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Submission + - Colorado's CSTARS Program Flops

acherrington writes: Colorado's Division of Motor Vehicles is dropping its CSTARS program after six years and spending $8,000,000 of taxpayers' money. The new computer system, designed by Avanade, was developed to register vehicles in the state, but, there were several major issues with the project. The vendor fired the subcontractor in charge of seeking advice from the state and had developers writing computer code before they were given plans for what that code should do. The state hardly made things any easier as the old computer system had been in place for over twenty-four years. When the new system was switched on, at least four motorists were pulled over by police and informed that their license plates did not match their registration. P.J. Taylor, head of Broomfield's motor vehicle division, said, 'It's like you were having a baby, and it turned out to be ugly.'

Submission + - Spacecraft may surf on magnetic fields

Matthew Sparkes writes: "NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts have proposed spacecraft that surf the magnetic fields of Earth and other planets, taking previously unfeasible routes around the solar system. The electrically charged craft would not need rockets or propellant of any kind. A cylindrical mesh of fibres would be attached to the spacecraft. To charge itself up, the stocking could be coated with a radioisotope such as polonium-210, the isotope used to poison former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko."
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Dept. of Energy wants zero dollars for geothermal

LotsOfPhil writes: "The Department of Energy is requesting $0 for research into geothermal energy. From 2001-2006, the average funding was $26 million. This year it is $5 million.

The Bush administration wants to eliminate federal support for geothermal power just as many U.S. states are looking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and raise renewable power output.
The move has angered scientists who say there is enough hot water underground to meet all U.S. electricity needs without greenhouse gas emissions.

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