An anonymous reader writes "Scientific Linux and Ubuntu had a vital role in the discovery of the new boson at CERN. Linux systems are used every day in their analysis, together with hosts of open software, such as ROOT. Linux plays a major role in the running of their networks of computers (in the grid etc.) and it is used for the intensive work in their calculations."
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1sockchuck writes "A plan to build data centers on ships is now defunct. Startup IDS, whose ambitions to convert cargo ships into server farms prompted debate on Slashdot in 2008 and 2010, is in bankruptcy. Google filed a patent for a water-based data center, but it's not clear that the company ever took the concept seriously, and has even spoofed the idea."
New submitter Blinky0815 writes "I just found what's quite possibly the world's very first SNES-Adapter for the Raspberry Pi. Florian's design helps create what he calls the 'universal console.' His blog explains everything in detail to create your very own 'universal console' at home. His blog has instructions, videos and even a github repository for downloading his software."
sl4shd0rk writes "Among the much ballyhooed tech at Google I/O last week was the Google Nexus Q. Google made an effort to proudly point out the device was "Made in the USA" and even had it stamped on the back of it. A tear-down at ifixit.com however, reveals the guts of the thing are mostly manufactured overseas at the expected locations (China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, et al). Wired also posted a tear-down in which they reveal a die-casting shop in Wisconsin is the source of the zinc housing, but certainly not the entire device as some news sources reported. It's great that Google decided to utilize the struggling U.S. manufacturing sector for this, but claiming the device is USA made, and being blatantly vague about its origins is quite misleading." How struggling the U.S. manufacturing sector is depends on who you ask and how you measure, remember.
eldavojohn writes "A report by China Securities Journal claims that China is now stockpiling rare earths although it has not indicated when this stockpiling started. Many WTO members have complained about China's tightening restrictions on exports of rare earths while China maintains that such restrictions are an attempt to clean up its environmental problems. A WTO special conference scheduled for July 10th will hopefully decide if China's restrictions are unfair trade practices or if the US, the EU and Japan are merely upset that they can't export their pollution and receive rare earths at low prices. Last year, China granted its mining companies the right to export 30,200 tons but in actuality only 18,600 tons were shipped out of country."
nmpost writes with news of another step toward practical quantum computers. From the article: "Scientists have successfully overcome one of the obstacles in quantum computation by storing data on quantum bits (qubits) for about two seconds at room temperature. Many of the current systems utilize extremely complex and costly equipments to trap an individual electron or atom in a vacuum at absolute zero temperature. However, a team of researchers from Harvard University have solved the problem of working at normal temperature by using diamonds, which are atomically pure materials on Earth."
TheNextCorner sends this quote from ReadWriteWeb: "Open source software has been a key player in all kinds of disruptive technologies — from the Web to big data. Now the nascent and growing open source hardware movement is helping to power its own disruptive revolution. ... As 3D printing, powered by Arduino and other open source technologies, becomes more prevalent, economies of scale become much less of a problem. A 3D printer can print a few devices — or thousands — without significant retooling, pushing upfront costs to near-zero. This is what The Economist calls the 'Third Industrial Revolution,' where devices and things can be made in smaller, cleaner factories with far less overhead and — significantly — less labor."
Zothecula writes "In the quest to develop implantable electronics to monitor the human body from within, flexibility and stretchability have been major hurdles. We've seen numerous developments including stretchable LED arrays, an implantable device for measuring the heart's electrical output, and an electrode array that melts onto the surface of the brain. Now researchers have developed technology that combines a porous polymer and liquid metal that allows electronics to bend and stretch to more than 200 percent their original size (abstract)."
Hugh Pickens points out a report from Jamie Smith Hopkins that "The unusual nature of the 'derecho' is complicating efforts to get everyone's much-needed air conditioning up and running again as more than 1.4 million people from Illinois to Virginia still remain without power and power companies warn some customers could be without power for the rest of the week in the worst hit areas. Utilities don't have enough staff to handle severe-storm outages – the expense would send rates soaring – so they rely on out-of-state utilities to send help, says Stephen Woerner, Baltimore Gas and Electric's (BGE) chief operating officer. Hurricane forecasts offer enough advanced warning for utilities to 'pre-mobilize' and get the out-of-state assistance in place but the forecast for Friday's walloping wind was merely scattered thunderstorms. 'No utility was prepared for what we saw in terms of having staff available that first day,' says Woerner. But is it a given that a strong storm would cause this magnitude of damage to the electricity grid? 'Even without pursuing the extremely expensive option of burying all of the region's electrical lines, the utilities can and do take steps between bouts of severe weather to prevent outages,' writes the Baltimore Sun, adding that consumer advocates are concerned that utilities invest sufficiently in preventive maintenance. 'Tree trimming and replacement of old infrastructure — particularly in areas that have been shown to be vulnerable to previous storms — helps prevent outages.'"
