Tuesday, June 28, 2005

EU Selected For ITER Site Over Japan

After 18 months of wrangling over the construction site of the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) the participants (China, EU, Japan, Russia, South Korea and USA) finally agreed upon Cadarache in France over Rokkasho-Mura in Japan. Japan withdrew its bid after getting a concessions package deal. The €10 billion ($12bn) project will be the 2nd most expensive joint scientific project after the ISS and hopefully a gateway to a commercial fusion reactor prototype. Construction should begin this year and be completed in 2015.

A rejected slashdot news submission of mine.

June 29th update:
While crying and moaning about dupes and rejected submissions isn't exactly constructive criticism, I have to voice my disappointment with the Slashdot editors, especially Timothy, on this one.

I feel particularly annoyed about this news bit. Why is that? Well, I happened to submit this story early tuesday morning (about 10 am GMT / 6 am EST) and it got rejected. It happens and as such is not a big deal. But the following is imho rather embarrassing.

Not only was this news piece accepted and posted on Slashdot later as someone elses submission, it was actually accepted & posted twice (becoming yet another infamous Slashdot dupe). And in this case the poster of the dupe was no other than Timothy, who rejected my submission.

It seems he initially didn't think this particular news was important and rejected my submission. I knew it was an important bit of news to anyone who follows physics and nuclear stuff, a category which many slashdotters fall into. Potentially and on the long run this could be important news to everyone on the planet who uses electricity.

Anyway, the next day Timothy seems to have decided that a less comprehensive and informative submission on the same subject is worth posting, and as icing on the cake, he does it without even bothering to check the site's own news from yesterday (the already posted story was actually still on the frontpage!) thus creating a dupe story.

Only on Slashdot do you find editors who don't even read their own site's frontpage when posting a news story (to avoid dupes), nor remember that they rejected the very same story yesterday.

We're all human and mistakes happen. And I'm sure the editors get swamped by a huge number of submissions, which probably aren't exactly a joy to wade through trying to pick the worthy ones.

However, these sort of things seem to happen a bit more often than they could or should. Perhaps the editors could put a little more time and effort into the process, since many of the previous, similar mistakes seem rather easily avoided (at least to a /. reader like myself).

France Will Be Home To Fusion Plant (original)

France to Be Site of World's First Nuclear Fusion (dupe)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Space Shuttle One Step Closer To July Launch

The risk to the space shuttle from launch debris, mainly ice falling off the external tank, has been reduced and is now low enough to be considered an "acceptable risk", NASA's shuttle engineers and managers concluded in the debris verification meeting held saturday at Kennedy Space Center. The board recommended a green light for a July launch, which Shuttle Program Manager Bill Parsons accepted. The independent Return to Flight Task Group will hold it's final meeting on June 27th to determine if the remaining 3 (out of 15) hurdles to launch are cleared, as mentioned in previous slashdot coverage.

A slashdot news submission of mine.