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China's Coal Power Plants Mask Climate Change 464

Hugh Pickens writes "The Guardian reports on new research revealing that the huge increase in coal-fired power stations in China, up from just over 10 gigawatts (GW) in 2002 to over 80GW in 2006, has masked the impact of global warming in the last decade because of the cooling effect of their sulphur emissions. But scientists warn that rapid warming is likely to resume when the short-lived sulphur pollution – which also causes acid rain – is cleaned up and the full heating effect of long-lived carbon dioxide is felt. 'Reductions in carbon emissions will be more important as China installs scrubbers [on its coal-fired power stations], which reduce sulphur emissions,' says Dr. Robert Kaufman. 'This, and solar insolation increasing as part of the normal solar cycle, [will mean] temperature is likely to increase faster.' The effect also explains the lack of global temperature rise seen between 1940 and 1970 as the effect of the sulphur emissions from increased coal burning outpaced that of carbon emissions, until acid rain controls were introduced, after which temperature rose quickly. 'Warming due to the CO2 released by Chinese industrialization has been partially masked by cooling due to reflection of solar radiation by sulphur emissions,' says Prof Joanna Haigh. 'On longer timescales, with cleaner emissions, the warming effect will be more marked.'"

Cool-Factor Predicted To Spur Energy Conservation 130

An anonymous reader writes "Panelists at a recent technology expo argued about how to motivate people to conserve energy, dragging out all the usual suspects, from financial incentives to emotion appeals to 'save the planet.' However, one panelist trumped the status quo by noting that adding the 'cool factor' could make energy conservation fun via apps on smartphones and tablets. By making energy conservation as fun as a video game, the fickle on-again, off-again of human nature might just be overcome."

LulzSec Posts First Secret Document Dump 835

Dangerous_Minds writes "LulzSec has been vowing to expose government secrets for the last few days. Now they have delivered. According to ZeroPaid, LulzSec has posted secret documents about Arizona Law Enforcement. The release has been posted to file-sharing website ThePirateBay. LulzSec says the release is because they are 'against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.'"

Seismologists Tried For Manslaughter For Not Predicting Earthquake 154

mcgrew writes "From LiveScience: 'Earthquake prediction can be a grave, and faulty science, and in the case of Italian seismologists who are being tried for the manslaughter of the people who died in the 2009 L'Aquila quake, it can have legal consequences.' A group of seven, including six seismologists and a government official, reportedly didn't alert the public ahead of time of the risk of the L'Aquila earthquake, which occurred on April 6 of that year, killing around 300 people, according to the US Geological Survey."
Wireless Networking

Global Warming To Hinder Wi-Fi Signals, Claims UK Gov't 280

radioweather writes with news of a government report from the UK's Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which warns of global warming's harmful effect on Wi-Fi and other communication protocols. Quoting the Guardian: "Presenting the report, the secretary of state for the environment, Caroline Spelman, said that higher temperatures can reduce the range of wireless communications, rainstorms can impact the reliability of the signal, and drier summers and wetter winters may cause greater subsidence, damaging masts and underground cables. The threat posed by climate change to internet and telephone access is a rare example of when the developed world would be hit harder than developing countries, which are in general more at risk from increased floods, droughts and rising sea levels. 'If climate change threatens the quality of your signal, or you can't get it because of extreme fluctuations in temperature, then you will be disadvantaged, which is why we must address the question,' said Spelman, 'and just imagine in the height of an emergency if the communications system is down or adversely affected.'"

Man Jailed After Using LimeWire For ID Theft 241

angry tapir sends along this excerpt from PC World: "A Seattle man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for using the LimeWire file-sharing service to lift personal information from computers across the US. The man, Frederick Wood, typed words like 'tax return' and 'account' into the LimeWire search box. That allowed him to find and access computers on the LimeWire network with shared folders that contained tax returns and bank account information. ... He used the information to open accounts, create identification cards and make purchases. 'Many of the victims are parents who don't realize that LimeWire is on their home computer,' [said Kathryn Warma of the US Attorney's Office]."

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright