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Comment Re:What's the lifetime? (Score 1) 6

I had not thought of that. Since they are printing this stuff, they could even deposit it on a flexible display, which means you can stash it away when you are done.

Kind of like a roll away projector screen that is actually an active display, which is kind of cool. They can then flip the image in the logic board, which is pretty easy as you say.

They did not quote any temperature ranges, but it seems that their macromolecule has a transition temperature of 54C. From what I remember of my undergrad, I think that means that they can't operate above the temperature. Since their devices are working, the temperature must at least initially be lower than that. I can't seem to find anything on google about this chemical, so this must be a new molecule.

Submission + - Practical solid state lighting gets closer ( 6

slashdotlurker writes: "During all the talk about the new energy revolution, and need for moving off our oil habit, one aspect of this problems tends to get forgotten — conservation. According to Department of Energy statistics, the US uses almost 22% of all the electricity produced on lighting on homes, commercial buildings, factories, etc. The basic cause of this is the widespread use of the incandescent bulb. Though their use has declined, the compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) they are replaced with, only increase the efficiency by about 5 times, while potentially causing serious health hazards with mercury used in CFLs.

Light emitting diodes have long been presented as an alternative. They are almost 10 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and have much longer lifetimes than CFLs. The best part is — they do not use mercury. The problem is cost. Since silicon cannot be used as an LED material, and gallium used in gallium arsenide and gallium nitride is a rare element, it has been impractical to use these inorganic materials in commercial lighting. White organic light emitting diodes (WOLEDs) have been presented as cheaper alternatives, but the method of depositing the materials is often expensive, and wastes a lot of material.

In a paper just published in Soft Matter (subscription required), a team of US scientists partnering with a Japanese company may have finally broken this barrier. They combined some hybrid organic and inorganic materials to create a hybrid macromolecule, mixed it with a polymer, and then printed it to create extremely bright light emitting diodes. They claim a value of 10,000 candelas per square meter. For comparison, a computer monitor puts out about 300.

This is one of the first times that such high brightness printed light emitting diodes have been reported, using a process that wastes almost no material at all. The kicker is that since this was printed, this can be done over very large areas (think walls).

Is practical, cheap, efficient solid state lighting finally here ? I am already imagining walls of bright light emitting material, with no ugly electrical fixtures sticking out at all."

Comment I do not understand this attitude (Score 3, Insightful) 155

I use open source software extensively in my work. I have also contributed open source code (not all GPL, but a good fraction of it is). I like open source for many things.

However, I do not understand this expectation that software companies should help open source. Microsoft is a special case - it tried to work with hardware vendors to delay the rise of Linux, Openoffice, etc. However, when it comes to pure software competition, a company that makes its living off software (and is not interested in the pure free-software-pay-for-support model than open source encourages) cannot be expected to act against its own financial interests to earn brownie points from the open source crowd.

Sometimes those interests will mandate open source participation. Other times, they won't. Interested in getting them to support open source ? Change market conditions to make it their interest to participate in open source. Open source might be religion to some, but it is simply an instrument for most of us. Pretty good instrument in most cases, but nothing more.

Comment Depends on the discipline (Score 2, Insightful) 674

In chemistry and many branches of engineering, Word already is more popular than LaTeX.

In mathematics, and most branches of physics, LaTeX is much more popular than Word, and with very good reason. I have no idea of what the proposed changes are for Word 2010, but I somehow doubt that the current painful way of using the equation editor is likely to be very attractive to these practitioners. LaTeX's superior fontwork also is a major advantage that Word currently cannot match.

The third issue is platform independence. Though versions of Word exist for Mac, Pages has come along very rapidly in the last 2-3 years, and will likely fragment the Mac market. Mac and Linux are both gaining market share (usually at the expense of Windows, and especially in academic settings), so unless Word addresses problems with the WYSIWYG method of entering equations (maybe steal some ideas from TeXMacs), and makes a concerted push on these two platforms (its non-existent on Linux), I do not see how it can make a dent in the traditional strongholds of LaTeX.

Most journals do not accept MS 2007 submissions (even the Word friendly publishing houses), let alone MS 2010.

Comment Ethnocentric as ever (Score 1) 198

I do not know if they count Egypt in Middle east or north Africa, but it is telling that there are little to no contributions from the ancient Chinese and Indian civilizations, both of whom make Europe and South America look like recent news.
Yup, there is nothing east of Mecca.

Comment Re:Tata Nano (Score 1) 378

Tesla's relationship with Mercedes is irrelevant to the economics of the electric car market beyond being inaccessible to vast majority of users who could use this right now.

I do not think that the Nano is underpowered for city driving. Unsafe ? They could always work on that (Europeans are already beginning to import enhanced Nano's that cost around $5000 with safety features added on - still beats the pants off even US/Japanese cars which are cheaper than European cars, in their respective markets).

Comment Re:Enough talk ... (Score 1) 378

They could have teamed up with a struggling US company (like Chrysler or Ford) or even a Japanese company which has plants and networks in the US. The fact that they chose Mercedes of all companies, shows that they are really not serious about going into mass production. Tesla is going to remain a rich man's toy car if they do not think ahead.

Comment One of those rare times ... (Score 1) 426

... when a politician opens his mouth, and says something refreshingly un-stupid. This could allow these newspapers to continue in business, and MORE importantly, improve the quality of journalism by taking extreme political activism out of journalism. No endorsements, no problem. At least not for me. I prefer to make up my own mind when it comes to voting, thank you very much.

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Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz