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Paper Microscope Magnifies Objects 2100 Times and Costs Less Than $1

hackertourist Why a watch battery? (82 comments)

Use a penlite instead with much more capacity for 1/20 the price.


The Best Parking Apps You've Never Heard Of and Why You Haven't

hackertourist The tragedy of capitalism (163 comments)

If engineers were left to design a parking app, they'd make it work for all forms of paid parking in at least one country. Instead, we're saddled with a fragmented market.

2 days ago

Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

hackertourist Re:just keep in mind (408 comments)

Taking homeopathy to its logical conclusion: plain ordinary tap water contains homeopathic concentrations of every substance known to man. Ergo: water should cure everything!

about a week ago

Under Revised Quake Estimates, Dozens of Nuclear Reactors Face Problems

hackertourist Re:A unified design? (152 comments)

Yes, this would make things simpler. The French have done this (PDF link), using one standard reactor design wherever possible. IIRC the American method was to use some standard components, but allow the architect responsible for the plant to make lots of changes (e.g. the piping between the standard components is different at each plant).

about two weeks ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

hackertourist Re:Left foot braking, not heel and toe (394 comments)

Left foot braking was pioneered by Walter Rohl driving the turbocharged Audi rally cars. It's pointless in non-turbocharged cars, and completely pointless in an electric car.

In a front-wheel-drive car, left-foot braking can help stabilize the rear: you get a net braking force on the rear axle, and some drive to the front.

about three weeks ago

How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

hackertourist Re:US Intel Said this on Day 1 (491 comments)

It's entirely possible the plane wasn't tracked the entire time, but the crash was heard by a US submarine operating in the area. Loud noises would have made it clear that survivors weren't likely. I can see why they decided not to reveal sensitive information in those circumstances.

about three weeks ago

Mars Rover Opportunity Faces New Threat: Budget Ax

hackertourist Re:Why does it need money? (185 comments)

The big-ticket item is probably communications They need one of the DSN antennas: huge dishes that there are never enough of. Ending the Curiosity mission makes room for a new mission without having to build a new 34-meter dish antenna.

about a month ago

NASA Forgets How To Talk To ICE/ISEE-3 Spacecraft

hackertourist Re:What, exactly, is missing? (166 comments)

What's missing is a filter in the receiver circuits.
You've got a transmitter and a receiver connected to the same antenna. When you're using the (powerful) transmitter, you need to make sure its signals don't end up in the (very sensitive) receiver and fry it.
This filter has to provide something like 150 dB of isolation.

about a month and a half ago

The Rescue Plan That Could Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia

hackertourist Re:However.. (247 comments)

The Russians would have had to launch 3 or 4 (if an unmanned Soyuz launch is impossible) Soyuz within 30 days. This assumes they had 3-4 Soyuz rockets lying around at the launch site, finished and ready-to-launch.
Using a Proton wouldn't be feasible; it's never been used to launch Soyuz capsules so they'd have to manufacture a payload adapter.
The Soyuz could only be launched unmanned if its software were able to do automated rendezvous and stationkeeping, AND if its airlock were able to be opened from the outside.
The same constraints apply that TFA talked about: preparing 1-3 missions at a hugely compressed time schedule.
You also have the additional problem of having 4-5 spaceships flying in close formation, each in a slightly different orbit. That's a bad enough problem with 2 ships, but with 4-5 you need all of them to be manned to avoid collisions and blasting EVA crew with rocket exhaust.

about 1 month ago

Astronomers Catch Asteroid Striking Moon On Video

hackertourist Re:Can someone please explain (69 comments)

there would have been a loud 'kaboom'

Almost, grasshopper. There would have been an earthshattering kaboom.

about 1 month ago

European Space Agency Picks Plato Planet-hunting Mission

hackertourist Re:why Soyuz? (32 comments)

It's an ESA project, for political reasons this will use an ESA launcher. They added a Soyuz launchpad to the Kourou spaceport a few years ago to expand their launcher portfolio on the low end.

about 2 months ago

I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

hackertourist Recent - but not too recent (236 comments)

I enjoyed the Cold War thrillers (both military and espionage) that were popular in the '80s and '90s. Military fiction these days seems to be mostly focused on terrorism, which makes for boring adversaries (rabid dogs that need to be put down versus an intelligent, wily, and rational enemy).

about 2 months ago

First Global Map Outside the Solar System

hackertourist Re:curious orientation (19 comments)

Still, congratulations. It's amazing that we've gone from stars visible only as a single pixel to being able to detect surface features.

about 3 months ago

How loud is your primary computer?

hackertourist I only hear it when something's wrong (371 comments)

On my Macbook, the fans spin up to audible levels when CPU usage hits 100%. That rarely happens in normal use, so when the fans start howling it's usually because some process hangs (I'm looking at you, Quicklook Helper!).

about 3 months ago

You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

hackertourist Already done to some extent (437 comments)

For several years now, VAG has been building cars where some of the options can be added by tweaking settings in the car's computer system, or by adding a few inexpensive components. I can add an alarm to mine just by plugging a horn and a couple of sensors into the car's network. Similarly, the wiring for heated mirrors is installed by default even if the option is not checked by the initial customer, I replaced the standard mirror glasses with heated ones and was good to go. $50 and 10 minutes to enable a $200 option. Lists of available options circulate on the internet.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: It's 2014 -- Which New Technologies Should I Learn?

hackertourist Duh (387 comments)

Antigravity, nuclear fusion, holodeck.

about 3 months ago

Comet-Chasing Probe Wakes Up On Monday

hackertourist Breaking news: wakeup is going well (67 comments)

I was following the webcast, a few minutes ago they received the signal from Rosetta, so the wakeup has succeeded, if a bit behind schedule.

(unfortunately I can't see a way to rewind, so you'll have to wait for the video to become available on the archive section of the webcast page)

about 3 months ago

Comet-Chasing Probe Wakes Up On Monday

hackertourist Exciting stuff (67 comments)

I remember staying up late to watch Giotto's close approach to Halley. That we're now planning to *land* on a comet, is very impressive.

about 3 months ago

Adobe Adds 3D Printer Support To Photoshop

hackertourist How? (73 comments)

How did they incorporate 3D modelling, which mostly uses 3D vector-based drawing, into a 2.5D pixel-based application?

about 3 months ago



Power grid demand matching using flywheels

hackertourist hackertourist writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hackertourist writes "A novel type of electricity storage was recently added to the New York power grid. The unit, supplied by Beacon Power uses flywheels to store energy. The unit is intended to replace gas turbines in supplying short-term peaks in power demand (also known as frequency regulation). It can supply up to 20 MW, using 200 flywheels."
Link to Original Source


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