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Comments

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SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Areyoukiddingme Re:Enabling wasteful spending on SLS? (114 comments)

Maybe someone else can comment on this, but it looks like SLS will be more expensive and costly than anything else, giving us less for more money. Why even waste time developing this when we can use SpaceX, the Deltas, Atlas and so on, perhaps human rated versions of these.

Because national security.

Thiokol makes the solid fuel for the Shuttle and SLS solid fueled boosters. They make that same fuel for ICBMs. ICBMs have to be periodically replaced. Using NASA's budget is a way to hide some defense spending by paying Thiokol to work on civilian space, when really the point is to maintain the active skill in chemistry and manufacturing to be able to make new ICBMs. ICBMs don't have to be replaced often enough. Thiokol did their work too well, and met the Air Force requirements for shelf life. Shuttle and SLS make sure people who know how to make ICBM fuel don't wander off.

11 hours ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Areyoukiddingme Re: Nuke those terrorists (819 comments)

One person, one vote, one time

These are devout Muslims we're talking about here. You didn't have to write the politically correct updated version of the phrase. The classic version is much more precise: one man, one vote, one time.

yesterday
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

Areyoukiddingme Re:Not looking good (146 comments)

I'm usually against but-the-book rants in movies but I definitely agree on this. I gave up on the hobbit series being plausibly good as soon as I saw preview footage involving Radagast the Brown.

Fucking rabbit sleigh ride. That was unconscionable.

I'll take the Battle of Five Armies, and I'll take the Extended Super Collector's Director's Edition WTF 95 Hour version too. It's all fine. Peter Jackson can knock himself out.

And then I will download the Kerr fanedit that takes all that footage and makes it reasonably match the book. No pathetic attempt at elf-dwarf romance, no whacky dragon chase scenes, no orc invasion of Lake Town, no running fight down the river, no motherfucking rabbit sleighs. And no whatever stupid shit they feel obliged to stick into Battle of the Five Armies.

There will probably be an hour and forty five minutes of footage left. One solid Tolkein movie. And that's how it should be.

yesterday
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Areyoukiddingme Re:Advantage of touch screen keyboards .... (536 comments)

... much shorter summaries.

Bennett thinks being long-winded makes it better because he still writes like a middle school kid. Gotta make that page count requirement!

2 days ago
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SLS Project Coming Up $400 Million Short

Areyoukiddingme Re:Kill SLS (132 comments)

...and the recent annoucement of layoffs there does not bode well.

It bodes quite well. It was the end of a review period and it was less than 5% of the work force. Specifically, the ones who really weren't cutting it. SpaceX has stated they expect to end the year with a 20% increase in head count, even after this week's trimming. In other words, they're choosy about who works for them. Not especially news. They wouldn't be doing what they're doing if their hiring practices worked any other way.

4 days ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Areyoukiddingme Re:wat (225 comments)

Sigh... Sometimes I don't know why I bother posting on /. anymore.

Probably because you're a bloviating idiot who thought the death blow of your argument was 1/3, which is rational. Yes, I CAN produce a formula which is precisely and exactly pi: C/D. Having an infinite number of decimal digits does not make pi infinite. Represent it any of several other ways and no infinite series appears.

I suggest you listen to and watch a musician's description.

I'll be here waiting so you can prove me wrong.

Done and done.

4 days ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Areyoukiddingme Re:I still don't get it. (225 comments)

Why is everyone so uncomfortable with the idea that something can be lost forever?

Because no one has figured out how to get the equations of quantum mechanics to work in only one direction without breaking them. And those equations are on really solid ground at this point, or your CPU wouldn't work.

If we're exceptionally lucky, rationalizing quantum mechanics and general relativity will finally reveal what time is and why everything in the universe appears to only proceed in one 'direction' in time. Don't hold your breath though. It's going to take a very strange kind of mind to figure that out, and such minds that are still in contact with reality are difficult to come by.

It just strikes me as fatuous and arrogant that humans think the universe has to work a certain rational, logical, way...

