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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 532 declined, 337 accepted (869 total, 38.78% accepted)

+ - Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Last year, renewable energy sources accounted for half of new installed electric-generation capacity (natural gas units made up most of the remainder). As more photovoltaic panels are installed on rooftops around the nation, an antiquated power grid is being overburdened by a bidirectional load its was never engineered to handle. The Hawaiian Electric Company, for example, said it's struggling with electricity "backflow" that could destabilize its system. Batteries for distributed renewable power has the potential to mitigate the load on the national grid by allowing a redistribution of power during peak hours. As such Tesla, which is expected to announce batteries for homes and utilities on Thursday, and others are targeting a market estimated to be $1.2B market by 2019. Along with taking up some of the load during peak house, battery capacity can be used when power isn't being generated by renewable systems, such as at night and during inclement weather. That also reduces grid demand.
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+ - Tesla To Unveil Its Gigafatory's Home/Utility-Scale Batteries->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Elon Musk is expected to announce batteries that will store power from renewable energy sources in homes and for utilities that will supplement their power supply in off hours at night and during inclement weather. The announcement will take place next Thursday (April 30) at 8 p.m. Musk is also chairman of SolarCity, the largest provider of residential solar systems in the U.S., which controls 30% to 40% of the U.S. market. Tesla plans to mass produce household- and utility-grade batteries in a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory project it calls the "Gigafactory" — the first one of which is being constructed in Nevada. As battery technology evolves, it could pave the way to cost effectively store both wind and solar-generated energy and connect to electrical power grids. The technology also could be used by businesses and homes, which could virtually remain off the power grid except in emergencies. The grid, essentially, would be the backup. The company is currently beta-testing its batteries in about 330 homes, mainly in California. Those batteries can hold up to 10kWh of electricity. The utility-grade model is expected to have a 400kWh capacity.
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+ - NASA's Rocket Maker To Begin 3D Printing Flight-Ready Components ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: United Launch Alliance (ULA), the company that makes rockets for NASA and the U.S. Air Force, plans to 3D print more than 100 flight-ready components for its next-gen Vulcan rocket. The company also just printed its first flight-ready component, a new Environmental Control System for its current Atlas V rocket. The ECS assembly had previously contained 140 parts that were made by third party suppliers, but ULA was able to reduce the parts to just 16, resulting in a 57% part-cost reduction. Along with cost reduction, ULA said 3D printing frees it from contracts with parts providers who may or may not deliver on time depending on whether the deem the rocket maker a priority at any given time. The company, which launches 12 rockets each year, is also hoping to use 3D printing for a more traditional role — rapid prototyping of parts. "We have a long list of [parts] candidates to evaluate — over 100 polymer parts we're considering and another 50 or so metal parts we're considering," said Greg Arend, program manager for additive manufacturing at ULA.
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+ - When You're the NFL Commish, Getting E-Medical Record Interoperability's a Cinch->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: The NFL recently completed the rollout of an electronic medical record (EMR) system and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) that allows mobile access for teams to player's health information at the swipe of a finger — radiological images, GPS tracking information, and detailed health evaluation data back to grade school. But as NFL football players are on the road a lot, often they're not being treated at hospitals or by specialists whose own EMRs are integrated with the NFL's; it's a microcosm of the industry-wide healthcare interoperability issue facing the U.S. today. The NFL, however, found achieving EMR interoperability isn't so much a technological issue as a political one, and if you have publicity on your side, it's not that difficult. NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle, who led the NFL's EMR rollout, said a call from a team owner to a hospital administrator typically does the trick. Even NFL Commissioner Roger Godell once made the call to a hospital CEO, "and things started moving in the next couple of days," McKenna-Doyle said. "They're very aware of the publicity."
