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Submission + - World's Largest Solar Power Plant To Supply Enough Energy For 1.1 Million People (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The world's largest solar power plant is now live and will eventually provide 1.1 million people in Morocco with power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons a year. Phase 1 of the Noor concentrated solar power (CSP) plant went live last week, providing 140 megawatts (MW) of power to Morocco. Phases 2 and 3 will be completed by 2018 when the plant is expected to generate more than 500MW of power. The Noor plant, located in south-central Morocco, will cover 6,178 acres and produce so much energy, that Morocco may eventually start exporting the clean energy to the European market.

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 + - MIT Inches Closer to ARC Reactor Despite Losing Federal Funding (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Experimenting with a fusion device over the past 20 years has edged MIT researchers to their final goal, creating a small and relatively inexpensive ARC reactor, three of which would produce enough energy to power a city the size of Boston. The lessons already learned from MIT's even current Alcator C-Mod fusion device — with a plasma radius of just 0.68 meters — have enabled researchers to publish a paper on a prototype ARC that would be the world's smallest fusion reactor but with the greatest magnetic force and energy output for its size. The ARC would require 50MW to run while putting out about 200MW of electricity to the grid. Key to MIT's ARC reactor would be the use of a "high-temperature" rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconducting tape for its magnetic coils, which only need to be cooled to 100 Kelvin, which enables the use of abundant liquid nitrogen as a cooling agent. Other fusion reactors' superconducting coils must be cooled to 4 degrees Kelvin. While there remain hurdles to overcome, such as sustaining the fusion reaction long enough to achieve a net power return, building the ARC would only take 4 to 5 years and cost about $5 billion, compared to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the world's largest tokamak fusion reactor due to go online and begin producing energy in 2027.

Submission + - Financial Services Co. Sets Up Crowdfunding Site to Help Pay Patient Bills

Lucas123 writes: A start-up financial services company called Someone With Group has just completed a pilot of a crowdfunding service that allows hospitals to set up campaigns to help patients pay their medical expenses. The website, which is HIPAA compliant in terms of privacy and security, allows patients facing medical debts to inform family, friends and even strangers of their need for funds versus flowers or cards. The crowdfunding service also addresses a systemic debt issue in the healthcare industry. Each year, the U.S. healthcare industry writes off $40 billion in bad debt from unpaid medical bills. "Then you consider that $6 billion is spent on cards and flowers for patients every year. Why can't we redirect that money and put it into a debit instrument restricted to medical spending only?" said Jagemann-Bane, CEO of Someone With Group. One hospital group, Pinnacle Health Systems in Harrisburg, Penn., routinely writes off $40 million to $50 million a year in unpaid medical bills from patients. The hospital set up a crowdfunding site via Someone With Group and so far has seen a couple dozen patients use it. Bill Pugh, CFO of Pinnacle, said the crowdfunding service is a compassionate way to help patients deal with the burden of debt and it allows family and friends to offer something more than the typical thoughtful gesture for a patient. After a one-year pilot of the crowdfunding service, patients who've used it on average have raised $2,315.

Submission + - Six HDDs With Health Information Of Nearly A Million Patients Missing (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Health insurer Centene Corp. revealed that it is looking for six HDDs with information on 950,000 customers that went missing during a data project that was using laboratory results to improve the health outcomes of patients. The drives not only contain sensitive personal identification information, such as addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers, but they also contain health information. "While we don't believe this information has been used inappropriately," said Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene.

Submission + - Six of 10 Americans Would Purchase a Smart Gun (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: A new survey from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health revealed that 59% percent of Americans, if they were to buy a new handgun, are willing to purchase a smart gun. More surprisingly, the web-based survey of almost 4,000 people found that four in 10 gun owners and 56% of political conservatives would buy a smart gun. "The results of this study show that there is potentially a large commercial market for smart gun technology," said Julia Wolfson, a Ph.D candidate in Johns Hopkins Department of Health Policy and Management. "This has been one of the biggest arguments against smart guns, that people just don't want them. This research shows otherwise."

