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Submission + - USA uses TPP-like trade-court to kill massive Indian solar project (boingboing.net) 2

AmiMoJo writes: The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was on track to deliver deploy 20,000 MW of grid connected solar power by 2022 ("more than the current solar capacity of the world’s top five solar-producing countries combined") but because India specified that the solar panels for it were to be domestically sourced, the USA sued it in WTO trade court and killed it. The USA has its own domestic solar initiatives that generally have "buy local" rules, but those are permissible under the WTO. The WTO court ruled that India's buy-local rules were not. The Trans Pacific Partnership, a secretly negotiated trade agreement, expands the sorts of powers the WTO creates to allow multinationals to sue governments to repeal policies that undermine their profitability. Expect lots more of this in the future if the TPP passes.
Image

Believing You Are Very Good Or Evil Boosts Your Physical Capabilities Screenshot-sm 192

Research by Kurt Gray, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard, shows that a person's capacity for willpower and physical endurance increases if they perceive themselves as good or evil. "Evil" acts in particular give a person a large boost in physical strength. From the article: “'People perceive those who do good and evil to have more efficacy, more willpower, and less sensitivity to discomfort,' Gray said. 'By perceiving themselves as good or evil, people embody these perceptions, actually becoming more capable of physical endurance.' Gray’s findings run counter to the notion that only those blessed with heightened willpower or self-control are capable of heroism, suggesting instead that simply attempting heroic deeds can confer personal power."
Medicine

Bionic Cat Gets World's First Implant Paws 225

Several readers send in the news of Oscar, the first bionic cat, whose hind paws got cut off in a harvester accident. In a world's-first operation, a neurosurgeon has now given him exoprosthetic paws that are implanted directly into his leg bones. The BBC artlcle has a video captured just after the operation, and PopSci has an apparently later one in which Oscar is walking and running almost completely normally.
Toys

Brick Shooting Shotgun Built From Lego By 15-Year-Old Screenshot-sm 70

Lanxon writes "A mildly terrifying young Brit named Jack Streat has managed to build a series of working guns, including a Lee Enfield bolt-action sniper rifle, entirely out of Lego and rubber bands, reports Wired. Streat, who lists himself as 15 years old on his profile, has constructed an enormous and diverse armory of weaponry that fire either rubber bands or Lego bricks. Most are based on real-life guns, including a Steyr AUG, a Tommygun, an AK-47, a belt-fed M429 PARA, an Arctic Warfare sniper rifle, a Glock 17, a pair of semi-automatic TEC-9s, a SPAS 12 pump-action shotgun and a minigun that he calls the Obliterator."
Google

Google-Backed Wind-Powered Car Goes Faster Than the Wind 393

sterlingda writes "A wind-powered car has been clocked in the US traveling downwind 2.85 times faster than the 13.5 mph wind. The definitive research by Rick Cavallaro of FasterThanTheWind.org is being funded by Google and Joby Energy. The run should now settle the DWFTTW (downwind faster than the wind) debate that has been raging for some time on the Internet about whether or not such a feat was possible."
Hardware Hacking

Controlling Games and Apps Through Muscle Sensors 47

A team with members from Microsoft, the University of Toronto, and the University of Washington have developed an interface that uses electrodes to monitor muscle signals and translate those into commands or button presses, allowing a user to bypass a physical input device and even control a game or application while their hands are full. The video demonstration shows somebody playing Guitar Hero by making strumming motions and tapping his fingers together, a jogger changing his music without having to touch the device, and a man flexing a muscle to open the trunk of his car while he carries objects in both hands. The academic paper (PDF) is available online.

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