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Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport

Wdi Hardly viable... (151 comments)

Most of the commercial launches want equatorial orbits, and for that you want to launch as near to the equator as possible. As far as polar orbits for research satellites are concerned there is already the Kiruna site, which is fully equipped and at a better location for monitoring polar orbits. Polar orbits for secret missions? Countries involved in this will want to launch from their own turf. And space tourism? Does not exist yet.

about two weeks ago

Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

Wdi License ON transfer (73 comments)

Has the editor actually understood the idea behind this?

about three weeks ago

NSA Considers Linux Journal Readers, Tor (And Linux?) Users "Extremists"

Wdi What "Publication" ? (361 comments)

"Das Erste" is a (major) TV broadcaster and its name roughly translates as "TV1". The fact that they also have a Web site which summarizes the content of previously broadcast features does not change this.

about a month ago

It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

Wdi Really bad choice of name... (218 comments)

From all the possible names for a motorcycle, they felt they had to choose the one which is most likely to get them sued for trademark violation?

Covered and innovative motorcycle by BMW, in production 2000-2003.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?

Wdi Yes, that is reasonable advice (245 comments)

Any safe worth its money cannot be harmed by a simple gas explosion in the surrounding house, tornado, car crashing though the walls, etc. and if you have one or two hours of fire protection, that also covers the vast majority of house fires.

about 3 months ago

How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

Wdi Bullshit - don't believe marketing materials (195 comments)

Sapphire is *not* the second hardest material known. Yes, it's written in the linked article, but it is also definitely wrong. It is hard, and it is harder than glass. That is all there is. Besides diamond. many other materials, such as some forms of boronnitride, rhenium and osmium borides, and a collection of carbon/boron/nitrogen mixed compounds are all far harder than sapphire.

about 3 months ago

Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

Wdi Not surprising, and acknowledged by chemists (153 comments)

To those posters claiming that these are sensationalistic numbers, or fake statistics:

This problem is well known among professional chemists, and there have been a string of high-profile accidents in recent years (and very expensive settlements for involved universities as a result).

The ACS (American Chemical Society) has instituted a task force to guide academia in establishing a better safety culture..

See for example

about 5 months ago

Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass

Wdi A different real-life explanation (921 comments)

From the article: "by the time she ran back into the bar, her purse with her keys, wallet and phone were gone".

Maybe this is what it all was about. A standard pickpocket distraction manoeuvre.

about 5 months ago

Laser Headlights Promise More Intense, Controllable Beams

Wdi Most important advantage not mentioned (376 comments)

With laser lighting, illumination in rain can be dramatically improved, but avoiding to shine the laser onto rain drops.

about 6 months ago

Searching the Internet For Evidence of Time Travelers

Wdi Look for time travellers, and you find... (465 comments)

a) wrongly set system clocks leaking into page timestamps, etc.

b) conspirators communicating about/cashing in on their nefarious schemes

about 7 months ago

Citizen Science: Who Makes the Rules?

Wdi Expedition permits? Easier, actually... (189 comments)

Very misleading original article full of misguided complaints. Controls on the export of native plants or other biological specimen have been in place for hundreds of years, and with much harsher penalties.

The members of the expedition have a, admittedly tedious, path to get permits. Just play by the rules.

When John Rolfe smuggled tobacco from Trinidad to Virginia in 1611, establishing its tobacco farming industry, there was a mandatory death sentence for seed smugglers imposed by the Spanish colonialists.

about 7 months ago

Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

Wdi Maybe you can learn something from figher tech... (237 comments)

but passenger aircraft have very standard motorized windscreen wipers, really low tech...

about 7 months ago

Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech

Wdi Combine it! (237 comments)

For maximum effect, apply JP-8 and scorching hot exhausts simultaneously!

about 7 months ago

Why People Are So Bad At Picking Passwords

Wdi Re:Bad news .... (299 comments)

His password is open source and everybody is entitled to read it, modify it, or to sell it as text source if he can find a buyer, as long as the copyright notice remains attached!

