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+ - US nuclear commander suspended over gambling->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "The No 2 officer at the military command in charge of all US nuclear war-fighting forces has been suspended and is under investigation by the naval criminal investigation command for issues related to gambling, officials said on Saturday.

The highly unusual action against a high-ranking officer at US strategic command was made more than three weeks ago but not publicly announced.

Air force general Robert Kehler, who heads Strategic Command, suspended the deputy commander, navy vice admiral Tim Giardina, from his duties on September 3, according to the command's top spokeswoman, navy captain Pamela Kunze. Giardina is still assigned to the command but is prohibited from performing duties related to nuclear weapons and other issues requiring a security clearance, she said."

Link to Original Source

+ - GE Canada struggling to find PDP-11 programmers for its nuclear control systems 5

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."

+ - First Cases of Flesh-Eating Drug Emerge in the United States

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Having spent the last decade wreaking havoc in Russia, Eliza Gray reports at Time Magazine that a flesh-eating drug called Krokodil has arrived in Arizona where the Banner Poison Control center has reported the first two users of the drug which makes user’s skin scaly and green before it rots away (Warning: Graphic Images). Made of codeine, a painkiller often used in cough syrup, and a mix of other materials including gasoline, paint thinner, and alcohol, Krokodil become popular in Russia, where it was first reported in 2002, because it costs 20 times less than heroin and can be made easily at home. Also known as Desomorphine, Krokodil has sedative and analgesic effects, and is around 8-10 times more potent than morphine and when the drug is injected, it rots the skin by rupturing blood vessels, causing the tissue to die. As a result, the skin hardens and rots, sometimes even falling off to expose the bone. ”These people are the ultimate in self-destructive drug addiction,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur. “Once you are an addict at this level, any rational thinking doesn’t apply.” The average life span of a Krokodil user is two to three years, according to a 2011 TIME investigation of the drug’s prevalence in Russia."

+ - Georgia Tech and Udacity to offer $7K Masters' degree in CS

Submitted by SysKoll
SysKoll (48967) writes "Is the college bubble about to pop for good? Georgia Tech and Udacity are offering"> the first accredited Online Master of Science in Computer Science taught entirely online. The $7K cost is subsidized through a partnership with AT&T (who sponsors the program to the tune of $2M). Bonus: if you don't want to enroll for credits and a degree, you'll still be able to view the course for free on Udacity. $7K would not even cover a year if out-of-state tuition at many state colleges. Enrollment opens in Fall 2014. The exams will be proctored in one of 4500 facilities, so no cheating!"

Comment: Putin's crackdown on human rights (Score 4, Insightful) 195

by SysKoll (#43727657) Attached to: Russia Captures Alleged American CIA Agent In Moscow

Yeah, as the OP said, there is a lot of concern about Putin's crackdown on human rights. Why, the rumor is that he is using the tax administration to harass opponents and that his chief Justice has grabbed phone records from news agencies that don't tow the line.

Fortunately, such things would never happen in the US.

Comment: Biologist Remy Chauvin (Score 1) 130

by SysKoll (#43692635) Attached to: Transfusions Reverse Aging Effects On Hearts In Mice

I remember reading similar research in the 1980s. Biologist Remy Chauvin was observing rejuvenating effects of transfusions in animals and trying to generate interest for seriously studying and understanding the phenomenon. The ossified "scientific community" laughed him out of the room. He was very bitter about it because he knew he was up to something.

Even if this doesn't translate into a fountain of youth, this is still a major scientific breakthrough.

Comment: Failed operation (Score 4, Informative) 100

by SysKoll (#42599937) Attached to: Rare Earth Elements Found In Jamaican Mud
The Chinese government had grabbed the rare earth market by cutting down prices (yes, labor camps and lax pollution rules help). Then they restricted supply, attempting to force Western manufacturers to bring to China all productions of materials using rare earths. Within months, out-of-China RE production that was shut down because of cost resumed, and prices actually went down. It's all in this amusing article written by a guy who used to trade this stuff.

Comment: "New study"? It was published in 2001! (Score 1) 243

by SysKoll (#39167283) Attached to: Study Suggests Climate Change-Induced Drought Caused the Mayan Collapse

Some new study. It was "new" when it was first published in Science in 2001?

This is one of many papers showing that 1. The Mayan empire was subject to a series of droughts that finally offed them, and 2. That variations of solar activities caused these droughts.

