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+ - Wind Power is Cheaper than Coal, Leaked Report Shows 4

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "A leaked report shows that wind is the hands-down cheapest energy source in Europe, beating the presumably dirt-cheap coal and gas by a mile. Conventional wisdom holds that clean energy is more expensive than its fossil-fueled counterparts. Yet truly honest cost comparisons show that renewable energy sources are often cheaper than their carbon-heavy competition. The report demonstrates that if you were to take into account mining, pollution, and adverse health impacts of coal and gas, wind power would be the cheapest source of energy, period."

+ - NASA found a Delaware-sized methane 'hot spot' in the Southwest

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "According to new satellite research from scientists at NASA and the University of Michiganthis "hot spot" is "responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States—more than triple the standard ground-based estimate." It is 2,500 square miles wide, about the size of Delaware."

+ - More than twice as much mercury in environment as thought->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The most comprehensive estimate of mercury released into the environment is putting a new spotlight on the potent neurotoxin. By accounting for mercury in consumer products, such as thermostats, and released by industrial processes, the calculations more than double previous tallies of the amount of mercury that has entered the environment since 1850. The analysis also reveals a previously unknown spike in mercury emissions during the 1970s, caused largely by the use of mercury in latex paint."
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+ - This Twitter User was Arrested for Gamifying a Death Threat

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "A Twitter user with the handle @StillDMC stood at a window in downtown Los Angeles and took a photo of his rifle, the barrel aimed at what appeared to be a couple of pedestrians standing on a street corner in the distance. At 12:09 AM, he tweeted. “100 RT’s and I’ll shoot someone walking,” he wrote alongside the picture, which quickly racked up well over 100 retweets.

This is the story of what happened when a digital native tried to gamify a death threat to boost his social media profile."

+ - Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny in Gamer Culture-> 1

Submitted by ideonexus
ideonexus (1257332) writes "2490 gamers, developers and journalists have signed an open letter supporting inclusion in the gaming community after indie game developer Zoe Quinn received backlash and harassment when her ex-boyfriend posted false accusations that she traded sex for favorable reviews of her game and feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian was driven from her home after receiving death and rape threats for her videos illustrating the way some mainstream games encourage the commodification of and violence against women. The harassment has prompted geek-dating advice columnist Harris O’Malley to declare the backlash the "Extinction Burst of Gaming Culture", the last reactionary gasp before the culture shifts to become more inclusionary."
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+ - You've Got Luddites All Wrong 1

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "Of all the terms marshaled out to describe our relationship to technology, 'Luddite' is maybe the most incorrectly and over-used. In modern parlance, it is a broad catchall for anyone who either fears, dislikes, opposes, or refuses to understand technology. We use it as a synonym for 'technophobe'—which is a travesty to the fearsome, well-organized, machine-wrecking labor movement from which the term arose."

+ - Drought Inspires a Boom in Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines to 'Water Witches'

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "Across drought-stricken California, farmers are desperate for water. So many of them are calling dowsers. These 'water witches', draped in dubious pseudoscience or self-assembled mythologies—or both—typically use divining rods and some sort of practiced intuition to "find" water. The professional variety do so for a fee. And business is booming. They're just part of a storied tradition of pseudoscientific hucksters exploiting our thirst for water, with everything from cloudbusters to rainmachines to New Age rituals."

+ - A horrifying interactive map of global Internet censorship->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Imagine a world where the book burners had won. A world where information is filtered and must be approved by governments before it can be accessed by their citizens. A world where people are held down and kept in line by oppressive regimes that restrict the free flow of information and bombard citizens with government-approved messages.

Now stop imagining, because this horrifying world already exists..."

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+ - One Third of Germany Is Powered by Renewable Energy 2

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Germany is now producing 28.5 percent of its energy—nearly a third—with solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. In 2000, renewables accounted for just 6 percent of its power consumption.
This is further proof that Germany is, essentially, the world leader in renewable energy. No other country has demonstrated such a dedicated, accelerated drive toward transitioning to clean power—in Germany's case, away from nuclear to solar and wind."

+ - The Sci-fi Blockbuster About Income Inequality Was Nearly Killed by the 1%

Submitted by merbs
merbs (2708203) writes "I watched the summers best and most original action movie—hands down, no contest—in an art house theater with about two dozen people. The screen, one of just two the establishment operated, was smallish, and the sound was even on the quiet side, or at least, it was quieter and smaller than weve been conditioned to expect anytime we sit down to watch Captain America smash through waves of foes with nothing but his fists and his gumption. And all because a notoriously harsh one percenter tried to crush the years most exciting film about income inequality."

+ - Antarctic Ice hits an all-time record high level

Submitted by dtjohnson
dtjohnson (102237) writes ""Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its highest ever level. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometers (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006." Ice extent is reaching an all-time record high on the bottom of the planet just after ice reached an all-time record low on the top of the planet. What can it mean? Either there will soon be more ice at the top or less ice at the bottom or the planet will become seriously 'bottom heavy.' Now there is something to worry about..."
Facebook

+ - Why Do So Many Liberals 'Like' Mitt Romney on Facebook? ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Mother Jones reports that "In recent weeks, a host of liberal types have complained that their Facebook accounts have erroneously “liked” Romney’s page, and some are floating the theory that the Romney campaign has deployed a virus or used other nefarious means to inflate the candidate’s online stature. This conspiratorial notion has spawned a Facebook community forum, and its own page: “Hacked By Mitt Romney” (cute url: facebook.com/MittYouDidntBuildThat)"

So what’s going on? Is the Romney campaign engaging in some tech wizardry to hijack Americans’ Facebook pages? Seems unlikely, tech wizardry of any kind coming from the not-so-online-savvy campaign, but Romney did somehow manage to acquire millions of fake Twitter followers. And sure, Romney probably feels a bit envious of Obama’s 30 million ‘likers’, seeing as how he only has 8 million. But it looks like the Romney campaign isn’t behind this one — Facebook and its crappy mobile app is."

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Earth

+ - Climate Change Forced a Nuclear Shutdown

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Thanks to record-breaking temperatures, more than half the nationâ(TM)s counties are in a declared state of emergencyâ"drought and heat waves, as youâ(TM)re likely aware, have been the norm this summer. Corn isnâ(TM)t growing, drought is holding, and nuclear power plants are shutting down.

A reactor at the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., has shut down because of something that its 1960s designers never anticipated: the water in Long Island Sound was too warm to cool it. Under the reactorâ(TM)s safety rules, the cooling water can be no higher than 75 degrees. On Sunday afternoon, the waterâ(TM)s temperature soared to 76.7 degrees, prompting the operator, Dominion Power, to order the shutdown of the 880-megawatt reactor.

Sure, scientists themselves have long been quite squeamish about drawing such a hardline link between climate change, and as a result the public remains skeptical about the notion. But this summer, some of the top climate scientists in the world made the unusual step of explicitly linking the excessive heat to climate change. In fact, NASAâ(TM)s top climate dog, James Hansen, has released a paper that produces the conclusion that "âoeYou would not have these extremes without global warming.â"

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