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30 May 2018

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Scientists have isolated the two different forms of water molecule for the first time.

Water molecules were known to exist as two distinct "isomers", or types, based on their slightly different properties at the atomic level.

By separating out the two isomers, researchers were able to show that they behave differently in the way that they undergo chemical reactions.

The work appears in Nature Communications.

In basic terms, water molecules consist of a single oxygen atom bonded to a pair of hydrogen atoms (H₂O).

However, they can be further subdivided based on a property of the nuclei at the hearts of the hydrogen atoms - their "spin".

While they aren't spinning in the sense we would understand, this property of hydrogen nuclei does affect the rotation of the water molecules themselves.

If the nuclear spins of the two hydrogen atoms in water are oriented in the same direction, it is called ortho-water. If they are arranged in different directions, it is known as para-water.

Given that the isomers are very similar, it has been particularly challenging to separate them out. But co-author Prof Stefan Willitsch and his colleagues succeeded in doing it using electric fields.

They were then able to investigate how the different forms of water reacted with another chemical.

They used ultracold diazenylium ions (a form of nitrogen) for this test. The researchers found that para-water reacted about 25% faster with the diazenylium than ortho-water.

Because the rotation of H₂O molecules is affected by the nuclear spin, different attractive forces act between the partners in this chemical reaction. The researchers supported this interpretation using computer modelling.

Prof Willitsch, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, said the research could help improve control over other kinds of chemical reaction.

"The better one can control the states of the molecules involved in a chemical reaction, the better the underlying mechanisms and dynamics of a reaction can be investigated and understood," he said.

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17. Negotiate everything.

Negotiate everything.

CreateSpace and other self-publishing companies are always offering special deals on their various services. There isn't whole lot of leeway, but it doesn't hurt to ask for deal sweeteners -- like more free copies of your book (they often throw in free copies of your book). It also doesn't hurt to ask about deals that have technically expired. In sales, everything is negotiable. Remember, these people have quotas and bonuses at stake. (For their sake, I hope they do anyway).

18. Ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to complain.

Ask a lot of questions and don't be afraid to complain.

When I self-published, I paid an extra $300 fee to be able to talk directly to a live person on the phone for customer support. Companies like Lulu and CreateSpace have complete DIY options and require no upfront setup fees. That's great, but when you're dealing with a superbasic package, you're most likely going to be doing customer support via e-mail or IM, and get very little hand-holding. It's nice to be able to call up and complain (in a nice way, of course) directly to a live person on the phone, so take that into account when you're examining your package options.

19. Self-publishing is a contact sport.

Self-publishing is a contact sport.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to self-publishing is that they expect to just put out a book and have it magically sell. They might even hire a publicist and expect something to happen. It's just not so. You have to be a relentless self-promoter. Unfortunately, a lot people just don't have the stomach or time for it.

What's the secret to marketing your book successfully? Well, the first thing I advise -- and I'm not alone here -- is to come up with a marketing plan well before you publish your book. The plan should have at least five avenues for you to pursue because chances are you're going to strike out on a couple of lines of attack. It's easy to get discouraged, so you have to be ready to move on to plan c, d, and e (and the rest of the alphabet) pretty quickly.

These days there's a lot of talk about a "blog strategy," and many well-known authors do virtual book tours where they offer up interviews to various blogs. You probably won't have that luxury, but you can certainly research what blogs might be interested in your book and prepare pitches for them. There are social media campaigns to wage, local media angles to pursue, organizations to approach, and all kinds of out-of-the-box gambits you can dream up. None of this will cost you a whole lot -- except time and perhaps a little pride.

Then there's the stuff you pay for. And it's tricky to judge what's a good investment and what's not because the results vary so much from book to book. A friend of mine who has a "real" book from a traditional publisher experimented with placing $1,000 in Facebook ads targeted to people in "cold" states (his book is called the History of the Snowman and it does very well around Christmas). He's still trying to figure out what impact the ads had, but Facebook does have some interesting marketing opportunities. Google Perforatedlogo fauxleather tote Stella McCartney PrIICFwL
is another popular option. And a number of self-serve ad networks are popping up, including Blogards Book Hive , which allows you to target a number of smaller book blogs for relatively affordable rates.

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By Sharky , Computerworld | Jun 29, 2018 3:00 AM PT

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True tales of IT life, fresh every weekday. Got a story of useless users, hapless bosses, clueless vendors or adventures in the IT trenches? Tell Sharky!

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Database pilot fish is about to leave work when a co-worker catches him as he's walking out of his cubicle.

"He says that he and another colleague found an issue with a table that's not inserting unique IDs -- the primary key -- for records." says fish. "And it's a table I remodeled a few years back."

That means it's probably fish's fault if there's an issue. But fish is also intrigued by the problem -- after all, it's unlikely that SQL Server would fail completely by inserting the same IDs.

[ Further reading: Google's Chromium browser explained ]

So they go to the co-worker's desk, where SQL Server Management Studio is on his screen, showing a table containing about 150 records. Sure enough, toward the end of the table is a bunch of records all showing an ID of 1 instead of a unique ID.

And that's very odd indeed.

"When my company remodels old tables, we create views with triggers to do new inserts so we don't have to sweep tons of lines of code against the new tables," fish says.

"In this case we actually took one table, remodeled it into several tables and created a view that inserts records into different tables based on certain criteria. That first table -- call it Table A -- is by far the largest of the several tables we created."

[ Learn Java from beginning concepts to advanced design patterns in this comprehensive 12-part course! ]

Fish decides to start his debugging by performing a single insert against the SSMS view that will create a new record in another table -- call that one Table B.

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