Open Source

French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Slashdot - 2 hours 3 min ago
mdsolar writes with bad news for France and its nuclear industry. "France's nuclear industry is in turmoil after the country's main reactor manufacturer, Areva, reported a loss for 2014 of 4.8 billion euros ($5.3 billion) — more than its entire market value. The government of France, the world's most nuclear dependent country, has a 29% stake in Areva, which is among the biggest global nuclear technology companies. The loss puts its future — and that of France as a leader in nuclear technology — at risk. Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday she asked Areva and utility giant Electricite de France to work together on finding solutions, amid reports of a possible merger or other link-up. The government said in a statement that it's working closely with Areva to restructure and secure financing, and would 'take its responsibility as a shareholder' in future decisions about its direction. Areva reported Wednesday 1 billion euros in losses on three major nuclear projects in Finland and France, among other hits. Areva has lost money for years, in part linked to delays on those projects and to a global pullback from nuclear energy since the 2011 Fukushima accident."

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FTC Targets Group That Made Billions of Robocalls

Slashdot - 3 hours 44 min ago
coondoggie writes Given the amount of time the FTC and others have put into curing the robocall problem, it is disheartening to hear that a group of companies for almost a year have been making billions of illegal robocalls. The Federal Trade Commission and 10 state attorneys general today said they have settled charges against a Florida-based cruise line company and seven other companies that averaged 12 million to 15 million illegal sales calls a day between October 2011 through July 2012, according to the joint complaint filed by the FTC and the states.

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NASA Ames Reproduces the Building Blocks of Life In Laboratory

Slashdot - 4 hours 40 min ago
hypnosec writes "Scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center have reproduced non-biologically the three basic components of life found in both DNA and RNA — uracil, cytosine, and thymine. For their experiment scientists deposited an ice sample containing pyrimidine — a ring-shaped molecule made up of carbon and nitrogen — on a cold substrate in a chamber with space-like conditions such as very high vacuum, extremely low temperatures, and irradiated the sample with high-energy ultraviolet photons from a hydrogen lamp. Researchers discovered that such an arrangement produces these essential ingredients of life. "We have demonstrated for the first time that we can make uracil, cytosine, and thymine, all three components of RNA and DNA, non-biologically in a laboratory under conditions found in space," said Michel Nuevo, research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. "We are showing that these laboratory processes, which simulate conditions in outer space, can make several fundamental building blocks used by living organisms on Earth."

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Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 9:55pm
agent elevator writes Not as strange a question as it seems, writes Mark Harris at IEEE Spectrum : "Self-driving cars promise a future where you can watch television, sip cocktails, or snooze all the way home. But what happens when something goes wrong? Today's drivers have not been taught how to cope with runaway acceleration, unexpected braking, or a car that wants to steer into a wall." The California DMV is considering something that would be similar to requirements for robocar test-driver training." Hallie Siegel points out this article arguing that we need to be careful about how many rules we make for self-driving cars before they become common. Governments and lawmakers across the world are debating how to best regulate autonomous cars, both for testing, and for operation. Robocar expert Brad Templeton argues that that there is a danger that regulations might be drafted long before the shape of the first commercial deployments of the technology take place.

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How to Succeed in Venture Capital the John Doerr Way

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 9:53pm

Famed investor John Doerr’s testimony in a high-profile bias trial offered a glimpse into the tension between venture capital's gender problem and its faith in meritocracy.

The post How to Succeed in Venture Capital the John Doerr Way appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Etsy Lost Its Soul, But That Doesn’t Matter to Its IPO

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 8:14pm

Etsy is now a ticker symbol on the NASDAQ stock exchange. And that's telling.

The post Etsy Lost Its Soul, But That Doesn’t Matter to Its IPO appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Massive Exoplanet Evolved In Extreme 4-Star System

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 7:53pm
astroengine writes "For only the second time, an exoplanet living with an expansive family of four stars has been revealed. The exoplanet, which is a huge gaseous world 10 times the mass of Jupiter, was previously known to occupy a 3-star system, but a fourth star (a red dwarf) has now been found, revealing quadruple star systems possessing planets are more common than we thought. "About four percent of solar-type stars are in quadruple systems, which is up from previous estimates because observational techniques are steadily improving," said co-author Andrei Tokovinin of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The whole 4-star family is collectively known as 30 Ari, located some 136 light-years from Earth — in our interstellar backyard. The exoplanet orbits the primary star of the system once every 335 days. The primary star has a new-found binary partner (which the exoplanet does not orbit) and this pair are locked in an orbital dance with a secondary binary, separated by a distance of 1,670 astronomical unit (AU), where 1 AU is the average distance between the Earth and sun.

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Mercedes’ Bonkers Self-Driving Concept Is Roaming SF

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 7:30pm

The most likely explanation for the jaunt around the Bay Area is that Mercedes-Benz is filming some sort of promotional video about, or at least including, the F015.

The post Mercedes’ Bonkers Self-Driving Concept Is Roaming SF appeared first on WIRED.








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White House Threatens Veto Over EPA "Secret Science" Bills

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 7:09pm
sciencehabit writes The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as this week to approve two controversial, Republican-backed bills that would change how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses science and scientific advice to inform its policies. Many Democrats, scientific organizations, and environmental groups are pushing back, calling the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry. White House advisers announced that they will recommend that President Barack Obama veto the bills if they reach his desk in their current form.