It doesn't "suggest" anything, it forcibly affirms it with tons of data to accompany it.

Comment: DC/X (Delta Clipper) did that first 20 years ago (Score 5, Interesting) 65

by SysKoll (#39092625) Attached to: Successful Test Flight and Landing for Xombie Rocket Lander and GENIE

The Delta Clipper (DC/X) performed the very same stunt back in the 90s: Take off and land on its rocket. That was 20 years ago.

The DC/X was a demonstrator of a single-stage-to-orbit project. It promised to bring down the cost of space flight by an order of magnitude and make the Space Shuttle obsolete.

It flew several times, achieving perfect flights, then was given to NASA. They "acccidentally" forgot to connect the hydraulic line that deployed on of the landing struts and the DC/X crashed at its first NASA landing. And oh darn, they couldn't find the couple of millions needed to fix it.

This dangerous competitor to the shuttle was thus killed. The Shuttle program was safe. Whew.

Now that the Shuttle is no more, revolutionary concepts such as DC/X or its Xombie imitation might safely crawl out of the hole in which NASA had thrown them. Maybe.

The first rule of a bureaucracy is self-perpetuation. The fact that a bureaucracy is building space shuttles doesn't change its bureaucratic nature.

Comment: What will happen now? Easy... (Score 1) 496

by SysKoll (#37522570) Attached to: Robot Workforce Threatens Education-Intensive Jobs

What do you do now?

You get your law school buddies on the phone. One of them knows alumni who are lobbying in DC. You get them to write a law making it illegal to dispense robot-assisted legal services. To, ya know, protect the public. Then you slip the law as an amendment into the Turnip Calibration and Uniformization Act of 2012, and important 450-page text regulating the color, texture, size and water content of turnip for sale in the US that will be passed at 3 AM during the electoral campaign, and that nobody will bother to touch, much less read.

If you think I am joking, look at the way the MAFIAA got artists to work for free: they slipped an amendment in the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 that turns most new recordings into work-for-hire jobs where the studio owns the copyright.

The exact same thing happened when will-writing software started to appear. The call to ban was not very effective -- only family law practitioners were threatened, after all. But if you threaten the very income of trial lawyers, they'll be surprisingly effective at quashing the threat.

+ - Internet entrepreneur forced into servitude->

Submitted by SysKoll
SysKoll (48967) writes "From sunny Dallas comes a disquieting news. Internet entrepreneur Jeff Baron was sued by a a lawyer. Having spent millions trying to defend himself, Baron attempted to settle for $600K. Then, using an implausible claim, the lawyer convinced a judge (one of his good friends) to place Baron into bankruptcy with the lawyer as sole receiver. Everything he owns was confiscated. The entrepreneur is even forbidden to hire a defense attorney!

That seems illegal in many ways. Is it what they call Texas-style justice? This is a terrifying precedent that cannot be allowed to stick.

Quote from the judge: I can come to your house, pick you up, put you in jail. I can seize your property, do anything I need to do to enforce my orders. I'm telling you don't screw with me. You are a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool to screw with a federal judge, and if you don't understand that, I can make you understand it."

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+ - Scientists Develop Bulletproof Skin from Goat Milk-> 2

Submitted by Elliot Chang
Elliot Chang (1819954) writes "We know this sounds insane, but Dutch researchers claim to have just created bulletproof skin from goat milk. The researchers report that they genetically modified a goat to produce milk rich in the same protein that makes silk spiders’ fibers so strong. Apparently, the next step is to eventually introduce this protein into the human genome so that we can all be bulletproof."
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Comment: PR math is wrong! (Score 1) 410

by SysKoll (#36907758) Attached to: Solar Energy Is the Fastest Growing Industry In the US

There are now almost 3,000 megawatts of solar electric energy installed in the U.S., enough to power 600,000 homes.

This would mean that each home consumes 5 kW. That's really low. Most small houses have a 100 A panel if their stove is electric. 200 A panels are pretty common. The reality is closer to 10 kW.

For comparison, 3 GW is either three large gas or coal thermal plants, or 1.5 nuclear reactors.

Remember, on top of that, that you cannot store electricity unless your production is near a hydro dam -- you can then pump up water back into the dam as storage, at a 30 to 50% efficiency loss. So your 3GW solar plant need a load-following thermal or nuclear plant to absorb the loss when the sun hides or at night. You have to factor that in the cost. That adds $5 to $10 per watt.

If you aren't rich you should always look useful. -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine