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Comment: Re: But is it cheaper? (Score 1) 159

by bickerdyke (#46820921) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

works for orange juice as you can create concentrate by REMOVING water. Does NOT work for alcohol as you have to ADD a substance (=weight) to create powder. And alcohol does NOT contain water that can be removed to further concentrate pure alcohol.

Hint: There is no weight difference between 1kg liquid alcohol and 1kg powdered alcohol.

Overall, it might work for pre-mixed, freeze dried drinks that have a fair share of water and rest of the chemical compounds involved are solids solved in that water (like vodka-orange) but any weight reduction here would come from the water involved. But it even wouldn't work if you tried to move on to whisky-cola, as the aromatic components in the whisky are mostly fluids, too. If you remove them, you remove the taste. And you can't replace them by adding water.

So the only advantage of powdered alcohol would be to prevent the orange juice powder in the drink-mix to turn into some sludge. But you will pay for that with additional weight from the substance needed to trap the (liquid) alcohol.

Basically, this is a novelty item and won't be any more than that, except some extreme cases where "dryness" matters more than weight.

Always remember: Alcohol is not a solution!

Comment: Re:How flammable is it? (Score 1) 159

by bickerdyke (#46815699) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

An EMPTY bottle would take up uneccsessary room. I don't know the specifics of the powdered alcohol, but my guess would be that it takes up MORE volume than liquid alcohol.

Imagine the volume you need in your shopping bag to carry home 1 kg of sugar. you need roughly 300ml of water to put that into solution. So at least for sugar, you're decreasing the volume by storing it as a solution. (but of course increasing the weight by 300g) I'm pretty sure that that's the case too for alcohol, espescially if you have to ADD something to get the dry form.

And there is no need to store it in rigid container, like bottles. I'm sure you have seen those foldable water canisters before or a foil pack of Capri-Sun. (they now even come with screw caps.) And they can withstand forces, that would cause powder containers to break or deform and crack, too.

So my guess still would be that, compared to powder the points for packing go to liquid alcohol. (I'm ready to review this if someone has numbers for volume/gravity/weight of that powder) but for packing AND usability, both would loose to plain old Sterno.

Comment: Re:How flammable is it? (Score 1) 159

by bickerdyke (#46814825) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

Why would that be?

That's true if that "powder" was made in some process (usually freeze-drying) that removes water and thus decreasing the weight of whatever you're powderizing. When powderizing is done by adding substances, that's just more dead weight you have to carry.

The only other point I could imagine would be easier handling, but liquid alcohol can be used as-is and does not require additional ingredient (water) and additional time to become useable. Depending on the grain size of the powder, a gale of wind at the wrong moment may send your whole fuel reserve airborne. And even if a bottle leaks in your backpack, alcohol would evaporate without any sticky residue from the sugar-coating.

Comment: Re:Rubbing alcohol vs. denatured alcohol vs. drink (Score 1) 159

by bickerdyke (#46814207) Attached to: The Science Behind Powdered Alcohol

In the US, "rubbing alcohol" usually refers to isopropyl alcohol, not ethanol, and it's medical-use purity. And you can absorb alcohol through your skin, so you wouldn't want toxic impurities in it.

So shouldn't I rather be worried if I can absorb those toxic impurities through my skin instead of absorbing the alcohol part?

Comment: Re:whine (Score 1) 225

by bickerdyke (#46765463) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

Not untrue, but in your counterexample you've compared the workload (and review quality) that can be handled by 2 people (D and O) with a single person (D&O).

A review from another D&O could be required as easily for production code as an O's review for D's code.

If you're trying to replace a D and an O with a single D&O, you're doing something wrong anyway.

But on the other hand, in your model performance and stability are solely part of O's business. But D has to be aware of those issues if you want him to code with them in mind. and they WILL be on the mind of a D&O

Comment: Re:whine (Score 5, Interesting) 225

by bickerdyke (#46764893) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

DevOps is all about creating dangerous conflicts of interrest.


And I'd even go so far to say that we need MORE conflicts of interests.

A software company is full of conflicts if interrests. You have the sharholders who want money, sales who care about release dates, customers who request a feature, devs who know that that feature will have unpleaseant side-effects that the same users would not accept and so on.

"Resolve" those "conflicts" by completly seperating them into different roles, and you have a company where departments will fight each other to the bone and management will be busy with conflict resolution instead of actual work.

You need to have people inbetween those branches who know how to make them work together.

Comment: Re:What about capital gains or dividents? (Score 3, Interesting) 386

by bickerdyke (#46756953) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Germany here, but PAYE applies here too. It's similar for capital gains: The bank automatically sends your estimated taxes to the tax office. At the end of the year, you get a report. Exactly as you PAYE report, it contains a transaction ID which can be used to refer to those advance payments when you want or have to actually file your taxes. (If you can expect a refund, you may file one, if you have other income besides the advanced-taxed income, you have to)

Comment: Re:It was a "joke" back then (Score 4, Interesting) 275

Which is exactly the point the article makes. That we're bad at predecting technology, because we tend to think along the lines of an evolution of existing technologies. But can't imagine even small but substantial new technologies. (in my example obviously the servo engine that could be used to control mechanical devices directly without a robot.)

Another case of "almost right" is from the same Asimov book (I didn't read more than that plus the short stories) is an exact description of a GPS device used for navigation. While the actual use was a spot on hit, the user interface was as far off as possible: No one could imagine LED/LED displays, so the device was a rod that heated the handle when you pointed it in the right direction.

Do you know that feeling when you're watching old speculative fiction pieces and suddenly realize that despite all that future tech, in a given moment, they's give their right arm for a simple Nokia cellphone? :-)

Comment: Re:Maybe that's intresting trivia to you... (Score 1) 187

by bickerdyke (#46748271) Attached to: First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

I'm from Germany too, so I know the Autobahn quite well, too, but have hardly ever seen lighting there. (Except NRW) but that may vary.

And you wish it were 3 seconds.... at 150kph you're going at 41m/s. That's 120m in 3 seconds. Headlights go 50-60m up to 100m on the right side if - IF - you have assymetric headlights.

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau