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1 MW Cold Fusion Plant Supposedly To Come Online

1336 Steorn and Voodoo Science (828 comments)

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Steorn yet.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Steorn

http://slashdot.org/story/06/08/21/173253/irish-company-claims-free-energy
http://science.slashdot.org/story/07/07/04/1628259/perpetual-energy-machine-getting-lots-of-attention
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/09/06/24/149247/steorns-free-energy-jury-comes-back-to-bite-them

Anyone taking the eCat too seriously should read a copy of Voodoo Science
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Voodoo_Science

about 3 years ago
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Moon Younger Than Previously Thought

1336 5% (212 comments)

Just to put it into perspective, 200 MY younger would be a little less than 5% younger than previously theorized.

more than 3 years ago
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8 Grams of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars

1336 Re:Hmmm (937 comments)

From the Wikipedia article quoted: "Sylvania was experimenting with large-scale production of thorium metal from thorium dioxide. Part of the process of shutting down this experiment was the reprocessing and burning of thorium metal powder sludges that went unprocessed during the experiment. It was during the incineration of this material that the explosion occurred."

Emphasis on "large-scale" and "burning". Chemical combustion of 8g of thorium is NOT going to get your car very far.

As has been mentioned more than a few times already, this is either a scam or delusion. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn

more than 3 years ago
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China Starts Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Project

1336 Re:Where we should have been years ago already (387 comments)

This almost makes me cry:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/ff_new_nukes/all/1

"Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the â(TM)50s through the early â(TM)70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the â(TM)60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors â" in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century."

more than 3 years ago
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Ubuntu Moves Away From GNOME

1336 Re:Aero (514 comments)

>> what more do you want?

> Amiga OS. I miss it. Or if I can't have that, a clone of the Windows OS so I'm no longer locked into the Microsoft Monopoly when running MS software. Something like Wine but bigger.

Aside from the fact that it is still in alpha 12 years after it was started, what you're describing is ReactOS: http://www.reactos.org/

But FYI, so long as you need to run apps designed for "the Microsoft Monopoly", you will always be locked into it in.

more than 4 years ago
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Churchill Accused of Sealing UFO Files, Fearing Public Panic

1336 Re:blah (615 comments)

Please see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#Addition_of_the_words_.22under_God.22
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk_Grove_Unified_School_District_v._Newdow#Quotations_and_legal_detail

Quotations and legal detail From the 9th circuit hearing:

        * Decided - the 1954 insertion of "under God" was made "to recognize a Supreme Being" and advance religion at a time "when the government was publicly inveighing against atheistic communism"--a fact which (according to the court) the federal government did not dispute. The court also noted that when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the act which added the phrase "under God," he also announced "From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."

        * Judge Alfred Goodwin from the 9th Circuit remarked: "A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion."

more than 4 years ago
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Bitcoin Releases Version 0.3

1336 Re:How secure (491 comments)

They can be washed...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/bizarre/7095561.html

"Low-denomination U.S bank notes change hands until they fall apart here in Africa, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums. Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through the spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins alongside their sheets and clothes."

more than 4 years ago
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Inertial Mass Separate From Gravitational Mass?

1336 Re:Inertial Dampeners??? (405 comments)

Forget "cosmic dust"; at near-light speeds, even the occasional hydrogen atom becomes a menace. An excerpt from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/17/star_trek_scuppered/

---
Professor William Edelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explained to New Scientist that while interstellar space has just a couple of hydrogen atoms per cubic centimetre, as the crew of the Enterprise hit the gas pedal, a compression effect would greatly increase the number of atoms hitting the spacecraft.

As the spaceship reached 99.999998 per cent of the speed of light, "hydrogen atoms would seem to reach a staggering 7 teraelectron volts", which for the crew "would be like standing in front of the Large Hadron Collider beam".

This is a very bad thing, because humans in the path of this ray would receive a dose of ionising radiation of 10,000 sieverts, and as Bones McCoy would doubtless confirm, the lethal dose is 6 sieverts.

The result? Death in one second.
---

more than 4 years ago
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"Install Other OS" Feature Removed From the PS3

1336 Re:Not an April Fools' (739 comments)

Can't; the link I was going to use was 404...

more than 4 years ago
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Modeling the Economy As a Physics Problem

1336 Collapse (452 comments)

The ghost of Christmas future?
http://www.collapsemovie.com/

So if "Energy conservation or efficiency doesn't really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption." then the trick would be to create conservation/efficiency without spurring economic growth... so compensate with a tax at the same time?

e.g. mandate more fuel efficient cars and increase the tax on gasoline at the same time to make the average cost of driving cost/km the same in the future as it does now...

more than 4 years ago
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Pornography Outlawed In Ukraine, Unless It's "Medicinal"

1336 Its ok if you have a prostate... (18 comments)

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3942-masturbating-may-protect-against-prostate-cancer.html

"A team in Australia led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1079 men with prostate cancer to fill in a questionnaire detailing their sexual habits, and compared their responses with those of 1259 healthy men of the same age. The team concludes that the more men ejaculate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer."

more than 5 years ago
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Secret EU Open Source Migration Study Leaked

1336 Re:Oh noes! (311 comments)

As the dad of a four year old who uses flash in Ubuntu Linux, I have to ask, what distro/version are you running?

