s122604 writes: There aren't too many people collecting Blu-ray discs these days. But while the technology is fast becoming obsolete for movie viewers, Facebook sees it as a promising new means for handling data storage. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: From the article: "Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 pm in Washington "as measured by the national atomic clock." It takes 7 milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Fed's decision were placed on Chicago exchanges 2-3 milliseconds after 2 pm. How did this happen?" Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead.
The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: For the first time in almost 30 years, a US carmaker is planning to market a non-truck diesel vehicle in the US. Estimated MPG for the automatic transmission version is in the mid 40's, which is better than the only other small diesel sedan sold in the US (the Volkswagon Jetta), and slightly better than their gasoline powered "Eco" model... I'd like to know what the MPG on the 6 speed manual version is. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: "General Electric Co., saying it wants to help spark the electric vehicle industry, said Thursday that it would purchase 25,000 electric vehicles for its fleet by 2015. The Fairfield, Conn., company said its strategy represented the largest-ever electric-vehicle commitment by a company or organization. The plan includes buying 12,000 Chevrolet Volts, which General Motors Co. will start selling by year-end."
Considering the first year run of the volt was slated around 30,000, this is very significant. This should help the vehicles achieve an economy of scale that makes wider adoption more viable. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: "A large investor using an automated trading software to sell futures contracts sparked the brief-but-historic stock market "flash crash" on May 6, according to a report by federal regulators released Friday. In the 104-page report, staff members at Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said an unnamed investor used a trading algorithm to sell orders for futures contracts called E-Minis, which traders use to bet on the future performance of stocks in the S&P 500 index."
Not the sofware's fault (as the title implies) it did exactly what it was told.
Stop loss orders have their place, but this incident shows the value of a man in the loop.
Still, I wish I was one of the lucky ones who got to pick of Proctor and Gamble stock for 39 dollars a share. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: From the article "In the global race to see who can offer the fastest Internet service, an unlikely challenger has emerged: Chattanooga, Tenn.
The city-owned utility, EPB, plans to announce on Monday that by the end of this year it will offer ultra-high-speed Internet service of up to one gigabit a second."
If one were to ask what city in the US would be the first to a gigabit, I doubt many would have answered "Chattanooga". Note, its also a municipal utility, in the south, were fears of "creeping socialism" allegedly run deep. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: From the story "Chile miners soon to 'see' loved ones over video link". It sounds just like a local connection to the surface. If you can get a functional fiber link down there, why not provide full internet connectivity? Should that happen, it brings up a lot of interesting considerations. The filtering of information that they receive would essentially be impossible. Also, celebrity status, and all the good and bad that brings, would find them even before they left the hole. It would be one heck of a time killer though... Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories continue work on creating hydrocarbon based fuels from CO2 using a solar powered reactor. This has been seen as a potential source of underway replenishment for naval operations, but this effort seems to be oriented to fixed-point production and incorporation into the domestic energy infrastructure: "The Sandia team has created a machine called the "Counter Rotating Ring Receiver Reactor Recuperator (CR5)", which captures carbon dioxide from power plant exhaust fumes." Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: "The Obama administration said Sunday it intends to nearly double the available amount of wireless communications spectrum over the next 10 years in an effort to keep up with the ever-growing demand for high-speed video and data transmission to cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices." — Stating the obvious but "spectrum" in finite, so this means an adjustment of band plans. Who wins? who loses? Not really stated.
s122604 writes: Gentoo linux IRC server distribution shipping with malware for several months. Windows version of same software unaffected.
The author does a lot of chiding of the linux user community for its apparent "smugness". There's a lot of things I could point out here, such as that this was a corrupted repository, not a drive-by-download or similar vector. Still, it is a good reminder about not fully trusting repositories... Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: Defense consortium hypersonic vehicle breaks a record: "Its scramjet engine accelerated the vehicle to Mach 6, and it flew autonomously for 200 seconds before losing acceleration. At that point the test was terminated. The Air Force said the previous record for a hypersonic scramjet burn was 12 seconds. Joe Vogel, Boeing's director of hypersonics, said, "This is a new world record and sets the foundation for several hypersonic applications, including access to space, reconnaissance, strike, global reach and commercial transportation." With this and the X-47B, there seems to be a renewed interest in extreme performance (in terms of flight envelope) vehicles.. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: Stock market's extraordinary volatility may have been caused by fat-fingered entry.
Article is reporting that the catalyst for today's extradorinary price swing (at one point the Dow lost almost 9 percent in less than an hour) may have been because a trader entered a 'B' for billions instead of an 'M' for millions on a trade of Procter and Gamble:
"According to multiple sources, a trader entered a "b" for billion instead of an "m" for million in a trade possibly involving Procter & Gamble, a component in the Dow. (CNBC's Jim Cramer noted suspicious price movement in P&G stock on air during the height of the market selloff."
