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Comment Re:From this poll we can see (Score 1) 554

Unfortunately, I don't think most of /. thinks that this answer is silly. Given how invasive TSA screenings are becoming I will not fly unless I have to (too much distance between meetings to drive). I won't fly anymore for vacations, I will either take the extra time to drive or find destinations that are closer. TSA may not place a ban on passengers or luggage, but after people are sufficiently humiliated enough they will remove themselves.

I know that the poll asks what security measures TSA will adopt next, but this is the likely outcome of their security measures.

Comment Re:What could (Score 2, Interesting) 403

Part of the advantage of spraying the salt water into the air is that the salt acts as nucleation sites for raindrops to form. Thus you get cloud cover to block the incoming sun plus you decrease the energy needed to precipitate the water back out of the air. I am against climate engineering, but I think that this is one of the better climate engineering ideas proposed.
Technology

Iron Alloy Could Create Earthquake-Proof Buildings 107

separsons writes "Researchers at Japan's Tohoku University designed a new shape memory metal alloy. The super elastic iron alloy can endure serious stretching and still return to its original shape. The scientists say that once optimized, the material could be used in everything from braces to medical stents to earthquake-proof buildings!"
Earth

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."
Earth

Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn 819

Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants, reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their front yard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. 'We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future,' said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards to be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail, and pittosporum, among others. But according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. 'It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money,' says Quan Ha."
Earth

Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel 238

Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

Comment Re:I nominate... (Score 1) 492

This is exactly what I have been screaming for a while. I am so afraid that our zeal for the environment will completely destroy the economy. I am an environmentalist and am all for protecting the environment but if the economy collapses who is going to be able to afford all of this new green technology? It is sad that so many influential people are missing out on that point.

Comment Re:And will be unavailable anyplace else.... (Score 2, Insightful) 571

Just because it is the path that America went down doesn't mean that it is the best path for other nations to follow. We can now see the problems that have occurred because of our dependence on oil, both in terms of foreign wars and environmental impact. I think that the argument against giving them gas-powered cars is valid. With all of the environmental clean-up efforts going on that would be the complete opposite of helpful. However, that said, there are other technologies that would be useful to them. I think that India would be a perfect market for electric cars. Electric cars are not big in America because the average American's commute exceeds the range and speed requirements for the average electric car currently in production. However, in a country like India where most of the population hasn't had cars, electric cars could provide a good standard of living increase while still meeting all of their needs and not using more of the worlds oil and while not contributing to CO2 production.

Comment What would really be nice... (Score 1) 222

What would really be nice is more transparency in the bills that get passed. It seems to me that when legislation to set auto emission standards is over 600 pages long that there is a problem. The United states was founded on a constitution that was 4440 words and now we have a code of federal regulations that is over 75,000 pages (Christopher Lee, The Washington Post, July 8, 2003). I'm just saying it would be nice if the law were a little more succinct so that we could see the details of the laws getting passed.

Comment Re:A Well-Deserved Honor (Score 1) 937

Economically speaking, the world may be better off with Gore having lost. While I am well aware of the global climate changes happening, much of what is driving the climate change is also driving economies. Many politicians with environmental agendas are calling for pollution reductions that are beyond the limit of current technologies or beyond the financial limit of companies to implement in the given time. Many of the costs of compliance to new environmental regulations is being passed to the consumers. The question then becomes, how long can an economy support that kind of price inflation.

I will agree that we need to do whatever we can to reduce our emissions and to conserve our resources and limit how much we waste. However, is the collapse of world economies worth the strict policies that are trying to be implemented, especially when many of them have high costs for little environmental gain. I personally believe that if economies collapse then we will actually increase our emissions because no one can afford the new technologies.

The other cost that needs to be considered is long term costs to the environment. At first glance some of the new technologies seem to be the answer, but many of them are only delaying the problems. One example is solar power. It is great in the fact that there are no emissions that are caused by using a panel, but what about the disposal of all the panels when they start wearing out? What about the chemicals used to produce them? Then there is the issue of their efficiency. For the US to produce 20% of its power from solar panels it would require an area the size of the state of New Jersey filled with solar panels, that is just for 20%.

I agree that we need to do something about our emissions, but political leaders who have strong feelings about environmental issues but who lack the foresight to see potential problems should not be elected. They should continue to raise awareness though, as Mr. Gore has done.
Communications

Submission + - Verizon Vs. Vonage: Prior Art found in 12 YO post

kamikaze-Tech writes: A recent Vonage Forum Post locates a 12 year old comp.dcom.telecom newsgroup post that establishes new prior art in the Verizon Vs. Vonage patent case, years before Verizon filed for the patents. In the newsgroup post dated Sep 22 1995, author Jack Decker states: "I want to go on record as proposing this now so that when someone gets the bright idea in a few months or years, I can point to this as "prior art"...."

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