There are few better ways to learn about how computers work than by building one from scratch, and few better excuses to snap fresh, solder-scented boards into waiting ports, if you're one to enjoy such things. But if you're primarily a Mac user like me, the call of that great geek rite of passage may have as yet gone unanswered; homebuilt PCs can't run OS X natively.
But listen here, Mac geeks. Thanks to the efforts of an increasingly active online community of developers, building a Hackintosh--a PC built from components that runs OS X like a charm--has never been easier. And by choosing your own hardware, it's entirely feasible to rival the specs of a brand-new Mac Pro for around half the cost.
This week, over the course of three articles, I'm going to show you exactly how easy building and configuring your own Hackintosh can be.
In December 2006, William Tahil, an energy analyst, published a paper online titled "The Trouble with Lithium." His argument would be alarming to the many people who had placed their hopes for a cleaner, more prosperous economy on the rapid development of electric cars powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The trouble, he proposed, was that the world didn't contain enough economically recoverable lithium to support such a switch. Moreover, the viable pockets of lithium that did exist were concentrated in just a few countries. "If the world was to swap oil for Li-Ion based battery propulsion," he wrote, "South America would become the new Middle East. Bolivia would become far more of a focus of world attention than Saudi Arabia ever was. The USA would again become dependent on external sources of supply of a critical strategic mineral while China--home to significant lithium deposits--"would have a certain degree of self sufficiency."
Saving the oceans seems like an impossibly daunting task, one most people would have no idea how to even begin. So we asked 12 of the world's foremost ocean experts--scientists, policymakers, and a reality TV star/sea captain--how they'd do it. The answers were varied, from political to high-tech solutions, from big to small, but they were all very clear: this is something we all must do, and it's something we all can do.
Fertilizer and sewage runoff cause the worst marine pollution, but we can reverse their effects
By Rowan JacobsenPosted 05.06.2011 at 10:03 am 15 Comments
Marine pollution takes many forms, from the millions of gallons of oil that run off our highways each year to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a massive gyre of floating plastic trash. But the most devastating pollutants are the nitrogen and phosphorus found in our fertilizer and sewage. When too much of either washes downstream, coastal waters become choked with heavily fertilized algae, which then dies and decomposes, consuming the oxygen in the water and asphyxiating animal life. This process, called eutrophication, has created at least 405 “dead zones” worldwide.
Fifty years ago, if you pulled a mooring rope from the waters off Cape Cod, it would have emerged covered with mussels, barnacles and algae. Today the lines would be coated with slimy invertebrates called tunicates, one of some 4,000 known invasive aquatic species worldwide. Spread by global trade, invasive species as diverse as tunicates in the Northeast, lionfish in the Southeast, and mangrove trees in Hawaii are competing with native species for resources, attacking indigenous organisms, and restructuring habitats.
Atmospheric warming is causing saltier oceans and nastier storms
By Abe StreepPosted 05.04.2011 at 10:09 am 4 Comments
As the atmosphere warms, the water cycle—the process by which seawater evaporates, rains down, and then evaporates again—will intensify. Everywhere, the ocean surface will become, on average, saltier. The extra evaporated water vapor will rain down disproportionately in areas such as the tropics and Scandinavia, bringing stronger storms and more frequent floods. Meanwhile, the areas just north and south of the tropics, which already tend to be saltier than other regions, will become saltier and warmer.
A mysteriously healthy patch of coral reefs in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf might provide scientists with ways to protect the rest of the reefs
By Paul KvintaPosted 05.03.2011 at 10:27 am 3 Comments
In the past 20 years, nearly a third of the world's coral has been destroyed. Around 90 percent of the reefs off the coasts of Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, the Maldives and the Seychelles are at risk. If ocean temperatures rise by another 7ºF in the next three decades, as is predicted, 95 percent of the Great Barrier Reef will disappear. The primary cause of the die-off is coral bleaching. As temperatures rise, marine bacteria flourish and attack the algae that live symbiotically within every individual coral polyp.
A recent post over at MAKE set forth the call to companies: If you're going to kill a product or product line, make it open source! That way the ever-resourceful hacker and modder communities can really sink their teeth into a product that wouldn't be generating any profit for the company anyway. We've got a list of six ahead-of-their-time, awesome gadgets that were killed too soon--gadgets that could be capable of some amazing stuff if opened to the right people.
The Navy SEAL team that offed the 21st century's most wanted man Sunday was so concerned about preparation and accuracy that they re-created the one-acre compound where their target was living, "Ocean's Eleven" style. The SEALs ran trial runs there in early April until they were ready to take down Osama bin Laden.
Wiping out bycatch before it wipes out more marine life
By Josh DeanPosted 05.02.2011 at 10:09 am 1 Comment
Last year, fish consumption reached a global annual average of 37.5 pounds per person. Meanwhile, cod and bluefin-tuna populations have collapsed, and animals ranging from whales to turtles have been added to the Endangered Species Act. Our voracious appetite isn’t the only problem. Fishermen catch a lot of things unintentionally, in what Tim Werner, director of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Engineering program, calls the “collateral damage” of commercial fishing: bycatch.