AmiMoJo writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.
Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
AmiMoJo writes "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been coming up with countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water. But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday. The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7."
AmiMoJo writes "The Starfire Space Cannon project aims to launch small payloads into space from the ground using a large gun. 13.7m (45 foot) gun claims to use multiple charges to reduce the force exerted on the payload, although the pitch is devoid of any explanation as to how this technique might actually work. The creators warn that "we could have a really bad day and the gun could blow up or the trailer could fall apart."."
AmiMoJo writes "Google has agreed to display competing site's results along side those from its own products in search results. The agreement comes as part of an EU investigation into Google's domination of the search market and its promotion of Google products at the top of each page. The EU has published screenshots (scroll down) showing how the changes will look once rolled out."
AmiMoJo writes "According to security company Sophos around 55% of home users and 18% of enterprise users have updated to Mavericks, the latest version of Mac OS (10.9). Unfortunately Apple appears to have stopped providing security updates for older versions. Indeed, they list Mavericks itself as a security update. This means that the majority of users are no longer getting critical security patches. Sophos recommends taking similar precautions to those recommended for people who cannot upgrade from Windows XP."
AmiMoJo writes "Most of you are probably aware of the beta site, and there have even been a few survey emails going around. For some reason no-one thought to use the actual site's discussion system to ask about the future of Slashdot. Times are changing and Slashdot needs to make enough money to continue, but at the same time almost all the site's value comes from the user comments. What should Slashdot do to ensure it lives on for the next 15+ years, and what can we do to help?"Link to Original Source
AmiMoJo writes "Google's wireless charger is now available from Play. The charger uses a magnet to hold the device in place while charging, and comes with a 1.8A (9W) power supply, although it isn't clear what the charging rate of the device is."
AmiMoJo writes "The on-going leak of radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been traced to an overflow tank that was built on a slope. Because one side of the tank is lower than the other water slops over the side when it is nearly full. TEPCO estimate that 430 litres of wastewater seeped outside the barrier around the tank and say some of this water may have flowed into the sea, about 200 meters away. They detected 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water pooled inside the barrier around the tank. The safety limit is 30 becquerels per liter.
Officials say that a miscommunication with contractors lead to the blunder."
AmiMoJo writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."
AmiMoJo writes "The Ministry of Sound, a UK dance music brand, is suing Spotify because it has not removed user's playlists that mirror their compilation albums. The case will hinge on whether compilation albums qualify for copyright protection due to the selection and arrangement involved in putting them together. Spotify has the rights to stream all the tracks on the playlists in question, but the issue here is whether the compilation structure — the order of the songs — can be copyrighted."
AmiMoJo writes "Japan's nuclear regulators have raised the level of severity of the radioactive water leak from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is now a level-3 serious incident. The revision from level 1 is based on estimates of the volume of radioactive substances leaked. The International Atomic Energy Agency supports the revision. They say the tank leak can be assessed separately from the Fukushima Daiichi crisis as a level 3 incident. Japanese experienced a level-3 nuclear event in 1997 with the fire and explosions at a fuel reprocessing plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture. 37 workers there were exposed to the leaked radioactive substances."
AmiMoJo writes "Medical examinations in Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear crisis of 2011 have detected 18 children with thyroid cancer, with a further 25 suspected cases awaiting confirmation. The group checks 360,000 who were aged 18 or under at the time of the accident. The incidence rate of thyroid cancer in children is said to be one in hundreds of thousands. In Japan, 46 people under 20 were diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2006."
AmiMoJo writes "Radioactive water has leaked from a storage tank into the ground at Japan's Fukushima plant, operator TEPCO says. Officials described the leak as a level-one incident — the lowest level — on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (Ines), which measures nuclear events. This is the first time that Japan has declared such an event since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A puddle of the contaminated water was emitting 100 millisieverts an hour of radiation, equivalent to five year's maximum exposure for a site worker. In addition up to 300 tonnes a day of contaminated water is leaking from reactors buildings into the sea."
AmiMoJo writes "This year's ACSI Benchmarks for Smartphone Brands measure consumer satisfaction with different smartphones and brands. ACSI surveyed 4,112 phone owners in the U.S. who judged their phones on overall experience (customer expectations, perception of overall quality, value for money, customer loyalty) and experience of quality (ease of making and receiving calls, ease of sending and receiving text messages, performance of phone in terms of battery life, etc.) Samsung took the top spot, followed by Apple and Motorola all within a few percentage points of each other. RIM's Blackberry brand didn't do so well."
AmiMoJo writes "The only two remaining nuclear reactors generating power in Japan will be shut down for maintenance next month, leaving the country without any nuclear power for the first time in 14 months. Reactor 3 will stop on 15/9, with reactor 4 to follow two weeks later. Four utilities have asked the Nuclear Regulation Authority to restart 12 reactors in 6 power plants. Their applications are currently being screened, but no clear prospects for restarting any of the reactors have emerged."