The equations of quantum mechanics work really well. The equations of relativity work really well. Plug either into the other and you get nonsense.

Anybody paying attention could conclude the universe doesn't work in a certain rational logical way.

about a week ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

Areyoukiddingme Re:wat (225 comments)

They certainly do! It's just not something you can model perfectly. And just because we can't create a perfect model - or completely understand a thing or concept doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

You got that backwards. A perfect circle is perfectly described with pi, which is irrational, not infinite. It's something you can model perfectly, because you can use this creature called pi in your equation, but it's not something you can manufacture perfectly since even if you're capable of Planck-scale manufacturing, you can't do sub-Planck-scale manufacturing, and there ends your quest for perfection.

Generally speaking the models are much more perfect than reality.

about a week ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

Areyoukiddingme Re:Local testing works? (778 comments)

I'm your shareholder. And I have a zero tolerance for drunk bozos who drive the company into the ground that I own.

Oh what a wonderful fantasy world you live in. Where is this mythical responsible shareholder holding the feet of executives to the fire?

*crickets*

Fund managers are the only shareholders that get a seat at the table. YOU are not invited. YOU won't make it through the door, with your 150 shares. YOU would be mistaken for the hired help if you dared show up, and told to bring the coffee, because you're obviously not wearing a $3000 suit.

Meanwhile those wearing those suits are very best buds with the executives you would like to dismiss. They all went to the same schools together. They all played on the same sports teams together. They all raped the same cheerleaders together. It's a tight little club, and you aren't in it, so your opinion of executive performance amounts to a hill of beans.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Areyoukiddingme Re:meanwhile overnight... (503 comments)

But where to try them would be tricky, given the large number of Dutch passengers on the plane.

What's tricky about it? War criminals are traditionally tried in The Hague.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

Areyoukiddingme Re: Black box data streaming (503 comments)

There are now reports of monitored chatter among the separatists where they figured out it was civilian instead of military after the shoot down.

Yup. And you can listen to it yourself here, complete with subtitles.

Slashdot readers who speak English and Russian are invited to comment on the quality of the translation.

about two weeks ago
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Malaysian Passenger Plane Reportedly Shot Down Over Ukraine

Areyoukiddingme Re:Why fly over a war zone? (752 comments)

So why do all the media call the SU-25 a fighter? Maybe it's just standard incompetence and ignorance, but you should always ask "cui bono?"

I'm going with standard ignorance and incompetence on this one. SU-27 is just too much like SU-25. Editing is haaaard.</whine> Witness the valiant (and consistently failed efforts) of our very own Slashdot editors.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Areyoukiddingme Re:Slew of missing business applications (171 comments)

So there is no way that guest can use these systems to make requests, people still have to call the front desk to get more towels. Guests have no way of knowing about other services the hotel is offering.

Be careful what you wish for. If any one of those companies you named latches on to that idea, they'll create an app that interfaces with their system. And it will demand access to EVERYTHING in your phone, watch everything you do, spam the shit out of your entire contact list, and otherwise do its best to make the NSA look as benign as a curious neighbor.

Likewise for the app they don't just provide to the maid, but demand the maid install.

Uugh.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Areyoukiddingme Re:Slew of missing business applications (171 comments)

All joking aside - I think you've accidentally mentioned the type of app that WOULD sell. If someone out there makes a male masturbation app I'm pretty sure they'll make a killing.

Judging by random photographs I've seen on the web, they exist. Of course they don't get approved for Google Play, but a determined Android device owner can go off the reservation and find something.

iOS users are, of course, out of luck.

about two weeks ago
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Is the Software Renaissance Ending?

Areyoukiddingme Re:9. During huricane disaster = mega fail (171 comments)

Yeah id like to see 1000000 phones die, on day 5 of a major weather event

One assumes that if the device is still in the possession of its original owner, who installed that app in the first place, that they'll remember to disable it around the 4th day.

