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Power

Small Nuclear Power Plants To Dot the Arctic Circle 255

Vincent West writes with news of a Russian project currently underway to populate the Arctic Circle with 70-megawatt, floating nuclear power plants. Russia has been planning these nuclear plants for quite some time, with construction beginning on the prototype in 2007. It's due to be finished next year, and an agreement was reached in February to build four more. According to the Guardian: "The 70-megawatt plants, each of which would consist of two reactors on board giant steel platforms, would provide power to Gazprom, the oil firm which is also Russia's biggest company. It would allow Gazprom to power drills needed to exploit some of the remotest oil and gas fields in the world in the Barents and Kara seas. The self-propelled vessels would store their own waste and fuel and would need to be serviced only once every 12 to 14 years."
Privacy

EU Data-Retention Laws Stricter Than Many People Realized 263

An anonymous reader writes with a snippet from the Telegraph: "A European Union directive, which Britain was instrumental in devising, comes into force which will require all internet service providers to retain information on email traffic, visits to web sites and telephone calls made over the internet, for 12 months."
Space

NASA Contest To Name ISS Module 197

Solarch writes "NASA is holding a contest to name ISS Node 3. Being a Browncoat myself, I should hope that the choice of names would be obvious. As of the 7:30 PM EST on 2/25, the name Serenity has over 80% of the vote. From the site: 'Node 3 will connect to the port side of the Unity Node and will provide room for many of the station's life support systems, in the form of eight refrigerator-sized racks. After Node 3 is installed, the station's crew will transfer over many of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) currently stored in various places around the station.'"
Networking

OpenDNS To Block and Monitor Conficker Worm 175

Linker3000 writes "According to The Register, OpenDNS plans to introduce an new service that will prevent PCs infected with the Conficker (aka Downadup) malware from contacting its control servers, and will also make it easy for admins to know if even a single machine under their control has been infected by Conficker: 'Starting Monday, any networks with PCs that try to connect to the Conficker addresses will be flagged on an admin's private statistics page. The service is available for free to both businesses and home users.' With the amount of trouble this worm has caused, perhaps this is a good time to take a look at OpenDNS if you haven't done so already."
Yahoo!

Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang To Step Down 199

JagsLive was one of several readers to point out Jerry Yang's departure as Yahoo CEO. He's not leaving the company; he will return to his former role as Chief Yahoo, whatever that entails. Yang has been under fire in recent months from investors for his handling of Microsoft's recent acquisition attempt."Yahoo, under fierce financial pressure, has begun a search to replace company co-founder Jerry Yang as chief executive, the company said Monday. 'Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO who can take the company to the next level,' Chairman Roy Bostock said in a statement."
Image

Identifying People By Odor As Effective As Fingerprinting Screenshot-sm 157

A study has found that everybody has a unique body odor, like their fingerprints, that could be used as an unique identifier. The study showed that a persons unique odor stayed the same even if they varied their diet with strong smelling foods such as garlic and spices. "These findings indicate that biologically-based odorprints, like fingerprints, could be a reliable way to identify individuals," said Monell chemist Jae Kwak. I would have thought that hundreds of years of dogs tracking people would have proved this, but it's nice to know that science has figured it out officially now.
The Internet

Pakistan YouTube Block Breaks the World 343

Allen54 noted a followup to yesterday's story about Pakistan's decision to block YouTube. He notes that "The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan's traffic, PCCW, has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today. Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP's must block access to YouTube because it was a source of blasphemous content. YouTube has announced more granular routes so that at least in the US they supercede the routes announced by PieNet. The rest of the world is still struggling."
Robotics

South Korea to Build Robot Theme Parks 125

coondoggie writes "South Korea officials today said they hope to build two robot theme parks for $1.6 billion by 2013. The parks will feature a number of attractions that let visitors interact with robots and test new products. "The two cities will be developed as meccas for the country's robot industry, while having amusement park areas, exhibition halls and stadiums where robots can compete in various events," the ministry said. The theme parks are not a big surprise because South Korea loves its robots. Earlier this year the government of South Korea said it was drawing up a code of ethics to prevent human abuse of robots — and vice versa."
Power

Aluminum Alloy Releases Hydrogen From Water 393

mdsolar writes "PhysOrg is reporting on a method of releasing hydrogen from water by oxidizing aluminum in an alloy with gallium. In the presence of water the aluminum oxidizes, leaving aluminum oxide, gallium, and hydrogen gas. The Purdue scientists who discovered the effect think this could help to overcome difficulties with hydrogen storage. Quoting: 'On its own, aluminum will not react with water because it forms a protective skin [of aluminum oxide] when exposed to oxygen. Adding gallium keeps the film from forming, allowing the aluminum to react with oxygen in the water.'"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Site incorporates OSS code bounties in bug tracker

Maur writes: BountySource is a hosted project management site for OSS, but unlike SourceForge or Google Code, BountySource incorporates code bounties directly into the bug/feature tracker. Other sites (like Bounty County) have tried to track bounties but have failed because they merely link to the bounty details and do not hold the money in escrow. BountySource currently allows bounties to be placed using Paypal and has a built-in dispute settlement system. The site shows signs of beta software, but it's under active development and according to their roadmap they have some cool features in the works. Some major projects, such as ZSNES, have already switched to it.
Supercomputing

Submission + - Folding@home killing the planet

Drakaal writes: "Folding@Home is Killing the planet

Folding@Home costs nearly $70million, uses 584gigawatt hours of power, and produces 730 kilotons of Carbon dioxide. Is fighting mad cow worth it? This article weighs the cost benefit of donating electricity and CPU Cycles, VS. the Real Cost of the project."
Software

Submission + - Keep your avatars happy or else

coondoggie writes: "Smile and the world smiles with you? Seems so, even in cyberspace. Ohio State University research released today says the simulated emotions of digital characters on Web sites have a real impact on potential customers looking at them. The study, appearing in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, found that digital characters might be better merchants if they act consistently happy, even if the products they're selling — such as novels or movies — are heart-wrenchingly sad. Still...If your avatar is going down to protest Second Life headquarters, you might want to look a little mean. http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1265 2"
Programming

Submission + - Inside the kernel of a Windows Alternative

holden writes: "NewsForge is talking about a recent talk ReactOS lead kernel developer, Alex Ionescu, gave about the internals of ReactOS. In his talk, Ionescu explains the similarities between ReactOS and Windows. and how ReactOS is close to being API compatible with Windows Server 2003. The talk looks at a lot of the technical details of how the ReactOS team implements the Windows NT kernel functionality, along with some of the problems they've faced from graphics drivers which use hard-coded values and work-arounds they are considering."
Robotics

Submission + - VIPeR: Israel's Killer Robot

Guy Yernisberg writes: Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems has just completeted the final model of its new VIPeR autonomous defense robot. It's armed with an Uzi submachine gun and can throw grenades. It has an onboard camera for aiming and identifying possible targets. The problem is, once armed, it shoots at everything it can see. It's supposedly intended for use against Palestinian and Lebanese guerilla fighters — but they live amongst the civilians and not in "combat zones" as the IDF claims. Releasing a killing machine in the middle of a city might not be such a good idea after all.

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