Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale Extended! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 20% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY20". ×

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Urges America To Challenge China To a Space Race 275

An anonymous reader writes: According to a Tuesday story in the UK edition of the International Business Times, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the celebrity astrophysicist and media personality, advocates a space race between the United States and China. The idea is that such a race would spur innovation and cause industry to grow. The Apollo race to the moon caused a similar explosive period of scientific research and engineering development. You might prefer the Sydney Morning Herald piece on which the IB Times article is based.

California Is Giving Away Free Solar Panels To Its Poorest Residents 272

MikeChino writes: Oakland-based non-profit GRID Alternatives is giving away 1,600 free solar panels to California's poorest residents by the year 2016. The initiative was introduced by Senator Kevin de León and launched with funds gathered under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GCRF), the state's cap-and-trade program. SFGate reports: "Kianté London used the program to put panels on his three-bedroom North Richmond home, which he shares with two sons and a daughter. 'It helps me and my family a great deal to have low-cost energy, because these energy prices are really expensive,' said London, 46, whose solar array was installed this week. 'And I wanted to do my part. It’s clean, green energy.' London had wanted a solar array for years, but couldn’t afford it on his income as a merchant seaman — roughly $70,000 per year. Even leasing programs offered by such companies as SolarCity and Sunrun were too expensive, he said. The new program, in contrast, paid the entire up-front cost of his array."

Obama Wants To Fund Clean Energy Research With Oil & Gas Funds 409

An anonymous reader writes "The Obama Administration has put forth a proposal to collect $2 billion over the next 10 years from revenues generated by oil and gas development to fund scientific research into clean energy technologies. The administration hopes the research would help 'protect American families from spikes in gas prices and allow us to run our cars and trucks on electricity or homegrown fuels.' In a speech at Argonne National Laboratory, Obama said the private sector couldn't afford such research, which puts the onus on government to keep it going. Of course, it'll still be difficult to get everyone on board: 'The notion of funding alternative energy research with fossil fuel revenues has been endorsed in different forms by Republican politicians, including Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowsi. But the president still faces an uphill battle passing any major energy law, given how politicized programs to promote clean energy have become in the wake of high-profile failures of government-backed companies.'"

US Funding Five Game-Changing Energy Projects 529

coondoggie writes "Taking aim at developing some progressive energy technologies the US Department of Energy said it will write a $130 million check to develop five areas, including plants engineered to replace oil, thermal power storage, rare earth alternatives and what it calls the energy equivalent of an Internet router."

Gov't Proposes "National Climate Service" For the US 599

Standing Bear writes "NPR reports that 140 years after the creation of the National Weather Service, the US government is proposing the creation of a similar service that will provide long-term projections of how climate will change. 'We are actually getting millions of requests a year already about: How should coastal cities plan for sea-level rise? How should various other agencies in the federal government or in state governments make plans for everything from roads to managing water supplies?' says NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. 'And a lot of that is going to be changing as the climate changes.' Under the plan, the new NOAA Climate Service would incorporate some of the agency's existing laboratories and research programs, including the National Climatic Data Center, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and the National Weather Service's Historical Climate Network. Meanwhile, as plans for the new climate service shape up, NOAA launched a new Web site,, designed to provide access to a wide range of climate information."

$529M Gov't Loan To Develop $89,000 Hybrid Sports Car 293

theodp writes "The WSJ reports that a tiny car company backed by former VP Al Gore has just gotten a $529M US government loan to help build an $89,000 hybrid sports car in Finland. The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive follows an earlier $465M government loan to Tesla Motors, purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Fisker's other investors (PDF) include the Al Gharaffa Investment Co., a Cayman Islands corporation."

NASA Contest To Name ISS Module 197

Solarch writes "NASA is holding a contest to name ISS Node 3. Being a Browncoat myself, I should hope that the choice of names would be obvious. As of the 7:30 PM EST on 2/25, the name Serenity has over 80% of the vote. From the site: 'Node 3 will connect to the port side of the Unity Node and will provide room for many of the station's life support systems, in the form of eight refrigerator-sized racks. After Node 3 is installed, the station's crew will transfer over many of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) currently stored in various places around the station.'"

Texas To Build $4.93B Wind-Power Project 250

Hugh Pickens points out a story in the NYTimes about Texas' $4.93 billion wind-power transmission project. One of the major goals of the project is to improve electrical throughput to the population centers. Current transmission lines are unable to handle all of the power generated by Texas' wind fields. State citizens will be paying slightly more to help cover the cost, though the project is expected to eventually lower the cost to consumers. Quoting: "The lines can handle 18,500 megawatts of power, enough for 3.7 million homes on a hot day when air-conditioners are running. 'The project will ease a bottleneck that has become a major obstacle to development of the wind-rich Texas Panhandle and other areas suitable for wind generation. The lack of transmission has been a fundamental issue in Texas, and it's becoming more and more of an issue elsewhere,' said Vanessa Kellogg, the Southwest regional development director for Horizon Wind Energy, which operates the Lone Star Wind Farm in West Texas and has more wind generation under development. 'This is a great step in the right direction.'"

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig