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The US's First Offshore Wind Farm Will Cut Local Power Prices By 40%

Slashdot - Wed, 2015-03-04 00:07
merbs writes: The U.S. is finally getting its first offshore wind farm. Deepwater Wind has announced that its Block Island project has been fully financed, passed the permitting process, and will begin putting "steel in water" this summer. For local residents, that means a 40% drop in electricity rates. The company has secured $290 million in financing, with funding from the likes of Key Bank and France's Société Générale, in part on the strength of its long-term power purchase agreement with US utility National Grid. Block Island has thus surpassed the much-publicized Cape Wind project, long touted as "the nation's first offshore wind farm," but that has been stalled out for over a decade in Massachusetts, held up by a tangle of clean power foes, regulatory and financing woes, and Cape Cod homeowners afraid it'd ruin the view.

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Categories: Technology

Has the Supreme Court Made Patent Reform Legislation Unnecessary?

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 22:03
An anonymous reader writes: As Congress gears up again to seriously consider patent litigation abuse—starting with the introduction of H.R. 9 (the "Innovation Act") last month—opponents of reform are arguing that recent Supreme Court cases have addressed concerns. Give the decisions time to work their way through the system, they assert. A recent hearing on the subject before a U.S. House Judiciary Committee (HJC) Subcommittee shined some light on the matter. And, as HJC Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a long-time leader in Internet and intellectual property issues, put it succinctly in his opening remarks: "We've heard this before, and though I believe that the Court has taken several positive steps in the right direction, their decisions can't take the place of a clear, updated and modernized statute. In fact, many of the provisions in the Innovation Act do not necessarily lend themselves to being solved by case law, but by actual law—Congressional legislation."

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Categories: Technology

GitLab Acquires Gitorious

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 20:02
New submitter sckirklan writes with news that code repository GitLab has purchased rival service Gitorious. Gitorious users are now able to import their projects into GitLab. They must do so by the end of May, because Gitorious will shut down on June 1st. Rolf Bjaanes, Gitorious CEO, gives some background on the reasons for the acquisition: “At Gitorious we saw more and more organizations adopting GitLab. Due to decreased income from on-premises customers, running the free Gitorious.org was no longer sustainable. GitLab was solving the same problem that we were, but was solving it better.” “This acquisition will accelerate the growth of GitLab. With more than 100,000 organizations using it, it is already the most used on-premise solution for Git repository management, and bringing Gitorious into the fold will significantly increase that footprint.” says Sytse Sijbrandij, GitLab CEO.

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Categories: Technology

The Vintage Workspace

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 20:00

Today's featured workspace waxes nostalgic with vinyl records and vintage phones, cameras, radios, and a WWII US Airborne jacket.

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AMD Enters Virtual Reality Fray With LiquidVR SDK At GDC

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 19:21
MojoKid writes: AMD jumped into the virtual reality arena today by announcing that its new LiquidVR SDK will help developers customize VR content for AMD hardware. "The upcoming LiquidVR SDK makes a number of technologies available which help address obstacles in content, comfort and compatibility that together take the industry a major step closer to true, life-like presence across all VR games, applications, and experiences," AMD representatives said in a statement. Oculus is one of the VR companies that will be working with AMD's LiquidVR SDK, and likes what it's seen so far. "Achieving presence in a virtual world continues to be one of the most important elements to delivering amazing VR," said Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus. "We're excited to have AMD working with us on their part of the latency equation, introducing support for new features like asynchronous timewarp and late latching, and compatibility improvements that ensure that Oculus' users have a great experience on AMD hardware."

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Categories: Technology

Rock the Wedding Dance Floor with These Easy to Learn Moves

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 19:00

A wedding is a time to celebrate, and that means lots of dancing. If you feel like you have two left feet, but still want to cut up a rug at an upcoming event, these are the moves that can help make you look like you know what you're doing.

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Rosetta Photographs Its Own Shadow On Comet 67P/C-G

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 19:00
mpicpp notes an image release from the European Space Agency showing the shadow of its Rosetta probe on the comet it's currently orbiting. The probe snapped the picture from a very low flyby — only six kilometers off the surface. The image has a resolution of 11cm/pixel. The shadow is fuzzy and somewhat larger than Rosetta itself, measuring approximately 20 x 50 metres. If the Sun were a point source, the shadow would be sharp and almost exactly the same size as Rosetta (approximately 2 x 32 m). However, even at 347 million km from 67P/C-G on 14 February, the Sun appeared as a disc about 0.2 degrees across (about 2.3 times smaller than on Earth), resulting in a fuzzy “penumbra” around the spacecraft’s shadow on the surface. In this scenario and with Rosetta 6 km above the surface, the penumbra effect adds roughly 20 metres to the spacecraft’s dimensions, and which is cast onto the tilted surface of the comet.

