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Intel

Submission + - 8 Core Intel Nehalem-EX To Launch This Month (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "What could you do with 8 physical cores of CPU processing power? Intel's upcoming 8-core Nehalem-EX is launching later this month, according to Intel Xeon Platform Director Shannon Poulin. The announcement puts to rest rumors that the 8-core part might be delayed, and makes good on a promise Intel made last year when the chip maker said it would release the chip in the first half of 2010. To quickly recap, Nehalem-EX boasts an extensive feature-set, including up to 8 cores per processor, up to 16 threads per processor with Intel Hyper-threading, scalability up to eight sockets via Intel's serial Quick Path Interconnect and greater with third-party node controllers, and 24MB of shared cache."
Power

Submission + - MIT Produces Electricity Using Thermopower Waves (inhabitat.com)

MikeChino writes: MIT scientists have discovered a never-before-known phenomenon wherein carbon nanotubes can be used to harness energy from “thermopower waves”. To do this they coated the nanotubes with a reactive fuel and then lit one end, causing a fast-moving thermal wave to speed down the length of the tube. The heat from the fuel rises to a temperature of 3,000 kelvins, and can speed along the tube 10,000 times faster than the normal spread of this chemical reaction. The heat also pushes electrons down the tube which creates a substantial electrical current. The system can output energy (in proportion to its weight) about 100 x greater than an equivalent weight lithium-ion battery, and according to MIT the discovery “opens up a new area of energy research, which is rare”.

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

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.
NASA

Submission + - Bureaucracy at NASA gone mad (nytimes.com)

wisebabo writes: Okay, if there was ever a reason to shut down, dismantle and start NASA over it is this. The Supreme Court is deciding whether invasive (to me at least) personal background checks (sex lives, medical records) will be required of all JPL employees/independent contractors. No top secret work is done there and (I suppose) nothing military or even directly industry related. (In fact I thought the work of NASA was "For All Mankind".) Anyway, 28 scientists and engineers have so far refused to comply and if they lose this case will be fired.

While NASA claims that all Federal employees must go through this kind of check, I don't think these guys fit into the "all" category. It IS rocket science and I'm sure most of them have an IQ/educational background/creativity quotient that is extremely rare. I guess there could be a reason to do this if you were afraid that some personal information could be used to blackmail someone but as I mentioned before, what they are creating is destined to be public anyway.

So what if one guy has a fetish for SCUBA gear and chicken feathers? More seriously, look what happened to Alan Turing (father of the computer); if the Brits had had this policy in place and denied him any serious work in the war effort, computer technology would have set way back (and perhaps the decoding of Enigma and the winning of the war). As it is, they only managed to get him to commit suicide AFTER he had done some incredibly important work.

Look, if one of them is committing a crime/becoming a public menace, let the police deal with it. Otherwise keep the Republican religious police out of our bedrooms! (drug dens?).

Feed Schneier: Fake Dynamite Prompts Evacuation (schneier.com)

Yes, it's yet another story of knee-jerk overreaction to a nonexistent threat. But notice that the police evacuated everyone within a mile radius of the "dynamite." Isn't that a little excessive, even for real dynamite?...

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