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Submission + - Scientists identify possible new substance with highest melting point

JoshuaZ writes: "Researchers from Brown University have tentatively identified an alloy of hafnium, nitrogen and carbon as having an expected melting point of about 7,460 degrees Fahrenheit (4120 Celsius). This exceeds the previous record breaker tantalum hafnium carbide which melts at 7,128 F (3942 C) and had stood as the record holder for almost a century. However, at this point, the record setter is still hypothetical, based on simulations. The new record has not yet been confirmed by experiment. http://journals.aps.org/prb/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevB.92.020104 is the actual article while http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/07/28/behold-a-new-record-for-the-worlds-highest-melting-point/ is a lay summary. If the simulations turn out to be correct, the new alloy may be useful in parts like jet engines, and the door will be opened to using similar simulations to search for substances with even higher melting points or with other exotic properties.

Submission + - Poor Pilot Training Blamed for Virgin Galactic Crash-> 1 1

astroengine writes: SpaceShipTwo co-pilot Michael Alsbury was not properly trained to realize the consequences of unlocking the vehicle’s hinged tail section too soon, a mistake that led to his death and the destruction of the ship during a test flight in California last year. Responsibility for the accident falls to SpaceShipTwo manufacturer Scaled Composites, a Mojave, Calif., company owned by Northrop Grumman Corp, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined at a webcast hearing on Tuesday. Poor oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which oversees commercial spaceflights in the United States, was also a factor in the accident, the NTSB said.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Correct link to TRA (Score 1) 89 89

An alarming number of those hold for Chromium and they all stem from one core issue: Google developers do not understand how to design APIs. A lot of the bundled projects could be entirely separate repositories and shipped as shared libraries if they did, but gratuitous API churn means that they have to keep copies of things like v8 and Skia for Chrome and build the whole thing at once. It's fine to do the aggregate build thing if you want LTO, but it should be a performance optimisation, not a requirement of the software engineering workflow.

Comment Re:I disagree with some of these points (Score 1) 89 89

It depends a lot on the codebase. Codebases tend to accumulate cruft. Having people refactor them because their requirements are different to yours can help, as can having a project developed without key product ship dates as the driving force. The bigger barrier is culture though. It's really hard to have a group of developers that have been working on a project for 10 years in private move to developing in public. In the list, he actually gives different numbers of fail points, more for projects that were proprietary for longer than they were open, which makes a lot more sense than the summary in the 'article'.

The one that I disagree with is 'Your source builds using something that isn't GNU Make [ +10 points of FAIL ]'. I disagree for two reasons. The first is that it implies using GNU make features, which likely means that you're conflating building and build configuration (which should gain some fail points). The projects that I most enjoy hacking on use CMake and Ninja for building by default (CMake can also emit POSIX Makefiles that GNU Make can use, but I take his point to mean that gmake is the only command you need to build, so the CMake dependency would be a problem). LLVM still more or less maintains two build systems, though the autoconf + gmake one is slowly being removed in favour of the CMake one. If I make a small change, it takes Ninja less time to rebuild it than it takes gmake to work out that it has nothing to do if I don't make any changes.

I'd also disagree with 'Your code doesn't have a changelog' - this is a GNU requirement, but one that dates back to before CVS was widely deployed. The revision control logs now fill the same requirement, though you should have something documenting large user-visible changes.

Comment Re:No kidding. (Score 1) 246 246

As for "web page", AJAX apps do exactly this

AJAX provides a mechanism for delivering the XML. How many popular web apps can you name that completely separate the back end and the front end and provide documentation for users to talk directly to the back end and substitute their own UI or amalgamate the data with that from other services? Of those, how many provide the data in a self-documenting form?

Comment Re:How soon until x86 is dropped? (Score 1) 145 145

There's no problem with the decoder. The A8 is an older chip. The A7 is an updated version of the A8 (smaller, more power efficient due to various tweaks and extended to support a newer version of the instruction set so that it can be used in big.LITTLE configurations with the A15. Oh, and with SMP support, which the A8 lacked, though the A9 had). The A8 is not faster than the A7.

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 1) 181 181

As I was saying: If your kids are immunocompromised, they have a lot more to worry about than measles. That is, there are many other diseases they have to worry about besides the few we can vaccinate against.

Why do you keep talking about immunocompromised people? The measles vaccine, for example, only works in about 95% of cases, the other people are not immunised. They have no other autoimmune issues and, unless exposed to the measles virus, will have no issues.

Almost everybody in "the entire population" who is vaccinated is protected by the vaccine and hence not "vulnerable". So "the entire population" doesn't become more vulnerable.

If immunity drops below about 93% for measles, then the population no longer benefits from herd immunity. This means that anyone who is not immune (including those 5% who were vaccinated but didn't receive the benefit) is at a much higher risk of being infected. It also means more infections, which increases the probability of the disease mutating, which affects everyone. People who are infected then have compromised immune systems and so are likely to suffer from other infections, which can then spread to the rest of the population.

Comment Re:Not the best summary... (Score 4, Insightful) 181 181

Most vaccines are not 100% effective. You need a certain percentage of the population to be immune for herd immunity to mean that they have little chance of contracting the disease (and, if they do, a good chance of being an isolated statistic rather than the centre of an outbreak). It only takes a few percent opting out of the vaccine to eliminate the herd immunity and make the entire population more vulnerable.

Comment Re:And Lattice wont shut this project down because (Score 1) 95 95

What is to stop Lattice from simply shutting down this project for an open FPGA toolchain for their FPGAs?

Reverse-engineering for the purposes of interoperability is a protected activity under the DMCA (and basically all other purposes are prohibited.)

If all else fails, lower your standards.

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