An anonymous reader writes "The three recent Tesla fires have raised concerns with a lot of people. One person who isn't concerned, however, is Juris Shibayama, the man whose model S burned in Tennessee. He says: 'I would buy another one in a heartbeat.' From the article: 'Shibayama said that he struck a three-pronged trailer hitch in the middle lane of the interstate. He continued: "About 30-45 seconds later, there was a warning on the dashboard display saying, 'Car needs service. Car may not restart.' I continued to drive, hoping to get home. About one minute later, the message on the dashboard display read, 'Please pull over safely. Car is shutting down.'" He said he had time to remove his possessions, even though, he said: "About 5-10 seconds after getting out of the car, smoke started to come from the front underbody of the car."'"
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MarkWhittington writes "Project M was a proposal at NASA's Johnson Spaceflight Center that would have put together a mission to deliver a bipedal robot to the lunar surface within a thousand days. The idea never got out of the conception stage, but two major components, a new type of lunar lander, now called Morpheus, and a robonaut continued on as separate projects. Morpheus is getting ready to conduct a second attempt at free flight tests at the Kennedy Space Center. The first attempt resulted in the destruction of the prototype vehicle. If the second round of tests is successful, NASA will have a spacecraft that could deliver 1,100 pounds of payload to the lunar surface. While a copy of Robonaut 2 is still undergoing tests on board the International Space Station, ABC News reports that a cousin of the mechanical person has been built with legs. It stands eight feet tall and weighs 500 pounds. With two major components of Project M nearing completion, could a robonaut become the next moon walker?"
jones_supa writes "ABC Australia is reporting extensively about the progress of the Typhoon Haiyan, which has reached the status of being one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. Over the weekend it has caused severe destruction and misery passing through Philippines with maximum sustained winds of 315 km/h, where the authorities are now struggling to bring relief to areas worst affected, there being 10,000 people dead. The storm is now heading towards Vietnam, where already over 600,000 people have been evacuated. Meanwhile, China announced its highest alert for Typhoon Haiyan as six crew members of a cargo boat were reported missing. Vietnam is likely to be spared the storm's initial ferocity as it has weakened over the South China Sea and is now expected to hit as a category 1 storm, with wind speeds of about 74 km/h, meteorologists say."
An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica reports how a Snowden leak shows British spy agency GCHQ spoofed LinkedIn and Slashdot so as to serve malware to targeted employees. From the article: 'Der Spiegel suggests that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British sister agency to the NSA, used spoofed versions of LinkedIn and Slashdot pages to serve malware to targets. This type of attack was also used to target “nine salaried employees” of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the global oil cartel.'"
An anonymous reader writes "A new study of asteroid craters on the moon has uncovered some big differences in the composition of the crust on the two sides of the moon. 'While massive impact basins pockmark the moon's near side, its far side contains considerably smaller basins. The discrepancy in crater distribution has puzzled scientists for decades. To investigate what may have caused this difference, the team obtained data from NASA's twin GRAIL probes, which orbited the moon from January to December 2012. During its mission, the probes circled the moon, making measurements of its gravity. Zuber and her colleagues used this data to generate a highly detailed map of the moon's crust, showing areas where the crust thickens and thins; in general, the group observed that the moon's near side has a thinner crust than its far side.'"
An anonymous reader writes "While he acknowledged that technology needs to keep going forward, LeVar Burton didn't seem comfortable with the idea of using Google Glass. '"It disturbed me. I was skeptical... [and] I'm a person that's very open to technology." That's the reaction LeVar Burton, the man best known from Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation, first had when encountering Google Glass backstage at Engadget Expand. Burton, a self-described edutainment pioneer, acknowledges the disruptive power new technologies can have on media and culture — after all, he did help transform television into a worthy educational tool/babysitter with his PBS program. But even with that storied success, and his company's current inroads into digital with an iPad Reading Rainbow application, Burton still had a "knee-jerk" response when confronted with Glass. Although his celebrity status and the resulting paranoia could have something to do with it.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Project Flare, the new server side gaming technology from Square Enix, turned heads when it was announced last week. The first tech demos do little more than show the vast number of calculations it can handle with hundreds of boxes tumbling down in Deus Ex, but the potential is there to do much more than just picture-in-picture feeds in MMOs. As a new article points out, what's most interesting is the potential to use the technology for games that use more than one system — OnLive may have used this tech before, but only to play games you can buy on discs in the shops anyway, but the future is in games that need the equivalent of dozens of PS4s or Xbox Ones to power them. Ubisoft has already partnered with Square on the project."
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Matthew Philips writes at Bloomberg that US Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Geneva on Friday to begin negotiations with Iran over its nuclear weapons program and there is sudden optimism that a deal is in the offing. But the simple fact is that Iran would not be coming to the negotiating table without the US oil boom. Over the last two years, the US has increased its crude production by about 2 million barrels a day. According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (pdf), Iran's oil exports have been cut in half since 2011 (PDF), from 2.5 million barrels per day to a bit more than 1 million today. As a result, Iran has had to halt an equal amount of production. 'I think it's pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,' says Julius Walker. 'Without US production gains, I think we'd be looking at $150 a barrel.' Instead, international prices have hovered around $110, and are less than $100 in the US. According to data from Bloomberg, the combined carrying capacity of oil tankers leaving Iranian ports last month dropped 22 percent from September. 'They're having a very hard time finding buyers,' says Walker. If a deal gets done, the trick will be to ease Iranian oil back onto the broader market without disrupting prices. If not managed properly, flooding the market with Iranian crude could carry its own negative consequences by suddenly making fracked oil in the US unprofitable."
