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+ - No electric bill in a year!

Submitted by budgenator
budgenator (254554) writes "Researchers at UNLV's Center for Energy Research Have a low/zero energy house built in the Los Vegas Area that not only doesn't have a bill for electricity used for the year, it has four months worth of credit!
Right now, Nevada Power technically owes UNLV for power it generated for the year, but while the utility acknowledges the credit, Boehm said there will be no refund check in the mail. "But they will bring it (the power bill) down to zero, except for the $6 a month access fee" for using the utility's grid
The house is a test bed for energy conservation and is highly monitored and compared to a near identical but conventional house. Researchers hope to identify the most cost-effective techniques and be able to build low/zero energy home for only 10% more than convention structures. The experiment has finished phase one with limited occupancy and is planned to be treated more like a real home in phase 2. The home used 58% less energy than the baseline home which had $200.00 a month electric bills."
User Journal

+ - Pejorative scientific terminology denounced by the

Submitted by budgenator
budgenator (254554) writes "The Register reports that Pope Benedict XVI speaking at Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, feels that science not only doesn't conflict with religion, but is in fact "Part of God's plan". Scientists are not only admonished to recognize their limitations, but the Pope feels they have a "moral obligation to accuracy"
This means avoiding needlessly alarming predictions when these are not supported by sufficient data or exceed science's actual ability to predict. But it also means avoiding the opposite, namely a silence, born of fear, in the face of genuine problems,

Others such as Mike Hulme Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, feels there is a "thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric", and further writes in an Op-Ed piece for BBC News
I have found myself increasingly chastised by climate change campaigners when my public statements and lectures on climate change have not satisfied their thirst for environmental drama and exaggerated rhetoric.

It seems that it is we, the professional climate scientists, who are now the (catastrophe) sceptics. How the wheel turns. ... What has pushed the debate between climate change scientists and climate sceptics to now being between climate change scientists and climate alarmists?
furthermore Hulme says "The rhetoric of climate change catastrophe is in danger of tipping society onto a negative trajectory," Personally I agree with Hulme, it's hard for me to remain open-minded on these issue when any attempt at reasonable debate turns is flame-fest."
The Internet

+ - The New Internet Version of WMD

Submitted by budgenator
budgenator (254554) writes "We've all chuckled to ourselves as the slashdot effect has brought a server to it's knees and wondered if the site operator made enough money on advertising impression views to counter act the down-time. One good submission to slashdot, usually in a political or ecological hot-button issue is enough to make the servers strain and the pages of comments swell past three or four hundred in what seems like a blink of an eye. What if people started doing this on purpose, to push their political agenda, in a systematic and organized manner? That's what Give Israel Your Support or GIYUS.org seeks to accomplish by enlisting 100,000 people to download and install their client software Megaphone which will alert the users to the existence of on-line polls and comment enable articles so they can voice their opinions en mass. The Register is reporting the GIYUS.org has caused the BBC to modify its polls
"The long-running BBC History Magazine poll posed the question: "Do you think holocaust denial should be made illegal in Britain?" Soon after it was targeted by Megaphone, the poll was pulled."

I have not had an opportunity to test the Megaphone software as its a Windows only solution right now; but I did notice on the GIYUS.org is that the software uses a lot of libraries with varying degrees of openness in their licenses but there is no link to any sources to share back to the community or for security audits. While this seems to be strictly legal, Captain Hook would call it "bad form". GIYUS might be afraid of opposing groups using "their" software to mobile their minions, the reality

  1. is there probably isn't much that can't be put together using the typical OSS toolkits in a matter of days or weeks,
  2. any Anti-Israeli types could use the Megaphone just as easily to disseminate their opposing views.

The generation of opinion is important as GIYUS recognizes,

Today's conflicts are won by public opinion. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world. Now is the time to be active and voice Israel's side to the world.
" What happens when an issue has to melt servers to be considered topical, and social networking sites explode into flame-wars and news site opinion polls get hammered into the dirt? Is this a proper use of the Internet or have they created the new Internet version of WMD? On the lighter side, we could all get free hosting, Google Ad-Sense and learn to use words and terms like "nigger-jews" "kikes" then report ourselves to GIYUS.org to generate some traffic!"
The Internet

+ - A new Internet WMD?

Submitted by
budgenator
budgenator writes "We've all chuckled to ourselves as the slashdot effect has brought a server to it's knees and wondered if the site operator made enough money on advertising impression views to counter act the down-time. One good submission to slashdot, usually in a political or ecological hot-button issue is enough to make the servers strain and the pages of comments swell past three or four hundred in what seems like a blink of an eye. What if people started doing this on purpose, to push their political agenda, in a systematic and organized manner? That's what Give Israel Your Support or GIYUS.org seeks to accomplish by enlisting 100,000 people to download and install their client software Megaphone which will alert their users to the existence of on-line polls and comment enable articles so they can voice their opinions en mass. The Register is reporting the GIYUS.org has caused the BBC to modify its polls "The long-running BBC History Magazine poll posed the question: "Do you think holocaust denial should be made illegal in Britain?" Soon after it was targeted by Megaphone, the poll was pulled." Is this a proper use of the internet or have they created the a new internet version of WMD? Seems like the organisation does expect this to become an arms race because while the software uses a lot of OSS parts, the source code seems to be held back."

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