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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-black dept.
gbjbaanb writes A British company is developing a new material that's so black it absorbs all but 0.035 percent of the visual light, making it the darkest material ever created. Of course, apart from making album covers, it conducts heat 7 times better than copper and is 10 times stronger than steel. "The nanotube material, named Vantablack, has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil by the Newhaven-based company. While the sheets may be crumpled into miniature hills and valleys, this landscape disappears on areas covered by it. 'You expect to see the hills and all you can see it's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there. It just looks so strange,' said Ben Jensen, the firm's chief technical officer.

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles 144

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the giant-alien-particle-acceleration-experiment dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes For decades, physicists have sought the sources of the most energetic subatomic particles in the universe — cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere with as much energy as well-thrown baseballs. Now, a team working with the Telescope Array, a collection of 507 particle detectors covering 700 square kilometers of desert in Utah, has observed a broad 'hotspot' in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate. Although not definitive, the observation suggests the cosmic rays emanate from a distinct source near our galaxy and not from sources spread all over the universe.

Xanadu Software Released After 54 Years In the Making 90

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-off-his-lawn dept.
redletterdave writes: "'Project Xanadu,' designed by hypertext inventor Ted Nelson to let users build documents that automatically embed the sources they're linking back to and show the visible connections between parallel webpages, was released in late April at a Chapman University event. Thing is, development on Xanadu began in 1960 — that's 54 years ago — making it the most delayed software in history. 'At its simplest, Xanadu lets users build documents that seamlessly embed the sources which they are linking back to, creating, in Nelson's words, "an entire form of literature where links do not break as versions change; where documents may be closely compared side by side and closely annotated; where it is possible to see the origins of every quotation; and in which there is a valid copyright system - a literary, legal and business arrangement - for frictionless, non-negotiated quotation at any time and in any amount." The version released on the internet, named OpenXanadu, is a simple document created using quoted sections from eight other works, including the King James Bible and the Wikipedia page on Steady State Theory.'"

US Nuclear Plants Expanding Long-Term Waste Storage Facilities 187

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-make-sure-not-to-use-organic-litter dept.
mdsolar (1045926) writes with news of nuclear plants across the U.S. dealing with the consequences of the failure of Yucca Mountain. From the article: "The steel and concrete containers used to store the waste on-site were envisioned as only a short-term solution when introduced in the 1980s. Now they are the subject of reviews by industry and government to determine how they might hold up — if needed — for decades or longer. With nowhere else to put its nuclear waste, the Millstone Power Station overlooking Long Island Sound is sealing it up in massive steel canisters on what used to be a parking lot. The storage pad, first built in 2005, was recently expanded to make room for seven times as many canisters filled with spent fuel. ... The government is pursuing a new plan for nuclear waste storage, hoping to break an impasse left by the collapse of a proposal for Nevada's Yucca Mountain. The Energy Department says it expects other states will compete for a repository ... But the plan faces hurdles including a need for new legislation that has stalled in Congress." There's always recycling or transmutation.

Comment: Tweaking the Greentards (Score 1) 213

by otis wildflower (#47074247) Attached to: Dump World's Nuclear Waste In Australia, Says Ex-PM Hawke

He's doing it for the lulz, to tweak the particularly strident greentards that infect Australia.

That said, if Australia went full-bore into PRISM and LFTR development (by, perhaps, providing some funding but mostly just expediting red tape and silencing greenies/NIMBYs) they could very well build a 11- or 12-figure industry around it instead of leaving it to China or India.

Comment: Replace them all with LFTRs (Score 1) 323

LFTRs would take up less space, be more efficient, and rather than consuming water for cooling they could use low-grade leftover process heat to desalinate water. So, instead of being a massive freshwater sink it would be a freshwater source for piping inland (or, depending on the site, a river could be reversed for that task?)

Comment: H2 fuel cells are a nonstarter, SOFCs may not be (Score 1) 659

by otis wildflower (#47001829) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

No nation is going to build an entire network of H2-dedicated pipelines and other infrastructure, so any sort of mass fueling of H2 will come from electrolysis (consumes freshwater and is expensive for power) or (most likely) reformation of natural gas piggybacking on the already-existing NG infrastructure.

So, how efficient would an H2 fuel cell vehicle be per mpg equivalent worth of reformed H2 from natural gas? How much is the net fuel cost per mile?

Now, IMO a more promising path would be using solid-oxide fuel cells that accept hydrocarbons directly, but IFF they can get at least 16-20kWh out of a gallon of gasoline, its volume and mass are comparable to an I4 or V6 engine, and the cost comes down to 5-10 cents per Watt.

Comment: Re:Ion Audio (Score 1) 201

by otis wildflower (#46910943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

That's been discontinued, and AFAIK only has PC drivers. Their replacement is just a composite -> USB box, but it does have OS X drivers.

Dunno if either has OSS support, alas.

I like the VCR2DVD deck idea, assuming one can be found that does a quality job. I reckon finding a higher-end (S) VHS deck (with 4+ heads, stereo, auto tracking, maybe jog/shuttle knob) and testing it with a few sacrificable tapes is the way to go for OP. For 8mm video I'd recommend finding a Digital8 deck or camera, since it internally converts analog 8mm/Hi8 to digital before sending it up the firewire link.

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.