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Comment Looks like he gave in. (Score 1) 149

"pay-TV providers will be required to provide apps – free of charge– that consumers can download to the device of their choosing". So the cable companies will still have a stranglehold - I don't see independent developers being allowed to create the apps. I can see it now. "Well, yeah, the app really sucks, but we have this nifty box that works so much better, and you'll just have to pay a little bit each month...".

Comment Works for me. (Score 1) 131

"Batteries using this copolymer had an initial storage capacity of 1,225 mAh per gram of material. After 100 charge-discharge cycles, the capacity dropped to 1,005 mAh/g, and after 500 cycles it fell to about 635 mAh/g. In comparison, a lithium-ion battery typically starts out with a storage capacity of 200 mAh/g but maintains it for the life of the battery, Pyun says."
So, the lithium sulfur battery, after a mere half as many cycles as a lithium ion battery can substain, only has THREE TIMES the charge of a new lithium battery. At what point does it fall to less than a lithium ion battery at the same number of cycles?
Regardless, I think I could live with a battery that holds from 3 to 6 times as much charge as the typical lithium ion battery, even if it only lasted half as long.

Comment Re:Circumvention (Score 1) 578

Clearly, you're some kinda commie. How DARE you suggest anything that would reduce the impact of commercial television (i.e., commercials occasionally interrupted by shows)? :-)

Not only is your idea excellent, but I want that functionality incorporated into my mute button. Commercials are STILL screaming at me (hasn't it been about 3 years since that law was passed mandating that commercials be no louder than the programs?). But the mute doesn't do anything to prevent my eyes from being assaulted. I want my mute button to not only darken the commercials, I want it to show only 1 frame per second. Ads are flashing images with convulsion-evoking abruptness. I frequently change the channel, because I just can't stand it. I soon give up, and just turn the damned thing off.

Yes, visual as well as audio mute. It's overdue.

Comment Even one tiny step is too much for the cartel (Score 1) 278

The virtual re-creation of a particular textbook is really a very small step toward fixing the aggressively broken scam that is textbooks. The textbooks change WAY too much already, and IMO it's only done to prop up the industry. Consider how many subjects could be taught using a 50-year-old textbook, with maybe a small supplement; math, basic physics, basic biology. Even history - it would probably be much more educational to read a 100-year-old history book, then a 50-year-old book covering, say, the Hundred Years' War, or the Renaissance, to see how current Zeitgeist affects the way such things are perceived, than to read some shiny new PC version of history.

Nevertheless, three cheers for Boundless. After many decades, I still remember the outrageous prices for (usually crappy) textbooks.

Comment Dinosaurs (Score 1) 269

A high oxygen level would make it more feasible for land animals to once again become gigantic. I look forward (in a future incarnation), to hiding from a 50-foot-tall housecat.

It seems like sci-fi, but it's really just simple physics. (Although I don't know if the calculations work out). And it would probably happen a lot faster than millions of years.

Comment Not me. I'm cheerfully paranoid. (Score 1) 277

Every time I need a password, I either beat out a spastic smattering of letters and numbers, or dream up a weird phrase, and use the first letters, with a few of them converted to numbers.

I'm fine, as long as no one gets to my written log of all those passwords. If that happens, I'm screwed.

I refuse to create any password that has the vaguest connection to anything. Which seems apt for today's disjointed world.


The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume 297

ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."

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