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Submission + - Most worker ants are slackers (

schwit1 writes: "THE QUEEN IS COMING — LOOK BUSY"

Most worker ants are slackers. "Ants and bees have reputations as efficient team players. In Temnothorax rugatulus — a small brown ant found in pine forests in North America — division of labor is common, with workers specializing in tasks like foraging, building, and brood care. But new research shows that many ants in a colony seem to specialize in doing nothing at all. To get a closer look at how these ants filled their time, researchers marked every member of five lab-based colonies with dots of colored paint. Over the course of 2 weeks, a high-definition camera recorded 5-minute segments of the ants in action six times a day, capturing their behavior (or lack thereof). Out of the 'workers,' 71.9% were inactive at least half the time, and 25.1% were never seen working. A small fraction of the ants, just 2.6%, were always active during observation, the researchers wrote last month in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Previous studies have postulated that inactivity might be temporary, with ants working in shifts dictated by circadian rhythm. But the new results show that the lazy workers stay lazy no matter the time of day."

Slave societies rarely encourage individuals to put forth their best efforts.

Submission + - Another EPA wastewater spill in Colorado

schwit1 writes: EPA workers have caused another wastewater spill in Colorado.

According to the Denver Post, an EPA mine crew working Thursday at the Standard Mine in the mountains near Crested Butte, triggered another spill of some 2,000 gallons of wastewater into a nearby mountain creek. Supporting Tipton's remarks to Watchdog Arena, the Denver Post report states that the EPA had failed to release a report about the incident at the time of its writing.

Unlike the Gold King Mine, where on Aug. 5, an EPA mine crew exploring possible clean-up options, blew out a structural plug in the mine releasing over 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the Animas River, the Standard Mine is an EPA-designated superfund site, where the federal agency has been directing ongoing clean-up efforts.

According to a the Washington Times regarding this latest spill, Tipton's spokesman, Josh Green, said that locals in the Crested Butte area confirmed the spill. Watchdog Arena spoke directly with Tipton Thursday afternoon who claimed, "They are reporting that the spill consisted of "gray water," and was not toxic. But the definition of gray water does not preclude the presence of possible toxic substances."

It doesn't matter that this spill is smaller and at a superfund site. If a private landowner screwed up like this, and didn't report it, as required by the EPA, the EPA would move in faster than the speed of light to take everything they owned and to put them in prison.

Submission + - The one number that's eerily good at predicting your success in love (

schwit1 writes: A new working paper from the Federal Reserve Board that looks at what role credit scores play in committed relationships suggests that daters might want to start using the metric as well. The researchers found that credit scores — or whatever personal qualities credit scores might represent — actually play a pretty big role in whether people form and stay in committed relationships. People with higher credit scores are more likely to form committed relationships and marriages and then stay in them. In addition, how well matched the couple's credit scores are initially is a good predictor of whether they stay together in the long term.

Submission + - Did DHS Edit The Wikipedia Page Of Kevin McCarthy (

schwit1 writes: An IP address originating from the Department of Homeland Security was tied to entries made on the Wikipedia pages of North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, alleging that the two Republicans were having an affair. McCarthy dropped his bid to be the next Speaker of the House earlier today.

It is unclear if someone at the federal agency actually was behind the edits. But both changes — McCarthy's and Ellmers' — show that a user at the IP address,, made them on Thursday. That address comes from DHS' offices in Springfield, Va.

Submission + - What's Killing Mars? (

schwit1 writes: The question of whether there is life on Mars is woven into a much larger thatch of mysteries. Among them: What happened to the ancient ocean that once covered a quarter of the planet's surface? And, relatedly, what made Mars's magnetosphere fade away? Why did a planet that may have looked something like Earth turn into a dry red husk?

I blame Halliburton.

Submission + - Government admits whole milk was always good for you

schwit1 writes: A new study has found that whole milk not only does not increase heart disease, it might even help prevent it.

The most significant part of this story however is that when the federal government made the original recommendation that people stop drinking whole milk to avoid fats, the science behind that recommendation was flawed and inconclusive.

But even as a Senate committee was developing the Dietary Goals, some experts were lamenting that the case against saturated fats was, though thinly supported, was being presented as if it were a sure thing. "The vibrant certainty of scientists claiming to be authorities on these matters is disturbing," George V. Mann, a biochemist at Vanderbilt's med school wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Ambitious scientists and food companies, he said, had "transformed [a] fragile hypothesis into treatment dogma."

As Morrissey says at the link, "Golly, doesn't that sound ... familiar?"

