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Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 202

Whatever the use for the electricity... lighting, heated road, heck.. vending machines at convenient but otherwise deserted points...

Putting regular cheap thin-film solar panels OVER the road is infinitely cheaper, more efficient (angle control) and safer than trying to replace cheap and malleable asphalt with fucking tempered-glass tiles containing expensive electronics, and having to maintain/replace those as they get mangled by heavy traffic. Have you ever seen a paved road?? Paved pedestrian walkways suffer from cracked concrete slabs all the time. How the hell is a tempered glass crazy-pave supposed to be safe and durable?

This idea is complete bullshit, yet people buy into it. I need to come up with some snake-oil like this.

Comment Agree. (Score 1) 157

I have friends with various mobile platforms. Some of them have switched to or from iPhones to Android or even Windows phones. Because of this, I almost never use iMessage any more. The natural tendency has been for *everybody* to rely more and more on messaging apps that are cross-platform, i.e. Whatsapp and less-so LINE. In part because group chats are common. Here in Asia, whatsapp, with its end-to-end encryption, delivery notifications, and the ability to send pictures, audio clips etc. Has become the de-facto secure messaging system to replace fax in a way that e-mail has failed. No platform-specific system, iMessage included, will ever achieve this.

Comment Re:the article is bullshit and FUD (Score 1) 404

The engine no doubt emits lots of particulates, NOx, and sulfur. But that isn't a problem on the open sea. Those emissions are not particularly harmful per se, they only happen to be tightly regulated for cars because they cause problems in cities. That's also why they are not regulated for a lot of other vehicle types.

Southampton isn't the open sea, which is probably why they're glad to see it go, which was the main gist of the article. Here in Hong Kong we have 2 cruise ships in and out daily, the occasional quantum-class cruise ship visiting, several old ferries and lots of Incat diesel-burning ferries that are constantly pumping huge, very visible clouds of diesel smoke into the air. Like 20-stories high before it starts to dissipate. Hong Kong is notorious for air quality problems, and everyone tends to blame it on China, the government tends to blame it on traffic, but as far as I can see the boats are the major pollutors here.

Submission + - "Biggest Loser" Contestants Show How Bodies Fight to Regain Weight

AthanasiusKircher writes: The New York Times has a story on the long-term effects of rapid weight loss. A new study in the journal Obesity has measured the metabolisms for 14 contestants six years after they competed on the show The Biggest Loser. Perhaps not surprisingly, almost all have regained significant weight. But what shocked researchers was the long-term metabolic changes. The most extreme example is Danny Cahill, who lost 239 pounds on the show to win the competition, but has regained 100 pounds. Before he began the competition, his body was burning slightly more calories per day than average for a man of 430 pounds. Now his body burns 800 calories per day less than average for a man of 295 pounds. The pattern is consistent across most contestants: even those who returned to their original weight now have metabolisms that are significantly slower, generally burning hundreds of calories less per day than before they attempted weight loss. Those who have maintained greater weight loss generally continue to experience the greatest metabolic slowing (below normal for their current weight). Although the sample size is small, the study suggests that extreme dieting or weight cycling can have long-term effects that slow metabolism significantly, thereby making it difficult for previously obese people to maintain weight loss (and perhaps even contributing to future weight gain following an unsuccessful diet).

Submission + - UAE To Build Artificial Mountain To Improve Rainfall (engadget.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The United Arab Emirates is in the early stages of developing an artificial mountain that would force air upwards and create clouds that could produce additional rainfall. While the Middle East and Africa continues to get hotter, researchers are further motivated and more desperate for solutions to maximize rainfall. "Building a mountain is not a simple thing," said NCAR scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. "We are still busy finalizing assimilation, so we are doing a spread of all kinds of heights, widths and locations [as we simultaneously] look at the local climatology." The specific location has yet to be decided on as the team is still testing out different sites across the UAE. "If [the project] is too expensive for [the government], logically the project won't go through, but this gives them an idea of what kind of alternatives there are for the long-term future." Bruintjes said. "If it goes through, the second phase would be to go to an engineering company and decide whether it is possible or not."

Comment Re:Nespresso does exactly that (Score 1) 299

But even worse environmentally. Those aluminium pods are theoretically recyclable, but since they're full of spent coffee grounds you can't throw them in with other aluminium trash, so they get chucked in the bin and end up in landfill. It's a massive waste of energy, as Aluminium takes a lot of energy to produce, yet far less to recycle.

Nespresso "commercial" is the perfect solution. Tamped espresso UFO-shaped pods made of a mylar-like material. Not recyclable but not a lot of waste either.

Comment Re:What's up with WhatsApp? (Score 1) 86

Whatsapp has been very popular outside the US for a while. I know America was very slow to pick up on SMS/IM in general, but the many benefits of data-based IM include: encryption, sent/read notification, photo message, video message, audio-clip message, all 'free' on Wifi and relatively inexpensive on a data plan, compared to MMS, and in particular when sending messages internationally, which I guess is a lot more common in Europe and Asia than it is in the U.S.

iMessage and BBmessage have the same advantages but of course they are proprietary and only useable between handsets on the same platform. Whatsapp has long been cross-platform.

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