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Comment: Re:But is it really emissions-free? (Score 1) 406

by starmonkey (#39579225) Attached to: Self-Sustaining Solar Reactor Creates Clean Hydrogen
One has to think in terms of the energy cycle. If the zinc takes less energy to mine than the energy obtainable from the hydrogen the contraption produces, then you could use hydrogen-powered machinery to mine it. Of course, it's not really sustainable if you have to mine zinc in order to get the hydrogen.

Comment: Re:Interesting for silent computing enthusiasts (Score 1) 182

by starmonkey (#38670986) Attached to: Intel-Powered Smartphones Arriving Soon
Thanks for the link. I was thinking of the Medfield SoC in the same context as the Raspberry Pi, which uses a Broadcom ARM SoC. That's my next computer. Silence is beautiful, especially the variety you get when there's a blackout. "Ahhh..." I also like that silent computers usually mean energy-efficient computers, and long-lasting computers with fewer moving parts. There's something aesthetically pleasing about that. I think all chipmakers are trying to reduce energy consumption, since this is a desirable feature for many markets they serve (server farms, laptops, smartphones/tablets). Blissful silence is a happy by-product.

Comment: How much energy in 87 tons of plutonium? (Score 2) 241

by starmonkey (#38296976) Attached to: GE To Turn World's Biggest Civilian Plutonium Stockpile Into Electricity
Does anyone have a rough idea of how much electricity could be produced by this type of reactor using the 87 tons plutonium stockpile? Please express in terms of % of annual electricity consumption by Britain, or another unit readable by laymen.
The Internet

+ - France to tax the internet to pay for music ->

Submitted by bs0d3
bs0d3 (2439278) writes "A new tax in France is aimed at ISPs. The new government tax on isps is to help pay for the CNM (Centre National de la Musique). Already in France there is a tax on tv, to pay for public access channels. It's similar to the tax in the United kingdom which pays for the BBC. This isp tax will be the musical equivalent to that. President Sarkozy comments, "Globalization is now, and the giants of the internet earn lot of money on the French market. Good for them, but they do not pay a penny in tax to France." This all began after the music industry accused French ISPs of making billions of dollars on their backs. Now the music industry must also get their hands in their pockets."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

+ - Fabric design included in book leads to lawsuit->

Submitted by innocent_white_lamb
innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Emily Cier writes books about making quilts. Manufacturers send her free samples of their fabrics in the hope that she will use their materials in her books. Now a fabric designer is threatening to sue her for "tens of thousands of dollars, plus lawyer fees, destroying all copies of the book, etc." for including a photo of a quilt made with their fabric design in one of her books. Amazing, considering that the fabric was provided to her by the manufacturer for, apparently, that exact purpose."
Link to Original Source

+ - EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian reports: "EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact."

In order to test EU laws requiring approval for claims that a product can reduce the risk of disease, two German professors, Dr. Andreas Hahn and Dr. Moritz Hagenmeyer applied for the right to state that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration” and prevent decreases in physical performance. The review took three years and required a meeting of 21 professors, who concluded: "reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control", according to the article. Any claims on water packaging in the EU that drinking water reduces the risk of dehydration could now result in serious legal troubles.

While this decision is receiving widespread scorn, Professor Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society actually defends it, saying that drinking water is unnecessary, that dehydration is actually caused by some unspecified "clinical condition" rather than a lack of fluids, and that the proposed claim would unreasonably imply some special capability of water to prevent dehydration."

Link to Original Source

+ - DOJ & FOIA: Here we go again->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The DOJ backed down last week from being allowed to lie about the existence of FOIA requested documents. It didn't end there. The new DOJ regulations permit ...

- Records to be disposed of as long as they haven't been affirmatively "identified as responsive."
- Requesters "must" address requests to the appropriate department.
- Insufficient requester detail becomes grounds for dismissing a request.
- News stories can no longer be used to justify the urgency of a request.
- Businesses are no longer required to affirmatively justify the withholding of trade secrets.
- Media requester status is bestowed based on the "intended use" and must be re-established for each request.

It's very difficult to interpret many of these changes as reflecting anything other than intending to empower obfuscation, and take the teeth out of FOIA. Beyond the concerns over lying about the existence of records, DOJ's proposed regulations cause doubt of their dedication to enforcing the law, and appear instead to be an attempt to undermine it."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I gave gifts like this once. Everyone hated the (Score 2) 377

by starmonkey (#38107576) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Useful Free Software For Gifts?

If you're trying to spread the news about Free Software, the only effective way to do it is to SHOW them. Most of the people whom I've converted to Linux did so after watching me use KDE (formerly) and Gnome (more recently). The multiple desktops are absolutely intriguing to a power user; it won't be long before he/she starts thinking, "hmmm ... I could use that." The fact that you're not playing "whack-a-mole" with a dozen pop ups each time you boot is impressive, too, as is the fact that, with a good distro, updates are centralized, controlled and politely done, with rarely a need to reboot.

This is exactly how I became interested in Linux. Then, I tried it, and none of my plug-and-play devices worked, and I was expected to write my own drivers or stop complaining, and I went back to Windows. Windows 7 is the best Windows so far. I am fully satisfied with it. I run Debian in VirtualBox as a coding environment.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries