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Once-Darling Ethanol Losing Friends In High Places 586

theodp writes "It's now conceivable, says BusinessWeek's Ed Wallace, that the myth of ethanol as the salvation for America's energy problem is coming to an end. Curiously, the alternative fuel may be done in by an unlikely collection of foes. Fervidly pro-ethanol in the last decade of his political career, former VP Al Gore reversed course in late November and apologized for supporting ethanol, which apparently was more about ingratiating himself to farmers. A week later, Energy Secretary Steven Chu piled on, saying: 'The future of transportation fuels shouldn't involve ethanol.' And in December, a group of small-engine manufacturers, automakers, and boat manufacturers filed suit in the US Court of Appeals to vacate the EPA's October ruling that using a 15% blend of ethanol in fuel supplies would not harm 2007 and newer vehicles. Despite all of this, the newly-elected Congress has extended the 45 cent-per-gallon ethanol blending tax credit that was due to expire, a move that is expected to reduce revenue by $6.25 billion in 2011. 'The ethanol insanity,' longtime-critic Wallace laments, 'will continue until so many cars and motors are damaged by this fuel additive that the public outcry can no longer be ignored.'"

Comment Re:Free speech? (Score 1) 467

Where is your evidence that the US Government pressured Bank of America to do anything?!

Are you kidding me? Seriously? The USG isn't even going to bring charges against Assange unless there is evidence of coercion and not simply an anonymous leak which is 100% protected free speech in this country.
The Media

WikiLeaks Will Unveil Major Bank Scandal 1018

Atmanman writes "When WikiLeaks announced it was releasing 251,287 US diplomatic cables, we all thought we knew what was meant by its earlier ominous words that, 'The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.' It now appears the organization is sitting on a treasure trove of information so big that it has stopped taking submissions. Among data to be released are tens of thousands of documents from a major US banking firm and material from pharmaceutical companies, finance firms and energy companies."

Submission + - Sophos releases chart of top malware found on Macs (

An anonymous reader writes: Sophos, who recently launched a free anti-virus product for Mac home users, have released a chart showing the top threats detected on Apple computers.

The chart, said to be based upon some 50,000 reports of malware on Macs in the last two weeks, is dominated by threats that are Windows-specific, but some threats (such as Java attacks) are platform-independent and could affect both Mac and Windows computers. Two of the top 20 malware listed are specific Mac OS X Trojan horses (OSX/Jahlav and DNS Changer) which are typically planted by cyber criminals on BitTorrent sites, or planted on websites as sexy downloads or plugins to view videos.

Interestingly, the notorious Conficker worm appears in 19th position — Sophos speculates that as the Conficker worm is unable to infect Macs, the infections must be being found when Windows users share USB sticks with Mac colleagues.

"That's a good opportunity for Mac users to feel good about themselves — even if they couldn't have been infected by Conficker they can feel a bit smug that their Mac anti-virus was able to show up an insecure Windows user. :)", says a Sophos spokesman.


Submission + - Stuxnet virus now biggest threat to industry (

digitaldc writes: A malicious computer attack that appears to target Iran's nuclear plants can be modified to wreak havoc on industrial control systems around the world, and represents the most dire cyberthreat known to industry, government officials and experts said Wednesday.

They warned that industries are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the so-called Stuxnet worm as they merge networks and computer systems to increase efficiency. The growing danger, said lawmakers, makes it imperative that Congress move on legislation that would expand government controls and set requirements to make systems safer.

The complex code is not only able to infiltrate and take over systems that control manufacturing and other critical operations, but it has even more sophisticated abilities to silently steal sensitive intellectual property data, experts said.


Submission + - China telecom denies hijacking Internet traffic (

digitaldc writes: China's largest fixed-line phone carrier denied it hijacked worldwide Internet traffic in April following a U.S. government report that said the company had redirected network routes through Chinese servers.

China Telecom rejected the claims in an e-mail statement, but offered no further comment.

A report to Congress published Wednesday claims that for 18 minutes on April 8, China Telecom rerouted 15% of the Internet's traffic through Chinese servers. The traffic affected U.S. government and military Web sites, said the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in the report.

Computer security researchers cannot say if the act was intentional, the report said. But such hijacking of Internet traffic could enable the surveillance of specific users or sites, or it could have been used to conceal one targeted cyberattack, the report adds.

Submission + - An astronaut's view of space station tech (

An anonymous reader writes: Here's a chat with a Nasa astronaut about how they fix system outages on board the International Space Station, what kind of computing tech they use on board and how he would like to see the iPad used on the ISS.

Comment um. why? (Score 1) 897

I've deliberately omitted .NET -- I have no desire to do the Microsoft languages

To each his own, but may I ask what drove that decision? Love or hate Microsoft, but C# is pretty much the pinnacle of C-style programming languages.

Input Devices

Kinect Hacked, Adafruit Bounty Won 262

scharkalvin writes "Adafruit has announced a winner to their bounty for an open source driver for the MS Kinect. From the article: 'We have verified that it works and have a screenshot from another member in the hacking community (thanks qdot!) who was also able to use the code. Congrats to Hector! He's running all this on a Linux laptop (his code works with OpenGL) and doesn't even have an Xbox!'" We talked about Adafruit's bounty yesterday.

Looking To Better Engines Instead of Electric Vehicles 570

hlovy writes "Don Runkle thinks it's engines, not batteries, that will make automobiles cleaner and more efficient. 'We unabashedly say that we have the best solution,' says Runkle, the CEO of Allen Park, MI-based engine developer EcoMotors International. The startup, which brought in $23 million in Series B financing this summer from Menlo Park, CA-based Khosla Ventures and Seattle billionaire Bill Gates, has designed an opposing piston, opposing cylinder engine that uses fewer parts than traditional motors do and generates more power from each stroke of the engine, CEO Runkle says. He says the 'opoc' engine is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the motors already out there, and a more viable option than switching automobile fleets over to electrical power."

Comment Re:Can anyone at MS write in English? (Score 1) 345

It's a boring sentence trapped in a boring, verbose memo

He's being intentionally vague - not naming products or companies.

If I had to guess, he's probably referring to the fact of how quickly both Linux and OSX matured on the Intel platform while Microsoft moved so slowly it might as well have been standing still.

In the mid-nineties Microsoft wanted to deliver big on the Internet - do you think they did?


Firefox 4's JavaScript Now Faster Than Chrome's 352

An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 4's JavaScript engine is now faster than V8 (used in Chrome) and Nitro (used in Safari) in the SunSpider benchmark on x86. On Mozilla's test system Nitro completes the benchmark in 369.7 milliseconds, V8 in 356.5 milliseconds, and Firefox 4's TraceMonkey and JaegerMonkey combination in 350.3 milliseconds. Conceivably Tech has a brief rundown of some benchmark figures from their test system obtained with the latest JS preview build of Firefox 4: 'Our AMD Phenom X6-based Dell XPS 7100 PC completed the Sunspider test with the latest Firefox JS (4.0 b8-pre) build in 478.6 ms this morning, while Chrome 8.0.560.0 clocked in at 589.8 ms.' On x86-64 Nitro still has the lead over V8 and TraceMonkey+JaegerMonkey in the SunSpider benchmark."

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