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Comment: Solar or bust. (Score 1) 183

by Banquo (#34569726) Attached to: US Offers $30M For High-Risk Biofuel Research

Every major idea for alternate fuels is practically impossible (and when you take the human condition/profit/tradeoffs/greed into it, completely impossible) and the tradeoffs are all horrible with anything other than solar.

Biofuels cause food displacement, land clearing, and are a net "bad" for the environment. Plus they would force people living on subsadies to work for a living and they have lobbies to prevent such things from happening.

Hydrogen is dangerous to store, and ALL US hydrogen regulation plans have language making it illegal to refill your car at home and the requirement for all hydrogen cars to have proprietary fittings that you can't "just tap into" (Ie you can't make and compress your own. ( that cuts into business profits and taxable income so it won't happen.) They'll set an arificially inflated (no pun intended) price on it and while it may potentially be better for the environment, unless you're using solar to create your hydrogen,..you're still burning power somewhere in the mix.

Solar is free, safe, and easy. Efficiency on solar panels grows daily (and as mentioned in another article) the US has no shortage of space to put solar panels/farms/arrays

The only way to change to ANY different fuel source though is to be able to fix the price of oil and obtain it from non-foreign sources.
If oil was at a set price (even a high set price that could only go down) that would allow enough stability politically to be able to truly invest in infrastructure. (if you're paying $3.00/gal today and prices drop back down under a dollar US citizens aren't going to be falling over themselves to invest in alternate fuel.

Go with something like changingworldtechnologies, (Someone explain to me the US government is roadblocking them at every turn again??) get our mass gas and oil from recycling (killing two birds with one stone) fix the prices and wean ourselves off slowly (domestic production would insure price and political stability and maybe get us out of the Middle East)
After we've developled and implemented solar/nuclear infrastructure we then sell off our excess to the rest of the world at a profit as well as insure dirt cheap oil for the things that still need it. It would take about 15 years or so to get "in full gear" but it would be 100% beneficial. The only people who would lose out would be big oil and those who have their bread and butter based on ties with the middle east.

Unfortuately they alone weild enough power to topple governments so.... cest la vie.

That's the best plan I could come up with and while it's a LONG TERM solution, I think it's about the only one that could actually work in the real world.

Comment: Re:I still think my idea is better (Score 2) 36

by Banquo (#34531516) Attached to: Small Fujitsu Device Harvests Both Solar and Thermal Energy

Actually if it were attached to a system that could determine which source was better at the time, then switch I think just putting a strip of this down the emergency lanes/inside lanes of all the major roadways in the US would probably provide some insane power. During the day gather sunlight and then in the hours and hours after that the roads maintain heat, gather ambient heat then.

If you could actually "pave" the roads with a photovoltaic material THEN you're talking serious energy. Major Highways see sunlight through most of the day and have a combined 4,042,778 miles of interstate highways,...that's a really good place to start.

Of course there are new and proven building materials for highways right now that won't get approved because their repair cycle is so long it puts people out of work on a massive scale, so whoever builds this new energy tapping roadway better plan some obsolescence into it or it will never fly. (Yay for government efficiency!)

Comment: Burn em up, or use em up? (Score 1) 111

by Banquo (#34531436) Attached to: NASA Solar Sail Lost In Space

I've always thought that every satellite/ship/station should be deigned with some kind of slow drive system and/or quick "death release" system that would cause them to fire out and land on or near the same spot on the moon. Then when/if moon bases/operations were a go you would have a huge stockpile of recycle materials to get you going. I'm sure the logistics are insane, but it seems even some kind of "bag it and sling it" system to shift orbital debris into a usable stockpile of stuff would make sense.

Of course I'm also for railgunning all our nuclear waste into the sun so,...practical isn't my middle name.

