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Power

Could the US Phase Out Nuclear Power? 657

mdsolar writes "In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, [German Chancellor] Merkel announced that her country would close all of its 17 existing reactors by 2022. Other nations, including Japan, Italy, and Switzerland, have announced plans to pare back nuclear power, but none have gone as far as Germany, the world's fourth-largest economy. Merkel vows to replace nuclear power with alternatives that do not increase greenhouse gases or shackle the economic growth. Could the US do the same? An increasing number of reports suggest it is not beyond the realm of possibility, and Germany could provide a road map."

Comment Re:What about people with inherent susceptibility? (Score 5, Interesting) 354

As far as I understand the mechanisms though, the reason cancer develops over time is that a certain number of mutations have to occur (5-7) for the cells to show hyperplasia, mutator phenotype etc. and eventually metastasize. But in people who lack one or more DNA repair mechanisms, cancer will arise sooner, since the risk (and thus rate) of the mutation is greater (they are not supposed to ever get an X-ray, e.g., or develop breast cancer at a young age. People with xerodema pigmentosum is a example, and they get all sorts of skin cancers eve as children - but you might not want to google that). So I'm asking if there should not be vanguard of sorts, a group of people in which we could detect this. If they have an already identified condition, it might be possible to see that they are getting allot of cancers since cellphones became commonplace.

Comment Re:The summary is, of course, wrong. (Score 1) 354

I'm not sure that is the question studies have asked. There is difference between asking "have you ever owned a cellphone" and "how much did you use it?". If you can confirm that heavy users get more gliablastomas, you have an interesting correlation - a dose-response relationship. Its perfectly valid to look at people's past in retrospect to see if there has been an exposure that might relate to the condition.

Comment Re:Ragnarok! (Score 1) 191

As a Norwegian I found the movie Thor quite interesting (: It was sort of neat how they refurbished the old cosmology of the norse mythology with modern day elements. Apart from the annoying pronunciation of scandinavian words ("We're going to Jotunheim!" which is an actual place quite close to where I grew up) it was fun.

Those who like the movie might enjoy taking a peek at the actual mythology (:

The Almighty Buck

How Do You Prove Software Testing Saves Money? 312

cdman52 writes "I work at a small software development company. We have one app that is used by a few hundred clients and was initially developed by a few undergrads about 10 years ago. The app is collection of about 25 developers preferences and ideas. Testing wasn't an initial concern since it was created as an internal application, I guess. Anyway, the app is now large and used frequently. Part of my duties are to fix bugs users find, I'm on a team with a few other people and at least once every 2-3 months I see some bug I fixed come back, and I can only assume it's because we don't have a formal test suite. The owner doesn't want to invest time or money in getting one set up, but I'm sure that in the long run it would save time and money. Can anyone offer suggestions for how to convince the owner that setting up a test suite is in his own best interest?"
Science

The Proton Just Got Smaller 289

inflame writes "A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"
Networking

OnLive Latency Tested 204

The Digital Foundry blog has done an analysis of recently launched cloud gaming service OnLive, measuring latency across several different games. Quoting: "In a best-case scenario, we counted 10 frames delay between button and response on-screen, giving a 150ms latency once the display's contribution to the measurement was removed. Unreal Tournament III worked pretty well in sustaining that response during gameplay. However, other tests were not so consistent, with DiRT 2 weighing in at 167ms-200ms while Assassin's Creed II operated at a wide range of between 150ms-216ms. ... OnLive says that the system works within 1000 miles of its datacenters on any broadband connection and recommends 5mbps or better. We gave OnLive the best possible ISP service we could find: Verizon FiOS, offering a direct fiber optic connection to the home. Latency was also reduced still further simply due to the masses of bandwidth FiOS offers compared to bog standard ADSL: in our case, 25mbps."

Comment Re:Norwegian helicopter ambulance video (Score 0, Offtopic) 410

It's quite fast and cheap here, and we have very good coverage (: I think it comes down to governmental pushes and demanding consumers (e.g. there used to be "5 GB a month" deals, but they disappeared quickly because deals with no caps are just as cheap), but I really have no idea why we're well off. My girlfriend is from Portugal, and the offers there are really bad in comparison, despite having twice the population and a much smaller country.

Long winter = country of nerds, perhaps? ;)

Comment Norwegian helicopter ambulance video (Score 4, Informative) 410

This links leads to a page with a video of an ambulance helicopter that was coated in a fine layer of ash in Norway today. It flew during a small windows of opportunity where the air cleared to pick up a patient in Sweden. The link is in Norwegian, but the video is, obviously, visual.

The interesting part is at ~00:30 where he shows of the ash (requires Flash): http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/04/18/nyheter/innenriks/aske/vulkan/flyforbud/11335687/

Makes me think that a large passenger jet flying long routes and sucking in a whole load of air on the trip might be at risk of engine failure as they say.

Image

Professor Says UFO Studies Should Be Taught At Universities Screenshot-sm 311

New York anthropology professor Philip Haseley wants young people to get the best education possible, and part of that education, he says, should be about UFOs. Haseley thinks universities should offer classes on UFOs and other unexplained phenomena from space. "[A sighting] happens to millions of people [around the world]. It's about time we looked into this as a worthy area of study. It's important that the whole subject be brought out in the open and investigated," he said. I want to believe the truth is out there in 500 words or less.

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