mcgrew writes "Forbes has an article about a new type of fuel cell that is 90% less costly than current cells at one tenth the size (making it the size of a dishwasher), with far higher efficiency than current cells. It runs at only 149 degrees Celsius (300F) . It was jointly developed by Diverse Energy and the University of Maryland. 'The first-generation Cube runs off natural gas, but it can generate power from a variety of fuel sources, including propane, gasoline, biofuel and hydrogen. The system is a highly efficient, clean technology, emitting negligible pollutants and much less carbon dioxide than conventional energy sources. It uses fuel far more efficiently than an internal combustion engine, and can run at an 80 percent efficiency when used to provide both heat and power.' It produces enough power to run a moderate-sized grocery store, or five homes. A smaller, home-sized unit is on the way. Is the municipal power plant on the way out?"
theodp writes "A lighthearted 4th of July post pointing out how Microsoft Word could help Google CEO Larry Page catch typos in his Google+ posts turned out to be fighting words for GeekWire readers. "Grammar is an important indicator of the quality of one's message," insisted one commenter. "You shouldn't have disgraced yourself by stooping to trolling your readers with an article about what essentially amounts to using a full blown word processor for a tweet. Albeit an rather long example of one," countered another. A few weeks earlier, the WSJ sparked a debate with its report that grammar gaffes have invaded the office in an age of informal e-mail, texting and Twitter. So, does grammar matter anymore?"
Apple and many other tech companies have offered benefits to same-sex couples (and sometimes made them a sticking point) for quite some time now, but Google is taking its position of inclusion for sexual minorities outside the company itself; the company has announced an international campaign to promote legal marriage equality for same-sex couples, called "Legalize Love." According to CNN's version of the story, while this represents Google's policies overall, the campaign will at first "focus on countries like Singapore, where certain homosexual activities are illegal, and Poland, which has no legal recognition of same-sex couples." dot429 quotes Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe of Google, speaking in London Saturday at a summit where the initiative was announced: "We want our employees who are gay or lesbian or transgender to have the same experience outside the office as they do in the office. It is obviously a very ambitious piece of work." Also at CNET.
After reports that South Korean had "surrendered to creationists" by removing references to evolution in several textbooks, openfrog writes with this excerpt from Science Insider that indicates the fight is still in progress: "The South Korean government is poised to appoint a new committee that will revisit a controversial plan to drop two examples of evolutionary theory from high school textbooks. The committee, to be led by insect taxonomist Byoung-Hoon Lee, a member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, has been asked to re-evaluate requests from a Korean creationist group to drop references to bird and horse evolution that they argue promote 'atheist materialism.' At the same time, about 50 prominent Korean scientists are preparing to present government officials with a petition, organized by the Korean Association of Biological Sciences, which calls for rejecting the proposed changes. 'When these things are done, I think it will turn out that after all Korean science will not surrender to religion' says Jae Choe, an evolutionary biologist at Ewha Womans University in Seoul who helped organize the petition."
Back in May we discussed using Python, R, and Octave as data analysis tools, and compared the relative strength of each. One point of contention was whether Python could be considered a legitimate tool for such work. Now, Bei Lu writes while Python on its own may be lacking, Python with packages is very much up to the task: "My passion with Python started with its natural language processing capability when paired with the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK). Considering the growing need for text mining to extract content themes and reader sentiments (just to name a few functions), I believe Python+packages will serve as more mainstream analytical tools beyond the academic arena." She also discusses an emerging set of solutions for R which let it better handle big data.
dgharmon writes "The Command Line Interface has its uses, acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim, but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says. Keep it as an option or you can take it out all together. 'If it is there, it should just be there for the IT people or tech support to use when you encounter a problem.'"
zacharye writes "RIM was expected to deliver a nightmarish, -30% year-on-year revenue decline into the May quarter — the company issued its latest profit warning just four weeks ago. Yet it ended up missing the lowered consensus estimate by 10%, generating just $2.8 billion in sales. The reasons for RIM's decline are well-known and will be rehashed again over the next 24 hours. But the size of the F1Q13 sales miss raises another question: apart from Apple and Samsung, is the handset industry drifting into serious trouble?"
weather != climate.
would it be better to consume coal energy for the life of the datacenter, or spend a bit of (possibly dirty) energy to build renewable alternatives?
Sounds like a good kickstarter project. I'll chip in.
nicholast writes "The New Yorker has a story by Ken Auletta about the connections between Stanford and Silicon Valley. The piece explains how important the university is to tech companies and venture capital firms, but it also questions whether Stanford has become too focused on wealth. 'It's an atmosphere that can be toxic to the mission of the university as a place of refuge, contemplation, and investigation for its own sake,' says one professor. The piece also explains Stanford's conflicted thoughts about distance education, which could transform the university or prove to be a threat to it."
New submitter skipkent writes "Iran's military has started to build a copy of a U.S. surveillance drone captured last year after breaking the software encryption, Iranian media reported on Sunday. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, said engineers were in the final stages of decoding data from the Sentinel aircraft, which came down in December near the Afghan border, Mehr news agency reported."
New submitter Kraftwerk writes "A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards. Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for 'Mandatory Event Data Recorders' to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so. 'Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,' states the bill."
astroengine writes "Why our planet isn't a "snowball Earth" — a dilemma called the 'faint young sun paradox' — has foxed solar and planetary scientists for decades. Since the Earth's formation, a planet covered in ice should have stifled any kind of greenhouse effect, preventing our atmosphere from warming up and maintaining water in a liquid state. Now, David Minton of Purdue University has come up with a novel solution that, by his own admission, straddles science fact and fiction. Perhaps Earth evolved closer to the Sun and through some gravitational effect, it was pushed to a higher orbit as the Sun grew hotter. But watch out, if this is true, planetary chaos awaits."
This is the best comment I've read on slashdot in years. I don't know if that's a good thing, or just sad.