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Comment AIS (Score 1) 340

I have found AIS to the be the tech I'd least like to be without in costal waters, certainly in Northern Europe. The shipping lanes are a serious headache around the English Channel and the North Sea. Being able to see (hopefully) all ships that might be of concern and being able to get their MMSI and give them a call is incredibly handy.

I suppose I'm assuming you have all the standard kit on board (VHF DSC, decent GPS / plotter, (G)EPIRB).

If you're planning round the world, you'll be wanting more interesting radio tech...

Oh, and good batteries and power management is a god send. Without it your power budgets have to have such absurd safety margins you almost always end up needing jerrycans full of diesel everywhere.

Obviously, this being Slashdot, I would have to suggest something like this http://www.inmarsat.com/Services/Maritime/FleetBroadband/SAILOR_250_FleetBroadband.asp


Submission + - Snortable Drug Keeps Monkeys Awake

sporkme writes: A DARPA-funded research project at UCLA has wrapped up a set of animal trials testing the effects of inhalation of the brain chemical orexin A, a deficiency of which is a characteristic of narcolepsy. From the article:

The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired. The study, published in the Dec. 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans. Siegel said that orexin A is unique in that it only had an impact on sleepy monkeys, not alert ones, and that it is "specific in reversing the effects of sleepiness" without other impacts on the brain.
Researchers seem cautious to bill the treatment as a replacement for sleep, as it is not clear that adjusting brain chemistry could have the same physical benefits of real sleep in the long run. The drug is aimed at replacing amphetamines used by drowsy long-haul military pilots, but there would no doubt be large demand for such a remedy thanks to its apparent lack of side-effects.

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