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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."
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+ - 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: 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!

Comment: "Forgot Your Password?" (Score 1) 388

by Robotech_Master (#45929253) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

If your email's already been registered somewhere, try the "forgot your password?" link? It'll send the new password out to, duh, your email.

Likewise, you can stick on a +whatever on the end of your userID to make it into a "different" email address (and this will also help you know which websites are leaking your email.

Comment: I'm too nice (Score 3, Interesting) 924

by Robotech_Master (#44149805) Attached to: The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

I was watching G.I. Joe: Retribution in a theater with a "zero tolerance" cell phone policy, and the jerk in front of me took his phone out and texted several times during the movie. I considered asking him to stop, but I just don't like getting into confrontations. I further considered going and telling a staffer, but I didn't want to miss part of the movie to do it. Also the guy was there with a kid, and I didn't want to be responsible for ruining the kid's movie experience.

I'm just too nice. :P

Comment: What is this going to mean for me, the end-user? (Score 3, Insightful) 161

I'm not a programmer or a hardware hacker. I don't know anything about soldering circuit boards. I'm just a guy who likes to surf the net, write stories, play games, hang out on-line, and so on. What is the availability of this $15 device going to mean for me?

I mean, at least (as far as) I know the Raspberry Pi is going to be producing fully-realized devices that I can buy, plug in a keyboard and monitor and Ethernet cable, and I'm done. It sounds like this project is just about building a circuit board. And while it's nice it will be 40% cheaper and three times as fast, I'd like to know what I could do with it if someone came up to me on the street and handed me one.

Comment: Do your raunchy songs ever get you into trouble? (Score 1) 122

Your body of work seems to have a remarkable split personality. A lot of your songs are perfectly kid-friendly, while others are rather raunchy. ("It's the first of May, first of May...") Does that ever get you into trouble?

For example, do you ever look out into the audience at one of your posted adults-only shows and see kids? If so, what have you done? Have you ever had to decide on the spur of the moment to "redact" an R-rated song from your playlist at a show?

Comment: Springfield, Missouri has them too (Score 1) 124

by Robotech_Master (#31880414) Attached to: Databases In Caves? A Unique Google Fiber Bid

Well, not "caves" per se, but we do have the Springfield Underground, an extensive system of underground limestone quarries, the mined-out parts of which have been converted into office, data hosting, warehousing, and manufacturing space. (Here's a video tour.)

I've been in it. It's pretty impressive.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.

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