Posts tagged “dna”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Tracing Unscooped Dog Waste Back to the Culprit [] – [Here's an example of CSI-level technology trickling down at least to the prosumer level.] Canine DNA is being used to identify the culprits who fail to clean up after their pets, an offense that Deborah Violette is committed to eradicating at the apartment complex she manages. Everyone who owns a dog in her complex in Lebanon, NH., must submit a sample of its DNA, taken by rubbing a cotton swab inside the animal’s mouth. The swab is sent to BioPet Vet Lab, a Knoxville, TN company that enters it into a worldwide database. If Ms. Violette finds an unscooped pile, she can take a sample, mail it to the lab and use a DNA match to identify the offending owner. Called PooPrints, the system costs $29.99 for the swabbing kit, $10 for a vial to hold the samples and $50 to analyze them, which usually takes a week or two. About two dozen apartment complexes around the country have signed up for the service. In 2008, the Israeli city of Petah Tikva created a dog DNA database for the same purpose.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from julienorvaisas] An App for Sharing Photos With Friends [] – [Instagram is betting on word overload, predicting that people will want to share and see their friends' mobile visual feeds rather than text-based snippets.] Instead of following people’s 140-character thoughts, Instagram users can follow their photo stream and get a glimpse of what they ate for lunch and the view from their office. Instagram also plans to introduce a Web site soon. Building a mobile app before a Web site would have been a foreign concept just a few years ago, but Instagram’s founders say that communicating in quick snippets with a phone, on the go, is a new form of communication. The app is free now but Instagram plans to eventually charge a dollar or so for extra filters. “Filters are not the billion-dollar business,” Mr. Systrom said. “It’s photography. The next network is people interested in sharing life visually.”
  • [from julienorvaisas] Check Out Tagxedo, A Ridiculously Cool Word Cloud Generator [Tech Crunch] – [Yet another great visualization tool, this one highly customizable, combining word-clouds with images. The impulse to make sense of the word-avalanche on the web by morphing it into infographics is fun and beautiful, for sure, but I wonder whether conveying pretty word-frequency charts is actually providing useful information.] You can use the app to create visually stunning word clouds by inserting words (e.g. speeches, news articles, letters, slogans, themes, and so on). You can do so by uploading a document, entering a URL or simply by pasting text into the appropriate field. Tagxedo will size words appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text, leaving out small words like “is”, “are”, “do”, etc. With just one click, you can rotate the cloud, modify its colors and font, and also alternate between themes and shapes as you please. You can even upload your own images and have the word cloud assume the shape of the image.
  • [from steve_portigal] A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away [] – [Technology offers new detection methods but the social performance of the tech serves best as prevention] The new system involved a device that sprays a fine, barely visible mist laced with synthetic DNA to cover anyone in its path, including criminals, and simultaneously alerts the police to a crime in progress. The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald’s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray’s presence: “You Steal, You’re Marked.” The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist. But they credit its presence — and signs posted prominently warning of its use — for what they call a precipitous decline in crime rates (though they could not provide actual figures to back that up).


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