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Comment Re:Ethanol pluses and minuses (Score 4, Informative) 586

I'm a biotech student who's very interested in this stuff. For anyone looking for an expanded explanation of the challenges facing cellulosic ethanol this blog post might be interesting. I've also written about the possible affects that large scale biofuel production may have on food security.

Cellulosic ethanol would be a big contribution to solving the impending energy crisis. Domestic waste and agricultural waste could be recylced into fuel to supplement demand to some extent, but in order to meet demand grain originally destined for food would have to be diverted. If not regulated properly this would likely cause an increase in global food prices. In a world with circa. 1 billion people starving, this is obviously less than ideal.

Comment Re:Here, here! (Score 4, Interesting) 270

Brilliant post. You've summed up my feelings about Facebook perfectly. All I have to add is how Facebook are now leaning on users to part with their cash, either directly with facebook credits, or indirectly through virtual item trading through third party flash games (Of which Facebook gets a cut) The subscription fee is coming soon.

Also, It stopped being slightly cool the minute my Mom made an account.


Submission + - Official WoW Forums to Display Full Names (

Becausegodhasmademe writes: In a move that has drawn heavy criticism from the World of Warcraft playerbase, Activision Blizzard announced today that the full name of posters on their public forums will be displayed alongside each forum post. The thread on the US WoW forum announcing the changes has reached 21,000 posts at time of writing, filled with complaints from customers very concerned about their privacy. In defense of the move, a community moderator posted his full name and challenged the players to find information on him. Within 15 minutes his personal information, including address, telephone number and the names and addresses of his family members were posted, causing the community moderator to delete his Facebook account.

The account cancellation page at is currently down, due presumably to the volume of customers canceling their accounts. As the privacy changes will affect European forums as well, many posters are questioning the legality of the change.


Blizzard To Require Real First and Last Names For Official Forums 833

An anonymous reader writes "Recently, Blizzard Entertainment implemented a Real ID feature for some of its current games and all of its future games. Today, Blizzard announced that it intends to require usage of the real names of posters for its StarCraft II forums before release, and for its World of Warcraft forums shortly before the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. From the announcement: 'The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic forums, will remain unchanged.'"

The "King of All Computer Mice" Finally Ships 207

An anonymous reader writes "The much-anticipated, much-mocked 18-button joystick mouse from WarMouse is now shipping. The press release features an impressive set of user quotes from game designer Chris Taylor, new SFWA president John Scalzi, and a doctor who runs a medical software company. Crazy or not, it's obviously more than just a gaming mouse."

Submission + - Police Desire Less Privacy for Website Owners (

peard33 writes: Law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen countries are calling for tougher regulations on the Internet that would shed more light on who's on the other side of a website. (Via The Register)

Submission + - US Cities With The Highest Malware Infection Rates (

An anonymous reader writes: An analysis of more than one million malware infections in the United States shows New York City had the most infections—because New York has the most computers. But when the number of infections was factored in as a percentage of a city’s population, New York ended up near the bottom of the list and Atlanta, Georgia came out on top.

Submission + - Yahoo vs. Google Why the market needs a fuel check (

MeetTheBoss writes: In the same week that Google reveals plans to launch a system that will allow publishers to charge for content, executive business channel sits down with Yahoo’s Jeff Russakow, EVP of Customer Advocacy, to discuss consumer satisfaction and engagement — and how to monetize for the web. According to reports revealed at the end of last week by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Google will later this year launch an integrated payment system that allows publishers to use a single infrastructure for web, mobile and tablet to monetize their content. The news comes hot on the heels of moves by News Corporation to buy the 61 percent of BSkyB that it doesn’t already own, bringing the pay-TV operator completely into the fold: this, too, is matched by News International’s (News Corp’s main UK subsidiary) to place its newspapers behind paywalls and begin charging online users to access their pages. As such, the paywall debate is raging. The battle for online market share is raging too. ‘Reach is not enough’ For Yahoo, which currently reaches 600 million users worldwide, current plans to develop mobile apps to reach the 1.5 billion-strong handset market suggests there is still potential to reach a huge audience: but, even with Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia offering 500 million new users to the market place in the next five years, reach just isn’t enough. “The first thing [to remember] is the good-old fashioned advertising model that says the internet is still in its early days and there’s a lot more money to come over,” explains Russakow in the exclusive interview with “Somewhere between 10, 11, 12 percent of total advertising is spent on online advertising and yet somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of consumer minutes are now spent online every night.” The issue is that online advertising is basically now rivaling television; and has long passed and blown out print media or radio in terms of where the consumers are spending their time. It’s a little like Mad Men – only on acid. “Outside of that,” proffers Russakow, “there is no question that the historical ideas of monetization online and the advertising monetization model as the only model have clearly been turned upside down.” Eyeballs and engagement -->

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--> Russakow points to Google as a reference, sighting how the search engine giant currently has about 180 minutes per user, per month; accounting for $25 per user, per year. “If you look at Facebook” adds Russakow, “they’re almost twice that.” In fact, Facebook currently sees 280 minutes per user per month, however, they’re only making $1 per customer per year. That’s a 25 times difference. “Part of it, I’m sure, is that Facebook will close that gap by focusing on monetization,” suggest Russakow. “But the historical idea that eyeballs and engagement equals monetization is clearly not true anymore. You've got search; you've got display; you have listings; you have social and more and more, as people are moving to mobile devices, we’re seeing subscription models; people moving to content, apps, and loyalty programs. As a result a lot of the monetization models that have existed in media for a long time are now starting to come to bear fruit online.” Less is more That’s all well and good. In short, Facebook could be a killer if only it could monetize successfully – only it doesn’t. But what for Yahoo specifically: has Google got the search market all sown up? Russakow, perhaps obviously, says not. Yahoo economics are simple, he explains to MeetTheBosstv’s Jonathan Spragg; and Russakow is aiming to deliver more, with less. Already in the throes of an impressive cultural overhaul, Yahoo’s new CEO Carol Bartz has called Russakow a “transformational leader”. She says, “We need to do a better job of listening to Yahoo!’s users and advertisers and incorporating their feedback into our products and processes. In this critical role, Jeff will be instrumental in developing initiatives to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and he’ll ensure that we’re laser-focused on the needs of all our users and advertisers at every level of our company.” Yahoo already has 600 million users — now with Microsoft as a partner, a colossal advertising budget and Russakow to boot: the market place could be shifting gear. To see the interview in full, please go to


Submission + - iPhone 4 loses service when holding it (

snowboardin159 writes: This is a reader video found on Macrumors forums illustrating something weird. When the guy holds the iPhone in his hands, touching the outside antenna band in two places, he drops reception. Placing the phone down gets him 4 bars.

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