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Submission + - Solar night (

Dthief writes: Something new is headed for the Southwest desert: solar power plants that can make electricity whether or not the sun is shining.

The Solana plant will be able to meet winter heating and lighting needs by putting electricity on the grid early in the morning—before the sun is shining—and help satisfy summer cooling demand by producing power after sundown. The plant, which can power up to 70,000 houses, has signed a 30-year agreement to sell electricity to utility company Arizona Public Service.

Mark Mehos, a solar program manager for the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo., said such molten salt storage systems add about 20% to the construction cost of solar plants but more than make up for it by boosting a plant's flexibility and productivity.

Electricity from solar plants is expensive, especially at a time when natural-gas prices have plunged, making gas-generated electricity cheap by comparison. Utilities, which are under state mandates to buy more clean power, say solar power may look more economical in the future if fossil fuel prices rise or if a tax is imposed on carbon emissions by power plants.

Submission + - One tip enough to put name on terrorist watch list ( 1

Frosty Piss writes: As a result of the US Government’s complete failure to investigate credible warnings about "Underwear Bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from none other than Abdulmutallab’s father, senior American counterterrorism officials say they have altered their criteria so that a single-source tip can lead to a name being placed on the watch list. But civil liberties groups warn that it is now even more likely that individuals who pose no threat will be swept up in the America’s security apparatus, leading to potential violations of their privacy and making it difficult for them to travel. 'They are secret lists with no way for people to petition to get off or even to know if they're on,' said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 217

PS - I am happy that $1700 was donated by the top two "gamers", but am unsure how I feel about them using it essentially as $1700 for advertising that shows how "altruistic" the two organizations are.......thoughts?

Comment Re:ISPs only (Score 1) 236

well I believe they cant enter your place of work without being let in or a warrant (though that would usually be trivial......"oh, we're here to search this desk....." guard: "sure, come on in", but once inside they can search your desk (though probably not anything thats in a locked drawer or box [i.e. a hard-drive])

Comment Re:News Flash! Water is wet! (Score 1) 393

I'm from the USA, where they dont have them.

In Europe (and likely elsewhere) they are the standard......think: portable version of the stuff you see at supermarkets (small isolated box you swipe card through, has touchpad, etc), brought to your table by a waitress [in my mind she is buxom and blond, but you can edit that part to your liking]

Comment Re:A what? (Score 1) 410

A lot of government bureaucracy requires you to get hard copies of things....for example often times a signature must be an actual hard copy or facsimile but cannot be an emailed file, in which case having a fax is essential.

Governments are always slow to change, and thus are many years behind the current tech. Once thy catch up, faxes will go away.

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