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Comment Re:No push for teacher education? (Score 1) 657

Any electronic clock (or mechanical clock) is a potential bomb trigger be it a cell phone or wrist watch. The only thing that makes it a bomb is explosives. From the picture nothing even remotely looked like it could be explosive. It is just circuit boards and wires. The only person that acted appropriately was the teacher that took it away and shoved it in a desk (he was being disruptive with it).

Comment Yet another Gizmag article on a hair brained idea (Score 4, Insightful) 369

Looks like some idiot an Gizmag was talked into doing an article by some hair brained inventor again. Neither party understands physics so they both think its great. As mentioned a few times here by others before me that firing a bullet into another ball isn't going to increase its knock down power (Conservation of momentum). The stupidity from there grows by training a law enforcement officer to use the gun as a first resort instead of a last one. Also for when lethal force is called for it means that the officer will have one less effective bullet and their follow up shots will be done with them dealing with the recoil from their first useless shot. Bad idea all around!

Comment Re:About time. (Score 1) 309

Nuclear reactors don't need water. You can build liquid metal cooled reactors. Metallic sodium is one such metal used.

Although some reactors have been built with liquid metal cooling, nearly all have been experimental reactors only. However, even in liquid metal cooled reactors, generally the turbine that actually generates the electricity is driven using a steam cycle (which uses water). So technically a nuclear reactor doesn't need water, but generally you want electricity out such a reactor (unless you are using it simply to generate transuranic elements)...

you can use the mercury vapor cycle or even a boiling sodium vapor cycle with a turbine. Both have a thermal efficiency advantage over steam cycle. Further more you can use either of those cycles in combination with a steam cycle thus creating a binary cycle that has a thermal efficiency above 50%.

Comment The nuclear power industry doesn't target anything (Score 0) 3

The nuclear power industry doesn't target anything. Nuclear power is a technology. It has advantages. It has disadvantages. The nuclear industry competes with all other types. It competes with wind and solar in that it doesn't emit green house gases. One of its main advantages is it doesn't fluctuate on external conditions. This is an area where wind and solar can't compete. Because of this wind and solar proponents claim they are being targeted.

Submission + - Progressing Being Made in Renewable Energy Storage Technologies ( 2

dave562 writes: As astute Slashdot commentators frequently mention when renewable energy is discussed, the biggest challenge faced by renewable energy is its inability to provide stable baseline power. Progress is being made to address those concerns, and companies who can deliver successful are trying to tap into a market that has been valued at $10.5 billion dollars.

From the article,

"The problem for a lot of renewable power sources — wind and solar farms, run-of-river hydro — is that they often pump out the most power when utilities don’t need it, but dim down when they really want it.

For electric utilities, balancing those peaks and valleys from intermittent energy sources is a major challenge to integrating them into the grid, which is why some B.C.-based firms are hoping to cash in on the development of energy-storage technologies.

ZincNyx’s technology, the so-called flow battery, is a regenerative fuel-cell system that takes in electricity when the power isn’t needed and uses it to create fuel out of zinc-oxide that is stored in a tank, and which is then run through a fuel cell that converts it back into electricity when it is needed."

Is this the answer to the challenge faced by renewable power? What other hurdles still remain?

Submission + - Patent awarded for stealing energy from passing cars to power electrical devices (

Obscene_CNN writes: New Energy Innovations is not the first to try to tackle the concept. Company founder Ralph Black describes it as a series of vertical pumps, similar in design to a stand-up bicycle pump. They’re buried in the road surface inline and when a car drive over it it compresses air that can be used to turn a generator.

Shamefully they have the University of Illinois at Chicago Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department collaborating with them on this. Apparently they know nothing about thermodynamics as it would take far less energy to drive a generator directly with an engine and create less pollution rather than syphon energy off of an already inefficient car rolling by.

The company is planning a crowdfunding campaign so keep an eye out for it so you can flame and shame them.

Submission + - Navy: More railguns and lasers, less gunpowder (

coondoggie writes: “Number one, you’ve got to get us off gunpowder,” said Greenert, noting that Office of Naval Research-supported weapon programs like Laser Weapon System (LaWS) and the electromagnetic railgun are vital to the future force. “Probably the biggest vulnerability of a ship is its magazine—because that’s where all the explosives are.”

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito