Hundreds Sue Makers of Fukushima Nuclear Plant

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About 1,400 people have filed a joint lawsuit against three companies that manufactured Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, saying they should be financially liable for damage caused by its 2011 meltdowns.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the lawsuit, filed Thursday at Tokyo District Court, is a landmark challenge of current regulations which give manufacturers immunity from liability in nuclear accidents. Only the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has been held responsible for the accident, triggered by a powerful earthquake.

Richard Platt‘s insight:

The plaintiffs, which include Fukushima residents and nearly 400 others from around the world, say the manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. 

See on www.pddnet.com

Storage system for ‘big data’ dramatically speeds access to information

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As computers enter ever more areas of our daily lives, the amount of data they produce has grown enormously. But for this ‘big data’ to be useful it must first be analyzed, meaning it needs to be stored in such a way that it can be accessed quickly when required.

Richard Platt‘s insight:

“If we’re fast enough, if we add the right number of nodes to give us enough bandwidth, we can analyze high-volume scientific data at around 30 frames per second, (television operates at 24 frames per second) allowing us to answer user queries at very low latencies, making the system seem real-time,” he says. “That would give us an interactive database.”

See on phys.org

Global Watchdog Says Indian Cars Fail Safety Test

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NEW DELHI (AP) — Several of India’s most popular car models, including the famously small Tata Nano, crumpled in independent crash tests in ways that would likely lead to fatality or serious injury, a global car safety watchdog said Friday.The results are an indictment of the auto industry in India, which lacks adequate safety standards, said David Ward, head of the London car-safety watchdog Global NCAP, which performed the crash tests. India has some of the deadliest roads in the world.

Richard Platt‘s insight:

All five cars chosen were standard, entry-level models, the sort a working class family might choose as their first car, rather than more expensive versions with additional features. About 80 percent of the cars sold in India have price tags of under $8,000.

The Polo and the Ford Figo were the only two cars to maintain their structures in a 64-kph (40-mph) collision, while the other three crumpled at a slower speed of 56 kph (35 mph) in ways that would likely lead to fatality or serious injury even with air bags.

See on www.manufacturing.net

DOJ Signals More Reluctance to Bless Sprint, T-Mo Merger

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Evidence continues pile up that U.S. regulators are anything but keen on a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. 
In remarks made Thursday to the New York Bar Association, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, Bill Baer said that since the blocking of the deal between AT&T and T-Mobile “competition in the wireless sector has flourished and consumers have benefitted.”

See on www.wirelessweek.com

Demystifying multi-core architecture for avionics

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Avionics system architects making design decisions today are often frustrated by an expensive problem – having to perform a substantial redesign because an existing system lacked the flexibility required to support an update. Such inflexible barriers in the design process may be overcome by using new, highly-integrated multi-core processors that can provide long-term system flexibility. Multi-core processors are now being utilized to not only address the dwindling availability of new single-core processors, but also to take advantage of increased throughput while maintaining equivalent power consumption.

Richard Platt‘s insight:

Good to know about this, as multi-core technology proliferates, might want to get a few good lessons learned under your belt…just saying

See on mil-embedded.com

An Electronic Tongue Can Identify Brands of Beer

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Spanish researchers have managed to distinguish between different varieties of beer using an electronic tongue. The discovery, published in the journal ‘Food Chemistry’, is accurate in almost 82% of cases. Beer is the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drink in the world…

Richard Platt‘s insight:

I am absolutely NOT going to let a robot taste test for me, don’t they know that Beer, like wine, cheese, art….and a lot of other things is simply a matter of personal taste.   Unwise use of technology, 

See on www.wirelessdesignmag.com

Exclusive: Proximity Sensing in Mobile Phones

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Proximity sensing technology is becoming popular across a wide range of industries, especially in consumer electronics, because OEMs introduce new products to market every year. The largest application within consumer electronics is the mobile phone. Given the competition in this particular market, it is important for OEMs to adopt the latest technology and offer unique features to differentiate their products.

Richard Platt‘s insight:

Excellent comparison of proximity sensing versus IR

See on www.wirelessdesignmag.com