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Submission + - Bacteria and global warming

fustakrakich writes: Like we do, most bacteria respire, that is they convert carbon containing compounds, into carbon dioxide and water, and as an outcome of this process generate cellular energy. Unfortunately, for us there are far more bacteria on the planet that there are people and as a consequence bacteria produce rather a lot of carbon dioxide. In fact the microbes that break down plant matter in soil release 55 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year into the atmosphere, which represents around eight times the amount that humans are putting into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. As the temperature of our planet increases, we will inevitably alter the activity of planet’s microbes and through this fundamentally their impact on the Earth’s climate

Submission + - Microsoft hacked by same cyberattack as Apple and Facebook (telegraph.co.uk)

Tequila Dave writes: The Telegraph reports: "Microsoft has revealed it is the latest high-profile internet company to have its computer system hacked.
The software giant said it experienced a "security intrusion" similar to those suffered by social media site Facebook and technology company Apple earlier this month.
In a blog posted on its website, Microsoft insisted that there was no evidence of customer data being taken.
It said a small number of computers, including some of its Apple Mac computers – which are reputed to be targeted less by viruses compared to Windows computers.
Matt Thomlinson, general manager of Microsoft's trustworthy computing security team, said: "This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries."
Last week Apple announced it had been hit by malicious software, known as malware, which took advantage of a vulnerability in a Java program used as a plug in for web browsing programs.


Submission + - Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

An anonymous reader writes: AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported and tweeted that Marissa Mayer (CEO since July 2012) has just sent an all-hands email ending Yahoo's policy of allowing remote employees. Hundreds of workers have been given the choice: start showing up for work at HQ (which would require relocation in many cases), or resign. (They can forget about Yahoo advice pieces like this). Mayer has also been putting her stamp on Yahoo's new home page, which was rolled out Wednesday. She's also been fixing the customer service 'hold' music. Oh yeah, and she recently gave birth to a baby boy.

Submission + - Weird NASA research might relate to Boeing battery problem (gizmag.com)

Yoik writes: NASA is now doing research on a reviewed paper related to the old "cold fusion" experiments. The video in the link shows a few flashes of the paper by Widom and Larsen which include a possible hint about Boeing's problem.

To oversimplify, the paper suggests that protons from H2 absorb an electron to make a slow neutron that can fuse with a nearby nucleus and release energy. The first step is the complicated one — conditions to make it happen are poorly understood.

Included in the flash of the paper is mention of Lithium as the neutron target. Now lithium nuclei have a very high energy reaction with neutrons, and it could be that Boeing had the bad luck to get those conditions just right.

It would be easy to test by running some material through a mass spec looking for Li4.


Submission + - Flies Get Drunk in Order to Survive (arstechnica.com)

Copper Nikus writes: In yet another fascinating example of insects being smarter than we give them credit for, this arstechnica article describes how fruit flies are able to fight back against deadly wasps by using alcohol. From the article:

A study in today's issue of Science suggests fruit flies are capable of medicating not only themselves but their offspring as well. And their medication of choice? Alcohol. The threat for these flies is any of a number of small, parasitic wasps. These wasps lay eggs on the larva or pupa of the flies, and their offspring feed on the animal internally, often killing them in the process. (Flies have larval stages, during which we call them maggots, and pupate just as butterflies do before emerging in their adult form.) Once infected, there isn't much one of the larva can do to get rid of the parasite. Its one option: booze. Fruit flies, as their name implies, like to dine on fruit, especially during the larval stages. In many cases, that involves ingesting the alcohol that's produced by natural fermentation of rotting fruit (this can approach 20 percent alcohol content). Some species of flies have developed the ability to tolerate this alcohol as they chew through the fruit as maggots. But for most of the wasp species, even moderate levels of alcohol are toxic.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.