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Submission + - Weird NASA research might relate to Boeing battery problem (gizmag.com)

Yoik writes: NASA is now doing research on a reviewed paper related to the old "cold fusion" experiments. The video in the link shows a few flashes of the paper by Widom and Larsen which include a possible hint about Boeing's problem.

To oversimplify, the paper suggests that protons from H2 absorb an electron to make a slow neutron that can fuse with a nearby nucleus and release energy. The first step is the complicated one — conditions to make it happen are poorly understood.

Included in the flash of the paper is mention of Lithium as the neutron target. Now lithium nuclei have a very high energy reaction with neutrons, and it could be that Boeing had the bad luck to get those conditions just right.

It would be easy to test by running some material through a mass spec looking for Li4.

Science

Submission + - Flies Get Drunk in Order to Survive (arstechnica.com)

Copper Nikus writes: In yet another fascinating example of insects being smarter than we give them credit for, this arstechnica article describes how fruit flies are able to fight back against deadly wasps by using alcohol. From the article:

A study in today's issue of Science suggests fruit flies are capable of medicating not only themselves but their offspring as well. And their medication of choice? Alcohol. The threat for these flies is any of a number of small, parasitic wasps. These wasps lay eggs on the larva or pupa of the flies, and their offspring feed on the animal internally, often killing them in the process. (Flies have larval stages, during which we call them maggots, and pupate just as butterflies do before emerging in their adult form.) Once infected, there isn't much one of the larva can do to get rid of the parasite. Its one option: booze. Fruit flies, as their name implies, like to dine on fruit, especially during the larval stages. In many cases, that involves ingesting the alcohol that's produced by natural fermentation of rotting fruit (this can approach 20 percent alcohol content). Some species of flies have developed the ability to tolerate this alcohol as they chew through the fruit as maggots. But for most of the wasp species, even moderate levels of alcohol are toxic.

Education

Submission + - Wikipedia founder Q & A

MattSparkes writes: "Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder, answered readers questions in this New Scientist interview.

Q: 'Wikipedia is such a huge source of information and many articles are open to vandalism and abuse, therefore they can display people's racial or cultural beliefs. Is it hard to keep this offensive material under control?'

A: 'No, it is pretty easy.'"
Announcements

Submission + - New footage of JFK, just before assassination

dave-tx writes: "Who knows why things like this take so long to surface, but conspiracy theorists — Start Your Engines! New footage from just before Kennedy's Assassination has surfaced.

FTA: "The silent color film shows a glimpse of JFK and wife Jackie about 90 seconds before the assassination. They're a few blocks from Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy would be shot.""
Data Storage

Submission + - hard drives that are used often, last longer?

tora201 writes: The BBC reports that Google engineers have surprisingly discovered that the impact of heavy use and high temperatures on hard disk drive failure may be overstated. From the article: "Google employs its own file system to organise the storage of data, using inexpensive commercially available hard drives rather than bespoke systems. Hard drives less than three years old and used a lot are less likely to fail than similarly aged hard drives that are used infrequently, according to the report."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Earn Your "BS" in Corporate Communications

An anonymous reader writes: An anonymous reader writes

Most anyone working in the corporate world has heard of "buzzword" bingo. This is a game played most often alone in one's head while listening to mid-level management types discussing topics about which they have little actual understanding. In his latest article, Watching The Herd unlocks the secret of why those who master the craft of modern corporate doublespeak are those most likely to be promoted to ever-higher levels of incompetence.
Media (Apple)

Submission + - 64-bit Vista is hard to get

daria42 writes: For some crazy reason, Microsoft makes you firstly buy the 32-bit version of Vista, then order a CD of the equivalent 64-bit version online. The issue has started to grate on some users. "Imagine going into a shop and buying a music CD only to get it home and open it up and find a bit of paper inside telling you to go online to pay to have the actual CD mailed out to you at an additional cost," wrote one.
Books

Submission + - Fantasy novel serialized on web

Jon Lundy writes: Lawrence Watt Evans has been serializing novels using a donation strategy. His traditional publishers found weren't interested in the series, but his fans were. His second novel is almost done at http://www.ethshar.com/thevondishambassador0.html.

This seems to be an interesting alternative to the current publishing mechanisms, where the readers and writer can use the internet directly to get a book published, that the traditional publishing house wasn't interested in.
The Internet

Submission + - Wikipedia Deletion of Webcomics

clockinreverse writes: "The creator of the webcomic Starslip Crisis recently tried to prove that the editors of Wikipedia were biased agianst webcomics by attempting to delete his own strip. In doing so he discovered that the editors were striking votes of people who were cheating by using multiple accounts and voting "keep", but were not striking the votes of his own multiple accounts that were voting to delete."
Communications

Submission + - Outsourced call centre jobs returning to UK

fiannaFailMan writes: The BBC is reporting that more UK companies are reversing the call-centre outsourcing trend.

"Hello, it's my car." ''Your cat, sir?." "No, my hatchback." "Your bad back, sir?" "No my car, it's a hatchback." "Your cat has a bad back, sir?" "Arghhhhhh!" ...Just 4% of people have had a good experience when dealing with a call centre, according to a recent survey by YouGov. Over half of those asked said their biggest gripe was having to contact call centres outside the UK and more than a third admitted to shouting and swearing at agents because they got so frustrated.
The Internet

Submission + - What Do Geeks Want Out Of Social Networking?

Praedon writes: "I run a Social Networking site called Geekalize, which is geared toward gamers, programmers, IT, etc. My goal here, is to bring a GOOD name to social networking and raise the bar, where there are such low standards elsewhere at other sites. I have focused on integration using YouTube API, I have spent countless hours browsing the web for new and unique things, but creativity can only go so far.

So I am calling on you, Slashdot, to speak your mind about social networking for geeks (and nerds!), and to give all the constructive feedback that you possibly can on what the standards should REALLY be for a social networking site 100% driven by the members."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Regrowing lost body parts coming in the future

[TheBORG] writes: "There are two stories on Yahoo! News about regrowing lost body parts. One is about regrowing lost fingers & limbs and the other one is about regrowing teeth. The story about regrowing lost fingers and limbs talks about the experimental use of powdered pig bladder to regrow fingers and eventually lost limbs for soldiers and others in need from information that Pentagon-funded scientists hopefully learn from studying the salamander. The story about regrowing teeth talks about how Japanese scientists used primitive cells (not quite as early as stem cells) and injected them into a framework of collagen (the material that holds the body together). Once grown to a certain point, scientists implanted the growths into mice where the teeth developed normally."

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