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Indian Mars Mission Beams Back First Photographs

necro81 Re:The best photo... (112 comments)

It's not about how attractive they are. But how traditionally they are dressed. Which for many people contrasts with space exploration.

Well, although a sari is a wonderful outfit, the flowing fabric would probably just get in the way in zero-g.

(I kid, I kid)

4 days ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

necro81 Re:link to a genuine source, not this shitty artic (268 comments)

Read much more coherent coverage from IEEE Spectrum.

Spectrum is great - important and well-written technological articles that 1) get their units correct and 2) don't get breathlessly hyped up like a press release. For a while, the print magazine was the main reason I kept my IEEE membership current. Now the whole thing is posted for free online.

5 days ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

necro81 Re:Cubic litres (268 comments)

A much better article on this device can be found at IEEE Spectrum. They, at least, are a news organization that can be trusted to get their units correct, and not conflate energy with power.

5 days ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

necro81 Re:Rule of thumb: $1/kW or forget it. (268 comments)

Shade, dark weater, and high lattitude shifts it downward. (Forget about solar in Seattle, for instance.)

Someone ought to tell that to Germany, which has a mean latitude of 51 and plenty of cloudy days, and generates a significant fraction of their power from photovoltaics.

Naw, who am I kidding, everyone knows that the reason Germany is so successful with PV is because they get more sun! Seattle doesn't stand a chance by comparison!

5 days ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

necro81 Re:OK (268 comments)

The cheapest thing with solar is massive massive land area at like 8-15% efficiency, with a flat nonmoving panel, that might cost a couple ten bucks a square meter, long term

I am always astounded that parking lots in hot climates - a WalMart in Phoenix, say - doesn't have a roof of PV panels. Provide shade for customers' cars and generate power at the same time. In those sunny climates, the payback period is well less than a decade.

5 days ago
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Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

necro81 Re:Very sad (277 comments)

Wait, I thought hipsters were the guys who liked the new things

They can like new things, but they have to be ironic about it (in the Alanis way).

about a week ago
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It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

necro81 More choices (402 comments)

Oh, the many, many books that people have tried to ban (or succeeded)!

From the American Libraries Association: Banned & Challenged Books.

about a week ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

necro81 Re:You sound awfully concerned about (340 comments)

Over 1,000 nuclear weapons have been detonated on Earth in the past 50+ years

And about half of those were detonated underground, after the 1963 Test Ban Treaty. The ban on atmospheric testing was put into place once people realized that irradiating their own planet and dispersing toxic metals was a bad idea.

about a week ago
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US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

necro81 Re:It is all pork barrel politics (340 comments)

Russia recently stopped all shipments of processed Uranium from Russia to America for fuel processing, a move that indicates they have no intention of reducing their arsenal.

Do you mean the Megatons to Megawatts Program? It ended of its own accord: the deal from 20+ years back was for 500 tons of enriched uranium, that amount was delivered as planned.

That the program wasn't extended seems more to be a lack of leadership than hostility. At the time when such an extension could/should have been enacted, when the New Start treaty was signed, the US was on OK terms with Russia. As the article points out, however, the hawks in the Senate stonewalled on ratifying the treaty unless they got their shiny new nuclear complex. They got what they wanted, and undercut the President's ability to negotiate further nuclear deals at the same time.

about a week ago
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Is the Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

necro81 Re:Maybe 40k (393 comments)

Nobody is using the size of cells that Tesla claims to be interested in producing

Tesla uses 18650-size cells, specifically because they are the most common Li-Ion form factor in the world. If Tesla is planning on producing a different-sized cell at the gigafactory, please provide a link.

about two weeks ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

necro81 Re:A cornal what? (151 comments)

Would you want your house destroyed by lased popcorn

Mmmmm. Tasty destruction.

Now what am I going to do with all these boards and 6-inch spikes? A girl's gotta have her standards.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

necro81 Re:Disappointing (730 comments)

The iPhone 6 is 4.7", and might fit your hand better than the 4.7" phone you had.

Because Apple measures inches differently than everyone else?

Apple. Measure Different.

