NASA – As the International Space Station transitions from its assembly phase to full utilization as a unique scientific outpost, NASA is investing in the station’s future use by ensuring a wide pool of organizations outside the agency have access to the orbiting lab.
NASA is seeking an independent, nonprofit research management organization to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the station, which was designated a national laboratory in 2005. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010, in addition to extending station operations until at least 2020, also directed NASA to establish this organization to manage station research by other U.S. government agencies, academic institutions and private firms. more> http://tinyurl.com/28aw64l
By Robert D. Kaplan – Currency wars. Terrorist attacks. Military conflicts. Rogue regimes pursuing nuclear weapons. Collapsing states. And now, massive leaks of secret documents. What is the cause of such turbulence? The absence of empire.
There will be no sudden breakdown on our part, as the United States, unlike the Soviet Union, is sturdily maintained by economic and political freedom. Rather, America’s ability to bring a modicum of order to the world is simply fading in slow motion. more> http://tinyurl.com/24v3zxp
By Frank Kobola – Oracle claim its latest database-crunching machine, the SPARC Supercluster, can process 30 million transactions per minute, tripling previous records held by IBM.
The hardware configuration used to achieve the record was a single SPARC Supercluster with 108 SPARC T3 chips, for a total of 1,728 processor cores. The system also has 13TB of memory, 246TB of flash storage, and 1.7 petabytes of total storage capacity. more> http://tinyurl.com/2a72t7q
GE – The hybrid systems research team at GE Global Research successfully demonstrated a dual battery system on a zero tailpipe emissions hybrid transit bus that pairs a high-energy density sodium battery with a high-power lithium battery. GE researchers believe a dual system with high power and energy storage capacity could achieve the optimal electric driving range and acceleration requirements at a more practical size scale and cost for larger vehicles. The research is being done as part of a $13 million research project GE is engaged in with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, funded under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program. more> http://tinyurl.com/27b4v4o
By Jim Efstathiou Jr., Kim Chipman, Bloomberg – Damage from climate-related disasters is mounting. Insured losses from storms and floods have risen more than fivefold to $27 billion annually in the past four decades, Swiss Reinsurance Co. said in a September report. By 2030, the world may need to spend $135 billion a year on flood protection, buildings that can withstand hurricanes and drought-resistant crops, Swiss Re said, citing United Nations data.
Even if nations were to implement ambitious emissions cuts now, some climate-change effects are unavoidable because of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, the Arlington, Virginia-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change said in an August report. more> http://tinyurl.com/234lmjc