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+ - Kludgey Electronic Heatlh Records Are Becomming Fodder for Malpractice Suits->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: The inherent issues that come with highly complex and kludgey electronic medical records — and for the healthcare professionals required to use them — hasn't been lost on lawyers, who see the potential for millions of dollars in judgments for plaintiffs suing for medical negligence or malpractice. Work flows that require a dozen or more mouse clicks to input even basic patient information has prompted healthcare workers to seek short cuts, such as cutting and pasting from previous visits, a practice that can also include the duplication of old vital sign data, or other critical information, such as a patient's age. While the malpractice suits have to date focused on care providers, they'll soon target EMR vendors, according to Keith Klein, a medical doctor and professor of medicine at UCLA. Klein has been called as an expert witness for more than 350 state or federal medical malpractice cases and he's seen a marked rise in plaintiff attorney's using EMRs as evidence that healthcare workers fell short of their responsibility for proper care. In one such case, a judge awarded more than $7.5 million when a patient suffered permanent kidney damage, and even though physicians hadn't neglected the patient, the complexity of the EMR was responsible for them missing uric kidney stone. The EMR was ore than 3,000 pages in length and included massive amounts of duplicated information, something that's not uncommon.
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+ - Massive Lincoln Archive Goes Live on 150th Anniversary of His Assassination->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: The Lincoln Project, a joint digitization project sponsored by The University of Illinois and the Abraham Lincoln Association, has been identifying transcribing, annotating, and imaging all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime. Those 100,000 or so documents are now online for the public to view. The documents cover three eras: Lincoln's time practicing law from 1836 to 1861; his personal life from birth in February, 1809 through March 3, 1861; and his time as president. The archive contains images of some of the most historically significant documents penned by Lincoln, such as one of the five original copies of the Gettysburg Address. It also contains more personal moments, such as a letter he wrote before he became president to an 11-year-old girl responding to her request that he grow a beard to hide his skinny face.
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+ - California has become the first state to get over 5% of its power from solar->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: While the rest of the nation's solar power generation hovers around 1%, California clocked in with a record 5% of power coming from utility-grade (1MW or more) solar power sources, according to a report from Mercom Capital Group and the Energy Information Administration. That's three times the next closest state, Arizona. At the same time, 22 states have yet to deploy even one utility-grade solar power plant, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. Meanwhile, the rest of the world saw a 14% uptick in solar power installations in 2014 for a total of 54.5GW of capacity, and that figure is expected to grow even faster in 2015. While China still leads the world in new solar capacity, Japan and the U.S. come in as a close second and third, respectively. In the U.S. distributed solar and utility-grade solar installations are soaring as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) is set to expire next year. The U.S. is expected to deploy 8.5GW of new solar capacity in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group.
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+ - Toshiba Announces 3D Flash With 48 Layers -- The Industry's Densest ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Admitting it has bumped up against a 15 nanometer process wall, Toshiba announced it's focusing its efforts on three dimensional NAND using its Bit Cost Scalable technology in order to increase capacity. It has dedicated a Japanese fab plant to it and developed 48-level 3D NAND, which bumps density up 33% over previous 3D NAND flash. The new 3D NAND will be able to store 128Gb of data per chip (16GB). Samsung has been mass producing 32-layer, triple-level cell (TLC) 3D NAND since last October and has incorporated it into some of its least expensive SSDs. Yesterday, Micron and Intel announced their own 32-layer 3D TLC NAND, which they claimed will lead to 10TB SSDs. While Toshiba's 3D NAND is multi-level cell (meaning it stores two bits per transistor versus three), the company does plan on developing a TLC version. Toshiba said it's not abandoning 15nm floating gate flash, but it will focus those efforts on lower capacity applications.
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+ - Elon Musk's SolarCity Offering To Build Cities, Businesses Their Own Grids->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Rooftop solar distributor SolarCity announced a new service where it will build a centrally-controllable power grid for cities, business campuses and even islands. Marketing its GridLogic service by calling attention to the recent uptick in natural disasters and the extended power outages that resulted from them, SolarCity said its "microgrids" are fully independent power infrastructures fed by solar panels with lithium-ion backup batteries (courtesy of Tesla). SolarCity claims its GridLogic program can provide electricity to communities and businesses for less than they pay for utility power and the facilities can still be connected to their area's utility power grid as an added backup.
