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Comment Acer Travelmate B117M (Score 1) 187

http://ixsoft.de/ is a Linux shop in Germany that offers netbooks with all kinds of Linux distros preinstalled, so I assume the netbooks they use are compatible. One model they offer is the Acer Travelmate B117M, which Acer targeted at the educational sector. It is robust, has a non-glare display and a replacable battery.

Comment Old hat? (Score 3) 80

Solar thermal collectors that can boil water have existed for decades. You don't need concentration for that, simply use a black absorber plate with pipes under a glass plate and put a vacuum between the absorber and the glass. Selective absorbers or glasses will improve the efficiency.

There are two problems with it: The generated steam will have a low temperature not much above boiling water. Most industrial applications need process steam of a much higher temperature (although there are some exceptions).

There are also problems with the two-phase flow of the steam-water mixture in the pipes, which is generally unstable and difficult to control. Technically it is much easier to concentrate sunlight, use an oil with a high boiling point as the carrier liquid and use it to generate the steam in a seperate unit.

Comment Re:There is some Background ... (Score 1) 394

The CSU is no longer opposition. Since the election in 2014, Munich is governed by a coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservatives (CSU). Linux was introduced when a coalition of the SPD and the Green Party held the government with Christian Ude (SPD) as mayor. Ude fully supported the migration. The new mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) is more critical and did not object in an interview to being characterized as a "Microsoft fan". He was involved in the negotiations about Microsoft moving its HQ into the city. The new deputy mayor Schmid (CSU) also critized Linux shortly after the election.

Comment What about butter? (Score 1) 851

Trans-fat does not only occur in margarine or other hydrogenated vegetable oils, but also in butter, which contains up to 4% trans-fat (of the total fat content). While this is less than in most (but not all) margarines, it is not insignificant.

Comment Re:Since this is an OSS project ... (Score 1) 254

Doxygen doesn't cost anything and is very useful for exploring an unknown C++ code. You should configure it to include private functions and the source code browser. Then you can navigate through the source/reference with a simple web browser, and it will allow you to dive deeper into the details when necessary and easily backtrack after it.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 1) 202

It might be true that the ovens need to be run with different parameters or even built differently, but taking the wet garden and kitchen waste out of the mix is a good thing. Obviously some energy goes into drying the wet components before they can burn. Also, if the burning plant is used for electricity generation (and many plants in Europe are hybrid, i.e. they produce both electricity and heat), then burning at a hotter temperature produces more electricity out of the same amount of trash (see Carnot's law of thermodynamics).

Comment No reputation (Score 3) 247

Crowdfunding works only together with reputation. If you simply give money to any unknown person who starts a project, then it's your own fault if they run away with it. Reputation means that creators seeking funding need to do their first few projects for free until there are enough fans who believe that the creator will really deliver and who like the quality of the previous products.
Earth

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."
Biotech

Doubled Yield For Bio-Fuel From Waste 97

hankwang writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor of two compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."
Privacy

Submission + - The facebook exodus (nytimes.com) 3

Death Metal writes: "Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever. If you ask around, as I did, you'll find quitters. One person shut down her account because she disliked how nosy it made her. Another thought the scene had turned desperate. A third feared stalkers. A fourth believed his privacy was compromised. A fifth disappeared without a word.

The exodus is not evident from the site's overall numbers. According to comScore, Facebook attracted 87.7 million unique visitors in the United States in July. But while people are still joining Facebook and compulsively visiting the site, a small but noticeable group are fleeing — some of them ostentatiously."

Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Computer wins game of 9x9 Go against 9-Dan

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time, a computer program won an official game of 9x9 Go against a top-ranked human player. The game against Zhou Junxun, a professional Go player with the highest possible Go rank of 9 Dan, took place at the Human vs. Computer Competition of the FUZZ-IEEE 2009 conference. This is a milestone in Computer Go and a big success for the new Monte-Carlo tree search algorithms, which revived the Computer Go scene after a decade of stagnation. Computer Go expert Olivier Teytaud says: "Everybody considers the win of Fuego [the name of the program] in 9x9 as very good. No error from the pro, just a perfect play by the computer." The second game was won by the human. Oh, and did I mention it? Fuego is an open source program, so you can sudy the code yourself. Although you might not have an 80-core cluster, as was used in the competition. Now the question is: how long will it take, before the computer beats a human 9-Dan on the 19x19 board?
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux installfests maturing? (blogspot.com)

christian.einfeldt writes: "Linux installfests apparently are expanding from an emphasis on serving individual users to mass network installs serving non-profits and schools. In the past, installfests have often been held as part of Linux User Group meetings, and involved individual new computer users bringing their computers to a small meeting to have Linux installed on their machines. But now there is an apparent trend visible in Linux installfests toward mass network installs supported by greater corporate or municipal involvement in Linux installfests. In many cases, the newly-installed Linux computers are being given to end user institutions such as schools. For example, a recent installfest in Austin, Texas, was put on by two non-profits and was supported by the personal participation of upper management at AMD and nFusion. The majority of the eighty-three machines were PXE-booted and mass-installed at that event over an ad hoc network. Likewise, at last year's LinuxWorld expo in San Francisco, 350 Linux computers were mass-installed over a similar PXE network in a mass installfest put on in a partnership between the non-profit Alameda County Computer Resource Center and the for-profit Untangle and IDG firms. The machines were donated to San Francisco Bay Area schools. Similar installfests have been held in Chile and India, to name just a few."
Linux Business

The State of Munich's Ongoing Linux Migration 203

christian.einfeldt writes "The Munich decision to move its 14,000 desktops to Free Open Source Software created a big splash back in 2003 as news circulated of the third-largest German city's defection from Microsoft. When it was announced in 2003, the story garnered coverage even in the US, such as an extensive article in USA Today on-line. Currently, about 60% of desktops are using OpenOffice, with the remaining 40% to be completed by the end of 2009. Firefox and Thunderbird are being used in all of the city's desktop machines. Ten percent of desktops are running the LiMux Debian-based distro, and 80% will be running LiMux by 2012 at the latest. Autonomy was generally considered more important than cost savings, although the LiMux initiative is increasing competition in the IT industry in Munich already. The program has succeeded because the city administration has been careful to reach out to all stakeholders, from managers down to simple end users."

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