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Power

Collision Between Water and Energy Is Underway, and Worsening 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-put-power-plants-underwater-duh dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This article is an eye opening perspective on another side effect of power generation — water usage: 'More than 40 percent of fresh water used in the United States is withdrawn to cool power plants. Renewable energy generally uses far less water, but there are glaring exceptions, such as geothermal and concentrating solar.' The article also mentions that power plants have to shut down if the incoming water is too warm to cool the plant. 'Also, even though some newer plants might use far less water, they could find that there’s far less water available as water temperatures go up and water flows go down. Another study found that nearly half of 423 U.S. plants were at risk of lower power output during droughts because their intake pipes for water were less than 3 meters below the surface.'"
Power

Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-was-like-that-when-we-found-it dept.
RoccamOccam sends this news from the Associated Press: "A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site. After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water."
Firefox

+ - Firefox 4 Web Demos: Web O' Wonder->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Similarly to Google with Chrome Experiments and Microsoft with Internet Explorer Test Drive, Mozilla has developed an HTML5 demo site to showcase the latest features supported by Firefox 4. Mozilla's Paul Roget writes, 'Firefox 4 is almost here, and comes with a huge list of awesome features for web developers. In order to illustrate all these new technical features, we put together several Web demos. You’ll see a couple of demos released every week until the final version of Firefox 4. You can see the first 3 demos online now on our brand new demo web site: Web’O Wonder' Unlike certain other HTML5 demo sites, Mozilla's site works in any browser that supports the features used in the demo."
Link to Original Source

+ - Plasma Flow Linked to Spotless Sun

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "NASA explained the mystery behind the decreased solar activity during the Sun's 11-year cycle, linking it to the changing speeds of plasma inside the Sun. The new computer model study suggests the Sun's plasma rivers speed up and slow down like a malfunctioning conveyor belt. The scientists identified that variations in a hot plasma flow in the sun's interior is the likely reason behind the lack of sunspots and a weak magnetic field at the sun's poles."
Idle

+ - Mazda recalls car due to spiders-> 1

Submitted by
ndogg
ndogg writes "Mazda has decided to recall 52000 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 cars due to spider infestations. Apparently it's because of "a certain type of spider [the Yellow Sac spider]...may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line and this may cause a restriction in the line." This one certainly could not be blamed on the driver, but it's strange nonetheless."
Link to Original Source

+ - Timezone Maintainer Retiring->

Submitted by linuxwrangler
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "It's used in Java. It's used in nearly every flavor of UNIX/Linux. In PostgreSQL, Oracle and other databases. Several RFCs refer to it. But where does the timezone database come from? I never gave it much thought but would have assumed that it was under the purview of some standards body somewhere. It's not. Since the inception of the database Arthur David Olson has maintained the database, coordinated the mailing list and volunteers and provided a release platform and now he is retiring. IANA is developing a transition strategy. Jon Udell has an interesting literary appreciation of the timezone database."
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-the-code-won't-dry-your-pants dept.
As promised when the Humble Indie Bundle hit $1 million in donations the other day, indie developer Frictional Games has released Penumbra: Overture's source code. "The code for Penumbra: Overture is a continuation of the one used for the tech demo + some addition for the not so long lived Robo Hatch project. It also contains some code from Unbirth, giving it quite some history." The release also includes the HPL1 engine. "This is engine that has powered all of the Penumbra games and it even includes the stuff used to create the 2D platformer Energetic. The engine code was started in December 2004 and was actively developed until early 2008." The repositories are available at github.
Image

Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next 193 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the fattening-up-on-brains dept.
ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."
Communications

NSF Research Reveals Chain Letter Travel Patterns 60

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the turn-off-the-paved-road dept.
alphadogg writes to tell us that the NSF is researching chain letters and how they travel. The results aren't quite what one might expect, showing a pattern of more selective and circuitous travel. "One surprising finding was that messages often took meandering routes between people who knew each other, often through as many as 100 intermediaries. Many email users also received copies from multiple social groups. The researchers concluded that because messages come from many directions, there's ample opportunity for the messages to be edited along the way."
Microsoft

OOXML Rumored to be Approved, Announcement Wednesday 223

Posted by Zonk
from the long-hard-slog dept.
dominux writes "Rumors are already circulating that Microsoft's OOXML has been voted in by the standards board. The Open Sourcerer claims to have results of the ballot on dis29500. According to the site Microsoft managed to flip enough countries to make it stick. 75% of the P members who didn't abstain voted for Microsoft (That is 58% of all the P members). 14% of all the P and O members voted to disapprove it, this includes all the new O members that joined just in time to cast their vote. Norway has asked that their vote be suspended due to voting irregularities, but it would take more than that to make a difference to the result. ZDNet is still playing it cautious, noting that an announcement either way is set to be made on Wednesday."
Microsoft

Windows 7 Likely Going Modular, Subscription-based 603

Posted by Zonk
from the what's-not-to-love dept.
Microsoft CRM writes "When Windows 7 launches sometime after the start of 2010, the desktop OS will be Microsoft's most 'modular' operating system to date. That's not necessarily a good thing, of course; Windows Vista is a sprawling, complex OS. From Microsoft's perspective, though, there are many possible benefits. The OS's developers can add/remove functionality module by module. New modules could be sold post-launch, keeping revenue streams strong. A modular approach could also allow the company to make functionality available on a time-limited basis, potentially allowing users to 'rent' a feature if it's needed on a one-off basis. Microsoft is already testing 'pay as you go' consumer subscriptions in developing countries."
Republicans

White House Says Hard Drives Were Destroyed 411

Posted by kdawson
from the just-in-case dept.
wanderindiana brings us an update on the White House missing emails mess, which we have discussed before. It seems the hard drives of many White House computers are gone beyond the possibility of recovery. Is it unusual in your experience for, say, a corporate IT department to destroy hard drives by policy? "Older White House computer hard drives have been destroyed, the White House disclosed to a federal court Friday in a controversy over millions of possibly missing e-mails from 2003 to 2005. The White House revealed new information about how it handles its computers in an effort to persuade a federal magistrate it would be fruitless to undertake an e-mail recovery plan that the court proposed."

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