Biotech

Chip Allows Blind People To See 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the bionic-eye dept.
crabel writes "3 blind people have been implanted with a retinal chip that allowed them to see shapes and objects within days of the procedure. From the article: 'One of the patients surprised researchers by identifying and locating objects on a table; he was also able to walk around a room unaided, approach specific people, tell the time from a clock face, and describe seven different shades of gray in front of him.'"
Science

Immaculate Conception In a Boa Constrictor 478

Posted by samzenpus
from the gold-frankincense-and-mice dept.
crudmonkey writes "Researchers have discovered a biological shocker: female boa constrictors are capable of giving birth asexually. But the surprise doesn't end there. The study in Biology Letters found that boa babies produced through this asexual reproduction — also known as parthenogenesis — sport a chromosomal oddity that researchers thought was impossible in reptiles. While researchers admit that the female in the study may have been a genetic freak, they say the findings should press researchers to re-think reptile reproduction. Virgin birth among reptiles, especially primitive ones like boas, they argue may be far commoner than ever expected."
Idle

Study Finds Most Would Become Supervillians If Given Powers 419

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-power-corrupts dept.
It probably comes as no surprise, but researchers have found that most of us would gladly put on a mask and fight do-gooders if given super powers. From the article: "But power also acts like strong cologne that affects both the wearer and those within smelling distance, Galinsky noted. The person gains an enhanced sense of their importance, and other people may regard them with greater respect as well as extend leniency toward their actions. That combination makes for an easy slide into corruption."
Image

Geek Squad Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter To God Squad 357 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the who-would-jesus-sue dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Wisconsin priest has God on his car but Best Buy's lawyers on his back. Father Luke Strand at the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac says he has received a cease-and-desist letter from the electronics retailer. From the article: 'At issue is Strand's black Volkswagen Beetle with door stickers bearing the name "God Squad" in a logo similar to that of Best Buy's Geek Squad, a group of electronics troubleshooters. Strand told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the car is a creative way to spur discussion and bring his faith to others. Best Buy Co. tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it appreciates what Strand is trying to do, but it's bad precedent to let groups violate its trademarks.'"

Comment: Serious lack of forethought (Score 5, Informative) 145

by Banquo (#32839768) Attached to: Google Struggles To Give Away $10 Million

I looked at the contest and at the time I was considering entering there was just too much of a lack of information. I found it insane that a company that huge running a "contest" with large sums of money involved had a rules/regs sheet that looked like "Dave in shipping" had typed it up. I had several good ideas (vetted by industry professionals) that I finally didn't enter because the "For additional questions send mail here" people never responded to any of my mails asking basic rule/regulation questions (most of the information a serious "inventor" would need was lacking in the 1 page rules sheet they offered. They may have updated by now but I got a bad vibe from this at the start. If you can't even set up the contest right, the followthrough is suspect from the start.

They had no information at all concerning simple questions such as:

"Winnings":
How are the prize winnings distributed (are they administered by google or payed out as services or cash or ? (it never said)

Intellectual property:
Is this (they typical)internet VC front where they dole out some prize and in exchange you get all rights to IP and any revenues/future development etc that come from it? The HP "Design our next computer" contest comes to mind. They outsourced years of R&D time to tens of thousands of people on the internet and gave away 1 laptop to 1 person for the privilege of working for them.

I mean,..at least the Tribecca film "Pitch a movie" contest has the decency to tell you in the rules and regulations that by "winning" you're signing your life away to them.

+ - So if we can make our own oil, why don't we?

Submitted by Banquo
Banquo (225167) writes "OK now that the risk/reward situation for "big oil" is obvious to even the most oblivious (for a while anyway)....

We've had the technology to rid ourselves of the danger of oil rigs/spills/foreign dependancy etc.. for a while now. It's completely understandable that we won't be swithing to alternative fuels overnight as there's just sooo much infrastructure that needs to exist. In the meantime however, as we *do* have the means to produce safer domestic oil (in a manner that recycles what would otherwise be landfill mass no less) why aren't we doing this?

Changing World Technology http://www.changingworldtech.com/ has setup an operation that changes waste products into oil/gas/other useful byproducts.
The basics:
"CWT's Thermal Conversion Process reforms organic waste into renewable fuel oil, without combustion, incineration or toxic residue. TCP breaks down waste into its smallest chemical units and reforms them into new combinations to produce alternative fuels and specialty chemicals. The process emulates the earth’s natural geothermal activity, whereby organic material is converted into fossil fuel under conditions of extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. TCP uses pipes and controls temperature and pressure to reduce the bio-remediation process from millions of years to mere hours. TCP is more than 80% energy efficient. "

What I can't figure is why they're not a huge focal point for US $'s and government assistance/incentives etc..

