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Comment: Industrial Waste Heat (Score 1) 135

by Cephacles (#42368679) Attached to: Mini-Tornadoes For Generating Electricity
New or not, it has at least some potential. The article states the vortex could be maintained with industrial waste heat. This might improve efficiency for power generation plants that have waste heat effluent. The nice thing about that is the grid connection and switchgear is already local.

Slapping one of these generators on any other industrial heat source could help power the plant itself, but could prove challenging to connect to the grid.

I wonder what it sounds like.

Comment: No One is Questioning the Parents? (Score 1) 624

by Cephacles (#39116035) Attached to: Damaged US Passport Chip Strands Travelers
Why would any intelligent parent give an important legal document to a "young child" anyway? I would never do such a thing. I have 4 kids and I'll only trust them with something like a passport when they exceed age 12 and understand their responsibilities for tracking and caring for said passport.

Comment: Re:So much disinformation (Score 1) 264

by Cephacles (#37933672) Attached to: How X-Ray Scanners Became Mandatory In US Airports
a) The various independent papers were publicly presented in August 2011 to a large group of medical physicists and professionals in the radiation oncology industry, of which I'm a member. The papers were presented by knowledgeable authorities, and a TSA rep phoned in and took questions. The only thing the audience took TSA to task for was that they did not disseminate this information very well to the public.
b) You should have a healthy amount of wariness (avoid being naive), but given what I read in these documents and the presentation mentioned above that I attended, I do not see any reason to be paranoid or cynically distrustful by assuming malevolence. The TSA is a bungling bureaucracy like so many other parts of the government, and they screwed up how they handled public inquiries on the safety of these devices. That doesn't mean they are hiding harmful effects or that the devices are unsafe.
c) X-ray devices can be compared with light bulbs, they fail off (zero dose) but due to physics it is hard to conceive of them failing in the more-powerful direction.
I worry about how much X-ray radiation I get from my dentist and my doctor. After learning about airport scanners, I lose no sleep at all about them.

Comment: So much disinformation (Score 2) 264

by Cephacles (#37920712) Attached to: How X-Ray Scanners Became Mandatory In US Airports
The article is filled with speculation and disinformation. Here are the research links on both backscatter and millimeter wave technologies, provided by TSA:
http://www.tsa.gov/research/reading/index.shtm

You can see in the John's Hopkins August 2010 assessment that passengers get less than 2 microrem from a scan. You get about 238 microrem per hour of flight, two orders of magnitude larger (per hour!):
http://www.hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/commercialflights.html

Stick to the science. 6 to 100 cancers per year is pure speculation, and impossible to verify. I don't believe it at all.
XBox (Games)

Xbox Live Enforcement — No Swastika Logo 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the pursuing-the-rare-double-godwin dept.
itwbennett writes "It's one of those questions that really should never come up, but as blogger Peter Smith points out, Stephen Toulouse, the head of Xbox Live enforcement, is used to fielding all sorts of strange questions. Recently, one of those questions was apparently 'Can I use a Swastika as my logo in Call of Duty: Black Ops?' When Toulouse responded with the obvious answer ('No, of course you can't, we'll ban you.') he was met with some pushback by people he refers to as 'contrarians' and 'internet pundits' who decided to educate him on the long and storied history of the swastika as a symbol of good fortune and how just because the Nazis used it, it doesn't make the symbol itself a bad thing. Toulouse covers the topic on his blog in a post titled Context and it's an interesting read if for no other reason than to get a peek inside the day-to-day issues the Xbox Live Enforcement team deals with."