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+ - Apple Makes Good on It's Promise to Double MacBook Pro Performance-> 2

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Benchmark tests performed on the 2015 MacBook Pro revealed it does have twice the read/write performance as the mid-2014 model. Tests performed with the Blackmagic benchmark tool revealed read/write speeds of more than 1,300MBps/1,400MBps, respectively. So what's changed? The new MacBook Pro does have a faster Intel dual-core i7 2.9GHz processor and 1866MHz LPDDR3) RAM, but the real performance gain is in the latest PCIe M.2 flash module. The 2014 model used a PCIe 2.0 x2 card and the 2015 model uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 (four I/O lanes) card. Twice the lanes, twice the speed. While Apple uses a proprietary flash card made by Samsung, Intel, Micron and SanDisk are all working on similar technology, so it's likely to soon wind up in high-end PCs.
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+ - Elon Musk predicts driving may someday be illegal->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: During a discussion at a Nvidia conference, Elon Musk predicted that in the future, consumers will not be allowed to drive cars because it will be considered too dangerous. "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine," he said. Others agree. Thilo Koslowski, a vice president at Gartner, said instead of laws dictating drivers must cede control to their car's computer, we may someday someday just pass signs requiring drivers to activate auto-drive functionality for certain particularly treacherous stretches of roadway. Kowlowski said fully autonomous vehicles won't be ubiquitous for another 10 to 15 years, but the government could spur that on by offering tax incentives as it does today with all-electric vehicles and hybrids.
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+ - Hertz Installs Internal Cameras in Rental Vehicles->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Hertz as installed internal cameras in about 12% of its rental fleet as part of an upgrade to its in-vehicle navigation system NeverLost. While the sixth iteration of NeverLost includes the camera, Hertz said it currently can't be activated because there's no software behind it. The nation's largest rental car company said the cameras were selected as a feature of their new Magellan touchscreen GPS system as a way of someday offering passengers video conferencing with Hertz representatives in the event of a problem. Hertz began installing the cameras last summer and to date has 60,000 of them in rental vehicles. The company said it doesn't know when or if it will activate the cameras, "We'd have to see whether there'd be customer acceptance of it, and you'd be weighing the convenience of video conferencing...against the privacy concerns some people have," a spokesman said.
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+ - Deploying Solar in California's Urban Areas Could Meet Demand Five Times Over->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: About 8% of terrestrial surfaces in California have been developed, ranging from cities and buildings to park spaces. If photovoltaic panels, along with concentrating solar power, were more effectively deployed in and around those areas, it could meet between three and five times what California currently uses for electricity, according to a new study. The study from the Carnegie Institution for Science, found that using small- and utility-scale solar power in and around developed areas could generate up to 15,000 terawatt-hours (trillion watt hours) of energy a year using photovoltaic technology, and 6,000TWh of energy a year using concentrating solar power technology. "Integrating solar facilities into the urban and suburban environment causes the least amount of land-cover change and the lowest environmental impact," post-doctoral environmental earth scientist Rebecca Hernandez said.
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+ - Why Apple Won't Adopt A Wireless Charging Standard->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: As the battle for mobile dominance continues among three wireless charging standards, with many smartphone and wearable makers having already chosen sides, Apple continues to sit on the sideline. While the new Apple Watch uses a tightly coupled magnetic inductive wireless charging technology, it still requires a cable. The only advantage is that no port is required, allowing the watch case to remain sealed and water resistant. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, however, remain without any form of wireless charging, either tightly coupled inductive or more loosely coupled resonant charging. Over the past few years, Apple has filed patents on its own flavor of wireless charging, a "near field" or resonant technology, but no products have as yet come to market. If and when it does select a technology, it will likely be its own proprietary specification, which ensures accessory makers will have to pay royalties to use it.
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+ - New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Solar energy installations beat both wind generated and coal-fired energy for the second year in a row, according to a new report from GTM Research. While solar only makes up about 1 percent of U.S. energy, in 2014, it added nearly as many new megawatts as natural gas, which is approaching coal as the country’s primary energy source. Solar capacity grew 32 percent from 2013 to 2014 and GTM is predicting it will grow 59% YoY this year. Just two years ago, in 2012, coal represented 41% of new energy capacity and solar only 10%. Last year, coal was down to 23% of new electrical capacity. Solar capacity growth last year represents a 12-fold increase over the amounts being installed in 2009. Key to solar adoption has been falling costs across market segments and states.
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