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Google's Project Loon Can Now Launch Up To 20 Balloons Per Day, Fly 10x Longer

Applehu Akbar Re:Helium shortage (98 comments)

We're talking about low-cost unmanned balloons, so why not use hydrogen? H2 does not have as major a leakage problem as does He, with its tiny atoms.

Now who was the genius who came up with that name?

12 hours ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Applehu Akbar All these search terms are yours, except "Europe" (275 comments)

I would like to see Google go into direct competition with the EU. Incorporate as a sovereign nation within Silicon Valley, in the same way as Vatican City. Issue its own currency. Build California a nice set of high-speed trains. Everybody wins.

yesterday
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Applehu Akbar My first post got eaten (306 comments)

So herewith, a repost: If we really are changing the climate, we're already geoengineering, so why not geoengineer the world back to normal? The biggest problem with doing so would be defining "normal". Russia and Canada like the world a little warmer, and are not going to appreciate our refreezing it.

yesterday
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Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

Applehu Akbar Re: Unnecessary. (56 comments)

And neither does it say "Whoosh" in the Good Book.

yesterday
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Culberson As Chair of NASA Fundng Subcommittee Makes Europa Mission More Likely

Applehu Akbar Re:Enceladus (56 comments)

We have not gotten close enough to either moon yet to do the research it takes to decide what kind of lander to send. The first missions we should send would be orbiters that get close enough to characterize the surface of both bodies.

yesterday
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Applehu Akbar Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (142 comments)

After all those years of one-off nuclear projects that kept being redesigned in the middle of construction, the US came up with the AP-1000 as a standard. If we fixed our legal system to make standard infrastructure designs immune to junk lawsuits, what utility wouldn't want to build to the standard? Even as things are, the newest plants just permitted in the US are AP-1000s. This is also the design that China is now using.

yesterday
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Applehu Akbar Re:I don't understand the sociopathy of liberals (142 comments)

Then why is fear of science and its applications the default position of today's left whenever something new comes along? If fossil sources pollute, why won't you let us have nuclear? If spent nuclear fuel is piling up, why didn't you let us build recycling facilities, as the French did years ago, to make it into new fuel? If nuclear recycling is more expensive than mining under present conditions, why didn't you let us open that storage facility in Nevada, the one we spent $5 billion preparing, so that we can store spent rods safely until we come down the learning curve on recycling?

You want solar, you said? Then why, when California built a solar farm in the emptiest part of the Mojave Desert, did "environmentalists" try to stop it every step of the way, and even now are complaining about the occasional bird that gets fried flying through the tiny concentrator focus next to the collector towers? By imposing delay after delay on the plant with their vacuous lawsuits, they inflated the cost of the project to $2.2 billion - a cost about the same as one of our Arizona nuclear reactors that has three times the power output, and 24/7.

Republicans are interfering with infrastructure projects, you say? They weren't around in 2008, when Obama got $17 trillion to stimulate the economy. But knowing the power of the Luddite lobby, the infrastructure part of his stimulus spending all got piddled away on "shovel ready" street widenings and traffic signals. He had the political capital to go Roosevelt that year, to build something like an energy independence Apollo, but he didn't want to provoke the Greens. So we continue to fight in the Middle East.

yesterday
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Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Applehu Akbar The real ripoff here (131 comments)

The Supreme Court decision was not put Aereo out of business; all it did was rule that in retransmitting broadcasts Aereo should be operating as a cable company. But when Aereo was not allowed to operate as a cable carrier as the SCOTUS directed, that's when we knew that a monopoly was in operation.

yesterday
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Greenwald Advises Market-Based Solution To Mass Surveillance

Applehu Akbar Finally - a leftist gets it about government power (143 comments)

Greenwald has an excellent point here: if the current Democratic -majority Senate rejected NSA reform, what's going to happen next year when Republicans assume power? We will get improved privacy rights only when consumers care enough about the subject to choose more secure products.

Want contactless payments? Then consciously go for the most secure implementations. Tired of having your e-mail account hacked while on vacation? Take the trouble to use two-factor authentication. Concerned about the NSA's ability to tap phone calls? Choose and use encrypted VOIP.

yesterday
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Applehu Akbar Re:I don't understand the sociopathy of liberals (142 comments)

It wasn't always this way. In John Steinbeck's day, leftists celebrated the huge infrastructure projects of the New Deal, because they meant construction jobs now and an improved economy later with cheaper transportation, electricity and water. The left chose to turn anti-himan in the Seventies, which is why progress today has to wait until that generation ages out of political relevance. Fortunately for the rest of us, their youthful drug use is catching up with them.

yesterday
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Applehu Akbar Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (142 comments)

That was then. Today we have settled on standardized new-generation plant designs that avoid this problem.

What's really needed is a change in our legal system to eliminate the disproportionate power that small groups of activists have to disrupt construction. Their strategy is to raise costs by imposing phony legal delays on construction after the initial approval.

yesterday
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Intel Planning Thumb-Sized PCs For Next Year

Applehu Akbar Re:First World Problems (97 comments)

"Honey, that's not what I meant by 'cleaning up windows'!"

2 days ago
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Applehu Akbar Re:Press (194 comments)

Uber stands guilty of being clueless about political correctness. Digging dirt about the private lives of entrepreneurs is called whistleblowing, and will probably earn a biopic made about about your life. Dishing on union satraps or Luddites is "harassment" and therefore evil.

How quickly we forget that Sarah Lacy was herself caught in evil doings just a couple of years ago:
http://valleywag.gawker.com/ar...

3 days ago
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Lunar Mission One Proposes To Take Core Sample, Plant Time Capsule On the Moon

Applehu Akbar Re:One? (69 comments)

Not like it's something we could already do 45 years ago, but with a core sample this time.

3 days ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Applehu Akbar Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (302 comments)

This is how the British press views the situation:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/com...
As Americans we tend to focus on the narrow issue of gun rights as an explanation for the lower home invasion rate in the US (10% of burglaries) vs the 50% rate in the UK, but it's a deeper problem than that. While in the US there is a generally accepted right to self defense, the legal theory in the UK is that fighting crime is the police's job. In Britain, retaliating with a knife or even an incidental household object is likely to result in legal trouble for the homeowner. Thugs know this, which leads to home invasions not being just a problem in bad neighborhoods. The article above refers to an invasion in one of the finest sections of London.

3 days ago
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US Marshals Auctioning $20M Worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins

Applehu Akbar Re:What a moron! (119 comments)

Don't feel picked on. Our federosaurus steals from Americans as readily as it does from foreigners.

3 days ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Applehu Akbar Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (302 comments)

Actually they do, but in the UK it's spelled with a small R and they are considered terrorists.

3 days ago
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UK Hotel Adds Hefty Charge For Bad Reviews Online

Applehu Akbar Re: Ask the credit card for a refund (302 comments)

No, that's because when this happens in Britain, victims are not allowed to shoot back.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Could the Higgs boson destroy the universe?

Applehu Akbar Applehu Akbar writes  |  about 2 months ago

Applehu Akbar (2968043) writes "In a story widely quoted in the disaster-loving media, Stephen Hawking speculates, in a foreword to a new book, Starmus, that a Higgs boson created at sufficiently high energies, could destroy the entire universe. There is no discussion so far on whether the energies Hawking envisions have already been achieved in, say, supernova explosions."
Link to Original Source
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Foxconn to Restaff Entirely with US Adjunct Professors

Applehu Akbar Applehu Akbar writes  |  about 8 months ago

Applehu Akbar (2968043) writes "(Xinhua) Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, announced today its response to the increasing cost of local labor: by 2Q 2015, it will have completed replacement of its assembly staff with American adjunct professors. Said an executive who did not wish to be named, “Adjunct professors are not only highly educated but are used to working for nothing more than ramen and a basement cot. They are not spoiled like our local Chinese assembly workers.” They are for the most part docile, and used to operating within rigid bureaucracies.

The US educational system turns out far larger numbers of adjuncts, especially in the humanities, than can ever hope to be employed by academe. The excess adjuncts live on the streets of major American cities, but, after being pushed aside by the tougher and crazier traditional homeless, gravitate to the more congenial west coast, where roving bands of them subsist on odd jobs and shoplifting. Here they are easily picked up by Foxconn raiding parties, which dicker with what we know in China as People’s Shining Path Moral Guidance Cadres. In the US these are called “Homeowner Associations,” and they gratefully cooperate to turn in bands of feral adjuncts, whose constant bickering and messy campsites are an ongoing annoyance to the people of America’s West Coast.

Once captured, the adjuncts are loaded into Foxconn’s fleet of wind-powered EcoFreighters and sedated for the slow sea voyage on the “Central Passage” from Long Beach to the Shanghai labor auction docks. Now that there is human cargo to bring back to China, the EcoFreighters no longer have to return empty after unloading their troves of consumer goods in Los Angeles.

Foxconn has been anxious to grab the most easily trainable workers before more Chinese companies take an interest in American adjunct professor labor. “At first we tried a breeding program for even greater long term savings,” said the Foxconn exec, “But the males, raised as they have been in western academic culture, have developed such a deep-seated fear of their own females that fertile matings were rare, even when naked, unchained females were placed right in males' dormitory cells.” But why fight to change an alien culture, the thinking now goes, when fresh adjuncts are so easily hunted down on the California/Oregon coast? So long as this situation persists, the EcoFreighters will sail full and world’s supply of low-cost products will not be in danger."
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Justice Department Backs Broadcasters in Aereo Dispute

Applehu Akbar Applehu Akbar writes  |  about 9 months ago

Applehu Akbar (2968043) writes "I'm from the government, says the Department of Justice, and I'm here to help...not you, but Big Broadcast. In today's amicus curiae filing in support of the broadcasters, the DOJ explains that: “gain access to copyrighted content in the first instance — the same service that cable companies have traditionally provided.” Meaning, of course, that broadcasters are much bigger donors to the Democrat-Republican Party than those little people who watch TV."
Link to Original Source
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How About A Spherical Solar Collector ?

Applehu Akbar Applehu Akbar writes  |  about 9 months ago

Applehu Akbar (2968043) writes "German architect André Broessel claims to have invented a solar collector that is far more efficient than today's flat panels, even flat panels with tracking. He calls it the Betaray. The idea is that a fixed transparent sphere can concentrate any available sunlight, direct or diffuse, and coming from any direction, to its center. At that point a small high-efficiency collector, presumably one that loves high temperatures, harvests the energy.

Broesser's orb is a lot prettier to look at than existing solar collectors, but for me two questions arise. For one, wouldn't a hemisphere work just as well and be cheaper to manufacture, easier to keep cool and more easily mounted? And if so, why not arrays of multiple, much smaller hemispheres as an efficient collector design for all those suburban rooftops?"

Link to Original Source

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