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Comment Re:Decrease, not increase (Score 1) 147

As a technician who actually worked on a large windfarm (Kahuku, Hawaii, with both the HECO turbines & the NASA-Boeing turbine), I can say that you are somewhat deluded IF you think that 100% of the electrons doing work in your home (which you pay for in your electrical bill) come from wind energy. Find out how much power is generated by the ENTIRE grid you are on, then divide that by the amount of wind-generated power provided to that grid. The percentage is what you GET but you (and anyone else who pays extra for wind power) subsidize all others not paying for wind power. Paying extra? That's nice but Chuang-Tsu's writings remind us that 'virtue is consumed by fame.'

ALL wind generated power is co-generated (unless YOU have YOUR wind turbine directly connected to YOUR home), meaning the main grid must be online for wind generators to contribute. They disconnect if the main grid goes down, otherwise they suffer damage trying to produce too much. Wind power is still merely an 'add-on' to the world of electrical power. Some day, maybe, it will have a grid all its own.


Apple vs. Nokia vs. Google vs. HTC 159

Lanxon writes "Wired has published a lengthy investigation into the litigation underway among some of the world's biggest cell phone manufacturers, and what it means for the industry of patent lawsuits and patent squatting. 'According to a 2009 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, from 1995 to 2008 non-practising entities [patent trolls] have been awarded damages that are, on average, more than double those for practising entities. Consider Research In Motion's 2006 payout of over $612 million to Virginia-based patent-holding company NTP, to avoid its BlackBerry network being shut down in the US. As part of the settlement, NTP granted RIM a licence to use its patented technology; it has subsequently filed lawsuits against AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon.'"
The Internet

FCC's New Broadband Plan Prioritizes Competition 71

adeelarshad82 writes "The Federal Communications Commission has released an outline of what might be included in its upcoming national broadband plan, and encouraging competition was a top priority. The FCC statement said 'Competition drives innovation and provides consumer choice. Finding ways to better use existing assets, including Universal Service, rights-of-way, spectrum, and others, will be essential to the success of the plan. The limited government funding that is available for broadband would be best used when leveraged with the private sector.' The stimulus plan provided $7.2 billion in broadband grants and $350 million for a broadband mapping program, but also directed the FCC to deliver a national broadband plan to Congress by February 17, 2010."

FASTRA II Puts 13 GPUs In a Desktop Supercomputer 127

An anonymous reader writes "Last year tomography researchers of the ASTRA group at the University of Antwerp developed a desktop supercomputer with four NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards. The performance of the FASTRA GPGPU system was amazing; it was slightly faster than the university's 512-core supercomputer and cost less than 4000EUR. Today the researchers announce FASTRA II, a new 6000EUR GPGPU computing beast with six dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 graphics cards and one GeForce GTX 275. The development of the new system was more complicated and there are still some stability issues, but tests reveal the 13 GPUs deliver 3.75x more performance than the old system. For the tomography reconstruction calculations these researchers need to do, the compact FASTRA II is four times faster than the university's supercomputer cluster, while being roughly 300 times more energy efficient."

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
The Courts

US FTC Sues Intel For Anti-Competitive Practices 230

Vigile writes "And here Intel was about to get out of 2009 with only a modestly embarrassing year. While Intel and AMD settled their own antitrust and patent lawsuits in November, the FTC didn't think that was good enough and has decided to sue Intel for anti-competitive practices. While the suits in Europe and in the US civil courts have hurt Intel's pocketbook and its reputation, the FTC lawsuit could very likely be the most damaging towards the company's ability to practice business as they see fit. The official hearing is set for September of 2010 but we will likely hear news filtering out about the evidence and charges well before that. One interesting charge that has already arisen: that Intel systematically changed its widely-used compiler to stunt the performance of competing processors."
The Internet

Anticipated Closure of BitTorrent Sites Spurs Panic Downloads In China 114

hackingbear writes "Beijing Internet users are scrabbling for downloads from BitTorrent websites following speculation that authorities will shut them down as early as this week. Internet experts told China Daily the failure might be caused by an overload of users seeking last-minute free downloads. As the largest BT download website in China with 5 million downloads each year, VeryCD has been on the verge of closure after the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) shut hundreds of similar peer-to-peer file sharing sites, including the 50 million-user BTChina, during the last 10 days in its latest attempt to fight pornography and piracy online."

Fast Wi-Fi's Slow Road To Standardization 140

CWmike contributes this excerpt from Computerworld: "For a technology that's all about being fast, 802.11n Wi-Fi sure took its sweet time to become a standard, writes Steven J. Vaughan Nichols. In fact, until September 2009, it wasn't, officially, even a standard. But that didn't stop vendors from implementing it for several years beforehand, causing confusion and upset when networking gear that used draft standards from different suppliers wouldn't always work at the fastest possible speed when connected. It wasn't supposed to be that way. But, for years, the Wi-Fi hardware big dogs fought over the 802.11n protocol like it was a chew toy. The result: it took five drama-packed years for the standard to come to fruition. The delay was never over the technology. In fact, the technical tricks that give 802.11n its steady connection speeds of 100Mbps to 140Mbps have been well-known for years."

FTC Says Virtual Worlds Bad For Minors 355

eldavojohn writes "A new report from the FTC is claiming minors have access to explicit content via online virtual worlds such as those found in online games. The report makes five recommendations to keep little Johnny away from the harms of Barrens chat: Use more effective age-screening mechanisms to prevent children from registering in adult virtual worlds; Use or enhance age-segregation techniques to make sure that people interact only with others in their age group; Re-examine language filters to ensure that they detect and eliminate messages that violate rules of behavior in virtual worlds; Provide more guidance to community enforcers in virtual worlds so they are better able to review and rate virtual world content, report potential underage users, and report any users who appear to be violating rules of behavior; and Employ a staff of specially trained moderators who are equipped to take swift action against rule violations."
Data Storage

Quebec Data Center Built In a Silo 113

1sockchuck writes "A supercomputing center in Quebec has transformed a huge concrete silo into the CLUMEQ Colossus, a data center filled with HPC clusters. The silo, which is 65 feet high with two-foot thick concrete walls, previously housed a Van de Graaf accelerator dating to the 1960s. It was redesigned to house three floors of server cabinets, arranged so cold air can flow from the outside of the facility through the racks and return via an interior 'hot core.' The construction and operation of the unique facility (PDF) are detailed in a presentation from CLUMEQ."
GNU is Not Unix

Microsoft Finally Open Sources Windows 7 Tool 284

Jan writes "Microsoft has open sourced the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool by releasing it under the GPLv2 license. The code is now available on CodePlex, Microsoft's Open Source software project hosting repository, over at The actual installer for the tool is now again available for download at the Microsoft Store (2.59MB). (Microsoft previously took responsiblity for the violation.)"

Hackers Find Home In Amazon EC2 Cloud 89

snydeq writes "Security researchers have spotted the Zeus botnet running an unauthorized command and control center on Amazon's EC2 cloud computing infrastructure. This marks the first time Amazon Web Services' cloud infrastructure has been used for this type of illegal activity, according to threat researcher Don DeBolt. The hackers got onto Amazon's infrastructure by hacking into a Web site hosted on Amazon's servers and then secretly installing their command and control infrastructure."

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