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Submission + - Samsung buys Quantum Dot Company (zdnet.com)

Dthief writes: Samsung looks to focus on QLED over OLED with purchase of Boston's QD Vision and expand their current QD market which is limited to cadmium free quantum dots due to Korean regulations.

Submission + - Scientists achieve perfect efficiency for water-splitting half-reaction (phys.org)

Dthief writes: Splitting water is a two-step process, and in a new study, researchers have performed one of these steps (reduction) with 100% efficiency. The results shatter the previous record of 60% for hydrogen production with visible light, and emphasize that future research should focus on the other step (oxidation) in order to realize practical overall water splitting. The main application of splitting water into its components of oxygen and hydrogen is that the hydrogen can then be used to deliver energy to fuel cells for powering vehicles and electronic devices.

Submission + - Solar Surpassed Only by Natural Gas For New Electrical Generating Capacity (solarbuildermag.com)

mdsolar writes: "According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, water, wind) accounted for 30.03% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in the first nine months of 2013 for a total of 3,218 MW.

That is more than that provided thus far this year by coal (1,543 MW – 14.40%), oil (27 MW – 0.25%), and nuclear power (0 MW – 0.00%) combined. However, natural gas dominated the first three-quarters of 2013 with 5,854 MW of new capacity (54.62%).

Among renewable energy sources, solar led the way for the first nine months of 2013 with 146 new “units” totaling 1,935 MW followed by wind with 9 units totaling 961 MW. Biomass added 57 new units totaling 192 MW while water had 11 new units with an installed capacity of 116 MW and geothermal steam had one new unit (14 MW).

The newly installed capacity being provided by the solar units is second only to that of natural gas. The new solar capacity in 2013 is 77.36% higher than that for the same period in 2012."

Submission + - MIT maps solar potential of Cambridge, Massachusetts with record accuracy (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: MIT researchers have developed a new technique that can be used to accurately predict the annual yield of a photovoltaic solar array located anywhere on the planet, taking into account local climate, panel orientation, and obstructions from nearby buildings. As a proof of concept, the scientists have mapped out the 17,000 rooftops of Cambridge, Massachusetts and created a user-friendly web interface that residents can use to look up their homes and get an accurate projection of the cost and return on investment of placing a PV panel over their heads.

Submission + - Chemists build app that could identify cheap replacements for luxury wines (businessinsider.com)

schliz writes: Australian startup Wine Cue is combining the chemical composition of wines with customer ratings for what it hopes to be a more objective wine recommendation engine than existing systems that are based on historical transactions. The technology is likely to reach the market as a smartphone app, and could be used to identify cheap alternatives to expensive bottles.
Privacy

Submission + - Student sues FBI for planting GPS tracker (yahoo.com)

GabriellaKat writes: This story was also covered last year when he found the tracking device.
"Yasir Afifi, 20, says a mechanic doing an oil change on his car in October discovered the device stuck with magnets between his right rear wheel and exhaust. They weren't sure what it was, but Afifi had the mechanic remove it and a friend posted photos of it online to see whether anyone could identify it. Two days later, Afifi says, agents wearing bullet-proof vests pulled him over as he drove away from his apartment in San Jose, Calif., and demanded their property back."
Now he has decided to sue the FBI

Submission + - One tip enough to put name on terrorist watch list (washingtonpost.com) 1

Frosty Piss writes: As a result of the US Government’s complete failure to investigate credible warnings about "Underwear Bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from none other than Abdulmutallab’s father, senior American counterterrorism officials say they have altered their criteria so that a single-source tip can lead to a name being placed on the watch list. But civil liberties groups warn that it is now even more likely that individuals who pose no threat will be swept up in the America’s security apparatus, leading to potential violations of their privacy and making it difficult for them to travel. 'They are secret lists with no way for people to petition to get off or even to know if they're on,' said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Submission + - Visa and Mastercard suspend donations to Wikileaks (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: quoted from the BBC:
"Visa Europe has begun suspending payments to whistle-blowing website Wikileaks ahead of carrying out an investigation into the organization. It follows a similar move by rival payments processor Mastercard on Tuesday...A spokeswoman for Visa Europe said its investigation would determine the nature of Wikileaks' business, and "whether it contravenes Visa operating rules". She added that Visa Europe could not suspend payments to Wikileaks immediately, and that the process took a certain amount of time. Mastercard said in its statement that it was "in the process of working to suspend the acceptance of Mastercard cards on Wikileaks until the situation is resolved"."
So after the Citizen's United decision, it's free speech for corporations to donate however much they want to any organization, but corporations can decide when to forbid my right to freedom free speech?

Submission + - Airports begin to go private, opt-out of TSA (wdbo.com) 4

Dthief writes:

Orlando Sanford International Airport has decided to opt out from TSA screening. "All of our due diligence shows it's the way to go," said Larry Dale, the director of the Sanford Airport Authority. "You're going to get better service at a better price and more accountability and better customer service."


Biotech

Bacteria Used To Fix Cracked Concrete 177

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the UK's University of Newcastle have created a new type of bacteria that generates glue to hold together cracks in concrete structures — that means everything from concrete sidewalks to buildings that have been damaged by earthquakes. When the cells have been germinated, they burrow deep into the concrete until they reach the bottom. At this point, the concrete repair process is activated, and the cells split into three types that produce calcium carbonate crystals, act as reinforcing fibers, and produce glue which acts as a binding agent to fill concrete gaps."
Image

Debt Collectors Using Facebook To Embarrass Those Who Owe Screenshot-sm 266

Not even the tranquility of FarmVille can save you from the long arm of debt collectors. Melanie Beacham says that a collector from MarkOne Financial contacted her relatives about her past due car note via Facebook. She is filing suit alleging that the company is harassing her family. Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan says, "Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use."

Submission + - Scientists perfect new nanowire technique

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists at the University of Leeds have perfected a new technique that allows them to make molecular nanowires out of thin strips of ring-shaped molecules known as discotic liquid crystals (DLCs). The findings could be an important step in the development of next generation electronic devices, such as light-harvesting cells and low-cost biosensors that could be used to test water quality in developing countries.

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