In 9.04 (and for the last few releases as I recall), when Ubuntu encounters a flash file in Firefox for the first time, it *offers* to install Flash.

When you set up the system, you could install the flashplugin-installer package which downloads and installs it for you. If you enabled the Canonical Partner repository when you set it up, you can install adobe-flashplugin and then its all done.

Xvid would require a codec download; similar to the flash plugin, Ubuntu will offer to do that when you try to run an Xvid-encoded video file without the codec installed; alternately just installing a big batch of gstreamer plugins when you first set up the system will ensure you don't have to install codecs later (I would recommend: gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad, gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly, gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse).

DVDs are almost all encrypted and its a little more work; you need to add a suitable repository (Medibuntu) and install the libdvdcss2 package.

Now, if you can't be bothered to act as the OEM for your sons or invest a couple minutes figuring out how to help them, that's one thing, but this isn't 1999; Linux in general, and Ubuntu specifically, is easy to use and there's quite a lot of help available, e.g. http://ubuntuforums.org/

more than 5 years ago
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Shuttleworth Says Ubuntu Can't Just Be Windows

1336 Re:Well, not quite... (710 comments)

This, BTW, is why Windows systems are sometimes less expensive than their Linux counterparts; Windows is adding negative value to the system, while Linux can only hope for a $0 cost ;)

more than 5 years ago
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What Bird Feathers and Beer Foam Have In Common

1336 This was already known (36 comments)

"Unlike with most colors in nature - which are produced by pigments - the bright blue colors of Bluebirds and Blue Jays are actually produced by sponge-like nanostructures. These structures are formed in quite the same way as beer foam."

This has been known for some time; sufficient quantities of beer can lead to pink elephants. There's some documentary footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nwNPaYoTY8

more than 5 years ago
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MS Confirms Six Different Versions of Windows 7

1336 Re:Obviously.... (758 comments)

I wish we had fewer distros of linux. And, irony of ironies, probably the same people going HAHAHAHA here are to be found in the recent post where prophet Linus declared that billions of distros were greatest thing around on the monkeysphere.

The thing with Linux distributions is that while there are a huge number of them, there are only a few major ones (note how the 'popularity' rapidly drops off on DistroWatch). In fact, there are probably no more major Linux distros than Vista/Win7 versions. And even among those, they aren't all equally popular; see Google Trends There has basically been a single distro leading the pack since mid-2006: Ubuntu. So without forced interference, a single distro has emerged as the leader. A positive feedback loop with OEMs (e.g. Dell) should keep it in first place unless there is a major disruption. Now as for Vista/Win7... Really, all there is is Ultimate and various crippleware versions of it.

more than 5 years ago
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MS Confirms Six Different Versions of Windows 7

1336 Re:Obviously.... (758 comments)

if M$ used the Linux kernel for Windows [...] What sort of effect would that have on the OS?

It would have the effect of all existing Windows software not working anymore.

So basically indistinguishable from a regular new Windows release? ;) Simple joking aside, I wonder how good a 'Mojave Experiment' using Linux+Wine would be in terms of fooling average Vista users... Based on reactions I've seen from simply showing people Ubuntu, I imagine pretty good.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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The "Tennis Shoe Test"

1336 1336 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

1336 (898588) writes "Its late May, 1966 and the "first fully-assembled, 363-foot tall Saturn V moon rocket" and its attendant scientists are stuck inside because of bad weather. So when an "ex-German scientist" gets a wacky idea to test the giant rocket's "system structural mechanics" and the other bored scientists are eager to give it a go, first with their feet and then also with a rope, "Really, what possibly could go wrong?" "What happened next may never have been known — let alone believed — had a long-lost film clip not surfaced" Hilarity and a cover-up follow! (Links Coralized)"
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1336 1336 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

1336 writes "Yesterday's article erroneously reported that the Ubuntu systems Dell would be selling at "little or no price differential" (note in the comments to the referenced article that the savings for using Ubuntu on equivalent hardware was $50-$100 US off the base system). I just discovered however that for the Dimension E520 vs E520N, if you select "No Monitor" in the options, the price difference jumps from $80 to $140. For such inexpensive systems, that represents just over a 25% savings by selecting Ubuntu instead of Windows ($549 vs $409). At that kind of discount, would you consider Ubuntu for yourself or others (e.g. relatives) even if you hadn't before? Can Microsoft effectively compete in the low-end market?"

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