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Nanotubes May Improve Solar Energy Harvesting 93

eldavojohn writes "Scientists are hoping that the 'coaxial cable' style nanotube they developed will resolve energy issues that come with converting sunlight to energy. The plants currently have us beat in this department but research is discovering new ways to eliminate inefficiencies in transferring photons to energy. Traditional methods involve exciting electrons to the point of jumping to a higher state which leaves 'holes.' Unfortunately, these electrons and holes remain in the same regions and therefore tend to recombine. The new nanotubes hope to route these excited electrons off in the same way a coaxial cable allows a return route for electrons. End result is fewer electrons settling back into their holes once they are elevated out of them yielding a higher return in energy."

'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine 272

Rubinstien writes "A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. While he initially thought the miners had discovered a unique compound, after its crystal structure was analyzed and identified the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Fictional literature. Dr. Chris Stanley, from the BBC article: 'Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film Superman Returns ... I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange.'"

Submission + - Netcraft shows RNC running Ohio election servers

goombah99 writes: Netcraft is showing a very hard to explain event happened in the Ohio 2006 election. The Secretary Of states website IP address, which normally is directed to an Ohio based IP address and handles all the election reporting, was transferred on election night to the Smarttech Corp owned servers out of state. According to the American Registry on Internet Numbers Smartech's block of IP address — encompasses the entire range of addresses owned by the Republican National Committee. This includes hosting the recently notorious used in the Whitehouse. Can Slashdotters suggest any good explanations for this seemingly dubious transfer?
The Almighty Buck

FDA Considers Redefining Chocolate 939

shewfig writes "The US Food and Drug Administration is considering redefining 'chocolate' to allow substitution of vegetable oil ($0.70/lb.) for cocoa butter ($2.30/lb.), and whey protein for dry whole milk. There are already standard terms to differentiate these products from chocolate, such as 'chocolatey' and 'chocolate-flavored.' The change was requested by the industry group Chocolate Manufacturers of America. Leading the resistance to this change is high-end chocolate maker Guittard, with significant grass-roots support from the Candyblog. The FDA is taking consumer comments until April 25. Here is the FDA page on the proposed change, which oddly enough does not say what the proposed change is."

Submission + - Cable-Ready HDTV Tuners Come To The PC

MendonDave writes: Free to air HDTV can be brought in to a PC with any number of TV Tuner products currently on the market. However, tuner cards or external USB tuners that support local and non-subscription cable driven HDTV channels have been non-existent until the recent release of tuners like the 5th generation LG ATSC / NTSC chipset. The Autumnwave OnAir USB HDTV Creator is a new tuner that recently hit the street that is capable of pulling in both analog (NTSC) and digital (ATSC)signal and Digital Cable (QAM 64/256) via direct cable connection. 1080i image quality with this product and a capable monitor is exceptional.

Quantum Physics Parts Ways With Reality 568

aeoneal sends us to PhysicsWeb for news guaranteed to induce headache in those wedded to the reality of, well, reality. Researchers from the University of Vienna have shown the violation of a stronger form of Bell's inequality known as Leggett's inequality. The result means that we must not only give up Einstein's hope of "no spooky action at a distance," we must also give up (some of) the idea that the world exists when we are not looking. From the article: "[Studies] have ruled out all hidden-variables theories based on joint assumptions of realism, meaning that reality exists when we are not observing it; and locality, meaning that separated events cannot influence one another instantaneously. But a violation of Bell's inequality does not tell specifically which assumption — realism, locality, or both — is discordant with quantum mechanics." From the Nature abstract: "Our result suggests that giving up the concept of locality is not sufficient to be consistent with quantum experiments, unless certain intuitive features of realism are abandoned." Only subscribers to Nature, alas, can know what features those are, as PhysicsWeb doesn't tell us.

Submission + - India's successful commercial satellite launch

An anonymous reader writes: India successfully launched an Italian satellite yesterday. The Indian Space Research Organization's announcement here. A BBC article on the launch here with a video clip here. India's launch vehicle has less overall capacity than the competition; but plans to sweep the low end of the market by offering the lowest cost per launched kilogram for smaller payloads.

