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Submission + - Star Citizen Breaks Crowdfunding Record (

An anonymous reader writes: At 9:52 am CST the new project fronted by Chris Roberts (of Wing Commander and Privateer Fame) broke the record for the most heavily crowdfunded project beating the previous holder Project Eternity with over 2 days of fundraising left.

Star citizen promises to be an immersive, massive online space fighter simulator in the same vein as Wing Commander, with trading options like elite.

Chris Roberts wanted to prove that a PC only space sim (which we haven't seen for a long time) could still be commercial, and it looks like he's done it.

The biggest boost to the fundraising exercise so far has been when artwork for the (currently) largest ship that a player can fly was released, offering space for friends to play with either one of the gun turrets, or an additional fighter that is sat on the ships flight deck. This seemed to almost double the rate of submissions.

Supporters have been promised access to an alpha including dogfights in 12 months, and play on a later released beta with the full game slated for release in 2 years time.

Star Citizen is funded from their own website and kickstarter where you can pledge as much as you like, the more you spend the more rewards you get, with copies of the game coming in from $30.


Submission + - Old Electric-Car Batteries Put into Service for Home Energy Storage

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Josie Garthwaite writes that old electric car batteries degraded below acceptable performance levels for autos still have enough life to serve the grid for at least ten years with a prototype announced by GM and ABB lashing five Chevy Volt battery packs together in an array with a capacity of 10 kilowatt-hours — enough to provide electricity for three to five average houses for two hours. "In a car, you want immediate power, and you want a lot of it," says Alexandra Goodson. "We're discharging for two hours instead of immediately accelerating. It's not nearly as demanding on the system." Deployed on the grid, community energy storage devices could help utilities integrate highly variable renewables like solar and wind into the power supply, while absorbing spikes in demand from electric-car charging. "Wind, it's a nightmare for grid operators to manage," says Britta Gross, director of global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization for GM. "It's up, down, it doesn't blow for three days. It's very labor-intensive to manage." The batteries would allow for storage of power during inexpensive periods for use during expensive peak demand, or help make up for gaps in solar, wind or other renewable power generation. One final advantage of re-using electric car batteries is that the battery—the most expensive part of an electric car—remains an asset beyond its useful life in the vehicle. "If there is a market in stationary power for spent batteries, consumers could recognize this as an increased resale value at end of life, however small," says Kevin See."

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