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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.

Comment Re:Don't worry about it (Score 1) 709

Totally agree. I would add that he should avoid working much more than he's supposed to, and that if he's tough enough not to waste any time socializing (no sarcasm intended), he should invest that on a side project of his own.. it could be his your way out(being his own boss that is) of our hell.

Comment Re:If they thrive on predicatable, monotonous work (Score 1) 419

You're doing a wiiiild generalization. I work on IT/software development and am not on the autism spectrum, neither is any of my coworkers. And think I know how to spot someone with asperger's after working with them every day for a while.... I don't think Bill Gates is autistic, there's no way, he's too much adapted... people with mild autism may know how to interact socially in a pretty normal way, but those are people who really worked their asses off towards that, clearly that isn't Gates' case. He just spent most of his life talking to machines rather than people, therefore he lacked some social skills.

Comment Re:Methodical Research Trumps Tantalizing Evidence (Score 2, Insightful) 186

More seriously, even with chemical propulsion, the worst case, you can get to Mars in about six months. Sure it's a hard problem, but that's all that it is. There's nothing impossible about getting to Mars. It would be nice to have some far faster means of getting there, but it's not necessary.

But, considering that's the way to go, can you estimate how much would that cost to assemble,test, launch, deploy, etc? Would the astronauts have canned food for a year or would have some sort of greenhouse to grow their own? Can they carry the necessary amount of fuel to be used in the years they'll spent on the trip? How much would the payload be.... How exactly would they avoid the martian windstorms(this might pose a problem specially to the launch back to Earth) and extreme temperature variations.. I'm just saying, we can't overlook the "details".

Comment Re:Methodical Research Trumps Tantalizing Evidence (Score 2, Insightful) 186

There's a whole lot of people with lots of will and wits to do it. It's just that the 'money people' doesn't seem to be an expressive crowd among them, and the government thinks it's better to spend our taxpayer's money giving it away to banks or killing and starving already dirt-poor people in the middle east. Also, It all sounds very exciting when some promising report such as this one comes out on the media. But there's a few engineering and life-sustaining problems to be overcome so the trip becomes reality, and research in that area is more often than not preceded by years of seemingly(or 'from a business perspective') fruitless research. Imo, that seems to have driven some potential investors away.

Comment Note to sceptics: (Score 1) 822

The majority of all the 'raw data' is available on line.

you can even go get your own if you like as it source is not begin hidden anywhere. It is right out in the open so to speak.

Now instead of using stolen 12 year old internal emails and docs which no longer have a clear chain of custody making their contents questionable to dispute man made global warming / climate change. Get a hold of the data and do your own analysis and present your findings along with your conclusions supported by that data.


Environmental Chemicals Are Feminizing Boys 614

pickens writes "Denmark has unveiled official research showing that two-year-old children are at risk from a bewildering array of gender-bending chemicals in such everyday items as waterproof clothes, rubber boots, bed linen, food, sunscreen lotion, and moisturizing cream. A picture is emerging of ubiquitous chemical contamination driving down sperm counts and feminizing male children all over the developed world. Research at Rotterdam's Erasmus University found that boys whose mothers were exposed to PCBs and dioxins were more likely to play with dolls and tea sets and dress up in female clothes. 'The amounts that two-year-olds absorb from the [preservatives] parabens propylparaben and butylparaben can constitute a risk for oestrogen-like disruptions of the endocrine system,' says the report. The contamination may also offer a clue to a mysterious shift in the sex of babies. Normally 106 boys are born for every 100 girls: it is thought to be nature's way of making up for the fact that men were more likely to be killed hunting or in conflict. But the proportion of females is rising. 'Both the public and wildlife are inadequately protected from harm, as regulation is based on looking at exposure to each substance in isolation, and yet it is now proven beyond doubt that hormone disrupting chemicals can act together to cause effects even when each by itself would not,' says Gwynne Lyons, director of Chem Trust."

Comment Re:What does this prove? (Score 1) 143

It's always possible. But then again just like people think traditional voting system is secure. Very specialized software that run on top of special hardware, as I suppose this voting machines do, are similar to airplanes navigation systems or even engines of cars. What I mean is, they can be much more closely controlled than people. Call me a misanthrope(or a engineer :p) but I trust machines I understand better than people with good references to get things done the way I expect.

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