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East Texas Getting Compressed Air Energy Storage Plant
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cranking-the-air department:
First time accepted submitter transporter_ii writes "A compressed air energy storage (CAES) plant was first built in Germany in 1978, but East Texas will be the site of one of the world's first modern CASE plants. How does it work? A CAES power generation facility uses electric motor-driven compressors (generated by natural gas generators) to inject air into an underground storage cavern and later releases the compressed air to turn turbines and generate electricity back onto the grid, according to the plants owner. The location near Palestine, Texas was selected because of its large salt dome, which will be used to store the compressed air. The plant is estimated at 350 million-plus, and will create about 20 to 25 permanent jobs."

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Entangled Histories: Climate Science and Nuclear Weapons Research
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's two-in-one department:
Harperdog writes "Paul N. Edwards has a great paper about the links between nuclear weapons testing and climate science. From the abstract: 'Tracing radioactive carbon as it cycles through the atmosphere, the oceans, and the biosphere has been crucial to understanding anthropogenic climate change. The earliest global climate models relied on numerical methods very similar to those developed by nuclear weapons designers for solving the fluid dynamics equations needed to analyze shock waves produced in nuclear explosions. The climatic consequences of nuclear war also represent a major historical intersection between climate science and nuclear affairs. Without the work done by nuclear weapons designers and testers, scientists would know much less than they now do about the atmosphere. In particular, this research has contributed enormously to knowledge about both carbon dioxide, which raises Earth's temperature, and aerosols, which lower it.'"

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Asteroid Crashes Likely Gave Earth Its Water
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's space-water department:
Diggester writes "Asteroids from the inner solar system are the most likely source of the majority of Earth's water, a new study suggests. The results contradict prevailing theories, which hold that most of our planet's water originated in the outer solar system and was delivered by comets or asteroids that coalesced beyond Jupiter's orbit, then migrated inward."

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Report from HOPE: Cryptocat And Encryption in the Cloud
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's meow-meow-encryption department:
In a world increasingly dominated by the cloud, privacy is often
sacrificed for convenience. Imagine a world where you could use
cloud services without allowing the provider to read your
data. Author of Cryptocat
(a browser-based secure chat system) Nadim Kobeissi shared the
problems he faced developing Cryptocat, his solutions, and future
of client-side cryptography. Read on for more.

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When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-feel-safer-already department:
theodp writes "Last July, Slashdot reported on Kyle McDonald, the artist who had the Secret Service raid his home at the behest of Apple, who was miffed with Kyle's surreptitious capture of people's expressions as they stared at computers in Apple Stores. A year later, Wired is running McDonald's first-person account of the preparation for and fallout from his People Staring at Computers project. 'I really wasn't expecting the Secret Service,' McDonald begins. 'Maybe an email, or a phone call from Apple. Instead, my first indication that something was "wrong" was a real-life visit from the organization best known for protecting the President of the United States of America.'"

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FBI To Review Use of Forensic Evidence In Thousands of Cases
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cleaning-up-the-lab department:
NotSanguine writes in with a story about a review of the forensic evidence in thousands of criminal cases to see if any defendants were wrongly convicted. "The Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence, officials said Tuesday.

The undertaking is the largest post-conviction review ever done by the FBI. It will include cases conducted by all FBI Laboratory hair and fiber examiners since at least 1985 and may reach earlier if records are available, people familiar with the process said. Such FBI examinations have taken place in federal and local cases across the country, often in violent crimes, such as rape, murder and robbery."


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Star Wars Fans Fix Up Luke Skywalker's Home
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's extreme-makeover-star-wars-edition department:
An anonymous reader writes "How far would a Star Wars fan go to preserve a relic from the iconic film series? One devoted fan traveled to Tunisia to rescue Luke Skywalker's boyhood home, also known as The Lars Homestead, as seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. On a trip to Tunisia in 2010, Belgian traveler Mark Dermul came upon the modest dome-shaped hut that George Lucas built in the mid-1970s to serve as Luke Skywalker's home. The structure was falling apart when Dermul found it, so he hatched a scheme to restore it. After two years and a lot of cement and plaster, Luke's house is looking better than ever."

