By EditorDavid from Slashdot's buzz-off department
schwit1 quotes CNN: In an experiment with global implications, Australian scientists have successfully wiped out more than 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes in trial locations across north Queensland.
The experiment, conducted by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and James Cook University (JCU), targeted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread deadly diseases such as dengue fever and Zika. In JCU laboratories, researchers bred almost 20 million mosquitoes, infecting males with bacteria that made them sterile. Then, last summer, they released over three million of them in three towns on the Cassowary Coast.
The sterile male mosquitoes didn't bite or spread disease, but when they mated with wild females, the resulting eggs didn't hatch, and the population crashed.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's can't-lose-for-winning department
An anonymous reader quotes VentureBeat: It's been more than 20 months since our last browser benchmark battle, and we really wanted to avoid letting two years elapse before getting a fresh set of a results. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge have all improved significantly over the past year and a half, and as I've argued before, the browser wars are back. You can click on the individual test to see the results:
SunSpider: Edge wins! Octane: Chrome wins! Kraken: Firefox wins! JetStream: Edge wins! MotionMark: Edge wins! Speedometer: Chrome wins! BaseMark: Chrome wins! WebXPRT: Firefox wins! HTML5Test: Chrome wins!
Chrome looks to be ahead of the pack according to these tests. That said, browser performance was solid across all three contestants, and it shouldn't be your only consideration when picking your preferred app for consuming internet content.
Chrome wins in four tests, beating Edge's three wins, and Firefox's two wins.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's passing-the-virtual-hat department
All Kickstarter campaigns are getting a show of support, according to a new web site. "Every day, The Creative Fund backs all newly launched projects based on our current patronage." It's the newest offering from BackerKit, which also makes a data management platform for crowdfunding campaigns, and so far they've pledged $1 to 10,594 different Kickstarter projects.
An anonymous reader quotes VentureBeat:
One dollar doesn't seem like a lot, but it's just a start. BackerKit cofounder Rosanna Yau says that this is more of a proof of concept, to see if their community is willing to rally around the idea. She and cofounder Maxwell Salzberg have set up a Patreon, a monthly subscription service that enables people to support creators directly. All the donations they receive from that platform will be distributed among Kickstarter projects, and the goal is to make sure all projects have at least one pledge....
Yau says that the company is open to contributing more than a $1 in the future. Its Patreon guidelines say that for each $2,000 milestone reached, the fund will pledge $1 more to all Kickstarter projects. If something doesn't get funded, the fund's pledges will get recycled and re-donated to new projects.
A Medium post says the new fund "supports the entrepreneurial spirit of all independent creators, one dollar at a time....
"Everyone deserves some inspiration and a virtual high-five."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's scrapping-metal department
schwit1 shared this article from Energy Central News:
Estimates put the tear-down cost of a single modern wind turbine, which can rise from 250 to 500 feet above the ground, at $200,000... Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed. Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.
Companies will of course have the option of upgrading those aging wind turbines with new models, a resurrection of sorts. Yet the financial wherewithal to do so may depend on the continuation of federal wind subsidies, which is by no means assured. Wind farm owners say the recycling value of turbines is significant and recovering valuable material like copper and steel will cover most of the cost of decommissioning... Yet extracting valuable materials from the turbines is not as easy as it sounds... "The blades are composite, those are not recyclable, those can't be sold," said Lisa Linowes, executive director of WindAction Group, a nonprofit which studies landowner rights and the impact of the wind energy industry. "The landfills are going to be filled with blades in a matter of no time...."
< article continued at Slashdot's scrapping-metal department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's trying-to-stay-relevant department
The blockchain gaming company Lucid Sight is partnering with Major League Baseball to launch MLB Crypto Baseball. Engadget's Daniel Roberts explains: Ethereum, launched in 2015, is a decentralized platform for "smart contracts," which are automated agreements for an exchange of value. It runs on a blockchain, the same peer-to-peer, immutable, public ledger technology that bitcoin runs on. The cryptocurrency of Ethereum is ether. Because of Ethereum's usefulness for smart contracts, it has become a proving ground for blockchain-based games, where users collect and trade one-of-a-kind items that no one can duplicate or steal. On a blockchain, each digital item (or contract) is verified and tamper-proof.
