Post a news story, entertain me!

Mantid wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Probably easier for Mother Earth to recover from us just dying out than from nuclear war.

Depends on how much plastic we pump into her before those same plastics do us in.

Probably not, bacteria are already starting to develop ways to break down some plastics, and even some larger organisms can do it. So given maybe 100k years the plastics won't be around much.

farley3k wrote:

Plummeting sperm counts are threatening the future of human existence, and plastics could be to blame

So not nuclear war but diet coke 20oz bottles doom us.

When we were doing IVF, my wife's reproductive endocrinologist described my sperm count, to her and me, as 'disappointing.'

UpToIsomorphism wrote:
farley3k wrote:

Plummeting sperm counts are threatening the future of human existence, and plastics could be to blame

So not nuclear war but diet coke 20oz bottles doom us.

When we were doing IVF, my wife's reproductive endocrinologist described my sperm count, to her and me, as 'disappointing.'

Did your wife look surprised by this news, or just nod slowly? I had been taking a sperm production supplement for a few weeks when I got mine done and then urologist was pretty impressed with my count. I could almost here an 'attaboy' in his voice.

Is Children of Men the future we are now plummeting towards?

I don’t know, but this stork tastes great!

Vertical turbines could be the future for wind farms

The now-familiar sight of traditional propeller wind turbines could be replaced in the future with wind farms containing more compact and efficient vertical turbines.

New research from Oxford Brookes University has found that the vertical turbine design is far more efficient than traditional turbines in large scale wind farms, and when set in pairs the vertical turbines increase each other’s performance by up to 15%.

A research team from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (ECM) at Oxford Brookes led by Professor Iakovos Tzanakis conducted an in-depth study using more than 11,500 hours of computer simulation to show that wind farms can perform more efficiently by substituting the traditional propeller type Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs), for compact Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs).

Vertical turbines are more efficient than traditional windmill turbines

The research demonstrates for the first time at a realistic scale, the potential of large scale VAWTs to outcompete current HAWT wind farm turbines.

VAWTs spin around an axis vertical to the ground, and they exhibit the opposite behaviour of the well-known propeller design (HAWTs). The research found that VAWTs increase each other’s performance when arranged in grid formations. Positioning wind turbines to maximise outputs is critical to the design of wind farms.

Professor Tzanakis comments “This study evidences that the future of wind farms should be vertical. Vertical axis wind farm turbines can be designed to be much closer together, increasing their efficiency and ultimately lowering the prices of electricity. In the long run, VAWTs can help accelerate the green transition of our energy systems, so that more clean and sustainable energy comes from renewable sources.”

With the UK’s wind energy capacity expected to almost double by 2030, the findings are a stepping stone towards designing more efficient wind farms, understanding large scale wind energy harvesting techniques and ultimately improving the renewable energy technology to more quickly replace fossil fuels as sources of energy.

Cost effective way to meet wind power targets

According to the Global Wind Report 2021, the world needs to be installing wind power three times faster over the next decade, in order to meet net zero targets and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Lead author of the report and Bachelor of Engineering graduate Joachim Toftegaard Hansen commented: “Modern wind farms are one of the most efficient ways to generate green energy, however, they have one major flaw: as the wind approaches the front row of turbines, turbulence will be generated downstream. The turbulence is detrimental to the performance of the subsequent rows.

“In other words, the front row will convert about half the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity, whereas for the back row, that number is down to 25-30%. Each turbine costs more than £2 million/MW. As an engineer, it naturally occurred to me that there must be a more cost-effective way.”

The study is the first to comprehensively analyse many aspects of wind turbine performance, with regards to array angle, direction of rotation, turbine spacing, and number of rotors. It is also the first research to investigate whether the performance improvements hold true for three VAWT turbines set in a series.

Dr Mahak co-author of the article and Senior Lecturer in ECM comments: “The importance of using computational methods in understanding flow physics can’t be underestimated. These types of design and enhancement studies are a fraction of the cost compared to the huge experimental test facilities. This is particularly important at the initial design phase and is extremely useful for the industries trying to achieve maximum design efficiency and power output.”

The researchNumerical modelling and optimization of vertical axis wind turbine pairs: A scale up approach was published in the International Journal of Renewable Energy (ELSEVIER)

I remember seeing a story like that somewhere else years ago (maybe Ars) and have been wondering why I haven't seen any (Oklahoma has a number of big wind farms).

John Oliver Issues Challenge to His New Worst Enemy, Cheerios’ Twitter Account

“They deliver empty nonsense like, ‘Good morning! Today is yours.’ What?!” In the hopes of inspiring Cheerios to do better, or at least, more, Oliver issues a challenge: he’ll donate $25,000 to a charity chosen by Cheerios if they “simply use their official account to tweet, ‘f*ck you,’” even bumping up the offer to $50,000 if they direct the tweet to a non-famous random user. Truly, it’s an offer they absolutely can’t accept.

