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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Rei Re: haven't been following... (180 comments)

I've tried with rocks and sand, no effect. So the hardness is clearly higher than quartz. And once you're to that point, how much do you really need to go higher?

I just wish there was a better way to prevent breakage. :

yesterday
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Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

Rei Re:In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamic (140 comments)

It's not the ambient temperature of air that's key here, it's the ambient temperature of space, which is about 2,7K.

All objects are constantly radiating energy and receiving energy back from other things that are radiating. When two objects in radiative exchange are roughly the same temperature, this balances out. But when one is hotter than the other, the hotter one loses more energy than it takes in, and vice versa. And it's not just a little difference - radiative heat loss is proportional to the absolute temperature to the fourth power, that's a pretty big exponent. So when you're exchanging energy with space, which is so cold that it takes very sensitive instruments to be able to measure *anything*, well, that heat is simply lost.

You can see this effect for yourself by noting how cloudy nights are usually warmer than clear nights. Clouds are cold, but they're not as cold as space!

The effect of the combination of radiation, absorption, and reflection, with different band peaks for each phenomenon, manifests itself in atmospheres as a greenhouse effect (positive or negative) versus the radiative equilibrium temperature.

yesterday
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Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

Rei Re:In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamic (140 comments)

This "modulation" happens all the time, few things in this universe are true blackbodies, most prefer to radiate in specific bands. They're apparently using a material that tends to radiate only on one narrow band at regular earth temperatures.

Not sure how much benefit this provides to the building owner, to the point that they'd be willing to cover their building in hafnium-and-silver coated panels, rather than just white paint...

yesterday
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Behind Apple's Sapphire Screen Debacle

Rei Re: haven't been following... (180 comments)

Does anyone actually have problems with scratching of the latest generations of gorilla glass? I've had my Xperia Z2 for over half a year and because it has a glass back as well as front it makes it less risky to try scratch tests, so I've done it a number of times and let other people try to scratch it, and nobody has ever succeeded. I'm sure if you put a diamond to it you'd scratch it, but short of that, I can't see why more scratch resistance is needed.

Now, *crack* resistance, they could use good improvements in that. : But from reports the sapphire wasn't that crack resistant.

yesterday
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Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Rei They just took Google's motto (224 comments)

and tweaked the punctuation a bit, from "Don't Be Evil" to "Don't, Be Evil!"

BTW, am I the first one to notice that Uber is an anagram of "Rube"?

2 days ago
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I prefer my turkey ...

Rei Re:Alive and gobbling (115 comments)

Surprised you haven't gotten any "but animals eat meat!" comments.

Animals also commit petty murder and mass rape. I like to think that we have the intelligence to choose to not have to imitate the behavior of other animals and decide our own path. And fortunately, we have a digestive system which allows us to make that choice when it comes to our diet.

2 days ago
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I prefer my turkey ...

Rei Re:What's with turkey anyway (115 comments)

Swans can literally kill people - a guy died just a couple years ago when swans attacked his boat and then kept attacking him while he tried to swim to shore, until he drowned. More common though are things like bruises (up to and including black eyes), scratches, and skin-puncturing bites. A google image search for swan attack shows how they don't mess around when they feel threatene (there's even pictures of one attacking a full-grown horse)

2 days ago
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I prefer my turkey ...

Rei Re:What's with turkey anyway (115 comments)

It's not all that distant of a relative of chickens, actually - it's in the same family (but a different subfamily). It's kind of wierd that one family (Phasianidae) has almost all of the commonly consumed poultry - chicken, turkey, grouse, quail, pheasant, peafowl, guineafowl, etc. Go up to the order level and you find more (mostly regionally popular) game fowl, like ptarmigan. And once you hit the superorder level, you get the water fowl like ducks, geese, and swans. I can't even think of any other poultry species. There's lots of Aves clades, subclasses, and infraclasses, but apparently the species that people find make good eating are rather clustered together.

2 days ago
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WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

Rei Re:Niche energy (89 comments)

A lot of companies are involved in a lot of renewables tech research. That doesn't mean that any particular one is going to be profitable. The vast majority are going to be big failures.

