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Submission + - Groklaw Shutters Doors Over NSA Email Spying ( 3

tetrahedrassface writes: Groklaw is shutting down over fears that the tactics the NSA uses for email snooping and storage could affect the way the site does law. Pamela Joins said, ""the simple truth is, no matter how good the motives might be for collecting and screening everything we say to one another, and no matter how "clean" we all are ourselves from the standpont of the screeners, I don't know how to function in such an atmosphere. I don't know how to do Groklaw like this," she writes...

Submission + - Europa Discovery Increases Odds of Life On Jovian Moon. (

tetrahedrassface writes: "Observations of spectral emissions from the surface of Europa using state of the art ground based telescopes here on Earth have lent data that indicate the surface of the Jovian moon is not merely ice that is not dynamically linked with the vast ocean below. The observations carried out by Caltech's Mike Brown, and JPL's Kevin Hand show that water is making it from the ocean below all the way up to the surface of the moon. In their study they noticed a dip in the emission bands around lower latitudes of the moon, and quickly honed in on what they were seeing. The mineral of interest is epsomite, a magnesium sulfate compound that can only come from the ocean below. From the article: 'Magnesium should not be on the surface of Europa unless it's coming from the ocean," Brown says. "So that means ocean water gets onto the surface, and stuff on the surface presumably gets into the ocean water.

Not only does this mean the ocean and surface are dynamically interacting but it also means that there may be more energy in the ocean than previously thought. Another finding is that the ocean below the icy surface of Europa is basically very similar to an ocean on Earth, giving the neglected and premier solar body for life past Earth another compelling reason for being explored."


Submission + - Netflix Desktop Application for Gnu-Linux. (

tetrahedrassface writes: An app for Netflix-Desktop that is much cleaner and easier to install was released today. It is built for Ubuntu, but per the comments some .RPM builds are being worked on. The app runs well, looks native, and plays Netflix video nicely. Trust me, after building WINE via git 5 times to get the manual method method of Netflix running on LInux, the app is a godsend. Hop over and check it out. Hopefully it's the start of a great thing for us Linux users.

Submission + - My Energy Company Won't Net Meter (Version 2). (

tetrahedrassface writes: My energy company is a public electric cooperative servicing several counties in Tennessee. For the past few years they have been participating in TVA's Green Power initiative where a person applies for a solar installation, TVA approves it, and then TVA pays .12 cents/kWh for the solar energy produced at your home. During this time, I have been busy insulating and switching over 70 bulbs to LED's and generally lowering household usage in order to install a solar system. Last week I called Volunteer Electric to inquire about the application process and to inform them that we would soon be purchasing at least a 10KW grid tie system. The lady in charge of the VEC's solar department told me they would likely not be signing back up with TVA's Green Power Switch program, and that they did not have to provide net metering. Today I called again after ordering my inverter, and she again told me that the CEO of Volunteer Energy had two major issues with solar:

The first was safety.

The second was not making money on solar power fed back into the grid. She urged my to write a letter to the CEO stating my concern and basically begging him for leniency in his soon to be rendered decision on whether to continue with TVA's program. She also said they were not required to install net metering even though the Energy Policy Act of 2005 states that:'(11) NET METERING.—Each electric utility shall make available upon request net metering service to any electric consumer that the electric utility serves. For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘net metering service’ means service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.' She told me the utility was only required to pay me .02/kWh if they don't continue with the TVA program. This seems unfair. Since all grid tie inverters shut down when the POCO isn't transmitting on the line what safety issues could they be worried about, and does the Energy Policy Act of 2005 give me a fighting chance of having fair net metering even if my public utility doesn't want to do it?

Submission + - My Power Cooperative Doesn't Offer Net Metering. ( 2

tetrahedrassface writes: I'm a resident of rural Tennessee and love it. However despite the loow electricity rates, I'm wanting to install a 10KW grid tie solar system. Last week I spoke with the lady in charge of VEC's solar program that's in partnership with TVA's Green Switch program. The lady said that Volunteer Energy would likely not be renewing the contract with TVA for solar energy production and they were not required to do net metering. To be fare a call to TVA was then made by me and they were quite surprised thqat VEC would not be renewing their solar initiative. Today a call to Volunteer Energy again revealed that their CEO is holding out on renewing the contract with TVA, and that my request for net metering doesn't have to be honored. According to the Energy Law of 2005 every public electric company has to comply with a written request for net metering. Is my electric company willfully skirting the law in order to not support solar? How can I best broach the topic and the Federal mandate that all public electricity providers allow for net metering?

Submission + - Breaking, Entering, and Installing Linux In A Congressmans Office. 1

tetrahedrassface writes: A person, or persons broke windows out of Rep. Michael Grimm's New Dorp headquarters a few days ago, gaining entry to the office of the representative What they did then is a little odd, They installed Linux on his computers, but instead of a dual boot they wiped the drives. '"All of my polling data, all of the data from my IDs of voters, and a bunch of other campaign information. But fortunately we had everything backed up from literally hours before, so we don't lose anything because we have backups,' Grimm said. The representative is calling the action a 'crime against the government', FBI is investigating.

Submission + - Savage XR 1.0 is Savagely Fun. (

tetrahedrassface writes: If you played the original cult classic, Savage: The Battle For Newerth and were proud that back in the day the development team made a Linux version available there is good news. After years of work, and many SVN revisons a new, much more dynamic and savage Savages is available. The game is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows and many features have been improved upon. Notably a improved models, a new editor, custom content and much more. It looks wonderful.

Submission + - Broken Busted and Out of Time The USPS Living in Dicey Times. ( 2

tetrahedrassface writes: The United States Postal Service does a pretty good job of moving mail around. They've been doing it for a couple of hundred years through good times and bad. The bad times for the postal service have gotten worse with the advent of the internet. The service made history a short time ago when it defaulted on its payment to its retirement benefits trust. It's about to happen again on September 30'th. At issue is how the service funds its retirement and health trust and a massive decrease in volume due to online communications such as e-mail, social sites, text, and sms. The employees of the USPS are good people, albeit working for an organization that can't seem to adapt out of the quandary they are in. Losing money badly the service recently agreed to buy used phones to help bolster the bottom line.
Some call this Armageddon for the postal world. According to the Inspector General the service might in fact run out of money for days or weeks in October until volume for the Holidays picks up. By next spring they forecast to be bankrupt entirely with out Congress acting, and there is the rub: Is the USPS a government service or a business and with so much connectivity these days why rely on paper? I'm sure the employees are good people, and don't want to pick on them, but perhaps their business model needs to be set free allowing them latitude in implementing needed changes. Dicey times. Dicey times indeed.

Submission + - Eunuchs Had More Fun: Castration Leads To Longer Lives. (

tetrahedrassface writes: "A study out from Korea verifies what the animal world has been telling us for years. Castrated males live longer lives. The study rounds out the period of the Chosun Dynasty where servants were castrated. The unit-less men lived on average 14 to 19 years longer, could marry and lived to the ripe old age of seventy whilst their royal employers lived on average into their forties. While the science is in, before everyone runs to get the service done to their person, it seems that the younger you are when castrated, the better the benefit.

Submission + - GPL Kerfuffle Kills Xbian for RaspberryPi ( 1

tetrahedrassface writes: Rasbmc developer Sam Nazarko is reporting that Xbian had violated the GPL and stolen his installer code without providing attribution and not releasing their source. His breakdown of events is interesting, and currently the Xbian project has been taken offline with several tweets saying Xbian development is terminated.

Submission + - Chattanooga's EPB Doubles Down On Fiber Speeds. (

tetrahedrassface writes: The first city in the U.S. to offer a screaming fast fiber network has now announced customers will get a free 60% boost in speed. If you had the 30 MB/sec service you now will get 50. Mid-range customers get a doubling for free, while the high end consumers of fiber get an average 250% boost. The fiber network recently passed 40,000 members and judging from a test of my business, we are currently over 300 MB/sec. It's awesome!

Submission + - A Brief Look At NASA's Nascent Renaissance.

tetrahedrassface writes: When the U.S. government declared the space race won and began cancelling Apollo missions in the very early 1970's the conventional wisdom was that since we had 'won', there would be no compelling reason to continue on the costly path of manned space exploration past Low Earth Orbit for a long time. Grandiose plans for human landing on Mars and bases on the Moon were shelved due to the fickleness of a Congress occupied with other things. The moon landings were old news, and the bogeyman of the U.S.S.R was beaten on the playing field of the moon.Or was it?

Through the 1970's and Eighties as we rested on our laurels content in the amazing science of the Space Shuttle, the cooperation of MIR, and later the ISS our technological base that was responsible for creating the Saturn V rocket, and all the components for landing on the moon, was withering. In hindsight, like a patient concerned with one aspect of health we focused on other bogeymen while our sheer dominating industrial and engineering base slowly atrophied. NASA, trying to continue on a path of exploration on limited budgets beset by ever changing Congressional and Presidential directives was perhaps like a bobbing capsule that had traveled great distances and achieved amazing results yet was adrift in the ocean with no clear view or steerage from a rescue ship. While the years mounted NASA continued to create amazing vessels of discovery, but focused on the mandate at hand the technological base that enabled us to do the greatest thing, was withering. Don't despair. NASA, despite budget cuts, and the continued machinations of Capital Hill is on the verge of a very real renaissance. Although our technological capability has shifted this has been a banner year for Human-Crewed-Spaceflight. Here is the rundown of some amazing things that promise to not only put us back in deeper space, but also put us on the Moon again, and later, Mars.

There are so many more examples of progress of late, but since 'space' is limited here, perhaps the comments will list more emerging technologies, and hardware developments. It may be easy to believe that a return to the Moon in the near future or ever to Mars in our lifetimes is out of the question. But judging from all the examples of a clear across the board increase in R&D and components that are already being tested we might have a little room to be confident, Phil Plait recently opined that we were in another space race except now we are competing against an emerging China. While this may be true, our greatest enemy has always been ourselves lacking the foresight to continue on a path that is difficult and not politically expedient. A little competition is always good, and perhaps now we've gained enough wisdom to not be the hare in the race that gets winded and loses interest. Time will tell, but NASA seems to be poised to pull it all together again. Perhaps that is the greatest miracle of all.


Submission + - Summer Fades, But NASA's Summer of Records Remains.

tetrahedrassface writes: Stennis Space Center spent a long summer testing the J2-X engine. The story hasn't received much press, but Stennis, and the J2-X had a very good summer indeed. Of note for this critical piece of equipment that will help up once again undertake manned exploration class space mission was that it smashed its endurance record not once, but twice. The first was the successful throttling up and down of the engine for 1,150 seconds. The second came on July 24'th with a test that lasted 1,350 seconds. That's great news for NASA as they try to move forward past the Shuttle Era and back into an age of beyond Low Earth Orbit manned missions.

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