H/t reader kevin a:
“Green Energy Is Causing Power Shortages In Europe During An Awful Winter
Green energy subsidies and mandates have greatly increased the price of electricity throughout Germany, especially, which has some of the continent’s highest power prices. The German government has mandated that the nuclear reactors be replaced with wind or solar power, but the estimated cost of doing so is over $1.1 trillion.
If you can translate a little that would be great.”
I can translate it, but I have no time.
Sorry about that.
Google translation: HERE
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H/t reader kevin a.
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Tired of your barista giving you attitude, spitting in your coffee if you only mention Trump, or misspelling your name on your morning cup of joe? Surely a robot could do better. Well, we are about to find out, because on Monday, Cafe X opened its very first robotic cafe in San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center Digital Trends reports. Promising “precision crafted specialty coffee in seconds, the way the roaster intended,” Cafe X thinks that anything a human can do, its machines can do better. Or rather just one machine.
Nicknamed Gordon, after a Cafe X employee, this robot mans, or robots, two standard professional coffee machines in order to serve up espressos and lattes. In the San Francisco location, customers can grab a cup of coffee with beans from AKA Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters, or Peet’s. While the coffee itself may not make Cafe X stand out from the competition, the startup hopes that the robot’s efficiency and utility will. Continue reading »
(TechXplore)—Most of the sodium-ion batteries that have been developed so far have been half-cell batteries, meaning that the anode is made of a standard sodium metal. However, this standard sodium metal becomes highly active when exposed to oxygen or moisture, creating a safety hazard. For this reason, researchers have been exploring sodium-ion batteries in a full cell format, in which the anode is made of an alternative material.
In a new study, researchers have designed and fabricated a sodium-ion full-cell battery that uses sodium titanium oxide nanotubes as the anode material. In addition to greatly reducing the safety risks compared to sodium-ion half-cell batteries, the new battery can store nearly the same amount of energy in a given volume as today’s state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries. Although the new battery’s energy density (220 Wh/kg by itself, or an estimated 130 Wh/kg when fully assembled) is not as high as that of the best sodium-ion half-cells, it is the highest achieved so far for sodium-ion full-cell batteries. A high energy density ultimately translates to longer battery lifetimes and—when used in electric vehicles—longer driving ranges.
H/t reader kevin a.
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H/t reader squodgy:
“The Ukraine debacle has claimed one big casualty, the end of the Antonov Aircraft design & manufacturing Bureau, in Kiev, famous for the biggest working Transport plane the An-124 Ruslan. Now starved of Russian funding thanks to Poroschenko & Nuland.
Russia has been forced to encourage the Ilyushin Design Bureau to re-visit the upgrading of the extremely versatile IL-76, which they are now churning out as the backbone of the Russian MATS.”
In this series Russia Insider will explore the revival of Russia’s aviation industry. Today we concentrate on transport aircraft. In subsequent issues we shall deal with passenger aircraft, military aircraft and helicopters
The revival of Russia’s aircraft industry is a central plank of the Russian government’s policy of reindustrialisation and import substitution.
This is a massively ambitious programme and in a series of articles I shall discuss the various projects that are underway. Continue reading »
Metallic hydrogen, a bizarre form of the element that conducts electricity even at low temperatures, has finally been made in the lab, 80 years after physicists predicted its existence.
Scientists managed to create the elusive, electrically conductive hydrogen by squeezing it to incredibly high pressures between two ultrapure diamonds, the researchers reported in a new study.
“No one has ever encountered metallic hydrogen because it’s never existed on Earth before,” Isaac Silvera, a condensed matter physicist at Harvard University, told Live Science. “Probably the conditions in the universe are such that it has never existed in the universe.” Continue reading »
A six-year-old girl from Dallas, Texas, became one happy little lady recently after her family’s Amazon Echo, an always-listening speaker device that’s gradually being implemented into thousands of consumer electronic products, responded to a simple voice command she made and ordered her both a tin of shortbread cookies and a large dollhouse — both of which were automatically delivered to the family’s home without so much as the click of a mouse or the press of a touchpad.
