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Comment Re:metric you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 403

No, what I really care about is how far I can go with the gas that's in the tank. I have a mpg readout on the dash, which, contrary to the assertion below, is in fact accurate within a percent and tends to understate it. I reset the trip odometer at every fill up. So I see that I have gone 412 miles and I've been getting 36mpg. I then ask Siri what 36 x 12 (the capacity of my gas tank) is, and she says 432, and I then know whether to get gas at the next exit. How often do I ask myself, "how much fuel to get n miles?" Seldom, as in seldom do I know exactly how far I'll be going. But when I do know how far and want to how much gas I'm going to use, it is one easy calculation to divide the trip length by the mpg. And liters per 100K? How arbitrary is that? Why isn't it 1000K, or 10K, or 3.14159K?

Submission + - Portable Router That Conceals Internet Traffic Revealed at Def Con

An anonymous reader writes: Ryan Lackey of CloudFlare and Marc Rogers of Lookout revealed a new OPSEC device at Def Con called PORTAL (Personal Onion Router to Assure Liberty). It "provides always-on Tor routing, as well as 'pluggable' transport for Tor that can hide the service's traffic signature from some deep packet inspection systems." In essence, PORTAL is a travel router that the user simply plugs into their existing device for more than basic Tor protection (counterpoint to PogoPlug Safeplug and Onion Pi). On the down side, you have to download PORTAL from Github and flash it "onto a TP-Link compatible packet router." The guys behind the device acknowledge that not many people may want to (or even know how to) do that, so they're asking everyone to standby because a solution is pending.

Submission + - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

brindafella writes: Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases.

Submission + - Cisco to slash up to 6,000 jobs (8% of workforce) (

alphadogg writes: Cisco Systems will cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next 12 months, saying it needs to shift resources to growing businesses such as cloud, software and security. The move will be a reorganization rather than a net reduction, the company said. It needs to cut jobs because the product categories where it sees the strongest growth, such as security, require special skills, so it needs to make room for workers in those areas, it said. “If we don’t have the courage to change, if we don’t lead the change, we will be left behind,” Chairman and CEO John Chambers said on a conference call.

Submission + - Origin of mummies pushed back 1500 years (

sciencehabit writes: New evidence pushes back the origin of mummification in ancient Egypt by 1500 years. The scientists examined funeral wrappings excavated from pit graves in the earliest recorded cemeteries, dating to between 4500 and 3350 B.C.E., in the Badari region in Upper Egypt. Using biochemical analysis, the team identified complex embalming agents on the linen wrappings, pictured above, made from ingredients such as pine resin, gum, aromatic plant extract, and natural petroleum. The researchers say recipes using the same ingredients in similar proportions would eventually produce the more well-known mummies at the height of the Pharaonic period, some 3000 years later.

Comment Yet another redundant, useless law (Score 5, Informative) 618

This idiot congress critter has absolutely no idea how EPA regulations get written.

"Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups," says Schweikert.

He assumes the regulations get written the same way financial industry and other regulations get written, by think tanksand lobbyists (ALEC anyone?). My sister, an environmental engineer spends a great amount of time in the field collecting samples and then coming back to the lab and documenting the science that goes into developing regulations for the EPA.

"For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions."

Which is pure, verifiable bullshit. His agenda couldn't be more plain. Like laws introduced to prohibit public funding of abortions, which is already prohibited, it's more about grandstanding and politics than anything having to do with transparency, economics, or in absolutely last place, the environment.

