Saturday, August 22, 2009

'dinosaurs' in power

Pictures of the Week - August 7 - August 13, 2009 - TIME

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Fueling the future... - Aurora Biofuels Breakthrough Doubles CO2 Uptake and Fuel Production

Aurora Biofuels Breakthrough Doubles CO2 Uptake and Fuel Production

Posted by marin2008   
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Today, Aurora Biofuels announces a technological milestone in the company's path to becoming the premier producer of low-cost advanced biofuels. Through a series of biotechnology achievements, Aurora has succeeded in optimizing its base algae strains to more than double CO2 consumption and fuel production, and has proven these results in an outdoor open system over the last several months.

Using tools developed in the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry, Aurora Biofuels scientists have developed a proprietary process which allows for the superior selection and breeding of non-transgenic algae. With this novel technique, the company has optimized its base algae strains with an increased ability to process sunlight and carbon dioxide into algal oil. As a result, these algae strains can produce more than twice the amount of oil. Optimized algae have been producing oil in Aurora Biofuels' outdoor pilot ponds for several months, providing strong evidence that these strains will remain robust at the industrial scale and remove more carbon emissions than previously thought possible.

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Death Cab for Cutie

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The grass thus far is not proving to be greener...

The grass thus far is not proving to be greener, but I can sleep with my truth in the weeds.

This is one of the sites that makes the Internet truly great.

[Hat tip to /Ambivalence]

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Fortune # 37

A man's mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled.

. . .

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garfield minus garfield - What a boring day

garfield minus garfield

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

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Winter smoke...

“Winter smoke is blue and bitter:
women comfort you in winter.

Scent of thyme is cool and tender:
girls are music to remember.

Men are made of rock and thunder:
threat of storm to labor under.

Cypress woods are demon-dark:
boys are fox-teeth in your heart.”

— Tennessee Williams

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Lights by HeadLights

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The Business of Health Care (a compound fractured fairy tale)

Having been closely associated with the health care industry, albeit many years ago, I feel that I can speak to the Business of Medicine.  The majority of our difficulties with the current health care system stem from a central point of failure: the extremely high cost of medical education.  Put in the simplest terms a fledgling physician, encumbered with many hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of dollars of debt, must earn hundreds of thousands of dollars just to break even.  This is the beginning of the slippery slope.

For the sake of discussion lets say that Josephine-the-Doctor hangs her shingle and begins her practice.  On the very first day, in addition to repaying her student loans, Dr. Jo has to have resourced an office (exam tables and a few bandaids), employed one or two Nurses and/or Physician Assistants, and a Business Manager (who does the HUGE paper choked billing procedure).  This Business Manager, being an adept Accountant, will quickly determine how many patients Dr. Jo will have to see, at "regular rates" in order to just keep the doors open (and the pay checks flowing).  This explains why a patient gets only 10-15 minutes with a Physician at any give appointment.

In addition to the base costs of opening her practice Dr. Jo and all of her staff have to carry Insurance.  We can be well assured that this is not PL/PD with a 500.00 dollar deductible.  While this is a necessary business expense it is the foundation for a social or cultural problem with our health care system.  We will hear more as Dr. Jo's story unfolds.

Being the good Doctor Josephine's popularity increases and so does her patient load.  In our simple story the Business Manager's answer is to simply multiply everything by 2 and divide Doctor's time with each patient in half.  Kindly Dr. Jo gets to see twice as many patients but also incurs twice the cost.  This goes along fine until Dr. Jo puts her foot down and says she has to have a life outside her practice.  The Business Manager ponders the situation for a fraction of a second and says, "Ok, we'll be more selective about who we accept as patients and we will charge higher fees.  That way you will make the same amount of money and have more time for your family."   Dr. Jo immediately notices that she is seeing fewer Medicaid/Medicare patients.

Dr. Jo's newest patient, Bill, is an ideal candidate according to the Business Manager.  Bill's Health Insurance is first rate.  The Business Manager says, "We must see that Bill gets the best Health Care possible."  It turns out that this is office code for 'perform every service allowable under Bill's Health Plan'.  While Dr. Jo only gets to see Bill for the allotted 12.5 minutes her staff, at the direction of the Business Manager, makes sure that Bill is scheduled for all of the "proper" diagnostic exams and evaluations, on a regular basis.  Bill doesn't realize the cost of his health care because his "Insurance" dutifully pays to the plans limits and schedules.  Only the Business Manager knows that real costs.