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Simone Sebastian writes in the Houston Chronicle that the nation's energy transportation network is undergoing a multibillion-dollar overhaul, as oil and natural gas production surges in new regions of the country and energy producers charge into new areas with technology that can reach oil and natural gas trapped in shale and other tight rock formations leaving pools of crude and gas stranded far from the Gulf Coast refineries and petrochemical plants that need them. 'Where it used to be isn't where it is now. Where it needs to go isn't where it used to go,' says Terrance McGill, president of fuel carrier Enbridge Energy. 'You're seeing this fundamental shift of crude oil across the country.' For example Phillips 66 CEO Greg Garland says his company is considering buying 2,000 more rail cars that could carry an additional 150,000 barrels a day from shale regions (PDF) to its refineries across the country because the glut of crude oil pouring out of the newly tapped shale oil plays like North Dakota's Bakken has kept the price of Mid-Continent crude at a record-wide discount of up to $27 per barrel relative to its rival European benchmark Brent crude because there is not enough pipeline capacity to get Bakken crude to Gulf coast refineries. 'That's a pipeline on wheels,' says Garland. 'You'll see us stepping out and doing some more things around infrastructure. Like everyone else, we're doing everything we can to get more barrels in front of those facilities.'"
Once upon a time, it was easy to characterize Google’s domain and business model: they provided well-organized internet search results through a simple, friendly interface, and made money through targeted advertising. Over the years, the company has grown more complex even faster than has the — still admirably spare — Google home page, as it’s either assimilated or originated all kinds of adjuncts to pure search. The Nexus Q, as the company’s first-ever fully home-grown consumer electronics product (as opposed to Google-branded but jointly developed phones and tablets) shows just how far that path has led, and hints at cooler things to come. By default, though, the device is severely limited, intended basically as an overqualified gateway to content stored at Google’s Play media store, or at (Google-controlled) YouTube. And if that weren’t constrained enough, it requires another Android device (phone or tablet, say) as a remote control. The Q is equipped with impressive hardware internally, though, which might soon be exploited with software more flexible than that which comes loaded.
redletterdave writes "Apple will begin transitioning the leadership role within its hardware engineering department, now that Bob Mansfield, who led the engineering of many of Apple's most successful products since 2005, has decided to retire. Apple was quick to name Dan Riccio — currently the VP of hardware engineering for the iPad — as Mansfield's successor, mentioning that Riccio will learn the new role over several months. During that time, the hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield."
1sockchuck writes "An Amazon Web Services data center in northern Virginia lost power Friday night during an electrical storm, causing downtime for numerous customers — including Netflix, which uses an architecture designed to route around problems at a single availability zone. The same data center suffered a power outage two weeks ago and had connectivity problems earlier on Friday."
sweetpea86 writes with an update on color e-ink screens. From the article: "Plastic electronics company Plastic Logic has demonstrated color video animation on a flexible plastic display, which it claims is the first example of an organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) driving electronic paper at video rate. The demonstration proves that the potential uses of electronic paper extend far beyond monochrome text-based e-readers to more sophisticated tablet-style devices that can run color video, while still keeping power consumption low." SlashGear also took a look at it and has a short video of the animated e-ink display.
Lasrick writes "Yun Zhou writes about the end result of China's long reconsideration of nuclear power safety in the wake of Fukushima. Important details about the decision to adopt designs created in China, and incorporate Gen III in those designs." The short version is that they won't be building more Generation II reactors, opting instead to only build Generation III reactors (which have passive safety systems). Instead of relying entirely on the AP1000, China is speeding up the design of their own Generation III reactors. Plans are still in place for 70GW by 2020, but that date will likely slip due to regulatory delays and the temporary construction moratorium.