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+ - Power generation from the meeting of river water and seawater.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "A team at MIT has now developed a model to evaluate the performance and optimal dimensions of large PRO systems. In general, the researchers found that the larger a system’s membrane, the more power can be produced — but only up to a point. Interestingly, 95 percent of a system’s maximum power output can be generated using only half or less of the maximum membrane area.

A PRO system could potentially power a coastal wastewater-treatment plant by taking in seawater and combining it with treated wastewater to produce renewable energy."

+ - Mini Aliens in Space, so Russians say->

Submitted by markwillison
markwillison (3764611) writes "Microorganisms were found on samples collected by the cosmonauts during a space walk. It was a complete surprise when they analyzed them, as they only expected for find the contaminants produced by the engines of the incoming and outgoing spaceship traffic.

Space Plankton.

They might not be aliens at all, but then again we might all be aliens"

Link to Original Source

+ - Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy?-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Summary: Empirically, wind energy is much more scalable than nuclear energy.

China is the true experiment for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore democracy and social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear.

So how is it doing?

        China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Over the four years of 2010 to 2014, China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear into operation at the Qinshan Phase II, Ling Ao Phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe and Yangjiang plants. This is not their stated plans for nuclear, which had them building almost double this in 2013 alone and around 28 GW by 2015, but the actual plants put into production. The variance between the nuclear roadmap and nuclear reality in China is following the trajectory of nuclear buildout worldwide: delays, cost overruns, and unmet expectations."

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+ - A Better Way to Make Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs->

Submitted by the_newsbeagle
the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "To make a brain-machine interface, you need a way to capture neurons' electric signals. The most precise and most invasive way uses implants that are stuck in the gray matter. The least precise and least invasive way uses EEG sensors stuck to the scalp. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University say there's a third way that gets the best of both worlds, which is not too invasive and fairly precise. They use ECoG systems, in which a mesh of electrodes is placed under the skull, draped over the surface of the cortex.

They're testing their systems on epilepsy patients, who have these ECoG systems inserted anyway while they're waiting for surgery (the electrodes record the source of their seizures). The researchers are capturing these patients' movement commands from their brains, and using them to control robotic limbs. Someday such a system could be used by amputees to control their prosthetic limbs."

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+ - Systemd: Harbinger of the Linux Apocalypse->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It might not be the end of the world, but the design of systemd and the attitudes of its developers have been counterproductive

Now that Red Hat has released RHEL 7 with systemd in place of the erstwhile SysVinit, it appears that the end of the world is indeed approaching. A schism and war of egos is unfolding within the Linux community right now, and it is drawing blood on both sides. Ultimately, no matter who "wins," Linux looks to lose this one"

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+ - Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto over Internet Governance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The debate over Internet governance for much of the past decade has often come down to a battle between ICANN and the United Nations. The reality has always been far more complicated. The U.S. still maintains contractual control over ICANN, while all governments exert considerable power within the ICANN model through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Now governments are looking for even more power, seeking a near-complete veto power of ICANN decisions."
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+ - Massive DDoS on media firm exploited 'patched' Supermicro IPMI server flaw->

Submitted by rifles only
rifles only (858561) writes "According to VeriSign, one of its customers got whacked with a 300Gbps+ DDoS attack this summer, making it one of the three largest such incidents yet recorded. But what makes this really interesting is the botnet used to create this packet storm exploited the Supermicro IPMI flaw mentioned by a researcher in 2013 and which was supposedly patched in the same year. Turns out some of the server admins didn't get that memo..."
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+ - Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars?

Submitted by Rick Zeman
Rick Zeman (15628) writes "Wired has an interesting article on the possibility of selectable ethical choices in robotic autonomous cars.

From the article: The way this would work is one customer may set the car (which he paid for) to jealously value his life over all others; another user may prefer that the car values all lives the same and minimizes harm overall; yet another may want to minimize legal liability and costs for herself; and other settings are possible.
Philosophically, this opens up an interesting debate about the oft-clashing ideas of morality vs. liability."

