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+ - Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it plans to retire the Google Earth API on December 12, 2015. The reason is simple: Both Chrome and Firefox are removing support for Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugins due to security reasons, so the API’s death was inevitable. The timing makes sense. Last month, Google updated its plan for killing off NPAPI support in Chrome, saying that it would block all plugins by default in January and drop support completely in September. The company also revealed that the Google Earth plugin had dropped in usage from 9.1 percent of Chrome users in October 2013 to 0.1 percent in October 2014. Add dwindling cross-platform support (particularly on mobile devices), and we’re frankly surprised the announcement didn’t come sooner."

Comment: Re:Seems like we need motor-actuated solar panels (Score 1) 327

by WorBlux (#48512891) Attached to: You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South
You can't really buy any batteries with a low enough cost per kW/hr per discharge cycle to make that worth selling electric back at wholesale. You might if you can offset your retail purchases instead for join a battery network that can get paid for rapid-on capacity on the grid. Following works, but requires special equipment and locations.

Comment: Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 652

by WorBlux (#48494247) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change
Is coffee a luxury? Is alchohol? There's certainly and argument to be made that those are luxuries. Some people might think a house with 100 sq ft. per person to be a luxury, while others feel croded with 500. And the issue of what the taxes are spent on it not out of context. You can't claim a tax on luxury will reduce energy demand unless you now the taxes and alternate purchases/investments will be less energy demanding than the luxury. It would seem to make a lot more sense to tax energy/carbon directly if you want to reduce energy demand and don't exempt goverment organization from paying and funnelling it into prebates, conversation activities, and energy R+D.

+ - Music publishers sue an ISP over piracy->

Submitted by wabrandsma
wabrandsma (2551008) writes "From Ars Technica:
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music have sued Cox Communications for copyright infringement, arguing that the Internet service provider doesn't do enough to punish those who download music illegally.
Both BMG and Round Hill are clients of Rightscorp, a copyright enforcement agent whose business is based on threatening ISPs with a high-stakes lawsuit if they don't forward settlement notices to users that Rightscorp believes are "repeat infringers" of copyright.
In their complaint (PDF), the music publishers also decided to publicly post IP addresses."

Link to Original Source

+ - Taxi Medallion Prices Plummet Under Pressure From Uber

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Most major American cities have long used a system to limit the number of operating taxicabs, typically a medallion system: Drivers must own or rent a medallion to operate a taxi, and the city issues a fixed number of them. Now Josh Barro reports at the NYT that in major cities throughout the United States, taxi medallion prices are tumbling as taxis face competition from car-service apps like Uber and Lyft. The average price of an individual New York City taxi medallion fell to $872,000 in October, down 17 percent from a peak reached in the spring of 2013, according to an analysis of sales data. "I’m already at peace with the idea that I’m going to go bankrupt,” said Larry Ionescu, who owns 98 Chicago taxi medallions. As recently as April, Boston taxi medallions were selling for $700,000. The last sale, in October, was for $561,000. “Right now Uber has a strong presence here in Boston, and that’s having a dramatic impact on the taxi industry and the medallion values,” says Donna Blythe-Shaw, a spokeswoman for the Boston Taxi Drivers’ Association. “We hear that there’s a couple of medallion owners that have offered to sell at 425 and nobody’s touched them."

The current structure of the American taxi industry began in New York City when “taxi medallions” were introduced in the 1930s. Taxis were extremely popular in the city, and the government realized they needed to make sure drivers weren’t psychopaths luring victims into their cars. So, New York City required cabbies to apply for a taxi medallion license. Given the technology available in the 1930s, It was a reasonable solution to the taxi safety problem, and other cities soon followed suit. But their scarcity has made taxi medallions the best investment in America for years. Where they exist, taxi medallions have outperformed even the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. In Chicago, their value has doubled since 2009. The medallion stakeholders are many and deep pockets run this market. The system in Chicago and elsewhere is dominated by large investors who rely on brokers to sell medallions, specialty banks to finance them and middle men to manage and lease them to drivers who own nothing at all. Together, they’re fighting to protect an asset that was worth about $2.4 billion in Chicago last year. “The medallion owners seem to be of the opinion that they are entitled to indefinite appreciation of their asset,” says Corey Owens, Uber’s head of global public policy.. “The taxi medallion in the U.S. was the best investment you could have made in the last 30 years. Will it go up forever? No. And if they expected that it would, that was their mistake.”"

+ - Shale: Gas, Oil...and Nuclear Waste?-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Chris Neuzil is a senior scientist with the National Research Program of the US Geological Survey who thinks the qualities of shale make it the perfect rock in which to safely and permanently house high-level nuclear waste. Given the recent discovery that water is much more of an issue than originally thought for the tuff rock at Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Utah, the unique qualities of shale, along with its ubiquitous presence in the US, could make shale rock a better choice for the 70,000 metric tons of commercial spent fuel currently sitting above ground at nuclear power facilities throughout the country. France, Switzerland, and Belgium are all considering repositories in shale, but it hasn't been studied much in the US. 'Shale is the only rock type likely to house high-level nuclear waste in other countries that has never been seriously considered by the US high-level waste program. The uncertain future of Yucca Mountain places plans for spent nuclear fuel in the United States at a crossroads. It is an opportunity to include shale in a truly comprehensive examination of disposal options.'"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 652

by WorBlux (#48467557) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change
Coal is not really renwable, the closest we have is some of the peat bogs. Coal comes from a very warm and productive period of earths history to coincides with the advent of plant lignin, which took microbial life a very long time to figure out. Thus a unique period of plant matter buildup on earths history. It will likely not bounce back to pre-industrial level particularly in the sorth of time frame man cares about. v For renewable to work as reliably as the grid now, you need massive investement in the grid for redistribution, load balancing, and connection to the remote places with the most wind/solar in the first place. In some places that are sunny and have high electric prices solar can be cheaper than the grid if you can roll it into a mortgage or have thousands of dollars of cash laying around.

"Methane power stations making use of sewerage and rubbish disposal, in conjunction with solar and wind could provide sufficient power for general usage"
-- No, just No. Have you even tried to look at the math for this? Sewage or landfill methane is just and afterthought. At best sewage methane captrues a minute franction of the energy cost to produce and transport food in the first place.

"So how much will greed and 100% consumption taxes on luxury items cut back on energy demands."
Problems:
1. Who decides what a luxury is?
2. Why is the tax the same if different luxuries to different damages
3. The tax can easily fuel something more destructive like war or building more roads (rather than shared transit systems). 4. This may drive higher turnover, people buying the best "non-luxury" car every year rather than a "luxury car" every 3-4 years.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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