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Opossums Overrun Brooklyn, Fail To Eliminate Rats 343

__roo writes "In a bizarre case of life imitates the Simpsons, New York City officials introduced a population of opossums into Brooklyn parks and under the boardwalk at Coney Island, apparently convinced that the opossums would eat all of the rats in the borough and then conveniently die of starvation. Several years later, the opossums have not only failed to eliminate the rat epidemic from New York City, but they have thrived, turning into a sharp-toothed, foul-odored epidemic of their own."
America Online

Submission + - Is AOL finally crashing and burning? (

An anonymous reader writes: AOL's disastrous quarterly report showed cash from continuing operations was down 44% from a year ago (while "adjusted operating income" was down 37%), as it continues a rocky transition from monthly subscription fees into advertising. (Their quarterly report also notes "the cessation of large-scale access subscriber acquisition campaigns" — investor-speak for the fact that AOL will finally stop mass mailings of free trial accounts.) Unfortunately, AOL's advertising business "did even worse. Its revenues declined by $110 million...every single segment is down." AOL has already lost 86% of the 30 million subscribers it reported in 2001 — down to just 4.3 million — but advertising hasn't yet filled the gap (possibly because many AOL ads had been displayed to the users AOL no longer has). But at least, as one technology blogger notes, AOL has finally released a mobile application, "In the new definition of 'late to the party'."

Submission + - Google spy drones raises privacy concerns

An anonymous reader writes: The Internet giant Google is in the process of testing the use of camera drones according to a published report. The "md4-1000" from Microdrones can carry any payload weighting up to 1.2 kilograms, is very silent, can fly as high as one kilometer. The drones are already used by the British police, among many other corporate and private users of the freely available drone, since 3 years. "The drones are very suited to deliver up to date image material for Google Maps," said Juerss

Submission + - 100 sq-mile ice sheet breaks off Arctic glacier (

suraj.sun writes: The 260 square-kilometer (100 square miles) ice island separated from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland early on Thursday, researchers based at the University of Delaware said.

The ice island, which is about half the height of the Empire State Building, is the biggest piece of ice to break away from the Arctic icecap since 1962 and amounts to a quarter of the Petermann 70-kilometer floating ice shelf, according to research leader Andreas Muenchow.

Environmentalists say ice melt is being caused by global warming with Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reaching their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years, according to a study published in 2009.

Current trends could see the Arctic Ocean become ice free in summer months within decades, researchers predict.



Your Feces Is a Wonderland of Viruses 211

sciencehabit writes "Thanks to an anlaysis of fecal samples from four sets of Missouri-born female identical twins and their mothers, researchers have concluded that human guts harbor viruses as unique as the people they inhabit; the viral lineup differs even between identical twins. Even more surprising? These viruses may be doing good work inside of us."

Submission + - Chrome OS to Support "Legacy" PC Apps

adeelarshad82 writes: According to a message posted to a public mailing list dedicated to Chrome OS a new feature is in the works that will grant users access to "legacy PC applications" through some kind of remote desktop connection process. Google software engineer Gary Kamark, who first spilled the beans on the feature, calls the process, "Chromoting." The current speculation amongst Chrome enthusiasts is that the Chromoting process is more akin to a VPN/sharing functionality than anything else. In that case, one would have to leave one's Windows-based desktop or laptop system on in order to access apps via a connected Chrome OS computer—which, itself, is hardly a technological leap given that numerous applications today offer users an analogous screen-sharing / remote access functionality.

Submission + - North Korean Flash Games for Export (

linzeal writes: Despite it being pretty-much closed off to the world, North Korea is the next boom place for IT and tech outsourcing, PC World has reported. Flash games are being developed there for outside publishers, largely thanks to the home-grown talent. Does this mean that the the cartoon company that makes the Simpsons might use North Korea as well? Well it looks like they already have started.

Submission + - Expert designs FPGA-based logic analyzer in a day (

TidbitsOfTrivia writes: Those little rapscallions at Opal Kelly are running an *Experts' Design Challenge*. The idea is to create an FPGA-based logic analyzer in a single working day. Well, the first expert to rise to the challenge is Rainer Malzbender, and his offering is a thing of beauty and a wonder to behold...

Submission + - A Battle of Wits on the Net's Effect on the Mind (

An anonymous reader writes: There's a fascinating duel going on between two Harvard-associated authors, Steven Pinker and Nicholas Carr, on the topic of the Net's influence on the mind. In a New York Times op-ed, Pinker criticizes Carr's argument, as laid out in his new book The Shallows, that our use of the Net is encouraging us to become distracted, superficial thinkers. The Net and other digital technologies "are the only things that will keep us smart," writes Pinker. In a response on his blog, Carr tears apart Pinker's argument, claiming that Pinker's examples should actually make us even more worried about the possible "ill effects" the Net is having on our minds. Carr concludes: "We're training ourselves, through repetition, to be facile skimmers, scanners, and message-processors — important skills, to be sure — but, perpetually distracted and interrupted, we're not training ourselves in the quieter, more attentive modes of thought: contemplation, reflection, introspection, deep reading, and so forth." Behind the debate is the deeper controversy over whether the human brain is fundamentally adaptable ("neuroplasticity") or genetically locked into patterns of behavior ("evolutionary psychology").

Submission + - Help finding a good photo manager?

JeremyDuffy writes: Ask Slashdot: I have an photo project of over 7000 photos. I want to tag them based on location, time of day, who's in them, etc. Doing this by hand one at a time through the Windows 7 interface in explorer is practically madness. There has to be a better way. Is there a photo manager that can easily group and manage file tags? And most importantly, something that stores the tag and other data (description etc) in the FILE not just a database? I don't care if the thing has a database, but the data MUST be in the file so when I upload the files to the Internet, the tags are in place.

Submission + - Geek wedding ring? 13

RoadNotTaken writes: Dear Slashdot,
I finally bit the bullet and decided to get married. My fiance and I are looking for wedding rings and I find myself disappointed that they have so-few features. Are there any geeky rings out there that can do something useful? I'm thinking USB or RFID but am open to suggestions. There has to be SOMETHING good you can do with a chunk of metal on your finger...

Submission + - SPAM: Panic And Anxiety Attacks

jillossr writes: Panic and anxiety attacks are nothing but insecurity of the mind. For people who suffer from these attacks need special care and I have formatted a program for the same in the following ways.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Plastic Antibodies Fight Off Antigens Like the Rea (

An anonymous reader writes: We use plastics to make everything from our computers to our toothbrushes, but a collaboration of researchers from the University of California at Irvine and the University of Shizuoka in Japan has made a big breakthrough by taking plastics to microscopic levels. Using plastic nanoparticles just 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, the team has created plastic antibodies that successfully function in the bloodstream of living animals to identify and fight a variety of antigens.
User Journal

Journal Journal: very late preliminary micro-review: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 1

"Universal" direct-contact heat pipe cooler with real big fan, simple installation on AMD platform, not-too-complicated installation on Intel but I have AMD, three/four pin connector for full compatibility, super cheap (~$20), Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz O/C to 3.2 GHz via multiplier idles at 98 with ambient of about 80. Easy to install second fan, hardware for same included. Medium weight, minimal but attractive packaging, would buy again, unless it lets me down sometime soon. Comes with apparen

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