Joking aside, what you say is possible, since the screen's diagonal measurement is hardly the only metric for the size of a phone. Aspect ratio, bezel width, thickness, sharpness of corners - all of these impact "holdability"

about three weeks ago
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Intel Releases SD-Card-Sized PC, Unveils Next 14nm Chip

necro81 Arduino Compatible (47 comments)

The Dev Board that Edison plugs into appears to have Arduino R3 headers on there, presumably for plugging in Arduino-compatible shields. That's interesting, and makes a fair bit of sense: there are thousands of Arduino-compatible shields out there, and adding some serious computational power in there plus wire(d)(less) networking opens up a lot of possibilities.

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

necro81 Re:WiFi Calling? (730 comments)

I suppose Apple had to join in on the 2009 smartphone market at some point. 5+ years too late, better than never?

So your 1009 WiFi calling transitioned from WiFi to cell networks without dropping call?

In the year 1009 my WiFi calling was implemented using swallows carrying the messages from place to place. Of course they had to drop them - do you think I was going to try and catch that damn bird myself just to get a message?

about three weeks ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

necro81 Re:Trust us with your payments (730 comments)

So if you lose or upgrade your phone you have to re-setup all your stored cards? That doesn't sound very Apple like.

If you lose or upgrade your phone you have to re-setup your TouchID information. Apple contends, and I haven't seen any research to contradict their claim, that the TouchID information resides solely on the device, not in the device backup, not in the cloud. So there is precedent for something that may not ordinarily seem "Apple like."

It's not like it is that hard of a procedure to re-enter your credit card information. How many cards are we talking about here? How long does it take to enter that information? One minute per card?

about three weeks ago
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In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

necro81 Re:I really don't my vital body parts to be on wif (183 comments)

Then how exactly you want to control it? Artificial heart won't speed up/slow down automatically in response to oxygen needs of your body because it is not controlled by nervous system

Controlling it with a smartphone isn't going to cut it either. How often, and how quickly, does your heart rate change by more than, say, 5%? Ten times an hour? More? Do you really want to be whipping out your smartphone every couple of minutes? What if you set it wrong? What if you fat-finger yourself into a blackout? What if the phone's battery is dead? The list goes on and on. It's a terrible user experience! Ask people who wear portable insulin pumps - devices that need input tens of times per day, and can be lethal if done wrong. (Some of them can be operated via smartphone these days, too.) They will tell you, emphatically, that they don't want to interact with that damn thing any more than is absolutely necessary.

No, you want the device to have its own closed loop mechanisms for controlling heart rate. The heart doesn't respond solely (or even primarily) to the nervous system. It responds to blood pO2, pCO2, and other chemical signatures in the blood. These characteristics, too, can be used as the feedback signals for the internal control system. The use case described in the summary - commanding it into certain pre-programmed profiles - is conceivable, but I don't think you necessarily want to rely on that.

about three weeks ago
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Giant Dinosaur Unearthed In Argentina

necro81 Re:Where again? (85 comments)

I only ask 'cause it sounds like it would have fit right in in Oklahoma

Nah, it would have been discounted as misinformation - placed there by God to test the faith that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Networked Gadgets Waste 400 Terawatt-Hours of Energy Every Year

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 2 months 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."

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Luke Prosthetic Arm approved by FDA

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 5 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."
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Megatons to Megawatts Program Comes to a Close

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 8 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."
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Inventor of AK-47 Dies at 94

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 9 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."
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Another Casualty of Typhoon Haiyan: Geothermal Power

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 10 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."
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MAVEN mission to Mars will proceed, despite shutdown

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year 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.)"
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MAVEN mission to Mars will proceed, despite shutdown

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year 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.)"
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Link Rot and the U.S. Supreme Court

necro81 necro81 writes  |  1 year,7 days

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."
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Apple's New TouchID - Breakthrough or Disaster?

necro81 necro81 writes  |  1 year,19 days

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)?"
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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."
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Fukushima cooling knocked offline by...a rat

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about a year and a half 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."
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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."
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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."
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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"
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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."
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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."
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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."
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Segway Company Owner Dies While Driving A Segway

necro81 necro81 writes  |  about 4 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."
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Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe in plane crash

necro81 necro81 writes  |  more than 4 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

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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.

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