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Ubuntu

Submission + - Netflix Desktop Application for Gnu-Linux. (iheartubuntu.com)

tetrahedrassface writes: An app for Netflix-Desktop that is much cleaner and easier to install was released today. It is built for Ubuntu, but per the comments some .RPM builds are being worked on. The app runs well, looks native, and plays Netflix video nicely. Trust me, after building WINE via git 5 times to get the manual method method of Netflix running on LInux, the app is a godsend. Hop over and check it out. Hopefully it's the start of a great thing for us Linux users.
Power

Submission + - My Energy Company Won't Net Meter (Version 2). (vec.org)

tetrahedrassface writes: My energy company is a public electric cooperative servicing several counties in Tennessee. For the past few years they have been participating in TVA's Green Power initiative where a person applies for a solar installation, TVA approves it, and then TVA pays .12 cents/kWh for the solar energy produced at your home. During this time, I have been busy insulating and switching over 70 bulbs to LED's and generally lowering household usage in order to install a solar system. Last week I called Volunteer Electric to inquire about the application process and to inform them that we would soon be purchasing at least a 10KW grid tie system. The lady in charge of the VEC's solar department told me they would likely not be signing back up with TVA's Green Power Switch program, and that they did not have to provide net metering. Today I called again after ordering my inverter, and she again told me that the CEO of Volunteer Energy had two major issues with solar:



The first was safety.

The second was not making money on solar power fed back into the grid. She urged my to write a letter to the CEO stating my concern and basically begging him for leniency in his soon to be rendered decision on whether to continue with TVA's program. She also said they were not required to install net metering even though the Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that:'(11) NET METERING.—Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.' She told me the utility was only required to pay me .02/kWh if they don't continue with the TVA program. This seems unfair. Since all grid tie inverters shut down when the POCO isn't transmitting on the line what safety issues could they be worried about, and does the Energy Policy Act of 2005 give me a fighting chance of having fair net metering even if my public utility doesn't want to do it?

Submission + - My Power Cooperative Doesn't Offer Net Metering. (vec.org) 2

tetrahedrassface writes: I'm a resident of rural Tennessee and love it. However despite the loow electricity rates, I'm wanting to install a 10KW grid tie solar system. Last week I spoke with the lady in charge of VEC's solar program that's in partnership with TVA's Green Switch program. The lady said that Volunteer Energy would likely not be renewing the contract with TVA for solar energy production and they were not required to do net metering. To be fare a call to TVA was then made by me and they were quite surprised thqat VEC would not be renewing their solar initiative. Today a call to Volunteer Energy again revealed that their CEO is holding out on renewing the contract with TVA, and that my request for net metering doesn't have to be honored. According to the Energy Law of 2005 every public electric company has to comply with a written request for net metering. Is my electric company willfully skirting the law in order to not support solar? How can I best broach the topic and the Federal mandate that all public electricity providers allow for net metering?

Submission + - Hacking Urban Noise

b1tbkt writes: I live at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in our City (pop. 350k). Although I've replaced all windows, insulated, and caulked every square inch of the place, the fire trucks and cars with obnoxious stereos still regularly intrude on my home office. Most of the noise comes in through the windows. I'm considering mounting an oblong parabolic reflector in the ceiling above the windows with a steady feed of white or brownian noise directed into it (eg., via small speaker placed within the reflector) to create a 'wall' of sound that would act as a buffer to the outside world. Active noise cancellation would be nice, too, but that's probably more than I want to take on. I don't see any products on the market for this sort of thing. Does anyone have any experiences to share with similar homebrew noise remediation efforts?
Privacy

Submission + - Calif. Employers Can't Ask For Your Facebook Password (washingtonpost.com)

J053 writes: "California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a pair of privacy bills making it illegal for employers and colleges to demand access to social media accounts.

Brown announced on Thursday that he signed AB1844 by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, a Democrat from San Jose. The bill prohibits employers from demanding user names and passwords from employees and job applicants.

A companion bill applies to colleges and universities."

