Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

necro81 Re:Like So Many of Humanity's Woes (659 comments)

Dozens of times during my lifetime peace has been within reach, only to be shattered by some asshole on one side or the other

Soooo, you're saying it's just like that speech in Team America: World Police

11 hours ago
top

Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

necro81 Re:Radicalization (659 comments)

Show me another country in the region that has a single Jew or Christian in office.

You mean like Lebanon, Israel's neighbor to the north?

From Wikipedia:
"High-ranking offices are reserved for members of specific religious groups. The President, for example, has to be a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, the Speaker of the Parliament a Shi’a Muslim, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eastern Orthodox....

"Lebanon's national legislature is the unicameral Parliament of Lebanon. Its 128 seats are divided equally between Christians and Muslims, proportionately between the 18 different denominations and proportionately between its 26 regions."

I wouldn't say that government-by-religious-and-ethnic-quota is necessarily a great way to go, but it does provide diversity.

11 hours ago
top

Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

necro81 Re:I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (117 comments)

What kind of ridiculous regulations do you think they'll try to impose on devices that contain a multi-kilogram slab of Widely-Known Drug Precursor?

I would argue that none are really needed - it's a self-limiting problem. Any meth-head dumb enough to try to crack open an enormous battery pack and pull out a metallic lithium anode is likely to end up extra crispy.

yesterday
top

China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

necro81 Re:Cost Seems Low (218 comments)

After all, prior to constructing the LHC, Europe didn't have that expertise either and yet all those devices got built just the same.

I disagree: there is a decades-long history of building similar, though simpler, devices in Europe and the United States. Sure, there was a lot of invention involves and new challenges to tackle, but a lot of the fundamental technologies already existed. More importantly, there was a substantial population of people who had experience in designing such (earlier) technologies, manufacturing them, getting them to work, and maintaining them. China does not have that kind of depth.

about a week ago
top

China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

necro81 Re:Cost Seems Low (218 comments)

The cost of the LHC has been estimated at $9 billion. I know there are different labor costs between Europe and China, but there are lots of costs that can't easily be brought down. The tunnel's gonna need a whole lot of concrete, steel, etc. - global commodities whose cost doesn't vary that much by geography. The LHC is packed to the gills with custom components: everything from the the superconducting magnets to the RF generators to the detectors to the massive computing systems to sift through all the subatomic debris. Even assuming China has the technical expertise to create that custom componentry (a question I can't answer - I simply don't know)...

does it pass even casual scrutiny to think that China can make a collider of twice the size at one-third the cost?

about a week ago
top

MIT Combines Carbon Foam and Graphite Flakes For Efficient Solar Steam Generati

necro81 No concentrators. Really? (110 comments)

The summary states "if scaled up, this setup will not require complex, costly systems to highly concentrate sunlight". But the video itself says that all of their testing was done with light at 10x normal solar intensity. In other words - you still need concentrated sunlight, you won't be able to set this beaker out in the bright sunshine and expect it to start boiling. The authors contrast it with solar power towers that concentrate sunlight to 100x or 1000x, but it still sounds like you'd need concentration of some sort.

about a week ago
top

California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

necro81 Re:Nevada is the only candidate (172 comments)

Nevada is the only candidate...it is the sole source ( as in only ) of Lithium in the United States

Yes, because moving lithium ore by rail from Nevada to California, or Texas, or any other candidate location would totally kill the economics of the endeavor. Nothing precludes Tesla from importing the lithium by sea, for that matter. They'll probably need to, in order to have enough for full production. The price of lithium is just one cost, and for a sophisticated manufactured product like a battery pack, not even the biggest cost.

about a week ago
top

California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

necro81 Re:What are the other 99% supposed to do? (172 comments)

How many factory workers were middle class, during this heyday of which you speak

A surprisingly large number. Going back to the early days of the model T, Ford (the person) recognized that if he paid his people better than the usual factory wages, he would 1) have lower employee turnover, 2) short-circuit squabbles with the nascent labor unions, 3) increased productivity and throughput (see 1 and 2), and most importantly 4) be creating a population that could actually buy the product he was trying to produce.

