deployment as a method of supplying food for families in developing countries, bringing together the diverse technologies and growing methods to develop a system that requires nothing more than household waste

The system is called “Livingbox” because it comes to users as a modular set of boxes that, when unpacked, are attached in an array. Users fill up the growing bed with fresh water and place their seeds or seedlings inside. Then they attach one (or all) of the three growing mechanisms the system uses. The users can grow vegetables using three types of organic waste — from fish waste, with leftover organic waste like rotten vegetables or peels, and even using (animal) waste. All three systems generate the nitrogen plants need to thrive

The “fish method,” in which water where fish swim is filtered and recycled, is well known among fish farmers. The recycling process removes the nitrogen from the water, transferring it the growing bed. The fish get back clean, fresh water, while the plants get the nutrition they need. The fish are fed from leftover food added to their box

While professional farmers have been doing that for years, LivingBox is the first system built to extract nutrients from common household refuse: fish waste, leftover food, or even animal dung. Better yet, it can run without electricity and requires no farming skills to maintain. This means that urban shanty dwellers who may otherwise have no access to healthy produce, can use LivingBox to grow fresh vegetables

The setup is easy — All aspiring farmers have to do, is unpack the modular boxes, fill them with fresh water and add the required seeds. As soon as they they add one or all three types of organic waste, the system will self-generate the nitrogen needed for the plants to take root"

Link to Original Source

+ - US strikes ISIL targets in Syria->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "The United States of America has launched an airstrike, along with some of its Arab partners such as Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar, against ISIL targets in Syria

http://www.vox.com/2014/9/22/6...

Before the airstrike was officially announced to the press, a Syrian man living in Raqqa, Syria, has tweeted about the bombings and the sounds of air drones all over Raqqa

Tomahawk missiles were launched from USS Arleigh Burke in the Red Sea, as well as stealth fighters such as F-22, were involved in the strike"

Link to Original Source

Comment: It is all pork barrel politics (Score 1) 314

by Taco Cowboy (#47970881) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

Whoever believe proclamation from politicians deserved to be betrayed

Just because Obama's campaign slogan was "A Nuclear-Free World" doesn't mean he can't lie --- and the "change" he promised us turned out to be the "spared change" we have left in our pockets

The re-arming of America's nuclear arsenal has everything to do with pork barrel --- as most of the sites related to the re-arming programs are located in the Democrat controlled districts, it is nothing more than typical practice of cronyism - political cronyism

+ - The Ruinous Results Of Our Botched Understanding Of 'Science'-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes at The Week, "If you ask most people what science is, they will give you an answer that looks a lot like Aristotelian "science" — i.e., the exact opposite of what modern science actually is. Capital-S Science is the pursuit of capital-T Truth. And science is something that cannot possibly be understood by mere mortals. It delivers wonders. It has high priests. It has an ideology that must be obeyed. This leads us astray. ... Countless academic disciplines have been wrecked by professors' urges to look "more scientific" by, like a cargo cult, adopting the externals of Baconian science (math, impenetrable jargon, peer-reviewed journals) without the substance and hoping it will produce better knowledge. ... This is how you get people asserting that "science" commands this or that public policy decision, even though with very few exceptions, almost none of the policy options we as a polity have have been tested through experiment (or can be). People think that a study that uses statistical wizardry to show correlations between two things is "scientific" because it uses high school math and was done by someone in a university building, except that, correctly speaking, it is not. ... This is how you get the phenomenon ... thinking science has made God irrelevant, even though, by definition, religion concerns the ultimate causes of things and, again, by definition, science cannot tell you about them. ... It also means that for all our bleating about "science" we live in an astonishingly unscientific and anti-scientific society. We have plenty of anti-science people, but most of our "pro-science" people are really pro-magic (and therefore anti-science). ""
Link to Original Source

+ - The Many Stakeholders in the Net Neutrality Debate

Submitted by ygslash
ygslash (893445) writes "Michael Wolff at USA Today has a long list of the many stakeholders in the net neutrality debate, and what each has to gain or lose. The net neutrality issue has made its way into the mainstream consciousness, thanks to grassroots activism and some help from John Oliver on HBO. But it's not as simple as just net neutrality idealists versus the cable companies or versus the FCC. One important factor that has raised the stakes in net neutrality is the emergence ("unanticipated" by Wolff, but not by all of us) of the Internet as the primary medium for distribution of video content. And conversely, the emergence of video content in general and Netflix in particular as by far the most significant consumers of Internet bandwidth. So anyone involved in the distribution of video content has a lot to gain or lose by the outcome of the net neutrality struggle."

