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Space

+ - Prepare Yourself by Writing About Your Topic->

Submitted by
ShadoCat
ShadoCat writes "The article in Everyday Spacer talks about preparing yourself for space travel by writing about it. The site is focused on Space so it is inevitable that the article would be about space travel. However, it seems to me that there are some general principles that you can find in that article. Writing about a topic is a good way to "lock in the learning" (to use some guru's phrase) about your topic.

It then talks about using GURPS supplements as writing aids. That part I agree with whole heartedly. As a long time gamer, I've found that the research that goes into those supplements makes them useful even for non-gamers. Just stop reading when you get to the crunchy bits (game specific info)."

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Space

+ - Science as a Sport->

Submitted by
ShadoCat
ShadoCat writes "There was the X-Prize which generated a number of follow ups and imitators. This can only be a good thing. Getting people interested in science and space travel is what I'm all about. A "new" trend is emerging that takes this one step further. They are now making a sport out of science. Everyday Spacer has been reporting on a few new groups out there that are trying to tap into our enthusiasm for sports.

Making a sport out of science isn't as new as people think it is. Aside from that one episode of Sliders, people have been making a sport out of science for a while now. Project SETI and the like were not designed as a sport but that didn't stop the contributors of those sites from make a sport of it by tracking group scores generated from packets processed.

However, having the sport built into the original project does seem to be a new trend."

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NASA

+ - NASA shifts vital computer tasks onboard long-running Mars Odyssey satellite->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "After 11 years, NASA scientists running the Mars Odyssey Orbiter have decided to switch the machine's redundant computing functions from one side to the other in an attempt to keep the technology serviceable as possible. Odyssey, which spends its time performing a number of science functions like taking close-up shots of the Red Planet and relaying information from the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers operating on the surface of the planet, has redundant systems — side A and side B, NASA says."
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Science

+ - Crushed Silicon Triples Life of Li-Ion Batteries in the Lab->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead (2466858) writes "Batteries rule everything around us, which makes breakthroughs a big deal. A research team at Rice says they have produced a nice jump: By using a crushed silicon anode in a lithium-ion battery, they claim to have nearly tripled the energy density of current li-ion designs.

Engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and research scientist Madhuri Thakur reported in Nature’s Scientific Reports (it has yet to be published online) that by taking porous silicon and crushing it, they were able to dramatically decrease the volume required for anode material. Silicon has long been looked at as an anode material because it holds up to ten times more lithium ions than graphite, which is most commonly used commercially.

But it’s previously been difficult to create a silicon anode with enough surface area to cycle reliably. Silicon also expands when it’s lithiated, making it harder to produce a dense anode material. After previously testing a porous silicon “sponge,” the duo decided to try crushing the sponges to make them more compact. The result is a new battery design that holds a charge of 1,000 milliamp hours per gram through 600 tested charge cycles of two hours charging, two hours discharging. According to the team, current graphite anodes can only handle 350 mAh/g."

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Power

+ - Solar Panel Breaks "Third of a Sun" Efficiency Barrier->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Embattled photovoltaic solar power manufacturer Amonix announced on Tuesday that it has broken the solar module efficiency record, becoming the first manufacturer to convert more than a third of incoming light energy into electricity – a goal once branded "one third of a sun" in a Department of Energy initiative. The Amonix module clocked an efficiency rating of 33.5 percent."
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Mars

+ - Curiosity Snaps 'Arm's Length' Self Portrait->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "Using its robotic arm-mounted MAHLI camera, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has snapped, quite possibly, the most iconic image to come from the mission so far. By stitching together 55 high-resolution photos, the rover has snapped an "arm's length" self portrait, capturing its location in the geologically interesting area known as "Rocknest", including its recent scoop marks in the Martian soil and the base of Mt. Sharp."
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Crime

