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Submission + - An origami paper-based bacteria-powered battery

jan_jes writes: Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding created by Akira Yoshizawa, which can be used to create beautiful birds, frogs and other small sculptures.

Last Year a team of engineers from MIT and Harvard has developed an origami flat-pack Robot[] which can fold itself and crawl away without any human intervention.

But now a Binghamton University engineer says this technique can be applied to building batteries, too. The battery generates power from microbial respiration, delivering enough energy to run a paper-based biosensor with nothing more than a drop of bacteria-containing liquid. This method should be especially useful to anyone working in remote areas with limited resources. The total cost of this potentially game-changing device is "Five cents".

Submission + - New Programming Languages Come from Designers (

eldavojohn writes: A very lengthy and somewhat meandering essay from Crista Videira Lopes has sparked off some discussion of where new programming languages come from. She's writing from the viewpoint of academia under the premise that new languages don't come from academia. And they've been steadily progressing outside of large companies (with the exception of Java and .NET) into the bedrooms and hobbies of people she identifies as 'designers' or 'lone programmers' instead of groups of 'researchers.' Examples include PHP by Rasmus Lerdorf, JavaScript by Brenden Eich, Python by Guido van Rossum and — of course — Ruby by Yukihiro Matsumoto. The author notes that, as we escape our computational and memory bounds that once plagued programming languages in the past and marred them up with ultra efficient syntax in the name of hardware, our new languages are coming from designers with seemingly little worry about the budget CPU being able to handle a large project in the new language. The piece is littered with interesting assertions like "one striking commonality in all modern programming languages, especially the popular ones, is how little innovation there is in them!" and "We require scientific evidence for the claimed value of experimental drugs. Should we require scientific evidence for the value of experimental software?" Is she right? Is the answer to studying modern programming languages to quantify their design as she attempts in this post? Given the response of Slashdot to Google's Dart it would appear that something is indeed missing in coercing developers that a modern language has valid offerings worthy of their time.

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If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens