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Comment: Re:Mass produce! (Score 2) 185

by jdschulteis (#48470721) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panels = Small percentage of power production Small percentage * 1.22 = Small percentage, just a shade higher.

Its not a game changer. Its just a nice development.

Efficiency improvements, mass production, and making coal internalize the cost of CO2 emissions will eventually make photovoltaics more cost-effective than coal. Once that point is reached, solar will take over a large percentage of electricity production. This might not be the improvement that puts it over the top, but I think your dismissive analysis is a little too simplistic.

+ - Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google today provided an update on its plan to remove Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) from Chrome, which the company says will improve the browser’s security, speed, and stability, as well as reduce complexity in the code base. In short, the latest timeline is as follows: Block all plugins by default in January 2015, disable support in April 2015, and remove support completely in September 2015. For context, Google first announced in September 2013 that it was planning to drop NPAPI. At the time, Google said anonymous Chrome usage data showed just six NPAPI plugins were used by more than 5 percent of users, and the company was hoping to remove support from Chrome “before the end of 2014, but the exact timing will depend on usage and user feedback.”"

+ - Rosetta represents an important step forward towards space mining->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "There are two overlapping demands for space mining, and both are explanding. The first is "in-situ resource utilization" (ISRU), because, at some point, it’s far more efficient to gather local resources, especially water for life support and propellant, than to bring all necessary materials from Earth. Commerce represents the second driver for space mining, gathering rare materials such as precious metals from asteroids for use on Earth. So when When Rosetta deployed its Philae probe, the first-ever vehicle to land (or rather dock) on the surface of a comet, it was cause for cheer from three intersecting communities who all have a stake in space mining: science, exploration, and commercial interests."
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Comment: Re:Legal Issue (Score 1) 153

by jdschulteis (#48451067) Attached to: NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining
The US has ratified the Outer Space Treaty, so we don't own the Moon (the plaque on the lander says "We came in peace for all mankind").

Articles II and III of the treaty are pertinent:

Article II

Outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Article III

States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.

By Article II, the US cannot make a sovereign claim to an an asteroid and assign mineral rights as it does on other federal lands, unless it abrogates the treaty. By Article III, "use of ... celestial bodies, in accordance with international law", it seems similar to mining on the sea floor in international waters, which is governed by an international authority.

+ - Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight to Court->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university’s refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts.

The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call “mismanagement of charitable funds.” The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and “future generations.”"

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+ - Murdoch's hold on News Corp threatened

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Mystery of missing News Corp votes

A Saudi prince, a disappearing share bloc and an upset voting result has produced the first serious threat to the Murdoch family’s future control of News Corporation and 21st Century Fox. ... So what happened to the missing shares in the proposal to abolish the two classes? .

The 87.6 million shares voted against the proposal was 4.3 million shares short of the Murdoch/Alwaleed total. The result was a terrifyingly close margin for a family that has not faced a serious threat to its control in 60 years. .

Two theories have emerged in the confusing aftermath of the annual meeting to explain the missing shares..

First, that it was a stuff up. Prince Alwaleed’s executives ticked the Approve box on every proposal and didn’t realise they needed to oppose the share classes resolution. Implausibly, this means News Corp executives who knew the proxy numbers didn’t pick up the phone to call their firmest supporter to ask what was going on. The result was a shambles..

Alternatively, Prince Alwaleed split his vote, with a majority supporting the Murdochs, with whom he could still say he had kept faith in, but a significant stake opposing them..

Whatever the reason, there is no mistaking the message from shareholders.

Excluding the Murdoch and Alwaleed stock, less than 24 per cent of shareholders voted for Rupert Murdoch to remain on the News board, part of an across-the-board vote against directors by institutions.


+ - Senate Republicans are getting ready to declare war on patent trolls-> 1

Submitted by XxtraLarGe
XxtraLarGe (551297) writes "Regardless of party affiliation, I think this is probably one thing most of us on Slashdot can applaud:

Republicans are about to take control of the US Senate. And when they do, one of the big items on their agenda will be the fight against patent trolls.

In a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) outlined a proposal to stop abusive patent lawsuits. "Patent trolls – which are often shell companies that do not make or sell anything – are crippling innovation and growth across all sectors of our economy," Hatch said.


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+ - Is Amnesty Crossing The Line?->

Submitted by Anita Hunt (lissnup)
Anita Hunt (lissnup) (2913179) writes "In offering Detekt — a new tool to help identify government surveillance spyware on computers — for download from its website, is "non-government" organisation Amnesty International crossing a line into "anti-government" behaviour? How might this impact Amnesty's credibility when engaging with government on human rights issues?"
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+ - Rooftop solar to reach price parity in the U.S. by 2016->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "The cost of rooftop solar-powered electricity will be on par with prices of coal-powered energy and other conventional sources in all 50 U.S. states in just two years, a leap from today where PV energy has price parity in only 10 states, according to Deutsche Bank's leading solar industry analyst. The sharp decline in solar energy costs is the result of increased economies of scale leading to cheaper photovoltaic panels, new leasing models and declining installation costs, Deutsche Bank's Vishal Shah stated in a recent report. The cost of solar-generated electricity in the top 10 states for capacity ranges from 11-15 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh), compared to the retail electricity price of 11-37 c/kWh. Amit Ronen, a former Congressional staffer behind legislation that created an investment tax credit for solar installations, said one of the only impediments to decreasing solar electricity prices are fees proposed by utilities on customers who install solar and take advantage of net metering, or the ability to sell excess power back to utilities."
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+ - Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Two researchers say time disparities identified through the network of satellites that make up our modern GPS infrastructure can help detect dark matter. In a paper in the online version of the scientific journal Nature Physics, they write that dark matter may be organized as a large gas-like collection of topological defects, or energy cracks. “We propose to detect the defects, the dark matter, as they sweep through us with a network of sensitive atomic clocks. The idea is, where the clocks go out of synchronization, we would know that dark matter, the topological defect, has passed by.""
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+ - Player-Run MMORPG by Former Ultima Online Devs Finding Kickstarter Success 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Shards Online has returned to Kickstarter with a refocused plan and a promise to match pledges dollar for dollar up to their goal. With just a week gone by they have already reached 75% of their goal. Project Lead Derek Brinkmann says "If Ultima Online and Neverwinter Nights had a love child, Shards Online would be the result. By combining the persistent virtual world of Ultima Online with the freedom of community run servers and the ability to act as a dungeonmaster in Neverwinter Nights, we are creating a paradise for roleplayers where you are no longer constrained by the rules handed to you by the development team." The team now has their sights set on their stretch goals like more animations for roleplayers and an extra game world to be released at Alpha."

+ - Launching 2015: a new Certificate Authority to Encrypt the Entire Web->

Submitted by Peter Eckersley
Peter Eckersley (66542) writes "Today EFF, Mozilla, Cisco and Akamai announced a forthcoming project called Let's Encrypt. Let's Encrypt will be a certificate authority that issues free certificates to any website, using automated protocols (demo video here). Launching in summer 2015, we believe this will be the missing piece that deprecates the woefully insecure HTTP protocol in favor of HTTPS."
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+ - US Marshals auctioning $20M worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins ->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "The US Marshals office this week said it would auction off almost 50,000 or about $20 million worth of alleged Silk Road creator Robert Ulbricht’s Bitcoins. The auction, which is the second sale of Silk Road’s Bitcoin collection, will take place during a 6-hour period on Dec. 4 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. EST. Bids will be accepted by email from pre-registered bidders only, the US Marshall’s office stated. In June a more than $17 million in Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road take-down was auctioned off."
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The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud