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Submission + - Hash indexes are faster than Btree indexes? (blogspot.in)

amitkapila writes: PostgreSQL supports Hash Index from a long time, but they are not much used in production mainly because they are not durable. Now, with the next version of PostgreSQL, they will be durable. The immediate question is how do they perform as compared to Btree indexes. This blog has tried to answer that question.

Submission + - Trump's proposed budget would result in big spending cuts for renewables (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The Trump administration's newly released 2018 budget proposal outlining changes to discretionary would likely cut spending on renewable energy. For example, not only does the proposed budget cut the EPA and Energy Department budget by 31% and 6%, respectively, it would also not fund the Clean Power Plan and other climate change programs. With the CPP gone, the U.S. would likely see fewer retirements of coal-fired power plants due to carbon emissions and less impetus for the procurement of utility-grade solar power. The good news for renewables: the budget would not have any impact on the solar investment tax credit, carbon tax proposals or state-based solar subsidies, according to Amit Ronen, director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University. Additionally, renewable energy resources, such as solar panels, have gained too much momentum and aren't likely to be deterred by regulatory changes at this point, according to Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy research firm. For example, even with the dissolution of the CPP, the number of coal-fired generators is still expected to be reduced by about one-third through 2030, or by about 60 gigawatts of capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, wind and solar are by far the fastest growing energy sectors, which indicates an appetite by utilities and consumers that is highly unlikely to be slowed by regulatory changes at the federal level, experts said.

Submission + - Renewable energy now Australia's cheapest power option (econews.com.au)

Socguy writes: With the cost of gas rising and the cost of storage falling, true cost renewables (renewables + storage) have become the cheapest option in Austrailia.

Carbon capture technology will not be ready for prime time till perhaps as late as 2030 and by then there may be no appetite to build new base-load generating stations as they are too inflexible to compete in the modern electrical infrastructure.

Submission + - How to effectively implement sitewide file encryption?

Pig Hogger writes: The recent assertion that, given the recent CIA/Wikileaks dump about “encryption really working” makes encryption much more desirable.

So, if you decide to implement server-level encryption accross all your servers, how do you manage the necessary keys/passwords/passphrases to insure that you both have maximum uptime (you can access your data if you need to reboot your servers), yet that the keys cannot be compromised, as if the password is known by many different people, because, once the server is seized, you can’t change the password?

What are established practices to address this issue?

Submission + - Your old CD-ROMs are probably rotting (boingboing.net)

AmiMoJo writes: In 2009, the Library of Congress commissioned a research report into the degradation ofCD-ROMs in storage as a way of assessing the integrity of the media in its collection: the news isn't pretty. The standards for certifying a CD-ROM did not "place any requirement on the chemical or physical stability of the disc," so depending on the manufacturer and process, the discs you've put away on shelves may have wildly different material properties. In the study, 10% of the discs failed at an estimated life of less than 25 years.

Submission + - Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo System Sounds Better Than Your New One (gizmodo.com)

schwit1 writes: The receiver engineers have to devote the lion’s share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good.

Submission + - Physicists Find That as Clocks Get More Precise, Time Gets More Fuzzy (sciencealert.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Time is weird – in spite of what we think, the Universe doesn't have a master clock to run by, making it possible for us to experience time differently depending on how we're moving or how much gravity is pulling on us.

Now physicists have combined two grand theories of physics to conclude not only is time not universally consistent, any clock we use to measure it will blur the flow of time in its surrounding space.

Submission + - Proposed US Law Would Allow Employers to Demand Genetic Testing (businessinsider.com)

capedgirardeau writes: A little-noticed bill moving through the US Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information. Giving employers such power is now prohibited by US law, including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a 'workplace wellness' program.

Submission + - This USB firewall protects against malicious device attacks (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The USG is a small, portable hardware USB firewall that isolates a potentially harmful device from your computer. It's designed to prevent malicious USB sticks and devices laden with malware from infecting your computer.

That's where the USG firewall comes in. You plug in one end to your computer, and you plug in a suspect USB device into the other. A simple hardware serial link that only accepts a very few select number of safe commands, which prevents the device from executing system commands or intercepting network traffic. That means the data can flow from the USB device but effectively blocks other USB exploits.

These kinds of attacks might be rare, compared to spam, ransomware, and other kinds of malware, but they can still do considerable damage.

Submission + - Message for AMD: Open PSP Will Improve Security, Hinder Intel

futuristicrabbit writes: AMD has faced calls from Edward Snowden, Libreboot and the Reddit community to release the source code to the AMD Secure Processor (PSP), a network-capable co-processor which some believe has the capacity to act as a backdoor. Opening the PSP would not only have security benefits, but would provide AMD with a competitive advantage against rival chipmaker Intel. Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, is reportedly seriously considering the change, and the community is working hard to make sure she makes the right decision.

Submission + - New 360 Video Inside Bertha, World's Largest Tunnel Boring Machine (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: Bertha, the huge machine currently boring a two-mile tunnel 200 feet beneath Seattle, returned to work this week after surveyors discovered that it was "several inches" off course. But that's not completely unusual, apparently, and at least it sounds pretty tiny compared to the scale of the project. Just look at this thing.

Submission + - The Manhoff Archives: Stalin's Soviet Union comes to life in full color (rferl.org)

schwit1 writes: Major Martin Manhoff spent more than two years in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s, serving as assistant army attaché at the U.S. Embassy, which was located just off Red Square at the beginning of his time in Moscow.

He took full advantage of his post, using his gifted photographic eye to capture hundreds of images of everyday life in Moscow and across the U.S.S.R.

When he left the country in 1954 amid accusations of espionage, Major Manhoff took with him reels of 16 millimeter film and hundreds of color slides and negatives he shot during his travels – including of one of the Soviet Union's pivotal events, Josef Stalin's funeral.

But after his return to the United States, the trove of rare images lay forgotten, stored in cardboard boxes in a former auto body shop in the Pacific Northwest until its discovery by a Seattle-based historian.

Submission + - Strong tail muscles helped dinosaurs to go bipedal (topexaminer.com)

hypnosec writes: Strong tail muscles are the reason why proto-dinosaur ancestors became bipedal and this bipedalism was inherited by dinosaurs over the course of millions of years, says a new study by scientists in Canada. University of Alberta scientists have revealed through their study [PDF] published in Journal of Theoretical Biology that dinosaurs didn’t just start walking on their two back feet overnight, but it was strong tails of their proto-dinosaur ancestors that played a huge role in enabling the dinosaurs stand on their two feet and move about. This is by far one of the most plausible explanations behind the bipedalism of dinosaurs.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why Are There No Huge Leaps Forward In CPU/GPU Power? 2

dryriver writes: We all know that CPUs and GPUs and other electronic chips get a little faster with each generation produced. But one thing never seems to happen — a CPU/GPU manufacturer suddenly announcing a next generation chip that is, say, 4 — 8 times faster than the fastest model they had 2 years ago. There are moderate leaps forward all the time, but seemingly never a HUGE leap forward due to, say, someone clever in R&D discovering a much faster way to process computing instructions. Is this because huge leaps forward in computing power are technically or physically impossible/improbable? Or is nobody in R&D looking for that huge leap forward, and rather focused on delivering a moderate leap forward every 2 years? Maybe striving for that "rare huge leap forward in computing power" is simply too expensive for chip manufacturers? Precisely what is the reason that there is never a next-gen CPU or GPU that is — say — advertised as being 16 times faster than the one that came 2 years before it due to some major breakthrough in chip engineering and manufacturing?

Submission + - Obama's Feds Tried to Hack Indiana's Election System While Pence Was Governor

EmmaStarc writes: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

The attacks are the second confirmed IT scanning assault by DHS officials against states that resisted then-President Barack Obama’s attempt to increase federal involvement in state and local election systems by designating them as “critical infrastructure” for national security. .Source

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