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Power

+ - Scientists propose even less efficient solar power->

Submitted by
wattrlz
wattrlz writes "Scientists at Sandia National Labs in New Mexico have proposed a technique for using solar energy to reverse the combustion process and convert water into hydrogen and CO2 into methane and/or methanol.


...Over the past year they have shown proof of concept and are completing a prototype device that will use concentrated solar energy to reenergize carbon dioxide or water, the products of combustion. This will form carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and oxygen, which ultimately could be used to synthesize liquid fuels in an integrated S2P [Sunshine to Petrol] system... "What's exciting about this invention is that it will result in fossil fuels being used at least twice, meaning less carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere and a reduction of the rate that fossil fuels are pulled out of the ground,"
"

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Announcements

+ - bone-eating worms found on cow bones->

Submitted by
joe jones
joe jones writes "A new paper appearing in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London by Jones et al documents for the first time bone-eating worms (genus Osedax) on something other than whale bones. The scientists placed experimental settlement bones (graciously supplied by a local meat market) on a PVC "christmas tree" (see Fig 1A in the paper) at the bottom of the Monterey Bay. Amazingly, the Osedax worms not only grew on cowbones, but they did so extremely quickly (2 months in some cases) and the females were able to produce eggs and recruit males into their "harem". Odd are they are found on any other bones that may be at the bottom of the ocean..."
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Robotics

+ - HP plans to put YOU out of business->

Submitted by
wattrlz
wattrlz writes "Hewllett-Packard recently unveiled their, "HP Automated Operations" Suite. The aim of this product is to automate many of the everyday tasks typically handled by IT employees such as software updates, answering common questions, virus scanning, and configuration management. 'These products are intended to create "better business efficiencies by driving costs (down)," according to Tom Hogan, head of software for ... [HP]'"
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IBM

+ - IBM sues company selling fake, flammable batteries->

Submitted by Bergkamp10
Bergkamp10 (666) writes "A Computerworld article reporting that IBM is suing Shentech for selling laptop batteries that catch on fire and sport allegedly fake IBM logos. IBM apparently followed up on a claim by a customer that an "IBM" laptop battery bought at Shentech caught on fire and damaged his laptop. The customer reported the problem to Lenovo (who license Big Blue's trademark) who subsequently ordered 12 batteries from Shentech and found them all to be fakes. IBM is asking for US$1 million in damages for each dodgy battery sold."
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Government

+ - Connect Arkansas Broadband Act signed into law ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On March 28, 2007, Governor Mike Beebe signed the Connect Arkansas Broadband Act into law to expand broadband infrastructure throughout Arkansas. The legislation paved the way to make internet access and usage available to all Arkansans. Connect Arkansas, a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization, was formed to implement this plan and progress is actively underway. Words such as "delivery platform neutral" may sound unusual, but the concept is clear. Connect Arkansas will work with all internet service providers to accomplish its two initial objectives Prepare the people and businesses of Arkansas to secure the economic, educational, health, social and other benefits available via broadband use. Facilitate the availability of broadband service to every home and business in Arkansas."
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Communications

+ - Verizon is still bad at math->

Submitted by
mikesd81
mikesd81 writes "Eyelesswriter reports has a report about a guy who called Verizon 56 times to test Verizon's rate policy. You can get some background information on this at verizonmath.com. Some may recall the whole .002 cents vs .002 dollars episode. The results of this informal survey shows only 2% of the Verizon operators are aware of the proper policy. From the article: While many operators did mistakenly quote cents instead of dollars, a large portion of the mistakes were simply wrong, regardless of where the decimal fell. This means that even if Verizon has since addressed the cents/dollars issue, that by itself wouldn't be enough.

By the end of the 56 calls, this guy still had to call a PR rep and ask for a printed quote of the rates. There's a video also."

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Space

+ - Keeping Cool on Venus

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "In the 1970s and 80s, several probes landed on Venus and returned data from the surface but they all expired less than 2 hours after landing because of Venus' tremendous heat. It's hard to keep a rover functioning when temperatures of 450 C are hot enough to melt lead but NASA researchers have designed a refrigeration system that might be able to keep a robotic rover going for as long as 50 Earth days using a reverse Stirling engine. The rover's electronics would be packed in a ceramic-based insulator and placed it inside a metal sphere about the size of a grapefruit. Heat would then be pumped out of the sphere by compressing and then expanding a gas with a piston. When the gas expands, it absorbs heat from the electronics chamber then, as the gas is compressed and its temperature rises, the heat is allowed to dissipate in the atmosphere via a radiator. NASA has not committed to a Venus rover mission, but a 2003 National Academies of Science study recommended that high priority be given to a robot mission to investigate the Venusian surface helping to answer such questions as why Venus ended up so different from Earth and if the changes have taken place relatively recently."
Wii

+ - Wii to sellout despite 1.8 million made each month->

Submitted by
Wowzer
Wowzer writes "Despite 1.8 million Wii being manufactured each month, Wii's are said to sell out anyway. To quote Nintendo's President: "I can't guarantee that we're going to meet demand. As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record that we won't." You might want to buy a Wii early if you want one under the Christmas tree, considering Nintendo started boosting the production output during the three months ending June 30, 2007. Additionally, in a Fox TV interview with Alexis Glick, Nintendo's President Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the Wii would not be lowered in price."
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Enlightenment

+ - Virtuosic scientists shatter virii with laser->

Submitted by wattrlz
wattrlz (1162603) writes "In a development reminiscent of nineteenth century pseudo-science the father-son team of Kong Thon and Shaw Wei Tsen recently demonstrated that the tobacco mosaic virus can be destroyed in vitro by nano-scale mechanical resonant vibrations induced by repeated ultra-short pulses from a laser. The total energy required is reportedly far below the threshold for human tissue damage and the technique should generalize to human pathogens."
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