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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 11 accepted (33 total, 33.33% accepted)

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Submission + - New best way to nuke a short-notice asteroid (

doug141 writes: A scientist proposes the best way to deal with an asteroid on short notice is to hit it with an impacter, followed by a nuke in the crater. Delta 4 rockets could do the job. Grant money has been awarded and study is underway.

Submission + - Candidate for FCC Chair supports universal access to high speed internet

doug141 writes: Susan Crawford, law school professor and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Guilded Age, says “Truly high-speed wired Internet access is as basic to innovation, economic growth, social communication, and the country’s competitiveness as electricity was a century ago,” Crawford writes, “but a limited number of Americans have access to it, many can’t afford it, and the country has handed control of it over to Comcast and a few other companies.”

In a recent TV interview, she pointed out high speed access in Hong Kong costs a fraction of what it does in New York city, because the US providers don't enter each other's markets. She wants to change that.

There's a petition to appoint Susan as FCC Chairman.

Submission + - Federal judge says no right to secret ballot (

doug141 writes: A Colorado county put bar codes on printed ballots in a last minute effort to comply with a rule about eliminating identifying markings. Citizens sued, because the bar codes can still be traced back to individual voters. In a surprise ruling, Denver U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello said the U.S. Constitution did not contain a "fundamental right" to secret ballots, the citizens could not show their voting rights had been violated, nor that they might suffer any specific injury from the bar codes.

Submission + - Cheap breakthrough doubles solar cell output (

doug141 writes: In standard solar cells, much energy is lost (as heat) from photons mismatched to the capability of silicon to capture them. A new technique uses a pentacene layer to down-convert each hot (un-captureable) electron to two electrons that can be captured by standard silicon cells.

Submission + - Wiping out mosquitoes with GM mosquitoes ( 1

doug141 writes: Scientists are releasing genetically modifies male mosquitoes that produce flightless female offspring. The male offspring go on to wipe out another generation of females.This is similar to the way screwworms were eradicated in the U.S., except with nature itself making more of the modified males.
Field trials are already underway.


Submission + - study: data analysis poor in neuroscience journals (

doug141 writes: Analyzing for a difference is easy. But analyzing a difference of a differences is done incorrectly half the time in studies published in neuroscience journals.
Nieuwenhuis looked at 513 papers published in five prestigious neuroscience journals over two years. In half the 157 studies where this error could have been made, it was. They broadened their search to 120 cellular and molecular articles in Nature Neuroscience, during 2009 and 2010: they found 25 studies committing this fallacy, and not one single paper analysed differences in effect sizes correctly.


Submission + - New NASA data contradicts global warming (

doug141 writes: NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show far more heat released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study predicts less global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted.

Submission + - GameStop to honor ancient Duke Nukem Pre-Orders (

doug141 writes: GameStop encourages customers who pre-ordered more than a year ago to verify their reservation with their local store. 'Provided the customer has a receipt, we will honor even those pre-orders taken long ago. At this time, we expect that all pre-order customers will receive Duke's Big Package at time of purchase, regardless of when the reservation was made.'

Submission + - Commercial personal jetpak for $86,000. (

doug141 writes: The Jetpack is constructed from carbon fiber composite, has a dry weight of 250 lbs (excluding safety equipment) and measures 5 ft high x 5.5 ft wide x 5 ft long. It's driven by a 2.0 L V4 2 stroke engine rated at 200 hp (150 kw), can reach 8000 ft (estimated) and each of the two 1.7 ft wide rotors is made from carbon / Kevlar composite. At $86,000 it is pitched at the level of a high-end car. As sales and production volume increase they expect this to drop to the price of a mid-range car. A 10% deposit buys you a production slot for 12 months hence; progress payments are made during manufacture with final payment due on delivery.

Submission + - poll on copyright

doug141 writes: How many times have you violated copyright in the last 12 months?
1000 or more

Submission + - SuperFreakonomics heralds cheap environment fixes

doug141 writes: The new book Superfreakenomics (Levitt & Dubner) discusses two geoengineering concepts from Intellectual Ventures that are incredibly cheap compared to their impact:

The first system, still under computer testing, uses simple buoys, placed in the seasonally warm ocean waters that breed hurricanes, powered by wave action, to slowly pump the warm water down about 100 feet to the much colder water. The resulting very-slightly cooler surface water would reduce the intensity of hurricanes (eliminating them is equally possible, but not desired). At $1 billion the system would cost far less than the damage caused by a single hurricane season.

The second system offers to cool the planet for only $250 million. The world output of sulfur dioxide (volcanoes, humans, sea spray, other sources) is 200 million tons, but it's all in the troposphere. In 1991, the heavily studied Mt. Pinatubo eruption sent some sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere and cooled the world. Modeling shows a mere 100,000 tons per year of SO2, which is a garden-hose-like 34 gallons per minute, and one twentieth of one percent of the world troposphere emissions, would reverse arctic warming and reduce northern hemisphere warming. If the system is shut off the stratosphere would return to normal in a couple of years, just as it did after the Pinatubo eruption, so the whatcouldpossiblygowrong argument is weak. Several delivery systems could work such as a long chain of hoses, pumps and balloons, or a tall lightweight chimney held by weather balloons.

The book also brings to light two interesting facts about global warming:

1) Eating locally grown food over mass produced food actually increases greenhouse emissions, because only 11 percent of of food emissions are transportation related (and delivery from producer to retailer is only 4%). A full 80% of food related emissions are from production, and big farms are far more efficient than small farms.

2) The world's cows, sheep and other cud-chewers are responsible for 50% more greenhouse gas than the entire transportation sector, due to methane being 25 times more potent than CO2. Forgoing beef for one day a week is better than switching to a hybrid vehicle.

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