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* Posts by Chemist

1948 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Microsoft 'touches 16k shop workers' to flog Windows 8 hard

Chemist
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Re: Lord of the flies

"Ever seen flies on a touch screen ? I have last summer and it was hilarious - they are happy to open Control Panel for you or whatever ... close random windows ...."

It's just a bug

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Report: Over 1.5 MILLION UK drivers will have hydrogen cars by 2030

Chemist
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Re: doomed

""Steam would of course provide a simple enough alternative - fireless steam""

Note : the fireless steam is generated from methanol + hydrogen peroxide + catalyst. This does not seem a realistic method for transport etc. Local, small scale generation of steam without heat maybe.

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Chemist
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Re: Why not just convert your existing car?

"he amount of current required is significantly reduced to within the scope of a standard car battery and unmodified alternator."

Perpetual motion then ! Should make a fortune !

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Chemist
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Re: doomed

All you need now is a low-cost, low energy way to make methanol & hydrogen peroxide. - oh wait !

Thermodynamics is thermodynamics - there is no way round that. The energy you get out + losses had to come from somewhere.

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HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

Chemist
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Re: My Samsung Chromebook turned up last week!

"Have to say its a great bit of kit. Great to use."

Good to hear but so many here would say it's barely usable because it can't run Office etc..

( Please note I wouldn't say that )

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Windows Server 2012 kicks ass: discuss

Chemist
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Re: Madness with Windows supporters

NYSE Trading Platform

"Unparalleled Price-Performance

The Universal Trading Platform for International Markets runs on commodity

Linux hardware and standards-based communication protocols."

http://nysetechnologies.nyx.com/sites/technologies.nyx.com/files/L5756_NYSE%20Tech%20UTP_IM_OST_100105b.pdf

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Chemist
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Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"Unix servers experienced a revenue decline of 14.2% year over year "

Yes but Linux != Unix !

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Chemist
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Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"People better qualified than you are chosing Windows server on a daily basis"

People better than you are chosing Linux servers on a daily basis .... Fixed.

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Chemist
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Re: Madness with Windows supporters

"New York Stock Exchange uses SQL........"

First hit on Google !

How Linux Mastered Wall Street

www.pcworld.com/article/.../how_linux_mastered_wall_street.html

"NYSE Does Linux

The largest exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Euronext, is run on a Linux system that can generate 1,500,000 quotes and process 250,000 orders every second, offering acknowledgments of each transaction within two milliseconds. "

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Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Chemist
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Re: I want a new netbook

I've had a Asus 901 for years and binned the stupid travesty of Linux it came with almost immediately for Kubuntu. It now runs OpenSUSE 11.4/KDE , which installed perfectly from a USB stick and runs everything fine and that includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G dongle.

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Quantum crypto still not proven, claim Cambridge experts

Chemist
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Re: Carver Mead's been saying it for years

"Even if you could fire a "single" photon would it not hit the Aether particles and cause them to propagate as a wave?"

You can 'fire' a single photon.

What Aether particles ? Suggest you need to do some reading around this whole area

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Comp Sci becomes 'fourth science' in English Baccalaureate

Chemist
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Re: A significant difference...

"Between my schooldays in the late seventies ....."

Ditto - only the sixties

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UPnP scan shows 50 million network devices open to packet attack

Chemist
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"Am I right in thinking that unless you specifically need an incoming connection "

I think it is implementation dependent - if your device has an option for uPNP on/off its best off. They often default to on.

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Stanford super runs million-core calculation

Chemist
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Re: Is it hard to do that?

"Could you not do that just by writing some bad code?"

You'd better put more paper in the printer if you're making a million copies

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Hackers squeeze through DVR hole, break into CCTV cameras

Chemist
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This business about uPNP..

.. has been known about for years. I turned it off on my router when it was new and that was 4-5 years ago

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My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8

Chemist
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Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

"if you could just grasp the concept that there are hundreds of *billions* of PCs"

So several dozen for each person on the planet then.

hint : population of planet ~7 billion

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Chemist
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Re: "the writing is on the wall for desktop computing."

"no office or other Win application that requires more performance than I have."

I think you mean - that YOU use. There are plenty of applications that can use huge amounts of memory/cpu -the most general obvious being video, esp. rendering or transcoding 1080p/50

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Chemist
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Re: world without MS - open, innovation, creative

"Erm, you mean like Android managing to have more variants of Malware in 3 years than all versions of Windows have in 14 years?"

You really believe that don't you ?

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Chemist
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Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

Re: My top tip for Microsoft.

"n the real world nobody really uses Linux and open source on corporate desktops"

Absolute rubbish - I was in a group of 200 who had high powered Linux workstations years ago( 8+) , academics, CGI groups and engineers all use it. It may well be a small percentage but it's a very high-powered influential percentage. In my own area software tends to be ONLY written for Unix, Linux and maybe Macs

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ITU signs off on H.265 video standard

Chemist
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Re: Damn!

