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Comments

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Biotech Company Making Fossil Fuels With a 'Library' of Bacteria

Bombula Re:They never stated they were using chlorophyll (386 comments)

Cyanobacteria use phycocyanin for photosynthesis, as an accessory pigment to chlorophyll. A number of pigments can serve accessory to chlorophyll, and there are several types of chlorophyll. Larger multicellular organisms such as trees other macroscopic plants can use a number of these pigments together to capture a broader range of the EM spectrum and therefore more energy from sunlight. Cyanobacteria use only a narrow range of the EM spectrum for photosynthesis because they use only a narrow range of pigments. I was given the benefit of the doubt in my calculation of the best-case scenario, but logically the energy efficiency therefore must be FAR below the photosynthetic limit of ~14%, which makes this company's claims thermodynamically impossible and patently absurd. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis#Efficiency http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phycocyanin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessory_pigment

more than 3 years ago
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Biotech Company Making Fossil Fuels With a 'Library' of Bacteria

Bombula Re:Too good to be true (386 comments)

typo shows "10,000" gallons instead of 15,000, but calculation is still correct...

more than 3 years ago
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Biotech Company Making Fossil Fuels With a 'Library' of Bacteria

Bombula Re:Too good to be true (386 comments)

Definitely too good to be true. The energy contained in 15,000 gallons of biodiesel ~= 10,000 gallons x 133,000 BTU/gallon x .000293 kwh/BTU = 0.58 MM kwh The energy falling on one acre of land in the tropics ~= 5kwh/m2/day x 365 days/year x 4046 m2/acre = 7.4 MM kwh/year/acre So they're capturing 8% of ALL solar energy falling on each acre of land in their fuel, assuming they are in the tropics and not in the continental United States. The efficiency limit for photosynthesis is around 14%, which isn't calculated on a per-acre basis, but on a molecular exposure basis. Even if you could cover each acre with pure chlorophyll, the conversion efficiency would not exceed 14%. So they are claiming they will exceed 50% of the theoretical photosynthetic limit AFTER all the energy and efficiency loss of processing, for a net yield of 15,000 gallons? Total BS. If they claimed 1000-2000 gallons, maybe, but with their claims you can bet it's a pump-and-dump green stock scam.

more than 3 years ago
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Company Claims Potential Magnification In Bio Fuel Production

Bombula Re:Bullshit (260 comments)

Oops, my bad, I read 40,000, not 20,000. So their actually at 10% efficiency, which while unlikely at least has the merit of not being theoretically impossible.

about 5 years ago
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Company Claims Potential Magnification In Bio Fuel Production

Bombula Bullshit (260 comments)

The energy contained in 40,000 gallons of B85 biodiesel = 40,000 gallons x 133,000 BTU/gallon x .000293 kwh/BTU = 1.55 MM kwh

The energy falling on one acre of land ~= 5kwh/m2/day x 365 days/year x 4046 m2/acre = 7.4 MM kwh/year/acre

So they're capturing 21% of ALL solar energy falling on each acre of land in their fuel. The efficiency limit for photosynthesis is around 15%, which isn't calculated on a per-acre basis, but on a molecular exposure basis. Even if you could cover each acre with pure chlorophyll, the conversion efficiency would not exceed 15%.

This is therefore a green scam, undoubtedly designed to temporarily pump the company's stock. The last big one I heard of to do this was Valcent Technology's subsidiary Global Green Solutions. Don't believe the hype, especially when it's physically impossible.

about 5 years ago
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Chinese Employee Loses iPhone Prototype, Kills Self

Bombula suppliers... (514 comments)

"We require our suppliers to treat all workers with dignity and respect"

Because nothing says dignity and respect like working in a sweatshop and being paid pennies an hour...

about 5 years ago
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Microsoft To Offer Windows 7 On USB Thumb Drives?

Bombula Re:It's Amazing (259 comments)

Not complete? No shit.

I downloaded Windows 7 RC and for most stuff it's actually fine - I'm using it as I write this. Not unbelievable, but quite good ... once it's working. Fast, pretty stable, all that stuff. But some serious problems getting it working.

