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Submission + - Mayday Anti-PAC on its second round of funding (

wonkavader writes: Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY.US Super PAC to end all Super PACs (and more) is now on it's second round of funding. The PAC has been reported on here before, but now the numbers are bigger. They hit their $1 million first goal easily, but now they aim to get another $5 million in the same time period. Lessig says that he's arranged for matching, again. It seems like the goals will be even higher in 2016: "For 2014, our goal is to raise $12 million and use it to make fundamental reform the key issue in five congressional races. And we’ll apply what we learn then to 2016." While his initial funding campaign got some reporting in the mainstream media, there seems to be general silence this time around.

Submission + - Iron-air batteries look promising all of a sudden. And cheap. (

wonkavader writes: USC researchers have an article in JES on improvements to iron-air batteries. They seemed like a good idea 40 years ago, but were abandoned because hydrolysis cost them 50% of their energy. The researchers have solved the hydrolysis problem. Because iron is incredibly cheap, these batteries could be 25% the cost of lithium-ion batteries per kWh.

Submission + - India's "$35" tablet becomes real (

wonkavader writes: There's talk of it costing a little more (perhaps $49) and the low price is in quantity 1 million, but the device works, and it looks like the Indian government is poised to make good on their idea. They'll pay half the cost of the device and the schools providing these to their students will pay the other half. The $35 (or $49) price isn't retail — expect to pay more for these if you want one yourself.

Submission + - Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 at 2Ghz Aimed at Desktop (

wonkavader writes: Nufront's Cortex ARM-A9 Dual core chip now runs at 2Ghz, and they have a couple of examples of systems using it. Articles/videos showing it in a desktop, and a laptop/netbook can be found at here, here and here.
Details which can be gleaned from the videos include: The laptop's target price is about $200, as is the desktop's. The chip itself should cost about $30. It needs a heat sink, right now (though not a fan, even though one is mounted in one of the videos) but is being optimized to try to eliminate even that heatsink. The chip represents a PC on a chip, such that few if any support chips are necessary and will run at something below 2 watts. The laptop they show is very thin, and I certainly want one. They currently run Android and Ubuntu. The desktop system is snappy, though it seems like their Ubuntu setup doesn't benefit from any hardware video acceleration, currently. They are partnered with Microsoft, and clearly really aiming at being a desktop for the new ARM-compatible Windows which is supposed to be in the works.

Submission + - Turns out BP is comprised entirely of saints (

wonkavader writes: Not in one single instance did BP cut corners to minimize costs. It's official. The government investigative panel says so. "'We have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety,' Fred Bartlit, the trial lawyer in charge of the investigation, said today." Not one.

Submission + - BP Cofferdams Explained via Fishtank (

wonkavader writes: The Guardian has a cute little video demonstration [] of what BP has in mind to stop the oil leaks which are creating the mess in the gulf of Mexico, which just recently made landfall []. Apparently, BP has constructed a 180 ton plastic water bottle, then cut it in half and... well, the video makes things pretty clear.

Pascal is a language for children wanting to be naughty. -- Dr. Kasi Ananthanarayanan