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Comment Re:So much for that! (Score 4, Informative) 579 579

This is about selling more Roundup. In case you don't know what that is, it's a herbicide that would burn your throat if you got a whiff of it.

While I have no love lost for Monsanto and their IP enforcement goon squad, the herbicide in question is a pretty benign substance to work with. Check out the glyphosate page on wikipedia for an overview of it's activity and interaction with people. While it's not something you'd want to intentionally ingest, it's not a potent inhalation or other hazard.

Comment Re:Noooo! (Score 2) 292 292

Why not focus on the ultra high velocity particles coming in from space? In short, luminosity. The rate of collisions is so much lower and uncontrolled in terms of where the collisions happen that it's much more difficult to gather the bulk of data that is required to demonstrate statistical significance in the findings. Also, check out the pictures of the scale of the detectors installed at the LHC. They're positively enormous, and just as important to the performance of the facility as the power level of the beam line.

As for why they're asking now? It took 10 years to build the LHC. Assuming they start construction today on a new collider, they will still likely be looking at a period of time somewhere around a decade before the new system comes online. Also, the proposed accelerator is a linear accelerator, which offers a differently optimized set of tradeoffs compared to something like the LHC.

Comment Re:Good (Score 3, Interesting) 319 319

Propelling a train in a tube with air pressure would make the problem of drag worse, not better. Sure, it's better for the vehicle, but overall you have to cram your air mass through the tube, drastically increasing the surface area that is exposed to the high velocity air stream. That's not to say such a pneumatic tube scheme couldn't work for lower speed transports, just that it doesn't seem to be a feasible option for ultra high speed transport.

Comment Re:3D version? (Score 1) 126 126

There are other ways to get depth information, especially in studies like this. Various techniques such as those mentioned here can be used to fill in at least some of the missing data. Then you can provide the viewer with virtual points of view that are many light years apart to allow perceiving the galaxy in stereo. And to answer GP's question, probably because there's an immense pile of other data to sort through to get that depth information. Sadly, we don't yet have the equivalent of Kinect to give us depth maps along with the image.

Comment Re:Interplanetary Space? (Score 4, Insightful) 166 166

This is a transient field generated by an electric current that was created through the discharge of capacitor banks.

If you're going to pour on the snark, you could at least read enough of the article to understand that, while a capacitor bank is used in establishing the magnetic field, the primary energy storage was from a motor-generator that stores 1.2 GJ of energy for the experiments. So, while I agree that it's frustrating to hear half baked ideas for applications of exciting new science to pet science fiction dreams, doing so in a confrontational manner does little to actually enhance the knowledge of the folks making those sorts of suggestions.

Comment Re:Not just field strength (Score 1) 166 166

1T is the magnetic field strength of Earth, no?

Nope. That's off by a few orders of magnitude. The magnetic field of the Earth is about 30e-6 to 60e-6 T at the surface, depending on where you measure it at. The key is the Earth's magnetic field is extremely large in human terms, since it's large enough to easily fill multiple Earth radii.

Comment Re:Today's dose of fearmongering... (Score 1) 609 609

According to this wikipedia article implosion designs work for uranium based designs as well. It must be used for plutonium, but isn't exclusive to it. Can't really say why you would want to do that sort of thing though. I was always under the impression that the reason you went to the trouble of enriching uranium to make a bomb was because it was somehow easier than getting the design of an implosion weapon right.

Comment Re:Wait, they're still making cars? (Score 5, Insightful) 306 306

I was under the impression that mounting the motor in the hub, while an elegant engineering solution to the problem of power transmission, isn't necessarily the optimal solution for automotive applications because of the increase in unsprung mass. It seems like, even with advances in power density in motors, that hub mounting would increase that mass by a large amount, not to mention potentially bringing additional cooling system complexity.

Comment Re:graphene oxide, not graphene (Score 1) 292 292

Neither, actually. According to the article:

Graphene oxide is the same graphene sheet but it is randomly covered with other molecules such as hydroxyl groups OH-.

So it's apparently not a simple oxide in the sense of carbon dioxide, etc. It's more graphene with some oxygens added in various configurations.

Comment Re:did it for 'canes (Score 1) 271 271

I'm impressed you found inverters that would tolerate the startup load. In my (very limited) experience most inverters don't much care for the current draw of inductive loads like refrigeration compressors. I really like the idea of being able to run my generator for a few hours a day to recharge a battery during a power outage instead of having to constantly be around to babysit it.

Comment Re:Apple is patching anyway (Score 1) 374 374

... Why are these guys even bothering?

Because their target is the user who doesn't quite grok the difference between files, folders, programs, and the Internet. You know, the sort of person who can't find their Word documents outside of Word itself. I think the authors of this malware are simply taking advantage of the fact that most users won't notice it's there, and won't bother trying to remove it. Malware doesn't have to be dug in to a computer so hard that a tactical nuclear strike is needed to remove it in order to be effective.

Comment Re:STOP talking about efficiency, it doesn't matte (Score 1) 204 204

Actually, based on your statement you do care about the efficiency. It's just, I think, that your threshold for efficient enough is tied up in your projected use of the technology. What they are talking about is effectively doubling the wattage that can be collected from the dirt ass cheap solar cells. The base material in question is cadmium telluride which can be produced cheaply enough to compete on a cost/watt basis with silicon based photovoltaics. What this researcher has done is shown a nearly factor of two improvement in what is already the most cost effective photovoltaic cell for large installations, which is a great big deal.

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