More recently, during the heyday that the GP spoke of (1940s through 1970s, then declining through the early 2000s), an auto worker could expect a modest, but stable, middle-class lifestyle from his (it was mostly men) factory job. It was blue-collar, didn't require a college degree, and could support a family on a single income. The large tracts of modest homes that made up Detroit are a testament to this fact. The decline in manufacturing around Detroit has directly led to the general poverty of the city, the depopulation, the urban blight (whole blocks of abandoned homes), and eventual bankruptcy of the city.

If you can get it, the same can be said for an automotive job today, or building airplanes for Boeing. Or, until their decline, the textile industries in the American southeast or the lumber industries in northern states. There are fewer guarantees with a manufacturing job today - it may not be lifelong employment, and your prospects during retirement look less secure. Still, they are decent jobs for decent people, and (right or wrong) the kinds of jobs that cities and states climb over each other to get.

about a week ago
top

California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

necro81 Re:Texas? (172 comments)

I mean, it makes perfect sense to reward a state that makes it as difficult as possible to sell a vehicle with Tesla's sales model.

It makes perfect (business) sense to locate it in a state with depressed wages, huge amounts of available land, little-to-no zoning restrictions, lax environmental regulations, and politicians that are at least a buy-able as the rest. Hell, if it's good enough for the oil and gas industry...

about a week ago
top

Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

necro81 Re:Black hole? (277 comments)

I'm pretty sure also they're required by law to put ACCURATE contact info into the registry...

"It's impossible! I never broke the law. I AM THE LAW!"

about two weeks ago
top

US Marines Demonstrate Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector Prototype

necro81 Re:removed SI units (90 comments)

Cooyimg the first paragraph of TFA then editing out the SI units? What valie is that supposed to add?

About as much "valie" as making sure one's post is free of typos like "Cooyimg".

about two weeks ago
top

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

necro81 Re:TSA waiting line will be interesting now (162 comments)

No need to wait for Fourth of July any more. Once this technology is fully deployed in all airports by TSA you would be seeing this. . The large donut and the thick pillar are parts of the Van de Graff generator

No, they aren't. Those are pictures of Tesla coils. A Van de Graff generator is like an industrial version of rubbing a glass rod with a piece of wool - it works via electrostatics. A Tesla coil is a resonant transformer with a huge turns ratio - it works via magnetic induction.

about three weeks ago
top

Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

necro81 Re:The TSA has a new toy.. (162 comments)

I'd be skeptical that sticking one hand on a Van DeGraff generator won't do anything for someone with a pacemaker. In order for things to get weird, you need some other part of the body grounded (e.g., the other hand touching earth ground), such that current passes through the person. Just building up a large electrostatic charge on the skin of someone isn't such a big deal, because a pacemaker (and, particularly, its electrodes) are contained within the body. If, as the article suggests, they turn this into a phone booth-like chamber, it should be pretty easy to ensure that the person inside is "floating", electrically, and unable to complete a circuit with their body.

A person with the prosthetic arm that uses surface EMGs to control it, however, would need to think twice!

about three weeks ago
top

Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball

necro81 Re:why new balls (144 comments)

Actually there was a lot of complaints about the one used in South Africa in 2010 because it was said to be "very unpredictable especially over a great distance", by many players. So maybe it doesn't apply to the Brazuca, and maybe the complaints are just anecdotal, but I wouldn't be so categorical about

Which only serves to further my point: by "innovating" when there was no particular need, Adidas created a f^%$ed up ball in 2010, which they then needed further innovation to fix. Pointless - but they sold a lot of balls. If FIFA had stuck with the traditional ball this whole time, that issue wouldn't have happened.

about three weeks ago
top

Mathematicians Solve the Topological Mystery Behind the "Brazuca" Soccer Ball

necro81 Re:why new balls (144 comments)

It looks like every world cup but perhaps a couple has had a different stitch pattern on the ball. Is there really that much need for innovation?

