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Submission + - The Dubious Claim of a World Helium Shortage (

szczys writes: Helium is an important commodity for health care (MRI machines), scientific research, and for the delight of toddlers everywhere. This last use has been called out as a waste, with figures like "$100 per balloon" decried over the actual price of under fifty cents per balloon. But alarms about world supply and inflated cost are overblown. Helium is a non-renewable resource that is found as a byproduct of natural gas production, in rich deposits like the one recently discovered in Tanzania, and other natural sources. Since the US removed price controls on Helium in 1996, supply and demand have kicked in, normalizing use and production to fluctuate with market price.

Submission + - Architecture/engineering 5th highest suicide rate, computers/tech 8th highest (

afeeney writes: The CDC reported on the suicide rates from 2012, across 17 of the United States. The highest rates are in farming, fishing, and forestry, the lowest in education, training, and library. Architects and engineers had the 5th highest rate, and computers and technology had the 8th highest. Male engineers were far more likely to kill themselves (32.8 suicides per 100,000) than females (12.5).

Do you perceive this as based on the characteristics of the population (including the fact that jobs focused on precision might make suicide attempts more successful, higher proportion of males) or the characteristics of the jobs (stress, complexity)?

If you've ever been there or know somebody who has, what helped?

Help is available at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you or somebody you care about is considering suicide.

Comment Interesting to look for disease markers (Score 2) 34

While iridology is bunk , it would be interesting to see what disease markers could be found with eye exams. We already know about a few. Ankylosing spondylitis is often associated with eye inflammation and abnormalities in the retina can be associated with diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, and stroke, as well as a lot of systemic diseases.

Eye exams are generally non-invasive and the scans could be set up almost anywhere.

Submission + - Chip Cards Are Not As Secure As They Should Be (

Thelasko writes: Home Depot is suing Visa, MasterCard and several banks because the chip cards they are issuing don't use a PIN.

“Visa and MasterCard know perfectly well that a signature alone, without the additional step of requiring a PIN, provides virtually no protection against many types of payment card fraud,”

Looks like Home Depot has become much more conscious of security since their 2014 data breach.

Submission + - LIGO detects another black hole crash, more gravitational waves (

sciencehabit writes: The biggest discovery in science this year—the observation of ripples in space-time called gravitational waves—was no fluke. For a second time, physicists working with the two massive detectors in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have detected a pulse of such waves, the LIGO team reported on 15 June at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, California. Once again the waves emanated from the merger of two black holes, the ultraintense gravitational fields left behind when massive stars collapse into infinitesimal points. The new observation suggests that after fine-tuning, LIGO will spot dozens or even hundreds of the otherwise undetectable events each year.

Submission + - Redesigning household items to help domestic robots (

Kassandra Perlongo writes: We hear a lot about how eventually robots will care for us in our silver years, but how about how we will care for them whilst in our homes? Researcher Benjamin Lipp describes how human habitats are messy, hostile places for robots. And offers an experiment on how homes can be reconfigured in to make it a home for robots.

Submission + - Chef's open source tool lets applications automate infrastructure provisioning (

Brandon Butler writes: Chef, a company that has made a name for itself developing infrastructure automation software products, released a new open source project named Habitat this week that it says is defining a new category: Application automation.

Habitat is a way of packaging an application in a way that lets the app provision the infrastructure it needs to run. This process gives Habitat the ability to run on any type of infrastructure, from physical to virtualized servers, in data centers or in the cloud.

This is a fundamentally different view of application and infrastructure management. Too often applications have to be built to the infrastructure specifications they will be running in: An app running in a cloud must have certain characteristics; one running on bare metal would have another. The idea of Habitat is that the application would dictate its run-time need and would integrate with a cloud management platform, a container scheduler or Chef’s infrastructure automation tools to provision those resources.

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