Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Not really. (Score 1) 225

Can they violate GPL for American written software?

As I understand it.

They can sell up to a limited dollar value of COPIES of a GPL-violating work in Antigua and you can't (effectively) sue them (outside of the US) for failing to distribute the source or linking GPL and non-GPL object code. The purchasers of those copies could resell them, too - as long as they didn't do so into the US (which will still be enforcing the copyright).

But additional copies, which were not sold through Antigua, are still unauthorized, both in the US and elsewhere, unless the terms of the GPL are met. So they can only sell a few before they hit the wall.

So I don't see the GPL being "broken" by this.

Comment Re:Old news (Score 3, Informative) 307

What would be even more convincing would be reversing the phase of one and summing them. ...

However, while the phasing effect from such a recording would pop out at you, if you have good stereoscopic hearing this is just as convincing: The instrumental is heard at the center, one lyric performance on the left, the other on the right. If the instrumentals were a cover rather than phase-identical they'd be heard as a "chorus" - unison performances - by two guitars, one on each side.

Comment Re:Old news (Score 1) 307

https://soundcloud.com/alacrion/joco-v-glee Here is a demonstration of the claim's truth.

Well done! Kudos to alacrion.

What would be even more convincing would be reversing the phase of one and summing them. If aligned and level-corrected perfectly the music would drop out. If not, it would do a "phaser" effect. That happens when the waveforms themselves align and add or cancel. You can't get it to happen with a cover, or even two performances by the same artist on the same acoustic instrument. It only happens if it's the same performance, and it's only exact if it's two copies of the same microphone outputs and mix.

Comment Uses cheap continuous roll manufacturing (Score 1) 177

The point of this one is that it's a new record for the (potentially) cheap, continuous, roll-to-roll manufacturing process.

A lot of stationary sites are more sensitive to $/installed-watt and $/(installed-watt * ammortized-lifetime). If a process is half as efficient as other alternatives but an eighth as expensive, and there's plenty of surface area to pave (like on a house roof).

What would make it BIG news is if the win is enough to jump it substantially beyond breakeven vs. grid power.

Comment Not all that fungible. (Score 1) 419

Most of us understand that energy us fungible and don't always make proper distinctions for pedantic pricks.

Except it's NOT. Transforming energy from one form to another involves losses - often very substantial losses. And that's the whole point of this thread.

For a number of reasons, non-electric vehicles are limited mainly to heat engines driven by fuels liquid at weather-range temperatures and with a number of other limiting characteristics. Converting, say, electricity to a suitable liquid fuel would lose most of its energy. Going from biomass to gasoline and diesel fuel substitutes (which can use the legacy infrastructure of vehicles and fuel distribution) can be very efficient - especially with this development in the path to a diesel fuel.

Comment Not whole energy budget, just stuff like vehicles. (Score 5, Interesting) 419

... article mentioned that if we took all the biomass from all of the farmland both producing and fallow and were able to convert it all directly to ethanol that it would STILL only account for 14% of the US energy budget.

(Ignoring for the moment whether the claim is accurate ...)

The idea is not to replace the whole energy needs of the country with biomass fuels. Smelting steel or refining aluminum with it, for instance, would be downright silly. Ditto running power plants: (Even if you wanted to use biomass there'd be no reason to waste part of its energy liquifying it - just burn it directly. But there are lots of cheaper alternatives.)

But there's a small-but-substantial fraction of the load for which liquid fuels is ideal: Vehicles. Liquid fuels provide enormous power-to-weight ratios, which is what you want there. Keeping a vehicle light pays dividends in fuel savings, as does providing energy using easy-to-handle liquid with high energy content.

The base process ferments cellulose into butanol, acetone, and ethanol. Even without this new post-processing hack, butanol is a drop-in replacement for gasoline, ethanol works in otto-cycle engines with a little tweaking and acetone with more tweaking. This new post-process turns the mix into something akin to fuel oil, which is a similar drop-in for diesel cycle engines. So it covers both major types of portable engines.

Even if you can't come up with enough fuel to run the whole economy, or even the whole transportation industry, from locally-grown biomass, there's a LOT of low-value byproducts grown in the process of growing crops. Turning it into high-value portable liquid fuel could make a substantial dent in oil requirements while improving the financial picture both for vehicle users and farmers.

Solar and wind aren't well suited for the enormous energy and energy-density needs of land vehicles (though we're getting closer with modern electric vehicles for limited ranges). But they can make a similar dent in the energy needs of stationary loads.

Comment THey're just trying to head off the gunnies. (Score 1) 337

The death star petition failed with the old threshold.

IMHO they're just trying to head off a slew of petitions as fallout from the recent gun restriction proposals.

The NRA, starting from 4 million members, added another quarter million new recruits in less than a month and is still expanding rapidly. Watch for the white house staffers to raise the threshold again. B-)

Comment Wild west would be far better. (Score 1) 1591

Your statement would lead one to believe that it was the wild west out here, when it isnt.

