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National Ignition Facility Fires 192-Beam Pulse 438

An anonymous reader writes "The construction and test firing of the National Ignition Facility have been completed. NIF was designed as the first facility ever to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion and, in particular, to reach the point of ignition in which more energy is generated from the reaction than went into creating it. While the recent 192-beam pulse only produced 80 kilojoules worth of energy, all signs point to NIF being able to reach an order of magnitude higher (PDF) than that in the coming year."

Copyright and Patent Laws Hurt the Economy 597

Norsefire writes "Two economists at Washington University in St. Louis are claiming that copyright and patent laws are 'killing innovation' and 'hurting [the] economy.' Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine state they would like to see copyright law abolished completely as there are other protections available to the creators of 'intellectual property' (a term they describe as 'propaganda,' and of recent origin). They are calling on Congress to grant patents only where an invention has social value, where the patent would not stifle innovation, and where the absence of a patent would damage cost-effectiveness."

Vatican Says Washing Machine Did Most To Liberate Women 11

The Vatican newspaper says that the washing machine did more to liberate women than the pill or the right to work. "The Washing Machine and the Liberation of Women - Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax," ran on Sunday to mark international Women's Day. It's strange that the Vatican made no mention of the liberating aspects of cooking, or doing what you are told.

China's New Military Space Stations Coming Soon 345

WindBourne writes "China will be launching 2 new space stations this next year. One is for their civil program (as run by the military), while the second is openly for the military. It appears that there will be multiples of the military version to be launched in 2010, and that they are developing the same US Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) that was canceled in 1969. In addition, it appears that China is accelerating their timelines on a number of the earlier space announcements."

Comment Re:Yep (Score 5, Insightful) 371

It's not the power out there. It's the transport that is, well, tricky. You basically have two options: - low orbit for the energy station. This means you r station zooms by at mach 25. Aiming your death ray/energy beam is a little tricky then. - geostationary orbit. Your energy station is an absurd 36000 km away. Good luck focussing and aiming then. Oh, wait, there's also the fact that nobody has ever, ever transmitted reasonable amount (like, within 10 orders of magnitude of this endeavour) of power to a receiver. I am sure it is also a real piece of cake to boost that 1 million tons of equipment into orbit needed for the job. Especially when the US does not have a normal space-faring capability anymore. No, just opportunities. No mad dreams at all. Where can I invest? Surely this is not a scam??

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It is masked but always present. I don't know who built to it. It came before the first kernel.