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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 58 declined, 33 accepted (91 total, 36.26% accepted)

+ - Tesla plans to power its Gigafactory with renewables alone

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "In his press conference, Elon Musk stated that the factory will produce all of its own energy using a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal. Engineering.com looks at the feasibility of the plans. Spoiler alert: it looks possible, though some storage will be required. Fortunately, if there is one thing the Gigafactory won't be short of it's batteries."

+ - Buffalo's to release USB hub that accepts upside-down cables 1

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Buffalo is releasing a new USB 4 port hub that allows cables to be plugged in either way up. No more problems with USB super-positioning using ordinary A type plugs. In addition to 4 reversible sockets the hub's own male A connector that goes to the PC is also reversible, so can be plugged in upside down."

+ - EU rules limit vacuum cleaners to 1600W from the 1st of September

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "New EU rules are limiting vacuum cleaner motors to 1600W from 2014/09/01. The EU summary of the new rules explains that consumers currently equate watts with cleaning power, which is not the case. Manufacturers will be required to put ratings on packaging, including energy efficiency, cleaning efficiency on hard and carpeted floors, and dust emissions from the exhaust. In the EU vacuum cleaners use more energy than the whole of Denmark, and produce more emissions than dishwashers and washing machines."

+ - 200GB Blu-ray discs aim to compete with tape in the data centre 1

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has developed a specification for a new doubled sided disc with a capacity of up to 200GB, called the BD-DSD (Double Sided Disc). The discs store 100GB per side using existing multi-layer technology and are designed for use in cartridges that can hold several. Robots in data centres will swap the discs, giving access to vast amounts of robust, long-life storage media. Unlike tape the discs are random access, so the overall access time for a given file is lower. There is no wear from a read head touching the disc either."

+ - Daimler's solution for annoying out-of-office email: delete it

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright."

+ - One trillion Bq released by nuclear debris removal at Fukushima so far

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material."

+ - TEPCO planning to use Windows XP up to 2019

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "TEPCO, operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, plans to continue using 48,000 copies of Windows XP until 2018-19, when they will be replaced. The Japanese government has urged companies in charge of critical infrastructure to upgrade from XP due to the risk of cyberattack. When asked about potential problems TEPCO said that it has "taken technical measures of various kinds", but declined to detail them "for security reasons.""

+ - Stan O'Neal may not have requested the "right to be forgotten"

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Yesterday Slashdot reported that Stan O'Neal may have requested that a BBC News blog post be removed from Google's search results under the EU "right to be forgotten". Late last night Robert Peston, the author of the article that made the original claim, updated it to state that in fact the blog post was still indexed when searching for "Stan O'Neal", speculating that it may in fact have been one of the commentators who requested removal when searching for their name."

+ - Germany's glut of electricity causing prices to plummet

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010.

“The new plants will run at current prices, but they won’t cover their costs” said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet” according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer. Wind and solar’s share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%."

+ - Japanese court rules against restarting Ohi reactors

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, not to restart 2 of its reactors, citing inadequate safety measures. The plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors were halted for regular inspections last September. Local residents filed a lawsuit asking that the reactors be kept offline. They said an estimate of possible tremors is too small, and that the reactors lack backup cooling systems. The operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has insisted that no safety problems exist."

+ - Japan surpasses Kyoto Protocol emission target 1

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's environment minister says the country has surpassed the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it pledged under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Japan had lowered emissions by a 5-year average of 8.4 percent in the 2012 financial year compared to 1990 levels, more than the 6-percent goal the country pledged under the Kyoto Protocol. The 2012 figures are significant as they include the first full year after the March 11th Tohoku earthquake disaster, during which no nuclear power was available."

+ - Japan marks 3rd anniversary of 11/3 disaster 2

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) 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."

+ - Measures fail to stop Fukushima plant leaks

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) 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."

+ - Kickstarter project tries to fire payloads into space from a giant cannon

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) 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."."

+ - Google and EU agree on changes to search result pages

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) 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."

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