Wave power's track record so far has been subpar to say the least. And looking at their diagrams, I can't imagine that they're not headed straight for the same fate. Even if we assume that their numbers aren't overly optimistic, their design looks like it would involve several times more steel per nameplate capacity than a wind turbine tower. And they're operating in a much harsher environment. No rotors, but they're dealing with major hydraulic pumping instead. It just doesn't look like a winner to me.

If it was my job to have a go at wave power, I can't imagine going for anything involving large amounts of structural steel or hydraulic pumping; I'd keep it simple and just go for a grid of cables (potentially a high tensile strength UV-resistant plastic), anchored at the edges to keep tension up across the whole grid, with the only slack available involving the grid pulling on regularly spaced springloaded reels (the rotation thereof generating electricity), with any combination of floats, drag chutes and weighs/anchors to cause the needed tug from the movement of water. No pumps, no hydraulic fluid, no large compressive-loaded structures, just a tensile structure that would be (proportionally) lightweight and easy to deploy.

But hey, it's not my industry ;)

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

And from their numbers, it doesn't look like they're using a reasonable estimate for Chernobyl. There've been some ridiculous estimates out there from both sides, ranging from "only the couple dozen who died directly" to "millions".

One can look at the approximately 10% higher mortality rate within the exclusion zone to get a rough sense of the consequences, but without knowing demographics, it's hard to draw conclusions from that. Probably the best (peer-reviewed) analysis I've seen compared doses with the US military's mortality data from exposure to the nuclear bombings in Japan. You get a figure of about 4000 extra deaths with moderate confidence and 5000 with low confidence (the error bars can be in either direction). So very rough ballpark of 9k deaths, plus the first responders and the like.

Yes, even when you include things like that, nuclear's death toll is lower than coal, no question. But it's not as low as they make it out to be. Their bias is obvious.

The deadliest nuclear accident, Chernobyl, was caused by defense department testing.

Yep, nuclear disasters can happen from both man and nature. That's hardly a comfort. Will "defense department testing" cause the next major nuclear accident? Very unlikely. But there almost certainly will be a "next major nuclear accident" - we just don't know what form it will take. It's a "known unknown".

Whereas Fukushima was all user error?

No. But if you're going to include "dam-induced casualties from storms", then you should include "people spared from storms by dams" also, it's only fair. And thus hydro's death count would be strongly negative.

Perhaps it is possible to offset renewables in such a way that they can provide 90% of our power needs, but no one has ever done it.

Speak for yourself. I live in Iceland where over 99,9% of the grid is renewable (primarily hydro). 99,9% renewable baseload at that. There's even serious preliminary work looking into building the world's longest submarine power cable to export power to the UK.

Again, not saying that hydro is my preference - I've stated my preference above. Just pointing out that your claim is wrong.

(Concerning the power cable: I'd support if A) they'd only be adding geo plants and wind to meet the extra power need, and B) the government would tax the power sales to the point where the cable makes just barely enough profit to economically justify its existence... but I'm sure that A) they'd probably just dam up the highlands some more - who gives a rat's arse that we have some of the world's most abundant and cheap geo and wind power that could easily compete on the European market, hydro gives a tiny bit more profit margin!; and B) the government would hardly push back at all on power export royalties because, hey, JOBS! Jobs damming up the highlands!)

2 days ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

Rei Re:Next step - Semiconductors (69 comments)

Close, but your syllable count is a bit off. Something like this would work:

fuck ink jet printers
fuck all those fucking printers
i fucking hate them

Technically, though, you're supposed to have a connection with nature for it to be proper haiku. So maybe something more like

ink jet printer rests
at the bottom of the bog
piece of shit printer

2 days ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

Rei Re:Next step - Semiconductors (69 comments)

What world do you live in where mine shafts allow objects to fall for hours, days, weeks, months, or years at a time?

And FYI, this "weak force" is the reason your muscles aren't atrophied and you're stuck to this ball orbiting the sun. It matters.

2 days ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

Rei Re:Next step - Semiconductors (69 comments)

They did. But first off, to correct the GP: Concrete does not release CO2. It absorbs CO2 (slowly taking back the carbon that was released during the cement's creation). So this messed up their balance equation. Metabolism was supposed to consume O2 and make CO2, while photosynthesis was supposed to consume CO2 and make O2. But with the concrete locking up the CO2, the output of metabolism was being locked up and not being converted back to O2, so the O2 levels declined.

