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Comment: Re:Mac/Retina (Score 2) 385

by dr_leviathan (#49286391) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

I'm running Linux (Kubuntu) on a 2014 MacBook Pro Retina 16GB. It doesn't run well on this laptop. Things that I never did get working:

* suspend when closing the screen
* webcam
* phone-jack audio
* trackpad -- it works but I don't like how it works so I disabled it and use a laptop mouse

Things that didn't work after install but I was able to get working after some struggle:

* USB headset
* font sizes of KDE and various applications (Chromium and Firefox have their own settings)

I should note: some of the problems above may KDE's fault -- they might work fine under another desktop... dunno.

The best linux laptop I ever had was a 2012 MacBook Air. Everything worked well once Intell fixed their graphics drivers. Unfortunately it only had 2GB of ram and could not be upgraded.

Comment: Re:Corrupt Indians (Score 1) 53

Actually we know that big tech companies are evil (they are motivated by profit for shareholders and little else). What is catching everyone's eye, and fitting well with our collective understanding of India's economy and politcs, is how fast that thievery was "solved". At least in the EU or US the owed taxes would have taken a few months to work their way through the courts. In India it is solved in days. The first thing I thought, and many others did too, is that somewhere there are some Indian officials with some fresh money in their pockets, and the Indian public has been robbed once again.

Comment: Animals eat plastic (Score 1) 470

by dr_leviathan (#45538449) Attached to: EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

It isn't just sea turtles and waterfowl. On my way to work yesterday I looked into a field and saw a cow munching on a plastic bag that had blown into its pasture. We should eliminate plastic bags. I've already stopped accepting them at stores -- I always carry a messenger bag with me where I put all of my purchases (think globally, act locally).

Comment: Re:Logical fallacies (Score 1) 1293

by dr_leviathan (#44905079) Attached to: Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?

Religion and science do not stand in opposition to each other

This is false. Science does indeed stand in opposition to Religion. At least, to anything that Religion says is "true".

Science is the pursuit of truth using the scientific method, which relies on reason, logic, and proof by experimentation and examination of evidence. Meanwhile religion is faith in traditional "truths" that typically lack supporting evidence, or fly in the face of the evidence. Therefore the false "truths" of religion will constantly be under attack by the advancement of science and any true "truths" that religion happens to have will ultimately be supported.

Unfortunately, the history of science's triumphs over religious doctine informs us that religion is mostly myth and superstition and contains very few true "truths".

Firefox

Emscripten and New Javascript Engine Bring Unreal Engine To Firefox 124

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cycle-is-nearly-complete dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no doubt that gaming on the Web has improved dramatically in recent years, but Mozilla believes it has developed new technology that will deliver a big leap in what browser-based gaming can become. The company developed a highly-optimized version of Javascript that's designed to 'supercharge' a game's code to deliver near-native performance. And now that innovation has enabled Mozilla to bring Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to the browser. As a sort of proof of concept, Mozilla debuted this BananaBread game demo that was built using WebGL, Emscripten, and the new JavaScript version called 'asm.js.' Mozilla says that it's working with the likes of EA, Disney, and ZeptoLab to optimize games for the mobile Web, as well." Emscripten was previously used to port Doom to the browser.
Microsoft

Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone? 505

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-headed-step-child dept.
symbolset writes "Microsoft has had some trouble as of late getting adoption of their mobile products. Even Bill Gates has said it was inadequate. Despite rave reviews of Windows Phone in the press it has failed to get double digit share of the smartphone market. Now comes reports from WMPoweruser that WP8 will lose mainstream support in July 2014."
Censorship

Turkey's Science Research Council Stops Publication of Evolution Books 444

Posted by Soulskill
from the jesus-rode-tyrannosaurs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has put a stop to the publication and sale of all books in its archives that support the theory of evolution, daily Radikal has reported. The books have long been listed as “out of stock” on TÜBTAK's website, but their further publication is now slated to be stopped permanently. Titles by Richard Dawkins, Alan Moorehead, Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Levontin and James Watson are all included in the list of books that will no longer be available to Turkish readers. In early 2009, a huge uproar occurred when the cover story of a publication by TÜBITAK was pulled, reportedly because it focused on Darwin’s theory of evolution."

Comment: Other ideas... (Score 1) 580

by dr_leviathan (#41706507) Attached to: Scientists Turn Air Into Petrol

As many have mentioned already, such an air-to-petrol might be viable in the middle of the Sahara where sunshine is plenty and access is poor. Anywhere where plants grow well, and can be dried, there a more efficient way...

(1) Grow plants to create biomass
(2) Let the biomass dry
(3) Put the biomass into a sealed container
(4) Add heat to evaporate the biomass
(5) Pump the air out of the container through a condensor

What you end up with is a mix of hydrocarbon oils that can be refined into petrol and many other things. The collection of the CO2 is done for you by vegitation in the sun. You can use waste biomass (stems and leaves) from a crop that actually produces something useful besides biomass.

Here is another idea... the UK is experimenting with storing energy as liquified air (1), which can be heated later to propel turbines just like steam. One of the byproducts of freezing air (at 77K or lower) is solid CO2 which freezes at 174K. The dry ice is a concentrated source of CO2 that can be liquified at pressures above 5 atmospheres and chemically combined with hydrogen to produce hydrocarbon oils.

Of course, such a system would require more energy input than it would produce, but this is about energy storage and the production of clean hydrocarbon oils rather than energy efficiency. There are a few locales that will be able to produce more clean energy than needed and might have difficulty selling/exporting it -- such places might eventually be able to produce their own hydrocarbon fuels for more self sufficiency.

(1) http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3819

Comment: Electric Bicycle (Score 2) 342

by dr_leviathan (#41649275) Attached to: As Gas Prices Soar So Does City Biking

I'm a Californian who just bought an electric bicycle conversion kit: 350W hub motor, 36V + 12Ah lithium battery. I'm hoping I can use it for my commute which is 40 km each way. This bike's range should be about 50 km, but I'll be able to recharge it at work.

I already have one electric bicycle but it is not a good solution for a long commute. It has a big motor (1.9kW) and 48V of lead acid batteries --> It can go plenty fast (60 km/hr) but it is rather heavy (45 kg) and doesn't have the range (25 km).

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

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