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Comment Re:Or the other option is... they're just wrong (Score 2) 442

"2nd Thermo is a mathematical law"

It is a mathematical consequence of some models of the universe. Other models don't bring it as a consequence. Remember, we don't know how the universe behaves, we just have clues.

Sometimes I wonder if we are just like the people in Plato's Allegory of the Cave - staring at the wall, watching the shadows move and then try to come up with scientific explanations of the shadows' behaviour - without knowing what's really going on because there's so much that we can't see/measure yet.

Comment Re:As the French would say... (Score 2) 493

The first German hybrid plant started operating in Berlin last month. Surplus wind power is used to produce hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen will be used to produce heat and energy, but will also be sold at local gas stations for use in fuel cells. So Vattenfall, Deutsche Bahn and Total seem to think that it's indeed worth it.

And there are projects starting next year that will built plants to convert the hydrogen into methane.

Comment Re:idiots. (Score 1) 298

You don't need to get into the plants to cause serious damage to them. Just hi-jack a large plane and crash it into the plant. IIRC there were some studies a while back in Germany that showed that several of the country's nuclear plants were not built to withstand such forces. And it's not just the initial impact that causes damage, you have take into account the thousands of liters of burning fuel. And central Europe isn't that big, so there are many airports less than a few minutes of flight away from nuclear plants.

Submission + - Hackers break SSL encryption (theregister.co.uk) 1

CaVp writes: The Register has it: Researchers have discovered a serious weakness in virtually all websites protected by the secure sockets layer protocol that allows attackers to silently decrypt data that's passing between a webserver and an end-user browser.

Submission + - Gamers succeed where scientists fail (scienceblog.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules. After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players. The scientists challenged the gamers to produce an accurate model of the enzyme. They did it in only three weeks.
NASA

Submission + - Stunning time lapse of the Earth from the ISS (youtube.com)

The Bad Astronomer writes: "Science educator James Drake took 600 still photos from the International Space Station as it orbited the Earth, and created a fantastic time-lapse animation out of them. It must be seen to be appreciated; storms and cities fly past below in amazing clarity. I found this via Universe Today and added some commentary on my blog as well."

Submission + - Siemens To Exit Nuclear Power Business (thelocal.de)

jones_supa writes: German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, the group's CEO Peter Löscher told the weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published on Sunday. The group's decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects "the very clear stance taken by Germany's society and political leadership." Along abandoning nuclear power, Germany wants to boost the share of the country's power needs generated by renewable energies to 35% by 2020 from 17% at present.

Comment Re:Dissapointing (Score 0) 179

Not really. Shooting raw materials 350 Km up into orbit is a bit easier than travelling a few hundred million km into the void, cruising around in the asteroid belt looking for those materials (remember, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately three thousand, seven hundred and twenty to one!) and then returning into earth orbit.

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