First, the activation key didn't work for me. I did it all legit: downloaded and installed W7 from microsoft.com, created a live.com ID, got the activation key, pasted it in and "we're sorry, the activation key you entered is not valid for this version of Windows". Just plain broken shit, no excuse.

Dude, if you can't fucking get your basic shit together, why wouldn't I just use Ubuntu? With Linux, if it doesn't work at least I have the consolation that it's free.

It's like test driving a prototype Chevy and the fucking _key_ doesn't work. Pro Tip 1, you moron engineers, the FIRST thing you make sure works on a new car/OS/whatever is the FUCKING KEY.

The comedy continues. There's also a bug in the W7 RC that causes the OS to crash when running installer packages off CDs ... from Microsoft... So I, like hundreds of others, had to do a reg-edit hack to install MICROSOFT OFFICE. http://windows7news.com/2009/01/21/fix-for-installers-and-updates-crashing-in-windows-7/

Pro Tip 2, you FUCKING IDIOTS: before you release a new OS for testing, the second thing after making sure the FUCKING KEY works is to make sure YOUR OWN FUCKING SOFTWARE WILL INSTALL ON IT.

Seriously. This is stupidity on the "I forgot to put my pants on before I went to work this morning" level.

more than 5 years ago
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Tesla Nabs $465M Government Loan To Build Model S

Bombula Re:More bullshit (505 comments)

"Pass"? That's your argument? It's written on an old piece of paper, therefore you don't need to mount a logical defense of the criticism of privatizing all goods and services in a modern global economy? Since when does any theory, economic or otherwise, get a pass? Oh I know - it's like when Copernicus and Galileo said "The Earth goes around the Sun" and the Church pointed to what was written on an old piece of paper and said "pass".

The truth is, tabloid (i.e. neoclassical) economic theory does a shite job of arguing for privatization of a whole range of public goods and services, particularly those that were traditionally under common property rights regimes.

Any real economist will tell you that most markets must be regulated or else they tend toward inefficiency, that profitable markets are inefficient by definition (because economic rents, aka net profit, can only be extracted from an uncompetitive and opaque market), and many markets - like the ones mentioned by the parent poster - are too inefficient for private ownership at all.

more than 5 years ago
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AT&T Says 7.2Mbps Wireless Coming This Year

Bombula Re:Wireless (141 comments)

Couldn't agree more. iPhone works like complete shit where I am unless I log into my home wireless network with cable internet. On 3G it's slower than 14.4 modem. The internet is virtually unusable for anything but gmail. Weather info almost never updates. The iPhone has great potential, but in my experience it basically just sucks shit in real life when running on AT&T's network, and isn't worth the money - especially since it's far faster to text with a full qwerty keypad.

more than 5 years ago
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NSA Wages Cyberwar Against US Armed Forces Teams

Bombula Re:Linux (219 comments)

I'm actually surprised at how confident and competent the NSA seem here

No offense to West Point and the other military academies, but I'd like to see NSA take on the top team from MIT, Cal Tech, etc and see how they fare before putting total confidence in the NSA.

more than 5 years ago
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Is a $72.5m Opening Weekend Enough For Star Trek?

Bombula Re:first post! (820 comments)

While I agree that the Next Generation lacked depth in the sense that more or less all of its characters were cut from a single moral mold (unlike, say, the new Battlestar Galactica), I think that all the stuff about being needing to be able to 'relate' to characters in order to be interested in them is overrated.

I can't really 'relate' to Superman, Darth Vader, Captain Kirk or Captain Piccard and yet they some of my favorite characters of all time.

I'm far, far less interested in characters who share my own character flaws and would sooner stick pins in my eyes than watch reality shows, dramas or sitcoms about more 'relatable' characters.