Comment: Why Swearing is Bad (Score 2, Funny) 449

by Cephacles (#33666222) Attached to: Today's Children Are Officially Potty Mouths
Swearing or cursing as a habit during general discourse is a bad thing because it is a sign of both mental weakness and lack of self control. Have you heard about the study that found that dogs bark because they don't know what else to do? People curse because they can't find anything else useful to say. Sometimes it's okay, like when you hammer your finger by accident. But wolf puppies bark, and as they grow more mature they bark less or not at all. They are able to intercept the urge, they show the self control to avoid barking. As the mental capacity and self control of people increases, they will curse/swear less. As noted by the article, people are cursing and swearing more, which means it is likely their mental capacity is also diminishing. Recent studies on how Google and the constant barrage of information has a negative effect on cognition may provide a hint as to why swearing is becoming more prevalent. That's my theory.
Image

Researchers Discover Irresistible Dance Moves 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the gene-gene-the-dancing-machine dept.
sciencehabit writes "To find out if certain dance moves are more attractive to women than others, researchers recruited a bunch of college guys and used motion-capture to create avatars of them dancing. When women watched the avatars (2 videos included in story), the men they found most attractive were those who kept their heads and torsos moving without flailing their arms and legs. The researchers say dancing is thus an honest signal to women of the man's strength and health, just as it is in crabs and hummingbirds, who also move in special ways to attract mates."
Role Playing (Games)

Aion Servers To Merge, XP Grind Softened 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-only-takes-one-and-a-half-eternal-souls dept.
Massively reports that NCSoft's fantasy MMO Aion will soon be getting a round of server mergers to balance player populations and shore up in-game economies. A newsletter from Aion producer Chris Hager also brought word that character transfers will be an option starting in June, and NCSoft will be "offering them to all of our players for free for a limited time." This is happening in the lead-up to the game's 1.9 patch, due on June 2, which contains a number of measures to make the XP grind a bit less harsh (among other things; patch notes). They're creating more quests, increasing XP rewards from existing quests, and implementing a system that "grants you experience bonuses as you continue to play."
Crime

Justice Not As Blind As Previously Thought 256

Posted by samzenpus
from the too-pretty-for-jail dept.
NotSoHeavyD3 writes "I doubt this is much of a surprise but apparently Cornell University did a study that seems to show you're more likely to get convicted if you're ugly. From the article: 'According to a Cornell University study, unattractive defendants are 22 percent more likely to be convicted than good-looking ones. And the unattractive also get slapped with harsher sentences — an average of 22 months longer in prison.'"
Image

Life-size Eva Unit 01 Being Built In Japan 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the summon-godzilla dept.
JoshuaInNippon writes "Japan has gone life-size anime model crazy. Last year there was the robotic 1:1 Gundam model that guarded Tokyo for a few months in the summer to mark the series' 30th anniversary, and then there was the giant Gigantor moment that opened in Kobe in the fall in honor of the city's rejuvenation from the devastating 1995 earthquake. Now, an amusement park near Mt. Fuji named Fuji-Q Highland is building an Eva Unit 01 from the popular Neon Genesis Evangelion series, or at least a bust of it, in conjunction with the series' recent movies. The bust will sit in a replica hanger, and reportedly stand around 9 meters tall. Visitors will have the chance, for a little extra money, to have their photo taken in the unit's cockpit, where the series' protagonist-of-sorts Shinji Ikari normally sits. The attraction is set to a cost of over US$1.6 million to build, and open on July 23 of this year. It will also undoubtedly be swamped by crazed fans looking the opportunity to bring their anime dreams to life."

Comment: Sometimes English Works Better Than Code (Score 1) 601

by Cephacles (#28475567) Attached to: How To Get Out of Developer's Block?
Sometimes I can't get coding because there are just too many ways to write the code, or there are too many conflicting requirements or whatever. The solution is not clear in my head. So I write the solution in paragraph form, or bulleted list form. I write in English. This dovetails with a lot of other excellent suggestions that you break down the work into little bits. Break it down in English (or your natural writing language, mine just happens to be English).

Most of the time, as you stare at the resulting list, you think about a few of the items "I can do that in 5 minutes, it's simple". Almost reflexively, you start coding.

Then, as suggested above, tick off the bullets as you get them done.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.

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