It's a simple oversight, but one that we're very lucky was made on Earth and not on, say, Mars. More foresight could have caught it, but there's always something that slips through the cracks. A number of other issues showed themselves, such as unexpected condensation adding rain to areas supposed to be rainless, less light than anticipated making it into the habitat, certain inspect species proving incompatible with the environment while others proving to be pests, so and so forth. They also had big problems with wild fluctuations in CO2 by time of day and season - they didn't have a massive amount of atmosphere to buffer it, so levels collapsed during the day and shot up at night. A lot of people complained that the project wasn't focused enough on the science, but I think they learned an awful lot of important things that could prove critical if ever trying to grow crops on another planet.

(The psychological aspects and how the crew split into two bitterly divided factions is also a real cautionary tale)

So anyway: after the first Biosphere 2 experiment was terminated, they sealed the concrete and started another one. But the second experiment was more doomed by politics than anything else. The on-site management was foreceably evicted by federal marshals. Former biosphere members broke into the facility so that the people inside could know what was going on outside (in the process, ruining the sealed environment). And then a couple months later the management company was dissolved. Altogether the second mission lasted less than half a year. It was a total disaster.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

Just like we stay away from active volcanoes.

Which is why 47 people didn't just die in a Japanese volcanic eruption a couple months ago? In the country with probably the best volcano monitoring on Earth?

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

Please, do go on about Ukranians. I want to hear about how they crucify children to torture their mothers for revenge.

2 days ago
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New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps

Rei Re:Enemy (89 comments)

Who's the actual target?

I once knew someone who was in military intelligence during the Cold War who had lots of good stories about where the intelligence to analyze came from. One good source was an undersea Soviet cable that the US had covertly tapped. Another was their predecessor to cell phones. They were analog and unencrypted, but they generally realized the risk and didn't use them anywhere near where there might be a listening post. However in issuing guidelines for their usage they apparently miscalculated on the fact that the signals also propagate up, believing that the low power transmissions would be too weak and distorted by the time they got to orbit to be demodulated. The US however had a satellite that could do precisely that.

The Soviets were also very good at covertly tapping US communications. They (and their Russian successors) also made good use of them in other ways. In the Chechen conflict, their leader Dzhokhar Dudaev stayed in communications with his contacts via short calls by satellite phone. The Russian solution to this was to create a system that would specifically recognize his phone, and mounted it to a HARM - the sort of missile normally used to take out radar transmitters, which homes in on a specific radio signal. It was the world's first - and only - "Anti-Dudaev Missile", and worked quite effectively.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

embarrassed themselves by proposing obvious nonsense

Okay, I'll bite. here's a comparison of historic forecasts from skeptics and from mainstream scientists, versus actual measured temperatures. Who, exactly, is embarrassing themselves here?

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

It's long been known that the temperature of the thermosphere is highly dependent on what the sun is doing. It doesn't "store" energy, and there's essentially nothing above it to block it from radiating out into space. It also represents a mere 0.002% of the atmosphere.

It's not the thermosphere whose temperature people care about. It's the first few dozen meters of the troposphere that matters.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

and it's about the coolant effect of CO2 in the middle and lower atmosphere, not the troposphere

You keep using that word. I do not think that it means what you think it means.

(Hint: the troposphere *is* the lower atmosphere - and if you define "middle" by "half of the mass" rather than "half of the altitude", it's that too)

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Rei Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (630 comments)

Why is it "bullshit"? Do you actually think there's really no health cost to dumping PM, SOx, NOx, CO, VOCs, etc into the atmosphere (just ignoring CO2)?

2 days ago

Submissions

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Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped A Politician's Son

Rei Rei writes  |  about 5 months ago

Rei (128717) writes "As was previously reported here, the Russian government has accused the US Secret Service of kidnapping the son of ultranationalist LDPR MP Valery Seleznev in the Maldives. The son, Roman Seleznev, stands accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations, with others charged in the affair having already been convicted; however, Roman had until recently been considered out of reach in Russia. Now the Maldives has struck back against these claims, insisting that they arrested him on an Interpol Red Notice and transferred him to the US, as they are legally required as an Interpol member state to do. “No outsider came here to conduct an operation,” president Abdulla Yameen stated. “No officials from another country can come here to arrest anyone. The government has the necessary documentation to prove it.”"
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Who's Killing The Electric Car Again?

