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Comment: Re:Some potential, but hardly for a genuine leap (Score 1) 109

by jdschulteis (#48950095) Attached to: NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

The Saturn V employed a total mass of 2970 tonnes to lift a mere 118 tonnes to LEO. But the actual raw energy needed to lift 118 tonnes to 200 km is E=mgh = 118,000 times 9.81 times 200,000 = 232 GJ, which is the quantity of energy contained in just 5.47 tonnes of gasoline. So the efficiency of the Saturn V was 0.184%, not because it was a "bad" rocket, but because it was a rocket.

If you just lift the payload to 200 km, it will immediately start falling back to the surface. The payload must also be accelerated to orbital speed, 8000 m/s, at which the 118 tonnes has a kinetic energy of 3776 GJ, so your "efficiency" is off by quite a bit.

Comment: Re:If everything started from a point in space/tim (Score 1) 80

by jdschulteis (#48949687) Attached to: ESA: No Conclusive Evidence of Big Bang Gravitational Waves

If everything is moving away from us, perhaps we -are- the center of the Universe! Sounds like there are still things we dont understand about the observable universe if we cant get the red/green shift stuff to make consistent sense.

Get a rubber balloon and a marker, or just use your imagination. Put a bunch of dots on the balloon. Now choose one dot as a reference and inflate the balloon--all of the other dots move away as the balloon expands. Try using a different dot as the reference and you get the same result. Note that there are limitations to this analogy, but I found it helpful.

P.S. It's red/blue shift, not red/green.

Comment: Re:Food Chain? Environment? (Score 1) 259

Lets see Myxomatosis - 99.8% of the rabbit population destroyed in 2 years

Over time the numbers of rabbits resistant to the virus increased and in 1995 the rabbit haemorraghic disease virus RHDV was released to again cull the numbers. Even in 1995 when RHDV was release the rabbit population was no where near the 1950s population which was destroying pastoral Australia.

Cane toads on the other hand - now that was a fuckup.

Clearly Australian scientists should be working on genetically modifying rabbits so that they will eat cane toads.

+ - New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance on Biofuels

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The NYT reports on a new study from a prominent environmental think tank that concludes that turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that the approach is unlikely ever to supply a substantial fraction of global energy demand and that continuing to pursue this strategy is likely to use up vast tracts of fertile land that could be devoted to helping feed the world’s growing population. “I would say that many of the claims for biofuels have been dramatically exaggerated,” says Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute, a global research organization based in Washington that is publishing the report. “There are other, more effective routes to get to a low-carbon world.” The report follows several years of rising concern among scientists about biofuel policies in the United States and Europe, and is the strongest call yet by the World Resources Institute, known for nonpartisan analysis of environmental issues, to urge governments to reconsider those policies.

Timothy D. Searchinger says that recent science has challenged some of the assumptions underpinning many of the pro-biofuel policies that have often failed to consider the opportunity cost of using land to produce plants for biofuel. According to Searchinger if forests or grasses were grown instead of biofuels, that would pull carbon dioxide out of the air, storing it in tree trunks and soils and offsetting emissions more effectively than biofuels would do. What is more, as costs for wind and solar power have plummeted over the past decade, and the new report points out that for a given amount of land, solar panels are at least 50 times more efficient than biofuels at capturing the energy of sunlight in a useful form. “It’s true that our first-generation biofuels have not lived up to their promise,” says Jason Hill said. “We’ve found they do not offer the environmental benefits they were purported to have, and they have a substantial negative impact on the food system.”"

+ - Microsoft Launches Outlook For Android And iOS 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft today launched Outlook for Android and iOS. The former is available (in preview) for download now on Google Play and the latter will arrive on Apple's App Store later today. The pitch is simple: Outlook will let you manage your work and personal email on your phone and tablet as efficiently as you do on your computer. The app also offers calendar features, attachment integration (with OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and iCloud), along with customizable swipes and actions so you can tailor it to how you specifically use email."

+ - LibreOffice gets a streamlined makeover, native alternatives for major Microsoft->

Submitted by TechCurmudgeon
TechCurmudgeon (3904121) writes "From PCWorld:
The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft's OOXML formats. LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love," Jan "Kendy" Holesovsky, who leads the design team for Libreoffice, said in a statement.

LibreOffice 4.4 is currently available for Windows:"

Link to Original Source

+ - A mattrass adjusts ambiance, starts coffeemaker, when you wake-up-> 1

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "A smart mattress-cover will turn off lights when you go to sleep, get coffee ready when you’re waking up. Luna’s new device fits around the mattress like a cover, and monitors whether those sleeping on it are asleep. When it senses that they are, it can power down lights or change heating settings. And when it detects that they’re waking back up, it can start brewing coffee or turn the lights back on.

And while you’re asleep, it will track the room temperature and how much sleep you get, creating the perfect conditions. The bed has “dual zone temperature”, which means that it can monitor differnet sides of the bed separately.

The only disturbing piece about it comes at the very end of the article:

Data is stored on the smart mattress cover itself, and then sent to Luna for storage and analysis.


Link to Original Source

+ - The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics is a free PDF download->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you wanted to pinpoint the beginning of the PC era, you could do worse than to declare that it began when the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine came out. It cover-featured the MITS Altair 8800, the first successful PC, and inspired Paul Allen and Bill Gates to found "Micro-Soft." I wrote about the issue, which is now available for free in PDF form (along with every other issue of Popular Electronics)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Former NATO nuclear bunker now an 'airless' unmanned data center->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A German company has converted a 1960s nuclear bunker 100 miles from network hub Frankfurt into a state-of-the-art underground data center with very few operators and very little oxygen. IT Vision Technology (ITVT) CEO Jochen Klipfel says: "We developed a solution that reduces the oxygen content in the air, so that even matches go outIt took us two years". ITVT have the European Air Force among its customers, so security is an even higher priority than in the average DC build; the refurbished bunker has walls 11 feet thick and the central complex is buried twenty feet under the earth."
Link to Original Source

+ - Kiva's Raffaello D'Andrea on the future of robotics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Raffaello D'Andrea is an entrepreneur and controls engineer. The company he co-founded, Kiva Systems, builds autonomous warehouse solutions (imagine orange robots efficiently moving goods around the warehouse), and was acquired by Amazon in 2012 for $775 million. Amazon is now using Kiva robots across the US to get products to consumers faster at a lower cost. In this interview with Massimo Russo from the Boston Consulting Group, D'Andrea talks about where the field of robotics is headed.

Massimo Russo, a senior partner and managing director in the Boston office of The Boston Consulting Group and the regional leader of the Technology Advantage practice in North America, recently spoke with D’Andrea about the future of robotics."

Link to Original Source

+ - Canada Upholds Net Neutrality Rules in Wireless TV Case->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Canada's telecom regulator has issued a major new decision with implications for net neutrality, ruling that Bell and Videotron violated the Telecommunications Act by granting their own wireless television services an undue preference by exempting them from data charges. Michael Geist examines the decision, noting that the Commission grounded the decision in net neutrality concerns, stating the Bell and Videotron services "may end up inhibiting the introduction and growth of other mobile TV services accessed over the Internet, which reduces innovation and consumer choice.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The Real Question.... (Score 2) 202

by jdschulteis (#48928109) Attached to: Computer Chess Created In 487 Bytes, Breaks 32-Year-Old Record

Well, the real question is if this program was replicating the same rules as the one that was previously accepted and supposedly beat?

Like the previous record holder, this program implements neither en passant nor castling.

Unlike the previous record holder, this program implements queening, so it is both smaller and has an additional feature.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 1) 236

by jdschulteis (#48925965) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

We barely have technology within our lifetimes to get one man to Mars on a suicide mission. Even if you pored all the resources of all mankind's wars it would barely be better and that's just to the nearest planet

We have the technology within our lifetimes to send multiple people to Mars on an extended scientific research mission and return them safely to Earth. What we lack is the will to expend our resources on such an endeavor.

That said, interstellar travel is orders of magnitude more difficult.

"Paul Lynde to block..." -- a contestant on "Hollywood Squares"