+ - 80,000lbs Of Walnuts Purloined In Northern California->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "While not quite as epic or bitter as losing 600 barrels of maple syrup — in two separate heists, 80,000lbs of walnuts have been stolen in Northern California since last week. The heist was discovered after the walnuts failed to reach their destinations in Miami, FL and Dallas, TX. If you happen to see a large man (approximately 6' 2") driving a white semi-trailer and munching on $300,000 worth of walnuts, it may be the villain. Officers with highly trained squirrels have yet to be posted at interstate weigh-stations."
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+ - NYC Data Center Needs Focus on Fuel->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Who knew that the most critical element of operating a data center in New York City was ensuring a steady supply of diesel fuel? In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the challenges facing data center operators in the affected zones include pumping water from basements, waiting for utility power to be restored, and managing fuel-truck deliveries. And it’s become increasingly clear which companies had the resources and foresight to plan for a disaster like Sandy, and which are simply reacting. Here’s the latest on providers around the New York area."
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Government

+ - Department of Homeland Security Wants Nerds for a New 'Cyber Reserve' ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Just three weeks after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an audience at the Sea, Air and Space Museum that the U.S. is on the brink of a “cyber Pearl Harbor,” the government has decided it needs to beef up the ranks of its digital defenses. It’s assembling a league of extraordinary computer geeks for what will be known as the “Cyber Reserve.”"
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Robotics

+ - Vanderbilt University Steps Into the Exoskeleton Market->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "For people who are unable to walk under their own power, exoskeletons offer what is perhaps the next-best thing. Essentially “wearable robots,” the devices not only let their users stand, but they also move their legs for them, allowing them to walk. While groups such as Berkeley Bionics, NASA, Rex Bionics, and ReWalk are all working on systems, Nashville’s Vanderbilt University has just announced the development of its own exoskeleton. It is claimed to offer some important advantages over its competitors."
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Power

+ - Volcano power plan gets U.S. go-ahead-> 2

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Having successfully negotiated the challenging regulatory slopes of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a host of Oregon state agencies, the Newberry Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) demonstration project is in the process of creating a new geothermal reservoir in central Oregon. The core of the new reservoir is a two mile (2.7 km) deep well drilled about four miles (5.4 km) from the center of Newberry Volcano. The rock surrounding the wellbore reaches temperatures in the order of 600 F (300 C), and is nearly impermeable to water. That, however, is about to change.

Newberry Volcano is one of the largest and youngest volcanoes in the United States. Having last erupted about 1,300 years ago, it consists of over 400 individual volcanic vents, which, when combined, form a broad mounded landform referred to as a shield volcano. The Newberry EGS Demonstration geothermal reservoir is being formed in the high-temperature, low-permeability deep lava of the volcano's northwest flank."

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Government

+ - NASA teams to build gyroscopes 1,000X more sensitive than current systems-> 3

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "NASA today said it would work with a team of researchers on a three-year, $1.8 project to build gyroscope systems that are more than 1,000 times as sensitive as those in use today. The Fast Light Optical Gyroscope project will marry researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center; the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center and Northwestern University to develop gyroscopes that could find their way into complex spacecraft, aircraft, commercial vehicles or ships in the future."
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Networking

+ - Cisco pricing undercut by $100M in big Cal State University network project-> 1

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The $100 million price differential between the Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco proposals to refresh California State University's 23-campus network revealed earlier this week was based on an identical number of switches and routers in various configurations. CSU allowed Network World to review spreadsheets calculating the eight-year total cost of ownership of each of the five bidders for the project. "Everybody had to comply with this spreadsheet," said CSU's director of cyberinfrastructure."
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Programming

+ - Does Coding Style Matter?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Over at Smashing Magazine, Nicholas C. Zakas makes the case for Why Coding Style Matters. 'Coding style guides are an important part of writing code as a professional,' Zakas concludes. 'Whether you're writing JavaScript or CSS or any other language, deciding how your code should look is an important part of overall code quality. If you don't already have a style guide for your team or project, it's worth the time to start one.' So, how are coding style guidelines working (or not) in your world?"

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