phobos13013 writes "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting on Friday with nuclear activist group Beyond Nuclear in response to a petition calling for the closure of all Fukushima-type Boiling Water Reactors in the US. The petition calls for the closure of 24 reactors total at 17 locations (not all are power generation facilities) including the Oyster Creek facility, the oldest in the US, and the embattled Vermont Yankee facility. Archive video and audio of the meeting can be found at the NRC's website."Link to Original Source
phobos13013 writes "The economic downturn has claimed another high profile project in the technology sector. "Reliable sources" have stated Video Game maker 3D Realms has run out of money and is shutting down. 3D Realms was set to release the highly anticipated Duke Nukem Forever and had released news up to a month ago that it was still forthcoming. There is much speculation whether the game actually exists; regardless, it seems the final chapter has been written. For now..."
phobos13013 writes "On this day in 1958, the United States Public L. 85-568, National Aeronautics and Space Act, was signed by President Eisenhower to create NASA. In the fifty years since its creation, NASA has made manned missions landing on the Moon, put a space station in orbit, launched numerous unmanned missions to the Moon, Mars, the solar system, and beyond, as well as launch reusable manned space crafts in orbit. Of course, there have been some tragedies including the loss of two manned space crafts and its crew as well as the loss of the Apollo 1 crew during a training mission. Although the future of the organization is in question, Americans, and the world, are looking forward to another fifty years of progress including a return trip to the Moon and an eventual manned mission to Mars."
phobos13013 writes "An article just in time for the fourth in the ACS's Chemical and Engineering News talks about the hazardous chemicals in modern fireworks displays. Perchlorate is currently the oxidizer of choice in fireworks but is also known to be a thyroid blocker; since perchlorates are easily water soluble anions, they dissolve into groundwater quickly. A study performed last summer over a lake in Ada, Oklahoma showed that in less than a day from the fireworks display, chlorate levels in the lake jumper over 1,000 ppm of their baseline concentration. Subsequently, it took weeks for the levels to drop back down to their baseline. On the other hand, heavy metals are used to produce the pretty colors typically associated with the best fireworks. The trend is to start using nitrogen-based oxidizing fireworks, they produce less smoke which means less colorizing agents can be used in displays.
Since C&EN is a subscription-based magazine, the article will likely only be available for a few weeks, a condensed article is available at Science Daily."Link to Original Source
phobos13013 writes "Recent evidence released is showing the North Pole ice is melting at the highest rate ever recorded. As a result, the Pole may be completely ice-free at the surface and composed of nothing by open water by September. As reported in September of last year, the Northwest Passage was ice-free for the first time known to man. The implications of this, as well as the causes, are still being debated. Are global warming experts just short-sighted alarmists? Are we heading for a global ice age? Or is the increase in global mean temperature having an effect on our planet?"
phobos13013 writes "The music-oriented social networking site last.fm announced yesterday that users will be able to listen to numerous full length tracks and albums for a limited time mostly from the four major labels as well as over 150,000 indie labels in a deal brokered in response to the royalty hike last May. Also, the site is offering direct royalties to artists who want to upload their own music. Once the beta testing is over an unlimited listening plan under a new subscription scheme will be offered by the site. Last.fm is owned by CBS Corporation."
phobos13013 writes "The TOPOFF-4 Dirty Bomb Excercise was performed by the US Homeland Security Department last week. The scenario consisted of three radiological IEDs being detonated in two US cities and in Guam simultaneously. According to a hearing held by the Congressional Committee on Science and Technology this week the testing capabilities for radiological assessment of the nation's laboratory network would require approximately four years to completely characterize a disaster of this scale."
phobos13013 writes "Trolltech announced this week that they will discontinue development on their Greenphone platform. The Greenphone was advertised to be the first phone with a user-modifiable environment. Trolltech CTO, Benoit Schilling, stated that they are not really a hardware company and so will focus it's efforts on FIC's Neo 1973, now available. However, FTA, a future wifi-enabled endeavor (possibly a VOIP phone) was hinted at by Schilling."
phobos13013 writes "Popular, invite-only, bittorrent site Oink.cd (formerly Oink.me.uk) has been shut down by British police. Supposedly, investigations into the estimated 180,000 users are being considered. This shutdown is fast on the heels of the popular tv-links.co.uk shutdown. Seems the British authorities have been very busy recently and may well be in the future with this round of arrests; however, it is unclear what if any legal repercussions will ensue from the sites' admins or users."
phobos13013 writes "As written in previous slashdot posts, Captain America is dead and buried. But this week, it has been revealed that Captain America will return, sort of. Apparently, it is not Captain America's alter-ego, Steve Rogers; however, a new incarnation will return, and animator Alex Ross and writer Ed Brubaker will be the creative force behind the new storyline. This news comes to the relief of some, with a few suggestions on how to proceed."