In a word: No. Even to discerning players, there's no practical gameplay difference between this ball and the typical hexagons-and-pentagons design. There is no need for innovation in order to improve the sport - the outcome of the World Cup matches probably would have been the same with a $30 ball. There is that kind of need, however, for Adidas to sell a whole shitload of super-cool-awesome-double-plusgood soccer balls every couple of years at inflated prices.

about three weeks ago
top

How the NEPTUNE Project Wired the Ocean

necro81 Re:Google (46 comments)

Google put one of these on the floor of the East coast, rather they are currently engaged in placing one along the east coast for (as I remember) off-shore wind power bus connections

Aside from both using the word "cable", there is nothing in common between these two projects. One is an undersea fiber optic cable whose primary purpose is scientific exploration, the other is a commercial venture for transporting bulk electrical power.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is another important difference: NEPTUNE is built and operating, whereas the Atlantic Wind Connection appears to have not made much headway, let alone built anything, in the past couple of years. They haven't so much as done a press release in the last eight months. The current goal is to build one section along the New Jersey shore. Estimated completion date: 2021.

about three weeks ago
top

Investor Tim Draper Announces He Won Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

necro81 Rehashed plot (115 comments)

Promoting a cryptocurrency to help the developing world avoid the pitfalls of its own weak currency? Wasn't that a plot element of Cryptonomicon. If I recall, however, they were going to back all of their cryptocurrency against a mountain of gold (Nazi and Japanese spoils of war).

about a month ago
top

India Launches Five Foreign Satellites

necro81 Re:Lauch cheaper than the film Gravity . . . ? (85 comments)

I found it a pretty goofy comparison, too. Gravity, according to imdb, cost an estimated $100 million to make. For that price, you could score a launch on almost any launch vehicle currently in service.

about a month ago
top

Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

necro81 Salesmanship (242 comments)

By far, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which The Woz says he sold on eBay after half a day's use. "It was so worthless and did so little that was convenient,"

Well jeeze, Woz, with salesmanship like that, I'm surprised you managed to sell it at all!

about a month ago
top

The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...

necro81 Oddball (196 comments)

The most recent bulb I replaced was the one in my oven. It had been burned out for years, but I decided to replace it when I was in there to replace a heating element. $4.50 for a tiny 40W bulb! I suppose a run-of-the-mill bulb isn't meant for use in a 500F environment, nor necessarily (in the U.S.) to be run from 2-phase power.

Yes, it was an incandescent - this is one situation where energy efficiency in lighting is a rather moot point. Bulbs in refrigerators, on the other hand...

about a month ago

Submissions

top

Networked Gadgets Waste 400 Terawatt-Hours of Energy Every Year

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about two weeks ago

necro81 (917438) writes "IEEE Spectrum reports: "Your Xbox wastes a lot of energy—energy that could power the entire United Kingdom. Well, it's not just your Xbox, but your Xbox and my printer and your friend's television and 14 billion other networked electronic devices around the world....

"The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a new report on just how much power all those networked devices use...[t]he results are amazing: network-enabled devices in homes and offices around the world consumed 616 terawatt-hours in 2013, and 65 percent of that (400 TWh) could have been saved simply by using technology that exists today."

It's a problem of design: even though it's technologically straightforward to design products for better energy consumption, with little incremental cost, there's no incentive for a designer to do so. It's not their electricity going to waste, after all."

top

Luke Prosthetic Arm approved by FDA

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 3 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "The FDA today approved the Luke prosthetic arm for sale. The Luke Arm, created by Dean Kamen's DEKA R&D Corp., was a project initiated by DARPA to develop a prosthetic arm for wounded warriors more advanced than those previously available. The Arm can be configured for below-the-elbow, above-the-elbow, and shoulder-level amputees. The full arm has 10 powered degrees of freedom and has the look and weight of the arm it replaces. (more info here) Through trials by DEKA and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Arm has been used by dozens of amputees for a total of many thousands of hours. Commercialization is still pending."
top

Megatons to Megawatts Program Comes to a Close

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 6 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "In the aftermath of the Cold War, the disintegrating Soviet Union had tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and tons of weapons-grade fissile material. In the economic and political turmoil, many feared that it would fall into unfriendly hands. However, thanks to the doggedness of an MIT professor, Dr. Thomas Neff, 500 metric tons of weapons grade material made its way into nuclear reactors in the United States through the Megatons to Megawatts program. During the program, about 10% of all electricity generated in the U.S came weapons once aimed at the country. Now, after nearly 20 years, the program is coming to an end as the final shipment of Soviet-era uranium, now nuclear fuel, arrived in Baltimore."
top

Inventor of AK-47 Dies at 94

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 7 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Lt. Gen. Mikhail T. Kalashnikov, an arms designer for the Soviet Union, creator of the AK-47, passed away today at age 94. Kalashnikov was born a peasant and entered the Soviet Army as a conscript. However, the self-taught tinkerer had an aptitude that took him far. The AK-47, his best-known creation, was praised for its reliability and low cost; attributes that have made it the most successful firearm ever, seeing use in homeland defense, rebellion, terrorism, and untold massacres. The inventor was himself ambivalent about the uses his creation had seen, but was nevertheless proud of his contribution to his country, where he is praised as a hero."
top

