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Earth

Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach New Monthly Record 174

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
mrflash818 writes: For the first time since we began tracking carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere, the monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide gas surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015, according to NOAA's latest results. “It was only a matter of time that we would average 400 parts per million globally,” said Pieter Tans, lead scientist of NOAA’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network. “We first reported 400 ppm when all of our Arctic sites reached that value in the spring of 2012. In 2013 the record at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory first crossed the 400 ppm threshold. Reaching 400 parts per million as a global average is a significant milestone."
Displays

Oculus Rift Launching In Q1 2016 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the virtually-immediately dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Oculus has announced that their Rift virtual reality headset will be coming out sometime in the first quarter of 2016. They've also posted a couple images of the final consumer headset design. The device was Kickstarted in August, 2012. Consumer-level release dates have slowly slipped further and further out since then, though they've shipped two different development kits. Ars points out that a 2016 launch date will bring the Oculus Rift to market after the Valve/HTC VR headset, and possibly after Sony's Project Morpheus.

Comment: Re:Shuttle (Score 4, Insightful) 54

by catchblue22 (#49626675) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

I mean, who's SpaceX's biggest customer? The US Government.

They are the world's cheapest launch service provider and that is without re-usability. They will likely become the dominant launch provider in the world. If they get re-usability to work economically, this will enable mass launches of inexpensive satellites, which could change the entire communications industry. Musk doesn't think small.

Comment: Re:Last time one was used? (Score 2) 54

by catchblue22 (#49626639) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

I suppose its not a bad thing to have just in case but I don't see the reasoning behind the fixation on it as a design requirement and their ranting about its "importance" in press releases. In almost 300 manned space launches a Launch Escape system has only been of verifiable use in a single incident(Soyuz T-10-1).

The same rockets used for the launch escape will also be used as a propulsive landing system that can land like a helicopter.

Comment: Batteries with Solar Systems = No Net-metering (Score 5, Interesting) 311

by catchblue22 (#49608397) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Companies like SolarCity basically install solar systems for no money up front, and then lease them back to you for a period. For many houses, even with these fees, the SolarCity systems will save the homeowner quite a bit of money. Licenses to sell power back to the grid are usually restricted, even in states they are allowed. If you have a battery system installed, you will no longer have to sell your excess solar energy back to the grid. You'll simply be able to store it in your battery for later use. Thus, homeowners with these systems may not have to apply for licenses for their solar systems, since they will not be doing net-metering. This will allow many users to install solar panels who couldn't before. It removes the ability for utilities and/or state governments to restrict the number of homes with solar panels. This is why these batteries will likely have a huge impact.

Comment: Re:queue the.. (Score 1) 250

by catchblue22 (#49602051) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

I remember supporting an office with win95 and Access. I had tech support conversations that almost went like this:

Him: My computer just crashed.

Me: So what did you do then?

Him: I rebooted it.

Me: Well there's your problem. Reboot the computer again. Then tap the computer gently and pray to the god of your choice and reboot a third time...

Him: ...Thanks. That worked.

Comment: Re:What's the point ? (Score 1) 76

by catchblue22 (#49598277) Attached to: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Launches Its First Rocket

Certainly it's preferable to 'Rich people sitting on their wealth'.

The amazing thing about Elon Musk is that when he was a student he actually lived on $1/day for a while. He said that knowing he could live on so little was quite freeing, enabling him to take more risks.

I really don't think of him as your typical billionaire.

Comment: Re:What's the point ? (Score 1) 76

by catchblue22 (#49598251) Attached to: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Launches Its First Rocket

Can anyone explain why Jeff Bezos is doing the same thing that SpaceX is already doing ?

To lower cost to orbit .. check To design re-usable first stages ... check

The only difference I see is that they want to use LOX/LH for first stage. And even then, they plan to go to LOX/LMethane after that.

Of course, competition is always nice to have.

Yeah, the only difference is that Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, two years before Space X was founded, and only just now launched his first rocket. Bezos sounds like the Justin Hammer of the commercial space industry.

Comment: Re:2kW isn't enough power for a home (Score 1) 514

by catchblue22 (#49595977) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

Why purchase it in the first place if I still have to rely on the grid? Seems like a waste of money unless it is strictly for backup purposes only. And even then, it won't run what is needed like electric heat or A/C unless you purchase multiple units. Then natural gas and propane generators would be much more cost effective.

You purchase it so that you can store grid electrical energy while the rates are low overnight, and use it when rates are high during peak hours.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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