Top 4 Sites Like DuckDuckGo

“DuckDuckGo is arguably the most famous private search engine around. However, there are a couple of other ones out there that you can try if DuckDuckGo just doesn’t fit the bill for you. Here are [ . . . ] four recommendations for other search engines like DuckDuckGo.” techboomers.com

A true story based on “the tangled evolution of e-health technology”

“Hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities use a patchwork of methods to track records, and they often aren’t in sync. The collective costs to patients, hospitals, and the economy as a whole are impossible to quantify, although some experts say a cohesive system could save billions.”

This story happens to be centered here in Palo Alto, CA, but it’s told as one that could happen to happen to anyone at any time.  Some of us may even know someone in it. Read it at undark.org.

Found via metafilter.com.

Digital displays using H2O

The Kanazawa Station Fountain Clock displays the time using controlled fountains of water. Located just outside the gate to the city’s train station, it’s more than just a clock – the valving that forms the clock’s numeric digits is also used to spell out text messages in both Japanese and English. See photos and video here: inventorspot.com.

More images: www.google.com

Here’s a longer article about the clock: news.softpedia.com.

This photo gives an idea of how the water jets form the characters.

And, in Osaka, a different technology is being used to create images using water. “The attraction, located in the South Gate Building of the new Osaka Station City complex, is a large rectangular water display created by local firm Koei Industry. The ‘Space Printer’ emits illuminated water droplets in carefully controlled patterns to reproduce images that are stored on a PC. Founded in 1987, Koei has produced entertainment fountains and landscape displays in various cities in Japan.”  Read more, and see a vid, at www.cnet.com.

The Dangers of DNA Testing

This item is excerpted from a NYTimes Opinion article by Dr. Greg Hampikian, a professor of biology at Boise State University. Read the whole article here: www.nytimes.com.

Before you give the police a DNA sample, read an alarming new study of crime laboratories published this summer [2018], the largest study of its kind. Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology gave the same DNA mixture to about 105 American crime laboratories and three Canadian labs and asked them to compare it with DNA from three suspects from a mock bank robbery. In [the] study, 74 out of 108 crime laboratories implicated an innocent person in [the] hypothetical bank robbery. The test results are troubling, especially since errors also occur in actual casework.

As DNA testing has become more sensitive, most laboratories are now able to produce profiles from anyone who may have lightly touched an object. The result is that DNA mixtures have become more common, making up about 15 percent of all evidence samples.

There are methods to reanalyze old DNA mixture data using computer programs that can help analysts correct errors, without any new lab testing. Many crime labs now have access to these programs and use them on current cases. But they could and should easily go back and re-examine old DNA mixtures to correct tragic mistakes.