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MIT Creates Car Co-Pilot That Only Interferes If You're About To Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 05:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's robot-take-the-wheel department:
MrSeb writes "Mechanical engineers and roboticists working at MIT have developed an intelligent automobile co-pilot that sits in the background and only interferes if you're about to have an accident. If you fall asleep, for example, the co-pilot activates and keeps you on the road until you wake up again. Like other autonomous and semi-autonomous solutions, the MIT co-pilot uses an on-board camera and laser rangefinder to identify obstacles. These obstacles are then combined with various data points — such as the driver's performance, and the car's speed, stability, and physical characteristics — to create constraints. The co-pilot stays completely silent unless you come close to breaking one of these constraints — which might be as simple as a car in front braking quickly, or as complex as taking a corner too quickly. When this happens, a ton of robotics under the hood take over, only passing back control to the driver when the car is safe. This intelligent co-pilot is starkly contrasted with Google's self-driving cars, which are completely computer-controlled unless you lean forward, put your hands on the wheel, and take over. Which method is better? A computer backup, or a human backup? I'm not sure."

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Defense Expert: Hire Hackers and Wage War
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's institutionalized-anonymous department:
Phoghat writes "A top defense and cybersecurity expert says the U.S. should stop trying to take aim at expert hackers and start doing a better job of recruiting them. 'Let's just say that in some places you find guys with body piercings and nonregulation haircuts,' says U.S. Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla . 'But most of these sorts of guys can't be vetted in the traditional way. We need a new institutional culture that allows us to reach out to them.'"

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What Is an Astronaut's Life Worth?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 15 '12 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-well-can-they-tap-dance department:
An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Robert Zubrin has some interesting ideas about what it costs to have an astronaut on the payroll. He says if you’re going to 'give up four billion dollars to avoid a one in seven chance of killing an astronaut, you’re basically saying an astronaut’s life is worth twenty-eight billion dollars.' He wrote about the same subject earlier this year for Reason magazine, saying, 'Keeping astronauts safe merits significant expenditure. But how much? There is a potentially unlimited set of testing procedures, precursor missions, technological improvements, and other protective measures that could be implemented before allowing human beings to once again try flying to other worlds. Were we to adopt all of them, we would wind up with a human spaceflight program of infinite cost and zero accomplishment. In recent years, the trend has moved in precisely that direction, with NASA’s manned spaceflight effort spending more and more to accomplish less and less. If we are to achieve anything going forward, we have to find some way to strike a balance between human life and mission accomplishment.'"

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EA Outs Battlefield 4, Plans To Charge $70 For New Games
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's first-person-inflaters department:
Justus writes "Posts at NeoGAF and IGN show that a quickly-removed Origin advertisement for Medal of Honor: Warfighter reveals plans for Battlefield 4 and a new-game cost of $70. With Battlefield 3 DLC promised through 2013 and PC games cheaper than ever with things like the Steam Summer Sale, are gamers ready to buy Battlefield 4 at next-gen pricing?"

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The FDA Spied On Its Own Scientists
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's your-tax-dollars-at-work department:
retroworks writes "The New York Times has an interesting article about efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to locate a source of 'leaks' within the agency. The search became a slippery slope involving trojans, keyloggers, screenshot captures, and an investigation that eventually became an allegory for management overkill. The article describes how the investigation of one employee expanded to five, and how the investigation of five led to other staff (including the interception of correspondence to President Obama). The Agency struggled with the gray area between protecting trade secrets of drug companies (which had applied for FDA approval) and censoring researchers with legitimate questions about the Agency's approval process."

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A Build-It-Yourself Electric Vehicle
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-screw-it-up department:
Taco Cowboy writes "Here's yet another exciting project for DIY geeks. Modi-Corp, a Japanese company, has just unveiled a new electric car that you can actually build yourself. Not to be confused with the Toyota 'Prius,' the DIY electric car from Modi-Corp is called 'PIUS.' It's a single-seat electric car that will be released next spring in Japan. The company hopes that the PIUS kits can be used as educational tools, expecting to sell them to universities and mechanical schools with the opportunity to have customizable parts embedded in the EV for testing."

