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User Journal

Journal Journal: World War Something

The latest war in Georgia was a bit hard to overlook. It's a very dangerous turn of events, partly because it has forced the various sides to reveal their true intentions. However the timing of things has been very suspicious.

Comment Re:Not the first (Score 2, Informative) 177

The patent you link to uses paper as the substrate material for the transistor. In layman's terms, the paper in that article simply provides structural stability transistor on the paper surface. In some sense, the paper in that device could be replaced by a silicon wafer, a plank of wood or some concrete--it just keeps everything together.

The new work has the paper providing not only structural stability but also acting as the insulator for the FET. Usually the insulator would be silicon dioxide, a high-k dielectric or some new-fangled polymer for organic transistors. These guys have managed to embed the remaining transistor components on both sides of a sheet of paper and have the used the insulating properties of the paper as an integral part of the transistor.

All jokes about smart toilet paper aside, this is big-league stuff. These guys managed to engineer electronics using stuff that really does grow on trees.

Comment Depends on HOW the Lime is made... AND... (Score 0, Flamebait) 899

"First, you heat limestone to a very high temperature, until it breaks down into lime and carbon dioxide."
"Then you put the lime into the sea, where it reacts with carbon dioxide dissolved in the seawater."
"This has the effect of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It also helps to prevent ocean acidification, another problem caused by the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
If done on a large enough scale it would be possible to reduce carbon dioxide levels back to what they were before the Industrial Revolution.
The first step of the process - breaking down limestone into lime and carbon dioxide - seems counterintuitive as it uses a lot of energy and actually produces carbon dioxide. But this carbon dioxide can either be safely stored away or used to help grow crops in very dry areas."

Nope... Me thinks NOT. Remembrances of my chemistry classes tell me this is not practical...
Anyone ever look into HOW MUCH energy is required to strip the CO2 (and water hydrates) from raw Limetone to produce Lime? ALOT!

FYI: "Quicklime, or burnt lime, is calcium oxide (CaO) produced by decarbonisation of limestone (CaCO3). Slaked lime are produced by reacting, or "slaking", quicklime with water and consist mainly of calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). Slaked lime includes hydrated lime (dry calcium hydroxide powder), milk of lime and lime putty (dispersions of calcium hydroxide particles in water). The term lime includes quicklime and slaked lime and is synonymous with the term lime products. Lime is, however, sometimes used incorrectly to describe limestone products which is a frequent cause of confusion."
"The lime industry is a highly energy-intensive industry with energy accounting for up to 50% of total production costs. Kilns are fired with solid, liquid or gaseous fuels. The use of natural gas has grown substantially over the last few years."
"The main releases from lime production are atmospheric releases from the kiln. These result from the particular chemical composition of the raw materials and fuels used. However, significant releases of particulates can occur from any part of the process, notably the hydrator. Potentially significant emissions from lime plants include carbon oxides (CO, CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and dust."

Unless this is done with Nuclear Power (or solar/hydroelectric/wind/tidalelectric), this is a net CO2 loser. Anything else will pretty much fail if the Goal is to cause CO2 reduction.
Try to imaging the transportation of VAST Quantities of Lime around the oceans without the burning of fossil fuels... nope..
This smells of a big grab for venture capital/government grant money, nothing more...

Besides, the tree-huggers will cry foul about how we are wasting billions on turning the Oceans into cement... save the 'Spotted-Owl Crabs' and such...
I have some ocean-front property in Arizona for sale too, let me od get the deed, I keep it in the back seat of my Fiero... Also, I'll go fill out that personal check on the dash of myu car to cover our extensive bar tab... Be right back...

Comment Re:I prefer this idea: (Score 3, Funny) 806

I agree that the "no return if opened" policy is hurting consumers

I used to tend to steam my PC software open when possible. Not really steam, just get the glue weakened and soft so it'd peel off. Open, install, play, beat in like 4 hours... close back up and return. A game needs to take a week :(

Console games shrink wrap so this is a non-option.

Comment Japan VS. US Infrastructure. (Score -1, Troll) 368

Of course, it always helps when you completely rebuild your infrastructure after it being decimated after a war. Also having a huge difference in landmass is in Japans favour. Of course, they always seem to want to strive for innovation, while US strives for ROI. Almost makes you wish the terrorists bombed the intertube infrastructure instead of the WTO.

