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Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.

Moscow Police Watch Pre-Recorded Scenes On Surveillance Cams 114

An anonymous reader writes "During several months of 2009, Moscow police looked at fake pictures displayed on their monitors instead of what was supposed to be video from the city surveillance cams. The subcontractor providing the cams was paid on the basis of 'the number of working cams,' so he delivered pre-cooked pictures stored on his servers. The camera company CEO has been arrested."

Watermelon Juice Makes Great Biofuel 160

Mike writes "Watermelons are more than just a tasty summer snack — researchers at the USDA have determined that the fruit constitutes a promising and economically viable source of biofuel. It turns out that the relatively high concentration of directly fermentable sugars in watermelon juice can be easily converted into ethanol. Rather than grow fields of the fruit for the purpose, the report suggests that farmers capitalize on the 20% of each annual watermelon crop that is left in the field because of surface blemishes or because they are misshapen."

Comment Re:That's how science works (Score 1, Troll) 199

The point is that these instruments have been thoroughly tested and shown to be accurate. That's where the peer review lies. What difference does it make then in how it does it? I can't possibly believe that a source-code audit of one of these instruments will reveal a bona fide error. Its either a stalling tactic or they're looking to launch a Chewbacca defence by introducing confusing arguments about computer code.

Comment Re:yeah great idea. (Score 1) 898

Civil courts are all about money, and seeking fairness and renumeration through financial compensation. Criminal court is about enforcing the rules of society and protecting society. This is done in part through rehabilitation but also through deterrence and denunciation, and in extreme cases through physically preventing someone from committing crimes by keeping them in jail. How do you "rehabilitate" someone who really likes committing crimes, someone who maybe makes a lot of money doing it? Rehabilitation is for those who wish to change, not for those who choose a particular path because they are morally bankrupt.

Comment Re:yeah great idea. (Score 1) 898

The police don't put people in jail in America. The police investigate, its the courts who decide who does and doesn't go to jail. While I'm sure that someone is benefiting financially from having more people in jail, and I'm sure those people likely lobby the government, I fail to see what this has to do with the police. Can you please cite your source for your comment that American police *feel* everything is a crime worth jailing?

Comment Re:yeah great idea. (Score 1) 898

So they keep driving, now without a licence, and they get caught again. Now what do you take away? Jail might be overly harsh, but I see nothing wrong with a society that expects people to abide by the rules and holds accountable those who don't. And ultimately jail is the only legal and proper accountability measure that is guaranteed to work.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - NC man fined for using vegetable oil as fuel (

mdsolar writes: "The News and Observer reports on an Charlotte, NC driver who has been fined $1000 for not paying a fuel tax when he fills his tank with vegetable oil. Perhaps the funniest quote is this one:

"With the high cost of fuel right now, the department does recognize that a lot of people are looking for relief," said Reggie Little, assistant director of the motor fuel taxes division. "We're not here to hurt the small guy, we're just trying to make sure that the playing field is level."
since the field is so plainly tilted against Arab oil interests."

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