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Submission + - The laser unprinter (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "You’ve heard of laser printers — and now a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in England have created a laser unprinter that can remove ink without damaging the paper. Despite both methods using lasers, their (un)printing approaches are fundamentally very different. In a laser printer, a laser is used to give individual “pixels” on a piece of paper a positive charge (a separate heat source is used to fuse toner). In the laser unprinter, picosecond pulses of green laser light are used to vaporize the toner, or ablate in scientific terms. The primary goal of unprinting is to cut down on the carbon footprint of the paper and printing industries. Manufacturing paper is incredibly messy business, with a huge carbon footprint. Recycling paper is a good step in the right direction, but it still pales in comparison to unprinting. In a worst-case scenario, The University of Cambridge unprinting method has half the carbon emissions of recycling; best-case, unprinting is almost 20 times as efficient."

Submission + - The BSA's "nauseating" anti-piracy tactics (pcpro.co.uk)

Barence writes: "The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has been accused of heavy-handed tactics that could drive small companies to incriminate themselves.

The Microsoft-backed piracy watchdog generates a quarter of its cases by offering employees cash rewards for informing on their own employer. “It is basically harvesting allegations from disgruntled employees and farming them out to expensive law firms," one small business owner told PC Pro, who said he was "nauseated" by the tactics.

The BSA then sends out a letter demanding the business owner fill out a software audit, or potentially face court action — even though the BSA has no power to demand such an audit and hasn't pursued a court case in five years. “It’s designed to scare the recipient into thinking that they’re obliged to provide certain information when, in fact, it’s difficult to see that they are,” said a leading IT lawyer."


Submission + - Encyclopaedia Britannica drops print edition (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica will cease publishing its flagship encyclopedia and concentrate on its digital offerings. "We'd like to think our tradition is not to print, but to bring scholarly knowledge to the people," said Jorge Cauz, president of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britannica has printed the encyclopedia, which now runs to 32 volumes in length, since 1768. The 2010 edition was the last edition the company published. It has decided not to print what would be the 2012 edition, which would have been out by the end of the year. The company has about 4,000 sets of the 2010 edition still available for sale. Overall about 2 million sets have been printed through the entire run of the encyclopedia.

Comment Publications bad measuring tool for productivity (Score 3, Informative) 356

I know from my brother who is working on a university in mathematics research that 4 publications in 3 years is extremely many in his subject, he has worked extremely hard for 3 years to make 2 publications in topology.
I have been told it is a common problem for mathematicians that they don't make as many publications as in other fields of science, in geophysics working as researcher (which I don't I work in the private) it would be a reasonable demand with 4 publications on 3 years.

Comment Re:Study in texas.... (Score 1) 297

I have to disagree that bore logs are random luck ... there exists various methods of logging and yeah if you only use one log, like a gamma log or something and think that your safe then ... sure it's random luck if you gamma log picks up the stuff your looking for.
On the other hand if you do 5 different types of logging (video, gamma, geoeletric, radar, sonic ... just to mention one way of mixing them, there are a lot other logging tools available of which I don't know all) then I would say you get a lot more information.
Sure logging can be done shitty, it often is, but if you do a good job and take your time with the logging and processing and interpretation of the results then I would say you have a very good idea of the state of the borehole. How much of this has been done in bore logs you have encountered I don't know, I just know what has been done in the logging my company (I am not the guy doing the logging, but we work together at times) in very deep wells for oil companies that we have done and I have to say I was very impressed with it. The wells in this option was not to be used for fracking but only investigative purposes, but I don't see why the same thing couldn't be done with a production well that you consider to do fracking on.
I know that often there isn't perfect layers around, but if you have an area over lets say 100 meters that show a resistance in the area of 10 ohmm and other information to tell you that it is a clay layer, then I would feel safe. There are bound to be imperfections inside this layer, but they are not going to be 100 meters deep and 10 meters of clay layer is plenty.
What I am saying is that if you make sure you error enough on the good side then you should be safe not only in theory but also in the practical application (except maybe for the truck transportation issue).
I am sure that things haven't been played safe in many many cases where fracking has happened, as has been documented things have gone horribly wrong in many of these cases and I am also not questioning what you are saying about the not so nice behavior of the oil companies.

Comment Re:Study in texas.... (Score 1) 297

> The reality is there is no technology currently available to forecast what will actually happen when you try to turn rock formations into massive soda fountains, none at all, it is a straight up guess.

I am not so sure about that, but it might be very costly to do these studies.
If you do have a big enough tight clay layer between the rock formation you are fracking and the ground water I would feel pretty sure that the two formations won't affect each other.
My job is working with geophysics, mostly for groundwater purposes and I know we are very good at finding those clay layers, there's lots of methods for doing that, but it does take quite a bit of work to gather the data and process them.

