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Comment Sure they are more expensive than silver, but... (Score 1)549

Have you ever tried surfing the web with an ingot of silver? Besides whenever I look at photos on my silver tablet, they always seem to look like me! Seriously, this is a silly comparison. I also love the comment about how businesses will never invest in tablets because they are too expensive. My experience is that businesses will invest in whatever computing device will help them do business especially. I see plenty people who travel with tablets because they are easier to carry around than a laptop.

Selling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices557

Csiko writes "The European Union has banned by law trading of incandescent light bulbs due to their bad efficiency/ecology (most of the energy is transformed into heat). A company is now trying to bypass this restriction by offering their incandescent light bulb products as a heating device (article in German) instead of a light device. Still, their 'heat balls' give light as well as heating. So — every law can be bypassed if you have some creativity!"

Comment Re:Five years!? (Score 1)762

A better way of thinking of it is to compute the break-even time. Consider the Prius vs. Matrix comparison in the study. Even if you accept the 20,000km (12,000 mi) assumption and and the 1.17\$/liter gas price, the difference in fuel cost accumulates year over year. According to the EPA, the Matrix has an average efficiency of roughly 30mpg (12.75km/liter) whereas the Prius is around 50mpg (20.28km/liter). Using the numbers in the study the Matrix annual fuel cost is 1.17 \$/liter * 20,000 km / (12.75 km/liter) = \$1835. The same calculation for the Prius gives \$1154. This is a difference of \$681. According to the study the 5 year difference in cost was only \$1718. Therefore based only on the gas cost break even would be another 1718\$/ 681\$/year = 2.5 years.

In other words the break even time, using the numbers in the comparison, is roughly 7.5 years. The break even time drops considerably if you drive more than 20,000km per year. Add to this that the Prius is a much nicer car than the Matrix and you get the conclusion that if you keep your cars for a reasonably period of time, the Prius is MORE economical, and a better value.

Comment Re:Not until Scotty can beam me up (Score 1)233

> The awful bit was that he got delayed coming back, wasn't sure how far it was, went to the limit of his air, turned the little knob that gives you the last five minutes, and used that time scratching out a goodbye to his family on the air tank. I find the scenario as you describe really hard to believe. What you describe is called "J Valve" tank, which had a spring valve that would artificially stop the air flow at around 500psi. The idea was that you would use the tank until it got hard to breathe, then pull a lever that would let you use the last 500psi. It was a great idea in the early days before people started using pressure gauges. J-Valve tanks have been obsolete for years! I agree that cave diving is extremely dangerous, but no one in his right mind would do it with vintage gear. Unless, by a "few years" you mean 30 or so.

Comment Re:3D by Cameron? (Score 4, Interesting)233

Deep diving is extremely dangerous and requires exotic blends of gases that vary with depth range. The deepest ocean dive that has ever been recorded was in 1988 to a depth of 534 meters. It was done in the Mediterranean by a team of divers from COMEX using a mixture of Hydrogen, Helium, and Oxygen. The gas mixture must balance the physiological effects of each gas component in terms of narcosis and metabolic needs. All gases, even "inert" ones have effects on the nervous system. The physical nature of these effects is largely unknown, but they likely stem from the differing solubility of each component in various parts of the body. There is some literature that makes the case that the narcotic effect of a gas depends on its lipid solubility with the suspected mechanism being that the dissolved gas molecules lodge in cell membranes and change their physical properties affecting neuro-transmission. The deepest "chamber dive" was to 701 meters which took 43 days to perform the decompression. You get more into at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturation_diving and http://www.techdiver.ws/exotic_gases.shtml It is possible (likely?) that these records have been surpassed by the military, but as far as we know it is physically impossible for a diver to survive at the depth of Deepwater Horizon rig, let alone do useful work.

Comment Teaching to the test (Score 1)571

I have always wondered why people deride "teaching to the test". The real question should be how to structure the tests so that they measure what we want them to. Perhaps we should be teaching to Torrance's test?

Comment It is hard to prove that any work failed but... (Score 1)1115

it is clear who has really benefited: Lawyers. Seriously, the piracy industry keeps a large number of lawyers well fed, both prosecuting and defending.

Comment Re:Honey, I'll be late coming home! (Score 1)261

When this system crashes... it REALLY crashes. Having a network control your accelerator and braking: what could possibly go wrong?

New Evidence Presented For Ancient Fossils In Mars Rocks91

azoblue passes along a story in the Washington Post, which begins: "NASA's Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars. In addition to presenting research that they said disproved some of their critics, the scientists reported that additional Martian meteorites appear to house distinct and identifiable microbial fossils that point even more strongly to the existence of life. 'We feel more confident than ever that Mars probably once was, and maybe still is, home to life,' team leader David McKay said at a NASA-sponsored conference on astrobiology."

WD, Intel, Corsair, Kingston, Plextor SSDs Collide56

J. Dzhugashvili writes "New SSDs just keep coming out from all corners of the market, and keeping track of all of them isn't the easiest job in the world. Good thing SSD roundups pop up every once in a while. This time, Western Digital's recently launched SiliconEdge Blue solid-state drive has been compared against new entrants from Corsair, Kingston, and Plextor. The newcomers faced off against not just each other, but also Intel's famous X25-M G2, WD's new VelociRaptor VR200M mechanical hard drive, and a plain-old WD Caviar Black 2TB thrown in for good measure. Who came out on top? Priced at about the same level, the WD and Plextor drives each seem to have deal-breaking performance weaknesses. The Kingston drive is more affordable than the rest, but it yielded poor IOMeter results. In the end, the winner appeared to be Corsair's Nova V128, which had similar all-around performance as Intel's 160GB X25-M G2 but with a slightly lower capacity and a more attractive price." Thanks to that summary, you might not need to wade through all 10 of the pages into which the linked article's been split.

Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality380

the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered219

anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"

Simulation of Close Asteroid Fly-By148

c0mpliant writes "NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have released a simulation of the path of an asteroid, named Apophis, that will come very close to Earth in 2029 — the closest predicted approach since humans have monitored for such heavenly bodies. The asteroid caused a bit of a scare when astronomers first announced that it would enter Earth's neighborhood some time in the future. However, since that announcement in 2004, more recent calculations have put the odds of collision at 1 in 250,000."

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