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+ - CIA Shows Off SuperSecret Spy Goodies-> 1

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "In a world where Russian femme fatales become international brands and an iconic British spy franchise has made a culturally resurgent reboot, it seems only fitting that the notoriously secretive Central Intelligence Agency is giving the world an insider’s look at some of its wackier exploits.

Last week, the U.S. spy organization launched a revamped website with links to YouTube and Flickr containing Agency historical videos and picture galleries.

“The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the agency available to more people, more easily,” Director Panetta said in a statement. “The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.” In terms of pure coolness the Flickr stream takes the cake — including never-before-seen gallery of special agent supergadgets."

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Power

+ - Solar Power.....at night->

Submitted by Dthief
Dthief (1700318) writes "Something new is headed for the Southwest desert: solar power plants that can make electricity whether or not the sun is shining.

The Solana plant will be able to meet winter heating and lighting needs by putting electricity on the grid early in the morning—before the sun is shining—and help satisfy summer cooling demand by producing power after sundown. The plant, which can power up to 70,000 houses, has signed a 30-year agreement to sell electricity to utility company Arizona Public Service.

Mark Mehos, a solar program manager for the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo., said such molten salt storage systems add about 20% to the construction cost of solar plants but more than make up for it by boosting a plant's flexibility and productivity.

Electricity from solar plants is expensive, especially at a time when natural-gas prices have plunged, making gas-generated electricity cheap by comparison. Utilities, which are under state mandates to buy more clean power, say solar power may look more economical in the future if fossil fuel prices rise or if a tax is imposed on carbon emissions by power plants."

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Idle

+ - New Zealand Government Opens UFO Files->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Following hot on the heels of a series of international UFO sighting disclosures, the New Zealand government has joined the party and made public 2,000 pages of UFO eyewitness accounts dating back to 1952. Helpfully, the NZ newspaper The Dominion Post has scanned the documents and has made them available online. Among the accounts of alien encounters and strange lights in the sky is one of New Zealand's most famous UFO mystery: the Kaikoura sighting. But was it aliens? Probably not, but it makes for an entertaining read."
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Transportation

+ - U.S. Gasoline Usage Peaked In 2006-> 1

Submitted by thecarchik
thecarchik (1520545) writes "Even if you may not have heard of the Peak Oil theory, everyone knows that we'll continue to use more and more gasoline in years to come. Right? Well, errrrr, no. Maybe not. At least, that's the conclusion of both industry analysts and the oil companies themselves. The peak year for U.S. gasoline consumption to date was 2006, when we collectively used 374 million gallons every single day.Even with as many as 27 million more vehicles on the road in 10 years and a resumption of economic growth, says the experts, gasoline consumption will never again hit that 2006 high. In fact, 20 years hence, it may have fallen as much as 20 percent from today's levels. Since then, a combination of factors has cut demand and will continue to do so in future years. Even with as many as 27 million more vehicles on the road in 10 years and a resumption of economic growth, says the experts, gasoline consumption will never again hit that 2006 high. In fact, 20 years hence, it may have fallen as much as 20 percent from today's levels."
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Businesses

+ - Retailers Dread Phone-Wielding Shoppers->

Submitted by
Ponca City
Ponca City writes "The WSJ reports that until recently, retailers could reasonably assume that if they just lured shoppers to stores with enticing specials, the customers could be coaxed into buying more profitable stuff too, but now marketers must contend with shoppers who can use their smartphones inside stores to check whether the specials are really so special. "The retailer's advantage has been eroded," says Greg Girard adding that that roughly 45% of customers with smartphones had used them to perform due diligence on a store's prices. "The four walls of the store have become porous." Although store executives publicly welcome a price-transparent world, retail experts don't expect all chains to measure up to the harsh judgment of mobile price comparisons and some will need to find new ways to survive. "Only a couple of retailers can play the lowest-price game," says Noam Paransky. "This is going to accelerate the demise of retailers who do not have either competitive pricing" or a standout store experience."
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Piracy