NASA

Submission + - NASA Orion Splashdown Safety Tests Completed (nasa.gov)

DevotedSkeptic writes: "The 18,000-pound test article that mimics the size and weight of NASA's Orion spacecraft crew module recently completed a final series of water impact tests in the Hydro Impact Basin at the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

The campaign of swing and vertical drops simulated various water landing scenarios to account for different velocities, parachute deployments, entry angles, wave heights and wind conditions the spacecraft may encounter when landing in the Pacific Ocean. The next round of water impact testing is scheduled to begin in late 2013 using a full-sized model that was built to validate the flight vehicle's production processes and tools.

Orion will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before and be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed. It will fly its first flight test, designated Exploration Flight Test 1, in 2014. The spacecraft will travel more than 3,600 miles into space — 15 times farther from Earth than the International Space Station — and reach speeds of more than 20,000 mph before returning to Earth. This unmanned flight test will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Several Orion systems, including the heat shield and parachutes at speeds generated during a return from deep space, will be tested.

In 2017, Orion will be launched by NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), a heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS will enable new missions of exploration and expand human presence in the solar system."

Government

Submission + - Electronic Surveillance by US Law Enforcement Agencies Rising Steeply (paritynews.com)

hypnosec writes: According to data obtained by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), surveillance of emails and other forms of Internet communications without warrants has increased substantially over the last two years. Documents, obtained by ACLU after months of litigation, reveal that there has been a whopping 361 per cent increase in “pen register” and “trap-and-trace” orders between 2009 and 2011. ACLU has appealed to US congress to bring in more judicial oversight of pen register and trap-and-trace orders as agencies don’t require a warrant to obtain such orders.
Mars

Submission + - Curiosity Rover Finds "Ancient Streambed" Proving Mars Once Had Water (twitter.com) 3

eldavojohn writes: As NPR reports, NASA's Curiosity Rover has tweeted pictures of proof of water on Mars. Indications arose earlier this year but researchers are now calling this proof of a stream ankle to hip deep running at about three feet per second judging by the pictures. The shapes prove these rocks were weathered as they were transported by something and the sizes tell you that that something couldn't be wind.
Security

Submission + - Penetration Testing for the Masses 2

compumike writes: Every week we read about companies being hacked through insecure websites. Big companies have in-house security teams, but a new browser-based website penetration testing tool can scan, attack, and detect the biggest threats, such as SQL injection, XSS, and other vulnerabilities, finding holes in more than 90% of websites scanned — even in frameworks like Django and Rails. Can expensive security consultants be replaced by an army of machines providing website security for the masses?

Submission + - Wind energy beat iPod in U.S. job creation (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: Electronics manufacturing jobs are mostly overseas, which helps to keep one million workers at China's Foxconn plants busy. In contrast, the majority of wind energy jobs are in the U.S., say researchers in a study by the Personal Computing Industry Center (PCIC), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Center. The PCIC researchers applied a methodology similar to what they used in an earlier study to measure the job impact of the iPod. This working paper by PCIC found that the wind industry creates a larger share of total employment in the U.S. than the iPod did in 2006, 74% versus 34%. But as many as half of the wind energy jobs may disappear if a tax credit is allowed to expire at year-end, say the PCIC paper and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The PCIC paper estimates that wind energy has created as many as 27,000 direct jobs in the U.S., and 9,250 jobs overseas. AWEA estimates that the industry has provided 75,000 jobs in the U.S. The tax credit runs for 10 years, and provides 2.2 cents credit for every kWh produced. In a report this year, the National Science Foundation reported that high-tech manufacturing employment has declined by 28% since 2000, or about 687,000 jobs.
Crime

Submission + - Breaking, Entering, and Installing Linux In A Congressmans Office. 1

tetrahedrassface writes: A person, or persons broke windows out of Rep. Michael Grimm's New Dorp headquarters a few days ago, gaining entry to the office of the representative What they did then is a little odd, They installed Linux on his computers, but instead of a dual boot they wiped the drives. '"All of my polling data, all of the data from my IDs of voters, and a bunch of other campaign information. But fortunately we had everything backed up from literally hours before, so we don't lose anything because we have backups,' Grimm said. The representative is calling the action a 'crime against the government', FBI is investigating.

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