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The coming low carbon age forces a tax on Saudi Arabia

The Guardian reports on the first time ever a tax is levvied after the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.

Residents of the energy-rich region had long enjoyed a tax-free and heavily subsidised existence but the collapse in crude prices since 2014 sparked cutbacks and a search for new revenue.

They will now get a 5% sales tax on certain good, and that is the result of chronically low crude oil prices. The 2016 budget of Saudi Arabia had a deficit of almost 100 billion dollars, and the government goal is to have a balanced budget by 2020.

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Time Crystals

A crystal is a regular, repeating structure of matter in space. What if we made a regular, repeating structure in time instead?

Wilczek countered that a time crystal was more akin to a superconductor, in which electrons flow with no resistance, and in theory could do so forever without the need to add energy to the system. In a time crystal, electrons would travel in a loop rather than a line and occasionally bunch up rather than flow smoothly, repeating in time the way atoms in ordinary crystals repeat in space.

Jennifer Ouelette writes in New Scientist that this is indeed not just theoretically possible, but has been done, and could be maybe useful to built better quantum computers.

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New world record in solar: 1 GW array

Yanchi, Ningxia, Solar Park

Modern Power Systems reports on a new world record: a one GW solar array in China coming online.

They write:

China has been the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels since 2008 and has over 400 PV companies. It is now the largest market for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. In 2013, it was the world’s leading installer of solar photovoltaics, and by mid-2015 had reached a total installed capacity of 35.78 GW, making it the largest producer of PV power. In 2015, China installed over 18 GW, reaching a total of 43 GW.

Like Germany, China has problems scaling the grid to match, and idle capacity is a problem.

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Seized pacemaker data used to indict arsonist

Image: LukeBam06

According to NetworkWorld, a man in Ohio with an implanted Pacemaker, was indicted as an arsonist, based on data seized by the Police from his device.

»[T]he cops wanted to know “Compton’s heart rate, pacer demand and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire.”« reports a local station, WLWT5.

Another news outlet reports »“A cardiologist who reviewed that data determined ‘it is highly improbable Mr. Compton would have been able to collect, pack and remove the number of items from the house, exit his bedroom window and carry numerous large and heavy items to the front of his residence during the short period of time he has indicated due to his medical conditions.’”« The retrieved data helped to indict Comption, who also had gasoline on various pieces of his clothing.

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