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Submission + - More greenhouse gases from Biofuels

ATestR writes: A Times of London article mentions a study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics measured the relative greenhouse gases produced by biofuels produced by two common organic sources, maise (corn) and rapeseed (canola).

From the article: "Rapeseed and maize biodiesels were calculated to produce up to 70 per cent and 50 per cent more greenhouse gases respectively than fossil fuels. The concerns were raised over the levels of emissions of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Scientists found that the use of biofuels released twice as much as nitrous oxide as previously realized. The research team found that 3 to 5 per cent of the nitrogen in fertilizer was converted and emitted." The scientists taking the measurement estimated that this is at least 50% greater than similar pollutants produced by fossil fuels.

The article was republished on

Submission + - Why memory = electric bill (

An anonymous reader writes: While Intel and AMD do their best to reduce the power draw of their CPUs, it's the memory used in the server that can make a difference. Xeon servers ue Fully Buffered DIMMs, which run 5-7 watts higher than the DDR2 used in Opteron servers. Multiply that by 16 memory DIMMs in a server, then by however many servers you have, and suddenly you've got a big difference in power draws. Will Intel ever change or stick with FBDIMM?
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - "Building a Modern Computer from First Princip (

Years without a login writes: Is "The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles" worth reading? If not, what do you recommend to achieve the same result?

The book teaches you how to build a computer from discrete components. Starting with the essential theory of Boolean Algebra and Gate theory, and continues with teaching you how to create combinational chips(ALU/CPU), sequential chips(memory units), and eventually the computer architecture you'll be using for the machine language of your design.

From there you implement the software hierarchy. Assembler/Assembly, virtual machine/stack machine, compiler/ programming language and operating system. Eventually you'll have the foundation to create one of the software projects; the venerable Pong!

So for the computer engineers out there; is this a good start, should it be supplemented with additional material, or should I look elsewhere?


Submission + - I have 38 days until the RIAA files suit (

vile209 writes: "A thread on Something Awful about a user being threatened by the RIAA's lawyers. Something seems fishy though, the user claims he did not download the songs and has a solid alibi. This news story has made the front page of and now has over 50 thousand views on the SA forums. Also Submitted because he is being sued for "Europe — The Final Countdown""
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Great Internet Swear Word Project (

morner writes: "The great internet swear word project aims to find the best swear word in the world according to you, the internet. Each visitor to this page is offered a choice between two randomly selected user-submitted swear words, their vote is recorded and fed into a Condorcet voting algorithm. Over the course of many thousands of votes, an accurate picture of the group preference emerges and thus, or so the theory goes, the world's best swear word may be identified unambiguously. YMMV."

Feed Pilgrimage: Safety on the Bridge (

During the Hajj, millions of Muslims travel to Mecca and jam up on the Jamarat Bridge. To prevent trampling deaths, scientists design crowd control by viewing surveillance imagery of the 2006 disaster as particle fluid-dynamical flow. In Wired Science.

The Internet

Submission + - Citizendium dumps WIkipedia

twilight30 writes: Nicholas Carr reports that 'Larry Sanger has changed his mind about forking Wikipedia. As you'll recall, Sanger, who cofounded Wikipedia with Jimmy Wales, has been working on creating Citizendium, an expert-edited alternative to the motley online encyclopedia. The original plan was to "fork" Wikipedia — in other words, make a copy of Wikipedia's contents and then re-edit the articles to bring them up to snuff. The theory was that borrowing the existing articles would provide a jump-start for the fledgling knowledge base. But that hasn't worked so well. The handful of early contributors to Citizendium have, says Sanger, become "disheartened by the fact that their first obligation seems to be to edit mediocre Wikipedia articles."'

Submission + - Food Network using subliminal advertising?

spoco2 writes: "Is the Food Network using subliminal advertising now? From the always interesting Something Awful forums comes this interesting nugget:

"I was sitting around waiting for Battlestar Galactica this evening watching Iron Chef America. I had seen the commercials for tonight's episode, and it looked neat so I set it up to record. Towards the end, when they're going over the iron chef and the challenger's entries a McDonalds logo popped up for a single frame."
There's a video of the offending portion."

Submission + - How many earthlings have studied calculus?

OceanBarb writes: Talking about fall semester grades got me to thinking....if you pass calculus, or linear algebra, or combinatorics, or differential equations at the college level, how many other Earthlings alive today are likely to have accomplished the same achievement? How many who are no longer alive? How different will the number be in ten or fifty or one hundred years?

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In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.