Which is a pity. Because the wild west would be far better than what we have now (radio, television, and movie portrayals nonwithstanding).

Heck: It had a lower per-capita rate of shootings and murders than cities like New York had back THEN.

Then you have the occasional thing like the gunfight at the OK Corral - which was a gang of corrupt cops executing some local businessmen. Look it up.

It's apropos to the current debate, too. The Earp Gang (also known as "The Pimp Gang") instituted gun control in Dodge City in order to make it easier to enforce their monopoly on prostitution and crooked gambling halls. (The concealed-carry shoulder holster was invented in response to them.) There are still descendants of the families in the area (including some of my in-laws) who occasionally find time to visit - and urinate on - Wyat's grave.

Comment They can't exist, interact, or aren't 3+1? (Score 1) 234

(3) although special relativity is consistent with the existence of faster-than-light particles (tachyons), it is not consistent with the existence of faster-than-light observers in a universe with 3 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension, a.k.a. 3+1 dimensions. Result #3 (no tachyonic observers in 3+1 dimensions) has been known for a long time, but it seems to keep getting rediscovered.

I'm curious (but can't deal with 30 pages of relativistic physics right now). Can you answer one summarizing question, please?

Is the conclusion that such observers can't exist because:
  1) tachyonic particles can't interact to form an observer,
  2) if they could form an observer, the space of the observer would have something other than a 3 + 1 dimensionality, or
  3) Such an observer couldn't interact with non-tachyonic matter in our 3+1 spacetime in a way that would qualify as "observing"?

Comment As was pointed out elsewhere in this article... (Score 1) 270

What makes little sense is the complaining about a shortage in hospitals, where a dose is less then an ounce, when oil drillers are pumping the stuff into the ground by the ton...daily...all over the world.

As was pointed out elsewhere in this article: The ores used for drilling mud (notably those from US sources) contain far too much hard-to-remove toxic impurities (notably barium-strontium-sulfate) for medical use. Also, chemical processes to refine out the toxic impurities create FAR MORE TOXIC compounds in the intermediate steps, which must in turn be very carefully and completely removed. (And one supplier went belly-up, and earned long prison terms for an exec and a chemist, after killing several patients by attempting to substitute poorly "purified" cheaper ore.)

While the good stuff from the Chinese ore was cheap and plentiful there's been no reason to try to substitute anything else.

Comment Re:Sorry, let me clarify (Score 1) 270

Medical-purity BaSO4 is likely to be a further cut above the lab-grade stuff you can buy from any number of common chemical suppliers - purifying it is trivial - they do it all the time to make the stuff in the first place.

Purifying it of hepatitis virus is NOT trivial (and I won't even go into what's necessary to denature prions).

Once it's been through the intestinal tract of one patient, making it pure enough to be inserted to another's is likely to be far more expensive than purifying something that came out of a mine.

Comment Iodine is now restricted by federal law. (Score 2) 270

Iodine is used in the illegal manufacture of Methamphetamine. As a resule, Iodine has recently been reclassified as a List I chemical under federal law. Those handling or selling iodine and its compounds must now go through a bunch of bureaucratic red tape with the DEA.

I found this out right after the Fukushima disaster (when I tried to find some potassium iodide supplement {or other potable iodine compound, such as water purification tablets or tincture of iodine} to take to bump my iodine level before the fallout arrived). Guess what: None to be found. Not just because it had been sold out by those who responded faster. But because most retailers (including large drug store chains and sporting goods stores) had stopped carrying it, rather than deal with the drug warriors.

I suspect that, even if some iodine compound is suitable for a gastrointestinal contrast medium, the drug industry has not been interested in developing it and seeking approval, at least until now. While barium was in cheap supply why should they spend money developing a replacement whose distribution would involve expensive federal red tape?

Comment Re:Nothing related to guns can be considered "smar (Score 3, Informative) 1388

Not owning a gun makes you safer .

Ah, the Lippmann study rears it's head.

Hint: There is one time that people in the gun culture believe it is not merely moral, but sometimes morally required, to lie. That is when someone asks you about whether you have/what guns you have, in an inappropriate context and/or when they're not entitled to the information. An example of such a context is when you're in a doctor's office or emergency room being treated for something NOT related to an injury resulting from your own firearm.

The right answer to such questions is "no", unless it's obvious (like from an accidental self-inflicted wound) the answer must be "yes" - but with details withheld.

Such reporting bias invalidates studies dependent on questioning the subjects. (And how else can you obtain the information?) Authors of similar studies in the past (notably Kellerman, author of the debunked study behind the "43 times more likely" meme) have actually repudiated and withdrawn their own work once things like this were pointed out.

Slashdot Top Deals

The person who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

Working...