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Comment: Re:Where Is My Lunch? (Score 4, Informative) 46

My folks raised ostriches, rheas, and emus during the breeder's market craze. I think the most we paid for an adult breeding pair was $35k. The ostriches laid anywhere from 40-60 eggs/yr, sometimes more, which we incubated and hatched. Ostrich chicks were sold for $1500-3000/ea at a few days to a few weeks old. Our facilities were inspected by the USDA and we were licensed by them. Occasionally we would sell fertile eggs for ~$1000/ea.

Consider a cow that requires grazing space and has one, maybe two calves a year. An ostrich pair can produce >40x the many offspring in less space and the chicks mature to slaughter age in 14 months, the same as a cow. A single male can service a dozen females and this can all be done in a few acres of land, with less waste products as well. Our rheas were much more prolific, with one of our breeding pairs churning out over 120 fertile eggs per year. Our emus didn't produce well.

The ostrich cornea was said to be compatible with humans, the feathers are in demand, and the leather is strong and light. Even the egg shells have been used by Faberge and others. I didn't really care for an ostrich egg omlette but the meat is low in both cholesterol and fat like chicken or turkey meat but is a red meat. The adults weigh around 300lbs.

There were sometimes problems though. We had issues with egg shells that were too thick where the chicks couldn't peck through it and we would have to drill through the shell and help them hatch. Impaction was a big issue as the chicks would basically eat so much grass they would get bound up and couldn't get any nutrients. I did the autopsies. They will also eat any shiny piece of metal or nails and die. And if their body grows too fast, their legs cannot support the weight and they get bowed legs and other leg problems. The older birds will sometimes die just from the stress of being moved. We had a yearling once that walked on a slick surface and lost its footing, blowing out its knees and there's little you can do to help them recover from that. These problems aren't intractable, the poultry industry has solved a lot of them, and some of it was due to our own ignorance about proper feeding schedules and diet.

I still think there are merits for eating ostrich meat over cow meat. I feel like an ostrich farm can scale larger than a cow farm with less environmental impact. But I just don't think Americans want to eat ostriches.

Comment: "Data Encryption Is Legal" N2IRZ - CQ, Aug. '06 (Score 1) 371

by synaptic (#44116375) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

"Just like Dorothy returning to Kansas, it turns out we've been able to do it any time we wanted to. Data encryption for our intended purposes is already permitted under Part 97 of the FCC rules. We just hadn't realized it. Read on for the details. "


+ - Liliputian Portable Battery Promises 2 Weeks of Charging->

Submitted by
SmartAboutThings writes "So what do you do if you are on a move? Pray to find an outlet and if not be stuck without the functionalities you signed up for. From now on, an alternative will be available. After more than 11 years of working on the project and spending $90 millions in the process, Lilliputian Systems is finally ready to release to the public its butane-driven portable battery charger. The portable battery charger is said to keep your smartphone charged for up to 2 weeks!"
Link to Original Source

+ - European e.coli superbug was bioengineered->

Submitted by Robadob
Robadob (1800074) writes "This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the "mutation pressure" that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.

So if you're curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence."

Link to Original Source

+ - Moving mirrors make quantum sparks->

Submitted by
gbrumfiel writes "The vacuum of empty space is actually a foaming sea of "virtual" quantum particles. Now researchers have managed to convert some of these virtual particles into real ones. A team based in Sweden used a superconducting circuit as a mirror that could be shaken at near the speed of light. The shaking mirror created real photons out of the void. The effect is related to the Casimir force between two metal plates separated by a very short distance."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Darknet Map (Score 1) 127

by synaptic (#35507254) Attached to: In Virginia, Delivering Broadband To the Customers Big Telecom Forgot

If you are interested in building a distributed mesh, please visit this site and add your location to the map.

From the site:

Recent events related to net neutrality and censorship have us realizing that the internet is not as resistant to political attack as we had imagined. With the flick of a finger governments can seize domain names without oversight, with concealed effort Internet Service Providers are undermining the neutrality of the Internet.

We are building a mesh network that will do away with censorship, ISP conflicts-of-interest, and 'last mile' duopolies. Affordable technology to do so already exists, but the main hurdle is finding nearby individuals interested in participating.

This map solves this issue. Place a marker on the map to indicate your approximate location (for privacy reasons.) The areas will be attached to an e-mail address so that others nearby will be able to communicate with you (through an anonymous form — your address will remain secrets.)

The goal is not to build a wide-area mesh network overnight, but rather get nearby geeks to experiment with mesh technologies, in the hopes that more will join later.

Most people will listen to your unreasonable demands, if you'll consider their unacceptable offer.