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Comment problem solved long ago, environmentally approved (Score 2, Informative) 128

I thought this was a solved problem: http://www.coppercoat.com/. Britain's biggest sailing magazine (and many others) has good results with it:

In the December 2007 edition of Practical Boat Owner, the editor Sarah Norbury extolls the virtues of Coppercoat after a 14-year test on her family boat, a Starlight 39. She writes: "Our experience with Coppercoat has been fantastic. In all the 14 years we've never had a barnacle, seaweed, nothing.... The original claim for our Coppercoat was that it would last 10 years and many people were sceptical. Our test proves the doubters wrong."

I guess good news travels slowly. ;-)

Image

Girls Wired To Fear Dangerous Animals 224

Foot-in-Mouth writes "New Scientist reports that girls are more "primed" to fear spiders and snakes, compared to boys. Infant boys and girls were shown pairs of images, a fearful and a happy object (such as a spider and a flower), measuring the boys' and girls' dwell times on the images. And in another similar test, normally happy objects (such as a flower) were given a fearful face and fearful objects were given a happy face. The results of these two tests suggested to the researcher that girls are not wired to fear spiders, for example, but rather girls are wired to more quickly learn to fear dangerous animals. The researcher, David Rakison at CMU, 'attributes the difference to behavioural differences between men and women among our hunter-gatherer ancestors. An aversion to spiders may help women avoid dangerous animals, but in men evolution seems to have favoured more risk-taking behaviour for successful hunting.' This reminds one of men's obsession with video games. Will game designers use this information to tweak video games for gender, either to make the games more or less frightening?"
Announcements

Submission + - Fifth fundamental force of nature: antigravity? (blacklightpower.com) 5

GPS Pilot writes: Dr. Randell Mills has just posted a paper in which 'We report the experimental confirmation of 15 predicted hyperbolic-electron states that are observed forced away from the Earth with an acceleration that is over twelve orders of magnitude greater than that of gravity, as predicted.'

In other words, a fifth fundamental force of nature, which amounts to a very powerful form of antigravity.

He performed the experiment with an off-the-shelf electron gun.

Power

Submission + - Saving Energy With 100 Ideas (hexus.net)

unts writes: The UK's Centre for Sustainable Energy has a demonstration house showing how people can save energy without affecting the way they live — even making life easier. HEXUS paid the 100 Ideas House a visit on its tour of Bristol to see if the ideas are geek compatible:

Less junk mail will make everyone happy, while auto power-off sockets appeal to our lazy side, and a flow restricting tap nozzle can save on both water and gas bills.

Let it be known, nerds, that not only is the energy efficient home compatible with a digital lifestyle — it embraces it, using technology to help world and wallet.

Power

Submission + - Hydrogen Power: Out of the Frying Pan... (newscientist.com) 3

macduffman writes: In the last several years, we've been hearing a lot about the possibilities of extracting hydrogen from water (article is a several-paragraph preview for non-subscribers) as a source of alternative power.

But while water covers the planet, isn't it truly just another finite resource? Is this honestly a safe mass alternative to current forms of power? Can anyone guide us here?

On the bright side, perhaps we could stave off the (scientifically possible if not a fact of life) rising oceans from global warming with this technology...

Power

Submission + - Water as a fuel source? 4

WallaceAndGromit writes: Watching the news today, I saw a report about a cancer researcher who has discovered a way to burn salt water while exposing it to radio waves. To quote from a news release here http://www.yorkdispatch.com/pennsylvania/ci_6851885, "John Kanzius happened upon the discovery accidentally when he tried to desalinate seawater with a radio-frequency generator he developed to treat cancer. He discovered that as long as the salt water was exposed to the radio frequencies, it would burn." There is a video on YouTube that illustrates the phenomena here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGg0ATfoBgo and is quite impressive. As stated in the York Dispatch article, "The scientists want to find out whether the energy output from the burning hydrogen — which reached a heat of more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit — would be enough to power a car or other heavy machinery." Could this be real? Wouldn't that be great if it was. Imagine, run your Prius on H2O, and really stick it to the man.
Power

Submission + - Batteries as we know them soon to be obsolete (wired.com)

jcjewell writes: "Are electrochemical batteries soon to be a thing of the past? This company, understandably being pooh poohed about its claims to have technology to produce an electric car battery that can charge in minutes, rather than hours, has the backing of some prominent venture capitalists — ones who funded companies like Google, in their early years: http://news.wired.com/dynamic/stories/N/NO_MORE_BA TTERIES?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT"
United States

Submission + - Boeing virtual fence: $30 billion failure (zdnet.com)

He who cares writes: The Department of Homeland Security "virtual fence" project, being built by Boeing, is in big, big trouble. The virtual fence is a high-tech network of cameras, lighting, sensors, and technology designed to intercept illegal border crossings.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The government's plans for monitoring as much as 6,000 miles of the Canadian and Mexican borders hinge on towers such as these working properly. If they prove ineffective, officials could be forced to spend billions of dollars for more traditional security measures, such as fences and more officers. The Homeland Security Department currently estimates that the virtual fence will cost about $8 billion through 2013, although the agency's inspector general wrote last November that the cost could balloon to $30 billion.

From Nation Institute:

At Congressional hearings, Boeing vice president and SBInet program manager, Jerry McElwee, took heat from Congressman William Lacy Clay who demanded information about the ballooning costs and the extension of the contract period. "You bid on these contracts and then you come back and say, 'Oh we need more time. It costs more than twice as much.' Are you gaming the taxpayers here? Or gaming DHS?" the Missouri Democrat asked.

This failure has the potential to eventually rival the UK National Health Service disaster, known affectionately as the "greatest IT disaster in history." It also brings back memories of the Airbus failure, in which multiple project segments failed to work when brought together as a finished unit. The level of planning and coordination required to complete a project like this on time and budget almost defies human capability. Why don't they break it down into smaller, simpler components, increasing the likelihood the thing can actually be built?

Power

Submission + - Navy to continue funding of Polywell fusion (talk-polywell.org)

BCGlorfindel writes: "On the 21st of August the Navy signed the release of the remainder of Dr. Bussard's funding for research into his Polywell device. Details emerging via an email to Tom Ligon here. Tom Ligon worked on the project with Bussard a few years before the funding was cut. Many will remember the google talk he gave shortly after analyzing their last test results before they had to shut down. I've been following this for awhile now, this should be great news for everyone. If Bussard reproduces the results of his last test it'd top the expectations from the $12B ITER project."
Programming

Submission + - New software development website with API (inf.ethz.ch)

Till Bay writes: "We at ETH Zurich have built a Sourceforge-like software development website that has an XML-RPC API. It is open source, but you can host both open and closed source projects for free.
  • Wiki pages with WikiMedia Syntax (public and private pages)
  • Subversion repository with UI
  • Issue tracking
  • Blog, forum, comments, screenshots
  • Simple user management
  • Release management and mirroring
  • XML-RPC API for integrating the platform into other applications
  • Plug-Ins for Eclipse, Visual Studio and EiffelStudio, allowing interaction with the plattform directly from within the IDE
  • free hosting of open- and closed-source projects
Create a user and register projects here: http://origo.ethz.ch/"

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