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Earth

Ancient Bird With Largest Wingspan Yet Discovered 54

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-going-to-need-more-seed dept.
sciencehabit writes Fossils unearthed at a construction project in South Carolina belong to a bird with the largest wingspan ever known, according to a new study. The animal measured 6.4 meters from wingtip to wingtip, about the length of a 10-passenger limousine and approaching twice the size of the wandering albatross, today's wingspan record-holder. Like modern-day albatrosses, the newly described species would have been a soaring champ.
United Kingdom

Julian Assange Plans Modeling Debut At London Fashion Show 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the photo-leaks dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about a possible new direction for Julian Assange. Julian Assange is expected to make his London Fashion Week debut this September. The Australian WikiLeaks founder will reportedly model for Vivienne Westwood’s son, Ben Westwood, at a fashion show staged at the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he has been seeking refuge for the past two years. He is avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over claims of sex offences. “Julian’s been in the embassy for two years and it’s important that he doesn’t slip into obscurity,” said Ben Westwood. “I want to highlight Julian Assange’s plight. What happened to him is totally unfair.”
Biotech

Scientists Successfully Grow Full Head of Hair On Bald Man 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-for-patrick-stewart dept.
realized writes: "A man with almost no hair on his body has grown a full head of it after a novel treatment by doctors at Yale University. The patient had previously been diagnosed with both alopecia universalis, a disease that results in loss of all body hair, and plaque psoriasis, a condition characterized by scaly red areas of skin. The only hair on his body was within the psoriasis plaques on his head. He was referred to Yale Dermatology for treatment of the psoriasis. The alopecia universalis had never been treated.

After two months on tofacitinib [an FDA-approved arthritis drug] at 10 mg daily, the patient's psoriasis showed some improvement, and the man had grown scalp and facial hair — the first hair he'd grown there in seven years. After three more months of therapy at 15 mg daily, the patient had completely regrown scalp hair and also had clearly visible eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair, as well as armpit and other hair, the doctors said."

Comment: Re:Backup? (Score 1) 396

by sh00z (#47283951) Attached to: One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

How do you distinguish between intentional and unintentional changes? How much storage overhead do you need to keep all changes so that you can roll back any unintentional change?

I'm only a rocket scientist, not a CS person, but it seems intuitive to me. If it's an intentional change, then the new version will have a later last-modified date than the back-up. If the hash of the back-up copy made at the time it was written matches a hash calculated at the time of the second back-up, then the integrity of the back-up is confirmed. If the active copy has not been intentionally changed in the interval, and its hash no longer matches the other two, then the active should be discarded in favor of the back-up. I'm sure you can do the mental figuring for the equivalent to detect if the back-up rather than the active has bitrotted.

The challenge arrives if you have *both* intentional and unintentional changes to the same file between successive back-ups. To exclude unintentional changes, you would have to do hashes every time you save/compile/whatever,as well as keep a keystroke log of the edits. Then, you would have to execute the exact same change process on the back-up copy, repeating the process described above. It would be incredibly resource-intensive (essentially having a 'bot duplicate the work you have performed between back-ups), but it would sure be thorough.

Lord, I HOPE this is not an original idea. If I just invented it, and somebody tries to patent it later, you're in for a world of hurt.

Comment: Re:But they're still collecting your data. (Score 3, Funny) 97

by sh00z (#47224641) Attached to: Facebook Lets Users Opt Out of Targeted Ads

Actually, things have changed. As part of this announcement they also announced that they will be digging through your browser history in order to provide more targeted ads, rather than just mining what you do through their website and websites that track for them

At last, a reason to keep Opera on my computer.

Privacy

US Secret Service Wants To Identify Snark 213

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bound-for-success dept.
beschra (1424727) writes "From the article: 'The U.S. Secret Service is seeking software that can identify top influencers and trending sets of social media data, allowing the agency to monitor these streams in real-time — and sift through the sarcasm. "We are not currently aware of any automated technology that could do that (detect sarcasm). No one is considered a leader in that,'" Jamie Martin, a data acquisition engineer at Sioux Falls, SD based Bright Planet, told CBS News.'

Why not just force Twitter to change TOS to require sarcasm tag?"

