wanzeo writes: The much anticipated Raspberry Pi launches today. The website explains that only the more fully featured £22 ($35) model B will be shipping at first. The official website has switched to a temporary static page to handle expected traffic, but specs are available from wikipedia. The two distributors licensed to handle the sales have been experiencing heavy load, and reports on the twitter page indicate both distributor sites have been effectively unreachable during the early hours. Also, purchase is currently only available in the EU, with a US release postponed in response to strong EU interest.
wanzeo writes: Within the last decade, many of us have experienced the encroachment of ethics into our mealtime. Phrases such as vegetarian, vegan, organic, bST, GMO, etc. have become part of common grocery store advertising. The most recent addition to the list of ethically charged food is in-vitro meat, or meat that was cultured in a petri dish, and was never part of a live animal. The project has been brought to fruition by Mark Post, a biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Grown using animal stem-cells on a nutrient medium, the nearly see-through strips of muscle would need to be stacked nearly 3,000 times to approach the thickness of a burger. The practice promises to be more humane, sustainable, and efficient than conventional meats, with one analysis suggesting it would, "use 35 to 60 percent less energy, emit 80 to 95 percent less greenhouse gas and use around 98 percent less land". In a world where nearly half of all crop production is used to feed livestock, a move towards artificial meat may be inevitable.
wanzeo writes: An undersea volcano is erupting off the coast of the Canary Islands with the potential for new land formation. The lava peak has grown 100 meters from the ocean floor, and is now just 70 meters from the surface. It has been seen ejecting rocks from the sea and producing jets of water 20 meters high. Increasing seismic activity has been monitored since July, an indication that magma is rapidly moving towards the surface. Local residents have been evacuated because of the potential danger from falling rocks or violent steam explosions if the lava gets too close.
wanzeo writes: A circuit court judge in Florida sentenced a 26-year-old man to life imprisonment for the possession of child pornography. The defendant was charged with 454 counts of possession, each count representing one image found on the computer. While this case was not tried in Federal Court, federal child exploitation laws stipulate a life sentence may be appropriate for cases involving prior convictions. This decision places child pornography consumption in the same bracket as first-degree murder, and further blurs the distinction between the act of creating the material and act of viewing it.
wanzeo writes: With the current G-20 summit dominated by global financial uncertainty, previously unsuccessful tax strategies are getting new attention. In a short interview with the BBC, Bill Gates explains his support for a potential tax on financial transactions. The concept is sometimes called the Tobin tax after its originator, Nobel Laureate economist James Tobin, who first put forth the idea in 1972. Gates points to the success of Britain's Security Settlement Tax, and suggests that large economies like Germany, France, and the U.S. have expressed interest in his plan.