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New 'Reloaded Edition' of Alien Arena Open Source FPS Released
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 05:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shoot-things-with-guns department:
An anonymous reader tips this news from IndieDB:
"Alien Arena: Reloaded Edition has been released. This is a major release of this game, with many new features, and a veritable truckload of new high quality content. Every aspect of the game has been improved upon and expanded, from the engine, to the game code, weaponry, and overall gameplay. Some of the new features for this release include: Many new rendering features; Twelve new/rebuilt levels; Two new player characters, the Overlord and Warrior; Brand new 'super' weapon, the Minderaser; Improved antilag code; "Simple" items rendering option; Improved and expanded movement; Improved Bot AI, particularly with CTF; New music, and music 'shifts' in game situations; and a variety of bug fixes and code cleansing. Alien Arena is free to download, free to play, and the code is open sourced, and that will never change."

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Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody-should-build-a-big-wall department:
An anonymous reader writes "A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has 'pervasive access' to about 80 percent of the world's communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage. 'Not only do Huawei and ZTE power telecom infrastructure all around the world, but they're still growing. The two firms are the main beneficiaries for telecommunication projects taking place in Malaysia with DiGi, Globe in the Philippines, Megafon in Russia, Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates, America Movil in a number of countries, Tele Norte in Brazil, and Reliance in India.'"

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Cell Phones: Tracking Devices That Happen To Make Calls
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-in-some-cases-just-tracking-devices department:
An anonymous reader writes "An article in the NY Times argues that the devices we call 'cell phones' should instead be called 'trackers.' It would help remind the average user that whole industries have sprung up around the mining and selling of their personal data — not to mention the huge amount of data requested by governments. Law professor Eben Moglen goes a step further, saying our cell phones are effectively robots that use us for mobility. 'They see everything, they're aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream around us.' It's interesting to see such a mainstream publication focus on privacy like this; the authors say that since an objects name influences how people think about the object, renaming 'cell phones' could be an simple way to raise privacy awareness."

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Valve Continues Recruiting Top Linux Talent
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's year-of-linux-on-the-gametop department:
An anonymous reader writes "Valve Software, in their Linux Steam / Source Engine effort, plus the rumored Steam Box, is continuing to hire top Linux developers. So far they have poached the lead developers of the DarkPlaces open-source engine used by Nexuiz/Xonotic, the founder of Battle for Wesnoth, and just yesterday they hired Sam latinga, creator of Simple DirectMedia Layer. According to Michael Larabel, they are still trying to hire more Linux kernel developers, driver experts, and other 'extremely talented Linux developers.'"

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RMS Responds To NPR File-Sharer's Blog
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's morally-right-vs-legally-right department:
New submitter UtucXul points out that Richard Stallman has penned a lengthy response to NPR intern Emily White for her post on the organization's site about how she failed to pay for a significant amount of recorded music, acquiring it instead through Kazaa, friends, and CDs owned by the radio station at which she was employed. (We previously discussed musician David Lowery's response; quite different from RMS's, as you might expect.) Stallman wrote,
< article continued at Slashdot >

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NVIDIA Kills Online Store In Response To Hacker Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-updating-your-drivers department:
wiredmikey writes "Following a shutdown of its 'NVIDIA Developer Zone,' earlier this week after the online community for developers had been hacked, the graphics chip maker on Friday also shut down its online store. The group of hackers behind the attack, going by the handle of 'The Apollo Project,' made mention of the claimed compromise in its original post exhibiting its successful attack against the NVIDIA Developer Zone site. While the company has shut down the online store, it has not acknowledged that a successful attack has taken place. 'NVIDIA has suspended operation of the NVIDIA Gear Store (store.nvidia.com) as a precaution, following confirmed attacks on several of our other sites,' read a statement posted on the site posted. The claimed attackers wrote, 'We aren't acting extremely maliciously, we've used this database to target disgusting corporations who deserve to be brought to justice.. and we are getting there, slowly but surely.'"

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Chicken Vaccines Combine To Produce Deadly Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on July 14 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wonder-twin-powers-activate department:
stoilis sends this quote from an article at Science:
"Vaccines aren't supposed to cause disease. But that appears to be what's happening on Australian farms. Scientists have found that two virus strains used to vaccinate chickens there may have recombined to form a virus that is sickening and killing the animals 'This shows that recombination of such strains can happen and people need to think about it,' says Glenn Browning, a veterinary microbiologist at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, in Australia and one of the co-authors on the paper."

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