Power

Submission + - US Freezes Nuclear Power Plant Permits Because of Waste Issues->

KindMind writes: All permits for new plants and license extensions for existing plants are being frozen. From the article:

"The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste. The government's main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, believes that current storage plans are safe and achievable. But a federal court said that the NRC didn't detail what the environmental consequences would be if the agency is wrong."

The NRC says that "We are now considering all available options for resolving the waste issue, But, in recognition of our duties under the law, we will not issue [reactor] licenses until the court's remand is appropriately addressed."

Affected are 14 reactors awaiting license renewals, and an additional 16 reactors awaiting permits for new construction.

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Education

Submission + - In Hacker Highschool, students learn to redesign the future->

caseyb89 writes: "Hacker Highschool is an after school program that teaches students the best practices of responsible hacking. The program is open source, and high schools across the country have begun offering the free program to students. Hacker Highschool recognized that teens are constantly taught that hacking is bad, and they realized that teens' amature understanding of hacking was the cause of the biggest issues. The program aims to reverse this negative stereotype of hacking by encouraging teens to embrace ethical, responsible hacking."
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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft and NYPD Pair for Data-Fed Monitoring System->

Nerval's Lobster writes: "New York City is partnering with Microsoft on an analytics platform that can collect and analyze public-safety data in real time, with an eye toward helping police uncover potential threats.

The Domain Awareness System will draw data from 911 calls, previous crime reports, license-plate readers, law-enforcement databases, environmental sensors, and roughly 3,000 closed-circuit cameras. It will rely on the New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN), a high-speed wireless broadband infrastructure that allows city agencies to rapidly transmit data, and used for everything from emergency response to reading meters.

Mayor Bloomberg argued that the system isn’t an example of Big Brother overstepping the line. “What you’re seeing is what the private sector has used for a long time," he told Gothamist. "If you walk around with a cell phone, the cell phone company knows where you are We’re not your mom and pop’s police department anymore.”"

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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Simple way to backup 24TB of data onto USB HDDs ? 3 3

An anonymous reader writes: Hi there ! I'm looking for a simple solution to backup a big data set consisting of files between 3MB and 20GB, for a total of 24TB, onto multiple hard drives (usb, firewire, whatever) I am aware of many backup tools which split the backup onto multiple DVDs with the infamous "insert disc N and press continue", but I haven't come across one that can do it with external hard drives (insert next USB device...). OS not relevant, but Linux (console) or MacOS (GUI) preferred... Did I miss something or is there no such thing already done, and am I doomed to code it myself ?

Submission + - ISPs Throttling BitTorrent Traffic, Study Finds->

hypnosec writes: A new report by an open source internet measurement platform, Measurement Lab, sheds light onto throttling of and restriction on BitTorrent traffic by ISPs (Internet Service Provider) across the globe. The report by Measurement Lab reveals that hundreds of ISPs across the globe are involved into throttling of peer-to-peer traffic through and specifically BitTorrent traffic. The Glasnost application run by the platform helps in detecting whether ISPs shape traffic and tests can be carried out to check whether the throttling or blocking is carried out “on email, HTTP or SSH transfer, Flash video, and P2P apps including BitTorrent, eMule and Gnutella”. Going by country, United States has actually seen a drop in throttling compared to what it was back in 2010. Throttling in US is worst for Cox at 6 per cent and best for Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others at around 3 per cent. United Kingdom is seeing a rise in traffic shaping and BT is the worst with 65 per cent. Virgin Media throttles around 22 per cent of the traffic while the least is O2 at 2 per cent. More figures can be found here.
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Math

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How Many of You Actually Use Math? 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a high school student who is interested in a career in a computer science or game development related position. I've been told by teachers and parents that math classes are a must for any technology related career. I've been dabbling around Unity3D and OGRE for about two years now and have been programming for longer than that, but I've never had to use any math beyond trigonometry (which I took as a Freshman). This makes me wonder: will I actually use calculus and above, or is it just a popular idea that you need to be a mathematician in order to program? What are your experiences?
Security

