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Submission + - CO2 to Ethanol in one step with cheap catalyst (sciencedaily.com)

networkBoy writes: Boffins at ORNL have discovered a simple and cheap catalyst that can take CO2 dissolved in solution with water and at room temperature convert it to ethanol with 60%+ yields. They envision it as a way to store surplus power from green energy plants and then burning it to fill in lulls in supply.

Submission + - Oak Ridge National Laboratory turns CO2 to booze, er, I mean fuel (ornl.gov)

davidwr writes: The laboratory's process turns carbon dioxide into ethanol using common materials and nanotechnology. The laboratory press release is here, the paper is here.

The press release did not mention how much, if any, of the ethanol would be used for celebratory purposes.

Paper citation:

Song, Y., Peng, R., Hensley, D. K., Bonnesen, P. V., Liang, L., Wu, Z., Meyer, H. M., Chi, M., Ma, C., Sumpter, B. G. and Rondinone, A. J. (2016), High-Selectivity Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Ethanol using a Copper Nanoparticle/N-Doped Graphene Electrode. ChemistrySelect. doi:10.1002/slct.201601169

Submission + - CIA-Backed Surveillance Tool Geofeedia Was Marketed, Sold To Public Schools

blottsie writes: Geofeedia, an online surveillance tool that enabled hundreds of U.S. law enforcement agencies to track and collect information on social media users, was also marketed for use in American public schools,, reports the Daily Dot.

News that Geofeedia sold surveillance software typically bought by police to a high school in a northern Chicago suburb comes roughly a week after Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram banned the software from accessing its API.

Submission + - Young Voters Prefer Giant Meteor for President (reuters.com)

mikeebbbd writes: From Reuters: a poll by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion and Odyssey Millennials found that many young voters prefer #GiantMeteor2016 to either Trump or Clinton. Random lottery was also suggested as an option.

Comment: The lottery method might, at least, provide some use for the moldering machinery of the Selective Service system.

Submission + - Archaeology team uses cosmic muons to discover 2 new rooms in the Great Pyramid (yahoo.com)

drdread66 writes: Muography is an established technique that uses the constant global background of muons (the much heavier cousin of the electron, created during interactions between cosmic rays and the Earth's atmosphere) as an illumination source that can penetrate even dense, thick structures. This technique has been used to probe the structure inside the damaged nuclear reactor at Fukushima, image Mt. Vesuvius, and to study other pyramids. Now this technique has yielded evidence of new "voids" inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.

From the article: "Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza could contain two previously unknown "cavities", scientists using radiography to scan the millennia-old monument said on Saturday. On Thursday, the antiquities ministry cautiously announced finding "two anomalies" in the pyramid built 4,500 years ago under King Khufu, with further tests to determine their function, nature and size."

Submission + - VeraCrypt Security Audit Reveals Many Flaws, Some Already Patched (helpnetsecurity.com) 1

Orome1 writes: VeraCrypt, the free, open source disk encryption software based on TrueCrypt, has been audited by experts from cybersecurity company Quarkslab. The researchers found 8 critical, 3 medium, and 15 low-severity vulnerabilities, and some of them have already been addressed in version 1.19 of the software, which was released on the same day as the audit report.

Submission + - Quantum Research Achieves 10-Fold Boost In Superposition Stability

An anonymous reader writes: A team of Australian researchers has developed a qubit offering ten times the stability of existing technologies. The computer scientists claim that the new innovation could significantly increase the reliability of quantum computing calculations. The new technology, developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), has been named a ‘dressed’ quantum bit as it combines a single atom with an electromagnetic field. This process allows the qubit to remain in a superposition state for ten times longer than has previously been achieved. The researchers argue that this extra time in superposition could boost the performance stability of quantum computing calculations. Previously fragile and short-lived, retaining a state of superposition has been one of the major barriers to the development of quantum computing. The ability to remain in two states simultaneously is the key to scaling and strengthening the technology further.

Submission + - Feds Walk Into A Building, Demand Everyone's Fingerprints To Open Phones

An anonymous reader writes: Forbes reports that the Department of Justice was issued a search warrant to gather the fingerprints of all the people present at a California residence, including residents and visitors.
The memorandum included "authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant."

Submission + - 7 Types of Bugs Plaguing the Web

snydeq writes: From video glitches to memory leaks, today’s browser bugs may be rarer, but they are even harder to pin down, writes InfoWorld's Peter Wayner, in his roundup of the types of bugs troubling today's Web. ' Of course, it used to be worse. The vast differences between browsers have been largely erased by allegiance to W3C web standards. And the differences that remain can be generally ignored, thanks to the proliferation of libraries like jQuery, which not only make JavaScript hacking easier but also paper over the ways that browsers aren’t the same. These libraries have a habit of freezing browser bugs in place. If browser companies fix some of their worst bugs, the new “fixes” can disrupt old patches and work-arounds. Suddenly the “fix” becomes the problem that’s disrupting the old stability we’ve jerry-rigged around the bug. Programmers can’t win.' What hard-to-pin-down browser bugs have given you the most fits?

Comment sea-fiber + microwave towers = partial fix (Score 1) 101

For communities relatively close to another community that already has or will soon have a good Internet connection such as from an undersea cable, microwave towers may provide an effective bridge.

This assumes reliable electrical power and the ability to construct tall-enough-to-see-each-other towers at both ends.

The combination of sea-port fiber connections and microwave connections to "nearby" communities should reduce the number of people who rely only on a single satellite connection, but it's not the solution for everyone: Setting up a microwave-tower network like the US had from the 1950s to the 1990s, with towers spaced every 30-or-so miles, would likely be cost-prohibitive due to lack of existing electrical or generator-fuel-delivery infrastructure.

Other than having two birds in the sky - either in orbit or flying around in the atmosphere - I don't see any way to give everyone redundancy without being cost-prohibitive.

By the way, for low-bandwidth communications such as voice-grade telephony, texting, and email, or even very simple/bandwidth-optimized web browsing (the modern-day equivalent of a BBS-connection or mainframe-TTY with local echo turned on), shortwave-or-lower-band terrestrial radio should be able to get the job done.

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