+ - New paradigm on computing could offer 100X in speed increase->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Current model of silicon based computing, with memory operation and logic-processing operation taking place in separate compartments, is facing a speed bottleneck. This bottleneck could be overcome by a new computing paradigm whereby logic-processing operations being performed in non-volatile memory cells using particular combinations of ultra-short voltage pulse using PCM (phase-change materials) based deviced

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, the Singapore A*STAR Data-Storage Institute and the Singapore University of Technology and Design designed a type of PCM based on a chalcogenide glass, which can be melted and recrystallized in as little as half a nanosecond (billionth of a second) using appropriate voltage pulses. The new device, logic operations and memory are co-located, rather than separated, as they are in silicon-based computers. These materials could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

First developed in the 1960s, PCMs were originally used in optical-memory devices, such as re-writable DVDs. Now, they are starting to be used for electronic-memory applications and are beginning to replace silicon-based flash memory in some makes of smartphones

The PCM devices recently demonstrated to perform in-memory logic do have shortcomings: currently, they do not perform calculations at the same speeds as silicon, and they exhibit a lack of stability in the starting amorphous phase. However, the Cambridge and Singapore researchers found that, by performing the logic-operation process in reverse — starting from the crystalline phase and then melting the PCMs in the cells to perform the logic operations — the materials are both much more stable and capable of performing operations much faster

The intrinsic switching, or crystallization, speed of existing PCMs is about ten nanoseconds, making them suitable for replacing flash memory. By increasing speeds even further, to less than one nanosecond (as demonstrated by the Cambridge and Singapore researchers in 2012), they could one day replace computer dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), which needs to be continually refreshed, by a non-volatile PCM replacement.

In a silicon-based system, information is shuffled around, costing both time and energy. "Ideally, we'd like information to be both generated and stored in the same place," said Dr Desmond Loke of the Singapore University of Technology and Design, the paper's lead author. "Silicon is transient: the information is generated, passes through and has to be stored somewhere else. But using PCM logic devices, the information stays in the place where it is generated." "Eventually, what we really want to do is to replace both DRAM and logic processors in computers by new PCM-based non-volatile devices," said Professor Elliott. "But for that, we need switching speeds approaching one nanosecond. Currently, refreshing of DRAM leaks a huge amount of energy globally, which is costly, both financially and environmentally. Faster PCM switching times would greatly reduce this, resulting in computers which are not just faster, but also much 'greener'.""

Link to Original Source

+ - Massive galaxies snacking on their tiny counterparts->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Massive galaxies in the universe have stopped making their own stars. Astronomers looked at more than 22,000 galaxies and found that while smaller galaxies are very efficient at creating stars from gas, the most massive galaxies are much less efficient at star formation, producing hardly any new stars themselves, and instead grow by 'eating' other galaxies

Dr Aaron Robotham, who is based at the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said smaller 'dwarf' galaxies were being eaten by their larger counterparts

Dr Robotham, who led the research, said our own Milky Way is at a tipping point and is expected to now grow mainly by eating smaller galaxies, rather than by collecting gas. "The Milky Way hasn't merged with another large galaxy for a long time but you can still see remnants of all the old galaxies we've cannibalised," he said. "We're also going to eat two nearby dwarf galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, in about four billion years"

But Dr Robotham said the Milky Way is eventually going to get its comeuppance when it merges with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy in about five billion years. "Technically, Andromeda will eat us because it's the more massive one," he said

Almost all of the data for the research was collected with the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales as part of the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, which is led by Professor Simon Driver at ICRAR. The GAMA survey involves more than 90 scientists and took seven years to complete. This study is one of over 60 publications to have come from the work, with another 180 currently in progress. Dr Robotham said as galaxies grow they have more gravity and can therefore more easily pull in their neighbours."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Governmental ?? (Score 2, Interesting) 118

by Taco Cowboy (#47957589) Attached to: Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

libaba is tightly woven into a complex fabric of personal, corporate and government organization relationships

Tim, before you post that article, have you run a thorough check on the submit ?

I am not in anyway affiliated with Alibaba and do not own even one share of Alibaba, but TFA has gone overboard with its accusation that Alibaba of having "governmental organization relationships"

Although I am no longer a Chinese citizen, I did come from China and am very familiar with China

If you say Huawei, another Chinese company, have "government organization relationship" with the Chinese Communist Regime, then I agree. But not Alibaba

The truth is that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco and many more American companies have MORE "governmental organization relationship" with the US government - especially with alphabetic agencies such as CIA and/or NSA - than Alibaba with the Chinese Communist regime

Just because Alibaba happens to be a company from China doesn't give anyone the right to spread all kinds of baseless accusations - and I am really sick and tired of the mindless anti-Chinese bashing that has been going on since the listing of Alibaba

Do you know that the more you guys bash all things Chinese the more you guys are showcasing your idiotic/racist side to the world?

This world isn't only USA vs China as there are other players - and your childish display will only convince those third-party players that America is not a trustworthy party

The more you guys bash the Chinese online the more you guys are ruining the whatever reputation that is left of the United States of America

Comment: This is supposed to be the *WAY* they do their job (Score 0, Troll) 390

Writes the submitter: "The evidence includes emails that show Obamacare officials more interested in keeping their problems from leaking to the press than working to fix them

BTW, this is emblematic of the Obama administration - they simply do not have any clue to anything that they are involved with

It is not only the Obamacare - everything else, from Syria to ISIL to Afghanistan to Europe to Islamization of America to you name it - everything that Obama has touched on it turned into a mess

Comment: Democrats are more racist than Republicans (Score 0, Troll) 190

by Taco Cowboy (#47952383) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

What a racist comment. You must be a Republican

I am a Chinese. I was born in China but has been an American for almost 4 decades

I can tell you one thing about America --- The average Democrats are more racist than the average Republicans

The Republicans might be more conservatives but they are also pragmatic. On the other hand the Democrats may call themselves "liberals" but their so-called "liberalism" is laced with a very strong anti-Chinese sentiment

The perfect example is Hillary Clinton - that broad is an all-out anti-Chinese racist --- even when she was still the "First Lady" her first visit to China (attending a "women conference" in Beijing, back in the mid 1990's) her first speech (she gave a keynote speech for that conference) was lambasting the Chinese people, the host of the conference, with all the vile racist diatribe she could find

I am not saying that there are no racist in the Republican camp, but if compare to those from the Donkey party, there are fewer racist Elephants

Comment: Please do not rely too much on projection (Score 3, Interesting) 85

by Taco Cowboy (#47944931) Attached to: Europeans Came From Three Ancestry Groupings

... but the intermarriage and population growth and travel will commingle DNA in a century or two ...

Here we are, in year 2014, talking about a society some 7,000 to 8,000 years ago, and we project the society then, using what we have now

Dear Sir, I would hope you realize that even in our society today we still have barbarians enjoying slitting other people's throats and cutting off people's heads, and in societies 7 to 8 millennia before us, I reckon there would be even bigger proportion of human population who enjoyed cutting off other people's heads

In other words, the so-called "intermarriage", if occurred at all, did not happen like what we are enjoying today

Most of the events that led to the "exchange of genetic materials" and the "commingle of DNA sequences" most probably happened via brutal wars and gang rapes

In other words, all of us, no matter which racial background we came from, we are the descendants of those who were strong, intelligent, or lucky, or the combination of 2 or even all three of the above, for the weak, the low-minded and/or the unlucky, didn't get the chance to pass on their genetic material down through the millennia

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.

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