Reports indicate that Brooke Neitzel simply spoke to “Alexa,” the Ai-like, voice-command response system built into the Amazon Echo, about her desire for a dollhouse when the machine went ahead and processed an order through the Amazon portal for the products without her family’s permission. Within days, both the dollhouse and the cookies that Brooke casually mentioned out loud to Alexa were sitting on the family’s doorstep, much to the surprise of her parents.
“Alexa ordered me a dollhouse and cookies,” young Brooke gleefully told CBS 11 news when the incident was first reported, prompting other little girls who saw it to do the same exact thing. Within days, many children throughout the country had ordered their own dollhouses through Alexa, revealing not only the exceptional ease with which this increasingly popular tech device can purchase products without people’s permission, but also how clearly and constantly it listens to what people are saying around it. Continue reading »
‘The first time we can really say we expect offshore wind to be in the next decade on the same sort of cost structure as other power generators’
The cost of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines has fallen by a third in just four years, according to a new report.
The analysis, by Dong Energy and other firms, found that the average cost during 2015/16 was £97 per megawatt hour (mwh), according to the Financial Times.
In 2012, the industry was asked by the UK Government to reduce prices to £100 per mwh within eight years, but the target has been reached in about half that time.
H/t reader kevin a.
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Sometimes, owning a smartphone feels pricey. There’s the hefty chunk of change you’ll need to spend on the phone itself, and then the monthly fee you’ll need to fork over to operate it. But for just $US400 ($530) and the cost of a few old Zack Morris-style brick phones, you can avoid those expenses and build your own damn 1G mobile phone network.
Hackaday first pointed us to the DIY 1G project this past weekend at Shmoocon, a Washington, DC-based hacker convention. The scheme is the brainchild of Brandon Creighton, who previously helped build a small GSM-based phone network at DEF CON, an annual hacker conference in Las Vegas. But unlike GSM — which is currently used as the standard for phone networks in Australia — his 1G phone network is a tad less sophisticated. Continue reading »
Electric, driverless shuttles with no steering wheel and no brake pedal are now operating in Las Vegas.
There’s a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street. Continue reading »
- Experts isolated the brain circuits that coordinate predatory hunting
- Switching on targeted neurons signalled mice to use their jaws to bite
- Mice took on qualities of ‘walkers’ from The Walking Dead
- But the analogy is limited – mice only wanted to bite when hungry and did not attack their peers
They’re known for their timidity and love of cheese, but scientists have tapped into the ‘killer instinct’ of mice, to turn them into aggressive ‘zombies’.
Researchers isolated the brain circuitry in mice that coordinates predatory hunting, including one set of neurons in the amygdala – the brain’s centre of emotion and motivation, making the animal pursue prey.
They also ‘switched on’ another set in the brain region signalling the animal to use its jaw and neck muscles to bite anything in its path – a little like a fictional zombie…
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A father and son team in the START-UP NY program have invented a liquid metal printing machine that could represent a significant transformation in manufacturing. A breakthrough idea five years ago by former University at Buffalo student Zack Vader, then 19, has created a machine that prints three-dimensional objects using liquid metal.
Vader Systems is innovating and building the machines in a factory in the CrossPoint Business Park in Getzville. Zack’s father Scott, a mechanical engineer, is the CEO. Zack is the chief technology officer. His mother, Pat Roche, is controller. Continue reading »
It all sounds so futuristic and exciting, this concept of driverless cars, but the reality is, our society may not be nearly as ready for it as other people in other lands may be. That’s because if there is one thing Americans are infatuated with, it is the automobile.
And yet, the technology is here and it is getting better every year. So we may have little choice about whether or not we want our vehicle to do the driving for us in the near future.
