jbeaupre (752124) writes "Armadillo Aerospace is still hard at work developing their own rockets. Though not as far along as SpaceX, it's still great to see competition. Their latest launch was a successful 41.9 km." Link to Original Source top
jbeaupre (752124) writes "The Economist reports on progress by a company called Saltworks on using saline gradients to do the heavy lifting of desalinization. In essence, Saltworks uses solar energy or waste heat to concentrate sea water. They then use the ionic gradient between the concentrated brine and 2 sea water streams to pull ions from from a 3rd sea water stream. It appears to work with entropy by trading the reduced entropy of the desalinated water against the increased entropy of "mixing" the brine and the other sea water streams. The article only discusses Na and Cl, but even just removing these ions is a step in the right direction.
Note to editor: I've linked to the Economist for 3 reasons: it has a better description of the process, a better diagram of the process, and is less likely to suffer from slashdotting." Link to Original Source top
jbeaupre writes "A corollary to "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" is that sometimes users have to resort to what I call "computer voodoo." You don't know why it works, you barely care how it works, but you find yourself doing the strangest things because it just seems to work. Like smacking a PC every 5 seconds for an hour to keep it from stalling on a hard drive reformat (with nary a problem after the reformat). Or figuring out the only way to get a PC partially fried by lightning to recognize an ethernet card after booting into windows is to start the computer by yanking the card out and shoving it back in, thereby starting the boot processes (power button, we don't need no stinkin' power button).
The question is: what wacky stuff have you done that makes no obvious sense, but just works?"