Submission + - Secret Security Questions are a Joke

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Rebecca Rosen writes that when hackers broke into Mat Honan's Apple account last week, they couldn't answer his security questions but Apple didn't care and issued a temporary password anyway. This was a company disregarding its own measure, saying, effectively, security questions are a joke and we don't take them very seriously. But even if Apple had required the hackers to answer the questions, it's very likely that the hackers would have been able to find the right answers. "The answers to the most common security questions — where did you go to high school? what is the name of the first street you lived on? — are often a matter of the public record," writes Rosen, "even more easily so today than in the 1980s when security questions evolved as a means of protecting bank accounts." Part of the problem is that a good security question is hard to design and has to meet four criteria: A good security question should be definitive — there should only be one correct answer; Applicable — the question should be possible to answer for as large a portion of users as possible; Memorable — the user should have little difficulty remembering it; and Safe — it should be difficult to guess or find through research. Unfortunately few questions fit all these criteria and are known only by you. "Perhaps mother's maiden name was good enough for banking decades ago, but I'm pretty sure anyone with even a modicum of Google skills could figure out my mom's maiden's name," concludes Rosen. Passwords have reached the end of their useful life adds Bruce Schneier. "Today, they only work for low-security applications. The secret question is just one manifestation of that fact.""
Businesses

Submission + - Scrum/Agile Now Used To Manage Non-Tech Projects->

jfruh writes: "Agile and, in particular, Scrum, have been popular project management methods for software development for more than a decade, and now its use is spreading well beyond software. For example, NPR is using Agile for faster, cheaper development of new radio programs. 'I was looking for some inspiration and found it one floor up inside our building (where Digital Media sits),' says NPR vice president of programming Eric Nuzum. NPR has used this 'Agile-inspired' approach to create several new programs, including TED Radio Hour, Ask Me Another, and Cabinet of Wonders."
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News

Submission + - Demand for water outstrips supply->

ananyo writes: Almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished, concludes a comprehensive global analysis of groundwater depletion (abstract).
Across the world, human civilizations depend largely on tapping vast reservoirs of water that have been stored for up to thousands of years in sand, clay and rock deep underground. These massive aquifers — which in some cases stretch across multiple states and country borders — provide water for drinking and crop irrigation, as well as to support ecosystems such as forests and fisheries.

Yet in most of the world’s major agricultural regions, including the Central Valley in California, the Nile delta region of Egypt, and the Upper Ganges in India and Pakistan, demand exceeds these reservoirs' capacity for renewal.

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Patents

Submission + - Innovator or troll, Intellectual Ventures remains a mystery->

ericjones12398 writes: "Intellectual Ventures paints itself a champion of innovation and a liberator of inventors. More and more detractors consider the patent private equity firm steered by polymath Nathan Myhrvold a giant patent troll. Not long ago, Intellectual Ventures was being viewed as something different, something curious and in between, an oasis where inventors get paid and inventions are equity. A magical place where labs, lawyers and licenses form a collective and share in the riches of something called invention capital. But with the patent wars reaching a fever pitch, and patent reform debates raging harder, Myhrvold’s vision of a new asset class for intellectual property is starting to fade behind Texas and Delaware courthouses filled with specious claims of infringement."
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Chrome

Submission + - Microsoft Picks Another Web Standards Fight ->

mikejuk writes: WebRTC is a way to allow browsers to get in touch with one another using audio or video data without the help of a server. Google has been something of a pioneer in this area and submitted a suggested technology for the standard and Mozilla has gone along with it, making it all look good. Microsoft, on the other hand, just seemed to be standing on the sidelines watching what was happening.
However, Microsoft has a product that needs something like WebRTC, namely Skype. It has been working on a web-based version of Skype and this has focused the collective mind on the problems of browse-to-browser communication. It now agrees that a standard is needed, just not the one Google and Mozilla are behind.
Microsoft has submitted its own proposals for CU-RTC or Customizable, Ubiquitous Real Time Communication over the Web, to the W3C.
It may well be that Microsoft's alternative has features that make is superior, but a single standard is preferable to a better non-standard. Given Microsoft's need to make Skype work in the browser, it seems likely that, should its proposal not be accepted as the standard, it will press on regardless, so splitting the development environment. Both Google and Mozilla have already put a lot of work into WebRTC and there are partial implementations in Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
This is potentially not a good development.

