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Comment Re:350 Hectares? (Score 2) 102

If you look at it on Google Earth, you'll see that it's fairly spread out. There are a large number of separate warehouses (around 100?), and each warehouse has large earthen banks around it, then a large amount of empty space. That's intended to contain fire & explosions, so if something goes wrong you might lose a single warehouse but they don't spread to other parts of the complex. That's clearly not working very well. But those earthen banks and empty spaces take up a large amount of space, probably over 90% of the site.

So it's fairly spread out, even though it was at a single site.

People tend to object if you build an ammo bunker next to their house, so it's always going to be awkward to get more sites. You also need to secure ammo bunkers very well, so having less sites lets you have better security for the same money, or spend less to get the same level of security. Making a base 4 times bigger only doubles the perimeter fencing needed, probably doesn't change the number of guarded gates you need, and the number of guards needed only goes up a little bit since the guards are mostly there to man the gate and to react to an intruder. So having a small number of large sites does make sense.

Privacy

Submission + - 15000 protest against data retention, in Berlin (vorratsdatenspeicherung.de)

jonas writes: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/96385 reports a demonstration, mainly organized by http://www.vorratsdatenspeicherung.de/, that was held against the upcoming telecommunicatons data retention in Germany. 15,000 people protested against a law, that, once passed, will require telecommunications providers to keep all connection and location data for all subscribers for 6 months and will allow the government unrestricted access. The government claims this to be neccessary to protect Germans against terrorism. Many people fear the degredation of ther civil rights, of which there is one that assures the privacy of telecomunication. This civil rights movement gains momentum, with only 200 protesters a year ago, and 2000 this spring.
Biotech

Submission + - Female Sharks Can Reproduce Alone

mikesd81 writes: "The Washington Post has an article about a team of American and Irish researchers that have discovered that some female sharks can reproduce without having sex, the first time that scientists have found the unusual capacity in such an ancient vertebrate species.

Their report concludes that sharks can reproduce asexually through the process known as parthenogenesis(the growth and development of an embryo or seed without fertilization by a male). Scientists started investigating after a female hammerhead shark was mysteriously born at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo in a tank that housed 3 female sharks. It was originally thought one had stored sperm from a male shark before fertilizing an egg. However, baby shark's genetic makeup perfectly matched one of the females in the tank, with no sign of a male parent."
Space

Submission + - Scientists discover radiation-eating fungi

amigoro writes: "Scientists have discovered that fungi are able to eat radiation, and since ionizing radiation is prevalent in outer space, astronauts might be able to rely on fungi as an inexhaustible food source on long missions or for colonizing other planets. Just as the pigment chlorophyll converts sunlight into chemical energy that allows green plants to live and grow, our research suggests that melanin can use a different portion of the electromagnetic spectrum — ionizing radiation — to benefit the fungi containing it, the researchers explain."

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