Another Casualty of Typhoon Haiyan: Geothermal Power

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 8 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Little known even in environmental circles is a renewable energy success story: five geothermal power plants on Leyte Island in the Philippines — each of which producing enough power for the entire island — that collectively produce more than 10% of the Philippines total electrical demand. From boreholes deep underground comes pressurized water heated to 280 Celcius. At the surface it flashes into steam, turning one set of turbines, then cools and contracts to spin a second set of turbines. The low-grade steam is then condensed back into water and reinjected into the bedrock. But Typhoon Haiyan destroyed the cooling towers, snapped transmission towers, and scattered the employees."
top

MAVEN mission to Mars will proceed, despite shutdown

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 10 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Due to the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. Government, NASA is largely grounded. This is bad for all kinds of reasons, but one particularly bad outcome would have been missing the launch window for the MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch 18 November. The next launch window would not have been until 2016. MAVEN, thankfully, has been given the go-ahead, in large part because this orbiter will serve as a vital communications link for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers currently on the surface. Currently, these rovers are served by two aging orbiters: Mars Odyssey (launched 2001) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005). Maintaining communications with the rovers is considered essential, hence the preparations and launch will proceed. (NASA's official mission website is currently offline.)"
top

MAVEN mission to Mars will proceed, despite shutdown

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 10 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Due to the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. Government, NASA is largely grounded. This is bad for all kinds of reasons, but one particularly bad outcome would have been missing the launch window for the MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch 18 November. The next launch window would not have been until 2016. MAVEN, thankfully, has been given the go-ahead, in large part because this orbiter will serve as a vital communications link for the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers currently on the surface. Currently, these rovers are served by two aging orbiters: Mars Odyssey (launched 2001) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005). Maintaining communications with the rovers is considered essential, hence the preparations and launch will proceed. (NASA's official mission website is currently offline.)"
top

Link Rot and the U.S. Supreme Court

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 10 months ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Hyperlinks are not forever. Link rot occurs when a source you've linked to no longer exists — or worse, exists in a different state than when the link was originally made. Even permalinks aren't necessarily permanent if a domain goes silent or switches ownership. According to new research from Harvard Law, some 49% of hyperlinks in Supreme Court documents no longer point to the correct original content. A second studyon link rot from Yale stresses that for the Court footnotes, citations, parenthetical asides, and historical context mean as much as the text of an opinion itself, which makes link rot a threat to future scholarship."
top

Apple's New TouchID - Breakthrough or Disaster?

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Apple isn't the first company to integrate a fingerprint reader into a cellphone. But with the introduction of TouchID into the home button of the new iPhone 5S, Apple has thrust the technology front and center, and made a big gamble in the process. Will users accept it? Will other companies follow? What happens if the false positive/false negative rates are too high? Without an open and inspectable protocol, we have to take Apple at its word that the fingerprint data exist only in the sensor and the (local) processor; no APIs for third-party access have been announced. Is this an acceptable security model? If it's an awful model, is it at least better than the alternative (passcodes, or nothing at all)?"
top

Transporting a 15-m, 600-ton Magnet Cross Country

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Although its Tevatron particle accelerator has gone dark, Fermi Laboratory outside Chicago is still doing physics. A new experiment, called muon g-2 will investigate quantum mechanical behavior of the electron's heavier sibling: the muon. Fermi needs a large ring chamber to store the muons it produces and investigates, and it just so happens that Brookhaven National Laboratory outside NYC has one to spare. But how do you transport a delicate, 15-m diameter, 600-ton superconducting magnet halfway across the country? Very carefully."
top

Fukushima cooling knocked offline by...a rat

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year ago

necro81 (917438) writes "The cooling system at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, responsible for keeping the spent fuel pools at an appropriate temperature, lost power early on March 18th. During the blackout, the temperature in the spent fuel pools gradually increased, although TEPCO officials indicated the pools could warm for four days without risking radiation release. Power was restored earlier this morning, and the pools should be back to normal temperature in a few days. During the repairs the charred remains of a rat were found in a critical area of wiring, leading some to believe that this rodent was the cause of this latest problem. At least it wasn't a mynock — then we'd really be in trouble."
top

