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Submission + - Ancient Roman Concrete Is About to Revolutionize Modern Architecture (businessweek.com) 1

schwit1 writes: After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever—Roman concrete—has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we build cities of the future.

Researchers have analyzed 11 harbors in the Mediterranean basin where, in many cases, 2,000-year-old (and sometimes older) headwaters constructed out of Roman concrete stand perfectly intact despite constant pounding by the sea. The most common blend of modern concrete, known as Portland cement, a formulation in use for nearly 200 years, can’t come close to matching that track record. In seawater, it has a service life of less than 50 years. After that, it begins to erode.

The secret to Roman concrete lies in its unique mineral formulation and production technique. As the researchers explain in a press release outlining their findings, “The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated—incorporating water molecules into its structure—and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.”

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dirty Old Man

This is actually a few years old but I've never posted it on the internet, but I did drunkenly sing it at a karaoke bar. One woman was laughing so hard she literally fell out of her chair, although I didn't think it was THAT funny. When I got off the stage I told the bartender "I want whatever she's having!"

I heard this song on the radio this morning and I said to myself, "those geezers are even older than me!" So I changed a few words...

Submission + - Prosecutors push for anti-phone theft measures (newsok.com)

EdPbllips writes: Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a "kill switch" that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers. Citing statistics showing that 1 in 3 robberies nationwide involve the theft of a mobile phone, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of a coalition of law enforcement agencies devoted to stamping out what he called an "epidemic" of smartphone robberies. "All too often, these robberies turn violent," said Schneiderman, who was joined at a news conference by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. "There are assaults. There are murders."

Submission + - Warner sued for massive copyfraud (techdirt.com)

Maximum Prophet writes: Warner/Chappell Music makes millions of dollars per year licensing the song "Happy Birthday to You", although it's obviously out of copyright. Now "Good Morning to You Productions", a documentary film company is suing to get them to return the millions of ill gotten gains. Good luck. All Warner has to do to keep their monopoly is to get Congress to extend copyright on music so they own HBTY in perpetuity.

Comment Re:NSA, are you supised we caught you? Really? (Score 1) 327

The recent Pew poll indicating a majority of Americans are okay with warrantless data aggregation is merely a sign of the times to come.

Not a majority of Americans, a majority of Americans who have landlines. Who still has a landline these days? The only ones I know are in their eighties. A telephone poll is hardly a representative sample of the American people.

Comment Re:They need a better PR firm. (Score 4, Insightful) 327

Too many Americans are too fucking stupid to give enough of a shit for these revelations to cause real change.

You have to remember, half the population have two digit IQs. And I haven't spoken to a single person IRL who isn't disgusted by what the NSA is doing. The only apologists I've seen are politicians, a few columnists, and anonymous people on the internet.

That said, there isn't a whole hell of a lot we can do but speak out loudly, especially to our elected "representatives".

Comment Re:Rant against the cloud on youtube? (Score 1) 549

He gave up a $200k job, a beautiful, talented girlfriend and all his possessions with nothing in return. The secrets he's revealing should never have been secret in the first place and brought government crimes against the constitution to light. The "putting lives in danger" is a baldfaced lie only a moron would believe.

As to freedom, what freedoms do we have that other civilized nations don't?

Submission + - UK government "muzzling" scientists (bbc.co.uk)

taikedz writes: Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre (SMC), has claimed that leading scientists independently advising the UK government are being actively prevented from speaking to the public and media, especially in times of crisis when scientific evidence is necessary for a fully open and educated public debate, such as the current badger culling policy, and the past volcanic eruptions and ash fallout and their effects. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), whom many of these scientists are advising, denies any such practices.

Submission + - Sharp develops the worlds most efficient solar cell

An anonymous reader writes: Sharp has achieved the world’s highest solar cell conversion efficiency of 44.4%, using a concentrator triple-junction compound solar cell. These solar cells are used in a lens-based concentrator system that focuses sunlight on the cells to generate electricity. Sharp’s concentrator triple-junction compound solar cells use a proprietary technology that enables the efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity by means of a stack of three photo-absorption layers, the bottommost of which is made from InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide).

Submission + - Congress Becomes Aware of Patent Trolls

phantomfive writes: Congressman Charles Schumer has written a piece decrying the evils of patent trolls. "Because of the high cost of patent litigation—the average litigation defense costs a small or midsize company $1.75 million—it is often marginally cheaper for a defendant to pay up front to make the case go away. The average settlement for the same group of companies is $1.33 million....Patent trolls cost U.S. companies $29 billion in 2011 alone."
His solution? Make it easier for low quality patents to be re-examined and rejected by the patent office.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Keith Richards is ten years older than me 1

I live in an house on the ninety-ninth street on my block
And I sit at home looking out the window
Imagining the world has stopped
Then in flies a guy whos all dressed up like a union jack
And says, Ive won five pounds if I have his kind of detergent pack

I said, hey! you! get off of my lawn
Hey! you! get off of my lawn
Hey! you! get off of my lawn
Don't hang around cause twos a crowd
On my lawn, baby

Comment Re:Privacy (Score 1) 549

4. When you do post, post as an Anonymous Coward, even if No Such Agency can find out who you are.

I'm not a coward, I'm shouting out loudly in my own name (yes, I'm McGrew). If I was a cowardly little pussy like you I wouldn't have joined the USAF and volunteered for South East Asia during Vietnam, where we were supposedly fighting the same bullshit our own government is now doing.

I now wish I hadn't, it was a fucking waste of time and effort considering how things have gone since 911. Oh, well, at least it made going to school easier, what with the GI Bill and Illinois paying my tuition. But that's not why I joined.

I sneer at you, wimp.

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