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Submission + - Bananas. Extinct. Again? ->

garyoa1 writes: Fifty years ago, we were eating better bananas.

They tasted better, they lasted longer, they were more resilient and didn’t require artificial ripening. They were — simply put — a better fruit, because they belonged to a different species, or cultivar in banana parlance.

It was called Gros Michel and it remained the world’s export banana until 1965.

That year, it was declared commercially extinct due to the Panama disease, a fungal disease that started out from Central America and quickly spread to most of the world’s commercial banana plantations, leaving no other choice but to burn them down.

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Submission + - Google Crapifies Search

Presto Vivace writes: Google Further Crapifies Search, Exploiting Both Users and Advertisers

So Google is indeed being optimized..for its own advertising. The message to all but the very biggest vendors is that you must pay to show up. No more getting in the back door by being picked up by an price listing service that gets on Google’s first page, or by matching the search terms well.

But as a user, it looks like Google is cooking its own goose. These crappy results makes me much more inclined to go to Amazon and look at Amazon merchants, and compare price at 3 or 4 Apple vendors I know are reliable with returns in case I get a bum machine. The fact that I’m not getting remotely usable results from Google searches and that means I’ll skip them.

How long will it take for advertisers to realize that they are effectively being scammed by Google, that they are often paying for bad clickthroughs because Google is putting them on search results where they don’t belong but the retailer has written successful clickbait ads so they get bad visits? My impression is that Google Adsense reporting is opaque enough that they might not recognized Google’s culpability (indeed, I can see Google optimizing its algos to keep the bad clickthroughs at the highest level that an advertiser would tolerate).

Submission + - My solar heat ray experiment melts coins and boils water->

Operator 1 writes: My dangerously effective solar heat ray experiment was built with a lens from an old big screen projector television. Temperatures in excess of 787 degrees Fahrenheit (419.4 degrees Celsius) were generated with the Fresnel lens in the sun. The experiment boils water and melts coins.
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Submission + - Site of 1976 'Atomic Man' accident to be cleaned->

mdsolar writes: "Workers are finally preparing to enter one of the most dangerous rooms in the world — the site of a 1976 blast in the United States that exposed a technician to a massive dose of radiation and led to his nickname: the "Atomic Man."

Harold McCluskey, then 64, was working in the room at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode.

He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard.

Hanford, located in central Washington state, made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades. The room was used to recover radioactive americium, a byproduct of plutonium.

Covered with blood, McCluskey was dragged from the room and put into an ambulance headed for the decontamination center. Because he was too hot to handle, he was removed by remote control and transported to a steel-and-concrete isolation tank.

During the next five months, doctors laboriously extracted tiny bits of glass and razor-sharp pieces of metal embedded in his skin.

Nurses scrubbed him down three times a day and shaved every inch of his body every day. The radioactive bathwater and thousands of towels became nuclear waste."

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Submission + - Paris Just Banned Half Of All Cars On The Road

cartechboy writes: Pollution is becoming a very large issue in major cities due to the amount of vehicles on the road. To try and help this issue Paris just banned all vehicles on alternate odd and even license plates today and tomorrow. Of course, electric cars and hybrids are exempt from the new restrictions as they aren't part of the problem, rather they are seen as part of the solution. Naturally taxis, buses, emergency vehicles, and cars carrying three or more passengers (hooray for carpooling) are also exempt. High levels of particulate matter are blamed for all the various respiratory diseases, while higher oxides of nitrogen are a primary cause of smog. We'd have to say that this ban probably won't be the last one as traffic levels increase over time.

Submission + - Bitcoin Vs Paypal In Court

InPursuitOfTruth writes: According to TerraHasher on BitcoinTalk,.org, PayPal is discriminating against sellers of Bitcoin related items. TerraHasher claims to have a recording of a PayPal manager saying, "well its all the same and bitcoin is direct competition with paypals business model therefore we do not condone, anything bitcoin related." After describing a pattern of PayPal repeatedly holding funds possibly explained by this bias against Bitcoin related sellers, he lawyer-ed up and is preparing to file suit against PayPal. This brings up a question. Is BitPay, with over 15,500 merchants in December, the next PayPal?

Submission + - Cyber Criminals Steal $1m of Bitcoin from Danish Exchange->

An anonymous reader writes: One of Europe's largest bitcoin exchanges has been robbed by cyber criminals who helped themselves to more than $1 million worth of the virtual currency.

Called Bips, the Denmark-based exchange and online wallet service was first attacked on 15 and 17 November, before a third attack this week saw 1,295 bitcoins stolen, with a value at the time of publication of around $1.13 million (£700,000, €836,000).

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