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Comment Check your sources? (Score 1) 174

Heck; off-the-shelf tech can see you through your walls.

If you actually read the article you linked, you could find out that it's custom made hardware made from components which may be used in a wi-fi device, that's not the same as off-the-shelf.

"All the components we use are ones typically used in a Wi-Fi handheld device," she said.

Wi-Vi transmits two Wi-Fi signals, one of which is the inverse of the other.

Off-the-shelf stuff can't do this, but with components similar to that you can.

Comment Re:Seems like a terrible design (Score 1) 155

Let's work the numbers:

The screen is 13.3 WXGA, and the size is about 286mm x 179mm, and the panels appear to be the same size, and I can spot three.
Assuming a solar radiation of 1300 W per sqare meter and 15% solar panel efficiency, we arrive at a guesstimate of:
286mm * 179mm * 3 panels * 1300 W / square meter * 15% efficiency 30 W.

Looking at their website, it has a Intel Atom D2500 cpu which has a stated max TDP of 10 W, the hard drive could use 2-4 W (guesstimate), and the backlight could use from 1 to 10 watt (guesstimate), leaving still some power to charge the battery.

Now, back to the battery, assuming we get 90% efficiency when charging at 30W at 2 hours gives 54Wh.

Now, using this guesstimate of 13-24W should give from 4 to 9 hours use assuming the CPU is working at max TDP all the time.

To summarize, 2 hours solar charge in ideal conditions and (generously) assuming high quality solar cells (and a lot of other things) could give from 4 to 9 hours laptop use, possibly more.

Comment Mildly annoying (Score 2) 359

I have a touch screen laptop which appears like a normal laptop, so people don't know it's touch at first glance, and I usually forget to warn them. This leads to mildly annoying situations when I'm using it with someone. Someone: Hey, what's this? (touches screen) Hey, what happened? Me: You clicked on it. Now I either have to just click back in the browser, or rectify whatever they clicked on. Of course my screen is smudgy, but it seems a lot of people instinctively want to touch screens, so they are going to be smudgy anyways.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 576

You can get Books by the Yard

I'm not sure who it will impress, other than the movers.

I am pretty sure my pub in Ireland did this to "decorate". Only problem is that all the books are of Swedish/Danish origin and all of them are pretty weird.
Want to read a 30 year old Danish book on household diseases or another one (seemingly similar age) which describes the Swedish Badger?

Comment Re:Not so bad... (Score 1) 123

Sometimes I wonder how much of a role of embarrassment plays in the decision to keep the source code private.

This is usually the biggest concern for me when i develop something, if its something i am proud of and can release freely, then it's gonna be GPLed, if i am embarrased of it, i'm not going to release it, unless people email me about it and promise to not mention me.

Comment Re:Good luck at the airport (Score 2, Funny) 200

Good luck with that the next time you're at the security check at the airport. Pacemakers they know about, but with people getting withheld due to t-shirts with *images* of electronics, this thing is just asking for trouble.

I was at the airport with one of those t-shirts with a working clock on it. I boarded with no problems, but as they were to take off, (i am not making this up) they announced: "Please turn off all mobile phones, laptops and t-shirts"

Comment Re:Cue the Douglas Adams references! (Score 4, Insightful) 329

Attention wannabe comedians:

There is a 42 reference in this story. This your cue...this is your chance..the spotlight is on you to bring humor to the world and make countless references to Douglas Adams. Because he mentioned the number 42 in a book!

I was thrilled, almost panicking when i read that, the amount of jokes i could make would be endless! Then i realized that none of them were actually good jokes.

Comment Maybe this will answer some questions: (Score 1, Informative) 618

From http://biowaste.blogspot.com/2007/01/geoplasma-answers-trash-vaporization.html:

1. Question: How much energy does the plasma-arc use?
Answer: The plasma-arc facility uses approximately 40 megawatts of energy per hour. This is approximately one-quarter of the total output of hourly energy received from MSW.

2. Question: What will be the source of the plasma-arc energy?
Answer: The facility will receive its energy from its total output. For St. Lucie, it is expected that the 3,000 tons of MSW processed per day will create 160 megawatts of energy per hour. As stated previously, 40 megawatts will be used to power the facility and the remaining 120 megawatts will be sold to an Electric Utility.

3. Question: What does the energy source emit?
Answer: See question 5.

4. Question: Is the high heat of the plasma-arc being captured and utilized?
Answer: Because of the nature of a closed-loop system the heat will be captured and utilized both in the plasma gasification process and later in the production of steam.

5. Question: How are they going to combust the syngas to keep the emissions low?
Answer: There is no combustion during the gasification process. The Plasma-arc gasification process is a chemical reduction process that converts MSW from its original state to a glass-like aggregate solid at the bottom, and a synthetic fuel gas, also known as syngas, at the top.

Once gasification is over, the syngas is cleaned in a multi-step process, bringing it to levels near natural gas cleanliness. It is then compressed before being used as fuel for a gas turbine.

The gas turbine for this process is a modified natural gas turbine that mixes the cleaned syngas with air from the atmosphere, combusts the mixture and sends the hot gases through a turbine. The turbine spins an electric generator to produce electricity. The discharged hot gases are then passed through a heat recovery steam generator to produce more steam and to cool the hot gases. The cooler exhaust gases are then discharged into the atmosphere via a stack.

Emissions from this process are very similar to natural gas combined cycle plants which are considered to be 'clean' and are located and permitted all over the U.S., and for that matter the whole world.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban