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Comment: Re:Why not robotics competitions elsewhere? (Score 1) 64

by rmelton (#42507079) Attached to: 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Kicks Off

I think the http://firstlegoleague.org/ robotics for younger kids is a great program. I have helped judge the local event for the past 5 years and have seen first hand the enthusiasm and creativity in the kids. I think that the younger you can get them interested science/technology/building/creating the better!

Comment: What are the real causes of ice cap growth/retreat (Score 1) 412

by rmelton (#42143897) Attached to: Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss

I think the general public and most posters here don't fully grasp the problem (nor do I) My basic scientific curiosity tells me that there must be multiple parameters that contribute to the size of the ice cap. These might include things like seasonal temperature variation combined with precipitation patterns. I never hear any of these parameters discussed. So is there a reason, and does the size depend only on temperature?

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 273

by rmelton (#41598905) Attached to: How To Add 5.5 Petabytes and Get Banned From Costco

... For instance, if Costco signs a contract for delivery of a million drives in Feburary, the factory floods in March, and Costco gets delivery in April, their drives are suddenly worth substantially more. They can either sell them at the previously intended prices, or they can raise prices to market value....

What about the flip where they sign a contract and the market price falls. They are now holding a loss. Who is going to cover that? I assume that the future contracts upside/downside cancel out. If they don't take the profit from the good market swings they can't cover the loss from the bad market swings.

Just sayin...

Comment: Re:Privacy issue in Europe (Score 1) 684

by rmelton (#40534449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Smart Meters Safe?

There have been reports that there is little security on such meters. You can purchase a $50 usb receiver that lets you listen in on the information
http://www.gridinsight.com/products/amrusb-1/

A paranoid individual might believe that "bad guys" use such devices to monitor neighborhoods for activity and know when to schedule the robbery.

In this case the "they" is some 3rd party that gains information neither you nor the electric utility intended.

Comment: reminds me of a short storry (Score 1) 370

by rmelton (#39210829) Attached to: Speech-Jamming Gun Silences From 30 Meters

reminds me of a short story.

A professor in a pub tells a story about a student that doesn't pay attention to details in class. This student builds a sound canceling box... He puts it in a concert hall on a performance night. The crowd erupts into applause and there is nothing but silence. The professor explains that the student forgot that energy could not be created or destroyed. The sound had to go somewhere. So this little box was not just canceling the sound, it was "absorbing" it. The box explodes...

Fiction of course but I remember really liking the stories because they always had some different perspective. I read the book years ago and can't remember the title or author?

Technology

Transparent Aluminum Is "New State of Matter" 406

Posted by timothy
from the baseball-bats-will-never-be-the-same dept.
Professor_Quail writes with this interesting excerpt: "Oxford scientists have created a transparent form of aluminum by bombarding the metal with the world's most powerful soft X-ray laser. 'Transparent aluminum' previously only existed in science fiction, featuring in the movie Star Trek IV, but the real material is an exotic new state of matter with implications for planetary science and nuclear fusion."

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley

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