writes: During the presidential campaign last fall, a single message was repeated endlessly in Appalachian coal country: President Barack Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency, critics said, had declared a "war on coal" that was shuttering U.S. coal-fired power plants and putting coal miners out of work. Not so, according to a newly-presented analysis of coal plant finances and economics. Instead, coal is losing its battle with other power sources mostly on its merits.Link to Original Source
writes: Dear Slashdotters,
I am in a bit of an unusual conundrum; my house got robbed on Friday, and all of our electronics got stolen. Everything. Now, I have to go out and buy all new electronics with the insurance money. We had 5 TVs (don't ask), 3 Laptops, a Bose Sound dock with iPod, a digital camera and a Desktop stolen. It's looking like I am going to get around $10K from the insurance company to replace everything. What would you do if you had to replace ALL of your technology in your house at once?
* Replace TVs
* Nice Desktop
* New speakers
* New, cool stuff I don't know about (suggestions welcome)
I already added a DVR security system, so hopefully the new things won't get burgled!
Looking for suggestions to utilize my money in order to get the best stuff. Also, no windows computers allowed in my house [because this IS slashdot, after all]
writes: An article at the BBC makes a shocking claim about mosquitoes. It appears some individual insects in the wild have developed the ability to ignore the very popular DEET repelent after a first exposure. Imagine what misery this will bring to the human race if this trait spreads to the general mosquito population through the process of evolution through natural selection (or through divine intervention if you happen to be a creationist).Link to Original Source
writes: Millionaire Dennis Tito became the first paying customer to make a trip to the International Space Station and now he wants to launch a privately funded mission to Mars in 2018. Dennis paid a reported 20 Million to ride aboard a Russian rocket to the International Space Station and has since stayed out of the spotlight, until now.Link to Original Source
writes: Microsoft Azure's cloud outperformed Amazon Web Services in a series of rigorous tests conducted by Nasuni, a storage vendor that annually benchmarks cloud service providers (CSPs). Nasuni uses public cloud resources in its enterprise storage offering, so each year the company conducts a series of rigorous tests on the top CSPs' clouds in an effort to see which companies offer the best performing, most reliable infrastructure. Last year, Amazon Web Services' cloud came out on top, but this year Microsoft Azure outperformed AWS in performance and reliability measures. AWS is still better at handling extra-large storage volumes, while Nasuni found that the two OpenStack powered clouds it tested — from HP and Rackspace — were lacking, particularly at larger scales.Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: A White House petition to make unlocking cell phones legal again has passed the 100,000 signature mark. Passing the milestone means the US government has to issue an official response. On January 26th, unlocking a cell phone that is under contract became illegal in the U.S. Just before that went into effect, a petition was started at whitehouse.gov to have the Librarian of Congress revisit that decision. "It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked."
writes: The Blender Foundation has announced a new release of the popular, free 3D design program Blender. From the release page: The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.66. This release contains long awaited features like rigid body physics simulation, dynamic topology sculpting and matcap display. Other new features include Cycles hair rendering, support for high pixel density displays, much better handling of premultiplied and straight alpha transparency, a vertex bevel tool, a mesh cache modifier and a new SPH particle fluid dynamics solver.Link to Original Source
writes: If Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, is correct, the future of energy may lie in a nuclear reactor small enough and safe enough to be installed where the home water heater once sat. Using weak nuclear forces that turn nickel and hydrogen into a new source of atomic energy, the process offers a light, portable means of producing tremendous amounts of energy for the amount of fuel used. It could conceivably power homes, revolutionize transportation and even clean the environment.Link to Original Source
writes: In a move that is sure to bring tears to the eyes of kids everywhere, Connecticut State Senator Toni Harp proposed a bill in January that would ban anyone younger than 18 from playing "violent point-and-shoot" video games in arcades or other public establishments.
The bill also called for research into the effects of violent video games on young minds, through a committee called the Violent Video Game Task Force within the Department of Children and Families. The task force would advise the Governor and General assembly on state programs that "may reduce the effects of violent video games on youth behavior," suggesting before the research was done that violent video games have an effect on children's actions.
Hopefully this won't pass, I guess the video game lobby hasn't paid this Senator enough "funds" for his campaign.Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: The first release candidate of Debian 7.0 Wheezy was released this week. Debian 7.0 is set to introduce a number of new features including optional systemd support, a real-time Linux kernel option, UEFI installation support, and the Debian Installer now supports WPA/WPA2 wireless networks. More Debian 7.0 features are listed on the Debian Wiki and the 7.0 RC1 installer can be downloaded at Debian.org.Link to Original Source