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Submission + - Wisconsin Begins Using Cheese to De-Ice Their Roads 1

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: The NYT reports that Milwaukee has begun a pilot program to use cheese brine to keep city roads from freezing, mixing the dairy waste with traditional rock salt as a way to trim costs and ease pollution. “You want to use provolone or mozzarella,” says Jeffrey A. Tews, the fleet operations manager for the public works department, which has spread the cheesy substance in Bay View, a neighborhood on Milwaukee’s south side. “Those have the best salt content. You have to do practically nothing to it.” Local governments across the country have been experimenting with cheaper and environmentally friendly ways of thawing icy thoroughfares, trying everything from sugar beet juice to discarded brewery grain in an attempt to limit the use of road salt, which can spread too thin, wash away and pollute waterways. “If you put dry salt on a roadway, you typically lose 30 percent to bounce and traffic,” says Emil Norby, who works for Polk County and was the first in Wisconsin to come up with the cheese brine idea to help the salt stick. In a state where lawmakers once honored the bacterium in Monterey Jack as the state’s official microbe, residents of Bay View say they have noticed little difference, good or bad, in the smell of their streets, and city officials say they have received no complaints. The mayor of Bay View says it's an experiment, but one that makes sense. The brine will come from the Dresser Farm in Polk County, where it is already being used on the roads. The only cost will be for transportation and distribution. "We thought, 'Well, let's give it a shot.' The investment in this project is $1,474."

Submission + - Women causing earthquakes (in Iran) ( 1

dnrck writes: One of Iran's senior clerics has proclaimed that women contravening the strict religious laws of the country are responsible for natural disasters including the earth to move. Despite Iran being the juncture of numerous highly active regional structures, the movement of these is apparently solely due to to the wearing of 'revealing' clothing.

Submission + - Urinalysis by Smartphone (

Rambo Tribble writes: The BBC is reporting from the TED Conference on a new app for Apple products which, purportedly, can analyze urine samples for various medical conditons. Does this mean the smartphone pissing contest just got real?

Submission + - Google Reports Account Hijacking Down 99.7% (

CowboyRobot writes: "Google's security team reported that the number of compromised Gmail accounts dropped 99.7% since 2011. Their solution is to conduct a risk analysis of more than 120 variables every single time a user checks email to make sure the sign-in is genuine. Any flags then prompt the user with a security question."

Submission + - Fox News: US Solar Energy Investment Less than Germany because US has Less Sun (

Andy Prough writes: Apparently those wise folks at Fox have figured out America's reluctance to invest as much money in solar energy as Germany — the Germans simply have more sun! Well, as Will Oremus from Slate points out, according to the US Dept. of Energy's Solar Resource map comparison of the US and Germany, nothing could be farther from the truth — Germany receives as much sunlight as the least lit US state — Alaska.

Submission + - Giant tobacco plants that stay young forever ( 1

__aaqvdr516 writes: Normally, tobacco plants bloom and die when they reach around 4 months old. Researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Münster have located the tobacco plant’s very own fountain of youth, which means they can keep it forever young. They have suppressed the plants normal change from blooming to flowering, leading the plant to grow perpetually. Their first plant is around 8 years old.

Bacterium are used to insert modified genes. In the future, the researchers want to go further and be able to disable plants’ growth limits using chemical mutagenesis as well – that is to say, using normal growing techniques. This process involves using chemical additives to bring about changes in a seed’s DNA sequence. Their hope is to extend this genetic modification to switch grass and food crops.

Submission + - Color-Changing Smart Cups Detect Date Rape Drugs

An anonymous reader writes: Date rape drugs are often times very hard to detect because they are odorless, colorless, and tasteless, and many unsuspecting drinkers aren't aware they've been drugged with drugs like Rohypnol until it's too late. A new start-up company is developing a line of cups, straws and drink stirrers that can detect "date rape" drugs instantly.

Submission + - Aliens live amongst us on earth said the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medveved (

darkat writes: "Dmitry Medveved told to Russian journalists that aliens visited earth and that many of them are living amongst us.
"Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country ... More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called 'Men In Black' ... I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic," he says."

Submission + - Study finds correlation between chocolate consumption and Nobel laureates (

space_in_your_face writes: Since chocolate consumption could hypothetically improve cognitive function not only in individuals but also in whole populations, a researcher wondered whether there would be a correlation between a country's level of chocolate consumption and its population's cognitive function. And apparently, there is. At least, he found a correlation between chocolate consumption in a country and the number of Nobel laureates in said country. Interesting read after the discussion about correlation vs causation.

Submission + - Our drugs are tested on Russians

menno_h writes: According to BoingBoing it's so difficult to get access to modern health care in Russia that the country is becoming a haven for medical testing — there are more people there willing to be guinea pigs for more stuff simply because they have no other way to see a doctor. This is one of those fun dilemmas where medical testing is necessary, but hard to talk wealthy, healthy people into if they already have access to health care. The result: Drugs and treatments get tried out, voluntarily, on whoever is most desperate.

Submission + - US Postal Service reports $5.2B loss in 3rd quarter (

overmoderated writes: The nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service on Thursday reported a quarterly loss of $5.2 billion and warned it will miss another payment due to the U.S. Treasury, just one week after its first-ever default on a payment for future retiree health benefits.

Submission + - ReactOS Presented to President Putin (

jeditobe writes: The ReactOS Project once again had a presence at the Seliger Youth Forum held at Lake Seliger in Russia, with Marat Karatov and Alexander Rechitskiy representing the project. ReactOS ranked third overall of all projects presented at the Forum, but after Alexander and Marat had already left after having completed the presentation, the project was informed that the Forum wished to present the top projects to President Vladimir Putin. This caused some complications as Aleksey Bragin, the project coordinator, had been on vacation and could not make it back before the security lockdown. Marat however pulled through, taking a bus approximately 2000 kilometers to make it in time. Organization issues however caused further headaches, resulting in Marat being left out of the area where the president was touring. Fortunately, security at the Forum helped clear Marat through. While President Putin was touring the area, Marat demonstrated what can only be described as a fair amount of daring when he called out to the president and requested to present ReactOS to him. Putin agreed, and the project has now presented ReactOS to two successive Russian presidents. Putin responded to the presentation by stating he would think on it and asked if Marat's phone number was on the documents Marat had given him. The answer, "Da."

Submission + - This Japanese Robot Will Shoot You With BBs If You Smile (

pigrabbitbear writes: "It’s not exactly clear why, but the Japanese have built a 13-foot-tall, 4.5-ton armored robot on wheels. Its name is Kuratas, and it’s armed with two “smile-controlled,” six-barreled gatling guns that can shoot 6,000 BBs a minute. Built as an art project by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, this mech robot is controlled by a touchscreen inside of a one-person cockpit as well as an iPhone app. The whole thing rolls around on four wheeled legs powered by a diesel engine that can clock in at six miles per hour."

Submission + - What are good books/kits/tools for skilled/learning software/hardware hobbyist?

postermmxvicom writes: I have a friend who is a mechanic, but enjoys tinkering with software and hardware as a hobby. I want to get him a gift that will either broaden his horizons or deepen his understanding in these fields. He is proficient at soldering components and removing them from circuit boards. His programming experience is with a wide variety of scripting languages. He recently used teensy and arduino boards and an accelerometer to add some bells and whistles to a toy car he made. He also used his knowledge to help a friend find and correct weaknesses in his shareware (that would have let 'customers' share more freely than intended). He is fascinated that people can create chips to modify existing hardware. Do you know of any good books or kits (or even tools of the trade) that would appeal to a hobbyist and allow him to grow? Is there anything that might also play off of his handyman/mechanic abilities?

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.