A few of days ago I reported on a spate of wind turbine collapses occuring in Germany and Europe. Well the folly appears to be continuing as the online German Tageblatt here reports how yet another has come crashing down, with a passerby witnessing it live.
The fourth collapse in four weeks!
German news site NTV here writes:
South of Hamburg an approximately 100-meter tall wind turbine collapsed. The turbine in Neu Wulmstorf fell during the morning, a police spokesman said. A passerby observed the incident and called the fire department.”
The NTV reports it’s still unknown why the bolted connection 20 meters high came apart at around 11 a.m, but was probably due to brisk winds at the time. Continue reading »
Watchmakers have so far used 3D printing only to prototype parts, and their customers may baulk at loss of handmade tradition. Swiss chocolatiers look like beating them to market with a 3D product – instant chocolates
H/t reader kevin a.
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Taylor Wilson believes nuclear fusion is a solution to our future energy needs, and that kids can change the world. And he knows something about both of those: When he was 14, he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage. Now 17, he takes the TED stage at short notice to tell (the short version of) his story.
Not many 13-year-olds would describe themselves as an “amateur nuclear scientist.” That’s precisely what Jamie Edwards calls himself. When most kids his age are off playing video games, Edwards stays late after school to work on a control panel for a nuclear fusion reactor. He just reached his goal of becoming the youngest “fusioneer” in history, narrowly beating out the previous record-holder, who pulled it off at 14.
Carl Greninger isn’t afraid of a little nuclear fusion. And thanks to the reactor he’s built in his garage — yes, he has a nuclear reactor in his garage — dozens of the Pacific Northwest’s brightest high school students are finding their place in the exciting world of science and engineering. Continue reading »
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has been studying for decades to unlock the mystery of antimatter. Just recently, they made a breakthrough, but some religious groups are not happy, saying CERN has created a “hell on earth”.
Scientists believe that the Big Bang produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. They cancel each other out until only a relatively small amount of matter remained and antimatter vanished.
Scientists At CERN Were Able To Tickle Antimatter Atoms And Make Them Shine Continue reading »
Timelapse video of CAST following the Sun in the morning and in the evening. Video credit: Madalin-Mihai Rosu/CERN
As the Sun made an annual alignment with the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy on December 18, 2016, the scientists at CERN carried out the first of a kind experiment to measure hypothetical exotic particles possibly emitted by the black hole.
The research team utilized the CERN Axion Solar Telescope’s (CAST) prototype dipole magnet to measure the axions and chameleons which may be emitted from the center of the black hole. This is the first of a kind experiment, as there was no previous attempt at measuring the particles, until now. Continue reading »
In their sillier moments, the wind industry, its parasites and spruikers pitch the line that their pointless product is not only getting cheaper all the time, but go so far as to claim that wind power is already cheaper than gas and coal-fired power. Risible PR antics aside, the wind industry has always had a troubled relationship with the facts.
Now, coming to their aid in that regard is a study pulled together by the heavy-hitters hailing from the hallowed halls of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
When pressed on the facts, the wind-cultist resorts to personal attacks on their challenger’s academic cred. Up against the best and brightest that America has to offer, STT is not so sure that strategy will offer any hope to the wind industry’s already panicked spin kings in resisting the bleeding obvious.
MIT: Green Energy Can’t Work Unless You Tax Everything
The Daily Caller
25 February 2016
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have confirmed what many in the energy world already knew: Without government support or high taxes, green energy will never be able to compete with conventional, more reliable power plants. Continue reading »
American and Russian astronauts use separate water filtration systems on ISS, as Nasa astronauts also collect Russian urine when available to increase supply
What’s the difference between American and Russian astronauts on the International Space Station? The Americans drink their urine, the Russians don’t.
