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Submission + - Peru to Provide Free Solar Power to its 2 Million Poorest Citizens (inhabitat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Peru is looking to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest citizens by harvesting energy from the sun. Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.

Submission + - British Scientists Charge Samsung Smartphone With Urine (ibtimes.com)

coolnumbr12 writes: If you knew your own pee could charge it enough to make just one call, send a some texts or even check Google Maps briefly, would you do it?
This may soon be possible. Researchers from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, a collaboration between the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol, were able to pee on microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to create enough electricity to charge a Samsung phone.
So far, MFCs have only been used to generate small amounts of electricity for short charge and discharge cycles. This if the first time enough energy has been captured to directly charge a battery.

Cloud

Submission + - Changing Landscape of IT 2

An anonymous reader writes: The IT industry is a lot different than it was 10 years ago, it underwent a huge boom in terms of labor and services requirements to keep up with the times. Now, we are entering a consolidation phase. The cloud makes it easier for companies to host e-mail, so now instead of organizations having their own exchange guy they will outsource it to the cloud, instead of having a bunch of network engineers they will deploy wireless and no longer need cabling and as much network engineering services. What do you think the long trend of this will be? What skills do you think will be useful in 10 years? Is IT going to put it's own out of work like we did with the post office and libraries?

Submission + - The demotion of Dilbert continues, no comic relief (yahoo.com) 2

Dexterous writes: "There appears to be a growing epidemic of cranky creative types taking to the Internet to defend themselves from amateur critics.

Some are shameless in their self-promotion; others operate under the veil of anonymity.

Until they get busted, that is. This is what happened to Dilbert creator Scott Adams last week, in a public humiliation storyline that would suit a certain workplace drone comic strip character of his own creation. Adams was revealed to have been using an online pseudonym to bash message board users who did not have nice things to say about him."

Yahoo!

Submission + - VMware to acquire Zimbra (zimbra.com)

Sherloqq writes: VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra, a leading vendor of email and collaboration software, from Yahoo! Inc.

Here: http://www.zimbra.com/about/vmware-acquires-zimbra.html and here: http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/zimbra.html

Math

Submission + - Watering Down Science and Mathematics? 2

An anonymous reader writes: I may be in a position to teach high school Physics next year in the state of Texas. In preparing for this, I was reviewing the "Texas Essential Knowledge Skills" appropriate for Physics, which represent the minimum requirements for instruction in the course. I was saddened to find out that the minimum requirements are, to me, rather low. Furthermore, there are no science or mathematics pre-requisite courses for Physics any longer. There is merely a suggestion of having the first year of Algebra as a pre-requisite or co-requisite.

I believe we are now setting the bar even lower than I thought we were. A viewing of the TEKS for Physics http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/ch112c.html (section 112.39) will show how watered down this course has become, especially compared to the old requirements listed in the same document, section 112.47. The suggested pre-requisite or co-requisite can be found in http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter111/ch111c.html (section 111.32).

To be fair, these are the minimum requirements for instruction in the course, and some teaches will undoubtedly do a good job of giving additional instruction. However, we do know that in any field, there will be those who take the easy way out an do the bare minimum.

Given that I may receive some of the students who have had just the bare minimum in their suggested pre-requisite (or not had it at all), I would like to know what Slashdot readers would suggest for me once I hit the classroom. I want to give a good quality of Physics instruction and cover more concepts, or at least in more depth, than the minimum requirements, but I am unsure how I might accomplish this if my students don't have the necessary background for it. What would you do?
Science

Submission + - Reducing one amino acid could increase lifespan (sciencenews.org)

John Bryson writes: "Eating less of one amino acid might lengthen your life. There have been lots of previous studies showing that many species live long on highly restricted calories, but a lot of this benefit may be possible by only restricting one amino acid. Amino acids that have shown this have been tryptophan and methionine. A recent study, published online December 2 in Nature, a highly respected journal, may help explain some of the health benefits of restricted-calorie diets. Grandison, R.C., Piper, M.D.W., and Partridge, L. 2009. Amino-acid imbalance explains extension of lifespan by dietary restriction in Drosophila. Nature, published online Dec. 2. doi:10.1038/nature08619"
Science

Submission + - ISS can now watch sea traffic from space (esa.int)

gyrogeerloose writes: During it's last mission, astronauts from the Space Shuttle Atlantis installed an Automatic Identification System (AIS) antenna on the outside of the International Space Station that will allow astronauts aboard the ISS to monitor signals from the AIS transmitters mandated to be installed most large ocean-going craft. Although these VHF signals can be monitored from the Earth's surface, their horizontal range is generally limited to about 75 km (46 mi), leaving large areas of the ocean unwatched. However, the signals easily reach the 400 km (250 mi) orbit of the ISS.

The ESS sees this experiment as a test platform for a future AIS-monitoring fleet of satellites that will eventually provide worldwide coverage of sea traffic.

Comment Re:I call shenanigans on your shenanigan call! (Score 1) 447

It's pretty clear from your writings that you're a virtuoso (at least among Slashdotters) at hooker relations. As for the New Scientist article, it's BS. They use the example of Peter Orszag, who is "the nation's most powerful pencil-pusher". Which should be an instant hit as to why women find him sexy, and it ain't the "pencil pusher" part. I mean, Alan Greenspan used to sit around in hot tubs with hotter women; he'd have the financial news on and he'd impress them by showing how he could make the tickers change with short phone calls. Volatility? That was Greenspan having a good day.

Java

Submission + - VMWare acquires SpringSource

sundling writes: "Creator of the popular Java Spring Framework, SpringSource has been acquired by VMWare. SpringSource itself has acquired a number of companies itself including G2One (the company behind Grails, the Java contender for the Ruby on Rails crowd) and Hyperic. SpringSource has also become home to other important Java projects like AspectJ for Aspect Oriented programming. Of all the open source Java Enterprise players, Spring tends to have vision that will definitely expand into the cloud. It was already putting the pieces together, but being acquired by VMWare should accelerate that direction."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Flying Spaghetti Monster Gets Mainstream Press (cnn.com)

LoveMe2Times writes: While the CNN article discusses the fact that some students will be making presentations about The Flying Spaghetti Monster at the American Academy of Religion's annual meeting, I think the real story here is that there's an article linked off of CNN's home page discussing His Noodley Appendages at all (however, if you take an interest in the topic, the linked article is actually worth a read). Surely, this will be a huge boon in the quest to convert the heathens and educate the unwashed masses! Anybody here ready to give up their Jedi ways and welcome our new Noodley Overlord?

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