Cobalt Hoarding Ahead of Assumed Electric Car Boom

February 25th, 2017

Via: Reuters:

Investors are buying up physical cobalt anticipating that shortages of the metal, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electrical cars, will spur prices to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis.

Prices for cobalt metal have climbed nearly 50 per cent since September to five-year peaks around US$19 ($NZ26.50) a pound (0.45 kilograms) as stricter emissions controls boost demand for electric vehicles, especially in China, struggling with ruinous pollution levels in some cities.

Some 98 per cent of cobalt is produced as a by-product of copper and nickel output, so for investors pure equity exposure to cobalt is tricky.

“Cobalt isn’t going to massively impact share prices. The funds looked at LME (London Metal Exchange) cobalt contracts, but they aren’t liquid enough for the millions they want to invest,” a Europe-based cobalt trader said.

“So they are buying cobalt with the intention of sitting on it until prices rise, looking for $25 (a lb) or more.”


How EV West Recovers Battery Modules from Wrecked Tesla Vehicles

February 25th, 2017

Ever wonder what the highest power density battery modules in the world look like?

Via: Jehu Garcia:


Fasting Diet ‘Regenerates Diabetic Pancreas’

February 24th, 2017

Via: BBC:

The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers.

Restoring the function of the organ – which helps control blood sugar levels – reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments.

The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body.

Experts said the findings were “potentially very exciting” as they could become a new treatment for the disease.

People are advised not to try this without medical advice.

In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the “fasting-mimicking diet”.

It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low calorie, low protein, low carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet.

It resembles a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1,100 calories a day.

Then they have 25 days eating what they want – so overall it mimics periods of feast and famine.

Previous research has suggested it can slow the pace of ageing.


Illegal Fundraiser for the Clintons Made Secret Tape Because He Feared Being Assassinated

February 24th, 2017

Via: Daily Mail:

A Chinese-American businessman at the center of a Clinton campaign finance scandal secretly filmed a tell-all video as an ‘insurance policy’ – because he feared being murdered.

In footage provided exclusively to DailyMail.com, Johnny Chung spills details on how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid.

The Chinese-American Clinton fundraiser recorded the ‘elaborate videotaped testimony’ while in hiding in 2000.

He smuggled it to trusted friends and family with instructions to release it to the media in the event of his untimely death because he believed he was at risk of being assassinated.

Chung is believed to still be alive and living in China.

The video was obtained by author and historian David Wead for his new book Game of Thorns, which traces Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 campaign and the Chinese government’s long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.


Most Scientists ‘Can’t Replicate Studies by Their Peers’

February 23rd, 2017

Via: BBC:

Science is facing a “reproducibility crisis” where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, research suggests.

This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon.

From his lab at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies.

“The idea here is to take a bunch of experiments and to try and do the exact same thing to see if we can get the same results.”

You could be forgiven for thinking that should be easy. Experiments are supposed to be replicable.

The authors should have done it themselves before publication, and all you have to do is read the methods section in the paper and follow the instructions.

Sadly nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.

After meticulous research involving painstaking attention to detail over several years (the project was launched in 2011), the team was able to confirm only two of the original studies’ findings.

Two more proved inconclusive and in the fifth, the team completely failed to replicate the result.

“It’s worrying because replication is supposed to be a hallmark of scientific integrity,” says Dr Errington.


Private Prisons Back In Mix For Federal Inmates

February 23rd, 2017

Via: NPR:

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding an Obama-era memo that directed the Justice Department to reduce the use of private prisons, NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports

Sessions writes in the order that returning to the Bureau of Prisons’ earlier approach would provide flexibility.

“The memorandum changed long-standing policy and practice, and impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system,” Sessions writes.


U.S. WC-135 Nuclear Sniffer Plane Left UK, Heading Towards Norway and the Barents Sea

February 23rd, 2017

Via: The Aviationist:

The WC-135 Constant Phoenix has launched from RAF Mildenhall earlier today for a mission towards northern Europe and the Barents Sea. Interestingly, an RC-135W spyplane has launched from the same base on the same route. What’s their mission?

Whereas it was not the first time the Constant Phoenix visited the British airbase, the deployment to the UK amidst growing concern about an alleged spike in iodine levels recorded in northern Europe fueled speculations that the WC-135 might be tasked with investigating the reason behind the released Iodine-131.


AI Learns to Write Its Own Code by Stealing from Other Programs

February 23rd, 2017

Via: New Scientist:

OUT of the way, human, I’ve got this covered. A machine learning system has gained the ability to write its own code.

Created by researchers at Microsoft and the University of Cambridge, the system, called DeepCoder, solved basic challenges of the kind set by programming competitions. This kind of approach could make it much easier for people to build simple programs without knowing how to write code.

“All of a sudden people could be so much more productive,” says Armando Solar-Lezama at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the work. “They could build systems that it [would be] impossible to build before.”

Ultimately, the approach could allow non-coders to simply describe an idea for a program and let the system build it, says Marc Brockschmidt, one of DeepCoder’s creators at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK.


AMD’s Ryzen Launches March 2

February 22nd, 2017

My nine year old son has watched me build a few high end PCs and he wants to build his own so badly that he can practically taste it.

For months, I’ve been saying, “Wait for Ryzen, you must, young Padawon.”

After many years, AMD will again be offering strong alternatives to Intel’s CPUs. Ryzen 7 are the high end chips. Midrange Ryzen 5 and low end Ryzen 3 will be released later.

I haven’t built a PC based on an AMD CPU since around 2002. I’m looking forward to Intel having to compete again.

Via: PC World:

Ryzen is here. AMD said Wednesday that it plans a “hard launch” of its first three Ryzen processors on March 2. The highly anticipated chips promise to outperform high-end parts from Intel and undercut their prices by as much as 54 percent.

AMD executives confidently unveiled the first three desktop chips to attack Intel’s Core i7, supported by several top-tier motherboard vendors and boutique system builders. In many cases, executives said, AMD will offer more for less, as early Ryzen benchmarks prove. The top-tier Ryzen 7 1800X will cost less than half of what Intel’s thousand-dollar Core i7-6900K chip does—and outperform it, too. You can preorder Ryzen chips and systems from 180 retailers and system integrators today.


Tesla Will Double Number of Supercharger Locations in North America in 2017

February 22nd, 2017

Via: The Verge:

Tesla will double the number of Supercharger locations in North America in 2017, the company revealed today in its quarterly letter to shareholders. The company currently has 2,636 Superchargers at 373 locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and plans to have twice as many locations open by the end of 2017.

Tesla’s Supercharging network allows owners of its Model S and Model X vehicles (as well as future Model 3 owners) to rapidly charge their vehicles while on long road trips, providing as much as 170 miles of range after just 30 minutes of charging.


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