Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Will it work? (Score 2) 141

I am a chemical engineer by education, if not by practice. There are several reasons why catalysts are degraded despite not being consumed in reaction.

The issue is that catalysts are typically formed into fine, spherical pellets to maximize the surface area of catalytic material exposed. This is because catalytic reactions are characterized by an intermediate reaction between the reactants and active sites on the catalyst. As a result of their being made into pellets, a variety of things can occur that reduce the active surface area. As a result of temperature and pressure, the pellets may adhere to form larger particles, which will hence have lower surface area. Additionally, chemical entities present in the reactor may physically adhere to the pellets creating a diffusive barrier to the catalyst. The catalyst can probably be recycled after its effective lifetime, but the cost is certainly not zero (probably similar to production costs in ore refining).

Additionally, although catalysts are not consumed <b>in the reaction they catalyze</b>, they may take part in reactions other than the one of interest. In this way, catalytic material may degrade over time, although platinum is fairly inert.

Submission + - Europe Accuses Google Of Monopoly Abuse (

bonch writes: European antitrust regulators are set to issue a 400-page statement of objections accusing Google of 'abuse of dominance' next month, the result of an investigation launched last year after complaints from rivals that Google manipulated ad pricing and barred advertisers from running ads on rival sites. If found guilty, Google could be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover, which is about $3 billion. Microsoft avoided a similar fine when it settled its European antitrust case and included a 'browser ballot' in Windows.

Submission + - Interpreting The Constitution In The Digital Era (

oik writes: NPR's Fresh Air this week had an interesting interview with Jeffrey Rosen, one of the authors of Constitution 3.0 which addresses a number of issues to do with interpreting the US Constitution in the face of new technologies (both present an future). Many of the topics which he touches on come up on Slashdot a lot (including the GPS tracking cases). It's well worth listening to the program (link in the main page), of which TFA is just a summary.

Submission + - US House Rushing Dangerous Information Sharing Bil (

bs0d3 writes: A new bill called "The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011", is moving its way to the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would allow a broad swath of ISPs and other private entities to "use cybersecurity systems" to collect and share masses of user data with the government, other businesses, or "any other entity" so long as it's for a vaguely-defined "cybersecurity purpose." It would trump existing privacy statutes that strictly limit the interception and disclosure of your private communications data, as well as any other state or federal law that might get in the way. Considering how greatly this bill would change the law and cybersecurity policy generally, the timing is especially shocking: the bill, introduced today, was only shown to privacy advocates yesterday, and yet the Committee intends to "mark-up" and vote on whether to recommend passage of the bill TOMORROW.

Comment Re:firearms (Score 1) 395

Yeah, that'll do you a great deal of good when they decide to just shoot you first. Of course, all the morons going around gung-ho about their guns completely forget that, if they have guns, then almost certainly criminals will more more and better guns, seeing as they're an essential part of their "business".

Or were you imagining killing some poor unprepared guy walking down the street who really couldn't care less about your deranged mental situation?

Comment Re:firearms (Score 1) 395

But is it worth more than your life? The first thing all these "GONNA GET MAH GUNZ!!11!1!!eleven!" guys forget is that swinging around a gun is a great way to get shot in the back. Especially since the average looter will probably be an impoverished black guy with significant experience in killing people on the street.

Comment Re:Is this what it has come down to? (Score 0) 363

Hi everybody, I can post an entirely fictional nerdgasm fantasy rant too!

In reality, all that would happen is that the next day, said bully would come back, shoot you in the head as you walked down the hall, piss on your dead body, have a nice, cold beer, and get away with a stint in juvenile until 18 because of his "history of being bullied in school" (way to go, dipshit).

Comment Re:The U.S. Constitution (Score 1) 414

People don't choose where to live; they're born where they live. Even to the extent that people move, perhaps once in their lifetime, they almost certainly don't do it based on the availability of Internet access. You could just as easily ask why rural locations ought have sanitation, electrification, or any other utility. The great thing about society is that we as a people believe there are certain things which everybody should be able to enjoy, even if it requires a transfer of wealth to accomplish it. Whether or not you think Internet service is one of these is up to you, but don't try pretend that the only fair way resources can be distributed is every man for himself.

Comment Indep. confirmation needed for ultimate decision (Score 1) 152

The finding is controversial because it has been commonly known that arsenic esters (R-AsO3) are rapidly hydrolyzed in water. For example, the main cause of arsenic poisoning is its replacement of phosphorus in adenosine triphosphate (ATP), followed by the quick decomposition of the arsenated compound, preventing cells from performing metabolism. The NASA paper claims that the bacteria have somehow found a way to create stable arsenic compounds despite the fact that cells are highly aqueous environments. I don't believe anybody is disputing that the bacteria can grow in the presence of arsenic. Rather, the controversial claim is that arsenic is replacing phosphorus. For example, an alternative explanation would be that the bacteria possess very effective mechanisms to pump arsenic out of the cell, similar to how halophiles are capable of removing large quantities of salt ions.

On another note, I don't think it's fair to be attacking NASA about this, though their decision to hold a press conference appears politically motivated (i.e. a grab for money/attention). Their space program is consistently underfunded, and they've been deploying robotic missions as much as usual.

As for whether the paper's claims regarding the incorporation of arsenic into molecules stands up, that will have to ultimately be confirmed by independent experiments. It's not like the bacteria are some kind of state secret, so it's premature to call anything "under fire" at the moment.

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about biochemistry, I'm just another IT guy.


Submission + - Canonical uses windows to develop Ubuntu font (

GNUALMAFUERTE writes: "Ubuntu has released their own font. This looks like a great effort, except that as a PR stunt, it backfires badly. They designed it ... using windows.

They released a PDF that shows the design process. It includes screenshots of a windows desktop, running a microsoft app for font design.

I am still in shock. No further comments."

Comment Re:brace for predictable... (Score 1) 332

Actually, concerning capital punishment in the U.K., I find it curious that the members of Parliament can give lengthy speeches on the inequity of the death penalty, and indeed to call for European and British intervention globally, when public opinion appears to be in favor of the penalty. I took a brief look at "Bring Back the Death Sentence" on the suggestions website, and the majority of comments indicate either complete or conditional support for the death penalty.

Slashdot Top Deals

I don't want to be young again, I just don't want to get any older.