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Nuclear Power Could See a Revival 415

shmG writes "As the US moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."

The White House Listed On Real Estate Website Screenshot-sm 123

Forget visiting the White House, if you have $10 million you can own it. At least that is the price for the president's home on the real estate website Redfin. From the article: "Obviously this is an error. It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website by mistake. That example listing was the White House. We have e-mailed Redfin for comment." I know it's historic but it still looks a bit on the high side according to the comparables in the area.

World's Smallest Superconductor Discovered 72

arcticstoat writes "One of the barriers to the development of nanoscale electronics has potentially been eliminated, as scientists have discovered the world's smallest superconductor. Made up of four pairs of molecules, and measuring just 0.87nm, the superconductor could potentially be used as a nanoscale interconnect in electronic devices, but without the heat and power dissipation problems associated with standard metal conductors."

Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.

Pluto — a Complex and Changing World 191

astroengine writes "After 4 years of processing the highest resolution photographs the Hubble Space Telescope could muster, we now have the highest resolution view of Pluto's surface ever produced. Most excitingly, these new observations show an active world with seasonal changes altering the dwarf planet's surface. It turns out that this far-flung world has more in common with Earth than we would have ever imagined."

Using Infrared Cameras To Find Tastiness of Beef 108

JoshuaInNippon writes "Might we one day be able to use our cell phone cameras to pick out the best piece of meat on display at the market? Some Japanese researchers seem to hope so. A team of scientists is using infrared camera technology to try and determine the tastiest slices of high-grade Japanese beef. The researchers believe that the levels of Oleic acid found within the beef strongly affect the beef's tenderness, smell, and overall taste. The infrared camera can be tuned to pick out the Oleic acid levels through a whole slab, a process that would be impossible to do with the human eye. While the accuracy is still relatively low — a taste test this month resulted in only 60% of participants preferring beef that was believed to have had a higher level of Oleic acid — the researchers hope to fine tune the process for market testing by next year."

Submission + - CERN Physicist Warns About Uranium Shortage (

eldavojohn writes: "Uranium mines provide us with 40,000 tons of uranium each year. Sounds like that ought to be enough for anyone but it comes up about 25,000 tons short of what we consume yearly in our nuclear power plants. The difference is made up by stockpiles, reprocessed fuel and re-enriched uranium--which should be completely used up by 2013. And the problem with just opening more uranium mines is that nobody really knows where to go for the next big uranium lode. Dr. Michael Dittmar has been warning us for sometime about the coming shortage and has recently uploaded a four part comprehensive report on the future of nuclear energy and how socioeconomic change is exacerbating the effect this coming shortage will have on our power consumption. Although not quite on par with zombie apocalypse, Dr. Dittmar's final conclusions paint a dire picture stating that options like large-scale commercial fission breeder reactors are not an option by 2013 and "no matter how far into the future we may look, nuclear fusion as an energy source is even less probable than large-scale breeder reactors, for the accumulated knowledge on this subject is already sufficient to say that commercial fusion power will never become a reality." (Chapter One: Nuclear Fission Energy Today, Chapter II: What is known about Secondary Uranium Resources?, Chapter III: How (un)reliable are the Red Book Uranium Resource Data? and Chapter IV: Energy from Breeder Reactors and from Fusion?)"
Operating Systems

Submission + - Ubuntu 9.04 For The Windows Power User ( 1

crazipper writes: "Know a Windows power user who is (honestly) good with technology, but hasn't yet warmed to Linux? Tom's Hardware just posted a guide to installing and using Ubuntu 9.04, written specifically for the MS crowd (in other words, it talks about file systems, mount points, app installation, etc). Hopefully, by the end, your "friend" will realize just how easy Ubuntu can be to use and start down a long path of exploration with a new operating system."
Wireless Networking

Submission + - FCC's Warrantless Household Searches (

AHuxley writes: Does your wireless router, cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone leak RF?
The US Federal Communications Commission maintains the policy to licensed television and radio stations applies to any other licensed or unlicensed radio-frequency device.
If so the FCC may use the Communications Act of 1934 to enter your home.
If you say no to the FCC you face a harsh financial penalty.
The best part is if inspectors should notice evidence of unrelated criminal behaviour, the search can be used against the resident.
Will the FCC van be the other party van in your neighbourhood soon?

Data Storage

Submission + - Best setup for a cheap, quiet, cool file server?