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Mars

Submission + - Lego Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover with Building Instructions->

An anonymous reader writes: Following the success of the MSL landing, the Lego world have created their own (much cheaper!) version. Rebrickable has a Lego Mars Curiosity Rover which shows the full parts list and very well done PDF building instructions, created by Stephen Pakbaz who was an engineer that worked on the rover at JPL. You can also key in the Lego sets you already own and see how many of the required parts you are missing, who knows maybe you already have a Curiosity Rover sitting in your old pile of Lego.
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Submission + - Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia->

sandels writes: Helsinki, Finland and Santa Clara, US — August 9th 2012, Digia, the software powerhouse listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki exchange (DIG1V), today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Qt software technologies and Qt business from Nokia. Following the acquisition Digia becomes responsible for all the Qt activities formerly carried out by Nokia. These include product development, as well as the commercial and open source licensing and service business. Following the acquisition, Digia plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms.
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The Military

Submission + - U.S., Gulf Allies try to build missile defense against Iran->

wisebabo writes: Sheesh what an engineering nightmare! To put all this together without a starting "blueprint" (unlike the Europeans) must be a real pain. Fortunately, if there's one thing those guys have it's money (and we have quite the arms bazaar they can spend it on).

Too bad Israel won't be a part of this missile shield. They could really use the information collected by the radars and sensors in these countries as the missiles fly by.

Very gradually, Ronald Reagan's dream of a "Star Wars" missile shield seems to be taking place. Of course it is only good against very primitive attackers who will likely only be able to launch by ones or twos and has required the consistent funding of billions of dollars a year for decades but hey, it's a start. Maybe if the Russians (and Chinese?) promise not to upgrade their systems, we'll be there in another 30 years.

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Linux Business

Submission + - Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia 1 1

MrvFD writes: "Ever since the most recent layoffs were announced by Nokia last month and the end of Qt related programs at Nokia was rumored, the fate of Qt has been in the air despite it nowadays having a working open governance model. Fear no longer, Qt brand, since Digia has now announced acquiring of Qt organization from Nokia. While relatively unknown company to the masses, it has already been selling the non-free (non-LGPL) licenses of Qt for 1.5 years. Hopefully this'll mean a bright future for Qt in co-operation with other Qt wielding companies like Google, RIM, Canonical, Intel, Skyp... Microsoft, Jolla and the thousands of Qt open source and commercial license users. Digia now plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms, where work has already been underway for some time."

Submission + - Digia to acquire Qt from Nokia->

jppiiroinen writes: ""Digia, the software powerhouse listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki exchange (DIG1V), today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Qt software technologies and Qt business from Nokia. Following the acquisition Digia becomes responsible for all the Qt activities formerly carried out by Nokia. These include product development, as well as the commercial and open source licensing and service business. Following the acquisition, Digia plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms.""
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Businesses

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How to run a (small) business with Open Source Software? 3 3

ahree writes: I'm starting up a restaurant with my wife and a few friends and, well, I'd like to support the OS community and hope that this is a way to do it. Simply put, we need to take care of bookkeeping, accounting & payroll and I'd rather not use QuickBooks. I've heard of some options that are open source (GnuCash), some that are cheaper & simpler (WaveAccounting), but I'm wondering what your experience with them (and others) has been like.

Submission + - Baskerville is the greatest font, statistically, says filmmaker Errol Morris->

An anonymous reader writes: A survey of unsuspecting New York Times readers implicitly answered the question: Does a certain font make you agree or disagree more often than another font? It turns out Baskerville confers a 1.5% advantage towards agreement on a survey question, compared to an average of six fonts. They responded to a passage from asked to agree or disagree to a passage from physicist David Deutsch's book "The Beginning of Infinity," and were found to have an optimistic, if Baskerville-favoring, outlook on life. David Dunning, a psychologist awarded a Nobel prize and, separately, an IgNobel prize (for the eponymous Dunning-Kruger Effect), called Baskerville "the king of fonts." Sadly, Comic Sans--notable for its appearance in the Higgs Boson announcement--seems to be the weakest font. And why did Lisa Randall, the Harvard physicist responsible for that Higgs announcement use Comic Sans? According to the article, 'Because I like it.'
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Hardware

Submission + - $50 sound cards impress versus integrated audio->

crookedvulture writes: "Most PCs have audio integrated right on the motherboard. There's much to be gained from upgrading to a discrete sound card, though. This look at a couple of sub-$50 sound cards from Asus explores what can be found at the budget end of the spectrum. In blind listening tests, both cards produced better sound than an integrated solution. They also offered superior signal quality, but neither had an impact on gaming performance. The days of hardware-accelerated game audio seem to be behind us, with developers handling positional audio processing in software."
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