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Industry & Technology

Can Samsung still claim to be ahead of Apple? - CNET - News - 1 hour 45 min ago
Commentary: Samsung keeps insisting that Apple is always behind. With the release of the Galaxy S9, how true might that be?

Residential solar is cheap, but can it get cheaper? Paths to $0.05 per kWh

Ars Technica - 2 hours 14 sec ago

Tesla smooth black glass solar roof tiles. (credit: Tesla)

The price of solar panels has fallen far and fast. But the Energy Department (DOE) wants to bring those costs down even further, especially for residential homes. After all, studies have shown that if every inch of useable rooftop in the US had solar panels on it, the panels could provide about 40% of the nation's power demand. Right now, the DOE's goal is residential solar that costs 5¢ per kilowatt hour by 2030.

In a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), researchers mapped out some possible pathways to that goal. Notably, the biggest barriers to cost reduction appear to be the stubborn "soft costs" of solar installation. Those soft costs include supply chain costs, labor costs, and sales and marketing costs that aren't related to the physical production of solar cells at a factory.

NREL wrote: "Because the 2030 target likely will not be achieved under business-as-usual trends, we examine two key market segments that demonstrate significant opportunities for cost savings and market growth: installing PV at the time of roof replacement and installing PV as part of the new home construction process."

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Jaguar Land Rover Activity Key wearable sales are hot - Roadshow - News - 3 hours 45 min ago
Shoppers are ponying up for this Fitbit-like RF-based wearable tech in surprising numbers.

Facebook proved popular with Russian election trolls - CNET - News - 4 hours 19 min ago
Social network singled out in indictment charging 13 Russians with interfering with the US election.

Why Microsoft should scrap Bing and call it Microsoft Search - CNET - News - 4 hours 45 min ago
Commentary: Recently, Microsoft began to feature its own name on Bing Translator. Perhaps it's time for the Bing brand to be retired.

Ford GT sale puts John Cena in a legal cage match - Roadshow - News - 4 hours 45 min ago
It's now up to the courts to decide whether wrestling star John Cena can sell his new Ford GT supercar for a healthy profit.

Dodge Demon hits 203 mph in about a minute - Roadshow - News - 4 hours 45 min ago
You'll need to do a couple things to make your own Demon capable of that speed, though.

Project Loon team gave Puerto Rico connectivity—and assembled a helicopter

Ars Technica - 5 hours 45 min ago

Slide from Juan Ramirez Lugo at AAAS 2018 (credit: Nathan Mattise)

AUSTIN, Texas—"So this happened—this is September 2017," Juan Ramírez Lugo, president of the AAAS Caribbean division, tells the audience at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference. The slide that soon greets the room depicts an almost surreal reality: the available power (or lack thereof) on the island of Puerto Rico in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

"The island went dark; the Virgin Islands basically disappeared off the map. This blew my mind to not have my cell phone in this day and age," Ramírez Lugo continues. "The routine eventually became get up in the morning, then try to check the news and to see how much service has returned to normal."

Ramírez Lugo cited estimates that the cost of Hurricane Maria's damage will total 34.1 percent of Puerto Rico's GDP, so calling the storm devastating almost seems like an understatement. The routine Ramírez Lugo shared highlighted another crucial (re)building block for disaster recovery, one that's now joined general infrastructure and health needs: connectivity. With the vast amount of electrical grid and ground towers damaged, FEMA estimates put cell service availability at a mere 60 percent an entire month after the storm.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google's firing of James Damore was legal, labor board says - CNET - News - 5 hours 50 min ago
The US National Labor Relations Board says Google fired the author of a controversial diversity memo not to silence a dissenter, but over "unprotected discriminatory statements."

Poop Talk docu-comedy flings open bathroom doors, dives into stinky humanity

Ars Technica - 6 hours 45 min ago

 Poop Talk, loaded with renowned comedians. (credit: Copyright 2017 Comedy Dynamics and Party of Seven Entertainment)

For some, a 75-minute film of famous and talented comedians letting rip a steady stream of explicit jokes and messy misadventures involving fecal matter is an easy sell. Sign me up. For others, some pushing and straining may be needed to get them to plop down and watch.

Those hesitant viewers are just the ones the film’s creators are hoping to bag.

With the funny and sometimes cringe-inducing docu-comedy Poop Talk, comedians try—and do—use humor and tales of their deeply personal bodily functions to squeeze out the humanity of it all. The ultimate goal, its creators told Ars, is to flush the stigma associated with the stinky act—not to mention a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Gear for Remote Workers: Pixelbook, Chrome Vega, Hydro Flask

Wired - 6 hours 45 min ago
When you’ve had more than enough of your coworkers, grab this gear and escape to a café.

Twitter's Reaction to McDonald's Changing the Happy Meal Tops This Week's Internet News

Wired - 7 hours 45 min ago
But the disappearing cheeseburger wasn't the only thing the internet was talking about last week. Catch up here.

Want to Stop Climate Change? Educate Girls and Give Them Birth Control

Wired - 7 hours 45 min ago
Opinion: When women aren’t educated or empowered to make their own family planning decisions, the effects can lead to higher carbon emissions.

How a $20 bitcoin buy led to a multiyear hassle - CNET - News - 8 hours 45 min ago
Commentary: My encounter with a bitcoin ATM four years ago turned $20 into a saga of frustration, forgetfulness and jackpots won and lost.

Olympics 2018: Commentators Should Cut the Chit-Chat and Just Explain the Sport

Wired - 8 hours 45 min ago
Here’s an idea: Maybe just tell me what makes the Olympics a superhuman challenge.

How Long Can a Neutron Live? Depends on Who You Ask

Wired - 8 hours 45 min ago
Two methods of measuring the neutron's longevity give different answers, creating uncertainty in cosmological models. But no one has a clue what the problem is.

The Quest to Recreate the Olympics with Mechanical Turk

Wired - 9 hours 45 min ago
Why one Texas professor pays Turkers to post themselves doing Olympic events on YouTube.

SpaceX Will Launch the First of Its Global Internet Satellites

Wired - 9 hours 45 min ago
They're just two in what will be thousands of orbiting routers.

Sam Cossman’s Crazy-Fun, World-Improving, Somewhat Improbable Universe

Wired - 9 hours 45 min ago
How an idealistic entrepreneur turns wild experiences into viral videos into actual science into a going business concern.

Rent-a-church spire plan to boost mobile phone coverage

BBC Technology News - 12 hours 4 min ago
The government invites churches to let their spires be rented to improve the UK's mobile coverage.

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