Comment Re:Child porn is NOT the problem (Score 5, Insightful) 572

How do we deal with [child produced pornography]?
At the risk of being called a pedophile myself:
We don't.

To me at least, the fact that the tools to produce pornography are falling into the hands of children and it's being used as such is evidence that we need to completely rethink childhood, adolesence, sexuality, and age of consent. I know parents will be horrified at the thought of their precious little fuzzy-lumpkins actually being as curious as they were when they were that age, but it's true.

Comment Peer Review is Elitism (Score -1, Troll) 317

The only purpose of peer review is not quality control but control, period. It is a mechanism used by an elitist group to keep outsiders at bay. Thus science becomes immune to public scrutiny, not a very good thing. As Paul Feyerabend said, (paraphrasing) we did not get rid of the dictatorship of the one true religion to fall under the tyranny of another.

Peer review is an incestuous process that works for a while but eventually engenders ridiculously hideous monsters. Examples are time travel, cats that are both dead and alive when nobody is looking, parallel universes, dimensions that curled up into little balls so tiny as to be unobservable, etc... This is the reason that Feyerabend wrote in Against Method that "the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size and give them a more modest position in society."

The good news is that the internet is quickly making old style peer review obsolete. Like it or not, the entire world is our peer. If you got something good to offer, fight like hell to promote it and, if it's any good, the world will acknowledge your effort and compensate you accordingly. Just come out into the playground and show us what you got.

Most peer reviewed scientific papers are boring crap anyway. Your worth should not be how many papers you've published but what have you done that is useful?
User Journal

Journal Journal: I'm Tired

It's almost 5AM and I can't sleep.. I went to bed at 1AM and woke up around 3AM, now I'm stuck watching The Science Channel, which thankfully does not turn into the "how to make millions on eBay" channel after 2AM.. I wonder if there are any studies related to people who work in IT and their shitty sleeping schedules? Being on call 24hrs a day means that it's nearly impossible for me to follow any decent sleeping regiment, and I would not be surprised to find that there are many people out


Submission + - UK anti-piracy FUD targets honest nerds!

An anonymous reader writes: I saw a new anti-piracy ad at the cinema today. Previous ones had shown a current film, gradually getting worse quality with a voice over telling the audience how illegal copies of films were poorer quality than watching at the cinema. The new one however went a step further, depicting a typical loner/nerd (alone in his single bedroom, watching the film on his PC in his underwear). The voiceover (when it wasn't getting a cheap laugh by calling him "Dick") tried to imply two things I take issue with — all nerds are illegal pirates, and downloading films contributes to terrorism. Nerds have a sad enough stereotype without someone trying to imply we're also criminals! Also I can see the money trail in selling pirate copies on DVD, but where would the organised criminals get their money from free downloads? Advertising?! Are we to believe they're still riding the 1990's dot-com bubble?

Fact's website doesn't offer any corroboration for these claims, though it does show case studies where they've prosecuted large-scale dvd production facilities (ie the complete opposite of a loner downloading the film). It wound me up enough to complain to the UK's advertising standards body and I'd urge any like-minded UK citizens to do the same!

Submission + - P2P File Sharing Increases CD Sales (

Foddz writes: A new study by the University of London researchers Birgitte Andersen and Marion Frenz, for Industry Canada has found a positive correlation between P2P file sharing and increased spending on audio CDs.

From the article:
"The report found that for every track downloaded using peer-to-peer (P2P) software, file sharers purchased 0.44 more CDs a year than those who did not use the software.

"There is a strong positive relationship between P2P file-sharing and CD purchasing," the report said. "That is, among Canadians actually engaged in it, P2P file-sharing increases CD purchasing.""


Submission + - US consumers clueless about online tracking (

Arashtamere writes: A study on consumer perceptions about online privacy undertaken by the Samuelson Clinic at the University of California and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, found that the average American consumer is largely unaware that every move they make online can be, and often is, tracked by online marketers and advertising networks. Those surveyed showed little knowledge on the extent to which online tracking is happening or how the information obtained can be used. More than half — about 55 percent — of those surveyed falsely assumed that a company's privacy polices prohibited it from sharing their addresses and purchases with affiliated companies. Nearly four out of 10 online shoppers falsely believed that a company's privacy policy prohibits it from using information to analyze an individuals' activities online; and a similar number also assumed that an online privacy policy meant that a company they're doing business with wouldn't collect data on their online activities and combine it with other information to create a behavioral profile.

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