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Submission + - The Russian Utopian Designs That Never Became Reality (bbc.com)

dryriver writes: The BBC reports: Had Tatlin's Tower been built, its spiral steel frame would have stood taller than the Eiffel Tower, at that time — 1919 — the world’s tallest manmade structure, by some 91m (299 ft). And its record as the world’s tallest building would have gone unsurpassed for over half a century, until the construction of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, which opened for business in 1973. The steel frame would contain three glass units: a cube, a cylinder and a cone. These would rotate once a year, once a month and once a day respectively, and house a conference hall, a legislative chamber and an information and propaganda centre for the Third Communist International (also known as the Comintern – the organisation that advocated world communism). It would stand at just over 396 m (1,306 ft). But for reasons of cost (Russia was bankrupt and in the middle of a civil war) and practicality (was its realisation even structurally possible, and where, after all, would they get all that steel?) this staggeringly audacious symbol of modernity was never built.

Submission + - Blue Origin gets a paying customer

nickovs writes: Blue Origin was started as a "moon shot" company by Jeff Bezos and recently claimed that it would be offering an "Amazon-like" delivery service to the moon by 2020. In the mean time it seems their customers will be slightly closer to Earth: this week they announced that they now have a paying customer in the form of the satellite TV company Eutelsat. While this isn't a huge technical milestone it is a major business milestone, turning Blue Origin from a hobby business into one which might eventually make a profit. According to a New York Times article:

The commercial partnership brings Blue Origin closer in line with SpaceX, created by Elon Musk, which has been launching satellites and taking NASA cargo to the International Space Station for several years.

Submission + - Australian Farmers Switch To Diesel Power As Electricity Prices Soar (abc.net.au)

connect4 writes: Local irrigators council representative, Dale Hollis, says right now, irrigators have two options. "They have to switch off the pumps and go back to dryland [cropping], and that impacts upon the productivity of the region and impacts on jobs" he said. "The second option is to go off the grid and look at alternatives."There are plenty of farmers installing panels, but many growers irrigate at night and can't afford the millions of dollars it could take to buy battery storage."

That's pushing many of them back to a dirtier option. "Right now, diesel stacks up" Mr Hollis said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister claims the country faces an energy crisis, while Tesla claims they could solve the entire problem in less than 100 days, and they have form.

Comment Re:NO !! (Score 1) 380

When I was in high school and college I couldn't afford the cost of new books so the used bookstore was my favorite place to shop. Once e-books took off, the used bookstores all went out of business, at least in my city. I would love to have an online source to legally purchase "used" e-books for cheap. I am more than willing to pay full price for authors I know and like, but the cost of discovery for new authors is pretty high and the local library is quite limited.

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