Comment: Re:Since when does Qt "work" with OS X? (Score 1) 636

by sh00z (#47154179) Attached to: Apple Announces New Programming Language Called Swift

Please provide a link to any mainstream working application for Mac OS X that uses Qt. I don't know of a single one because Qt's support for XCode is incredibly poor.

calibre. Extremely popular in the ebook community. And I have never used the language, but I imagine that you're correct about the issues. Qt on MacOS must be a real PITA, because I've had to submit bug reports for problems that I could have avoided using just Applescript.

Power

Scott Adams's Plan For Building Giant Energy-Generating Pyramids 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the pyramid-power dept.
LoLobey (1932986) writes "Scott Adams has proposed a pyramid project to save the world via energy generation and tourism. Basically build giant pyramids, miles wide and high, in the desert to generate power via chimney effect and photo voltaics with added features for tourism (he's planning ahead for when robots take over all the work and we'll need something to do). He's had a few "Big Ideas" lately (canals, ice bergs, ion energy)."
Hardware

Printed Circuits as Part of a 3-D Printed Object (Video) 42

Posted by timothy
from the next-thing-you-know-we'll-be-printing-electronic-ray-guns dept.
Affordable 3-D printing is still young; just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal) created from a software description in a box that fits on your desk. But in the several years the printing of *things* has moved fromquaint, quixotic, futzing-about hobby into something that works (fairly) reliably in ever more garages, schools, and hackerspaces, it's gotten good enough that you can now download and print quite a few objects that are available for download, or scan small items to replicate, or scan your friends to print out as statuettes. However, for the most part, these printed pieces are static, and finished. With care, you can print things like a chain, or even a ball joint, but you're still limited mostly to one basic material at a time. (Printing with multiple colors is getting easier, though.) If you want to print a flashlight or a robot, you'll need to add wires and other circuitry as a separate step. That's what the folks at Rabbit Proto (get it?) are trying to change. With the system they're working on, a filament printer is used to fabricate the object itself, but at the same time, both capacitive and conductive features can be baked -- or rather printed -- right in, with a separate print head. We talked with Alexandre Jais and Manal Dia of Rabbit Proto about how the system works, and why you might want to use it. (Alternate video link.)
Power

US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities 187

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-make-sure-not-to-use-organic-litter dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with news of nuclear plants across the U.S. dealing with the consequences of the failure of Yucca Mountain. From the article: "The steel and concrete containers used to store the waste on-site were envisioned as only a short-term solution when introduced in the 1980s. Now they are the subject of reviews by industry and government to determine how they might hold up — if needed — for decades or longer. With nowhere else to put its nuclear waste, the Millstone Power Station overlooking Long Island Sound is sealing it up in massive steel canisters on what used to be a parking lot. The storage pad, first built in 2005, was recently expanded to make room for seven times as many canisters filled with spent fuel. ... The government is pursuing a new plan for nuclear waste storage, hoping to break an impasse left by the collapse of a proposal for Nevada's Yucca Mountain. The Energy Department says it expects other states will compete for a repository ... But the plan faces hurdles including a need for new legislation that has stalled in Congress." There's always recycling or transmutation.
Earth

Organic Cat Litter May Have Caused Nuclear Waste Accident 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-a-bad-kitty dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes in with a story about how important buying the right kind of kitty litter can be. "In February, a 55-gallon drum of radioactive waste burst open inside America's only nuclear dump, in New Mexico. Now investigators believe the cause may have been a pet store purchase gone bad. 'It was the wrong kitty litter,' says James Conca, a geochemist in Richland, Wash., who has spent decades in the nuclear waste business. It turns out there's more to cat litter than you think. It can soak up urine, but it's just as good at absorbing radioactive material. 'It actually works well both in the home litter box as well as the radiochemistry laboratory,' says Conca, who is not directly involved in the current investigation. Cat litter has been used for years to dispose of nuclear waste. Dump it into a drum of sludge and it will stabilize volatile radioactive chemicals. The litter prevents it from reacting with the environment. And this is what contractors at Los Alamos National Laboratory were doing as they packed Cold War-era waste for shipment to the dump. But at some point, they decided to make a switch, from clay to organic. 'Now that might sound nice, you're trying to be green and all that, but the organic kitty litters are organic,' says Conca. Organic litter is made of plant material, which is full of chemical compounds that can react with the nuclear waste. 'They actually are just fuel, and so they're the wrong thing to add,' he says. Investigators now believe the litter and waste caused the drum to slowly heat up 'sort of like a slow burn charcoal briquette instead of an actual bomb.' After it arrived at the dump, it burst."

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