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Submission + - Niobium nanowire breakthrough could boost performance of wearables (

An anonymous reader writes: A team of researchers is developing an innovative nanowire technology [] for delivering short bursts of electrical power required by electronic wearable devices. Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of British Columbia explain that wearable devices such as fitness monitors and smartwatches are currently limited by insufficient power from their small batteries needed for data transmission. According to the researchers, supercapacitors can provide a solution to this issue, storing and releasing short bursts of power. The latest development uses yarns of niobium nanowire as the electrodes in a compact supercapacitor. The team discovered that although nanoparticles such as graphene and carbon are potential solutions, they are typically characterised by low electrical conductivity. Their current study has found that the niobium yarn could offer a new alternative, demonstrating the ability to store as much as five times more power in a given volume as carbon nanotubes.

Comment Re: Sad, isn't it? (Score 1) 529

You're almost right.

It is not 'keeping the aliens from fucking with your brain waves'.

As we all know, they are much more intelligent than we, and they no longer copulate in the traditional sense. What they do, is they 'copulate with brain waves' (switched verbs for clarity of point). And when they do abduct you (given your incredible advanced intellect it's a given), you know what you're in for.

And by the way, the reason foil hats work, is that as we all have probably noticed, someone wearing an aluminum foil hat, looks utterly ridiculous, which completely shoots the cross species sex appeal.

Comment Over Excited Marketing directors? (Score 1) 328

So, my experience may be part of the reason the market is not there. In my way-back machine, I had one of the original "Pocket Pc's", a HTC 8525. I liked the device (it was really more of a tiny computer than phone) with the slide out keyboard, and integrated well with Office. When I finally laid it to rest (sadly), the one issue I had was that my eyes no longer could cope with the screen size (I tended to use it to type full emails, not just quick texts) and some spreadsheet work. In any case, at the phone store, I asked; "What's your biggest device?" And was handed the original Galaxy Note (which I just replaced with a Note 4). Through this period, tablets were theoretically the "hot item" (as well as all the electronic book thingies). Never saw the purpose. With the Note, I could pretty much do what the folks carrying both the phone, and tablet around could do. And it was a phone. The marketing gurus, I believe, missed the impact of the larger devices (really can't call them phones, and phablets is too goofy). For what people use a tablet for the Galaxy (and the iPhone 6+) handle. If I need computing power, either a desktop or laptop, but not a tablet.

Submission + - What consumers want from their smart homes (

Hallie Siegel writes: Despite the energy savings and environmental friendliness that has often been associated with smart home technologies, a recent poll showed that consumers want their homes to optimize for their comfort level and personal preference (45%). Security/Safety and Energy Savings tied in second place (18%). Environmentally friendliness came in at only 11%. Note that the three most voted choices have direct advantages for the user, as opposed to Environmental Friendliness, which is primarily a societal benefit.

Submission + - How we'll know whether BICEP2 was right about gravitational waves

StartsWithABang writes: The Big Bang takes us back to very early times, but not the earliest. It tells us the Universe was in a hot, dense state, where even the possibility of forming neutral atoms was impossible due to the incredible energies of the Universe at that time. The patterns of fluctuations that are left over from that time give us insight into the primordial density fluctuations that our Universe was born with. But there’s an additional signature encoded in this radiation, one that’s much more difficult to extract: polarization. While most of the polarization signal that’s present will be due to the density fluctuations themselves, there’s a way to extract even more information about an even earlier phenomenon: gravitational waves that were present from the epoch of cosmic inflation! Here's the physics on how that works, and how we'll find whether BICEP2 was right or not.

Submission + - Space Elevator in Obayashi Corporate Report for 2050

gpronger writes: Obayashi Corp ( has published its corporate report including planning to develop a space elevator using carbon nanotubes by 2050.

There's a number of articles out 'there', but a decent one to glance at is;

This could be interpreted as wishful thinking, but at the same time, I am impressed that they are placing timelines of that far-out (pun intended) in a corporate report. From what I've seen, there are few US firms willing to plan out more than a decade.

Submission + - Expert calls for closure of nuclear plant in California (

mdsolar writes: A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California’s last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility’s twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.

Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon’s lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant’s operation.

The document, which was obtained and verified by The Associated Press, does not say the plant itself is unsafe. Instead, according to Peck’s analysis, no one knows whether the facility’s key equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults — the potential for which was realized decades after the facility was built.

Continuing to run the reactors, Peck writes, “challenges the presumption of nuclear safety.”

Peck’s July 2013 filing is part of an agency review in which employees can appeal a supervisor’s or agency ruling — a process that normally takes 60 to 120 days, but can be extended. The NRC, however, has not yet ruled. Spokeswoman Lara Uselding said in emails that the agency would have no comment on the document.

Submission + - Internet access required to map local drive Windows 8.1 (

An anonymous reader writes: On my Dell Venue 8 pro running Windows 8.1 x86 it requires Internet access in order to map a local Samba share. I created a short video showing the behavior. It will not allow the local drive mapping until it is able to talk to Microsoft. In the video the IP address is (owned by Microsoft) on port 443.

Submission + - Toward a Quantum Theory of Gravity? (

GlowingCat writes: One of the main problems in attempting to calculate gravitational interactions with gravitons has been that the calculations produced unphysical infinities at almost every step. Bern and colleagues, however, managed to enormously simplify the calculations by showing that, at least in some cases, gravitons can be replaced by two copies of gluons — the carriers of the strong nuclear force. If this double-copy-of-gluons relationship holds in general, this clue could potentially lead to a dramatic breakthrough in the search for a quantum theory of gravity.

Submission + - Amazing New Invention: A Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs (

stephendavion writes: Checking to see if your drink has been tampered with is about to get a whole lot more discreet. Thanks to the work of four North Carolina State University undergrads, you’ll soon be able to find out without reaching for a testing tool. That’s because you’ll already have five of them on each hand. The team — Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney — has come up with a creative and unobtrusive way to package chemicals that react when exposed to Rohypnol and GHB. They put it in nail polish that they’re calling Undercover Colors.

Submission + - What I learned from debating science with trolls (

An anonymous reader writes: I often like to discuss science online and I’m also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change. This inevitably brings out the trolls.

“Don’t feed the trolls” is sound advice, but I’ve ignored it on occasion and been rewarded. Not that I’ve changed the minds of any trolls, nor have I expected to.

But I have received an education in the tactics many trolls use. These tactics are common not just to trolls but to bloggers, journalists and politicians who attack science.

Some techniques are comically simple. Emotionally charged, yet evidence-free, accusations of scams, fraud and cover-ups are common. Such accusations may be effective at polarising debate and reducing understanding.

The full article is available at The Conversation.

Comment Where From? (Score 1) 303

So, the main use of carbon tet was manufacturing the CFC's. this is replacing a chlorine with a fluorine. Done in a manufacturing facility. So, if this is due to it still being used for that purpose, you'd be able to look at the presence of the products. If plants have leaky manufacturing processes, you should see the carbon tet as well as the CFC's.

If I were to guess, it's degassing from old landfills.

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks