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Businesses

Alaska To Export Billions of Gallons of Water 290

Posted by timothy
from the corn-in-odessa-stomach-in-paris dept.
theodp writes "Newsweek reports on a company called True Alaska Bottling that has purchased the rights to transfer 3 billion gallons of water a year from Sitka, Alaska's bountiful reserves. If all goes according to plan, 80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will soon be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil and shipped to a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai. From there it will be dispersed among several drought-plagued cities throughout the Middle East. Think of it as a proof of concept for turning life's most essential molecule into a global commodity." I'm sure the residents of Saratoga Springs and Perrier (not to mention the island nation of Fiji) can think of some prior art.
Medicine

+ - Look-Alike Tubes Are Killing Hospital Patients-> 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that in hospitals around the country nurses connect and disconnect interchangeable clear plastic tubing sticking out of patients' bodies to deliver or extract medicine, nutrition, fluids, gases or blood — sometimes with deadly consequences. Tubes intended to inflate blood-pressure cuffs have been connected to intravenous lines leading to deadly air embolisms., intravenous fluids have been connected to tubes intended to deliver oxygen leading to suffocation, and in 2006 a nurse at in Wisconsin mistakenly put a spinal anesthetic into a vein, killing 16-year-old who was giving birth. "Nurses should not have to work in an environment where it is even possible to make that kind of mistake," says Nancy Pratt, a vocal advocate for changing the system. Critics say the tubing problem, which has gone on for decades, is an example of how the FDA fails to protect the public. "FDA could fix this tubing problem tomorrow, but because the agency is so worried about making industry happy, people continue to die," says Dr. Robert Smith."
Link to Original Source
Mars

SpaceX Unveils Heavy-Lift Rocket Designs 248

Posted by timothy
from the now-comes-the-wedding-night dept.
FleaPlus writes "At the recent Joint Propulsion Conference, SpaceX's rocket development facility director Tom Markusic unveiled conceptual plans for how its current Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 commercial rockets can be evolved into heavy-lift rockets, ranging from a Falcon X capable of lifting 38,000kg to orbit, up to a 140,000kg Falcon XX (more than either the Saturn V or the 75,000kg shuttle-derived rocket Congress currently plans on having NASA spend >$13B building). SpaceX presentations also discuss a new Merlin 2 heavy-lift engine, solar-electric cargo tugs, adapting their current engines for descent/ascent vehicles fueled by Mars-derived methane, and a desire for the government to take the lead on in-space nuclear thermal propulsion while commercial focuses on launchers. In a recent interview, SpaceX CEO/CTO Elon Musk expressed his goal of lowering the price of Mars transportation enough to enable early colonization in 20 years, and his own plans for retiring to Mars."

Comment: Re:Ancient Egypt had good engineers (Score 0) 124

by flubba (#33136998) Attached to: King Tut's Chariot a Marvel of Ancient Engineering
That is quite the depressing truth. Actually there's an interesting theory that the 20,000 or so slaves who built the pyramids were divided into 2 gangs of 10,000 workers. Researchers have even found a gang symbol or mark on a few slabs found in the inner tombs and passage ways.

+ - DebateZone - the answer to online arguing->

Submitted by flubba
flubba (1035146) writes "Taking ideas from reddit and stackoverflow, DebateZone seeks to be a better version of Yahoo answers, and forum arguments — threaded arguments with hot ajaxy features allow this site to facilitate informative and (hopefully) logical politcal (and non-political!) discourse. Built with Ruby on Rails."
Link to Original Source
Hardware

Honda Makes Nanotube Breakthrough 88

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the better-faster-stronger dept.
SkinnyGuy writes "Carbon nanofibers and nanotubes are the future of computers, cars, energy and more, but it won't happen until someone figures out how to make carbon nanotubes more efficiently and in formations that can deliver enough energy and functionality to offer practical solutions for real-world problems. Honda's latest breakthrough could be the first step. Of course, Intel is working on similar carbon nanotube fabrication technology. Whoever finally delivers a practical solution, it sounds like a win-win for us."
Power

Sony Prototype Sends Electricity Through the Air 240

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the efficiency-is-overrated dept.
itwbennett writes "Sony announced Friday that it has developed a prototype power system based on magnetic resonance that can send 'a conventional 100 volt electricity supply over a distance of 50 centimeters to power a 22-inch LCD television.' Unfortunately, Sony's prototype wasted 1/5 of the power fed into it and additional losses 'occurred in circuitry connected to the secondary coil so the original 80 watts of power was cut by roughly a quarter to 60 watts once it had made its way through the system.'"
Moon

Armadillo Aerospace Claims Level 2 Lunar Lander Prize 134

Posted by kdawson
from the putting-it-down-easy dept.
Dagondanum writes "Armadillo Aerospace has officially won the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills, Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such as Twitter. The Level 2 prize requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2 mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a prize of $1 million while second is $500,000."
Businesses

eBay Denies New Design Is Broken, Blames Users 362

Posted by kdawson
from the just-test-the-darn-thing dept.
krick-zero writes "eBay recently rolled out a new page design. Many eBay sellers are reporting issues with missing description text, resulting in lost sales. Buyers are reporting the same intermittent issue, on multiple platforms, with multiple browsers. After complaining to eBay customer service, one user got this response: 'I have reviewed several of your listings using my computer and had several of my coworkers view your listings as well and we are seeing the complete listings. Many times when buyers are not able to see the whole description or just bits and pieces it is due to browser issues they are having. A lot of times if they simply clear out their cache and cookies or change browsers (i.e. change from Internet explorer to Firefox or vice versa) they no longer have this problem.'"
Programming

Russia's New Official Holiday — Programmer's Day 306

Posted by Soulskill
from the feel-free-to-take-sunday-off dept.
Glyn Moody writes "Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, has decreed a new holiday for his country: Programmer's Day. Appropriately enough, it will be celebrated on the 256th day of the year: September 13th (September 12th for a leap year). Do programmers deserve their own holiday ahead of other professions? Should the rest of the world follow suit?"
Google

Google Getting Into the Solar Mirror Business 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the reflects-well-on-them dept.
adeelarshad82 writes with this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Google is disappointed with the lack of breakthrough investment ideas in the green technology sector, but the company is working to develop its own new mirror technology that could reduce the cost of building solar thermal plants by [25%] or more. The company's engineers have been focused on solar thermal technology, in which the sun's energy is used to heat up a substance that produces steam to turn a turbine. Mirrors focus the sun's rays on the heated substance. ... Google hopes to have a viable technology to show internally in a couple of months, Bill Weihl said. It will need to do accelerated testing to show the impact of decades of wear on the new mirrors in desert conditions."
Wireless Networking

IEEE Approves 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the lightning-fast dept.
alphadogg writes "The IEEE has finally approved the 802.11n high-throughput wireless LAN standard. Bruce Kraemer, the long-time chairman of the 802.11n Task Group (part of the 802.11 Working Group, which oversees the WLAN standards), has sent out a notification to a listserv for task group members, which includes a wide range of Wi-Fi chip makers, software developers, and equipment vendors. A press release is available now as well. This process began in 2002."
Medicine

Scientists Levitate Mice for NASA 237

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the best-easy-chair-ever dept.
sterlingda writes to tell us that scientists have built a mouse-levitating superconducting magnet, working on behalf of NASA to study variable levels of gravity. The group hopes to ascertain what physiological impacts prolonged exposure to microgravity might have. "Repeated levitation tests showed the mice, even when not sedated, could quickly acclimate to levitation inside the cage. After three or four hours, the mice acted normally, including eating and drinking. The strong magnetic fields did not seem to have any negative impacts on the mice in the short term, and past studies have shown that rats did not suffer from adverse effects after 10 weeks of strong, non-levitating magnetic fields."
Google

+ - Gmail Outage Affecting Even Google Employees-> 5

Submitted by
David Lechnyr
David Lechnyr writes "We run a hosted Google Apps system and have been receiving 502 Server Error responses for the past hour. The unusual thing about this is that our Google phone support rep (which paid accounts get) indicated that this outage is also affecting Google employees as well, making it difficult to coordinate. Minor in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but unsettling if it affects not only the clients but the service provider as well..."
Link to Original Source

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