In MLB Crypto Baseball, users will pay in ether to buy digital avatars tied to specific moments in recent games. They can then sell the items, or in some cases, earn rewards and stickers. The game is a decentralized app, or "dApp." [...] To play the game at launch, users must own some amount of ether and must transfer it to a web plug-in called MetaMask. (CryptoKitties works the same way.) Lucid Sight hopes to have an easy mobile app ready shortly after launch. "We are not building this just for tech savvy people," says Lucid Sight cofounder Octavio Herrera. "That said, the game will roll out in stages. So yes, for version 1 you will need ether, you will need MetaMask, it will be a little bit difficult to get into. But I do think people will open up Coinbase accounts, buy some ether, and transfer it to MetaMask, in order to collect these things they'll enjoy so much."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fifty-fifty department
New numbers from researchers at eMarketer reveal that Amazon is set to clear $258.22 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2018, "which will work out to 49.1 percent of all online retail spend in the country, and 5 percent of all retail sales," reports TechCrunch. From the report: It started as an online bookstore, but today Amazon is a behemoth in all areas of e-commerce, fueled by a strong Marketplace network of third-party sellers, an ever-expanding range of goods from groceries to fashion, and a very popular loyalty program in the form of Prime. Now, it is fast approaching a tipping point where more people will be spending money with Amazon, than with all other retailers -- combined. Amazon's next-closest competitor, eBay, a very, very distant second at 6.6 percent, and Apple in third at 3.9 percent. Walmart, the world's biggest retailer when counting physical stores, has yet to really hit the right note in e-commerce and comes in behind Apple with 3.7 percent of online sales in the U.S. The report goes on to mention that Amazon's pace has not slowed down. "Its sales are up 29.2 percent versus a year ago, when it commanded 43 percent of all e-commerce retail sales," reports TechCrunch. These new numbers may renew the prospect of antitrust action being brought against the online giant.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's data-dissemination department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Beast: The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community. Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it's scheduled to "go dark," in the words of an official there, on July 16. "Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world," King said, referring to the URL at which the database is hosted, which the agency says receives about 200,000 visitors per month. "It is a singular resource," Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, added. [She] said the NGC is perhaps the most important repository of evidence-based research available.
Medical guidelines are best thought of as cheatsheets for the medical field, compiling the latest research in an easy-to use format. When doctors want to know when they should start insulin treatments, or how best to manage an HIV patient in unstable housing -- even something as mundane as when to start an older patient on a vitamin D supplement -- they look for the relevant guidelines. The documents are published by a myriad of professional and other organizations, and NGC has long been considered among the most comprehensive and reliable repositories in the world. AHRQ said it's looking for a partner that can carry on the work of NGC, but that effort hasn't panned out yet. Not even an archived version of the site will remain, according to an official at AHRQ.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's channel-surfing department
According to a new study by Hub Entertainment Research, viewers are increasingly defaulting to on-demand sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu instead of live TV. The study found that only 39% of viewers tune into live programming from a traditional pay-TV provider, down from 47% last year. On-demand sources, collectively, were the first choice for 48% of viewers. Deadline reports: For viewers aged 18-34, the pattern is more stark -- only about a quarter (26%) of the demo lists live TV as a default, compared with 35% a year ago. One clear influence on consumer behavior is the increase in TV sources -- the average person has 4.5 distinct sources to choose from (including linear TV, DVR, VOD, Netflix, etc.). That number is up from 3.7 in 2014. Among viewers 18-34, the number is higher, at 5.1 sources -- plus, Hub found that fully 50% of 18-34-year-olds subscribe to at least two of the "big three" SVOD services, Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. Even older generations accustomed to the "clicker" have turned away from live TV as a default. About 56% of viewers 55 and older listed live as their first choice, but that's down from 66% a year ago.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's clean-as-a-whistle department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The iPhone maker said it's creating the fund to boost the use of renewable energy in its supply chain, which is primarily spread across regions in China. The company and 10 of its key suppliers and manufacturing partners, including Corning Inc., Pegatron Corp., Wistron Corp. and Luxshare Precision Industry Co., will contribute to the fund over the next four years, the Cupertino, California-based company said Thursday in a statement. The money will go toward developing projects totaling a gigawatt of renewable energy in China, Apple said. In 2015, Apple committed to using clean energy in its supply chain and has said it hopes to create 4 gigawatts of renewable energy globally by 2020, an increase from a goal of 3 gigawatts announced earlier this year.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's illegal-gambling department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Chinese authorities have arrested six suspects behind a World Cup gambling ring that was hosting more than 10 billion yuan -- or $1.5 billion USD -- worth of cryptocurrency bets, according to a statement released yesterday by the police department in Guangdong province. The gambling syndicate ran on the dark web, accepting bets in the form of bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin for an eight-month stretch before being apprehended. It attracted more than 300,000 players from different countries, and 8,000 "agents" who earned commissions for recruiting new members through a pyramid scheme-like system, according to the South China Morning Post. The bust that took down the dark web syndicate was a part of China's larger plans to stem the criminal activity -- though this was the first to involve cryptocurrency, according to Guangdong law enforcement. Thus far, they've arrested 540 suspects and frozen more than 260 million yuan as a part of their efforts.Read Replies (0)