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+ - The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Markus Krajewski reports that today, with many countries phasing out incandescent lighting in favor of more-efficient and pricier LEDs, it’s worth revisiting the history of the Phoebus cartel—not simply as a quirky anecdote from the annals of technology but as a cautionary tale about the strange and unexpected pitfalls that can arise when a new technology vanquishes an old one. Prior to the Phoebus cartel’s formation in 1924, household light bulbs typically burned for a total of 1,500 to 2,500 hours; cartel members agreed to shorten that life span to a standard 1,000 hours. Each factory regularly sent lightbulb samples to the cartel’s central laboratory in Switzerland for verification. If any factory submitted bulbs lasting longer or shorter than the regulated life span for its type, the factory was obliged to pay a fine.

Though long gone, the Phoebus cartel still casts a shadow today because it reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost twenty years, and has been accused of preventing technological advances that would have produced longer-lasting light bulbs. Will history repeat itself as the lighting industry is now going through its most tumultuous period of technological change since the invention of the incandescent bulb. "Consumers are expected to pay more money for bulbs that are up to 10 times as efficient and that are touted to last a fantastically long time—up to 50,000 hours in the case of LED lights. In normal usage, these lamps will last so long that their owners will probably sell the house they’re in before having to change the bulbs," writes Krajewski. "Whether or not these pricier bulbs will actually last that long is still an open question, and not one that the average consumer is likely to investigate." There are already reports of CFLs and LED lamps burning out long before their rated lifetimes are reached. "Such incidents may well have resulted from nothing more sinister than careless manufacturing. But there is no denying that these far more technologically sophisticated products offer tempting opportunities for the inclusion of purposefully engineered life-shortening defects.""

+ - China is keen to send its own mission to Mars in the wake of India's Mangalyaan->

Submitted by MarkWhittington
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes "The recent arrival into Mars orbit of both NASA’s MAVEN and India’s Mangalyaan Mars Orbiter Mission has not escaped the notice of China, according to a Thursday story in Xinhua. The achievement of its Asian rival has especially proven galling to the Chinese. China has yet to successfully send a space probe beyond the moon. The development has elicited calls in Beijing to accelerate China’s Mars program.

China currently plans to send a rover to Mars in 2020 and, perhaps, do a Mars sample return mission in 2030. However, it feels that India, which China regards as its rival in an Asian space race, has stolen a march and has left the Chinese behind. China is now keen to try to play catchup with its own Mars mission.

One of the hold ups for a Chinese interplanetary exploration program is the delays surrounding the development of the Long March 5 rocket, which will be roughly the equivalent of the America Delta IV in its capabilities. The Chinese launch vehicle has slipped to at least 2015 because of the technological challenges it faces. The Long March 5 is also needed to launch the 20 ton modules of the Chinese space station, currently planned for later this decade."

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Comment: Re:Emma Watson is full of it (Score 1, Insightful) 590

by Thanshin (#47983819) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

pretty much the whole western world where the vast majority of women nearly always get equal or preferential treatment.

FYI, the debate is about turning "vast majority" to "all" and removing the "nearly".

You know, otherwise it's like having:
Right to self-determination on most cases.
Right to liberty, usually.
Right to due process of law, for the vast majority.
Right to freedom of movement, in almost all circumstances.
Right to freedom of thought, except when it's inconvenient. ...

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