Greg_D writes: I have mostly sworn off building my own computer systems over the years because I feel I generally have had trouble with them running at a cool temperature. Not that they would overheat, just that they tend to pump out so much heat that it typically warms my office where I keep a television and a game console to the point where it gets unbearable in the summer time. I am looking for a setup for a system that is relatively cheap, low power consumption, low heat production, and the ability to handle multiple terrabytes of RAID storage to be hooked up to a router for my personal file server. Graphic are not especially important, although it would be nice to be able to run a video out to the television to watch online or downloaded media, and perhaps with the possibility of installing a blue-ray player once they come down in price. This isn't really a media center PC in the sense that I don't really care about recording any video, but I might want to play Netflix shows on the box. Can I invest in an Atom processor and onboard graphics, or do I need something a bit more substantial?

James Bond Villain Data Center 103

jeet writes "Data centers are boring and NOCs are doubly so. But this one sure beats all of them. Found this video of a data center suited for james bond villain on Data Center Knowledge website. The facility is established in a hydrogen bomb safe bunker and has generators used in German submarines. The CEO takes you around and shows some other cool features."

Spotify Releases a Linux-Only Client Library 96

f0rk writes "Spotify, a popular music streaming service, has just recently released libspotify. An official, binary-only, only for subscribers, library to 'enable and inspire you to build some really cool stuff.' The first release only has support for x86-32 Linux, the only major platform Spotify does not run on. It looks like the Spotify team is trying to be nice to the Linux community and hope someone will use their restricted binary-only library to write a Linux client."

Fonera 2 To Launch With Extended Functionality 119

The next installment in the Fonera router family is set to make its debut in a couple of weeks, and the additions to the hardware are relatively impressive. Promising full support for networked storage, automatic downloads, sharing of a USB 3G connection, and a few other perks in addition to the normal range of functionality found in the Fonera routers this package packs quite a punch. "Like the original Fonera and Fonera+ routers, the principals of this hippie-love-in-styled product still apply. You buy the router and hook it up to your internet connection as normal. The trick is that the router shares a part of your bandwidth on a public-facing connection. Other Fon owners can log in and use this public network for free. In turn, you — as a Fonera owner — can travel the world and use other Fon hotspots. It's a neat idea and everybody wins, except the money-grabbing telcos."

Spider Bite Allows Man To Walk Again Screenshot-sm 221

Manastorm writes "A man who was wheelchair bound due to a motorcycle accident twenty years ago gained the ability to walk again after being bitten by a recluse spider. 'I can't wait to start dancing,' he said as he looks forward to a full recovery after experiencing what some call a 'true miracle.'" I think we all know how this story is going to end. I hope The Sinister Six have been practicing.

Submission + - Signature pads

An anonymous reader writes: Today I passed up a purchase because they *required* me to sign on their signature pad for a credit card purchase. For years now I have been bypassing this by signing on paper. Today, a retailer told me that they no longer allow customers to sign on paper, only the signature pad. I have several problems with signing on an electronic signature pad (examples of these here: and here:

First, I am told nothing whatsoever about what method is used to store my signature. Is it sitting on an unsecured *nix box with a nice fat pipeline to the internet? Is it "in back" where any employee can access it? Second, I am told nothing whatsoever about *if* any security is used and what type or strength of security is used. Is any encryption used with my data? Is my signature stored with my CC# in a .jpg file? If encrypted, is it a 64-bit key? 128 bit? This information is routinely given by my web browser on secured web pages. It should be available at point-of-sale as well. Third, I have much more faith in the physical security given to a piece of paper than I do the "virtual" security used by computers. To me, this is analogous to the Diebold / voting snafu. The retailer will protect the paper inside his store. It will probably be kept with cash and given the same security considerations cash is (i.e. kept in a safe at night, kept locked in a cash drawer most of the day, etc.). The retailer probably has no idea how to keep virtual files safe (i.e. don't connect the box to the internet...). And even if the retailer *does* know how, what is their motivation to do so? With the physical paper, it's kept with the cash so nothing special is required. With virtual files, there's a good chance no one even realizes they exist.

Given some of the recent failures on the part of retailers to protect their customers CC data (Marshalls/TJ Maxx, etc.), I have little faith that they are doing any real due diligence with their customers' data. It would not surprise me at all if there were *NO* security/encryption and this data is being stored on a box "in back" that has a WAP connected and a fat physical pipe to the internet.

Is there anyone that works/worked with these systems that can (unofficially) address my three points? I don't want the company line; I want someone who knows to tell me what they really think. I'm also curious how many others out there have given any thought to the security / Identity Theft issues with these security pads. Do you sign them? Do you feel secure doing so? Did you ever think about it? Thanks to all! (Posting /. as AC since before the .com boom).

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.