Headphones and Earbuds Impact Younger Generations’ Future Audio Health

Summary: Listening to music on headphones or earbuds at 50% volume for an hour a day can have a detrimental impact on a young person’s auditory health, a new study reports.

Source: Acoustical Society of America

Auditory health risk is highest for people using personal audio systems for more than an hour a day at more than 50% volume over a five-year period. Disputing a recent Wall Street Journal article claiming 85 decibels is safe for children and teens, Fink said 85 decibels is not a safe exposure for anyone.

“People think the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 85 dBA recommended exposure level for noise is safe,” he said. “But a noise level that won’t prevent hearing loss in factory workers or heavy equipment operators is far too high for a young child whose ears have to last an entire lifetime.”

Not entertaining I guess but not political either. Tldr is that kids shouldn't be listening to headphones at anything above 70db on a regular basis.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Videogame Article

Perfect.

And for once you should actually read the comments.

Over half of all phone calls we receive now are SPAM

A bit surprised it isn't a higher percentage.

Let me think my mom calls me about once every week or two, my wife calls a couple of times per week when she is in the car, maybe two or three random work related calls a month, and I get two or three calls a day (five or six on a really bad day) from spammers/scammers so yea their number are way off for me.

I get about 3-5 calls a day from spam numbers. I get 0-1 calls per day from actual human beings who I want/need to talk to.

farley3k wrote:

Over half of all phone calls we receive now are SPAM

A bit surprised it isn't a higher percentage.

For me it is higher.

For me on the landline it's 90%-plus. Most of the time I answer without saying anything, and there's not even the slight static of an open line so I assume it's a robodialer waiting for a sound to connect a person or play its recording. If the number is out of area or the caller ID says "SPAM?", I often just push the button twice to hang up immediately.

While I was typing this, the phone rang. Dead air, so I made a 'hmmph' noise. Couple of seconds later, "Hello this is Sean, how are you d*click*". Classic.

I wish my landline phone had a button like cell phones to for "stop ringing without answering". I only pick it up to stop the noise.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I was getting a lot of spam calls to my work desk phone. They were usually of the same variety, which I'm sure you've all heard. My work buddy didn't believe me, though. Early one morning, just as we were about to head to the kitchen to get some coffee, I saw my desk phone ring, and recognized it as one that was surely going to be a spam call. I proclaimed it as such, told him to "check this out", and answered it via speakerphone. The result:

Spoiler:

"THIS IS THE FBI"

Apparently my speaker volume was up rather high (I never use speaker). I immediately slammed the disconnect button and looked around the office embarrassingly. Fortunately none of my neighbors were in the office that early. I hadn't heard that particular type of spam call before, nor since.

I almost enjoy spam calls here in Greece. The set of "people in Greece hired to read phone scripts" does not seem to include any of the set "people who paid attention at all for 12 years of English as a Foreign Language class in school."

So I hear something like, "Καλημέρα. Έχετε σκεφτεί να αλλάξετε τον πάροχο ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας;"

And I respond with, "Hi! How are you? Can I help you?" with a more nasal/thick American accent than I actually have.

Then I hear, "(Click)."

And...that's it.

Everyone I know communicates exclusively through text and/or various messaging clients, even my parents who don’t even have smartphones. The only non-spam calls I’ve gotten in the last year are from my apartment building’s callbox, and that has it’s own ringtone so I don’t even bother answering any other calls.

Roo wrote:

I almost enjoy spam calls here in Greece. The set of "people in Greece hired to read phone scripts" does not seem to include any of the set "people who paid attention at all for 12 years of English as a Foreign Language class in school."

So I hear something like, "Καλημέρα. Έχετε σκεφτεί να αλλάξετε τον πάροχο ηλεκτρικής ενέργειας;"

And I respond with, "Hi! How are you? Can I help you?" with a more nasal/thick American accent than I actually have.

Then I hear, "(Click)."

And...that's it.

I used to get the same thing in Japan but instead of phone calls it was door to door. Knock on my apartment door, see a white guy answer, immediately apologize and run away.

Valve announces the Steam Deck.

It is basically a Switch with power similar to maybe an Xbox One. The d-pad and face button placement looks horrible to me and the analogs sticks are only a little better. It has dual touchpads right where I think the sticks would have worked better. The triggers and grip buttons look nice though. It is also pretty big with a 7 inch touchscreen running 1280x800 resolution at 60 Hz. Too bad they didn't do a removable Joycon like thing with the controller part so that other companies could make better version (just like the Joycons). There is also a Dock for connecting to a TV or monitor. They claim 2 to 8 hours of battery life depending on usage. There are three versions priced at $399, $529, and $649. The $399 has smaller and slower storage than the $529 or $649 versions

It looks like they're giving priority to their paying customers, to combat bots: Steam accounts that have made any purchase prior to June 2021 can place a deposit payment tomorrow to reserve a Deck; Steam accounts newer than that have to wait until Sunday to make a reservation. One reservation per account.