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LHC Reaches Over One Trillion Electron Volts 305

The LHC has become the world's highest-energy particle accelerator, weighing in at over one trillion electron volts. "Until now the LHC had been operating at a relatively low energy of 450 billion electron volts. On Sunday, engineers increased the energy of this 'pilot beam,' reaching 1.18 trillion electron volts at 2344 GMT. The previous record of 0.98 trillion electron volts has been held by the Tevatron accelerator since 2001. The LHC is eventually expected to operate at some seven trillion electron volts."

Comment Re:Discussed This Report Four Days Ago (Score 1) 183

Three words: Permissive Action Links. Not only will they need the codes to arm the warheads, but they also need training for how to arm the weapons and target them. The nuclear powers like to keep a very close watch over the mental stability of people working with nuclear weapons. The US procedure, the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP), has an exceedingly long list of reasons that disqualify a potential recruit from nuclear duty, to the point where a speeding ticket might be cause for alarm. It's not excessive, it's merely required. For your scenario, two such people would need to be compromised without discovery (the two-man rule applies to nuclear weapons at all times). Quite a feat.

The US procedure for nuclear release is also complex: first, the National Command Authority (the president and vice president or their successors) must order a nuclear strike by initiating the SIOP (Single Integrated Operations Plan). Next the Joint Chiefs of Staff must issue an order to the NMCC at the Pentagon (or Raven Rock if the Pentagon has already been destroyed by a nuclear strike) which then sends off an Emergency Action Message (EAM) to nuclear forces to begin launch. Two people must be present at any point along the chain for this to work right.

Comment Re:Smart Grid is a scam (Score 1) 158

The grid would just be part of the strike. An EMP attack would also knock out communications networks and most non-hardened electronics within the blast zone. This is worse than you think: suddenly without that nice fancy ECU your car doesn't run anymore, or worse, your generator. EMP attacks will always be bad, but a smart grid just makes it worse: not only are your digital control and communications systems out, but now you've lost raw energy too, so simple systems that might have survived (heaters, electric motors, etc) can no longer run. Trying to get aid into the affected zone, especially in, say, dead winter, would be a nightmare.

Laser Ignition May Replace the Spark Plug 388

dusty writes "Laser Focus World has a story on researchers from Ford, GSI, and The University of Liverpool and their success in using near-infrared lasers instead of spark plugs in automobile engines. The laser pulses are delivered to the combustion chamber one of two ways. One, the laser energy is transmitted through free space and into an optical plug. Two, the other more challenging method uses fiber optics. Attempts so far to put the second method into play have met some challenges. The researchers are confident that the fiber-optic laser cables' technical challenges (such as a 20% parasitic loss, and vibration issues) will soon be overcome. Both delivery schemes drastically reduce harmful emissions and increase performance over the use of spark plugs. So the spark plug could soon join the fax machine in the pantheon of antiquated technologies that will never completely disappear. The news release from The University of Liverpool has pictures of the freakin' internal combustion lasers."

Comment Re:The Problem with Fallout3 (Score 1) 101

Magic, superior graphics, superior controls

No, no, and no. Magic cannot be worked into the Fallout universe without seriously destroying the Fallout legacy. I don't want psi a la system shock, I don't want telekinetic mutation, I don't want Mass Effect remote hacking, I don't want Bioshock bio-mods. I want Fallout. Are those features cool? Yes. But if I want them then I'll pull out my copy of SS2 or ME or Bioshock.

Not every game needs the latest and greatest knock-your-socks-off graphics engine. I find it isn't the graphics engine that defines a game, but the art direction. Bethesda spent more time making sure the beautiful retro 50s ambiance was present in the game. It works great.

I'm not sure what you're complaining about for the controls. They're the same as Oblivion was, and it worked just well there as it does in this game. This is a first person RPG. It's unfair to compare it to Halo and COD: those games are first person shooters. This game is not! And as for that limited analog motion - PC gamers have been happy with that since Quake popularized the keyboard and mouse method of playing FPSes we're so used to.

This game is not COD5.

Comment Re:Great advertising for new versions! (Score 1, Informative) 590

I'm not sure if this is an attempt at humor or not, but I'm tending towards "or not" because of the Insightful mod.

You seem to have a very skewed definition of capitalism. All capitalism is a market where resources (capital) are invested in a product in the hope that others will find it worthwhile enough to trade for more resources (money). "Intelligent thought" as you put it is the capitalists' best ally: he WANTS his customers to be happy at the price point that makes him the most money. If his products - in this case games - are too expensive, he will reduce his pricing to hit the most profitable point on the curve where expenses are most minimal and sales the highest. It's a self-interest game, certainly, but it's a self interest game that helps the customer.

Comment Re:Remember, folks... (Score 1) 328

Don't be so sure of your bulletproof defense. While it is true no single nation can invade the states on its own, an alliance of multiple superpowers might be able to take it out.

Ignoring the obvious political and ideological hurdles, a Russia/China alliance could pull it off. Hypothetically, if they had a few years isolation to build up a decent bluewater navy, they might be able to land troops on the mainland.

Actually, if limited tactical nuclear war was fought, Russia might be able to pull it off on its own. The Soviets saw the US Carrier Strike Group doctrine as their chief obstacle to taking the states. As such they ensured the Red Fleet had nuclear naval superiority to outmatch US conventional naval superiority. At the end of the cold war it was projected that this nuclear superiority could overwhelm the carrier groups. I'm not sure how much it would take to resume that level of readiness.

The point still stands, however, that there are foreign alliances that could take out the states given sufficient preparation.

Comment Re:nah. (Score 5, Funny) 289

OK, then what about by a Cylon invasion? (Which of course, would begin with a nuclear strike.) I doubt that our toaster children would have any trouble with Mccafree or Norton products.

In my experience if we did have a Cylon invasion McAfee and Norton may be our ONLY defense. Upload it and watch as they can no longer function

You're horrible. Not even the Cylons deserve Norton and McAfee.

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