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Submission + - Nuclear and Radioactive Packages Keep Going Missing in Canada (vice.com)

mdsolar writes: If you've ever lost your wallet or car keys, you've got something in common with the people who run Canada's nuclear facilities, who keep misplacing nuclear and radiological material.

Last year alone, 14 radioactive packages were lost or stolen, according to the annual report from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and less than half were later recovered. That's on top of the dozen of other nuclear packages from recent years that have yet to be found.

The report doesn't detail the circumstances of the losses or thefts, except to say that they were either "sealed sources" — a secure container carrying nuclear or radioactive material — or "radioactive devices."

The lapses, at a time when security services pledge neurotic devotion to tracking and recovering dangerous goods that could reach the black market, are thanks in part to a handful of private companies that are mishandling radioactive material.

Submission + - Checking in with Andrew Ng at Baidu's Blooming Silicon Valley Research Lab (ieee.org)

Tekla Perry writes: Andrew Ng, founder of the Google Brain project and Coursera and now chief scientist for Baidu, discusses Baidu's approach to autonomous vehicles (focus on known routes, not every possibility), language translation (a single machine learning algorithm to tackle both English and Mandarin), the university vs corporate research experience, and Baidu's Silicon Valley hiring plans

Comment Map Blindness (Score 1) 565

I call it map blindness when someone doesn't constantly maintain or at least try to maintain a map in their mind whenever they go somewhere. One of my office mates can be considered map blind. When he gets off of the elevator after arriving at our floor he has to look around to get his bearings visually in order to figure out which way to go to the office. This is especially because there are 2 + 2 elevators on opposite sides of the hall in our building. Whereas another office mate can point out the directions in 3 dimensions of any destination or office in our building,

The point is different people have different skills in this area. I sort of assume it to be innate.

Submission + - SPAM: How Lead Ended Up In Flint's Tap Water

MTorrice writes: Lead contamination is the most troubling in a series of water problems that have plagued Flint, Michigan since the summer of 2014. All of them were caused by corrosion in the lead and iron pipes that distribute water to city residents. When the city began using the Flint River as its water source in April 2014, it didn’t adequately control the water’s ability to corrode those pipes. This led to high lead levels, rust-colored tap water, and possibly the growth of pathogenic microbes.

Environmental engineers talk about the chemistry behind the Flint water crisis and explain the one thing the city could have done to prevent the whole catastrophe.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - China Just Became the World Leader in Nuclear Fusion Research (techienews.co.uk)

TechnoidNash writes: China announced last week a major breakthrough in the realm of nuclear fusion research. The Chinese Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), was able to heat hydrogen gas to a temperature of near 50 million degrees Celsius for an unprecedented 102 seconds. While this is nowhere near the hottest temperature that has ever been achieved in nuclear fusion research, that distinction belongs to the Large Hadron Collider which reached 4 trillion degrees Celsius, it is the longest amount of time one has been maintained. Read the full story here: http://www.techienews.co.uk/97...

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Australia Cuts 110 Climate Scientist Jobs - Scientific American (google.com)


Scientific American

Australia Cuts 110 Climate Scientist Jobs
Scientific American
With an ax rather than a scalpel, Australia's federal science agency last week chopped off its climate research arm in a decision that has stunned scientists and left employees dispirited. As many as 110 out of 140 positions at the atmosphere and ...
The Science Is Settled, So Australia Will Fire 100 Climate ScientistsDaily Caller
CSIRO to Cut Up to 350 Jobs As Climate Change 'Answered'Laboratory Equipment
CSIRO Trims StaffGenomeWeb
Forbes-On Line opinion
all 34 news articles

Submission + - Sen. Blumenthal demands lifting of IT 'gag' order (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the layoff and replacement of IT workers by foreign workers at a state energy utility. But he is also demanding that the utility, Eversource Energy, drop a particularly restrictive non-disparagement clause that laid off employees had to sign to receive their severance. This clause bars discussion "that would tend to disparage or discredit" the utility. [emphasis added] He wants the employees, who had to train foreign replacements, to be able to state "honestly what happened to them."

Submission + - The Hyperloop Industrial Complex

Jason Koebler writes: Two and a half years after Elon Musk pitched the technology, actually traveling on a hyperloop is still theoretical, but its effect on business is not. There is a very real, bonafide industry of people whose job description is, broadly speaking "make the hyperloop into a tangible thing." The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Weekend at Texas A&M University earlier this weekend was the coming out party for people in that industry.

Submission + - The Density NAND Flash Has Surpassed HDDs But Price Remains A Sticking Point (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: With the introduction of 3D or stacked NAND flash memory, non-volatile memory has for the first time surpassed the hard disk drives in density. This year, Micron revealed it had demonstrated areal densities in its laboratories of up to 2.77 terabits per square inch (Tbpsi) for its 3D NAND. That compares with the densest HDDs of about 1.3Tbpsi. While NAND flash may have surpassed hard drives in density, it doesn't mean the medium has reached price parity with HDDs — nor will it anytime soon. One roadblock to price parity is the cost of revamping existing or building new 3D NAND fabrication plant, which far exceeds that of hard drive manufacturing facilities, according to market research firm Coughlin Associates. HDD makers are also preparing to launch even denser products using technologies such as heat assisted magnetic recording.

Submission + - Email stokes rumor that gravitational waves have been spotted (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: t's just a rumor, but if specificity is any measure of credibility, it might just be right. For weeks, gossip has spread around the Internet that researchers with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have spotted gravitational waves—ripples in space itself set off by violent astrophysical events. In particular, rumor has it that LIGO physicists have seen two black holes spiraling into each other and merging. But now, an email message that ended up on Twitter adds some specific numbers to those rumors. The author says he got the details from people who have seen the manuscript of the LIGO paper that will describe the discovery.

Submission + - French company bungled clinical trial that led to a death and illness (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Why one man died and four others fell ill during a drug safety study in France last month is still very unclear. But a preliminary inspection report lashes out at Biotrial, the company that conducted the study, for how it responded after the first volunteer in the clinical trial was hospitalized. Three major errors by Biotrial put other volunteers at risk, says the report, published yesterday by France's General Inspectorate of Social Affairs.

Submission + - A Bot That Drives Robocallers Insane

Trailrunner7 writes: Robocalls are among the more annoying modern inventions, and consumers and businesses have tried just about every strategy for defeating them over the years, with little success. But one man has come up with a bot of his own that sends robocallers into a maddening hall of mirrors designed to frustrate them into surrender.

The bot is called the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, and it’s the work of Roger Anderson, a veteran of the phone industry himself who had grown tired of the repeated harassment from telemarketers and robocallers. Anderson started out by building a system that sat in front of his home landlines and would tell human callers to press a key to ring through to his actual phone line; robocallers were routed directly to an answering system. He would then white-list the numbers of humans who got through.

Sometimes the Jolly Roger bot will press buttons to be transferred to a human agent and other times it will just talk back if a human is on the other end of the line to begin with.

Submission + - DNA makes lifeless materials shapeshift (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Researchers have engineered tiny gold particles that can assemble into a variety of crystalline structures simply by adding a bit of DNA to the solution that surrounds them. Down the road, such reprogrammable particles could be used to make materials that reshape themselves in response to light, or to create novel catalysts that reshape themselves as reactions proceed.

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