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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA 351

Posted by timothy
from the pure-sugar-all-the-time dept. writes Jennifer Abel writes at the LA Times that according to a recent survey (PDF), over 80% of Americans says they support "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA," roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods "produced with genetic engineering." Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense.

Comment: Re:Why would anyone buy something from those catal (Score 1) 65

by frisket (#48895235) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

Long before those things ever existed people weren't buying SkyMall's useless, overpriced crap.

Obviously false, since people don't stay in a business for decades just to piss away money.

Wasn't that either. It comes as a shock to many N Americans to realise that SkyMall catalogs, like the Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog and others, are only available in N America. I, like many visitors, would gaze in amusement on domestic flights at the variety of unbelievable tat (and the occasional jewel) that was only available to N Americans.

There are plenty of suck^H^H^H^Hpotential customers in other countries too, but neither SkyMall nor any of its suppliers are aware of this, so (a) those markets go untapped, and (b) SkyMall dies.

So long, assholes.


At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far 210

Posted by timothy
from the ceaseless-tintinnabulation dept.
sarahnaomi writes There sits, in the Clarendon Laboratory at Oxford University, a bell that has been ringing, nonstop, for at least 175 years. It's powered by a single battery that was installed in 1840. Researchers would love to know what the battery is made of, but they are afraid that opening the bell would ruin an experiment to see how long it will last. The bell's clapper oscillates back and forth constantly and quickly, meaning the Oxford Electric Bell, as it's called, has rung roughly 10 billion times, according to the university. It's made of what's called a "dry pile," which is one of the first electric batteries. Dry piles were invented by a guy named Giuseppe Zamboni (no relation to the ice resurfacing company) in the early 1800s. They use alternating discs of silver, zinc, sulfur, and other materials to generate low currents of electricity.

'Never Miss Another Delivery' - if You Have a TrackPIN (Video) 85

Posted by Roblimo
from the let-me-in-let-me-in-by-the-hair-on-my-chinny-chin-chin dept.
The company is called TrackPIN, as is the product. Its creator, Mark Hall, showed it off at CES. Timothy pointed his camcorder at Mark as he explained how his product would let you get package deliveries safely when you aren't home by giving the UPS or FedEx (or other) delivery person access to your garage, as well as letting in selected people like your maid, your plumber, and possibly an aquarium cleaner. Each one can have a private, one-time PIN number that will actuate your garage door opener through the (~$250) TrackPIN keypad and tell your smartphone or other net-connected device that your garage was just opened, and by whom. You might even call this, "One small step for package delivery; a giant leap forward for the Internet of Things." Except those of us who don't have garages (not to mention electric garage door openers) may want to skip today's video; the TrackPIN isn't meant for the likes of us. (Alternate Video Link)

Quantum Computing Without Qubits 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-it-work dept.
An anonymous reader shares this interview with quantum computing pioneer Ivan Deutsch. "For more than 20 years, Ivan H. Deutsch has struggled to design the guts of a working quantum computer. He has not been alone. The quest to harness the computational might of quantum weirdness continues to occupy hundreds of researchers around the world. Why hasn't there been more to show for their work? As physicists have known since quantum computing's beginnings, the same characteristics that make quantum computing exponentially powerful also make it devilishly difficult to control. The quantum computing 'nightmare' has always been that a quantum computer's advantages in speed would be wiped out by the machine's complexity. Yet progress is arriving on two main fronts. First, researchers are developing unique quantum error-correction techniques that will help keep quantum processors up and running for the time needed to complete a calculation. Second, physicists are working with so-called analog quantum simulators — machines that can't act like a general-purpose computer, but rather are designed to explore specific problems in quantum physics. A classical computer would have to run for thousands of years to compute the quantum equations of motion for just 100 atoms. A quantum simulator could do it in less than a second."

Blogger Who Revealed GOP Leader's KKK Ties Had Home Internet Lines Cut 418

Posted by timothy
from the coud-be-coincidence dept.
blottsie writes Last month, Lamar White, Jr. set off a firestorm in Washington when a post on his personal blog revealed that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives, was a featured speaker at a white nationalist conference put on by former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. Then someone climbed in his back yard and severed his Internet cables.

Comment: Re:Part of me says yes, like DR (Score 1) 124

by frisket (#48803465) Attached to: Do We Need Regular IT Security Fire Drills?

Everyone's talking about DR saying that a server has mysteriously gone offline or some disk has gotten corrupted and we need to restore to the last known backup point.

No-one seems to be thinking of a real disaster: 50' tidal surge, earthquake, or a fire destroying the entire IT setup.

Backups? Onto what, pray?
Use the cloud? There is no connectivity here.
Rig some borrowed PCs? Powered by what, exactly?

Unless you have a duplicate datacenter a long way away from your personal Ground Zero, no amount of drill on earth is going to prepare you for a real disaster. You'll be too busy shooting the guys who have come to take your food and fuel.


The Mystery of Glenn Seaborg's Missing Plutonium: Solved 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-his-other-pants dept.
KentuckyFC writes: In the early 1940s, Glenn Seaborg made the first lump of plutonium by bombarding uranium-238 with neutrons in two different cyclotrons for over a year, The resulting plutonium, chemically separated and allowed to react with oxygen, weighed 2.77 micrograms. It was the first macroscopic sample ever created and helped win Seaborg a Nobel prize ten years later. The sample was displayed at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley until the early naughties, when it somehow disappeared. Now nuclear detectives say they've found Seaborg's plutonium and have been able to distinguish it from almost all other plutonium on the planet using a special set of non-destructive tests. The team says the sample is now expected to go back on display at Seaborg's old office at Berkeley.

Comment: Re:Fuck the libs! (Score 3, Interesting) 216

by frisket (#48760503) Attached to: Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs

Previously, government action mostly consisted of helping the rich and connected build and protect their market monopolies. Sound familiar?

Yep, sounds like Republicans to me. And Democrats. "Government" in the US means "government by the rich for the rich".

One of the problems is that there are two right-wing parties and no left wing at all. When Republicans froth at the mouth about socialism or communism they haven't a clue about what really is; they just think it's the same thing as government control, forgetting that their governments have been just as controlling as the other incompetents'.

Where the GOP went wrong was in getting into bed with the pro-lifer, fundamentalist, flat-earth, =3, bible-thumping loonies, who are further to the right than Hitler. They need to ditch those associations — a better choice would even have been the libertarians, who despite their own looney ideas on state control are far closer to the original Republican ideal or liberty than Oral Roberts or the Waco flakoes.


Extra Leap Second To Be Added To Clocks On June 30 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-the-extra-sleep dept.
hcs_$reboot writes: On June 30 this year, the day will last a tad longer — one second longer, to be precise — as a leap second is to be added to clocks worldwide. The time UTC will go from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 in order to cope with Earth's rotation slowing down a bit. So, what do you intend to do during that extra second added to that day? Well, you may want to fix your systems. The last time a leap second was added, in 2012, a number of websites, Java and even Linux experienced some troubles. Leap seconds can be disruptive to precision systems used for navigation and communication. Is there a better way of dealing with the need for leap seconds?

European Researchers Develop More Accurate Full-Body Polygraph 106

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-need-a-brain-biopsy-to-confirm-your-story dept.
jfruh writes: Despite their widespread use in industry and law enforcement, traditional lie-detector polygraphs give accurate results only about 60% of the time, barely better than the 55% accuracy people can get just by following their gut instincts. Now researchers in the UK and the Netherlands are trying to improve that. They claim a full-body polygraph based on motion-capture suits used for movie special effects can detect lies with 75% accuracy.

Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-when-you-want dept.
wyattstorch516 writes "Dish Networks has unveiled Sling TV, its streaming service for customers who don't want to subscribe to Cable or Satellite. From the article: "For $20 a month — yes, twenty dollars — you get access to a lineup of cable networks that includes TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, the Disney Channel, ESPN, and ESPN2. ESPN is obviously a huge get for Dish and could earn Sling TV plenty of customers all on its own. ESPN just ended another year as TV's leading cable network, and now you won't need a traditional cable package to watch it. For sports fanatics, that could prove enticing. But Dish has hinted that there may be limits on watching ESPN on mobile thanks to red tape from existing deals between the network and Verizon."

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.