Sunrise over a wheat field.
Researchers have managed to turn indigestible cellulose into starch, a process that could render billions of tons of agricultural waste into food and fuel.
Plants grow more than 160 billion tons of cellulose—the material that makes up the walls of plant cells—every year, but only a tiny fraction of that is useful to humans in the crops we grow. This is frustrating, as cellulose is made up of glucose chains that are almost, but not quite, the same as those that make up the starch that constitutes 20 to 40 percent of most peoples' daily calorie intake.
With the world's population forecast to reach nine billion by 2050, working out how to alter cellulose glucose into something more practical could be vital for preventing starvation. There's also an extra benefit in that some could be used for biofuels.
Kevin Wong takes a closer look at Bioshock Infinite's themes and how they related to game narrative and the ludology-narratology debates of yore.
In today’s pictures, children receive treatment at a hospital in Afghanistan, people strike in front of a McDonald’s in New York, a leopard falls into a well in India, and more.
An ambitious exhibition on images of war and its aftermath captures a complex set of emotions, from sorrow and grief to compassion and even joy.
In today’s pictures, a boy celebrates Holi in India, Edith Windsor challenges the Defense of Marriage Act at the U.S. Supreme Court, sand dunes form in the Netherlands, and more.
Upon discovering hundreds of thousands open embedded devices on the Internet, an anonymous researcher conducted a Census of the Internet, mapping 460 million IP addresses around the world.
While playing around with the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) we discovered an amazing number of open embedded devices on the Internet. Many of them are based on Linux and allow login to standard BusyBox with empty or default credentials. We used these devices to build a distributed port scanner to scan all IPv4 addresses. These scans include service probes for the most common ports, ICMP ping, reverse DNS and SYN scans. We analyzed some of the data to get an estimation of the IP address usage.
It's a pretty thorough analysis, but the conclusion interested me most:
The why is also simple: I did not want to ask myself for the rest of my life how much fun it could have been or if the infrastructure I imagined in my head would have worked as expected. I saw the chance to really work on an Internet scale, command hundred thousands of devices with a click of my mouse, portscan and map the whole Internet in a way nobody had done before, basically have fun with computers and the Internet in a way very few people ever will. I decided it would be worth my time.
It makes me feel...uneasy. [Thanks, Roger]
In a collaboration between PEER 1 Hosting, Steamclock Software, and Jeff Johnston, the Map of the Internet app provides a picture of what the physical Internet looks like.
Users can view Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet exchange points, universities and other organizations through two view options — Globe and Network. The app also allows users to generate a trace route between where they are located to a destination node, search for where popular companies and domains are, as well as identify their current location on the map.
I can't say how accurate it is or if the described mechanisms are accurate, but it sure is fun to play with. The view above and a globe are placed a three-dimensional space, and you can zoom and rotate as you please. There's also a time slider, so you can see changes to the Internet over the years.
Get it for free on iTunes.
A CNNMoney segment of the app in action:
On Wednesday night, the anonymous videographer behind the infamous "47 percent video" shot at a private Mitt Romney fundraiser in May 2012 revealed himself on MSNBC's The Ed Show. Scott Prouty was a bartender working high-end banquets in Boca Raton, Florida, including Romney's $50,000 per plate dinner. He is a registered independent who brought his Canon camera with him in case Mitt Romney wanted to meet and take photos with the staff, as Bill Clinton had after a similar event. No one had told the staff not to bring cameras or take photos. A Secret Service agent was some distance behind him. He set the camera down on the bar and pressed "record."