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Submission + - Fusion power in four years? (

50000BTU_barbecue writes: A few years ago I researched fusion as a practical energy source in the foreseeable future for a school paper. I thought I had been quite thorough in finding and describing all the contenders starting with the usual suspects like Tokamaks and Polywell, etc. My conclusion, based on my skepticism was that, at best, real practical fusion energy was half a century away and would likely be just another energy source and not a panacea. Things like peak helium and the need for superconducting magnets really stood out as a problem. Somehow, the folks at General Fusion escaped my attention at the time.

They are proposing a "solid based" system of fusion using a large spherical reaction chamber filled with molten lead and lithium and then using acoustic shock waves to compress the core where all the good stuff will happen. I'm looking for insights and comments from /.ers in the know about the project. Is this viable? Can it produce power? If so, this is a huge deal.

Comment Re:Sunday, of course (Score 5, Informative) 510

If you read in Romans, Paul strongly advocates against this kind of thinking. The Law (10 Commandments) are provided to point out what is right and wrong. The new covenant with Christians is that God's laws will be written in our hearts and minds, not on stone (Hebrews 8:10). The laws themselves haven't changed.

Keep reading through Acts and other books of the New Testament and you will see the early church still keeping the Saturday Sabbath. It wasn't until hundreds of years after Christ that the church decided to make Sunday the "official" day of rest (Sabbath in Christianity, Wikipedia).

What can be confusing is separating the 10 Commandments, the unchangeable law of God, with the rest of the ceremonial laws described by Moses. It is the ceremonial law (sacrifices, rituals for cleaning, etc.) that were no longer necessary, because they contained symbols that pointed forward to the Messiah. Once He arrived, they were no longer necessary. Note, however, that Jesus never said to get rid of the 10 Commandments while He was on earth. In fact, He kept them all Himself.

Think of it this way: if these no longer applied, then stealing and killing are OK, and so is lying and dishonouring your parents. Idolatry and having gods other than God would also be acceptable. This is exactly the opposite of what God wanted.


Submission + - Nasa warns of potential 'huge space storm' in 2013 (

Low Ranked Craig writes: Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013. In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken. Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs. “We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” said Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa's Heliophysics division. "I believe we're on the threshold of a new era in which space weather can be as influential in our daily lives as ordinary terrestrial weather." Fisher concludes. "We take this very seriously indeed."

Submission + - FAA under pressure to open US skies to drones (

An anonymous reader writes: "Unmanned aircraft have proved their usefulness and reliability in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the pressure's on to allow them in the skies over the United States."

The article describes some logistic issues of UAVs sharing the air with manned craft, from aircraft to hot-air balloons. Conspicuously absent is any mention of the danger to personal privacy and civil liberties such wide-spread use of automated surveillance would bring.

Submission + - Humans too simple to understand universe ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A top British scientist says we may never know all the secrets of the universe because, quite simply, we're just not smart enough.

"Just as Einstein's ideas would baffle a chimpanzee," said President of the Royal Society Lord Martin Rees, gaining a full understanding of how the universe works might not be possible "simply because they're beyond human brains."


Submission + - Mars may have been 1/3 ocean? (

coondoggie writes: It’s possible that a huge ocean covered one-third of the surface of Mars some 3.5 billion years ago, a finding likely to reignite an old argument about that amount of water on the red planet, according to a new report. The study by the University of Colorado at Boulder is the first to integrate multiple data sets of river deltas, valley networks and topography from a cadre of NASA and European Space Agency orbiting missions of Mars dating back to 2001, the researchers claim.

Submission + - Monster Robot Chess Set Made from 100,000 LEGOS (

greenrainbow writes: A team of four LEGO enthusiasts just put the finishing touches on their Monster Chess set. It took them an entire year to build this life sized robotic set. Made from 100,000 LEGO blocks it spans 156 square feet and has pieces that move on their own. It can be played by two people, by two computers or by a person versus a computer. It is also programmed to reenact historical chess matches. The set is pretty impressive in action and you can watch a video of it at this link!

Comment Not really 120 Million Miles (Score 1) 125

It was falling most of the time. It's like me pushing a car over the edge of the Grand Canyon and claiming that the extra kilometer is wear on the vehicle. Considering the peak for low earth orbit is around 350 km, so actual travel done by the shuttle would be about 700 km per trip. At roughly one launch per year, that's still less than 20,000 km. I drive more than that in a year.

Comment Re:Two Satans (Score 5, Funny) 248

Can you convert that into a more familiar unit, like Library of Congresses?

You know the Library of Congresses is a pretty reliable machine. Does anybody know what its downtime is?

The downtime for the Library of Congress is 4:30 pm - 8:30 am, Monday - Friday, and all day Sunday. That translates into an uptime of about 28.6%. If you take the Secret Service 68% as uptime, then it would be 2.4 Library of Congresses.

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