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Comment Re:cool (Score 1) 90

At current, the only license required is from the FCC, an amateur radio technician's license for the 2W transmitter.

However, due to media hype over "drones," there's a lot of legislation in process that would ban anybody flying any RC aircraft that is capable of capturing any kind of images.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (http://www.modelaircraft.org) is working strenuously with state and federal government organizations to bring some reason into the situation.

Submission + - The Solar Industry Is Finally Making More Power Than It Uses (vice.com)

derekmead writes: Last year was by all accounts a very good year for solar power, with the US market growing 76 percentaccording to the latest stats from the Solar Energy Industries Association, and global capacity doubling since 2010. Theres now roughly 282 gigawatts of solar power, in both its photovoltaic and concentrating forms, installed around the world. Thats a lot of theoretically carbon-free electricity.

But according to new research from Stanford University, published in Environmental Science & Technology, only now is the amount of energy produced by solar power around the world probably surpassing the energy required to make more solar power modules. Thats a big threshold to cross. Just five years ago, the solar power industry consumed 75 percent more energy than it produced.

Heres an even better thing: At the rate installations are going, the energy and carbon debt incurred in making all the solar photovoltaics made to date could be paid off as soon as 2015, and certainly by 2020.

Submission + - CRAPCHA: Completely Ridiculous And Phony Captcha that Hassles for Amusement (crapcha.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: CAPTCHAs play a valuable role, keeping spambots out by verifying that you’re a human. On top of this, reCAPTCHA serves a greater good, having you digitize old books in the process. Meet CRAPCHA. CRAPCHA doesn’t serve a dual purpose. It barely serves a single purpose. And it isn’t to keep spammers out. What CRAPCHA does is annoy users by presenting a CAPTCHA with indecipherable text. Nothing new so far? Well, CRAPCHA does this only to provide amusement for all.

Comment Re:Not a replacement yet (Score 1) 340

Moving energy around through ships and pipelines would be akin to the internet running through a "vast network of little tubes." 1. The existing electrical grid has sufficient capacity to power both houses and vehicles for the foreseeable future. As the inevitable transfer from fossil fuels to electricity happens, adding more capacity is well within the capability of existing technology. 2. Edison and Tesla argued strenuously over the advantages and disadvantages of AC vs DC for power transmission. Edison opted for DC, but lost handily because AC can be stepped up and down with transformers and is much easier to handle than DC. Resistance loss happens regardless of DC vs AC. Both are subject to Ohm's law, E=IR. Voltage equals Current times Resistance, so the voltage drop across any conductor is equal to the current traveling through it times its resistance. Energy loss in conductors is far less than the energy required to transport a similar amount using trucks, pipelines, or ships, and even that is improving as we develop better and better conductors, and eventually, superconductors which will have no loss at all.

Comment Re:Not a replacement yet (Score 3, Informative) 340

Moving energy around in trucks is wasteful and slow compared to moving it through the already established electrical grid. The only reasons we stay with liquid fuels are that battery and charging technology doesn't yet supply the needed mileage range and quick recharge rate. And to keep oil companies and gas stations in business.
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."
Technology

Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."
Security

Submission + - NBC Pages Pwned (theregister.co.uk)

DrHeasley writes: NBC insists "no user info compromised," however they're only talking about user info on their own servers. NBC News and related pages redirected users to sites that delivered Redkit and Citadel on Feb 21.
References: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/nbc-com-hacked-say-security-researchers-1C8483074, http://blog.fox-it.com/2013/02/21/writeup-on-nbc-com-distributing-citadel-malware, http://www.welivesecurity.com/2013/02/21/nbc-com-infected-with-malware-for-more-than-24-hours

News

Submission + - The House and Senate both pass the fiscal cliff deal (npr.org)

skade88 writes: From the article:
  "Update at 11:03 p.m. ET: House Passes Measure

The House of Representatives voted 257-167 late Tuesday to pass a Senate-approved compromise deal that stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans, and delays massive spending cuts for two months.

The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law."

Piracy

Submission + - Murdoch's Pirates (yahoo.com)

Presto Vivace writes: "A Murdoch page-turner

Murdoch's Pirates is an almost unbelievable and meticulously detailed account of how one of the world's biggest media groups created its own security force and what happened when an arm of that force went rogue. This is the definitive story about hacking, about the top hackers, how they differ, how they do what they do and what motivates them and how corporations either employ or attempt to thwart the brightest and the best of these technical geniuses — or pirates, depending on their chosen career path.

"

Comment Avoid the ripoffs, buy them directly (Score 2) 549

from the Chinese manufacturers. Prices start at around ten bux. For 825 listings of various 'in ear' aring aids, run a search at aliexpress.com. I would definitely try a couple of these devices before I'd shell out thousands of bux to Philips or Siemens for a device that was probably made in China anyway.
Math

Submission + - The Maths-formula that lead to the financial crash (bbc.co.uk) 1

jools33 writes: "This is a fascinating story from the bbc of how a mathematical formula revolutionised the world of finance — which ultimately could have been responsible for its downfall. The Black-Scholes mathematical model, introduced in the 70s, opened up the world of options / futures / derivatives trading in a way that nothing before or since has accomplished, its phenominal success and widespread adoption lead to the discoverer winning a nobel prize in economics and yet it could ultimately have been responsible for the financial crisis of the past few years. Its interesting to ponder how algorithms and formulas that we work on today could fundamentally influence humanity's future."

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