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Submission + - Clinton dodges H-1B question, but Trump wants changes

overThruster writes: Computerworld reports: "Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump responded to series of questions about science policy, including two questions on immigration.

What the answers reveal is this: Clinton and Trump are as divided as night and day on H-1B reforms. Trump supports reform and U.S. worker protections; Clinton simply avoided answering the question."

"Clinton didn't answer the H-1B question, which is consistent. The H-1B issue isn't addressed in her platform or in her speeches.

For his part, Trump said that when U.S. workers are pushed out of jobs and replaced by cheaper labor, "something is wrong." He wants the visa used for filling positions that can’t be filled by U.S. citizens and permanent residents."

Submission + - Giant squid filmed at Japanese marina

overThruster writes: The Wall Street Journal reports:

"The rare sight of a giant squid swimming inside a marina was captured on video on the cost of the Sea of Japan.

According to a manager at the Mizuhashi Fisherina in Toyama prefecture, about 250 kilometers northwest of Tokyo, one fisherman found a 3.7-meter (12.1 feet) giant squid swimming beneath fishing boats docked at the marina on the morning of Dec. 24."

The extraordinary close up video taken by divers shows the giant squid's natural coloration as well as the action of its siphon propelling it through the water. Additional footage here.

Submission + - Microsoft manufacturing Surface Hub in the US

overThruster writes: According to the New York Times, Microsoft has chosen to manufacture its Surface Hub in Wilsonville, Oregon. “It makes a lot of sense to manufacture in the U.S.,” said Steve Hix, an entrepreneur who founded several Portland-area tech companies, including one that had a manufacturing facility in Wilsonville. “The key issue is quality.”

Submission + - Services of Hide My Ass (choosevpn.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Hide My Ass in a free web proxy server that allows its users to perform activities over the internet while keeping their identities to themselves.

Submission + - Pizzicato: the world's first entirely digital transmitter

overThruster writes: Gizmag reports: "For the first time in history, a prototype radio has been created that is claimed to be completely digital, generating high-frequency radio waves purely through the use of integrated circuits and a set of patented algorithms without using conventional analog radio circuits in any way whatsoever. This breakthrough technology promises to vastly improve the wireless communications capabilities of everything from 5G mobile technology to the multitude devices aimed at supporting the Internet of Things."

Submission + - Web site for visualizing earth's winds

overThruster writes: A recently launched web site, windyty.com displays an animated map of earth's winds, both present and predicted.

According to the developer, who describes himself as an an addicted kiter, helicopter and jet pilot: "Windyty.com is advertisement free and a strictly non-commercial project. GFS forecast model, produced by NOAA, is the major source of weather data."

The maps are simultaneously beautiful and useful for people who need to know what the wind is or will be doing.

Submission + - How Blu-ray Discs Can Improve Solar Panels

overThruster writes: livescience.com reports: Blu-ray discs could help make the solar cells used in solar panels more efficient, researchers say.

Prior research had revealed that if microscopic structures that are only nanometers (billionths of a meter) high are placed on the surface of solar cells, they can scatter light in ways that increase the cells' efficiency. The best patterns of nanostructures to place on solar cells are quasi-random ones — patterns that are neither too orderly nor too random.

The researchers used a Blu-ray of "Police Story 3: Supercop," starring Jackie Chan, to create a mold for a quasi-random surface texture that they placed on a solar cell. They found that this pattern boosted light absorption significantly — by 21.8 percent over the entire solar spectrum, more so than either a random pattern or no pattern.

Comment Most interesting problem (Score 4, Interesting) 40

First, thank you for taking time to answer our questions and for the amazing work you have done both as an explorer and an author! My favorite book of yours to date is The Discovery of the Bismarck.

I have two questions:
What is the most interesting underwater engineering problem you've had to solve in your career?
What are the unsolved underwater engineering problems that you think are most important?

Submission + - End of an era: After a 30 year run, IBM drops support for Lotus 1-2-3 (theregister.co.uk)

klubar writes: Although it has been fading for years, the final death knell came recently for the iconic Lotus 1-2-3. In many ways, Lotus 1-2-3 launched the PC era (and ensured the Apple II success), and once was a serious competitor for Excel (and prior to that Multiplan and VisiCalc). Although I doubt if anyone is creating new Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets, I'm sure there are spreadsheets still being used who trace their origin to Lotus 1-2-3, and even Office 2013 still has some functions and key compatibility with Lotus 1-2-3. Oh, how far the mighty have fallen.

Submission + - New chemical process could make ammonia a practical car fuel 1

overThruster writes: A phys.org article says UK researchers have made a breakthrough that could make ammonia a practical source of hydrogen for fueling cars.

From the article:

"Many catalysts can effectively crack ammonia to release the hydrogen, but the best ones are very expensive precious metals. This new method is different and involves two simultaneous chemical processes rather than using a catalyst, and can achieve the same result at a fraction of the cost."

"Professor Bill David, who led the STFC research team at the ISIS Neutron Source, said "Our approach is as effective as the best current catalysts but the active material, sodium amide, costs pennies to produce. We can produce hydrogen from ammonia 'on demand' effectively and affordably.""

"Ammonia is already one of the most transported bulk chemicals worldwide. It is ammonia that is the feedstock for the fertilisers that enable the production of almost half the world's food. Increasing ammonia production is technologically straightforward and there is no obvious reason why this existing infrastructure cannot be extended so that ammonia not only feeds but powers the planet."
Science

Submission + - Giant Squid Captured on Video (arstechnica.com) 1

overThruster writes: After years of trying, Japanese scientists have captured live video of the giant squid in its natural habitat. The squid was filmed at a depth of 2066 feet, 9.3 miles (15 kilometres) east of Chichi Island, a small archipelago about 150 miles (241.4 kilometers) north of Iwo Jima. The video will air on January 27th on the Discovery Channel.

Tsunemi Kubodera, the mission leader:

“It was shining and so beautiful. I was so thrilled when I saw it first hand, but I was confident we would because we rigorously researched the areas we might find it, based on past data. Researchers around the world have tried to film giant squid in their natural habitats, but all attempts were in vain before.”

High resolution still pictures from the video have been released.

Comment Advertisers will demand inline ad content (Score 1) 686

If ad blocking really starts to hurt advertisers, I expect they will demand a technical fix rather than a legal one. If sites serve ad content inline with their main site content, ad blockers in their current form will stop working.

This would be a significant change to the current ad distribution model but I think it has a better chance of success than the hypothetical legal approach posited by the article.

Networking

Submission + - Undersea Cable Map

overThruster writes: TechCentral reports: "Greg Mahlknecht has built a free map showing the world's submarine telecommunications cable systems.

The map, which took Mahlknecht several months to complete, is free of charge and will remain so."

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