+ - Solar plant scorches birds in mid air-> 4

Submitted by Obscene_CNN
Obscene_CNN (3652201) writes "The new solar energy plant that is owned by Google and two energy companies is killing birds in mid air. The plant which works by concentrating the suns rays is killing and igniting the birds as they fall out of the sky. BrightSource Energy, NRG Solar, and Google say they are studying methods of reducing the bird deaths."
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+ - Boffins find hundreds of thousands of woefully insecure IoT devices->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "More than 140,000 internet-of-things devices, from routers to CCTV systems contain zero-day vulnerabilities, backdoors, hard coded crackable passwords and blurted private keys, according to the first large scale analysis of firmware in embedded devices. Four researchers from EURECOM France found the flaws when conducting a simple but systematic, automated, and large-scale analysis of 32,356 firmware images running on embedded systems within thousands of different devices.

Of these, 693 had at least one vulnerability while 38 contained active (or possibly recently patched) zero day flaws."

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+ - Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges->

Submitted by Frankie70
Frankie70 (803801) writes "Eric S Raymond feels that the local civil police in the U.S. are too heavily armed and in many places have developed an adversarial attitude towards the civilians they serve, one that makes police overreactions and civil violence almost inevitable.

However, he also feels that there is another injustice being done here: the specific assumption, common among civil libertarians, that police overreactions are being driven by institutional racism. He believes this is dangerously untrue and actually impedes effective thinking about how to prevent future outrages."

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+ - Delays for SC Nuclear Plant Pressure Industry->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Expensive delays are piling up for the companies building new nuclear power plants, raising fresh questions about whether they can control the construction costs that crippled the industry years ago.

The latest announcement came this week from executives at SCANA Corp., which has been warned by its builders the startup of the first of two new reactors in South Carolina could be delayed two years or more. SCANA Corp. and plant co-owner Santee Cooper have not accepted that timeline from the companies designing and building the reactors, nor have they accepted responsibility for additional costs.

That announcement may well foreshadow more delays for a sister project in eastern Georgia, and they have caught the attention of regulators and Wall Street.

"Delays generally cause cost increases, and the question becomes who's going to bear the costs?" said C. Dukes Scott, executive director of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, a watchdog agency that monitors SCANA Corp.'s spending.

None of this is helpful for the nuclear power industry, which had hoped its newest generation of plants in Georgia and South Carolina would prove it could build without the delays and cost overruns so endemic years ago. When construction slows down, it costs more money to employ the thousands of workers needed to build a nuclear plant. Meanwhile, interest charges add up on the money borrowed to finance construction.

A single day of delay in Georgia could cost $2 million, according to an analysis by utility regulators."

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+ - Why didn't the Universe become a black hole? 5

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "With some 10^90 particles in the observable Universe, even stretched across 92 billion light-years today, the Universe is precariously close to recollapsing. How, then, is it possible that back in the early stages after the Big Bang, when all this matter-and-energy was concentrated within a region of space no bigger than our current Solar System, the Universe didn't collapse down to a black hole? Not only do we have the explanation, but we learn that even if the Universe did recollapse, we wouldn't get a black hole at all!"

+ - NSA/GCHQ: The HACIENDA Program for Internet Colonization->

Submitted by Advocatus Diaboli
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "Since the early days of TCP, port scanning has been used by computer saboteurs to locate vulnerable systems. In a new set of top secret documents seen by Heise, it is revealed that in 2009, the British spy agency GCHQ made port scans a "standard tool" to be applied against entire nations. Twenty-seven countries are listed as targets of the HACIENDA program in the presentation, which comes with a promotional offer: readers desiring to do reconnaissance against another country need simply send an e-mail."
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google is toying with a complete revamp of the user account system in its browser. Google is essentially pulling the user management system from Chrome OS back into Chrome. The company’s thinking is likely two-layered. First, it wants users to stay in the browser for as long as possible, and thus it wants the switching process to be part of Chrome as opposed to Windows, Mac, or Linux. Second, if it can teach users to have accounts in Chrome (as well as use incognito and guest modes), the learning curve will have been flattened for when they encounter Chrome OS."

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