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Decommissioning Nuclear Plants Costing Far More Than Expected 288

Lasrick writes: "This article takes a look at cost estimates of nuclear power plant decommissioning from the 1980s, and how widely inaccurate they turned out to be. This is a pretty fascinating look at past articles in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that consistently downplayed the costs of decommissioning, for example: 'The Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts, took 15 years to decommission—or five times longer than was needed to build it. And decommissioning the plant—constructed early in the 1960s for $39 million—cost $608 million. The plant's spent fuel rods are still stored in a facility on-site, because there is no permanent disposal repository to put them in. To monitor them and make sure the material does not fall into the hands of terrorists or spill into the nearby river costs $8 million per year.'"

Windows 8 Sales Below Projections 663

harrymcc writes "With early reports on Windows 8 sales indicating that the new operating system is off to a slow start, it's worth pondering what Microsoft could have done differently. Over at, I considered several different scenarios, ranging from one in which it released a much more conventional Windows upgrade to one which would have been much like like the Windows 8 we got — except with the ability to boot directly into the desktop, complete with Start button."

Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs 795

walterbyrd sends this snippet from an article by Robert X. Cringely: "Big tech employers are constantly lobbying for increases in H-1B quotas citing their inability to find qualified US job applicants. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and other leaders from the IT industry have testified about this before Congress. Both major political parties embrace the H-1B program with varying levels of enthusiasm. Bill Gates is wrong. What he said to Congress may have been right for Microsoft but was wrong for America and can only lead to lower wages, lower employment, and a lower standard of living. This is a bigger deal than people understand: it's the rebirth of industrial labor relations circa 1920. Our ignorance about the H-1B visa program is being used to unfairly limit wages and steal — yes, steal — jobs from U.S. citizens."

BP Ignored Safety Modeling Software To Save Time 203

DMandPenfold writes "BP ignored the advice of safety modeling software in an attempt to save time before the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to a presentation slide (PDF) prepared by US investigators. The slide in question briefly appeared on the Oil Spill Commission's website in error, but was quickly retracted. Advanced cement modeling software, provided by BP's cement contractor Halliburton, had highlighted serious stability concerns with the well."

95% of User-Generated Content Is Bogus 192

coomaria writes "The HoneyGrid scans 40 million Web sites and 10 million emails, so it was bound to find something interesting. Among the things it found was that a staggering 95% of User Generated Content is either malicious in nature or spam." Here is the report's front door; to read the actual report you'll have to give up name, rank, and serial number.

Genentech Puts Words In the Mouths of Congress Members 229

theodp writes "In the official record of the historic House debate on overhauling health care, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with remarkable similarities. Often, that was no accident. Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech. E-mail obtained by the NY Times shows that lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans. Genentech, a subsidiary of Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists. ... The statements were not intended to change the bill, which was not open for much amendment during the debate. They were meant to show bipartisan support for certain provisions, even though the vote on passage generally followed party lines. ... Asked about the Congressional statements, a lobbyist close to Genentech said: 'This happens all the time. There was nothing nefarious about it.'"

Microsoft May Be Inflating SharePoint Stats 225

ericatcw writes "Taking a page out of McDonalds 'billions and billions served,' Microsoft says it reaps $1.3 billion a year from more than 100 million users of its SharePoint collab app. But some suggest that the figures are consciously inflated by Microsoft sales tactics in order to boost the appearance of momentum for the platform, reports Computerworld. A recent survey suggests that less than a fourth of users licensed for SharePoint actually use it. SharePoint particularly lags as a platform for Web sites, according to the same survey, a situation Microsoft hopes to fix with the upcoming SharePoint 2010."

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