“It tastes like bottled water,” Layne Carter, water subsystem manager for the ISS at Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center told Bloomberg. “As long as you can psychologically get past the point that it’s recycled urine and condensate that comes out of the air.” Continue reading »
For several decades now, scientists from around the world have been pursuing a ridiculously ambitious goal: They hope to develop a nuclear fusion reactor that would generate energy in the same manner as the sun and other stars, but down here on Earth.
Incorporated into terrestrial power plants, this “star in a jar” technology would essentially provide Earth with limitless clean energy, forever. And according to new reports out of Europe this week, we just took another big step toward making it happen.
In a study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature Communications, researchers confirmed that Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device is on track and working as planned. The space-age system, known as a stellerator, generated its first batch of hydrogen plasma when it was first fired up earlier this year. The new tests basically give scientists the green light to proceed to the next stage of the process.
It works like this: Unlike a traditional fission reactor, which splits atoms of heavy elements to generate energy, a fusion reactor works by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier atoms. The process releases massive amounts of energy and produces no radioactive waste. The “fuel” used in a fusion reactor is simple hydrogen, which can be extracted from water. Continue reading »
There is a longstanding debate among artificial intelligence experts and futurists: When, not if, AI emerges on the scene, will it help humanity or destroy it? The scenario has played out through innumerable iterations in popular culture, the most popular being The Terminator series. Steven Spielberg, riffing on the film Stanley Kubrick was going to direct before his death, presented the counterpoint, espousing a benevolent vision of AI in A.I. Then there are more nuanced, ambiguous iterations, like the recent Ex Machina.
New advances in algorithmic artificial intelligence, deep learning software, automation, and nanotechnology have made it abundantly clear that Ray Kurzweil’s vision of the Singularity may also be not an if, but when. In fact, responding to Kurzweil’s prediction of a cloud-based neocortex in the 2030s, entrepreneur Bryan Johnson of Braintree said, “Oh, I think it will happen before that.” Continue reading »
Nuclear energy is carbon free, which makes it an attractive and practical alternative to fossil fuels, as it doesn’t contribute to global warming. We also have the infrastructure for it already in place. It’s nuclear waste that makes fission bad for the environment. And it lasts for so long, some isotopes for thousands of years. Nuclear fuel is comprised of ceramic pellets of uranium-235 placed within metal rods. After fission takes place, two radioactive isotopes are left over: cesium-137 and strontium-90.
These each have half-lives of 30 years, meaning the radiation will be half gone by that time. Transuranic wastes, such as Plutonium-239, are also created in the process. This has a half-life of 24,000 years. These materials are highly radioactive, making them extremely dangerous to handle, even with short-term exposure. Continue reading »
There is a paradigm shift coming and it is about to rewrite everything we know about economics, human labor, and government dependence.
Earlier this week Amazon launched its first Amazon Go store, which allows a customer to walk in, grab the items they want, and simply walk out. Everything is tracked utilizing RFID chips, so the second you step out of the store Amazon knows exactly what you’ve purchased and automatically charges your account: Continue reading »
Printer steganography is a type of steganography – “hiding data within data” where tiny yellow dots are added to each page. The dots are barely visible and contain encoded printer serial numbers and timestamps. Unlike many forms of steganography, the hidden information is not intended to be available from a computer file, but to allow serial number and time of printing to be determined by close examination of a printout.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation stated in 2015 that “the documents that we previously received through a (Freedom of Information Request) suggested that all major manufacturers of color laser printers entered a secret agreement with governments to ensure that the output of those printers is forensically traceable….it is probably safest to assume that all modern color laser printers do include some form of tracking information that associates documents with the printer’s serial number.” Continue reading »
A new agricultural technique may have just solved the problem of growing food in some of the world’s most inhospitable places – locations that don’t currently support traditional agriculture.
In addition, the technique can save what are clearly finite resources from extinction, something all of us should clearly favor.
As reported by Natural Blaze, as the world’s population grows, so too does its demand for food. Right now, activist organizations are battling the spread of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which have become prevalent in modern agriculture, despite the dangers they pose to our health. Continue reading »