mrvan writes: Two international university teams clinched top honors for the first test phase of Elon Musk's Hyperloop competition that ran this weekend. The Delft Hyperloop team, of Delft University in the Netherlands, got the highest overall score. Technical University of Munich, Germany secured the award for the fastest pod. And MIT placed third overall in the competition, which was judged by SpaceX engineers. Although teams have been participating in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition since 2015, this weekend marked the first time qualifiers got the opportunity to test their Hyperloop pod on the mile-long SpaceX track. In 2016, SpaceX selected 30 teams to participate this weekend after passing through the design phase of the competition.
mrvan writes: An eclipse of the sun next month could disrupt Europe’s power supplies because so many countries now use solar energy, electricity system operators have warned. “The risk of incident cannot be completely ruled out,” the European Network Transmission System Operators for Electricity said on Monday, adding the eclipse on March 20 would be “an unprecedented test for Europe’s electricity system”.
Normally, it is generally cloudy in some parts or Europe while the sun shines in other parts: “Within 30 minutes the solar power production would decrease from 17.5 gigawatts to 6.2GW and then increase again up to 24.6GW. This means that within 30 minutes the system will have to adapt to a load change of -10GW to +15GW,” if it is a sunny day and all solar power stations were producing at full load. Solar power covered just 0.1 per cent of all the electricity produced in Europe from renewable energy sources around the time of the last large solar eclipse in Europe in 1999, according to the network, known as ENTSO-E. But since then solar power generation has soared to at least 10.5 per cent, as countries subsidise green power to meet EU renewable energy targets.
mrvan writes: "Guido van Rossum, the proclaimed python Benevolent Dictator For Life, is leaving Google in january to work for Dropbox. He is currently employed by Google, where he spends half his time developing the Python language. In their announcement, DropBox state that they relied heavily on python from the beginning, citing a mix of simplicity, flexibility, and elegance, and are excited to have GvR on the team. While this is without a doubt good news for DropBox, the big question is what this will mean for python (and for google)."
mrvan writes: The New York Times writes: "European antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Microsoft $1.3 billion for failing to comply with a 2004 judgment that the company had abused its market dominance. Microsoft had earlier been fined after the commission determined in 2004 that the company had abused the dominance of its Windows operating system to gain unfair market advantage. The commission imposed the new fine Wednesday, it said, because the company had not met the prescribed remedies after the earlier judgment. "Microsoft was the first company in 50 years of E.U. competition policy that the commission has had to fine for failure to comply with an antitrust decision," the European competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, said in a statement.
mrvan writes: "The Electoral Compass was launched today by political scientists from the Free University Amsterdam in cooperation with the Wall Street Journal. On this voting aid website, you can fill in your position on a number of issues and compare it with that of the various candidates. Most importantly, at the end you can compare the differences per issue and see the debate transcripts or newspaper articles that contain the issue position of the candidate. An interesting point is that the researchers did not ask the candidates for their position, which carries a risk of getting optimized or manipulative answers. Instead, they coded the statements of the candidates found in the media and debates. More information about this compass and similar efforts for the last Dutch general elections can be found here."