I don't know that much about the fracking that has been done around the world, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that there hasn't been done much work done to figure out if the ground water would be safe from the fracked formations in many cases and that the consequences have been really bad.
I'm just saying that I think it can be done safely on some wells and not in others and it is possible to figure out which ones are safe.

Of course there is always the problem of transporting chemicals to the drilling site and getting the chemicals safely down to the formation you want to do the fracking on. The transportation to site will always be a problem, getting the chemicals safely through the borehole should be possible if you do some thorough logging of the borehole to make sure that the casing is tight and intact.

Comment Re:Mortgage (Score 1) 651

I guessed I use the most on travel since I travel quite a bit for work and pay some of the bills myself, not sure that is true though because I get a lot of it back on the tax bill, complicated stuff and I got better things to use my energy on than worry to much about these things. I don't want to know how much I am using on food as that is one place I don't ever want to cut back.
Like you I don't keep close track of my expenses, I look at the total on my bank account, if the total is going up I am doing good, if the total is going down I cut some expenses, plenty to cut from and it's a healthy exercise for me to do now and then, things might not always be as easy economically for me as it is now, it's a nice thing to have some training in that aspect of life.
These days I am stationed for work a big part of the year with either all expenses paid by the company or I am being given a daily check bigger than what I am able to spend to cover my expenses, so the total on my bank account usually is going up. I have the luxury of not working because I need the money but working because I love doing my job, being paid as well as I am is just a nice bonus on the side. Downside of my job (and form of life) is that I can't have a family of my own and not much room for social life, not complaining though, I am pretty happy with things the way they are at the moment.


Submission + - Space Archaeology Uncovers Lost Pyramids (bbc.co.uk)

krou writes: A new technique dubbed "space archaeology" using satellites and infra-red imaging has helped uncover 17 new pyramids in Egypt, as well as some 1,000 tombs, and 3,000 ancient settlements. The mud bricks used to build Egyptian structures means it has a different density to the surrounding soil, and thus shows up in the images. Dr Sarah Parcak, who pioneered the technique, said that "Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford."

Comment Absorbed not necessarily equal to electricity (Score 4, Insightful) 439

As far as I can figure from the article what is says is 95/86 of the light is absorbed, it doesn't say that all of this light is converted into electricity as is stated here on Slashdot. That is also impressive numbers and very interesting, but my guess is that the efficiency of the solar panel is going to be a lot lower than those numbers posted on the parent, most likely at least a factor 2 lower.

New Most Precise Clock Based On Aluminum Ion 193

eldavojohn writes "The National Institute for Standards and Technology has unveiled a new clock that will 'neither gain nor lose one second in about 3.7 billion years,' making it an atomic clock twice as precise as the previous pacesetter, which was based on mercury atoms. Experts call it a 'milestone for atomic clocks.' The press release describes the workings: 'The logic clock is based on a single aluminum ion (electrically charged atom) trapped by electric fields and vibrating at ultraviolet light frequencies, which are 100,000 times higher than microwave frequencies used in NIST-F1 and other similar time standards around the world.' This makes the aluminum ion clock a contender to replace the standard cesium fountain clock (within 1 second in about 100 million years) as NIST's standard. For those of you asking 'So what?' the article describes the important applications such a device holds: 'The extreme precision offered by optical clocks is already providing record measurements of possible changes in the fundamental "constants" of nature, a line of inquiry that has important implications for cosmology and tests of the laws of physics, such as Einstein's theories of special and general relativity. Next-generation clocks might lead to new types of gravity sensors for exploring underground natural resources and fundamental studies of the Earth. Other possible applications may include ultra-precise autonomous navigation, such as landing planes by GPS.'"

Comment Re:Young earth creationists (Score 1) 326

I agree that this should pose a problem for those who read the translations of the bible as a day meaning a literal day.
But it doesn't really make a difference for those who doesn't see "a day" as 24 hours as we know a day today. (Think about it, how would you define a day before the earth was created?).
Some of those who believes that the term "day" in Genesis and other places in the bible is this is Jehovah's Witnesses [warning religious content].
Anyhow I guess I am stupid to start discussing religion here on /. and trying to be serious about it, don't mean to be trolling. I just thought that saying that this is a problem for young creationists is true, but saying that it poses a problem for anyone who believes in the bible (or God?) is to take it a step to far.

Submission + - Smallest gas turbine engine in the world 1

SK writes: "A gas turbine engine measuring 10 cm in diameter and 15 cm in length, small enough to hold in one hand has been developed by a study group led by Tohoku University, Japan. The group succeeded in running such a small gas turbine engine and demonstrated the complete cycle for the first time in the world. The study group is working toward practical use of such a gas turbine engine as power sources of autonomous robots for disaster rescue and relief, and personal transportation vehicles indispensable in the aged (Japanese) society."

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