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Comment Re:This always ends well.... (Score 1) 76

About 50% true. A lot of corruption in the procurement of text books happened in 2013. The delivery of text books in 2014 was actually much more efficient.

The electricity is in short supply due to an increase in demand, but many power stations are being brought online with the largest dry-cooled power station in the world (Medupi) expected to come on-line in 2014.

The private sector did a stellar job bringing wind and solar energy to the grid with 37 turbines near Hopefield, 30 in Caledon, a large farm (probably about 50) near Jeffrey's Bay and about 20 turbines near Cook House (I'm just quoting these numbers from driving past them). I do however feel that providing tablets to the poorest communities is a bad idea as it will be very expensive to replace damaged/stolen tablets.

Comment Old news - Hook Worms and Allergies (Score 1) 147

A lot of research has been done where hookworms are used to treat allergies. The main concept being that a modern immune system is bored without an enemy to attack and then attacks innocent cells.

Say the body is America and the immune system is America's defence force. The immune system is needed when dangerous pathogens appear, in the same way that American troops are needed to defend against enemies. If America is in no war and all its troops are recalled without downsizing the military, these troops will get bored and start identifying innocent people as enemies. It might shoot down a trainee pilot from Canada when entering American air space. This plane falls on a city and damages property or may start a fire in America. In the same way, the immune system may become bored when there are very few pathogen and starts attacking molecules that are not dangerous. Just as the defence force can be trained to identify russian fighter aircraft on a radar, so the immune system can be trained to identify pathogens correctly by means of vaccinations. In the extreme case, the defence force might attack the poor Canadian with an atomic bomb so big it destroys the whole continent. In the same way an allergic reaction can kill the person.

Now in Helminthic Therapy, the hookworms are used as a perpetual enemy in the same way that America might used Afghanistan/Vietnam/Iraq. This causes a constant drain of blood, but when controlled, it may improve the health of the body overall.

Dogs are carriers of hookworms and the benefits of hookworms and allergies has been known for a long time, so in my opinion, this article is old news.

Comment Re:Good idea- difficult to implement (Score 3, Informative) 166

I recently bought a raspberry Pi with the idea of hosting a web server from home using a Huawei Dongle and the cell phone network. Due to the power wastage, I didn't think it a good idea to use my regular PC for the job.

First you obviously need to get the Huawei Dongle working with wvdial or something similar. This took me perhaps a week.

Then you need to contact your cell phone service provider and ask for an unrestricted APN otherwise they block all connections to your dongle. This took some paperwork, but I managed to get it done.

Once incoming connections are allowed, you can start hosting your website. The first proper request to my website activated the dongle's maximum power usage and this resulted in a power brown-out and the PI crashed. After upping the power supply from 700 mA to 1000 mA, this problem was solved.

NOIP and dyndns solved my dns problems easily.

The last problem I haven't solved yet is routing to my Pi with the cell phone networks. About 10% of the time, it finds a route, but the rest of the time it only finds the IP address. I will buy another sim card and see if it improves my situation, but in the mean time I've resorted to Amazon's cloud offering.

Comment Regulation dragging its feet to open up spectrum (Score 0) 43

The problem is that our government is too slow in switching to Digital TV in the lower section of the TV frequency band and opening up bandwidth for the cellular companies, which are well equipped to dish out bandwidth if they get the spectrum they require.

Google is not the right company to take hold of the spectrum, but I have to admit that they do take initiative. They just don't have the infrastructure that our cellular companies have. The cellular companies already have fiber in the ground, their towers are already transmitting. The only prohibition of the bandwidth to the public is spectrum available, which will hopefully become available soon as our national broadcasters are able to switch to Digital TV, but until that happens, I guess Google will have a chance at good publicity for the next few years.

Just google "icasa" to get an idea of where our system can be improved.

Submission + - Thousands of whistle blowers vulnerable after Anonymous hacks SAPS (

fezzzz writes: Anonymous performed a data dump of hundreds of whistle blowers' private details in an attempt to show their unhappiness with the SAPS (South African Police Service) for the Marikana shooting. In so doing, the identities of nearly 16,000 South Africans, who lodged a complaint with police on their website, provided tip-offs or reported crimes, are now publicly available.

Comment 10x slower than the escape velocity needed (Score 0) 131

The problem we face is that the guns on earth with the highest muzzle velocity is still about 7x below the escape velocity needed to have a projectile stay in orbit.

The Paris gun, created by the Germans in WWII was able to reach a target 130 km away, but the muzzle velocity was only 1600 m/s and already they had to sort their bullets in increasing diameter as the inside of the barrel was worn out with each shot. The fastest gun muzzle velocity I know of is the kinetic penetrating sabot rounds shot from tanks, which reach a velocity of 1700 m/s. Escape velocity is 11200m/s, which is well above this speed.

Catching a projectile from orbit is also not an option as this will slow the satellite with the amount of momentum needed to bring the projectile up to speed, not even speaking about the problems created with something as sensitive as a satellite need to catch a projectile travelling at 7x the speed of current bullets in kinetic tank destroyers.

Submission + - Yale finds link between cell phone use during pregnancy and behavioral disorders (

fezzzz writes: Dr. Hugh S. Taylor performed a study on pregnant mice by placing a cell phone, with an active phone call on top of a cage and another cell phone, deactivated on top of the cage of the control group. He found that the mice exposed to cellphone radiation had reduced memory capacity and tended to be more hyperactive than the mice in the control group. This is not the first study to link cellphone radiation to a variety of problems, but the first I know of which were performed by Yale. Does anyone know if this study is remotely relevant to modern humans or not?

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