• Oil will run dry before substitutes roll out: study

    At the current pace of research and development, global oil will run out ninety years before replacement technologies; the authors of the new study say the findings are a warning that current renewable-fuel targets are not ambitious enough to prevent harm to society, economic development and natural ecosystems

  • Two nuclear reactors shut down Sunday because of problems

    Two nuclear reactors — Indian Point nuclear power plant, about twenty-five miles north of New York City, and Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vermont — had to be shut down Sunday; Indian Points was shut down because a transformer caught fire, and Vermont Yankee was shut down because radioactive water began leaking from one of its pipes

  • Mini UAVs for infrastructure facilities protection

    Those in charge of critical infrastructure protection are showing increasing interest in using mini UAVs as a tool that will positively identify and “incriminate” threats before deadly force is used to stop them; the requirement is for a mini UAV that can be launched seconds after a threat is initially detected and that has the capability to loiter over the area where the threat was first detected by one of the ground sensors

  • Study to assess use of wave turbines along U.S. coastline

    A Scottish company will deploy its wave-power technology along the Oregon coast for a feasibility study of wave power; the state of Oregon has given the company a grant to measure and record the frequency, intensity and height of waves as they approach the Oregon shoreline

  • Cyber attack could paralyze air traffic

    This summer we saw the release of the world’s first cyber superweapon, which was said to be targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as infrastructure systems in China; the Stuxnet worm could break into computers that control machinery at the heart of industry, allowing an attacker to assume control of critical systems like pumps, motors, alarms and valves; a similar cyber weapon could allow an attacker to take down air-control systems

  • UAVs to be used by divorce lawyers?

    UAVs will soon be used for missions away from the battlefield: tracking celebrities, unfaithful lovers, wildlife, “If the Israelis can use them to find terrorists, certainly a husband is going to be able to track a wife who goes out at 11 o’clock at night and follow her,” said New York divorce lawyer Raoul Felder

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  • U.K.'s government unveils £200 billion National Infrastructure Plan

    David Cameron announces infrastructure plan to rebuild the economy a week after sweeping government cuts; the plan calls for a government commitment of over £40 billion directed to infrastructure projects, including a Green Investment Bank that provides up to £1 billion toward a commercial scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects; £30 billion for transportation, including a high speed rail network, maintenance, and investment in local roads and rail and funding towards the Network Rail

  • Crumbling water infrastructure needs investment boost

    Water pipes and treatment systems in the United States are in a sorry state, but nearly two-thirds of voters and just over half of businesses would be willing to pay more for their water to ensure its quality and availability; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that at the current rate of investment, the funding gap for water infrastructure could grow to as much as $224 billion by 2022

  • Australia's AG rules out SCADA security regulations

    Best practice and risk management frameworks not enough, say Aussie SCADA security managers; a scathing 56-page report from the Victoria Auditor General stated that most critical infrastructure operators did not have fully compliant risk management frameworks; still, Australia’s Federal Attorney-General’s Department has ruled out regulation of security standards for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for critical infrastructure, despite a mounting threat landscape

  • Smog-eating concrete for Missouri highways

    Missouri highway is paved with smog-eating concrete; the concrete contains an active ingredient that captures pollution and UV light from the sun breaks it down into harmless chemicals

  • Protecting the grid from solar storm-induced blackouts

    Since the beginning of the Space Age the total length of high-voltage power lines crisscrossing North America has increased nearly ten fold; this has turned power grids into giant antennas for solar storm-induced currents; with demand for power growing even faster than the grids themselves, modern networks are sprawling, interconnected, and stressed to the limit — a recipe for trouble

  • BATS: Extending broadband communication, I

    BATS system’s tight integration with the radios, along with the performance characteristics of the directional antenna, are used by BATS’ innovative software to create search patterns and predictive algorithms that automatically locate a desired connection point, establish communications, and track whether one or both of the wireless broadband radios are moving

  • Oxford U researchers harness tidal energy

    U.K. waters are estimated to offer 10 percent of the global extractable tidal resource; an Oxford University spin-off has been set up to commercialize a tidal turbine concept developed by Oxford researchers

  • Unease grows as Chinese telecom behemoth gains foothold in U.S.

    China’s Huawei Technologies — a company linked to the People’s Liberation Army, and which has been repeatedly accused of stealing software designs and infringing on patents — is now the world’s second-largest telecom equipment supplier behind Ericsson of Sweden, and with Chinese government backing, it has sewn up major deals in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; a $3 billion in advanced wireless equipment deal with Sprint Nextel will give entry into the U.S. communication market — and this has lawmakers and security experts worried