"I wonder how long it will be until hardware-accelerated codecs for this are commonplace?"

FYI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

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The Oric-1 is 30

Chemist
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"

> I'm not sure I'd want to deal with a company whose director, or even a senior staff, have a

> history of bankruptcies, millions of pounds of debts, failed companies, etc"

Like many things it depends on the details, was it a well-thought out scheme that failed due to unexpected circumstances, suprise innovation from a competitor, market downturn etc. Or were the directors out-of -their-depth in some areas, dishonest, over-optimistic, poor managers etc.

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Boeing 787 fleet grounded indefinitely as investigators stumped

Chemist
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"Inert gas extinguishers, or anything else, will not help much in a lithium ion battery fire."

Whilst I agree with this and have on several occasions in my lab career extinguished burning metal & metal hydride fires using special ternary powder extinguishers and whilst noting that these batteries are worst in having their own oxidant the use of inert gas would at least help to control any collateral fires in the vicinity.

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Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

Chemist
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Joke

"Some of us old timers had to learn the hex codes for several different processors."

What worries me as I get older is that hex codes (7E JMP on a 6809)are starting to be the only thing I remember !

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Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

Chemist
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Re: Obvious innit?

Surely

Yours _infallibly@pontifex

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Chemist
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dash dot dash dash dash

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Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Chemist
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If it is ~ same efficiency as plants..

then it will need a humongous area of land

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Chemist
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Re: Let me get this right...

"that you don't have software maintenance if you don't buy the Windows flavour."

Certainly I build all my own desktops/servers and install Linux on them - for years I've had NO maintenance cost other than one flaky HD

Laptops are a more difficult matter - so far I've got by with 1 netbook (Linux from new) and 1 second-hand laptop (donated after a Windows Update disaster). I'm going to have to replace it soon-ish as various non-core bits are failing and the memory is becoming rather tight)

I'm going to have to look around rather carefully

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Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water

Chemist
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Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"But that's one big if."

Absolutely. Si surfaces rapidly coat with SiO2 so I imagine the nanospheres would need to be made out of contact with air. On exposure to water I rather think they would change their shape rapidly and indeed if they didn't much unexposed silicon might be wasted or the reaction rate at least limited.

Overall this is just one scheme amongst others that could be used as a portable source of hydrogen.

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Chemist
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Re: price of caravan fuel cell fuel

The energy content of methanol is ~~6kWh /Kg so that would argue for a rather poor efficiency.

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Chemist
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Re: Just add silicon nano-spheres too - Yeah BUT

"HUGE double mattress slabs of silicon, and have them churn away"

Sorry the reaction with bulk silicon is VERY slow probably because the surface rapidly coats with SiO2

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Chemist
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Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"I like the low-tech aspect of cacium carbide."

It's not low-tech, just old-tech - it needs a stonking 2000K arc furnace to make , don't know what the energy efficiency is.

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Chemist
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" Water is a finite resource too"

Not really. Take this reaction 2/3rds of the water comes back from oxidizing the hydrogen in the fuel cell. The remainder is loosely locked-up in silicic acid.

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Chemist
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There are plenty of uses for a 'refillable battery' although a generator is really a better name. Already large units are available for motorhomes and yachts that allow silent power production on a considerable scale for many weeks from cassettes of methanol ( not ideal I admit ). You could use solar or wind but the energy stored in even methanol is significant and allows for heavy usage in darkness.

An example here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vWvPwiQazI

A bit twee but it gives some of the current possibilities. As far as I can tell the running costs are ~~£2/day for a 600W unit

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Chemist
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Re: Just add silicon nano-spheres too

"bear on making the spheres cheaply"

The silicon is just an energy carrier - you need to put energy in to get silicon from silicon dioxide. Generate the hydrogen and consume it as efficiently as possible and you might get back a modest proportion of the input energy. There's no way round that it's just chemistry and thermodynamics. If you can get really cheap energy it might be useful for certain niche application - basically it allows you to store the equivalent ~45L of hydrogen in 28g of silicon (+water)

Energy costs dominate this with the proviso that making the nano-silicon particles may in fact dominate the process. Material costs are irrelevant as the silicic acid can be converted back to silica if necessary

The minimum energy cost is ~1MJ/mol (=28g) and may be a lot more

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Chemist
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Re: Wow. object with 100x surface area of other object reacts 100x faster on its surface

"Can you re-cycle the wast product?"

Yes, but you'd need to provide some more energy to dehydrate it - it's basically similar to silica gel that's used as a desiccant often in little bags with "do not eat" on them.

I've covered some aspects of the energy cost in a post further up the thread

(The whole business is a little like the old carbide process where calcium carbide + water produced acetylene on demand for portable lights.)