cartechboy writes "If you're looking for bling, you can always count on Dubai. At the Dubai Motor Show this week, Lebanon-based W Motors unveiled what is billed as the world's first Arab-built super car. The Lykan Hypersport incorporates jewels and precious metals in its construction, suicide-style doors, and an interactive holographic display system. (Yes, drivers will be able to adjust radio volume via a holograph.) The 750 horsepower car accelerates to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 245 mph. The cost: $3.4 million, but owners will also receive a Cyrus Klepcys watch, said to be valued at around $200,000. W Motors plans a whopping 7 units for production."
kraksmoka writes "Is your social media pro 'making it go viral' by pressing a button instead of interacting with a real audience? The purchase and use of fake followers by small to mid-sized social media agencies is rising on Twitter and there is concern that the growth of fake followers can't be stopped. "
rtoz writes "Two Russian cosmonauts have taken the torch for the Sochi Winter Olympics on its first historic spacewalk. Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky took the unlit version of the torch through the hatch of the International Space Station. The Olympic torch has been carried into space twice before – in 1996 and 2000 – but it has never left a spaceship. It was not lit aboard the space station as this would consume oxygen and pose a risk to the crew."
mdsolar writes in with news that plans to build two new reactors at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant have been put on hold. "On Friday, Luminant, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, suspended its application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build two new reactors at the plant. Its partner on the project, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said it was focusing on getting its nuclear reactors in Japan back in operation. The majority of Japan's reactors were shut down because of safety concerns following a 2011 tsunami that caused a radiation leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex 150 miles north of Tokyo. Mitsubishi 'has informed us that they will materially slow the development of their design control document for their new reactor design by several years. In addition, both [Mitsubishi] and Luminant understand the current economic reality of low Texas power prices driven in large part by the boom in natural gas,' read a statement from Luminant."
Lucas123 writes "Researchers have already built robots that can use microorganisms to digest waste material, such as rotten fruit and vegetables, and generate electricity from it. This time, a group of scientists has taken that concept to a strange, new place: urine-powered robots. The scientists from the University of the West of England, Bristol and the University of Bristol constructed a system in robots that functions like the human heart, except it's designed to pump urine into the robot's 'engine room,' converting the waste into electricity and enabling the robot to function completely on its own. The researchers hope the system, which can hold 24.5 ml of urine, could be used to power future generations of robots, or what they're calling EcoBots. 'In the city environment, they could re-charge using urine from urinals in public lavatories,' said Peter Walters, a researcher with the University of the West of England. 'In rural environments, liquid waste effluent could be collected from farms.'"
cold fjord writes "France 24 reports, 'Brazilian judges gave US Internet search giant Google until Saturday to turn over private data collected through its Street View program ... Failure to do so would mean a daily fine of $50,000, up to a maximum of $500,000. ... According to a complaint from the Brazilian Institute of Computer Policy and Rights (IBDI), the car-borne software also enables Street View to access private wi-fi networks and intercept personal data and electronic communications. IBDI pointed to similar occurrences in other parts of the world and demanded that Google reveal if it had engaged in such practices. It said Google had admitted collecting data while insisting they were not used "in its products and services. The US search engine stressed that it had now removed the data collection software from its vehicles."'"
A few days ago, the operator of Fix Ubuntu received a threatening letter from Canonical commanding him to cease using the Ubuntu name or logo. Last night, Mark Shuttleworth posted an update noting that it shouldn't have happened, and also apologizing for calling opponents of Mir the open source tea party. "In order to make the amount of [trademark related] correspondence manageable, we have a range of standard templates for correspondence. They range from the 'we see you, what you are doing is fine, here is a license to use the name and logo which you need to have, no need for further correspondence,' through 'please make sure you state you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the company or the product,' to the 'please do not use the logo without permission, which we are not granting unless you actually certify those machines,' and 'please do not use Ubuntu in that domain to pretend you are part of the project when you are not.' Last week, the less-than-a-month-at-Canonical new guy sent out the toughest template letter to the folks behind a “sucks” site. Now, that was not a decision based on policy or guidance; as I said, Canonical’s trademark policy is unusually generous relative to corporate norms in explicitly allowing for this sort of usage. It was a mistake, and there is no question that the various people in the line of responsibility know and agree that it was a mistake. It was no different, however, than a bug in a line of code, which I think most developers would agree happens to the best of us. It just happened to be, in that analogy, a zero-day remote root bug. ... On another, more personal note, I made a mistake myself when I used the label “open source tea party” to refer to the vocal non-technical critics of work that Canonical does. That was unnecessary and quite possibly equally offensive to members of the real Tea Party (hi there!) and the people with vocal non-technical criticism of work that Canonical does (hello there!)."
An anonymous reader writes "While far from a dictatorship, the United States has employed a number of paranoid tactics that delegitimize its democracy. And the motivation for doing so is — fear. That seems to be a long way from 'So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself: nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.' Where is the U.S. heading?"
An anonymous reader writes "Mobile payment startup Square has decided to discontinue its monthly pricing option on February 1, 2014. The company says it does not plan to reinstate monthly pricing at any point. If you are currently enrolled in monthly pricing, Square will give you "a grace period" through the end of January 2014, after which the per-swipe rate will apply to transactions. On January 2, monthly pricing subscribers will be billed their last monthly fee, which will cover the rest of the month."
judgecorp writes "British mobile operator EE is offering a massive 1 Petabyte data bundle to businesses spread across multiple phones,.It's more than a gimmick to promote the 4G data service — it's aimed at heavy data users such as media companies who use data networks to upload content. This deal charges £8 per gigabyte, which is less than half the cost of the satellite uplinks they currently use. So the £8 million cost of this package might even result in savings for some organizations."