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Comment: Re:Dear Australian Government, (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by balzi (#40216179) Attached to: Aussie Government Brings Back Piracy Talks

"then I have to break the law to do so."

I don't pirate because the people who created media have expressed their wishes quite clearly;
If I value it, then I'll pay the price they ask.

However, suggesting that you are forced to break the law is absurd. There is no real threat to your well-being by having the latest music/TV/movies/software. Even if you argued that your quality of life would suffer without your favourite show or game (a BIG stretch), there's plenty of other crap to choose from.

Do I think the typical media owner is driving people away with DRM measures? Absolutely.
Do I think there's a happy medium where everyone could be happy? Yep.
Do I feel entitled to anything? No.

This argument gets very heated, and from my armchair it makes both sides look like spoiled brats! You can continue for my [free] entertainment as long as you like. :)

Matt out.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 223

by balzi (#40215059) Attached to: My primary work is ...

Luxury!
We had to mine our own silicon using a rubber mallet and the office was 400 kilometres from the mine, uphill!
When we eventually got down to programming, binary was not allowed; we had to use roman numerals in italics!

P.S The funniest bit about the parent was that it was modded "Insightful". Crazy slashdotters!

Comment: Can it be true? oh, it's not!? bummer! (Score 1) 206

by balzi (#40174261) Attached to: Next Generation Xbox and Playstation Consoles Will Have Optical Drives

In a classic case of title misinterpretation, I thought next-gen consoles were leading the way with internal optical drives, ie. replacing the magnetic rotating disks.
I wonder if that tech is far off? It was promising plenty of TBs per cubic-centimetre if I remember rightly.

Comment: Re:Did whoever wrote the summary read the article? (Score 1) 95

by balzi (#40095589) Attached to: Nanotech Solar Cell Minimizes Cost, Toxic Impact

This is true, assuming you don't have a limit as to the area of panels you can deploy (rooftop solar installations are slightly limited by the area of the roof).

I agree. If I gave them the benefit of the doubt (deservedly or not), I'd say that they are at least hoping to provide a cheap and environmentally friendly choice when space is not the issue.

In context I think they are working from this starting point: "the Gratzel cell is a great concept, but it leaks, so let's see if we can improve on it so it's viable for the mass-market."
If they succeed, at worst we'll have an "green" alternative to current Silicon-based PV arrays, and at best we'll have a system that's cheaper to make, is more efficient, is more rugged, etc.
If they land in the middle, it'll be a great outcome!

Comment: Re:Did whoever wrote the summary read the article? (Score 4, Interesting) 95

by balzi (#40094819) Attached to: Nanotech Solar Cell Minimizes Cost, Toxic Impact

It's important to note though, that if you can make twice as much panel area for less money, then you are being more efficient.
At the end of the day they are aiming for two different efficiencies:
1. A lower $cost/output
2. A higher output/environmental-footprint ratio.

I've heard that currently the rule-of-thumb for Photo-Voltaic arrays is 4 years operation before they pay for themselves. Maybe this new technology will lower that significantly

Power

+ - First Underwater Turbine Installed in Scotland->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scotland achieved a major milestone this week by successfully installing a 100-foot-tall subsea turbine in the Sound of Islay, off the coast of Orkney. Scottish Power Renewables, which is overseeing the project, said the turbine was performing well and is already powering homes and businesses on the island of Eday. It wasn’t an easy installation, as the 1-megawatt Hammerfest Strom HS1000 turbine was lowered into the sea during a storm, with crews facing hostile waters"
Link to Original Source

+ - Skin Cells Turned into Heart Muscle Cells Can Fix Damaged Heart

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers say that they can reprogram skin cells into heart muscle cells and that these cells are functional and can integrate into heart. Using patient’s own cells while regenerating heart muscle cells would mean that the body wouldn’t reject them and these cells could blend in the original heart and continue the normal rhythm."
Robotics

+ - Financial News is written by Robots-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Script bots increasingly write inaccurate financial reports and misleading PR. Have a look at this short blurb about Facebook.

A suspicious reader with technological background might see through the words, but the majority of people would never complain beyond readability.

A story like this one about Facebook was generated by a bot that probably took the raw data from an official source and constructed a thin story out of it. Imagine how other bots, like Wolfram Alfa, take this story for a fact and advise real people on their investments.

Stories like this should be at least marked in some way, so that people are warned to check the facts."

Link to Original Source

+ - RIAA Claims Losses In Excess Of World's Wealth-> 6

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Prior to setting with Limewire earlier this month, the RIAA had pressed for a $72 trillion verdict, greater than the $60 trillion of combined wealth on Earth. The RIAA arrived at the figure by multiplying $150,000 for each download of 11,000 songs, a figure federal Judge Kimba Wood called "absurd". No word on how much of the money would have gone back to the artists."
Link to Original Source
Technology

+ - Nanotech Solar Cell Minimizes Cost, Toxic Impact->

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Researches at Northwestern University have developed an inexpensive solar cell intended to solve the problems of current solar cell designs, such as high cost, low efficiency, and toxic production materials. Based on the Grätzel cell, the new cell uses millions of light-absorbing nanoparticles and delivers the highest conversion efficiency reported for a dye-sensitized solar cell."
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - How Accelerometers Work In Smartphones->

Submitted by
redletterdave
redletterdave writes "Despite the accelerometer's regular use for games, videos, and other smartphone activities, few people know how the gadget actually works, or how engineers were able to cramp such a small but important piece of technology, which can detect motion in three directions, into a millimeters-thick smartphone. That's where Bill Hammack comes in. Hammack, a.k.a. "The Engineer Guy," is a professor at the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but the 50-year-old college professor also has a second life on YouTube, breaking down how various components of everyday technology work, from digital cameras to fiber optic cables. On Tuesday, Hammack released his newest video, which describes not only how accelerometers work, but also how engineers translate the three-dimensional technology to work inside a tiny chip."
Link to Original Source

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