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9 comments

  1. Plague8

    A New Mexico start-up company has begun field tests to prove they can kill desert locusts in Africa using a natural bio-pesticide technology developed at the University of New Mexico. The company, founded by two UNM physicians, is taking on one of the oldest problems in history, the desert locust swarms that can completely destroy food crops in Africa. http://phys.org/news/2014-09-ecopesticides-fungi-crop-insects.html See also http://ecopesticides.net/ and http://news.unm.edu/news/ecopesticides-receives-investment-from-stc-unm

  2. Tweety

    “Sensing distant tornadoes, birds flew the coop. What tipped them off?” https://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/12/18/infrasound-as-early-storm-warning-for-birds/ “While tracking a population of golden-winged warblers, a research team led by UC Berkeley ecologist Henry Streby discovered that birds in the mountains of eastern Tennessee fled their breeding grounds one to two days ahead of the arrival of powerful supercell storms. “The warblers in our study flew at least 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) total to avoid a severe weather system. They then came right back home after the storm passed. Notably, the birds fled while the storm was still 250-560 miles away, and local environmental cues to inclement weather – including changes in atmospheric pressure, temperature and wind speed – were largely absent.” Scientists have known for decades that tornadoes produce very strong infrasound, and that birds can hear and respond to infrasound frequencies. The ability of birds to forecast massive storms could become increasingly important in the decades ahead, the study authors said.
    “There’s growing research that shows that tornadoes are becoming more common and severe with climate change, so evasive actions like the ones the warbler took might become more necessary,” said Streby. “It could come at a cost, though, since such actions place added energetic and reproductive stress on populations that are already struggling.”

  3. Jenkins' Ear

    “Analysis by researchers at Cisco of a malware sample matching the MD5 hash signature of the “Destover” malware that was used in the attack on Sony Pictures revealed that the code was full of bugs and anything but sophisticated. It was the software equivalent of a crude pipe bomb.” http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/state-sponsored-or-not-sony-pictures-malware-bomb-used-slapdash-code/ “Based on the mailbox files leaked by the attackers, data was being pulled from the network – likely from desktop backups – as late as November 23, the day before the attack wiped disk drives. While data may have been extracted over a much longer period of time, it seems likely that it was retrieved in bulk directly from Sony Pictures’ network on the Sunday before the attack by someone with direct access to the network and that the wiper malware was implanted at the same time. That approach would have required inside help or the insertion of operatives into Sony’s organization. Such an operation might not exactly be high-tech, but it would certainly require organizational sophistication and significant intelligence collection in advance – both things that play to the strengths of a state actor like Unit 121 {the cyberweapons division of the North Korean General Bureau of Reconnaissance}.

  4. Zero Wing

    VuePod: “It’s like a scene from a gamer’s wildest dreams: 12 high-definition, 55-inch 3D televisions all connected to a computer capable of supporting high-end, graphics-intensive gaming. On the massive screen, images are controlled by a Wii remote that interacts with a Kinnect-like Bluetooth device (called SmartTrack), while 3D glasses worn by the user create dizzying added dimensions. But this real-life, computer-powered mega TV is not for gaming. It’s for engineering.” http://news.byu.edu/archive14-dec-vuepod.aspx

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