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The Almighty Buck

Monkey Business and Freakonomics 182

marct22 writes "Stephen J Dubner, co-writer of 'Freakonomics' said there will be a second Freakonomics book. One of the items that will be covered is capuchin monkeys' use of washers as money, buying sweets, budgeting for favored treats over lesser treats. He mentioned that one of the experiments had similar outcomes as a study of day traders. And lastly, he watched capuchin prostitution!"

Submission + - Evolution MLP

Suit writes: "A report from a Swedish-Norwegian research group, led by professor Per Jensen at Linköping university in Sweden, shows that chickens can actually inherit behavioural modifications induced by stress in their parents. The scientists grew groups of chickens under stressful conditions, where a randomly fluctuating day-night rhythm made access to food and resting perches unpredictable. This caused a marked decrease in the ability of the stressed birds to solve a spatial learning task. Remarkably, their offspring also had a decreased learning ability, in spite of being kept under non-stress conditions from the point of egg-laying. They were also more competitive and grew faster than offspring of non-stressed birds."

Submission + - Lyrid meteors no moon this weekend

mdsolar writes: "If you want to take a chance on the Lyrid Meteor Shower you should be looking this weekend. This shower is usually a quiet one but can result is spactacular displays from time to time. Sky and Telescope 05866.html has this to say:

In 1982 the rate unexpectedly reached 90 for a single hour, and 180 to 300 for a few minutes. A brief outburst of 100 per hour was also seen in 1922. And on April 20, 1803, residents of Richmond, Virginia, upon being rousted out of bed by a fire bell, were startled to see great numbers of meteors in all parts of the sky. atch-the-lyrid-meteor-shower gives viewing times as the very early hours of Sunday and Monday morning. The Moon will have set by then."

Submission + - U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Federal Abortion Ban

andyteleco writes: "Law Threatens Women's Health; Criminalizes Safe, Early Abortions WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the federal abortion ban in the cases Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood and Gonzales v. Carhart. The ban, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003, criminalizes abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy that doctors say are safe and the best to protect women's health. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) denounced the ruling. ss/politics-policy-issues/supreme-court-14047.htm"

Submission + - Steam hacked... again

badfrog@w00tz writes: "Valve's Steam for Cyber Cafes is a parallel version of Steam intended for use in cyber cafes and gaming centers, for which center owners pay a subscription fee (because Valve won't just sell us the games outright, but I digress) for access to a large portion of the games distributed through Steam. Many of the companies that use this service are small "mom and pop" type operations just trying to make ends meet. So, we aren't talking about huge, faceless mega-corporations here, but real people just trying to make a go at running a small business.

As reported on The Register, sometime before April 8th, someone calling himself MaddoXx posted a large rar file containing, among other things, some of Valve's financial information, steps to spoof a Steam for Cafes account, and a set of 5 or so credit card numbers belonging to some of Valve's gaming center customers, pulled from transactions made back in early March. There are signs that some people posted in the forums asking about MaddoXx and his claim, but moderators seem to be actively deleting threads there that refer to the incident, and Valve has to date not contacted any of its Steam for Cafes customers about the problem.

I am one of Valve's gaming center customers, and while my credit card number was not compromised (at least not yet), I'm incensed that I have to learn about this information from an IT news source in the UK rather than from a Valve company representative. Unfortunately, Valve's behavior seems to be the status quo for security breach disclosure..."

Submission + - Yahoo sued over jailing of Chinese dissident

David Gerard writes: "The World Organization for Human Rights USA has just filed a federal lawsuit against Yahoo over the company's decision to release dissident e-mails to the Chinese government. Alleging that Yahoo's actions were directly responsible for Wang Xiaoning's detention, abuse, and current 10-year prison sentence, the group claims that Yahoo is liable under both the Alien Tort Statue and the Torture Victim Protection Act."

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