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Controlled Quantum Levitation Used To Build Wipeout Track Screenshot-sm 162

First time accepted submitter gentryx writes "Researchers at the Japan Institute of Science and Technology have build a miniature Wipeout track (YouTube video) using high temperature superconductors and quantum levitation. Right now this is fundamental research, but in the future large scale transportation systems could be built with technology akin to this. I have a different vision: let Nintendo sell this as an accessory for the Wii U. I'd buy several of these tracks, let the gliders race through the whole house and track them on our TV!" Update: 01/05 22:08 GMT by S : As many readers have pointed out, this is CGI.

Comment Re:And money changes hands... (Score 1) 373

I'd heat water with it but have yet to find an effective and efficient means to do so with wood or paper.

Back when we had an electric hot water heater we just built a metal reservoir into our wood stove and plumbed it into line with the cold water feed to the heater. The heater still functioned normally, but whenever we were heating with wood the input water was already at temperature and the tank would only have to maintain (or slightly heat) the input water.

Its a start, and not hard to hack into your existing setup. What we had was pretty simple, but knocked a huge chunk from the electricity used by the heater. I don't think you'll find a good way to use paper/wood as the primary source of heat, but as a secondary that does most of the lifting you'll find a lot of options.

Comment Re:Go away, you're not 21 (Score 1) 839

Why is it always sports fans that get special attention? What if I want to watch a live concert, lecture, or other non-sporting event?

You're not as reliable of a repeat customer, and you probably aren't willing to pay out the nose for content like sports fans are.

Comment Re:Retrospective Searches (Score 3, Insightful) 164

I've assumed that the US government has been intercepting all our communications since they first had the technical ability.

I look at this the same way I might view a person who said to me "I've always assumed that an invisible Bigfoot watches me whenever I masturbate".

Given the US government has given themselves the ability to perform wholesale monitoring of communications (Room 641A is the easiest proof to point to), we must also posit that there is an invisible Bigfoot, and that he frequently watches people masturbate.

Comment Re:This is madness (Score 2) 1167

No, its just interesting. The fact it isn't a rounder number makes it a curiosity of how they arrived at $27.63 exactly. Why not $27.50, or $27 or $28. What difference do those few cents in compensation make in the mind of the bill authors? Is it just the hourly wage of someone making $X a year where X is actually a round number? Was it chosen because of its point on the distribution curve of typical IT worker compensation? Did the sponsors of the bill sit late into the night, debating adding and removing provisions of the bill along with cents to and from the hourly rate cited? Does whoever paid congress for the bill pay their IT folk $27.64/hr?

Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 349

should be demanding better, but then they go and try propping up something like the Simpsons for a couple decades because it's a safe bet for viewer share.

Y'know, I think that if The Simpsons was the worst kind of programming we had to deal with, I'd call it a victory. Sure they've lost their charm for a lot of people, but even if their comedic voice has changed it still is a decent show with amazing production value.

Comment Re:AT&T stock (Score 5, Interesting) 215

The FCC's directive is not to ensure the value of your stock. The FCC asked AT&T why the merger was good for consumers and AT&T wasn't able to provide a reasonable one.

As someone who recently came of voting age, its kind of jarring to see our government function like this. I'm used to seeing the public interest railroaded to benefit a corporate interest, a corporate interest railroaded to benefit a different corporate interest, but I've never seen the public interest held above a corporate interest like this. Hell, they didn't even decide anything and I'm excited to see this, I know they would be able to jam up the merger eventually, but right now they've just presenting findings.

Is this what democracy is supposed to look like? I fucking love it. Shit, even if government decisions continue to be against the public interest, I'd be psyched if they just had the balls to admit it with reports like this. That would be a huge step forward from the bullshit "someone is making money, therefore its good, fuck off" level of analysis I'm used to seeing.

Comment Re:Tip of the iceberg (Score 1) 187

So you think assert() is a substitute for proper exception handling? Really?

In this case specific case, sure, why the hell not? Its DNS, and you've found that you're in an impossible state. What else are you supposed to do? Even if the process hasn't been compromised, by the nature of the assert you've failed and don't know how to recover. Do you want to keep on serving DNS, assuming the process is in a state where it is fine to keep on trucking? Or maybe enter a do-nothing failure mode, which is just as useful as going down hard, but with the added bonus that the process is experiencing unknown problems and you want to rely on it to contain itself properly.

And I didn't say it was a substitute for proper exception handling, just that you're going to let exceptions you haven't prepared for to bring the process down, rather than blindly swallowing them. Or do you think this is good code:

try:
        foo()
except Exception, e:
      pass # EVERYTHINGS FINE, GO BACK TO WORK!
bar()

Comment Re:Tip of the iceberg (Score 1) 187

The assertion is a problem.

Deployed code with asserts in it is crap, and would violate any contract I've worked to since 1995.

At least this was just teh interwebs that it broke. If it had been safety-related, someone would be ducking under their desk trying to call their lawyer.

So your code, that you make sound more important and/or safety related than DNS, doesn't have any failsafes? Really?

Comment Re:A confusing summary on /., let me try to do bet (Score 5, Interesting) 187

Thanks for the clear explanation.

If you run BIND, rather than getting your alerts via /. look into a support contract so you get them directly from the vendor.

Very true. Its funny, that this morning I had applied security patches to a debian stable box and thought "hmm, looks like BIND is getting fixed, wonder what thats about" before this even got posted to slashdot.

Comment Re:"Smart" phones are a dumb buy. (Score 1) 447

has NO leg to stand on.

YEAH! You're so right, just because privacy implications of using service X are well understood means you have NO excuse not to understand the privacy implications of Y. Even if X makes it clear by the inherent nature of X, and Y hides it from the user as much as possible, there is exactly no difference.

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