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Earth

The Intentional Flooding of America's Heartland 477

Posted by timothy
from the best-laid-dams dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Joe Herring writes that sixty years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the process of taming the Missouri by constructing massive dams at the top to moderate flow to the smaller dams below, generating electricity while providing desperately needed control of the river's devastating floods. But after about thirty years of operation, as the environmentalist movement gained strength throughout the seventies and eighties, the Corps received a great deal of pressure to include specific environmental concerns into their Master Water Control Manual, the 'bible' for the operation of the dam system, as preservation of habitat for at-risk bird and fish populations soon became a hot issue among the burgeoning environmental lobby. The Corps began to utilize the dam system to mimic the previous flow cycles of the original river, holding back large amounts of water upstream during the winter and early spring in order to release them rapidly as a spring pulse. 'Whether warned or not, the fact remains that had the Corps been true to its original mission of flood control, the dams would not have been full in preparation for a spring pulse,' writes Herring. 'The dams could further have easily handled the additional runoff without the need to inundate a sizable chunk of nine states.' The horrifying consequence is water rushing from the dams on the Missouri twice as fast as the highest previous releases on record while the levees that protect the cities and towns downstream were constructed to handle the flow rates promised at the time of the dam's construction."
PC Games (Games)

Civilization V To Use Steamworks 295

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-it-doesn't-get-you-in-hot-water dept.
sopssa writes "2K Games today announced that Civilization V will be using Steamworks for online matchmaking, automated updates, downloadable content and DRM for the game. Steam's Civ V store page is also available now, revealing some new information about the game. There will be an 'In-Game Community Hub' for online matchmaking, communication, and for sharing scenarios between players. While including Steamworks might put some people off, it might also indicate better online gameplay than in the previous Civilization games, where it was almost impossible to have a good game without playing with just friends."
Image

Chimpanzees Exchange Meat For Sex 313 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-I-get-for-a-cheeseburger dept.
the_therapist writes "A team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, studied chimps in the Tai Forest reserve in Ivory Coast and discovered that chimpanzees enter into 'deals' whereby they exchange meat for sex. Among the findings are that 'male chimps that are willing to share the proceeds of their hunting expeditions mate twice as often as their more selfish counterparts.' They also found this to be 'a long-term exchange, so males continue to share their catch with females when they are not fertile, copulating with them when they are.'"
Image

Japanese Astronaut Tests Stink-Free Underwear 69 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the In-space-nobody-can-smell-your-clean dept.
Throw away your soap, detergent, and personal hygiene, the Japanese have invented odor-free underwear. Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut living in the International Space Station, is testing the underwear created by textile experts at Japan Women's University in Tokyo. The shorts are designed to kill bacteria, absorb water, insulate the body and dry quickly. They also are flame-resistant, and anti-static. "The other astronauts become very sweaty, but he doesn't have any sweat. He didn't need to hang his clothes to dry. He can wear his trunks (underwear) more than a week," said Koji Yanagawa, an official with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Google

+ - iGoogle Users iRate About Portal's Changes

Submitted by
bhhenry
bhhenry writes "Information week reports on a recent unannounced change in the iGoogle portal: "Google insists that its revised iGoogle personalized home page generates better 'happiness metrics' than the old design, but a vocal group of users isn't happy about the changes." The recent change introduces what Google refers to as "canvas view," which the Official Google Blog claims "... makes iGoogle a more useful homepage and a better platform for developers." Unlike the last major change made to Gmail, there is no option to revert to the old version of iGoogle. iGoogle users are reporting that widgets and themes are broken, Gmail attachments don't work, and valuable screen space is wasted.

The Personalizing Google section of Google Groups is full of thousands of complaints about this sudden and unannounced change. One commenter suggests to Google, "Try sticking to your own guidelines: 'Above all, a well-designed Google product is useful in daily life. It doesn't try to impress users with its whizbang technology or visual style — though it might have both. It doesn't strong-arm people to use features they don't want....." Many posters have have stated that they are using the Canadian or UK version of iGoogle or even moving to NetVibes.com to get their preferred layout back."

Comment: Re:2004 US Presidential Election Stolen in Ohio (Score 1) 238

by bhhenry (#24674657) Attached to: States Throw Out Electronic Voting Machines

No, electronic voting machines were adopted as a result of the Help America Vote act, the primary goal of which was to prevent easily-misinterpreted ballots, particularly for the elderly or disabled.

While there are problems with paper ballots, for sure, their failure modes are a lot more graceful.

It seems the solution would be to use the "electronic voting machine" as a method to produce a paper ballot -- but not have the voting machine count the votes.

Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Proposes Yahoo! buyout for $31 per share->

Submitted by
bhhenry
bhhenry writes "Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion. Microsoft's proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with the total consideration payable to Yahoo! shareholders consisting of one-half cash and one-half Microsoft common stock. The offer represents a 62 percent premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock on Jan. 31, 2008."
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