Unbelievable there are no safeguards to protect against this. Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: "How well will General Motors' Chevrolet Volt drive once it gets past its 40 mile all-electric driving range and starts to rely on power generated by its gasoline engine? That's been a question for both critics and fans of the Volt, and with just 11 months to go before this car hits the market, I got the answer." Performance review of the Chevy Volt, paying particular attention to what happens after the initial plug-in capacity has been depleted. The review indicates that the performance is adequate, if not better than expected. If the volt can deliver technically, especially with the possibility of it it retailing for less than expected ( http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100107-708608.html?mod=WSJ_earnings_MIDDLETopHeadlines), does GM have a potential hit on its hands? Link to Original Source
s122604 writes: "http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/12/15/104/?n c=1
FCC to Drop Morse Testing for All Amateur License Classes
NEWINGTON, CT, Dec 19, 2006 — In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission adopted the long-awaited Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235, the "Morse code" proceeding, and released it December 19. The FCC R&O also includes an Order on Reconsideration in WT Docket 04-140 — the "omnibus" proceeding. It will modify the Amateur Service rules in response to ARRL's request to accommodate automatically controlled narrowband digital stations on 80 meters in the wake of rule changes that became effective December 15. The Commission designated the 3585 to 3600 kHz frequency segment for such operations, although the segment will remain available for CW, RTTY and data. The effective date of the FCC's R&O will be 30 days after publication in the Federal Register — most likely in February. Currently, Amateur Radio applicants must pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. The FCC's action will eliminate that requirement all around.
"This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio," the FCC said. The ARRL had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants only. The FCC proposed earlier to drop the requirement across the board, however, and it held to that decision.
The ARRL has been posting all relevant information on these important Part 97 rule revisions on its "FCC's Morse Code Report and Order WT Docket 05-235" Web page.
The FCC's action in WT Docket 05-235 will grant limited HF privileges to all Technician licensees, whether or not they've passed a Morse code examination. Once the R&O goes into effect next year, all Technician class license holders will be able to enjoy current "Tech Plus" HF privileges in addition to their current VHF/UHF privileges. The FCC R&O in the Morse code docket eliminates a disparity in the operating privileges for Technician and Technician Plus class licensees — something the ARRL has asked the Commission to address following the release of the FCC's July 2005 Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 05-235.
"With today's elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between the operating privileges of Technician class licensees and Technician Plus class licensees should not be retained," the FCC public notice said. "Therefore, the FCC, in today's action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges."
Technician licensees without Element 1 Morse code credit currently have operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz. Technicians with Element 1 credit (ie, "Tech Plus" licensees) have limited HF privileges on 80, 40, 15 and 10 meters. Under the Part 97 rules the Commission proposed last year in its NPRM in WT Docket 05-235, current Technicians lacking Morse credit after the new rules went into effect would have had to upgrade to General to earn any HF privileges.
Privileges will remain the same for Novice, General, Advanced and Amateur Extra class licensees.
The FCC has clarified that there will be no changes in the administration of Amateur Radio examination elements and in granting a Certificate for Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for General and Extra class until the new rules go into effect. CSCEs are only valid for examination credit for 365 days from date of issuance; applicants cannot use CSCEs older than that to upgrade. Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) will handle all upgrades through volunteer examiner teams.
Candidates for General or Amateur Extra testing between now and the effective date of the new rules will still have to pass Element 1 (5 WPM Morse code) to obtain new privileges. Those earning Element 3 or Element 4 credit between now and the effective date of the new rules will receive a CSCE from the VE team. Once the new rules are in place, anyone holding a valid CSCE may apply for an upgrade at a VE examination session and will have to pay the applicable fee, if any.
The wholesale elimination of a Morse code requirement for all license classes ends a longstanding national and international regulatory tradition in the requirements to gain access to Amateur Radio frequencies below 30 MHz. The first no-code license in the US was the Technician ticket, instituted in 1991. The question of whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the handwriting has been on the wall — especially since the FCC instituted an across-the-board 5 WPM Morse requirement effective April 15, 2000, in the most-recent major Amateur Radio licensing restructuring (WT Docket 98-143).
The FCC said the R&O in WT Docket 05-235 comports with revisions to the international Radio Regulations resulting from World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03). At that gathering, delegates agreed to authorize each country to determine whether or not to require that applicants demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify for an Amateur Radio license with privileges on frequencies below 30 MHz.
The list of countries dropping the Morse requirement has been growing steadily since WRC-03. A number of countries, including Canada, the UK and several European nations, now no longer require applicants for an Amateur Radio license to pass a Morse code test to gain HF operating privileges. Following WRC-03, the FCC received several petitions for rule making asking it to eliminate the Morse requirement in the US."