crackspackle writes: A new study from Arizona State University has shown for the first time a link between agression and reproductive success among chimpanzees, one of humanity's closest cousins, and may provide clues for dealing with sexual aggresion among humans. Although male aggression was not used to initiate sexual encounters, evidence shows the male agressors had a better chance of mating with females where these encounters occurred in the past and they were found to be more desirable among the remaining females. Although seven million years seperates us from our cousins, there may be something to the belief nice guys finish last.
crackspackle writes: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State of Texas earlier today in a murder trial where the defendant whom prior to be taken into custody, had been questioned by the police and choose to remain silent on key questions, This fact was bought up at trial and used to convict him. Most of us have seen at least enough cop shows to know police must read a suspect their Miranda rights when placing them in custody. The issue was a bit murkier here in that the defendant had not yet been detained and while we all probably thought the freedom from self-incrimination was an implicit right as stated in the Constitution, apparently SCOTUS now thinks you have to claim that right or at least be properly mirandized first.
crackspackle writes: The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in suburban Houston, Texas is preparing to launch operations with a newly received Vanguard Defense Industries Shadowhawk MK-III unmanned aerial vehicle, paid for by grant money received by the Department of Homeland Security. The MK-III is a product marketed for both military and law enforcement applications. Michael Buscher, chief executive officer of manufacturer Vanguard Defense Industries, said this is the first local law enforcement agency to buy one of his units. "The aircraft has the capability to have a number of different systems on board. Mostly, for law enforcement, we focus on what we call less lethal systems," he said, including Tazers that can send a jolt to a criminal on the ground or a gun that fires bean bags known as a "stun baton.You have a stun baton where you can actually engage somebody at altitude with the aircraft. A stun baton would essentially disable a suspect," he said. "To be in on the ground floor of this is pretty exciting for us here in Montgomery County," Sheriff Tommy Gage said. The MK-III also has more lethal options available, capable of carrying either a 40mm or 37mm grenade launcher or 12 gauge shotgun with laser designator. Sheriff Gage has stated he has no immediate plans to outfit his drone with weapons.
crackspackle writes: Apple changed the iOS terms of services back in February requiring all in-app puchases to go through the Apple App Store and thus be subject to Apple's 30% cut, but did not immediately begin enforcing the rule. It appeared they had softened their stance until this morning when the new rule seems to have taken affect. Google Books is now gone. Other eReaders like the Nook, Kindle, WSJ and Kobo have been updated to remove direct sales links but questions remain about how long they will continue to support their apps. Since many, including myself, use the iPad primarily as an ereader, is Apple shooting themselves in the foot with this decision ?
crackspackle writes: The Atacama desert region, a vast expanse of land stretching 600 miles along the Pacific coast of South America from Peru to Chile, is know as the dryest region on earth, receiving only.04 inches (1mm) of rain per year. Many weather stations located in the region have no recorded precipitation during their existence. Sterile from the lack of rainfall, sparsely inhabited, and virtually free from electromagnetic and light interference, the desert hosts several major astronomical observatories. The other-worldy location is also popular among sci-fi film makers, and is a prominent test site for NASA's planned Mars mission. This week, the Atacama received 32 inches of snow, stranding motorists along the Pan-American highway and other roads, prompting numerous rescues. Footage of the snow is available on the BBC
crackspackle writes: Travel agents are making comeback as more and more even Internet-savvy users are returning to them, having found it hard to navigate the myriad of options available when booking through travel sites. Many of those returning to agents appear to go for the personalized knowledge agents possess in answering the question "what can I expect". I know from experience I have always had a sense of dread showing up at a hotel booked based on impersonal user ratings and while on the whole the experience has been good, I invariably find other places that would have been better during my stay.
On a related note, Internet commerce as a whole has undoubtedly brought more products for more options to more people than ever before, but even being fairly knowledgeable on how to find the right product sometimes doesn't help. Often I can't find a site to drill down deep enough to get to the product that is right for me and I find myself returning to a brick-and-mortar store even though they have fewer options. Better and more uniform search tools would help but for the foreseeable future, they won't surpass having a knowledgeable sales staff and tangible displays for most products. Perhaps I should no longer discount the value a physical presence brings.