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Comment Re:Landfill?! (Score 1) 33

Until it crushes. Not all aerogels are strong, and in the picture we can see the guy bending it. And even the strength of "strong" aerogels is often overstated - they're high strength for their weight, but not for their volume.

Comment Re:Cheaper? (Score 2) 33

I fail to see how it's at all like composite building - it's a moulded product. Also note: frozen and freeze dried for two days. So if you want to make boats out of the stuff, you have to amortize in the cost of two days (per unit) usage of a thermally-regulated vacuum chamber large enough to put a boat in, which is a pretty expensive piece of kit.

Also, how long is the sonication process?

Making boats or surfboards out of the stuff sounds kind of pointless. As you already clearly know, the ideal boat hull is a twinwall composite, where you have composite layers of high tensile fabric bonded to either side of a lightweight foam or honeycomb core - the latter existing primarily to space the former out. If you replace the inner layer with aerogel, you're only cutting out the weight of the foam or honeycomb - and foams and honeycombs are already quite light. I mean, you'd save some weight... but enough to justify the cost and difficulty?

I guess if you're going really upmarket... after all, some people buy Monster cables ;)

Comment Re:fire! (Score 1) 33

Aerogel is of course nothing at all like loose-fill cellulose insulation. But no, it should not pose a fire risk either. Depending on the type, aerogels are generally considered either fire retardant or non-flammable; even if they're made of something that "burns" on a macroscopic level, there's so little "something" there to burn that the flame barrier properties that they provide generally well outweighs the heat output of their own combustion.

Comment Re:Wasn't the C64 just a BASIC interpreter anyways (Score 1) 87

I learned to program primarily on Radio Shack machines (MC-10 and Color Computer, boy that brings back memories). I found the GWBASIC/QBasic interpreters fairly close to the old Tandy/RS variants of Microsoft BASIC. The Commodore interpreter, which was also an MS BASIC variant, still seemed to have some oddities.

The problem with gaming was of course that every microcomputer had its own graphics engine, so it made porting incredibly complex in many cases. Since we're talking about computers that had, at most, 30-odd kb in free RAM, there wasn't much room for graphics abstraction. Commodore's graphics, especially on the C64, with its sprite capabilities, made it very different than the rest of the microcomputers of the time.

But text-based stuff was usually pretty easy, and I remember the adventure writing book, which was pretty cool, and I wrote a few adventure games. It actually taught me a lot about string processing, indexes and counters and the like, so these books did teach some pretty important fundamentals in a way that gave you quick results.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 472

You know, you can't just handwave evidence away with "It's a complex system."

If increased CO2 levels are increasing the absorption of solar energy, which you don't seem to deny, then pray tell where the fuck is that energy going, if not into the lower atmosphere and the oceans? Come on, Mr. Smarty Guy, fucking explain how "complex systems" make energy magically fucking disappear. Go on, get to it. Show how "complex systems" somehow allow violations of thermodynamics.

Comment Re:I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 216

In addition to what bws111 wrote:

Re: the MIT capsule: it's nothing like the Hyperloop Alpha concept (hence my post). SpaceX's test track that they're building is designed to handle a wide variety of vehicles, not just the one laid out in the Hyperloop Alpha concept. IMHO the MIT concept is utterly uninspiring. The drag levels are vastly higher, which are going to ruin pretty much every appealing aspect of the concept.

(but no, the tube has no electromagnets, the MIT design involves induced magnetic fields for propulsion)

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