Comment Re:The most recycled story of the past 7 years (Score 2) 229

Sorry folks. For some reason the HTML code isn't working, so here are the raw links:

www.wired.com/2008/05/volvo-promises/

www.am-online.com/news/2013/2/1/volvo-predicts-crash-proof-cars-by-2020-but-uk-drivers-remain-skeptical/32308/

www.am-online.com/news/2013/2/1/volvo-predicts-crash-proof-cars-by-2020-but-uk-drivers-remain-skeptical/32308/

Comment The most recycled story of the past 7 years (Score 4, Informative) 229

I think CNN or some news site picked the story up yet again after an interview at CES. This is ooooold news. Every year or so, Volvo makes their "no deaths or injuries" car pledge to stir up interest. Here's a 2008 story in Wired about it. Here's one in 2012. Here's one in 2013. I'm sure there's more.

Submission + - Tesla customer claims Elon Musk stole his Model S (bgr.com)

anderzole writes: In a remarkable blog post making the rounds online, a Florida man named Marty describes the frustrating consumer experience he had when trying to order an inventory car from Tesla. What makes Marty’s tale so interesting, if not utterly bizarre, is that it culminates with Tesla CEO Elon Musk allegedly ‘stealing’ the very Model S that Marty had ordered for himself. When Marty's Tesla didn't arrive as scheduled, he got a call from Tesla indicating that Musk was using it himself to test out somme new autopilot features.

The crazy thing about this story? It's actually true. Tesla has confirmed that a test Tesla vehicle was mistakenly made available for sale, resulting in Marty ordering the very car Musk was using as his own personal testing vehicle.

Submission + - Seagate Gives In And Adopts Helium For A 10TB HDD (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Seagate has finally adopted helium as an inert gas in its data center drives and has used it to produce a 10TB HDD for cloud-based data centers. Seagate had relied on its shingled magnetic recording technology for high-capacity drives right up until its last 8TB HDD, even after WD has used helium in several iterations of its hermetically sealed, 3.5-in HDDs. The lighter-than-air helium reduces friction on platters and allows more to be used. In Seagate's new HDD, it crammed seven platters 14 heads, a 25% increase in disk density over its 8TB drive.

Submission + - Facebook, Shutterfly Face Lawsuits For Using Facial Recognition To ID Photos (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: A federal judge has denied a motion by Shutterfly to dismiss a civil case against it claiming it violated privacy laws by collecting and scanning face geometries from uploaded images without consent. The plaintiff in the case, Brian Norberg, alleges he was never a member of Shutterfly and that other people uploaded photos that included his image. Facebook faces a similar lawsuit for its photo "tag suggestions" feature, but there has as yet been no judgement in the case. In his Shutterfly case ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Norgle rejected the website's argument that only in-person scans of people's faces are covered under the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, which states that no private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's or a customer's biometric identifier or biometric information with out their consent.

Submission + - Obama Embraces Smart Guns Creating Biggest Customer: The Federal Gov't (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Smart gun developers have faced pushback from opponents who fear adoption will lead to mandates, but this week Pres. Obama embraced the technology creating the biggest customer of them all for the technology: the federal government. Obama directed the Defense Department, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology. He also instructed the departments to "review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis, and to explore potential ways to further its use and development to more broadly improve gun safety." Joel Moshbacher, a Rabbi from Mahwah, N.J. and national co-chair of Do Not Stand Idly By, a gun safety advocacy group that lobbied the president to invest $20 million in federal funding in smart gun tech, said the move this week is "a game changer." Moshbacher said smart gun developers he's spoken with need only a few million to move their prototypes to market, so $20 million would be a windfall for several developers. Donald Sebastian, senior vice president for research and development at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), said federal dollars are the only way to advance the technology because of pushback by opposition groups. For example, when Armatix, a German startup, tried to introduce a smart handgun in the U.S. two years ago, it was met with vehement protests, including threats to burn down a Maryland store that was going to sell it. A second store in California that was carrying it also pulled it from its shelves citing pressure from those opposed to the tech.

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