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Comment Re:College Class Project (Score 1) 42

When it gets cheap enough, somebody please send up a bunch of VR cameras on rovers to the moon, mars, and wherever else, and have them map as many different areas in high res VR as possible, then we here on earth could all take a walk on those worlds. It would be a cool educational tool as well as entertainment. It might also be useful for planning future landings and activities.

Comment Re:Add Remote Backup (Score 1) 215

Is there simple a plug & play solution for installing a NAS/server (encrypted) at a family member's home, and using that as an offsite backup? That way two family members could keep each other offsite backup, but not be able to access the files. For a while I was hoping BTSync would serve this purpose, but as I recall it never quite had the right functionality.

It seems that someone would have created such an animal.

Submission + - EPA spills again in Colorado (washingtonexaminer.com)

schwit1 writes: The Environmental Protection is admitting to a spill from a treatment plant it set up after it dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river last year.

The EPA said Thursday night that the spill happened on Tuesday, and officials are still attempting to determine how much and what metals were contained in the sludgy discharge, according to the Associated Press.

Submission + - Obamacare exchange sign-ups fall FAR SHORT of forecasts... (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Enrollment in the insurance exchanges for President Obama’s signature health-care law is at less than half the initial forecast, pushing several major insurance companies to stop offering health plans in certain markets because of significant financial losses.

In other Obamacare news ...
Obamacare insurance market near collapse in Tennessee, state official says
one-third of U.S will have no health insurance choices
Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer and faced with $300 million in loses, has decided against expanding its participation in the Obamacare exchanges. They also announced that they are re-evaluating their entire participation in the remaining exchanges.

Obamacare rates are likely to go up from 23% to 45% in Illinois, and 17.3% in Michigan.
Humana, one of the nation’s largest heathcare companies, has decided to leave almost half of its Obamacare markets next year.
Health insurance rates on the Obamacare exchange in California will rise 13% next year.
Presbyterian Health Plan, a major insurer in the New Mexico marketplace, has announced that it will be dropping out of the Obamacare exchange next year.
Oregon’s Health CO-OP in folded July
Within three months of signing up for Obamacare more than 13%, or 1.6 million people, in 2016 have dropped coverage by not paying their premiums.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is losing money in states across the nation, forcing them to request rate increases of more than 50 to 65 percent.
Almost a hundred thousand Coloradans are about to lose their health insurance because of Obamacare.
Ohio’s Obamacare co-op announced in June that it is shutting down, making it the 13 of 23 co-ops to fail.

Submission + - Deep Politics, Dark Money and Fraud Join the Solar Party (greentechmedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Ahead of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop on June 21, Politico Pro reported that New York Rep. Yvette Clarke (D) signed her name to a letter written by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a trade group representing investor-owned utilities. The letter claims that rooftop solar deals are a threat to consumers and calls on the FTC to commit resources to greater regulatory oversight. Grist published a copy of the document here.

The letter singles out third-party-offered leases and power-purchase agreements as risks, drawing a comparison to the 2008 housing crisis. “The consumer takes all of the financial risks inherent in these long-term deals, risks that electricity prices and rate structures may change, that subsidies may go away and the like,” the letter states. “The imposition of risks on the customer enables the developer to package and resell these leases to large financial interest, just as mortgage sellers packaged high-risk mortgages a decade ago.”

The letter also cites aggressive sales tactics and claims there has been a “dramatic increase in consumer complaints about abusive or deceptive acts and practices in solar sales, marketing, and financing.”

Submission + - Nova Scotia wind turbine speeds out of control, collapses (theweathernetwork.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This large wind turbine failed on August 17. Before the 80-metre-tall wind turbine buckled and toppled over, Enercon officials confirm that workers were told to leave, the Toronto Star reports. In addition to their towering height, the turbines have a blade length of 40 metres, the CBC notes.

Fortunately the turbines operate in a wooded area away from residents, so no one was injured. An evacuation protocol was also put in place.