Submission + - Government workers earn 78% more than private workers

schwit1 writes: A new study has found that Federal employees earn 78% more than private sector workers.

The Cato Institute's Chris Edwards compared data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to show that, in his view, civilian federal workers are overcompensated. Factoring both salary and benefits, Edwards pointed to BEA data showing the average federal employee earns about $119,000 annually, compared to the private sector worker who earns $67,000 per year. When comparing just salaries, feds collect 50 percent bigger paychecks, Edwards said.

The wage gap between the federal and private sectors has grown since the 1990s, Cato's director of tax policy studies found. The divide has doubled since 1990, when it was just 39 percent. The growth, he said, came from not just raising pay levels and offering more generous benefits, but also a more "top-heavy" bureaucracy that routinely moves employees into higher salary brackets and redefines jobs as higher earning positions. "The federal government has become an elite island of secure and high-paid employment, separated from the ocean of average Americans competing in the economy," Edwards wrote in his findings.

I wonder, do you think we are getting our money's worth?

Submission + - Verizon is merging its cellphone tracking supercookie w/AOL's ad tracking networ (

schwit1 writes: Verizon is giving a new mission to its controversial hidden identifier that tracks users of mobile devices. Verizon said in a little-noticed announcement that it will soon begin sharing the profiles with AOL's ad network, which in turn monitors users across a large swath of the Internet.

That means AOL's ad network will be able to match millions of Internet users to their real-world details gathered by Verizon, including — "your gender, age range and interests." AOL's network is on 40 percent of websites, including on ProPublica.

Submission + - Porsche chooses Apple over Google because Google wants too much data (

countach44 writes: As reported in number 5 of this list from Motor Trend, Porsche went with Apple over Google for the infotainment system in its new 911. Apparently, Android Auto wants vehicle data (throttle position, speed, coolant temp, etc...) whereas Apple Play only needs to know if the car is in motion. Speculation is around what Google, as a company building its own car, wants that data for.

Submission + - Government overpayments going up by billions (

schwit1 writes: A GAO report has found that since 2003 the federal government has wasted almost a trillion dollars in improper overpayments, with the numbers increasing by 20% in 2014.

The GAO said three programs were most at fault: Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These three government programs were responsible for a full three-quarters of the nearly $19 billion in erroneous payments the federal government made in fiscal 2014, the GAO said. "Improper payments remain a significant and pervasive government-wide issue," the congressional watchdog unit warned.

The Earned Income Tax Credit program was the worst offender. The Internal Revenue Service estimated that the program erroneously handed out $17.7 billion worth of "improper" payments. That amounts to a whopping 27.2 percent of the total $65.2 billion in EITC refund checks that the IRS sent out in fiscal 2014. And that means the federal government is now fast approaching the day when one out of every three earned income tax credits is erroneous.

Medicare was nearly as bad. The program, which covers about 54 million elderly and disabled beneficiaries, incorrectly doled out $59.9 billion in fiscal 2014, which is about a tenth of its $603 billion budget. So, one out of every $10 that Medicare spent last year was erroneous, the GAO found. Medicaid made $17.5 billion in mistaken payments out of its $304 billion budget, for a nearly 6 percent error rate.

It is obvious that the solution to this government problem is to give the government more power and money. How else can they reduce this waste but by spending more money!

Submission + - Study links mental illness and vegetarianism (

sandbagger writes: This 2012 study in the Int International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity may have escaped some comment, but the analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.

Submission + - Majority of EU nations seek opt-out from growing GM crops (

schwit1 writes: Nineteen EU member states have requested opt-outs for all or part of their territory from cultivation of a Monsanto genetically-modified crop, which is authorized to be grown in the European Union, the European Commission said on Sunday.

Submission + - Scientists Invent a New Steel as Strong as Titanium ( 1

schwit1 writes: South Korean researchers have solved a longstanding problem that stopped them from creating ultra-strong, lightweight aluminum-steel alloys.

Today a team of material scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea announced what they're calling one of the biggest steel breakthroughs of the last few decades: an altogether new type of flexible, ultra-strong, lightweight steel. This new metal has a strength-to-weight ratio that matches even our best titanium alloys, but at one tenth the cost, and can be created on a small scale with machinery already used to make automotive-grade steel. The study appears in Nature.

Submission + - Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s 2

schwit1 writes: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise. The authors examined the dietary data of 36,400 Americans between 1971 and 2008 and the physical activity data of 14,419 people between 1988 and 2006. They grouped the data sets together by the amount of food and activity, age, and BMI.

They found a very surprising correlation: A given person, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988 would have a BMI that was about 2.3 points higher. In other words, people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".