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Categories: Technology

Study: Refactoring Doesn't Improve Code Quality

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 18:38
itwbennett writes: A team of researchers in Sri Lanka set out to test whether common refactoring techniques resulted in measurable improvements in software quality, both externally (e.g., Is the code more maintainable?) and internally (e.g., Number of lines of code). Here's the short version of their findings: Refactoring doesn't make code easier to analyze or change (PDF); it doesn't make code run faster; and it doesn't result in lower resource utilization. But it may make code more maintainable.

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Categories: Technology

These are the Foods Most Prone to Foodborne Pathogens

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 18:00

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report highlighting the foods most likely to cause illnesses due to bacterial infection. Here are the most common suspects in your kitchen.

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Former MLB Pitcher Doxes Internet Trolls, Delivers Real-World Consequences

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 17:54
An anonymous reader writes: When Twitter trolls began posting obscene, sexually explicit comments about his teenage daughter, former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling responded by recording their comments and gathering personal information readily available to the public. He then doxxed two of them on his blog, resulting in one being suspended from his community college and the other being fired from his part-time job as a ticket seller for the New York Yankees. There were seven others in Curt's crosshairs, all college athletes, but although he hasn't publicly doxxed those individuals, he hints, "I found it rather funny at how quickly tone changed when I heard via email from a few athletes who'd been suspended by their coaches. Gone was the tough guy tweeter, replaced by the 'I'm so sorry' apology used by those only sorry because they got caught."

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Categories: Technology

Catch Yourself Complaining with the "But-Positive" Technique

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 17:30

When you've developed a habit of complaining about things, it's not always easy to shut it down . An easy way to help yourself stop is by catching yourself in the act and adding a positive spin to it.

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Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 17:11
sciencehabit writes: A patch of woodland just north of Livingston, Louisiana, population 1893, isn't the first place you'd go looking for a breakthrough in physics. Yet it is here that physicists may fulfill perhaps the most spectacular prediction of Albert Einstein's theory of gravity, or general relativity. Structures here house the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), an ultrasensitive instrument that may soon detect ripples in space and time set off when neutron stars or black holes merge. Einstein himself predicted the existence of such gravitational waves nearly a century ago. But only now is the quest to detect them coming to a culmination. Physicists are finishing a $205 million rebuild of the detectors, known as Advanced LIGO, which should make them 10 times more sensitive and, they say, virtually ensure a detection.

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Categories: Technology

Career Spotlight: What I Do as a Cloud Developer

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 17:00

The "cloud" is a common computing buzzword with multiple uses; you might store your music in the cloud, or perhaps host a website. But that doesn't mean there's one server hosting your site—rather, the individual servers of yore are being replaced with virtualized machines. It's the cloud.

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Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 17:00
rolandw writes We have daily stand-ups and normally there is at least one person missing from the room. We relay via on-line chat but the sound quality is rubbish. The remote person sounds great via our speaker when they use a headset but they can't hear what is happening in the room. We need a wireless mic that copes with a large echoing room and will stop feedback. Can you recommend one? We're not an over-funded start-up so don't have an unlimited budget...

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Categories: Technology

"You Have to Be Bored."

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 16:30

We've heard time and time again that boredom is a necessity for creativity , and musician Dan Deacon really drives that point home with the above quote from in an interview with NPR.

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FREAK Attack Threatens SSL Clients

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 16:29
msm1267 writes: For the nth time in the last couple of years, security experts are warning about a new Internet-scale vulnerability, this time in some popular SSL clients. The flaw allows an attacker to force clients to downgrade to weakened ciphers and break their supposedly encrypted communications through a man-in-the-middle attack. Researchers recently discovered that some SSL clients, including OpenSSL, will accept weak RSA keys–known as export-grade keys–without asking for those keys. Export-grade refers to 512-bit RSA keys, the key strength that was approved by the United States government for export overseas. This was an artifact from decades ago and it was thought that most servers and clients had long ago abandoned such weak ciphers. The vulnerability affects a variety of clients, most notably Apple's Safari browser.

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Categories: Technology

Google Contacts Now Keeps Your Contacts Updated, Merges Duplicates

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 16:00

Google is offering up a preview of the new version of Google Contacts today. Contacts gets a big visual overhaul to make it easier to manage your contacts and see everything you've been talking about.

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A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

Slashdot - Tue, 2015-03-03 15:46
The K-Board won a "Best in Show" award at CES 2015. Plus, as Timothy said, "I always like pour and stomp demos." And it's totally cross-platform. If your computer, tablet or smartphone has a USB port and (almost) any kind of music software, it works. In theory, you could hook a K-Board to your Android or iOS device and use it to accompany yourself while you sing for spare change on a downtown corner. Or noodle around to get a handle on a theme you'll use in your next major symphony. Or...?

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Categories: Technology

Instantly Add an App or File to the Mac Dock with a Keyboard Shortcut

Lifehacker.com - Tue, 2015-03-03 15:30

If you want to add a file or application to your dock, you can always just click and drag it over. Or, as OS X Daily points out, you can just use a keyboard shortcut from Finder.

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