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Submission + - No, Oreos Aren't as Addictive as Cocaine (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Students at Connecticut College opted for the second option, and the consequences that ensued were much more annoying than making some arts and crafts with a darn mouse. Fox News reported that a "College study finds Oreo cookies are as addictive as drugs," Forbes explained "Why Your Brain Treats Oreos Like a Drug," and a ton of other sites ran with the story as well.

Here's how the experiment, which has not been peer reviewed and has not been presented yet, went down. Mice were placed in a maze, with one end holding an Oreo and the other end holding a rice cake. The mice, without fail, decided to eat the Oreo over the rice cake, proving once and for all that mice like cookies better than tasteless discs with a styrofoamy texture.

Submission + - Oreos as addictive as cocaine to rats (

turning in circles writes: Medical researchers have found that rats prefer Oreos to rice cakes about as much as they prefer cocaine or morphine. The levels of pleasure-recognizing proteins in the rats' brains actually increased more for Oreos than cocaine. More studies like this, and maybe studies with McDonald's french fries, might further open the debate about the extent to which obesity is a medical condition vs a personal preference.

Submission + - Blizzard Entertainment wins legal battle with a small WoW bot company (

gamersunited writes: After more than 2 years of legal battles with Blizzard Entertainment to both pursue Ceiling Fan Software's right to operate and their customer’s right to play WoW as they choose, Ceiling Fan Software did not prevail in the suit and have been ordered by the United States District Court in California to cease their operations. A link to the ruling is here.

Submission + - Plant temperature perception imaged using open source microscopy software

GAATTC writes: How plants sense temperature is not well understood. An automated microscopy system controlled by Micro-Manager open source microscope automation software has been used to capture the dynamics of plant high temperature gene expression responses. A surprising finding is that waves of gene expression sweep down the roots as they grow after exposure to high temperatures.

Submission + - Gamers solve decade old HIV puzzle in ten days ( 2

twocows writes: From the article: "Scientists from Washington University have been struggling for the past decade to decipher the complex structure of a enzyme that exhibits AIDS-like behavior, and which might hold a critical role in building a cure for the disease. Gamers playing spatial game Foldit have managed to collectively determine the enzyme’s structure in ten days."

Submission + - Apple Slashes iPhone 5c Production

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Information Week reports that Apple has asked Pegatron to lower its orders downward by 20% and Hon Hai to slow down their production downward by one-third suggesting that the iPhone 5c may not be selling as well as Apple had forecast. Earlier this week, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) data indicated that Apple's iPhone 5s accounted for 64% of total iPhone sales at the end of September. The iPhone 5c accounted for 27% of sales, and the iPhone 4S comprised 9% of sales. Some are calling into question Apple's pricing strategy for the iPhone 5c. Without a contract, the iPhone 5c starts at $549 — certainly not a "low-cost" device — while the 5s starts at $649. With only $100 separating the two, many consumers are opting for the high-end model. "This reflects a failure in Apple's pricing strategy," said Bevan Yeh, a Taipei-based senior fund manager at Prudential Financial Securities Investment Trust. "The price differentiation between 5C and 5S is too small. It's an iPhone 5 with plastic casing and isn't worth the price." However, Pegatron and Hon Hai are not Apple's only manufacturing partners and it is useless to speculate about how much iPhone 5c stock Apple already has on-hand. Analysts still predict that Apple will sell 23 million 5c devices during the fourth quarter of the year and another 10 million during the first quarter of next year.

Submission + - Will the US Lose Control of the Internet? ( 2

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Upon revelation of the extent of US foreign intelligence surveillance, through efforts by Edward Snowden and LavaBit founder Ladar Levison, an increasing number of nation's have expressed official dismay and concern over the US dominance in managing the infrastructure for request and transit of information on the Internet. In the past, ICANN challenges have been secondary to efforts in the UN ITU — until now. Yesterday at a summit in Uruguay, every major Internet governing body pledged to free themselves of the influence of the US government. "The directors of ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Society and all five of the regional Internet address registries have vowed to break their associations with the US government. The group called for "accelerating the globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an equal footing". Any doubt about the reason or timing of this statement is dispelled with the inclusion: "the group 'expressed strong concern over the undermining of the trust and confidence of Internet users globally due to recent revelations of pervasive monitoring and surveillance'."

The US argument for maintaining governance has been the need to maintain "a free and open Internet" versus interests of authoritarian societies. Has recent understanding of the wholesale surveillance of telecommunications by the NSA completely ruined the US reputation as the just custodian of that mission?