I know at one point they had huge issues with GOP government types putting red tape in front of all their R&D efforts, so much so that they were looking to relocate to a different country and let them reap the benefits. Now that was all obviosuly lobby deals on the part of BP, EXXON etc.. to keep oil that they didn't control out of the US economy, but really isn't there enough public attention about this issue to push this discussion to the forefront?

The US already *HAS* the infrastructure to support moving oil, it's just that in this case it would come from all over the USA. No need for drilling of any type, in any environment. Allowing us to ween ourselves off our reliance on oil slowly as we build our alternate fuel infrastructure but all the while knowing we had a fixed price on a sustainable domestic oil supply.

Help me figure it out.."
Space

+ - What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?->

Submitted by Matt_dk
Matt_dk (1306071) writes "Two new papers based on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan’s surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized “methane-based life.”"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Does anyone remember when... (Score 1) 737

by Banquo (#28547627) Attached to: Blizzard Confirms No LAN Support For <em>Starcraft 2</em>

It's all about making sure they get you into the sales channel.

Sure back in the day Blizzard's main goal was to make a great game, THAT was the top priority (the thought was great game = success = more gamers = gamer loyalty = better games etc..) but when WOW hit there was no way they could maintain that.
There are way too many people in the mix who simply don't care about games, and the people that were there from the start are so far removed, and are too busy dealing with their wads of cash to care if this kind of thing happens.

The teams of people making the great games report up through 300 layers of bureaucracy now, they have funding cutbacks, forced "programming to the LCD", and TPS reports to worry about.

Now the goal is to make quarterly earnings go up as the first priority (and the thought is that eyeballs + adverts + upselling = $$) I'm sure delivering a great game gets mentioned in there somewhere but for now, it's no longer essential to the mix. It's like the owner of clearchannel "I don't care what we do as long as we make money" same ungrateful "No one got us here but us!" attitude.

We all KNOW that at some point someone will either hack it, or Blizzard will be forced to make it available, Blizzard knows this too..the thing that gets me is why bother being a douche, getting customer ire and having to deal with the hassles of bnet not being able to manage the load for the first 3 months in the first place?

Is it so they can swoop in later and say "Here we give you LAN support,..SEE we listen to the people, we take what they say to heart?" or ??

Don't shit where you eat is a survival 101 tactic that even animals are born with, it doesn't matter if you're a mouse or a elephant, so when did Blizzard forget that?

I love Starcraft, I liked Warcraft, and I enjoyed WOW, but I personally hope Stardock continues with their RTS trend of providing better and better games. THAT is an organization who actually cares about their customers (and oddly enough they manage to show it despite corporate growth.)

Comment: Behind the box with the ark in it,.... (Score 1) 173

by Banquo (#28322187) Attached to: G.M. Opens Its Own Battery Research Laboratory

All they need to do is go to all the warehouses that have the battery/capacitor prototypes from the companies and individuals that they boughtout and shut down in an effort to keep all the $$'s rolling in from big oil. They can dust off all that research and already be ahead by 5 or 10 years.

There are too many "companies" involved in the infrastructure associated with all the potential fuel issues.
There won't be mass produced inexpensive fast/easy/cheap to charge cars for 20 years or more.

Comment: Re:dilemma (Score 1) 176

by Banquo (#26779279) Attached to: Keeping in Contact With Family, From Afghanistan?

You idiot,...our GOAL in the US is to get the middle east involved in a war that will cause some sort of nuclear event in the area, this way we can thin the global population of it's overcrowding uncivilized poor and re-distribute the resources between the powerfull and civilized. *sheesh* Learn to read between the lines for crying out loud. That's why we spread AIDS in Africa,..(Granted it WAS supposed to mutate into a fast acting form, but hey the human immune system is a wacky thing.)

Also in the US we developed ways to make oil out of just about anything at this point (see changingworldtechnologies) so really it's all about power, population and power now.

Also the lizard people are behind it all. (just google them and you'll see!)

Comment: I asked the same question about Broadband.. (Score 1) 176

by Banquo (#26779111) Attached to: Keeping in Contact With Family, From Afghanistan?

I asked the same question about Broadband in Iraq for a friend who is stationed there who is all but 100% cutoff from the world (you have to be at a NICE base to get decent acess) if your in the a lot of the support units you get next to nothing.

You'd have thought I was asking who wanted free herpes.

Maybe I should have said it was me who was going to get greenlit.

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