Submission + - Atlanta Gambled with Winter Storm and Lost

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Kim Severson reports at the NYT that by keeping schools and government offices open, and by not requiring tractor-trailers to use chains or stay out of the city’s core, metropolitan Atlanta gambled and lost. “We don’t want to be accused of crying wolf,” said Gov. Nathan Deal, who pointed out that the storm had been forecast to just brush the south side of the city. If the city had been closed and the storm had been as light as some forecasters had told him it was going to be, he said, money would have been lost, and people would have complained. Tuesday's snowfall, that brought only 2-3 inches of snow to most of the Atlanta metro area, and the hundreds of thousands of motorists who flooded the metropolitan area's roadways as the storm moved in — created travel nightmares for commuters, truckers, students and their families. Some commuters were stuck in their vehicles up to 18 hours after they first hit the roads. Others abandoned their cars in or beside the road. Hundreds of students spent the night at school. Some surrounding cities, including Hiram, Woodstock, Sandy Springs and Acworth, opened emergency shelters for stranded motorists. "It's an easy joke made by Northerners," wrote Joe Sterling and Sarah Aarthun. "A dusting of snow shuts down an entire city and hapless drivers white-knuckle their way through a handful of flurries." Further North streets are salted well in advance of a coming storm but Atlanta doesn't have the capacity for that kind of treatment. "We simply have never purchased the amount of equipment necessary," said meteorologist Chad Myers adding Atlanta had plenty of warning. "Why would you in a city that gets one snow event every three years? Why would you buy 500 snowplows and salt trucks and have them sit around for 1,000 days, waiting for the next event?"

Submission + - Warrantless Surveillance Challenged by Defendant (

mendax writes: The New York Times is reporting that a "Colorado resident charged with terrorism-related offenses challenged the constitutionality on Wednesday of a 2008 law allowing the National Security Agency to conduct a sweeping program of surveillance without warrants on American soil. The challenge — the first of its kind — could lead to a Supreme Court test of the program.

"At the same time, a Federal District Court judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials related to the national security surveillance of his client. No defense lawyer has apparently ever been allowed to see such materials since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted in 1978.

"Together, the two actions are significant developments in efforts to obtain more judicial review of the legality of surveillance conducted on domestic soil for national security purposes amid continuing fallout from leaks about N.S.A. wiretapping by Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor."

Submission + - Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK 'A Success' (

cold fjord writes: The BBC reports, "Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal. The trial ... tried to train the children's immune system to tolerate peanut. Every day they were given a peanut protein powder — starting off on a dose equivalent to a one 70th of a peanut. Once a fortnight the dose was increased while the children were in hospital and then they continued taking the higher dose at home. The majority of patients learned to tolerate the peanut. ... Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: "It really transformed their lives dramatically, this really comes across during the trial. ... Dr Pamela Ewan added ... further studies would be needed and that people should not try this on their own as this "should only be done by medical professionals in specialist settings"." The story also notes, "The findings, published in the Lancet, suggest 84% of allergic children could eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day after six months."

Submission + - Restore Net Neutrality petition ( 1

TopSpin writes: A petition of the White House to "direct the FCC to Classify Internet Providers as 'Common Carriers'" and thereby enable FCC Net Neutrality rules to be created and enforced needs about 24,000 additional signatures to reach the threshold of 100,000. Should the goal be reached the Administration will issue an official statement on the matter. The petition deadline is February 14.

Submission + - Splenda/Sucralose is not a biologically inert

An anonymous reader writes: Recent research shows that Sucralose is not biologically inert as initially thought. Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was reported to generate chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of compounds. Abstract here, There is also a popular article which may be "reaching" a bit, The article suggests enjoying food that isn't over sweetened...

Submission + - Obama urges 'all-in' effort on tech innovation (

dcblogs writes: President Barack Obama urged Congress to increase federal research funding or risk the U.S. technology lead to China and Europe. "This is an edge America cannot surrender," said Obama, in his State of the Union speech. The National Science Foundation budget bill approved this month by Congress set aside $7.1 billion, well below the president's request. The approved budget is only about 2.4% over FY 2012 spending, according to an analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). When inflation if factored, it represents a real-dollar decline of 3% from 2012. Overall, defense R&D spending will decline by $8.4 billion, or 11.2%, from fiscal year 2012 levels, according to the AAAS. On the same day the Obama delivered his speech, the Pentagon was warning lawmakers, at a hearing, about China. "From the perspective of technological superiority, the Department of Defense is being challenged in ways I have not seen for many years," said Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense.

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