Comment Re:0.001km = 0.01hm = 1m = 10dm = 100cm = 1000mm (Score 2) 909

1 mm is roughly 1/32 Inches - so right off the bat there you've got have the accuracy that you asked for.

1/32 is approximately 26% smaller than 1mm. How is that even remotely accurate?

Consider, if you want a 3ft shelf and you estimate it using your method you would want a 1153mm shelf when what you really want is one approximately 914mm. That's a pretty big difference. Nevermind how that would scale to anything larger.

Comment Re:0.001km = 0.01hm = 1m = 10dm = 100cm = 1000mm (Score 2) 909

10mm of rain falls over a 1km^2 drainage area. How much volume does the drainage system have to dispose of?

Now do it for imperial with inches of rain and acres of area. Oh, and did you choose gallons or cu ft?

Proper measurement of rainfall like that would be acre-ft. So neither gallons or cu-ft would be appropriate.

Comment Missing Metrics (Score 1) 345

Seems to me that this program is missing some critical metrics of driving safety. As an app it has the potential to monitor other phone activities while driving. I think that beyond the basic GPS based speed / location measurements and the accelerometer data they should be interested in how distracted the driver is by their mobile.

Say they're texting or browsing the web while driving but still doing the speed limit. The way this program is being described there would be no penalty. In reality the driver is by far more of a hazard to those around them and should pay a higher premium as they are more likely to be involved in an incident.

Comment Re:Glad someone is challenging this (Score 1) 566

I understand that speed limits are too low, but you're comlaining about getting a ticket for doing something illegal, because the exact extent to which you were violating the law was off by a fraction?

The thing is with speeding tickets magnitude matters. There is a graduated scale for the fines with larger fines and more points for exceeding the speed limit by more. So yes it makes sense to challenge the magnitude. If you get a ticket for 12 mph over the limit the fine is say $150 plus 2 points (numbers I'm pulling out of my ass but are fairly representative), now if the automated camera is adding 4 mph more on top that puts you at 16 mph over which would then put you at a $225 fine and 3 points. This is a nontrivial difference.

On a side note, as a designer of roads and bridges I can say that the speed limits are influenced by the geometry of the road and the location (i.e. while it may be geometrically possible it is a bad idea to have a residential street posted for 50 mph). There are some cases where unscrupulous towns/villages/cities will post a lower speed limit than the surrounding areas as a way to increase revenue. This is can be challenged court and is frequently overturned. Also in areas where there are lower posted speed limits for things like curves (black on yellow) and construction areas (black on orange) the lower limits per MUTCD are not enforceable as those signs particularly the black on yellow are just suggestions. To lower the posted limit the signs must be the standard regulatory black letters on white they can only jump 10 mph at a time (i.e. you can't go from a 45 to a 25 in one jump) and there must be advance warning signs "reduced speed ahead". When in doubt about a speed limit or regulatory sign or even a traffic light timing consult a good highway engineering text and the MUTCD.


Submission + - Man Convicted of Issuing Competing Currency ( 15

roman_mir writes: This FBI file is about a North Carolina man, who is convicted of minting silver coins, which compete with the currency issued by the US Mint.

The 67 year old is is facing 15 years of prison time and $250,000 fine as well as confiscation of $7,000,000 worth of silver and silver coins.

Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, von NotHaus, the founder and monetary architect of a currency known as the Liberty Dollar, was found guilty by a jury in Statesville, North Carolina, of making coins resembling and similar to United States coins; of issuing, passing, selling, and possessing Liberty Dollar coins; of issuing and passing Liberty Dollar coins intended for use as current money; and of conspiracy against the United States.

Von NotHaus designed the Liberty Dollar currency in 1998 and the Liberty coins were marked with the dollar sign ($); the words dollar, USA, Liberty, Trust in God (instead of In God We Trust); and other features associated with legitimate U.S. coinage.

In coordination with the Department of Justice, on September 14, 2006, the United States Mint issued a press release and warning to American citizens that the Liberty Dollar was “not legal tender.”

Article I, section 8, clause 5 of the United States Constitution delegates to Congress the power to coin money and to regulate the value thereof.

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney Tompkins said in announcing the verdict. “While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

Of-course the value of the US dollar under the US government has been in steady decline ever since the creation of the Federal reserve bank. Here is some data on how much value US dollar lost only in the last 25 years.

US Mint does not like competition, so it would be interesting to see its take on JP Morgan announcing that they are accepting physical gold as collateral with its counterparties.

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