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Comment: Over Excited Marketing directors? (Score 1) 328

by gpronger (#48705775) Attached to: Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes
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.

+ - What consumers want from their smart homes->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
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.
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+ - How we'll know whether BICEP2 was right about gravitational waves

Submitted by StartsWithABang
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.

+ - Space Elevator in Obayashi Corporate Report for 2050

Submitted by gpronger
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.

+ - Expert calls for closure of nuclear plant in California->

Submitted by mdsolar
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.

Link to Original Source

+ - Internet access required to map local drive Windows 8.1->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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.
Link to Original Source

+ - Toward a Quantum Theory of Gravity?->

Submitted by GlowingCat
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.
Link to Original Source

+ - What is Nothing? 7

Submitted by Paul Fernhout
Paul Fernhout writes: Fraser Crain explores the issue of "Whether there any place in the Universe where there's truly nothing?". That article is also discussed at One comment there by Evgenij Barsoukov uses the rules for finding mathematical limits to compute the probability of the Universe coming into spontaneous existence out of absolute nothingness at 0.6....

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

Submitted by stephendavion
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.
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+ - What I learned from debating science with trolls->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Where From? (Score 1) 303

by gpronger (#47722361) Attached to: Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical
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.

Comment: Re:Source is HVAC Contractors (Score 1) 303

by gpronger (#47722267) Attached to: Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical
Chemically it's not going to happen. Carbon tet is fluorinated to make the CFC's. The CFC's, in use are largely unreactive. We need to recharge due to leaks, not due to decompostion. In the atmosphere, the CFC's aren't going to have a ready source for the chlorine to somehow react back to carbon tet.

+ - 1 Old Car Battery Can Help Power 30 Homes->

Submitted by Taffykay
Taffykay writes: Science recently scored a simultaneous victory over pollution for both recycling and renewable energy! A team of researchers at MIT has come up with plan to turn old car batteries into durable solar panels. According to, the system proposed by a group of MIT professors and published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science uses a fairly new solar cell technology that includes a compound called perovskite, which is nearly on par with traditional silicon-based cells but takes significantly less material to manufacture.
Link to Original Source

+ - How to read a microbiome study like a scientist.

Submitted by bmahersciwriter
bmahersciwriter writes: Scientific reports have increasingly linked the bacteria in your gut to health and maladies, often making wild-sounding claims. Did you hear about the mice who were given fecal transplants from skinny humans and totally got skinny! Well, some of the more gut-busting results might not be as solid as they seem. Epidemiologist Bill Hanage offers five critical questions to ask when confronted by the latest microbiome research.

The life of a repo man is always intense.