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Power

How Vulnerable Is Our Power Grid? 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dc-is-screwed-but-ac-will-be-fine dept.
coreboarder writes "Recently it was divulged that the Brazilian power infrastructure was compromised by hackers. Then it was announced that it was apparently faulty equipment. A downplay to the global public or an honest clarification? Either way, it raises the question: how vulnerable are we, really? With winter and all its icy glory hurtling towards those of us in the northern hemisphere, how open are we to everything from terrorist threats to simple 'pay me or else' schemes?"
Image

Huge Unidentified Organic Blob Floating Around Alaska 424 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the real-reason-Palin-resigned dept.
Z80xxc! writes "The Anchorage Daily News reports that a 15 mile-long blob of unknown, 'gooey,' probably organic material is floating past communities on Alaska's North Slope. The US Coast Guard sent pollution experts to investigate, who determined that it was not an oil spill or other type of pollution, but were unable to determine what it is. A sample is currently being analyzed by experts in Anchorage, while the blob is following the current northwards."
Image

Artist Wins £20,000 Grant To Study Women's Butts 202 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the been-doing-a-lot-of-extra-credit-lately dept.
Sue Williams has been awarded a £20,000 grant by the Arts Council of Wales, to "explore cultural attitudes towards female buttocks." Sue plans to examine racial attitudes towards bottoms in Europe and Africa and create plaster casts of women's behinds to try to understand their place in contemporary culture. And here I've been studying the issue all these years for free like a sucker!
Security

Hackers Breached US Army Servers 209

Posted by timothy
from the fine-line-between-clever-and-stupid dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Turkish hacking ring has broken into 2 sensitive US Army servers, according to a new investigation uncovered by InformationWeek. The hackers, who go by the name 'm0sted' and are based in Turkey, penetrated servers at the Army's McAlester Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma in January. Users attempting to access the site were redirected to a page featuring a climate-change protest. In Sept, 2007, the hackers breached Army Corps of Engineers servers. That hack sent users to a page containing anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric. The hackers used simple SQL Server injection techniques to gain access. That's troubling because it shows a major Army security lapse, and also the ability to bypass supposedly sophisticated Defense Department tools and procedures designed to prevent such breaches."
The Courts

RIAA Victim Jammie Thomas Gets a New Lawyer 241

Posted by kdawson
from the whiz-kid dept.
newtley writes "Only days after Brian Toder, her previous legal representative, had decided discretion was the better part of valour, leaving her fend for herself against the RIAA, Jammie Thomas says another lawyer has come forward with an offer of pro bono help. He's K.A.D. Camara from Camara & Sibley in Houston, Texas, says Jammie. And, 'He's the youngest person in history to graduate from Harvard Law school with honors,' she points out. Nor will her retrial be delayed, as was expected. It'll now go forward in June 15, as slated. 'I'm so happy!' Jammie said."
Graphics

Five Nvidia CUDA-Enabled Apps Tested 134

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the need-for-speed dept.
crazipper writes "Much fuss has been made about Nvidia's CUDA technology and its general-purpose computing potential. Now, in 2009, a steady stream of launches from third-party software developers sees CUDA gaining traction at the mainstream. Tom's Hardware takes five of the most interesting desktop apps with CUDA support and compares the speed-up yielded by a pair of mainstream GPUs versus a CPU-only. Not surprisingly, depending on the workload you throw at your GPU, you'll see results ranging from average to downright impressive."
Transportation

220-mph Solar-Powered Train Proposed In Arizona 416

Posted by kdawson
from the gonna-soak-up-the-sun dept.
Mike writes "An ambitious Arizona company has recently revealed plans for a solar powered bullet train that will streak across the desert at 220 mph, traveling from Tuscon to Phoenix in 30 minutes flat. Proposed by Solar Bullet LLC, the system comprises a series of tracks that would serve stations including Chandler, Casa Grande, Red Rock, and Marana, and may one day be extended to Flagstaff and Nogales. The train would require 110 megawatts of electricity, which would be generated by solar panels mounted above the tracks." Local coverage of the plan takes a harder look, noting that Solar Bullet LLC is two guys who are now asking local governments in the towns at which such a train would potentially stop for $35K for a legal and feasibility study. Total cost is estimated at $27B.
Image

New Food-Growth Product a Bit Hairy 243 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-can-your-grow-from-fingernails dept.
MeatBag PussRocket writes "An article from Marketplace.org reports, 'A Florida company has developed an all-natural product that it says could revolutionize how food is grown in the US. It's called Smart Grow, but it might be a tough sell. It's inexpensive. It eliminates the need for pesticides, so it's environmentally friendly, but it's human hair. Plant pathologists at the University of Florida have found the mats eliminate weeds better than leading herbicides and can also make plants grow up to 30 percent larger.'"
Power

12 Small Windmills Put To the Test In Holland 510

Posted by timothy
from the blow-ye-winds-in-the-morning dept.
tuna writes "A real-world test by the Dutch province of Zeeland (a very windy place) demonstrates that small windmills are a fundamentally flawed technology (PDF of tests results in Dutch, English summary). Twelve much-hyped micro wind turbines were placed in a row on an open plain. Their energy yield was measured over a period of one year (April 1, 2008 — March 31, 2009), the average wind velocity during these 12 months was 3.8 meters per second, slightly higher than average. Three windmills broke. The others recorded ridiculously low yields, in spite of the optimal conditions. It would take up to 141 small windmills to power an average American household entirely using wind energy, for a total cost of 780,000 dollars. The test results show clearly that energy return is closely tied to rotor diameter, and that the design of the windmill hardly matters."
Transportation

+ - Snakes on a Quantas Plane!->

Submitted by Timberwolf0122
Timberwolf0122 (872207) writes "An Australian airliner was grounded after four baby pythons escaped from their container in the aircraft's hold.
The snakes, just six inches long, were among 12 Stimson's pythons being flown from Alice Springs to Melbourne.
At first it was thought the reptiles may have been eaten by the other snakes, but this was discounted after they were weighed on landing.
Mace Windu was unavailable for comment on account of him having enough of snakes on a Mother f'ng planes."

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FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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