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Earth

Meat the Food of the Future 705

Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that rising food prices, the growing population, and environmental concerns are just a few issues that have food futurologists thinking about what we will eat in the future and how we will eat it. In the UK, meat prices are anticipated to have a huge impact on our diets as some in the food industry prognosticate meat prices could double in the next five to seven years, making meat a luxury item. 'In the West many of us have grown up with cheap, abundant meat,' says Morgaine Gaye. 'Rising prices mean we are now starting to see the return of meat as a luxury. As a result we are looking for new ways to fill the meat gap.' Insects will become a staple of our diet. They cost less to raise than cattle, consume less water and do not have much of a carbon footprint. Plus, there are an estimated 1,400 species that are edible to man. 'Things like crickets and grasshoppers will be ground down and used as an ingredient in things like burgers.' But insects will need an image overhaul if they are to become more palatable to the squeamish Europeans and North Americans, says Gaye. 'They will become popular when we get away from the word insects and use something like mini-livestock (PDF).' Another alternative would be lab grown meat as a recent study by Oxford University found growing meat in a lab rather than slaughtering animals would significantly reduce greenhouse gases, energy consumption and water use. Prof Mark Post, who led the Dutch team of scientists at Maastricht University that grew strips of muscle tissue using stem cells taken from cows, says he wants to make lab meat "indistinguishable" from the real stuff, but it could potentially look very different. Finally algae could provide a solution to some the world's most complex problems, including food shortages as some in the sustainable food industry predict algae farming could become the world's biggest cropping industry. Like insects, algae could be worked into our diet without us really knowing by using seaweed granules to replace salt in bread and processed foods. 'The great thing about seaweed is it grows at a phenomenal rate,' says Dr Craig Rose, executive director of the Seaweed Health Foundation. 'It's the fastest growing plant on earth.'"
Privacy

Interview With Mozilla's Ryan Merkley: Tracking the Trackers 165

colinneagle writes "Among the eye-opening statements in his recent TED talk, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said, 'Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet. Our voices matter and our actions matter even more.' After you download and install Collusion in Firefox, you can 'see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods,' Kovacs stated. 'Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don't know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It's now time for us to watch the watchers.' I've been using Collusion for some time now and it is jaw-dropping to watch all the sites that still stalk us across the web even with DNT and privacy add-ons. The Collusion page states: 'The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.'"
Programming

C/C++ Back On Top of the Programming Heap? 611

Drethon writes "On this day in 2008, a submission was posted that C/C++ was losing ground so I decided to check out its current state. It seems that C has returned to the top while Java has dropped by the same amount, VB and PHP have dropped drastically, C++ is holding fast but now in third place and Objective-C and C# have climbed quite a bit. 2008 data thanks to SatanicPuppy: 1. Java (20.5%); 2. C (.14.7%); 3. VB (11.6%); 4. PHP (10.3%); 5. C++ (9.9%); 6. Perl (5.9%); 7. Python (4.5%); 8. C# (.3.8%); 9. Ruby(2.9%); 10. Delphi (2.7%). The other 10 in the top 20 are: JavaScript, D, PL/SQL, SAS, Pascal, Lisp/Scheme, FoxPro/xBase, COBOL, Ada, and ColdFusion."

Comment Re:Sony's war on their customers (Score 1) 290

Correction, it used to be. Sony bought out the Ericsson share of the venture back in January. Looking at Sony's attitude towards their users, like closing a fan-run blog for trademark reasons, or the case with the Homebrew community on PS3 I expect the attention to developers and the community will fade away in time. Which is a real shame. I was a loyal fan of Ericsson as the handsets were feature-rich and reliable - all the way from their monochrome models, right though the Sony merger up to the Android era, but now I feel it's time to switch.

Comment Re:This has been around for a while (Score 2) 181

Lithuania has this clause written right in the constitution (Article 68): 50,000 citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who have the electoral right may submit a draft law to the Seimas and the Seimas must consider it. (Seimas being the parliament)

Currently there's this new wave of citizen initiatives, including websites promoting government expenditure and transparency, blogs (one is actually called 50000.lt after the constitutional article), petition sites, a website which lets you look up your representative and fire him an email right away, and another, which provides an API to monitor parliament resolutions and voting statistics. But combining the petition sites with real electronic signatures to actually enforce the 68th article, now that's a novel idea. There are already bank logins with two factor authentication. And we've had these European ID cards with biometric data which work as a passport in the Schengen area, and each of these cards have a digital certificate on a chip inside, which can be used for electronic document signing (with a government-based certificate authority) so all that's left right now is to combine the two.

Thank you Slashdot for the idea! I'm off to gather some coders and start changing the world.

NASA

Cassini Captures Audio of Storm On Saturn 51

Sooner Boomer writes "The Cassini space probe has been monitoring an enormous storm on Saturn since it was detected last December. The storm, dubbed 'The Great White Spot', now 500 times larger than any previously seen by Cassini at Saturn, is 8 times the surface area of Earth. Observers on Earth have been able to see a bright white 'smudge' in the northern half of the planet." NASA released a recording of the electrical noise generated by the lightning.
United Kingdom

Workers Will Smash Their PCs To Get an Upgrade 533

An anonymous reader writes "One in four office workers reckon that the best way to get a new work computer is to smash up the one they have — either that or to take it down to the junk shop themselves. Some 40 per cent of office workers complain that their aging workplace PC hurts their productivity and many are tempted to resort to extreme measures to get an upgrade, including taking a hammer to the aging beast on the desktop. Some ten per cent of UK workers said they'd even resort to buying new parts for their work devices themselves to perform their own upgrade; particularly those who work in smaller organizations."

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