Rei Rei writes  |  about 5 years ago

Rei (128717) writes "Aptera Motors is an manufacturer of safe, hyper-efficient, highway-speed electric three-wheelers. Funded by Idealab, Google, and a variety of other sources, they have been working towards making (take your pick): A) one of the ugliest, or B) one of the most beautiful vehicles ever to be mass produced. When they started accepting pre-orders, over 4,000 people from California alone came running with $500 deposits. However, in recent days, the company seems to be imploding, where in the middle of wave after wave of layoffs, disastrous information keeps leaking out. Among the examples: the company's CFO, Laura Marion, was cited by the SEC in 2006 for running an Enron-style accounting scam at Delphi."
Link to Original Source
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McCain taps creationism-proponent as VP pick

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Rei writes "By now, most people know that senator John McCain has tapped one-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. While the commentary has ranged from the positive, such as its potential to be a game changer for him, to the negative, such as her involvement in Troopergate, little attention has been paid so far to her views on science. According to the Alaska Daily News, in the 2006 governor's race, Palin was the only candidate to suggest that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. In contrast to her two opponents, one of whom suggested that such "religious based" lessons belong in a philosophy or sociology class, Palin stated, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both." In response to the backlash, she later backpedalled and insisted that she would not apply a creationism litmus test to her school board appointees.

Evangelical leaders are reportedly thrilled with her nomination."

Link to Original Source
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Nanosolar delivers high-efficiency thin film cells

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rei writes "Thin film photovoltaic systems have been heralded as a way to make solar cells cheap enough for widespread adoption, but have also been criticized for their low efficiency. A number of companies have been working to fix this equation. Now, one of them — Nanosolar, a privately held company with funding from Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page — has finally shipped their first cells produced in a mass-production environment. Nanosolar's cells boast being the world's first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product, the world's lowest-cost solar panel (they plan to sell at $0.99/Watt, compared to the current minimum of $4.83/Watt), and the world's highest-current thin-film solar panel (5x the next closest on the market), among other things. Their Panel #2, made available as a collectors item on Ebay with the profits going to charity, has already racked up bids of over $10,000."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "Yesterday, Slashdot posted about what appeared to be puddles of water sitting on Mars. Unfortunately, according to the Planetary Society's blog, the authors of the paper didn't even bother to check the context in which the "water" photos were taken. The article notes that one shouldn't trust papers that haven't yet gone through peer review. "The white square shows you where the image comes from. It's in the middle of Opportunity's Burns Cliff panorama, on some of the steepest slopes that Opportunity saw before arriving at Victoria crater! Those can't be puddles — unless the amazing "liquid" that puddles here on Mars in a freezing near-vacuum also has antigravity properties.""
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "There has been a lot of buzz today over Al Gore: in the wake of revelations that his Tennessee mansion uses 12 to 20 times more energy than usual comes an assault in the New York Times over the accuracy of his film, "An Inconvenient Truth". The article's author quotes a number of scientists who are critical of some of his statements, and describe the film as "alarmism". Quick to the counterpunch is RealClimate.org, which has published a harsh rebuttal suggesting habitual dishonesty and deception of readers on the part of the article's author."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "SpaceDaily.com is reporting the failure of a SeaLaunch Zenit-3SL rocket and its payload, leading some to question whether the damage will prove too much for the company. A split-second after separating from the tower, the rocket fell and impacted the platform with a firey explosion. The failure of the Zenit, a privately developed orbital rocket, comes as SpaceX prepares to launch a new Falcon I rocket after its last failed on liftoff after three successive, failed launch attempts. While the news for simpler private suborbital rocketry continues to look rosy, is private orbital rocketry perched on a precipice?"
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Rei Rei writes  |  about 8 years ago

Rei writes "Today, the prestigious Cambridge Energy Research Associates released a report dismissing the Peak Oil theory, suggesting that world oil production will continue to increase for the next 24 years, and then only level into a plateu. The report, which suggests that world reserves are enough to last 122 years at our current rate of consumption, also blasts Peak Oil theorists for repeatedly making unscientific predictions and then shifting them whenever their predictions fail to materialize."

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