And if they don't, they get what they deserve. Security has its price.

about two weeks ago
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Public To Vote On Names For Exoplanets

Areyoukiddingme Connotations (127 comments)

No religious connotations. So names like "Jupiter" and "Mars" and "Pluto" are right out. Even names like "Charon" are verboten.

<cough>

about two weeks ago
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Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

Areyoukiddingme Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (178 comments)

...reproducing others' work is akin to re-writing a new software project - in software dev, it's a losing game.

Is it? Because this happens all the time, for both commercial and open source software. Especially in open source. Somebody gets a bug up their butt and decides to reimplement, from scratch, a duplicate of some perfectly usable, functional software. Because they didn't like the language it was written in. Or they didn't like the style it was written in. They want a functional implementation, not object oriented. Or whatever. It's rampant.

The analog when it comes to scientific studies would be to reproduce a result not to follow a procedure. Any scientist worthy of the chair he's holding down should have a deep enough understanding of his field to come up with a way to reproduce a particular result using a different approach. I think this should serve both purposes: it validates the result, and the process followed, being different, should qualify for publication in its own right. It should be obvious that such an approach is considerably more valuable than "do the same thing over again."

If that isn't possible, either scientists aren't thinking creatively enough, or the analogy is actually fairly poor.

about two weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Areyoukiddingme Re:Thanks for the detail (389 comments)

Feasibility is debatable, but you've moved the needle. Certainly, if you happen to be in the middle of the wilderness where natural gas isn't available, batteries could be considered feasible in those conditions at least.

I said feasible. I never said reasonable. Not at current prices and current average incomes. But that wasn't what I was debating. I was debating the assertion that solar can not be base load source for everything, when clearly it can. Physics doesn't prevent it. Manufacturing doesn't prevent it. Finance only makes it difficult, not impossible, and it's actually not totally out of the realm of possibility even now. People, perhaps inadvisably, pay considerably more for a car than it would cost to equip their house with 5 days of battery backup. The purchasing power is certainly there for a large fraction of the population, or SUVs would cost a lot less. And everything I referenced when calculating actual prices and capacities is an off-the-shelf product. No lab vaporware required.

I never claimed pumped storage was necessary or even desirable. I'm not sure who did. I hadn't seen any such claim before this discussion.

Flood calculators are popular for visualizing the effects of sea level rise, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've played with one written in Javascript on a page that talks about "if sea level rose 6 inches, it would flood ...."

I haven't, no. I believe the more lurid tales of possible climate change consequences are nothing more than marketing of the "if it bleeds, it leads" variety. Bullshit, in other words. No reputable model predicts catastrophic anything, and for more than a decade now they've all predicted temperatures that are too warm compared to what the actual temperature now is.

No, photovoltaics and battery backups interest me for a much more important reason: energy independence. REAL energy independence, not some bogus "the nation is energy independent" irrelevance. I'm talking about personal energy independence. It's physically possible right now. Financially, it's iffy. If you get lucky and operational lifespans of the equipment you buy are on the high end of what's possible, you can pay off a current system and enjoy several years of zero power bills. Truly zero, with neither a utility bill nor a payment on capital equipment. As the equipment gets better and the price gets lower, that period extends longer and longer, and no longer requires you to get lucky with lifespans. There will come a time when it's a virtual certainty that I can achieve true independence, and maintain it indefinitely. That's when I pull the trigger (personal finances permitting) and get a pallet and a half of solar panels and a pallet of batteries delivered.

I predict it will happen before the decade is out, thanks largely to the efforts of Elon Musk.

about three weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Areyoukiddingme Re:Thanks for the detail (389 comments)

From your reported power usage, it sounds like you're probably single. If the rest of your figures are correct, we'd have roughly a refrigerator-sized stack of batteries per person. Inverters are 0% efficient at no load (they waste 20 watts idling) to 90% at full load, so figure around 75% average efficiency, so 16-18 batteries per person rather than 12. Batteries lose capacity as they age. You don't want to replace your batteries every two years, but rather continue using them as their capacity decreases over five years, so we better go with 21 of those batteries.

