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Submission + - Lockeed "Skunk Works" Announces Fusion Power Demo in Five Years (fusenet.eu)

Required Snark writes:

At the recent Google “Solve for X” conference on February 7, Lockheed Martin's long-term R&D department (“Skunk Works”) announced they are working on a compact fusion reactor. With what seems a 4th generation prototype called "T4", the aerospace giant says to have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and faster development timeline.

Public reactions describe the announcement of their activities on nuclear fusion remarkable, because Lockheed Martin doesn't usually make public announcements about Skunkwork projects unless they have a high degree of confidence in their chances of success. The developement timeline indicates plans to have a prototype 100-megawatt nuclear fusion machine of Lockheed Martin tested in 2017, and that a fully operational machine should be grid-ready ten years from now.

Some of the properties reported from the presentation:

  • A self-tuning feedback mechanism whereby the magnetic field increases the farther out that the plasma goes
  • Novel magnetic field configuration that has very few open field lines compared to tokamak design
  • Very "good arch curvature" of the field lines The system has a beta of about 1
  • System is working with D-T fuel

Although the presentation is short on details, Lockheed Skunk Words has a phenomenal track record, and they are putting their reputation of the line when they make this kind of announcement at a high profile Google event. A video of the presentation is here.

Submission + - Draft IPCC report suggests that climate uncertainties have significantly grown (dailymail.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: The new IPCC draft admits that the climate has not warmed as predicted and that the climate field does not know why.

They recognize the global warming ‘pause’ first reported by The Mail on Sunday last year is real – and concede that their computer models did not predict it. But they cannot explain why world average temperatures have not shown any statistically significant increase since 1997.

They admit large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 and 1250 AD – centuries before the Industrial Revolution, and when the population and CO2 levels were both much lower.

The IPCC admits that while computer models forecast a decline in Antarctic sea ice, it has actually grown to a new record high. Again, the IPCC cannot say why.

A forecast in the 2007 report that hurricanes would become more intense has simply been dropped, without mention. This year has been one of the quietest hurricane seasons in history and the US is currently enjoying its longest-ever period – almost eight years – without a single hurricane of Category 3 or above making landfall.

Submission + - Technology and Kansas City drivers (kansascityaccidentinjuryattorneys.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Kansas and Missouri have made texting while driving illegal, however it does not seem that this law is working. This article talks about reasons why. They give some great facts about new aps that may be able to help. Hoping that after reading this article people will become more mindful of what they are doing while driving.

Submission + - German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function (spiegel.de)

dryriver writes: Translated from Der Spiegel: Hamburg Data-Protection Specialist Johannes Caspar warns against using iPhone 5S's new Fingerprint ID function. "The biometric features of your body, like your fingerprints, cannot be erased or deleted. They stay with you until the end of your life and stay constant — they cannot be changed. One should thus avoid using biometric ID technologies for non-vital or casual everyday uses like turning on a smartphone. This is especially true if a biometric ID, like your fingerprint, is stored in a data file on the electronic device you are using." Caspar finds Apple's argument that "your fingerprint is only stored on the iPhone, never transmitted over the network" weak and misleading. "The average iPhone user is not capable of checking, on a technical level, what happens to his or her fingerprint once it is on the iPhone. He or she cannot tell with any certainty or ease what kind of private data applications downloaded onto the iPhone can or cannot access. The recent disclosure of spying programs like Prism makes it riskier than ever before to share important personal data with electronic devices." Caspar adds: "As a matter of principle, one should never hand over any biometric data when it isn't strictly needed. Handing over a non-changeable biometric feature like a fingerprint for no better reason than that it provides 'some convenience' in everyday use, is ill advised and foolish. One must always be extremely cautious where and for what reasons one hands over biometric features."

Comment Re:"No, I don’t have a quick answer." (Score 1) 617

You're correct. The old business model the recording industry used for decades is already dead; it's just still twitching. It'll be gone by the wayside in another 10 years. Talentless so called "artists" who rely on Autotune and studio wizardry will not survive. Instead the ones with real ability will, and their main revenue will be from live performances.

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