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Asteroid-mining 'FireFlys' will be ready for action by 2015, vows space firm

Chemist
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Re: Now *how* does one get from lumps of rock -> pure nickel particles?

"All are big energy consumers."

I don't think your big is anywhere nearly big enough

Although I assume they are hoping to mine native nickel or nickel/iron from asteroids.

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Spanish startup to ship first Mozilla-phones

Chemist
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Re: Bleh

"Then it stated throwing up alerts and warnings and upgrade notices every time I launched it."

Funny, I'm now on v18.0, have used FF . from the beginning and don't know what you mean.

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Entire Reg readership would fill 205 Olympic-sized swimming pools

Chemist
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Re: All very well but

"to the ends of the unverse"

Truly a big bang !

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

Chemist
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Re: CFL's

"Those cleanup instructions from the EPA tacitly assume a hard surface floor. Wall-to-wall carpeting is very common; just try to scrape up spilled mercury from it!"

You obviously didn't read the information the EPA provided.

It concludes :

"What if I can't follow all the recommended steps? or I cleaned up a CFL but didn't do it properly?

Don't be alarmed; these steps are only precautions that reflect best practices for cleaning up a broken CFL. Keep in mind that CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury -- less than 1/100th of the amount in a mercury thermometer. "

Whilst the total amount of mercury in all CFL may be significant the risk from one broken one is miniscule.

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Chemist
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Re: Yeah lets ban another element

"but with any poison dose matters "

Indeed it seems to and Bruce Ames who was partly responsible for much of the scare about zero tolerance to some carcinogens changed his mind in later life and published well-reasoned papers about why a threshold amount/concentration was probably more likely.

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Chemist
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Re: Quite correct

" factory still using the mercury process"

Really, I'd imagined most long gone. I'm certainly no expert being an organic chemist by training and a drug designer/protein modeller by profession, but I imagine that mercury could be stored as it's sulfide which forms easily (we always used to us sulfur powder to 'mop-up' stray drops from broken bits of kit) and is a natural ore anyway.

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Chemist
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"Mercury in the environment but I can't remember if its the top cause."

It used to be used in very large scale electrolytic production of chlorine and sodium hydroxide from brine . The mercury acted as the cathode and dissolved the sodium formed. The mercury flowed in a loop and once away from the electrolytic cell the mercury/sodium amalgam allowed to react with water to generate sodium hydroxide. I think it was waste water from this process that caused the Minimata incident.

These days the electrolytic cell has a membrane barrier that can pass current so no mercury is involved. The membrane is neat and rather expensive called 'nafion'

In fact I've used it myself in an experimental electrochemical removal of a protecting group off a synthetic antibiotic years ago

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Chemist
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Re: Fluorescents

AFAIK it's the UV spectrum emitted by the ionized mercury vapour, I presume also that it needs to be readily vapourized -it's heat of vapourization is ~59 vs ~230 kJ/mol for Indium and the boiling point is much lower too

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Chemist
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Re: Fluorescents

"Sooner or later someone will invent a really safe bulb"

In the link to Osram they had researched alternatives to mercury like xenon for generating UV in fluorescents but the energy efficiency was much lower than mercury, although doubtless much better than hot wires.

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Chemist
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Re: Errata

" mercury-filled fluorescents"

Not really a very objective way to describe a tube that (these days) contains generally a few milligrams of mercury. A trace would be more appropriate in common parlance.

That said I agree that phasing mercury out should be considered a good thing but AFAIK the likelihood that such efficient lighting can be produced without mercury seems very low (see http://www.osram.com/osram_com/sustainability/sustainable-products/sustainability-criteria/key-performance-indicators/mercury/why-mercury/index.jsp)

But there is always LEDs

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Longest-standing bug?

Chemist
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Re: KDE

"I've never experienced this particular bug."

Ditto

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Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Chemist
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Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

""oh no, can't repair this. Has to be couriered to Dell. I'll build you a new one. I'll even dispose of the old one for you in an environmentally friendly way.""

You don't really understand life in a remote community, do you. Get caught at this sort of thing and you'd end up inside a wicker man with someone with a lit torch about to reprimand you.

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Chemist
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Re: @Eadon - openness selling Android

"even the most radical Linux dudes have eventually returned to the MS Borgship after a couple of years"

Nonsense - in a big organisation maybe, before I retired I had 2 workstations - a Windows PC for (corporate) e-mail and attached Word documents and a big, powerful Linux system for the real work of data analysis, protein modeling & 3D displaying.The company insisted on the Windows machine.

Since 'retiring' - I'm a scientist we never really retire - I've use exclusively Linux - nobody has complained that documents that I've processed with Libre Office are a problem, people send me spreadsheet data as CSV in any case as that's the format that a lot of science uses as it can be processed more readily by all sorts of means.

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