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Submission + - New Lifeform Possibly Discovered (

AstroPhilosopher writes: Scientists from Russia appear to have discovered an unknown microbe. In 2012 scientists took a water sample from Lake Vostok located more than two miles below Antarctic ice. It’s believed that this water is pristine, unaltered for at least a million years. Among the sample was a bacterium that is said to be only 86 percent similar to other types known to exist. After running the bacteria’s DNA through a global database, they could not find any known bacterium that matches the sample; they even couldn’t determine the bacteria’s descendants. At the moment, the scientists are awaiting confirmation from their peers. However, the bacterium is currently listed as unclassified and unidentified.

Submission + - Some Fish Use Electricity for Communication ( 1

AstroPhilosopher writes: Most people know that some eels are able to produce an electrical charge powerful enough to stun their prey; big deal. Now some researchers from John Hopkins University have discovered that some knifefish are also able to produce electricity, albeit more weakly than electric eels. However, the knifefish uses its electrical capabilities in another manner. Researchers have discovered that not only do knifefish use their electrical powers to sense the environment around them, but they also use electricity to communicate.

Comment Business as Usual (Score 1) 1

Fortunately for NASA, they haven’t sent a human past LEO in over 40 years so it’s obvious the sequester will have little to no impact on their future manned space exploration missions. Has anyone else noticed the ironic correlation of NASA complaining about budget cuts ever since they stopped sending humans beyond LEO? Well, at least they already decided to move forward with another Mars rover with zero return sample capabilities.

Comment Original Poster (Score 1) 138

Bad summarization? Not necessarily. In the Terminator series SkyNet placed living tissue over a robot in order to infiltrate human enclaves. Similarly, researchers placed robotics in a carcass in order to fool living sparrows. Exactly the same? No, but the premise is quite similar. The analogy was drawn simply to give the reader an idea of what happened since readers may be more familiar with the Terminator films than with ornithology, robotics, and taxidermy. Also, there are several meanings of the word re-animate; not just to bring the dead back to life. In this summary it is used in its abstract form. Finally, the summary clearly states exactly what was done (robotics placed into a carcass) and why (to study bird behavior) therefore even without reading the source one can properly deduce what transpired. I do not apologize for your confusion.

Submission + - Terminator Sparrows? (

AstroPhilosopher writes: In a move not far removed from the model T-101, US researchers have succeeded in re-animating a dead sparrow. Duke scientists were studying male behavior aggression amongst sparrows. So they cleverly decided to insert miniaturized robotics into an empty sparrow carcass and operate it like a puppet. It worked; they noticed wing movements were a primary sign of aggression. Fortunately the living won out this time. The experiment stopped after the real sparrows tore off the robosparrow's head. But there's always a newer model on the assembly-line. Good luck sparrows.

Comment Single Happiness (Score 1) 6

Personally, I keep a track of my finances noting the money saved while single compared to dating or in a relationship. Also, since I entered IT in a later stage of life, I tend to remind myself of how I could have been at this (satisfying) stage earlier if not for wasting years in relationships that usually turn sour. Finally, considering the impact of entertainment and media on American women today, I decided to no longer date them; it has been my experience that women from other countries tend to be more devoted to relationships minus the unnecessary BS many American women like to inject into theirs. I like my money and I like my peace of mind. Being single ensures I keep both. However, this is simply my observation and by no means is meant to stereotype any women.

Comment Military Pilots (Score 1) 2

Coincidently, this is something that concerned me and could have been addressed back in the 90’s; and possibly have changed (if so slightly) the outcome of September 11th, 2001. Many people are aware that many military pilots transfer their skills to the civilian sector (although transferring from fighter jets to passenger jets is a bit more tedious). What many people don’t know is that the Montgomery GI Bill, that many military personnel use to further their education, isn’t applicable to obtaining pilot licenses. Admittedly it will pay for the ATP and a few later certifications, but it does not cover any of the initial certifications (i.e. private, IFR, multi-engine, etc.). This is a pool of potential pilots that could easily be tapped into.

Submission + - Airlines Face Acute Pilot Shortage 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The WSJ reports that US airlines are facing their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with federal mandates taking effect that will require all newly hired pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of prior flight experience—six times the current minimum—raising the cost and time to train new fliers in an era when pay cuts and more-demanding schedules already have made the profession less attractive. Meanwhile, thousands of senior pilots at major airlines soon will start hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65. "We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem.,” says Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp. A study by the University of North Dakota's aviation department indicates major airlines will need to hire 60,000 pilots by 2025 to replace departures and cover expansion over the next eight years. Meanwhile only 36,000 pilots have passed the Air Transport Pilot exam in the past eight years, which all pilots would have to pass under the congressionally imposed rules and there are limits to the ability of airlines, especially the regional carriers, to attract more pilots by raising wages. While the industry's health has improved in recent years, many carriers still operate on thin profit margins, with the airlines sandwiched between rising costs for fuel and unsteady demand from price-sensitive consumers. "It certainly will result in challenges to maintain quality," says John Marshall, an independent aviation-safety consultant who spent 26 years in the Air Force before overseeing Delta's safety. "Regional carriers will be creative and have to take shortcuts" to fill their cockpits."

Submission + - UK court sanctions Apple for non-compliance (

drinkypoo writes: "Per PJ over on Groklaw as always, "Since Apple did not comply with the order in its estimation, adding materials that were not ordered and in addition were "false", the judges ordered Apple to pay Samsung's lawyers' fees on an indemnity basis, and they add some public humiliation". And per the judge, "what Apple added was false and misleading". Your move, Apple."

Submission + - Pee-Powered Generator Unveiled at Maker Faire Africa ( 1

hypnosec writes: Four Nigerian girls aged between 14 and 15 have unveiled their creation – a urine-powered generator that is capable of generating six hours of electricity using a liter of pee. Showcased at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, the generator is an eco-friendly power source that generates electricity by separating hydrogen present in the excreted bodily fluids with an electrolytic cell. The design is more or less crude as of now and if enough attention and funding are made available, chances are that this pee-powered generator may very well be available at your local hardware store.

Submission + - The mathematics that made Voyager possible (

concealment writes: "Nasa's Voyager spacecraft have enthralled everyone with their exploits at the edge of the Solar System, but their launch in 1977 was only possible because of some clever maths and the persistence of a PhD student who worked out how to slingshot probes into deep space.

On the 3 October, 1942, the nose cone of an early V2 test rocket soared high above the north German coast before falling back to a crash-landing in the Baltic Sea.

For the first time in history, an object built by humans had crossed the invisible Karman line, which marks the edge of space."

Submission + - L'Aquila quake: Italy scientists guilty of manslaughter (

An anonymous reader writes: Six Italian scientists and an ex-government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 deadly earthquake in L'Aquila.

A regional court found them guilty of multiple manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the defendants gave a falsely reassuring statement before the quake, while the defence maintained there was no way to predict major quakes.

The 6.3 magnitude quake devastated the city and killed 309 people

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