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Your McNuggets: Soon Without a Side of Antibiotics

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 6:39pm

Fast food giant McDonald's volunteers to buy only chicken raised without routine antibiotic use, a move likely to shake up both the food industry and agriculture.

The post Your McNuggets: Soon Without a Side of Antibiotics appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Paul Allen Helps Find Sunken Japanese WWII Battleship Musashi Off Philippines

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 6:25pm
mpicpp writes with news about the discovery of a sunken Japanese battleship by Paul Allen and a team of researchers. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, his representatives said Wednesday. The apparent discovery of the wreckage of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the war's end. Allen and the team aboard his superyacht M/Y Octopus found the ship on Sunday, more than eight years after their search began, Allen's publicity agency Edelman said in a statement. Detailed images captured by a high-definition camera mounted on the underwater probe confirmed the wreckage as that of the Musashi, it said. Japanese experts said they were eager to study the images to try to confirm the ship's identity. Allen's team found the battleship in the Sibuyan Sea, using an autonomous underwater vehicle in its third dive after narrowing down the search area using detailed undersea topographical data and other locator devices, the statement said. "The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction," Allen said.

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New Wolfenstein Game Announced: The Old Blood

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:42pm
jones_supa writes Last year, Wolfenstein: The New Order was well received, and showed that old school shooters still can do extremely well in the current market and actually be a lot of fun. Now, Bethesda Softworks is already announcing a standalone prequel to The New Order, called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. It's back to the roots for B.J. Blazkowicz, and you embark on a perilous journey "deep within Bavaria", with the goal of infiltrating the Castle Wolfenstein. Just like last years' game, The Old Blood has been developed by Swedish company MachineGames on the same platform including id Tech 5 engine. The release date is May 5th and the game will be available for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

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Why Clinton’s Private Email Server Was Such a Security Fail

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:32pm

Hillary Clinton's homebrew email solution potentially left the communications of the top US foreign affairs official vulnerable to state-sponsored hackers.

The post Why Clinton’s Private Email Server Was Such a Security Fail appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

Instagram Debuts Slideshows, But Only for Advertisers

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:24pm

Advertisers can now pay to post entire slideshows to Instagram with links to outside websites in Facebook's latest attempt to get brands to pay up.

The post Instagram Debuts Slideshows, But Only for Advertisers appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

SpaceX's Challenge Against Blue Origins' Patent Fails To Take Off

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 4:50pm
speedplane writes As was previously discussed on Slashdot, back in September SpaceX challenged a patent owned by Blue Origin. The technology concerned landing rockets at sea. Yesterday, the judges in the case issued their opinion stating that they are unable to initiate review of the patent on the grounds brought by SpaceX. Although at first glance this would appear to be a Blue Origin win, looking closer, the judges explained that Blue Origin's patent lacks sufficient disclosure, effectively stating that the patent is invalid, but not on the specific grounds brought by SpaceX: "Because claim 14 lacks adequate structural support for some of the means-plus-function limitations, it is not amenable to construction. And without ascertaining the breadth of claim 14, we cannot undertake the necessary factual inquiry for evaluating obviousness with respect to differences between the claimed subject matter and the prior art." If SpaceX wants to move forward against Blue Origin, this opinion bodes well for them, but they will need to take their case in front of a different court.

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Oculus Will Launch Its First Big VR Consumer Push in 2015

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 4:48pm

Oculus will make its first big push to get mainstream consumers to buy and play its VR technology with Samsung phones later in 2015, CTO John Carmack said at GDC.

The post Oculus Will Launch Its First Big VR Consumer Push in 2015 appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

<em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 4:26pm
bellwould writes The Toronto Sun is reporting that Bank of Canada executives are urging Star Trek fans to stop altering Wilfred Laurier's face on the Canadian $5 bill to look like Spock. Although not illegal to draw on the bills, a Bank of Canada spokesperson points out that the markings may reduce effectiveness of the security features or worse, the money may not be accepted.

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Drones Underwater, Drones on Wheels (Video)

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 4:07pm
Rocky Mountain Unmanned Systems seems to be primarily in the business of selling aerial 'copter drones ranging in price from sub-$100 up into $1000s. But there they were at the 2015 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), showing off a submarine drone and a wheeled drone. These products don't seem to be on the company's website or even on their Facebook page quite yet. Jon McBride, the person manning their CES booth, told Timothy these products would be around soon, as in February. But it looks like a bit of extra patience is in order, although you can contact Jon through the company's Facebook page (his suggestion) if you have an urgent need for an underwater or wheeled drone for your business or government agency -- or even just for fun.

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Google Tackles Quantum Computing’s Hardest Problem: Errors

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 3:48pm

Google has built a quantum computer chip that can do error correction. That's a big deal, because without error correction, quantum computing won't work.

The post Google Tackles Quantum Computing’s Hardest Problem: Errors appeared first on WIRED.








Categories: Open Source, Technology

New Zealand Spied On Nearly Two Dozen Pacific Countries

Slashdot - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 3:20pm
An anonymous reader writes New documents from Edward Snowden indicate New Zealand undertook "full take" interception of communications from Pacific nations and forwarded the data to the NSA. The data, collected by New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau, was then fed into the NSA's XKeyscore search engine to allow analysts to trawl for intelligence. The New Zealand link helped flesh out the NSA's ambitions to intercept communications globally.

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