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+ - New recipe produces ammonia from air, water, and sunlight-> 1

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "Nitrogen is essential for all life. But even though nitrogen makes up 78% of the atmosphere, it's in a form that can't be used by living organisms. Instead it's tied up in nitrogen molecules made up of two nitrogen atoms that share a strong triple bond that's not easily broken. A century ago, two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out how to sever those bonds with high pressures and temperatures and weld nitrogen atoms with hydrogens to make ammonia, thereby converting nitrogen into the starting material for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that can be taken up and used by microbes, plants, and people. That process has been so successful that ammonia-based fertilizers now enable farmers to feed billions more people than our planet could otherwise support. But ammonia production also comes at a high environmental cost, as it is responsible for 2% of worldwide energy use and thus a massive greenhouse gas footprint. However, on page 637 of this issue, U.S. chemists report that they've come up with a way to synthesize ammonia from air, water, and sunlight. If the approach can be scaled up, it could offer a means for making an essential commodity without a major cost to the climate."
Link to Original Source

+ - Designers & Dragons is the complete history of role-playing game publishers

Submitted by Robotech_Master
Robotech_Master (14247) writes "Evil Hat Productions is Kickstarting a four-volume history of the RPG industry that's already met its funding goal almost seven times over. Comprising half a million words altogether, it tells the story of pencil-and-paper role-playing games from their very beginnings, and you can read the e-book of the first volume for kicking in just one buck. $1 for the first e-book, $15 for all four, print volumes starting at $25 and up.

I've reviewed the first volume of it here. I found it extremely thorough and well-written."

Comment: Re:AI is always (Score 1) 564

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

Algorithms are not AI. Everything you describe is simply a matter of following a human-generated set of instructions. That is not AI.

no, the difference is Big Data. Before "Big Data", machine translation, self-driving vehicles, chess, etc. were problems that were attempted to be solved by algorithms written by humans. These kinds of algorithms would be full of heuristics such as "if you are in situation X, perform behavior Y". This led to fragile, clunky code. Nowadays, with Big Data, the algorithms are more like, "see what everybody else is doing in situations similar to X"

Comment: This needs to be seen (Score 2) 1

by Robotech_Master (#47377547) Attached to: Amazon vs Big Publishers - another side of the story

I feel it's really important that this piece get approved. The media is replete with Hachette, its authors and agents, and the various traditional publishing old-guard trying to stack the deck against Amazon. The other night the New York Public Library held a so-called "panel discussion" that was essentially an excuse to get together and bash Amazon. We need more people to hear the other side!


Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-you-from-yourself dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun blocking local Chrome extensions to protect Windows users. This means that as of today, extensions can be installed in Chrome for Windows only if they're hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Furthermore, Google says extensions that were previously installed 'may be automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled or re-installed until they're hosted in the Chrome Web Store.' The company didn't specify what exactly qualifies the "may" clause, though we expect it may make exceptions for certain popular extensions for a limited time. Google is asking developers to reach out to it if they run into problems or if they 'think an extension was disabled incorrectly.'"

Printed Circuits as Part of a 3-D Printed Object (Video) 42

Posted by timothy
from the next-thing-you-know-we'll-be-printing-electronic-ray-guns dept.
Affordable 3-D printing is still young; just a few years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to have an arbitrary three-dimensional piece of plastic (or resin, or sometimes metal) created from a software description in a box that fits on your desk. But in the several years the printing of *things* has moved fromquaint, quixotic, futzing-about hobby into something that works (fairly) reliably in ever more garages, schools, and hackerspaces, it's gotten good enough that you can now download and print quite a few objects that are available for download, or scan small items to replicate, or scan your friends to print out as statuettes. However, for the most part, these printed pieces are static, and finished. With care, you can print things like a chain, or even a ball joint, but you're still limited mostly to one basic material at a time. (Printing with multiple colors is getting easier, though.) If you want to print a flashlight or a robot, you'll need to add wires and other circuitry as a separate step. That's what the folks at Rabbit Proto (get it?) are trying to change. With the system they're working on, a filament printer is used to fabricate the object itself, but at the same time, both capacitive and conductive features can be baked -- or rather printed -- right in, with a separate print head. We talked with Alexandre Jais and Manal Dia of Rabbit Proto about how the system works, and why you might want to use it. (Alternate video link.)

Comment: Re:Whatever you may think ... (Score 1) 447

by WhiteDragon (#46749447) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

It would be nice if they had some sort of code review in place for this sort of stuff. However, this isn't a paid project, so the developers writing this are doing arguably the best they can.

The code was reviewed. The commit log shows that the reviewer was Stephen Henson (thanks to slashdot user grub for pointing this out.)

Comment: Re:Bu the wasn't fired (Score 1) 1116

by KagatoLNX (#46711721) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

So much this.

The statement was very carefully worded "'It's clear that Brendan cannot lead Mozilla in this setting." The thing is, CEOs can have their career end in a heartbeat. Bad quarter? Stupid mistake? Bam! No more jobs. They are trusted to execute; no more, no less. This compromised that. He very likely wanted to leave, not because he was coerced by any action or inaction of the company--just because staying would effectively end his career (i.e. he could win the battle but lose the war, as it were).

There are two issues here--staying at Mozilla and getting hired somewhere else. The latter would have only gotten worse the longer he stayed. The former, well, his job just got infinitely harder no matter how you slice it. The sooner he got out the spotlight, the better off he is (and Mozilla is).

Is it fair to him? No. However, fair is not in the CEOs vocabulary. It's very likely this was his decision so he could go on to salvage what he could of the rest of his life.

Comment: CAPTCHA (Score 3, Interesting) 78

by KagatoLNX (#46709011) Attached to: In-Flight Wi-Fi Provider Going Above and Beyond To Help Feds Spy

Interestingly, the article says that, at the request of law enforcement, they added CAPTCHA support. The article then goes on to say that this must be a deception because they used a plural, it "doesn't make sense", etc.

Actually, it makes a lot of sense. How is every IED detonated these days? Cell phone. Buy a cheap, anonymous phone, wire it up, and call it to detonate it. Wifi that wasn't resistant to automated signup would make this trivial. They could just sign up with an anonymous phone and pre-paid Visa. Then, when it's in the air, *BOOM*

It also makes a lot of sense that they don't want to talk about it. Don't want to give people ideas.

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