Bringing Bandwidth To Iraq 230

jemevans sends us a link to his nonfiction tale of two California cypherpunks who went to Baghdad to seek their fortune and bring the Internet to Iraq. A much abridged version ran in Wired a while back. From the original: "Ryan Lackey wears body armor to business meetings. He flies armed helicopters to client sites. He has a cash flow problem: he is paid in hundred-dollar bills, sometimes shrink-wrapped bricks of them, and flowing this money into a bank is difficult. He even calls some of his company's transactions 'drug deals' — but what Lackey sells is Internet access. From his trailer on Logistics Staging Area Anaconda, a colossal US Army base fifty miles north of Baghdad, Lackey runs Blue Iraq, surely the most surreal ISP on the planet. He is 26 years old."
Linux Business

IBM Reveals New Virtual Linux Environment 96

jenwren1010 writes to mention that IBM has just announced the new open beta version of their virtual Linux environment that allows users to run x86 Linux programs on POWER processor-based IBM System p servers. "Designed to reduce power, cooling and space by consolidating x86 Linux workloads on System p servers, it will eventually be released as the [rolls-off-the-tongue] 'IBM System p Application Virtual Environment (System p AVE).' With a 31.5% global revenue share during 2006, IBM hopes to build on System p UNIX success and extend firmly into the Linux marketplace. Considering there are almost 2,800 applications that already run natively on Linux on System p servers, the chances are good that it will succeed."

New Theory Links Biodiversity to the Stars 184

eldavojohn writes "'s Mystery Monday has an article proposing a hypothesis that our solar system's undulations directly affects biodiversity on earth through cosmic-ray exposure. There's data that, through the fossil record, shows us earth's biodiversity peaking again and again until a great cataclysmic period where it is greatly reduced. The theory essentially suggests that this 62 million year cycle can be attributed to how our solar system moves within the milky way galaxy which turns out to be a 64 million year cycle. It's a plausible explanation though very tough to prove, hopefully we don't have to wait around 64 million years to draw a conclusion on this hypothesis."

Submission + - New Amiga Hardware Announced

Alex McNeil writes: "After years and years of pain and anguish Amiga has finally found a new hardware producer, could this mean Amiga becomes a real player in the PowerPC hardware market? "After months of designs and negotiations Amiga, Inc. and ACK Software Controls, Inc. are pleased to announce that new hardware is on its way for Amiga users. Initially, two systems will be produced that address two different market needs. The first is a consumer entry design that will offer a complete product with a target price point of USD 500, while the second will be of a power design that would have a target price point of USD 1500. The PowerPC architecture will continue to be the architecture of choice for these new systems. Manufacturing and final price information along with product launch schedules will be following in the next week.""
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars, the Lost Interviews 133

smooth wombat writes "Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Release of Star Wars, Ballantine Books is publishing J.W. Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars", which bills itself as "The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film." The book is the result of Rinzler's discovery of interviews that Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm's VP marketing and merchandising in the mid-'70s, conducted with the film's principals between 1975 and 1978."

AMD's Barcelona to Outpace Intel by 50% 199

Gr8Apes writes "AMD is upping the performance numbers for Barcelona by stating that "Barcelona will have a 50% advantage over Clovertown in floating point applications and 20% in integer performance 'over the competition's highest-performing quad-core processor at the same frequency'". AMD also claims that the new 3.0 GHz Opterons beat comparable Intel Xeon 5100 series processors in three server-specific benchmarks (SPECint_rate_2006, SPECint_rate2006, SPECompM2001) by up to 24%."

Submission + - Nokia N95 or 5 standalone devices?

Milton Gosandro writes: has written an article on whether or not it's better to buy the Nokia N95 super all-in-one cell phone or buy five separate devices. "The Nokia N95 is a convergence fanboy's dream — there's a built-in sat-nav, a 5-megapixel camera, a media player, a PDA and of course, a mobile phone. But is it better than the standalone competition or is it a jack of all trades and master of none?" I personally think it's a jack of all trades since it looks like most of the standalone alternatives perform better, but I still tip my hat to Nokia for putting so much into this relatively small device.

Submission + - Samsung launches R55, the first laptop with hybrid

John Pope writes: "Do you remember hybrid hard-drives? If you don't get a quick look here,it about those special hard disks Microsoft promised a few years agoto increase performance and lower consumption inWindows Vista. Time passed, Vista saw the light of day, but no hybrids in sight. That changed today, when Samsung (today's pioneer in IT industry) launched the R55 laptop, the first production model fitted with a hybrid hard drive.

Samsung promises bit thing with the 80 GB hybrid hard drive under the hood: 26% improvement on data reading and 71% improvement of data writing speed, 32% lower power consumption and increased HDD longevity by 10% (that's when you use small blocks of data, under 10 MB). The rest of the specs are pretty non important, as you get the same Core2Duo treatment, 15.4 " wide screen, multistandard optical drive and Windows Vista Premium.

What's different is the price: 1923 $, pretty steep for 80 gigs storagespace (the 256 MB OneNAND flash is for buffer purposes only, so you won't touch it).

Source: Gizmodo (via PC Joint)"

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