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Comment Re:Voltage != Power (Score 1) 410

Many issues here: (1) - Voltage is the wrong variable to measure. Energy is more relevant. He could have charged some rechargeable batteries and see how long they lasted latter with constant load. (2) - The flat array "control", is not built in one plane facing the sun like the commercial ones. It has actually half of the cells in a second plane facing opposite the sun. (3) - The setup is near a house wall, with the tree neared and the flat array farther, and also partly in the shade, reflected light may also confuse results. The panels should be in more controlled insolation conditions for a fair comparison. If the kid had taken 10 minutes to talk to someone who understands solar cells this disaster would have been averted. Doing bad science should not be encouraged !

Comment Should diffraction be called "imaging"? (Score 2) 84

They are not obtaining images but diffraction patterns, which after applying sophisticated methods lets them reconstruct a configuration that is consistent with the diffraction image, to within some margin of error. This techniques tend to better for confirming proposed structures that to getting it from scratch.

Submission + - Lightning bolt shuts down NSF building (

asadodetira writes: In what some will interpret as an act of god against science, a lightning strike in Ballston VA, shut down the National Science Foundation building and their website is offline for the day. The Arlington Public Library is also shut down, proving that god may also dislike books too. The NSF provides major support of science and education in non-medical fields, the NIH being their counterpart in medical fields.

Submission + - Vacuums Made From Plastic Waste From the Sea (

Zothecula writes: Since announcing the Vac from the Sea initiative in June, Electrolux has been busy working with environmental organizations and concerned individuals to collect plastic debris from marine environments around the globe. Now the company has announced the creation of five one-off vacuum cleaner creations manufactured using waste collected from key areas, including Hawaii, the North Sea and the Mediterranean.

Submission + - New Critical Flash Bug Being Exploited (

Trailrunner7 writes: On the same day that it plans to release a patch for a critical flaw in Shockwave, Adobe confirmed on Thursday morning that there is a newly discovered bug in Flash that is being actively exploited already in attacks against Reader. The vulnerability affects Flash on all of the relevant platforms, including Android, as well as Reader on Windows and Mac, and won't be patched for nearly two weeks.

The new Flash bug came to light early Thursday when a researcher posted information about the problem, as well as a Trojan that is exploiting it and dropping a pair of malicious files on vulnerable PCs. Researcher Mila Parkour tested the bug and posted a screenshot of the malicious files that a Trojan exploiting the vulnerability drops during its infection routine. Adobe has since confirmed the vulnerability and said that it is aware of the attacks against Reader.

Submission + - Time Traveler Using Cellphone in 1928 Movie ( 1

capitalj writes: Has someone already gone back from the future? This week, the makers of Back To The Future kicked off celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the release of the original movie
  starring Michael J. Fox. In the same week, an Irish independent filmmaker has gone public with what he says is footage of a time traveller caught walking through a scene on a recent DVD release of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film, The Circus.


Submission + - Google Docs users stranded by bug (

An anonymous reader writes: Cloud apps can be a godsend — until they stop working, taking all your data with them. Google Docs users worldwide have learned this the hard way this week, locked out of their documents by a bug which Google says is currently its #1 priority to fix, but hasn't been able to resolve for six days and counting. The bug, associated with Google's new multiple account login feature, causes an endless redirect when people try to open a document. Microsoft has been quick to jump on the opportunity to promote its forthcoming Office 365 service, which caches files locally, as a better solution than the all-cloud solution Google is offering. Google has been apologetic about the bug but says since it is not actually an outage it will not honor its 99.9% uptime guarantee for Google Apps Premier users. More at Australian Business Traveller.

Comment Re:Summary needs a bit of clarification (Score 1) 324

This case is interesting because from the legal perspective it is of interest to find responsibilities for the accident. The malware did not cause the crash but it interfered with the logging protocols. The technicians will be probably held responsible for not taking measures such as manually checking printed logs, if the computer failed.

Comment Why can't it be done? (Score 1) 597

To me there a good productivity indicator would be the time needed to achieve a desired functionality. For some applications the quality of the code could be measured in terms of the computational expense of the code (does is take too much time/resouces to run). Something harder to measure would be the maintainability. For this one could follow standardized guidelines to produce a more or less readable code. Still there always will be intangible aspects, such as the team work previously mentioned, or coding with the goal of future interoperability. A good coder will solve a problem fast, create code that makes efficeint use time and memory and is maintainable.

China Dominates In NSA-Backed Coding Contest 316

The Narrative Fallacy writes "With about 4,200 people participating in a US National Security Agency-supported international competition on everything from writing algorithms to designing components, 20 of the 70 finalists were from China, 10 from Russia, and 2 from the US. China's showing in the finals was helped by its large number of entrants, 894. India followed at 705, but none of its programmers was a finalist. Russia had 380 participants; the United States, 234; Poland, 214; Egypt, 145; and Ukraine, 128. Participants in the TopCoder Open was open to anyone, from student to professional; the contest proceeded through rounds of elimination that finished this month in Las Vegas. Rob Hughes, president and COO of TopCoder, says the strong finish by programmers from China, Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere is indicative of the importance those countries put on mathematics and science education. 'We do the same thing with athletics here that they do with mathematics and science there.'"

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