Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Sun in Spain Shines Mainly in the Day

  1. Spain has invested vast amounts of money in green energy projects.
  2. Spain's climate is conducive to solar power projects, but solar plants have trouble generating power at night.
  3. I a scene reminiscent of Ringworld,Torresol has erected a concentrator in the midst of a vast sea of collectors which use the solar radiation to melt sodium.
  4. Molten sodium is then used as a storage medium for the heat, generating power by running steam turbines with that canned heat.
This is a fairly clever method for getting around two of the inherent difficulties of dependable solar power - clouds, and the Earth itself (it gets in the way at night, you see).
It remains to be seen how well this really works, both in delivery of a consistent stream of power, and in its economic viability - especially without vast governmental subsidies.

The other question is whether this nearly 500 acres of land could be more profitably used in some other activity, but from a technical standpoint, this is an impressive start.

Posted by Procrustes 17

Related Posts:
The Ice Age is Coming, Baby! 
Radiation and Antibiotics 

Arctic Ozone Depletion

Thursday, October 13, 2011

RIP Dennis Ritchie

Most of you probably don't have any idea who Dennis Ritchie is or was, but if it weren't for him you probably wouldn't have any of the cool gadgets you use every day like iWhatever and Droids and pretty much anything you can think of.
This guy was a true genius and was part of the creation of Unix and of the C language at Bell Labs back when they were producing some of the greatest stuff ever to come out of a corporate lab system - including the stuff from Xerox PARC which is where Apple got the idea for the Mac setup of Windows, Icons, Mouse, and Pointers.

I'm just a bit sorry that the passing of Dennis Ritchie - a guy who actually laid the foundation for a lot of the tech and gadgets that we all use all the time - is going to be overlooked, while the passing of Steve Jobs - a guy who told his engineers what he wanted them to build and then told us that we all wanted those things too - has been the cover story of every news and tech and marketing rag in the world. Steve Jobs was great at what he did, don't get me wrong, but he wouldn't have had anything to sell without Ritchie.

You should all buy his book on the C Language and just read it, even if you're never going to write a program yourself, because it's just that good of a book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Ba-ack ....

Oh great. Just when it seems that people have finally figured out when they're being phished and pranked and otherwise being made into a sucker, one of the debunked scams of yesteryear has raised its ugly head again.

The "venerable" Yapbrowser is hitting inboxes again, and with the very same come-on they used last decade, down to the now defunct site the EULA links to that's just a parked domain name waiting for someone to capitalize on the traffic by selling ads on the site for all the chumps who are going to click on that ad-infested piece of garbage browser that never did anyone any good.

If you get something like this, please, don't click it, don't open it, don't forward it, just delete it and never look back.

Posted by Gyro Gearloose

Related Posts:
IP v6 is on the way - with Big Brother

Monday, October 3, 2011

Arctic Ozone Depletion

  1. There are reports that a large hole in the Arctic Ozone layer has formed this year.
  2. The Ozone layer protects us from radiation - especially solar ultraviolet, but also from some cosmic radiation.
  3. The Ozone is formed by the radiation itself acting upon the atmosphere's oxygen, changing it from the normal O2 version to Ozone's O3 arrangement.
Amidst the alarming stories of widespread exposure to high levels of UV radiation due to this event, the reporting does say that an unusual set of circumstances conspired to create conditions where Chlorine-based compounds have been able to deplete the Ozone. Along with that analysis tends to be the alarmist cry that this might become an annual event.
Somehow the editors (?) of these reports can't see that if events occur annually, they don't really qualify to be called unusual circumstances.
It seems they can't see that the general rule would be that if there's not enough ozone, that's because there's not enough radiation to form it. Of course, admitting that would mean admitting that the sun is cooling - or at least we're receiving less radiation from it - and that we're headed for another Ice Age.

Posted by Procrustes 17

Related Posts:
The Ice Age is Coming, Baby!
Radiation and Antibiotics 
CERN, Cosmic Rays, and Cover-Ups