+ - Single software licence shared 774,651 times->

Submitted by nk497
nk497 (1345219) writes "A single licence for Avast security software has been used by 774,651 people after it went viral on a file-sharing site. Avast noticed that a license for its paid-for security software, sold to a 14-user firm in Arizona, was being distributed online. Rather than shut down the piracy, the company decided to see how far the software would spread — it's since popped up in 200 countries, including the Vatican City. Now, the company is turning it into a marketing opportunity, with a pop-up encouraging users of the pirated copy to download a legal copy of the free or paid-for version. Avast isn't sure how many pirates have gone legal, but said some have made the switch."
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Hardware Hacking

Homemade Robotic Xylophone Plays Holiday Melodies 70

Posted by timothy
from the percussion-from-a-distance dept.
compumike writes "Just in time to add a bit of geeky holiday cheer to your office, this video demonstrates how to build a robotic xylophone featuring handmade solenoids and aluminum bars, and shows it playing several classic holiday tunes. New songs can be programmed in with C macros, and this project could even be extended to perhaps play a melody when a new e-mail arrived or a software build has finished compiling!"
Graphics

Company Seeks To Boost Linux Game Development With 3D Engine Giveaway 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-services-rendered dept.
binstream writes "To support Linux game development, Unigine Corp. announced a competition: it will give a free license for its Unigine engine to a seasoned team willing to work on a native Linux game. The company has been Linux-friendly from the very start; it released advanced GPU benchmarks (Heaven, Tropics, Sanctuary) for Linux before and is working on the OilRush strategy game that supports Linux as well."
Security

+ - Fedex Misplaces Radioactive Rods->

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Fox News reports that a shipment of radioactive rods used in medical equipment has vanished while being sent by Fedex from North Dakota to Tennessee. Based on tracking information, FedEx is focusing its search in the Tennessee area but as a normal precaution the company alerted all of its stations "in the event that it got waylaid and went to another station by accident." Dr. Marc Siegel says if someone opens the container it could pose some serious health risks. "I don't believe it has the degree of radiation that, if it were opened, your skin would suddenly slop off. But the concern would be, if this got opened inadvertently and someone didn't know what it was and then was repeatedly exposed to it over several days, it could cause a problem with radiation poisoning," say Siegel. "The people that use this equipment in a hospital use protective shielding with it." The lesson is that active medical material must always be transported in a way that ensures that the general public cannot get access to it. "Medical devices should not be FedEx'ed. They should be sent under a special service," adds Siegel."
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Space

+ - Extra-Galactic Planet Discovered in Milky Way->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "Between six to nine billion years ago, the Milky Way collided with another galaxy. As you'd expect, this caused quite a mess; stars dust and gas being ripped from the intergalactic interloper. In fact, to this day, the dust hasn't quite settled and astronomers have spotted an odd-looking exoplanet orbiting a metal poor star 2,000 light-years from Earth. Through a careful process of elimination, the extrasolar planet (known as HIP 13044b) actually works out to be an extragalactic planet, a surviving relic of the massive collision eons ago."
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Science

+ - LHC Scientists Create and Capture Antimatter->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have created antimatter in the form of antihydrogen, demonstrating how it's possible to capture and release it. The development could help researchers devise laboratory experiments to learn more about this strange substance, which mostly disappeared from the universe shortly after the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.Trapping any form of antimatter is difficult, because as soon as it meets normal matter – the stuff Earth and everything on it is made out of – the two annihilate each other in powerful explosions. "We are getting close to the point at which we can do some classes of experiments on the properties of antihydrogen," said Joel Fajans, a University of California, Berkeley professor of physics, and LBNL faculty scientist. "Since no one has been able to make these types of measurements on antimatter atoms at all, it's a good start.""
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A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. -- Thomas Jefferson

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