Then one day, out of the blue, Bill drops dead.  The Coroner determines that Bill died of a rare but treatable condition.  Upon hearing this Mrs. Bill calls her neighbor Larry-the-Lawyer.  Tearfully she poses the question, "If Bill had such a great health care plan and  was scheduled for all of those exams and evaluations on a regular basis then how come Dr. Jo missed this treatable condition?"  Larry-the-Lawyer consoles the widow Mrs. Bill and assures her that he will look into the matter.  This is where Dr. Jo's very expensive insurance re-enters our little story.

Dr. Josephine is an upright, caring, feeling, conscientious practitioner of the Medical Arts.  Unfortunately she and many other Doctors are subject to the forces of an economy which cares more about budgets and costs than it does about care.

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Eat local, eat real.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Voices in your head...

“If you’re actually listening to your body, instead of the voices in your head, you won’t be inclined to eat yourself sick very often.”

Kate Harding, an ex-dieter and an author of “Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere"

By way of /Ambivalence pointing at NYT: To Eat Well, Be Insensitive

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Innovative Automation Technologies LLC: Point and Toss UAV

Innovative Automation Technologies LLC: Point and Toss UAV

Point and Toss UAS flight

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TSA - Bigger Pictures

Imaging Technology: The Bigger Picture

from The TSA Blog by Bob

Millimeter Wave (Click Photo)

Backscatter (Click Photo)

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via on 8/18/09

You know what really helps an existential crisis? Wondering how much shelf space to leave for a Terry Pratchett collection.

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All ya'll, you guys

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do you need more than Windows 7 Home Premium? | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |

Following Steven Hodson's Winextra recommendation I read Ed Bott's insightful answer(s) to the pressing question...
Do you need more than Windows 7 Home Premium? | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |

June 29th, 2009

Do you need more than Windows 7 Home Premium?

Posted by Ed Bott @ 1:45 pm

I came away with two distinct feelings.

A.) Microsoft is trying to play the "If you want it you have to pay more for it" game.
B.) we are being pushed into a computing "class" cast system.

A.) Microsoft is trying to build an incentivized layer strategy into their marketing.  Knowing that the public prefers to pay less initially the "Home" versions of Windows are priced accordingly.  BUT if you want x or y features then you will have to pay just a little bit more and upgrade to the next level.  Sadly this is playing on the cluelessness of the public OS buyer and their failure to truly appreciate their computing platform.

B.) The Class or Cast system is a means of intentionally separating groups of users.  I believe this is a sort of Gate Keeping.  This is a process of subjugating groups of users by imposing economic barriers.  While suggesting that anyone can "move up" the reality is that those individuals who are burdened with the lesser OS platform may well never recognize their limitations.  Some may argue that having or not having Bitlocker Drive Encryption is inconsequential.  I argue that imposing such decisions, seemingly arbitrarily, on a user group is indicative of a much more insidious attitude, one that is totalitarian in nature: "We are the authority, we know what you should have, we will make your decisions for you.  Have a nice day."

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Flash Cookies - You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again

You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again | Epicenter |

You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again

  • By Ryan Singel Email Author
  • August 10, 2009 |
  • 7:39 pm |

zombie_andy330More than half of the internet’s top websites use a little known capability of Adobe’s Flash plug-in to track users and store information about them, but only four of them mention the so-called Flash Cookies in their privacy policies, UC Berkeley researchers reported Monday.

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Peace Please - War/No More Trouble | Playing for Change | Song Around The World

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

D*mn, Scoble has Cooties... Who'daguessed?

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New meaning of SquarePants (NSFW, C, R, W)

Definitely not safe for work (NSFW) or children (NSFC) or Republicans (NSFR) or whatever... (NSFW)

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Joe Cocker - Woodstock - With a little help

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Bella ciao, Iran

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Making America Great - Two voices at a time

Obama Pics Daily - More healthcare reform townhalls | Montana

This is what makes America great! Two disparate voices, side by side, moving forward toward a common objective. In the process it is all too easy to believe that we are polarized and separate - when in fact we are one nation, indivisible...

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Tumble Into Peace - Geek Joke #2

Geek Joke #2

A SQL query goes into a bar, walks up to two tables and says, “Can I join you?”

Tumble Into Peace - Geek Joke #2

.... The bartender, overhearing the request, say, "Hey, this is a union place."

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