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Horizon highlights – Planning ahead edition

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Our regular roundup of sci-tech stories from across the Web includes: A roadmap to energy independence. Should NASA shoot for Mars or the Moon? And how to plan ahead this holiday shopping season. Let’s kick it off:

Power line: A timeline to energy independence
"President-elect Barack Obama has plans to invest $150 billion in clean energy technology over the next 10 years. With similar initiatives in other countries, when might we expect exciting alternative technology to deliver true energy independence?" [Via LiveScience]

Mission control: Why NASA should focus on the Moon, not Mars
"Recently, the Planetary Society called for major changes in US space-exploration plans. Specifically, it recommended bypassing the Moon in favour of Mars. Harrison Schmitt (the only scientist to have walked on the Moon) resigned from the society in protest." [Via NewScientist]

Auto-mobiles: Driveless cars and making the road safer
"Next-generation automotive safety technology could give us vehicles that are difficult to crash – and eventually may not need drivers at all." [Via Scientist American]

Holiday haggling: Web sites wage holiday price wars
"As deserted malls and department stores struggle to court cash-short consumers with steep discounts this holiday season, a similar and even more ferocious price war is being waged online. Internet retailers, trying to navigate what is shaping up to be the first truly dreary holiday shopping season ever on the Web, are engaging in price-cutting and discounting so aggressive that it threatens their profit margins and, in some cases, their very survival." [Via NYTimes]

Hang up: Lose the BlackBerry? Yes he can, Maybe.
"For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry.... But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful." [Via NYTimes]

Gobble gobble: Did science build a better turkey?
"For several decades researchers have been using science to build a better Thanksgiving turkey. Today's big turkeys owe their large size to the incorporation of a special diet, vaccinations, and selective breeding." [Via Scientific Blogging]

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