antdude writes: The Atlantic posted a long article titled "Don't Hate the Phone Call, Hate the Phone" about how "Our telephone habits have changed, but so have the infrastructure and design of the handset.
The Real Dr John writes: Japan has been without nuclear power for a full calendar year for the first time since the first commercial nuclear power plant started up in the country 50 years ago. New reactor construction around the world is down, and most plants under construction have been delayed, often by years. Renewable energy including wind and solar have surpassed nuclear generation in many developed countries without posing the threat of radioactive disasters. Nuclear power looks like it will be around for decades to come, but its time is over. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: The OpenStack Foundation announced yesterday that Google will be joining the not-for-profit organisation as its latest corporate sponsor [http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.in/2015/07/Containers-Private-Cloud-Google-Sponsors-OpenStack-Foundation.html]. Google will join the likes of HP, Intel, IBM, Rackspace, NetApp, EMC and Oracle in backing the OpenStack cloud operating system. As corporate sponsors, Google will sit below Platinum and Gold supporters as a third-tier backer. Google will offer its engineering resources to the OpenStack community, with a particular focus on Linux containers and merging container management solutions such as open-source orchestration toolkit Kubernetes with OpenStack projects like Magnum and Murano. Link to Original Source
jones_supa writes: The Core Infrastructure Initiative, a Linux Foundation effort assembled in the wake of the Heartbleed fiasco to provide development support for key Internet protocols, has opened the doors on its Census Project — an effort to figure out what software projects need support now, instead of waiting for them to break. Census assembles metrics about open source projects found in Debian's package list and on openhub.net, and then scores them based on the amount of risk each presents. Risk scores are an aggregate of multiple factors: how many people are known to have contributed to the project in the last 12 months, how many CVEs have been filed for it, how widely used it is, and how much exposure it has to the network. According to the current iteration of the survey, the programs most in need of attention are not previously cited infrastructure projects, but common core Linux system utilities that have network access and little development activity around them.
An anonymous reader writes: A vote of 382-128 in the UK's House of Commons gave approval for a procedure that allows the creation of babies using DNA from three parents. If the measure passes the House of Lords and gets licensed by the fertility regulator, the UK would be the first country to allow such genetic engineering. The medical procedure was designed to help conception when genetic diseases could be passed through mitochondrial DNA. A child inherits mitochondria only from its mother, and these mitochondria have their own DNA, which doesn't affect things like the child's appearance. The procedure works by replacing the mother's mitochondria, and can work two different ways. In one method, doctors take eggs from the mother and from a donor, removing the nucleus of both. The mother's nucleus is the implanted in the donor's egg, which can them be fertilized by the father's sperm. The other method is similar, but both eggs are fertilized before the nucleus swap takes place. There has been lively debate about this issue, with critics raising ethical concerns and questioning the procedure's success rate. They also bring up the slippery slope argument that this will lead to further genetic modification of children. Proponents point out that less the 0.1% of the child's DNA will come from the donor, and it won't affect the anything other than their health. Link to Original Source
Zothecula writes: Boeing has successfully joined two its 702SP satellites in a stacked configuration in preparation for a launch scheduled for early 2015. Aside from being the first involving conjoined satellites, the launch will also put the first satellites to enter service boasting an all-electric propulsion system into orbit. Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: Caltech physicist describes the vital role of Kip Thorne and other physicists in developing the scientific foundations of Christopher Nolan's upcoming blockbuster Interstellar. Link to Original Source
Prokur writes: Despite very agressive fight with copyright violators for the most-recent Russian movies and even threats to shutdown YouTube by Russian Government, the largest government-owned Russian film Studio Mosfilm is re-mastering all their movies produced during Soviet times in full HD quality and make them available online absolutely for free. More than 500 movies, including all three Soviet winners of Academy Award, are available via youtube channel and similar services. Link to Original Source
itwbennett writes: Tests on the latest version of Adobe System's e-reader software shows the company is now collecting less data following a privacy-related dustup last month, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Adobe was criticized in early October after it was discovered Digital Editions collected metadata about e-books on a device, even if the e-books did not have DRM. Those logs were also sent to Adobe in plain text. Digital Editions version 4.0.1 appears to only collect data on e-books that have DRM (Digital Rights Management), wrote Cooper Quintin, a staff technologist with the EFF. Link to Original Source
macbass writes: We intuitively know that bowling balls fall faster than feathers on our little rock in space when dropped from a height. And that in a vacuum they should fall at the same speed. Well, Dave Marks at Loopinsight found a wonderful video to bring that abstract insight into life. Absolutely beautiful and well worth a viewing! Link to Original Source
HughPickens.com writes: The Pentland Firth is a raw, stormy sound between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney Islands, known for some of the world’s fastest flowing marine waters. Daily tides here reach 11 miles per hour, and can go as high as 18 – a breakneck current that’s the reason people are describing Scotland as the Saudi Arabia of tidal power. Now Megan Garber reports in The Atlantic that a new tidal power plant, to be installed off the Scottish coast aims to make the Scotland a world leader for turning sea flow into electricity. Underwater windmills, the BBC notes, have the benefit of invisibility—a common objection to wind turbines being how unsightly they are to human eyes. Undersea turbines also benefit from the fact that tides are predictable in ways that winds are not: You know how much power you're generating, basically, on any given day. The tidal currents are also completely carbon-free and since sea water is 832 times denser than air, a 5 knot ocean current has more kinetic energy than a 350 km/h wind.
MeyGen will face a challenge in that work: The turbines are incredibly difficult to install. The Pentland Firth is a harsh environment to begin with; complicating matters is the fact that the turbines can be installed only at the deepest of ocean depths so as not to disrupt the paths of ships on the surface. They also need to be installed in bays or headlands, where tidal flows are at their most intense. It is an unbelievably harsh environment in which to build anything, let alone manage a vast fleet of tidal machines beneath the waves. If each Hammerfest machine delivers its advertised 1MW of power, then you need 1,000 of them to hope to match the output of a typical gas or coal-fired power station. "The real aim," says Keith Anderson, "is to establish the predictability which you get with tidal power, and to feed that into the energy mix which includes the less predictable sources like wind or wave. The whole point of this device is to test that it can produce power, and we believe it can, and to show it's robust and can be maintained."
An anonymous reader writes: A government shutdown that lasts more than a few days could test the ability of federal agencies to protect their information systems against security threats. Several agencies, over the past few days, have released contingency plans showing that they will have to heavily scale down their IT teams to maintain, manage and protect IT infrastructure during a shutdown. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs , for instance, said it will furlough more than 40%, or 3,267, of its 8,026 IT employees in the event of an appropriations lapse. Those remaining will be responsible for functions such as network maintenance and protection, information security and for keeping the data center and enterprise infrastructure running. Link to Original Source