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Ethanol Demand Is Boosting Food Prices Worldwide 599

hereisnowhy writes "The rising demand for corn as a source of ethanol-blended fuel is largely to blame for increasing food costs around the world, the CBC reports. Increased prices for ethanol have already led to bigger grocery bills for the average American — an increase of $47 US compared to July 2006. In Mexico last year, corn tortillas, a crucial source of calories for 50 million poor people, doubled in price; the increase forced the government to introduce price controls. The move to ethanol-blended fuel is based in part on widespread belief that it produces cleaner emissions than regular gasoline. But a recent Environment Canada study found no statistical difference between the greenhouse gas emissions of regular unleaded fuel and 10 per cent ethanol-blended fuel. Environmental groups have argued that producing ethanol — whether from corn, beets, wheat, or other crops — requires more energy than can be derived from the product."

4 GB May Be Vista's RAM Sweet Spot 767

jcatcw writes "David Short, an IBM consultant who works in the Global Services Division and has been beta testing Vista for two years, says users should consider 4GB of RAM if they really want optimum Vista performance. With Vista's minimum requirement of 512MB of RAM, Vista will deliver performance that's 'sub-XP,' he says. (Dell and others recommend 2GB.) One reason: SuperFetch, which fetches applications and data, and feeds them into RAM to make them accessible more quickly. More RAM means more caching."

Cartoon Network CEO Resigns Over Aqua Teen Scare 710

DesertBlade writes "Jim Samples, CEO of Cartoon Network, has resigned over the bomb scare prompted by the Aqua Teen marketing campaign. Turner (CN's parent company) ended up paying over 2 million in restitution to the city of Boston, and a man with a thirteen year record at the company has lost his job. Though many people have been citing this as 'the ultimate successful advertising campaign', there have obviously been real consequences from the incident." By virtue of the consequences of the campaign, was this now officially a bad idea? Or is your opinion that this is all far too much knee-jerking? Have your say in the comments.

Doomsday Seed Vault Design Unveiled 293

in2mind writes "The BBC News is reporting on the completion of a design for a 'doomsday' vault ... that will house seeds. All known varieties of food crops will be represented in the structure, which will be constructed by the Norwegian government. The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes by building into the side of a mountain. On a remote island. Near the North pole. The Svalbard International Seed Vault will house the seed samples at a preservative -18C (0F), and could be used by post-apocalyptic people to feed a hungry planet."

Google's Sinister(?) Plans 287

puppetman writes "This week, Robert X. Cringely makes some interesting observations as to what Google's up to next. He theorizes that Google is looking to create a bandwidth shortage that will drive ISP/cable/telephone customers into it's open arms (often with the blessing of the ISP/cable/telephone company). The evidence: leasing massive amounts of network capacity, and huge data centers in rural areas (close to power-generation facilities). The shortage will only occur if the average bandwidth consumption by individual consumers skyrockets; think mainstream BitTorrent, streaming moves from NetFlix, tv episodes from iTunes, video games on demand, etc, etc. Spooky and sinister, or sublime and smart?"

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles