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Submission + - Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

cartechboy writes: Sometimes we get carried away with sexy moonshot car tech--whereas most everyday gains are about reducing inefficiencies, piece by piece. Volvo's flywheel energy-recovery prototype is a great example of the latter--not to mention similar to one used in Formula 1 racing. The system recaptures energy that would be wasted in braking, like a hybrid does, to reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 percent. When you hit the brakes, kinetic energy that's usually wasted as heat is transferred to a "Kinetic Energy Recovery System" mounted to the undriven axle. It spools up a carbon flywheel that turns at 60,000 rpm to store the energy. When the driver hits the gas, some of the stored energy is transferred back to power the wheels through a specially designed transmission, either boosting total power to the wheels or substituting for engine torque to cut fuel consumption.

Submission + - CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority" ( 30

Antipater writes: The furor over Slashdot Beta is loud enough that even outside media has begun to notice. The Washington Post's tech blog The Switch has written a piece on the issue, and the anti-Beta protesters aren't going to be happy about it. The Post questioned Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who believes the protests are the work of only a vocal minority or readers: "It's easy to forget that the vocal population of a community driven site like Slashdot might be the most important group, but they are typically also the smallest class of users." The current caretakers of Slashdot need to balance the needs of all users with their limited engineering resources, Malda argues — noting wryly, "It ain't easy."
Open Source

Submission + - Red Hat Devs Working on ARM64 OpenJDK Port (

hypnosec writes: Developers over at Red Hat are busy porting the OpenJDK to ARM’s latest 64bit architecture – the ARMv8, also known as the A64. The current OpenJDK ARM situation is rather unsatisfactory as there for the current 32-bit ARM processors, there are two version of VM for OpenJDK – HotSpot; one being a proprietary version by Oracle and another one free. The free version comes with a just-in-time (JIT) compiler that has quite a smaller footprint, which can’t compete with Oracle’s JIT. To avoid a similar situation for the 64-bit platform, the developers are working on an entirely free software.

Submission + - Trouble for Microsoft Developers With the Windows Store (

An anonymous reader writes: This blog post from an un-happy Microsoft developer highlights many of the problems that developers are having with submitting to the new Windows store. His app, that won 2 App X challenges from Microsoft, has been rejected 6 times over 2 months with no clear indications as to the cause. This is even after going through a rigorous early-certification process. With Windows RT relying solely on apps from the store, and there being just over 7,000 apps total, Microsoft could have a big problem here.

Comment Re:Wind Electricity (Score 2) 413

I sure hope you are being sarcastic, because India's electricity is provided by a centrally controlled government entity.

Yeah. Americans need to take a good look. This is the United States in a few years if the power companies have their way. Want to know why they're so heavily behind forced conservation measures? It's because our power grid is aging, and is not growing at a rate that keeps up with the growth of demand. Worse, instead of improving it as a nonprofit or government-owned utility would, they're giving excess profits to their stockholders while pressuring everyone to do stupid hacks like adding emergency cutoffs on air conditioning so they can let your house hit a hundred degrees to save power, forcing everyone to use those crappy CFL bulbs, paying people to replace their old refrigerators, and other temporary bandaids that merely delay the inevitable, but don't really solve the problem.

What this proves is that for-profit corporations simply cannot be trusted to maintain such a critical resource. Their natural tendency is to operate on razor-thin margins to turn maximum profit. When they screw up, the government ends up declaring a state of emergency and paying for the losses, so having that infrastructure in private hands is basically nothing more than government subsidizing a bunch of wealthy fat cats on Wall Street. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of paying Wall Street billionaires, the government instead spent that money to actually improve the power grid?

We need to convince the U.S. government that this is an important problem to solve now, before we have more widespread blackouts that take out a huge swath of the U.S. like the one last September in southern California, Arizona, and parts of Mexico. The only way that's going to happen is if our government steps up to the plate and builds a government-owned and government-managed power infrastructure. What we need is the nationwide equivalent of TVA, but with a network of modern, superconducting power lines crisscrossing the country.


Submission + - World's Oldest Blood Cells Found on Iceman (

sciencehabit writes: A team of researchers has zoomed in on two spots on the body of the Iceman, a mummified, 5300-year-old hunter found frozen in the Alps in 1991: a shoulder wound found with an embedded arrowhead and a hand lesion resembling a stab wound. The scientists used atomic force microscopy, a visualization method with resolution of less than a nanometer, to scan the wounds for blood residue. They discovered red blood cells—the oldest in the world to be found intact—as well as fibrin, a protein needed for blood to clot. The presence of fibrin indicates that the Iceman, nicknamed Ötzi, didn't die immediately after being wounded.

Submission + - Mozilla unveils Australis, one Firefox interface to rule them all (

MrSeb writes: "The last year or two has seen Firefox experience something resembling an identity crisis. You will all remember when Firefox 4.0 introduced a wildly different interface (called Strata) with The Big Orange Button, but Mozilla has also been experimenting with different tablet and smartphone UIs since Firefox for Android’s inception. For a variety of reasons, Mozilla never tried to bring Strata to the mobile platforms, resulting in a very fragmented user experience — mobile Firefox had almost zero resemblance to desktop Firefox. Now Mozilla is preparing to introduce Australis, a new UI (and UX) that will span, embrace, and unify the desktop, tablet, and smartphone versions of Firefox. Starting with the premise that Firefox is "soft, friendly, and human," Australis is as curvy as a curvy thing. While the desktop version of Australis obviously has more browser chrome (buttons/widgets) than the smartphone and tablet versions, all three share one recurring feature: Rounded corners everywhere. Tabs are positively swoopy. The bottom left and right corners of the browser window will be rounded. The tab thumbnails (when switching tabs on Firefox for Android) have rounded corners. Pop-up dialogs, such as Settings or Downloads, have rounded corners. The address bar and search bar are no longer rectangular: They're rounded rectangles. Still, there's no denying that Australis is rather pretty — and a unified Firefox UX, across Windows (and Metro), Mac, Linux, and Android is definitely a Good Thing."

Submission + - See Robot Cheetah In Action (

techgeek0279 writes: "When you think of robots, especially when they are portrayed in movies, they actually move at the rate of those slow zombies you see in the old classic horror movies. In this video, you'll see that DARPA researchers have created Cheetah robot that runs at a pretty decent speed."

Submission + - Sandboxed Flash Player Coming to Firefox (

Trailrunner7 writes: Adobe, which has spent the last few years trying to dig out of a deep hole of vulnerabilities and buggy code, is making a major change to Flash, adding a sandbox to the version of the player that runs in Firefox. The sandbox is designed to prevent many common exploit techniques against Flash.

The move by Adobe comes roughly a year after the company added a sandbox to Flash for Google Chrome. Flash, which is perhaps the most widely deployed piece of software on the Internet, has been a common attack vector for several years now, and the attacks in some cases have been used to get around exploit mitigations added by the browser vendors. The sandbox is designed to prevent many of these attacks by not allowing exploits against Flash to break out into the browser itself.


Submission + - Water droplets in orbit on the International Space Station (

BuzzSkyline writes: "Astronaut Don Pettit, who is aboard the International Space Station (ISS) right now, put charged water droplets into wild orbits around a knitting needle in the microgravity environment of the ISS. A video he made of the droplets is the first in a serious of freefall physics experiments that he will be posting in coming months."
The Internet

Submission + - NFL Issues False DMCA Take Down of Chrysler Ad? (

fostytou writes: The NFL issued a DMCA takedown of a Chrysler ad from last night's superbowl. This caused an incredible amount of lost viewership as well as losing ranking on most-viewed lists which can often offer millions of future advertising at no cost to the advertiser. The potential cost to Chrysler is significant.

The obvious parallel to SOPA / ACTA is exactly why these types of bills must be considered very carefully.


Submission + - Microsoft to shake-up Windows 8 Start screen (

nk497 writes: "Microsoft is set to tweak the Windows 8 Start screen after receiving "visceral" feedback on a Windows blog about the version shown off in the developer preview. The Windows 8 Start screen currently defaults to the new, tile-based Metro interface. More controversially, when users click on the Start button in the tradtional Windows desktop, they are immediately thrown back to the Metro screen.

Next month's beta will reveal changes to (hopefully) improve that, said general manager of platform strategy, Tim O'Brien. "Some of the changes you'll see on the Start screen are based on feedback from developers on that blog," O'Brien explained."


Submission + - NYPD Developing Portable Body Scanner for Detectin (

Zothecula writes: You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives — after all, if someone who doesn't want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing that most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That's why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person's body. The NYPD announced the project this week.
Star Wars Prequels

Submission + - Could a 'Death Star' really destroy a planet? (

aquabats writes: "Mirroring many late night caffeine-fueled arguments among Sci-Fi fans, a University of Leicester researcher asks the question:
Could a small moon-sized battle station generate enough energy to destroy an Earth-sized planet?
A paper by David Boulderston (University of Leicester) sets out to answer that very question."

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