about 8 months ago

Detecting Chemicals Through Bone

Wdi Misleading headline (23 comments)

The reported method requires that specially coated nanoparticles are first injected though the bone. That is just drilling a smaller hole.

about 8 months ago

Explorer Plans Hunt For Genghis Khan's Long-Lost Tomb

Wdi Please, NO, NO, NO! (243 comments)

That guy is a rich retired lawyer, not an archeologist or historian. See his profile at

There are zero indications in the linked article that they plan to include any professionals on their expedition, and in his portrait there is no record that he has ever teamed up with such on previous endeavors. Looting or just damaging a tomb of this importance by amateurs, should it be found, would be an enormous cultural loss. A painstaking archeological dig would probably take 20 years and proceed with extreme caution. These guys do not look like they have the patience - to me they certainly look like they would prefer instant gratification and fame by brandishing a few choice artefacts from the tomb if they can find it.

about 8 months ago

Cambridge University Scientists Find Quadruple Helix DNA In Human Cells

Wdi Not just quadruple... (67 comments)

triple DNA helixes are also known, just to expand your horizon beyond what is simplified in highschool textbooks:

about a year and a half ago

Over 1000 Volunteers For 'Suicide' Mission To Mars

Wdi Just a publicity stunt (453 comments)

They are now starting the astronaut selection program for a trip in 10 years, but there is no indication whatever that they are concerned about the much more fundamental task of designing a transport ship?!?! Really, really suspicious. What are the prospects supposed to train on/for ?

"People in thirty seven countries have purchased our merchandise, demonstrating their support for Mars One"

OK, I understand. Presumably the foundation managers are well paid. That is no problem even for a non-profit.

about a year and a half ago

Just Say No To College

Wdi This can only work in few industries (716 comments)

Software is about the only remotely tech-centric field where you have a small chance of success as a college dropout founder even without prior certified qualification, and then only in submarkets which do not cater to other high-tech or regulated fields.

You may become a lucky millionaire with a blockbuster iPad app for the unwashed masses - if you somehow hit the customer taste better than your 1000 competitors, and cash in before you spend your money on the next 10 unsuccessful projects - , but you will never get a foot into, for the average start-up company, much more reliably profitable fields like machinery design and control software, simulation and research data processing tools, or even seemingly boring stuff like custom database-related software which needs to adhere to strict regulations - which is about anything from bookkeeping to medical data processing.

And do not even dream about starting your biotech company directly out of high-school.

about a year and a half ago

Scientists Turn Air Into Petrol

Wdi Unlikely... (580 comments)

This smells fishy. Certainly, there are no laws of nature violated... carbon dioxide can be hydrogenated to hydrocarbons, alcohols, etc., that is well-known technology ...but why would anybody trying to build a commercial company presumably trying to earn money at some stage go to the expense (both financially and energy-wise) to isolate carbon dioxide from air (0.04%), when it is readly available for example from the exhaust of tradional power plants and other fuel-burning processes (>22%, up to 100% with 'clean coal' tech), or, if you want to go fully biological, from fermentation operations (100%). That does not make any economic sense at all.

Also, the point about the lack additives is strange. Original refinery fuel is almost pure hydrocarbons and minor oxidation products, too - the additives are not a side product of the distillation process from oil. The addititives are added (immediately before filling the delivery trucks) because they improve the burn characteristics, lubrication, waste product accumulation - which are needed for synfuel in the same fashion.

about 2 years ago



Wdi Wdi writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Wdi (142463) writes "Currently, lithium-ion is the standard for high-density rechargeable batteries. Nevertheless, portable devices still run out of power far too quickly, or are too heavy because of battery bulk. Not much progress has been made in the last years to improve the capacity/weight ratio.

Until now. Chemical & Engineering News report about the development of breakthrough new LiIon battery cathode materials which have a sustained (repeated charge/discharge cycles) capacity/weight ratio nearly twice as high as LiCoO2, the standard cathode material.

Since the cathode is by far the heaviest part of a LiIon battery, this could lead to significantly lighter or more powerful batteries."


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