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Submission + - Scottish Academic: Mining the Moon for Helium 3 is Evil (yahoo.com)

MarkWhittington writes: Tony Milligan is a teaching fellow of philosophy at the University of Aberdeen and is apparently concerned about helium 3 mining on the moon. In a recent paper he suggested that it should not be allowed for a number of reasons which include environmental objections, his belief that the moon is a cultural artifact, and that too much access to energy would be bad for the human race. The objections, on close examination, seem absurd.

Submission + - XPrize Pulls Plug on $10 Million Genomics Competition (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: The XPrize Foundation has scrapped its high-profile $10 million genomics challenge set for next month after attracting only two competitors to the sequencing contest.

The Archon Genomics XPRIZE began with much fanfare 7 years ago with the aim of boosting medical genomics by offering a $10 million award to the first team to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days for no more than $10,000 each. After complaints about the tight deadline and unclear judging criteria, the foundation revised the rules in October 2011: The objective was to sequence the genomes of 100 centenarians with high accuracy and 98% completeness within 30 days for $1000 or less. Interest was tepid, however, and only two of the eight contenders in the original contest registered by the 31 May deadline—the company Ion Torrent, and George Church’s lab at Harvard University.

Submission + - Old electronics don't die, they pile up (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: The electronic waste industry is booming and not necessarily in a good way. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the US federal government discards some 10,000 computers per week and Pike Research says the number of electronic devices at end-of-life will double from 2010 to 2025. It is estimated that as much as 60 million tons of e-waste could end up as landfill. There are many efforts to stem the tide of course — the European Commission recently said that by 2015 75% of e-waste must be recovered and 65% of it recycled (after 2020, 85% must be recycled). Here we take a look at where old electronics really go to die most of the time.

Submission + - How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb? 1

barlevg writes: It was a stunning figure: $60 trillion.

Such could be the cost, according to a recent commentary in Nature, of "the release of methane from thawing permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea, off northern Russiaa figure comparable to the size of the world economy in 2012." More specifically, the paper described a scenario in which rapid Arctic warming and sea ice retreat lead to a pulse of undersea methane being released into the atmosphere. How much methane? The paper modeled a release of 50 gigatons of this hard-hitting greenhouse gas (a gigaton is equal to a billion metric tons) between 2015 and 2025. This, in turn, would trigger still more warming and gargantuan damage and adaptation costs.

According to the Nature commentary, that methane "is likely to be emitted as the seabed warms, either steadily over 50 years or suddenly." Such are the scientific assumptions behind the paper's economic analysis. But are those assumptions realistic—and could that much methane really be released suddenly from the Arctic?

Submission + - Stop fixing all security vulnerabilities. (blog.risk.io)

PMcGovern writes: At BSidesLV in Las Vegas, Ed Bellis and Data Scientist Michael Roytman gave a talk explaining how security vulnerability statistics should be done. " Don't fix all security issues. Fix the security issues that matter, based on statistical relevance." They looked at 23,000,000 live vulnerabilities across 1,000,000 real assets, which belonged to 9,500 clients to explain their thesis.

Submission + - Hacking Group Linked to Chinese Army Caught Attacking Dummy Water Plant (technologyreview.com) 4

holy_calamity writes: MIT Technology Review reports that APT1, the China-based hacking group said to steal data from U.S. companies, has been caught taking over a decoy water plant control system. The honeypot mimicked the remote access control panels and physical control system of a U.S. municipal water plant. The decoy was one of 12 set up in 8 countries around the world, which together attracted more than 70 attacks, 10 of which completely compromised the control system. China and Russia were the leading sources of the attacks. The researcher behind the study says his results provide the first clear evidence that people actively seek to exploit the many security problems of industrial systems.

Submission + - Could burnt sugar reduce muscular dystrophy wasting? (washington.edu) 1

vinces99 writes: A trace substance in caramelized sugar, when purified and given in appropriate doses, improves muscle regeneration in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, according to new research. The University of Washington scientists behind the research said that the mice in their study, like boys with the gender-linked inherited disorder, are missing the gene that produces dystrophin, a muscle-repair protein. Neither the mice nor the affected boys can replace enough of their routinely lost muscle cells. In people, muscle weakness begins when the boys are toddlers and progresses until, as teens, they can no longer walk unaided. During early adulthood, their heart and respiratory muscles weaken. Even with ventilators to assist breathing, death usually ensues before age 30. No cure or satisfactory treatment is available. Prednisone drugs relieve some symptoms, but at the cost of severe side effects.

Submission + - Google blocked OpenCL on Android 4.3 (streamcomputing.eu)

Vincent77 writes: Thanks to the work of ARM in the beginning of this year, we could use OpenCL on the Nexus 4 and 10 and starting to port the various libraries to Android, initiating the same revolution of accelerated software on smartphones and tablets as we had on the desktop. Google was not happy with the competition for their RenderScript Compute and abruptly blocked access to the OpenCL-driver in Android 4.3. Noteworthy is that Google did not have the choice to simply remove the driver itself, as ARM implemented the RenderScript-compiler on top of OpenCL.

Submission + - Texas & Florida vie for private lunar company Golden Spike to move from Col (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: The Denver Post reported on July 12, 2013 that Texas and Florida, already embroiled in a fight over which state will be the venue for SpaceX’s commercial space port, are now vying to be the site of the headquarters of a company that, while smaller, has much loftier ambitions

Golden Spike, the Boulder, Colorado based company that proposes to start commercial space flights to the moon with paying customers, is being courted by Texas and Florida to leave Colorado and to relocate its headquarters in either state.

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