Incorrect, thrice. When I wasn't single and there were three people living in this house, my electricity bill didn't triple. It didn't even double. I'd have noticed a doubled power bill, and I never got one. But it was higher. Let's call it half again as much. That makes it 16-18 batteries total for a family of three. I gather you didn't look at that page. Inverter inefficiency is included, so no change there. Battery capacity does indeed change, but since that count of 16-18 is actually massively oversupplying my nighttime needs, they won't be cycled 50%, let alone the 75% that seriously degrades operational lifespans. Add a desulfating charge controller and some tender loving care and a battery bank that large can last 10 years. When they finally do degrade far enough that my five full days of storage is in jeopardy, I don't dispose of them. I recycle them. Yes it would take quite a lot of lead to provide storage for the whole world, but the lead exists. If I don't like all that toxic lead mining, I can go with nickel-iron batteries instead. That'll take three fridges worth of storage, rather than two, but I have plenty of space in the basement.

Very likely though all this talk about lead is irrelevant. Nobody is making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lead-acid home energy storage unit. Tesla Motors, on the other hand, is apparently quite serious about making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lithium-ion home energy storage unit. With lithium-ion, we're back down to a single fridge worth of space for a family of three, and might even add a day to the storage capacity. Tesla's massively-parallel cell design and accompanying very sophisticated charge controller is still too new to get a good estimate of operational lifespan, but it's unlikely to be worse that what is achievable with other chemistries.

If you go into flood simulator software that's been loaded with the actual topography of the US and start placing dams on actual rivers and let it calculate the flooding based on real topography, you end up with about 80% flooded.

I'd like to see that simulation. I suspect it takes a supercomputer to render accurately.

So you've more or less demonstrated that pumped storage is infeasible. Why even talk about it then? Batteries are feasible.

Still not impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

about three weeks ago
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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Areyoukiddingme Re:would be awesome if we could. I want 0.0001% of (389 comments)

Let's see where we can put these reservoirs. If we calculate the required amount of water X height, we find that the reservoirs need to cover 80% of the United States. That's right, you can power the country by putting most of it underwater. And that's with magical solar panels that are free.

I call bullshit. Show your work.

Actually, since you're obviously just going to make shit up, I'll do it for you.

So I go here and plug in 916.6666 total watts per hour, giving me the 22 kWh/day it says on my power bill this month. Then I fill in 24 hours per day for the time I expect my equipment to run. Then I fill in a 48 Volt system voltage. Then I say I want 5 full days of backup capacity, so no sun for five days straight, 120 hours of battery capacity. Then I fill in 820 amp hours for this battery and the calculator spits out a number: I need 12 batteries that capacity. Looking at the data sheet, we discover that each of those batteries is 4516.875 cubic inches, for a grand total of 54202.5 cubic inches, which is 31.3672 cubic feet. Which, as luck would have it, is almost exactly the capacity of this refrigerator.

So in order to power my house in summer months, complete with the lights, appliances, computers, and the air conditioner I have today, for five whole days, I need approximately one refrigerator worth of lead acid batteries. Which will handily fit in a corner of my basement.

80% of the US under water? Bullshit. Try an extra fridge in every house. A ~$12600+charge controller+shipping fridge.

It isn't impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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26" FED volume production in 2009?

Areyoukiddingme Areyoukiddingme writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) writes "Field Emission Technologies of Japan claims they will begin volume production of a 26" FED at the end of 2009.

To help it meet the mass-production deadline in late 2009, FE Technologies will acquire Pioneer's Kagoshima plant by the end of 2008. The Japanese company will invest $183 million to $274 million (20 to 30 billion yen) in manufacturing equipment.

...

The initial application for FE Technologies' 26-inch FED panels will be as "master" monitors, used by TV broadcasters to check picture quality.

No word on price, but you can bet the answer is "if you have to ask, you can't afford one." As a Sony spin-off, they should have some legal cover from the patent trolls. Could full color full size FEDs finally escape the vaporware tag?"
Link to Original Source

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