Towards a 50% Efficient Solar Cell

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 2 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "IEEE Spectrum magazine has a feature article describing DARPA-funded work towards developing a solar cell that's 50% efficient, for a finished module that's 40% efficient — suitable for charging a soldier's gadgets in the field. Conventional silicon and thin-film PV tech can hit cell efficiencies of upwards of 20%, with finished modules hovering in the teens. Triple-junction cells can top 40%, but are expensive to produce and not practical in most applications. Current work by the Very High Efficiency Solar Cell program uses optics (dichroic films) to concentrate incoming sunlight by 20-200x, and split it into constituent spectra, which fall on many small solar cells of different chemistries, each tuned to maximize the conversion of different wavelengths."
top

US Supreme Court rules against Warantless GPS Trac

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "In a rare 9-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (PDF) in United States v. Jones that law enforcement needed to obtain a search warrant before installing a GPS tracker on a suspect's car, then monitoring the car's movements. The Court split 5-4, however, on the scope of the ruling, and ruled largely on the fact that they installed the tracker on the defendant's private property (a car), sidestepping much larger questions about pervasive police tracking using GPS, cameras, and cellphones."
top

HPV Vaccine Recommended for Boys

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "An advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon issue new recommendations that pre-adolescent boys be vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The disease is sexually transmitted, endemic in the sexually active, can cause genital warts in both men and women, and is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of women globally each year. The three-dose vaccination has been available for several years and already recommended for pre-adolescent girls. Vaccinating boys should further reduce transmission"
top

Integrating Capacitors into Car Frames

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "It has long been recognized that adding capacitors in parallel with batteries can improve the performance of hybrid and electric vehicles by accepting and supplying spikes of power, which reduces stress on the battery pack, extending range and improving cycle life. But where to put them, when batteries already compete for space? A new research prototype from Imperial College London has integrated them into the body panels and structural frame of the vehicle itself. In their prototype, carbon fiber serves as both the structure for the vehicle and electrode for the energy storage sandwiched within."
top

Capturing Solar Power with Antennae

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Researchers at the University of Missouri and the Idaho National Laboratory have demonstrated a new method of capturing solar power. Rather than using semiconductors to capture photons of sunlight, they fabricated small coiled antennae (several um square) that resonate with the wave nature of light. The antennae are tuned towards midrange infrared light (5-10 um), which is abundant on our cozy-warm Earth — even at night. They also demonstrated a way to imprint these coils on a substrate, like how CDs or vinyl records are produced, but could be scaled to roll-to-roll mass production. The usual caveat applies: it may be 5-10 years until this could hit the market."
top

Cisco to Close Flip Camera Unit

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "When the Flip video camera arrived on the scene a few years ago, it made a splash. Compared to its camcorder brethren, it was smaller, lighter, easier, and cheaper. It was a much ballyhooed touchstone of the Good Enough Revolution. Competitors rushed in; the Flip evolved. Now the Flip is seeing its last days. Cisco, which bought Flip for more than $500 million just two years ago, will close Flip down as part of a money-saving restructuring. The ubiquity video-capable smartphones and pocket cameras has largely eliminated the Flip's niche market."
top

Segway Company Owner Dies While Driving A Segway

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "Jimi Heselden, the British multi-millionaire defense contractor and philanthropist, who bought the Segway company last December from inventor Dean Kamen, died yesterday after an accident while riding one of the machines. While using a ruggedized X2 version of the two-wheeled balancing scooter at his estate in North Yorkshire, he apparently drove over the edge of a precipice and into the River Wharfe. He was found later by a passerby and declared dead on the scene."
top

Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe in plane crash

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

necro81 (917438) writes "The NY Times is reporting that former Senator Ted Stevens was aboard a small plane with eight others that crashed in remote southwest Alaska Monday night. Reuters is reporting that he died, along with at least four others. Meanwhile, the North American CEOof aerospace firm EADS and former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe was was also reported in the crash. Rescue crews from the Alaska Air National Guard reached the site about ten hours after the initial crash."

Journals

top

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 7 years ago http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/06/036222

Just bookmarking the 5 minutes of fame that the Cool Robot got here on slashdot.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...