Krebs on Security: Hacked Cameras, DVRs Powered Massive Internet Outage

A massive and sustained internet attack that has caused outages and network congestion for a large number of websites was launched with the help of hacked “internet of things” (IOT) devices, such as CCTV video cameras and digital video recorders, new data suggests.

Earlier today, cybercriminals began training their attack cannons on Dyn, an internet infrastructure company that provides critical technology services to some of the internet’s top destinations. The attack began creating problems for internet users reaching an array of sites, including Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix.

Forbes: Addressing Another Energy Miracle -- Ethanol From Carbon Dioxide

People love their energy miracles. If a university or company claims they can make fuel from air or from water, along comes the inevitable hype proclaiming that this is just the sort of breakthrough we need to meet our energy needs in a way that doesn’t increase greenhouse gas emissions. These sorts of claims help drive money to continue the research, but a lot of important details tend to be left out when the story is told.

About a year and a half ago, a story like this went viral. It was a claimed breakthrough from Audi, in which they announced production of the first batch of synthetic fuel from ingredients found in the atmosphere. The story generated tremendous interest, and I received numerous queries on whether it was too good to be true. I wrote a number of articles at the time (for example) dealing with the actual meaning of this work.

This week another purported energy miracle went viral when researchers claimed they had “accidentally” discovered how to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol. The takeaway from this story is similar to the one from Audi, and in fact the same sort of takeaway from all such stories. So let’s review what this means.

E&E News: Clinton Memos Reveal In-Depth Study of Carbon Tax

Hillary Clinton's advisers have been looking closely at a carbon tax since at least late 2014, according to detailed internal memos from hacked emails released by WikiLeaks.

Although the Democratic presidential nominee consistently avoided engaging on the subject despite prods from her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, her inner circle of climate strategists had already been conducting studies on behalf of the campaign to explore the cost and political impacts of various proposals.

In addition to looking at enacting a $42-per-ton, energy-sector carbon tax through legislation, advisers widened their research to consider incentivizing overcompliance with the Clean Power Plan or using Section 115 of the Clean Air Act to write economy-wide cap-and-trade regulations.

IEEE Spectrum: New Record for Nanowire-Based Solar Cells Achieved

Researchers at the Technical University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands have staked claim to the highest conversion efficiency yet achieved with a nanowire-based solar cell: 17.8 percent.  While this new mark edges out the previous record of 15.3 percent, it still falls well short of the 46-percent theoretical limit for these cells.

The record-breaking achievement was actually reported in the doctoral dissertation of Dick van Dam. As a result, the work has not yet been published. When we contacted Van Dam to get more details on the device he fabricated, he explained he was limited with regard to what he could say about it until publication.

Microgrid Knowledge: Feds Consider Microgrid in Upgrade of Washington, D.C. Energy Backbone

The U.S. government says it will consider installing a microgrid as part of a massive energy upgrade planned for a large block of buildings in Washington, D.C. The General Services Administration issued a request for information (RFI) Friday in the first step to upgrade the 81-year-old district energy network and younger combined heat and power (CHP) system. The RFI is the precursor to an energy request for proposals to be issued at a later date.

The federal government also wants to find ways to monetize the system and will consider outsourcing. Known as the Heating Operations & Transmission District, or HOTD, the electric and thermal system now provides steam to 71 buildings and chilled water to 11 buildings. The operation includes 12 miles of tunnels and buried lines.