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Submission + - Renewable energy now Australia's cheapest power option (econews.com.au)

Socguy writes: With the cost of gas rising and the cost of storage falling, true cost renewables (renewables + storage) have become the cheapest option in Austrailia.

Carbon capture technology will not be ready for prime time till perhaps as late as 2030 and by then there may be no appetite to build new base-load generating stations as they are too inflexible to compete in the modern electrical infrastructure.

Submission + - Scientists create artificial retina implant (sciencealert.com)

Baron_Yam writes: Some conditions causing vision loss are due to the retina itself failing while the retinal nerves remain intact. For such cases, scientists at the Italian Institute of Technology have developed an artificial retina that directly generates electrical impulses from light. In trials with rats the implant appears to restore vision at light levels of 4-5 lux or greater. While that's not as good as a healthy human eye, it is obviously far superior to being blind.

Human trials begin later this year and preliminary results are expected in 2018.

Submission + - SPAM: Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better Than Your New One

schwit1 writes: The receiver engineers have to devote the lion’s share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good.
Link to Original Source
Privacy

Senate Committee Votes To Fingerprint Lenders 146

tjstork recommends a blog post up at Openmarket.org on the passage by a Senate committee of a fingerprinting provision in a foreclosure assistance bill. The provision would require thousands of people connected with the mortgage industry, even tangentially — possibly including part-time and seasonal real estate agents — to send fingerprints to the feds for storage in a database. No explanation is in evidence as to how this would help the problem of loan fraud. The measure passed the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan majority of 19 to 2. "The measure the committee passed states that 'an individual may not engage in the business of a loan originator without first... obtaining a unique identifier.' To obtain this 'identifier,' an individual is required to 'furnish to the newly created Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry 'information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission' to the FBI and other government agencies."
Wireless Networking

Group Wants Wi-Fi Banned, Citing Allergy 525

54mc writes "A small group in Santa Fe, New Mexico is claiming that the city is discriminating against them by having wireless networks in public buildings. How are these buildings discriminatory? Simple. These people are allergic to Wi-Fi. And they're suing the city." I've been trying to sue people for the streetlights that I'm allergic to as well.
Power

Successful Cold Fusion Experiment? 387

An anonymous reader writes "The italian economic journal 'Il sole 24 ore' published an article about a successful cold fusion experiment performed by Yoshiaki Arata in Japan. They seems to have pumped high pressure deutherium gas in a nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon oxide. The experiments generates a considerable amount of energy and they found the presence of Helium-4 in the matrix (as sign of the fusion). I was not able to find other articles about this but the journal is very authoritative in Italy. Google translations are also available."
Transportation

Wearable Motorcycle Design 234

A motorcycle design student recently came up with a wearable motorcycle design that, while cool, is unlikely to see public adoption. The bike would be capable of doing 0 to 60 is just 3 seconds with a top speed of 75 miles-per-hour and would theoretically be controlled by 36 pneumatic muscles and 2 linear actuators. I would imagine the results of a crash would be much like being strapped to the hood of your car during a collision — bonus points for form, however.

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