Enercon and Nova Scotia's provincial government are conducting investigations to determine if there were any safety violations at the time of the incident.

Another 10 turbines in the area remain in operation, unaffected by the collapse. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

Submission + - ISRO successfully test-fires Scramjet Rocket Engine

An anonymous reader writes: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), on Sunday, successfully tested two indigenous scramjet engines. India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of scramjet engine after the US, Russia and European Space Agency.

According to a report, the scramjet will bring down the launch cost of weather satellite INSAT-3DR which is a weather forecast system designed for enhanced meteorological observations and disaster warning. The satellite scheduled to be launched in August earlier, but it has been postponed to September.

Submission + - India successfully tests scramjet rocket engine (indiatimes.com)

knwny writes: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday successfully tested its own scramjet — an engine that takes atmospheric oxygen to burn engine fuel — a senior ISRO official said.
According to an official statement, "The mission was successful. Two scramjet engines were tested during the flight. The scramjet engines were ignited 55 seconds into the rocket's flight. The engines were tested for six seconds."

Submission + - 'Longest living human' says he is ready for death at 145 (telegraph.co.uk)

schwit1 writes: An Indonesian man who claims to be the longest living human in recorded history has described how he “just wants to die”.

Mbah Gotho, from Sragen in central Java, was born on December 31, 1870, according to the date of birth on his identity card.

Now officials at the local record office say they have finally been able to confirm that remarkable date as genuine.

Submission + - RIP John Ellenby, godfather of the modern laptop (nytimes.com)

fragMasterFlash writes: John Ellenby, a British-born computer engineer who played a critical role in paving the way for the laptop computer, died on Aug. 17 in San Francisco. He was 75.

Mr. Ellenby’s pioneering work came to fruition in the early 1980s, after he founded Grid Systems, a company in Mountain View, Calif. As chief executive, he assembled an engineering and design team that included the noted British-born industrial designer William Moggridge.

The team produced a clamshell computer with an orange electroluminescent flat-panel display that was introduced as the Compass. It went to market in 1982. The Compass is now widely acknowledged to have been far ahead of its time.

Submission + - German CO2 Emmision Reductions Have Slowed Since Start of Energiewende (cleanenergywire.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The story is clear from this linked chart. Germany was making great progress on CO2 emissions reduction prior to Energiewende, since 2008 emissions have remained relatively flat. What is interesting is that the largest reductions have come from household and industrial efficiency improvements, and not from energy industry changes.

With Germany now slowing its investment in wind and solar, is the battle being lost?

Submission + - Treasury Dept. Sits On Investigation Into Solar Energy Fraud Worse Than Solyndra (dailycaller.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The Treasury Department has been looking into potential fraud by solar panel companies that got taxpayer funding for more than three years, but has yet to release any findings

The Department recently indicated that applicants included ineligible costs or otherwise overstated the value of their solar energy investments by claiming approximately $1.3 billion in unwarranted cash grants. he Treasury Department said it would publish its findings by June 2015, but that never happened.

Submission + - VA Invests in Failed Solar Projects, Veterans Linger on Wait List (heartland.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Department of Veteran's Affairs Inspector General has found the VA wasted millions on solar panel installations that don't work.

Evidently, the Veteran's Administration (VA), does not have enough money to hire new doctors or take other actions to reduce wait times and improve treatment for our nation's military veterans, but it does have money to spend installing solar panels at its facilities, according by the VA's Inspector General (IG) detailed by the Washington Free Beacon.

While the VA has been under fire for wasting federal dollars as veterans’ wait times and other failings have persisted at VA medical facilities nationwide, the IG report reveals the VA spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities, yet many of the projects have experienced significant delays and cost overruns with some solar projects failing to function at all.

In a report issued August 3, 2016, the VA IG reported the VA had consistently failed to effectively plan and manage its solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs. An audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013, found only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

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