My personal take is that the story and character interaction needs to be dynamic, with moral dilmenas and problems that are not simple or black and white enough to be solved with phasers or a punch in the face in order to be interesting. And that's it. I don't need a character to be an alcoholic or a single parent or someone wracked with guilt or a betrayed friend or an embittered rival or any of a hundred other stock cardboard cutouts in order to 'relate' to them. When a person is faced with a tough situation and no easy choices, I find it interesting, whether their own personal backstory (or lack thereof) is one I have firsthand knowledge of or not.

more than 5 years ago
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Google Puts the Brakes On Saving the World

Bombula Re:Hype (179 comments)

Maybe they should put the review of the 150,000 ideas out to the public as well? They'd probably get a lot of interesting (and some useful) feedback. Crowd-sourcing the review would probably make sure that the best ideas did indeed percolate to the top. They might also attract other sources of funding too. Not sure why Google is playing this all so close to the chest if the goal is to save the world. Seems like they only want to save the world so long as they control the process and get the credit. Hmm...

more than 5 years ago
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First Look At Windows 7 On an Entry-Level Netbook

Bombula Re:Whoa (435 comments)

I recently tried Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04 on my older laptop. To my dismay, neither worked out of the box, nor could I overcome driver problems in a reasonable time period (1 hour). So, back to XP. It's frustrating. I haven't tried a slackware distro in ages, so maybe I'll give that a shot but my hopes for working broadcom 43xx wifi drivers aren't high... Harder to understand why radeon xpress cards aren't supported in Windows 7 given that they work fine in Vista...

So, drivers are my first big complaint, but right up there are all the problems of bloat you describe. It just seems ludicrous that MS Office needs GB of RAM to run well. I'm old enough to remember GUI running spreadsheet apps on a C64 (yeah, that would be 64 kilobytes of RAM) using GEOS (http://www.c64-wiki.com/index.php/GEOS).

more than 5 years ago
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Battle Lines Being Drawn As Obama Plans To Curb Tax Avoidance

Bombula Re:Won't the companies just move? (1505 comments)

You make a good point, and provide evidence in favor of the argument against any and all corporate taxes. It makes much more sense all around to simply tax the owners of corporations.

What we need is just what common sense tells us: a heavily progressive income (including capital gains) tax structure, as originally suggested by Thomas Jefferson:"exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise."

more than 5 years ago
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Battle Lines Being Drawn As Obama Plans To Curb Tax Avoidance

Bombula Re:two ways to solve the tax "scam" (1505 comments)

Here's another option:

Require companies to generate ONE set of financial statements each year, not two.

At present, companies create one set of financial statements for shareholders (showing big profits) and one statement for the IRS (showing little or no profits). A simple law that forbids this two-faced scheme would do a great deal to bring companies in line.

more than 5 years ago
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"Miraculous" Stem Cell Progress Reported In China

Bombula Re:Observe and learn (429 comments)

You miss the point. The details of the Bush administration's restrictions on scientific research are irrelevant.

What is relevant is that the Bush administration crossed the line that separates Church and State by imposing a religiously-based notion of morality on our entire nation. It doesn't matter how, it only matters why the administration interfered with scientific research. Worse still, in a competitive world this put our entire nation at a profound competitive disadvantage for 8 years.

So not only were my rights to religious freedom violated by the Bush administration, my livelihood and that of my children and grandchildren has been threatened as a result. I along with millions of others believe such trampling of constitutional rights to be a crime tantamount to treason, and that the Bush administration should be prosecuted accordingly.

That's the issue.

more than 5 years ago
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Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

Bombula Re:Welp, (633 comments)

Particulate matter that settles decreases albedo (reflectiveness) of ice, and causes heating. But airborne particulate matter and aerosol emissions _increase_ albedo, making the atmosphere more reflective. The net effect, as I understand it, seems to favor reflectivity, which suggests that cleaning up PM10 and PM20 air pollution, and especially SOx emissions, would result in more rapid warming.

more than 5 years ago
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Tesla CEO Says Gov't Loan Is 99% Sure and Deserved

Bombula Re:1 step forward, 2 steps back (652 comments)

Oh, there are plenty of other problems with hydrogen. It's massively corrosive, for example, and since it's comprised of just protons it's got an amazing ability to escape through microscopic cracks and holes in materials. Add those factors together with the need for 15000 psi and/or cryogenics to get it into a compressed semi-liquid or slush state, and you've got pipe connections that won't last for any significant length of time before becoming so leaky as to be more or less useless.

Hydrogen is absolutely DOA as a combustion fuel, and probably for a fuel-cell based energy source as well.

more than 5 years ago
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Tesla CEO Says Gov't Loan Is 99% Sure and Deserved

Bombula Re:Tesla Business Plan (652 comments)

The total loss of primary energy is around 70%, meaning that, on average, for every joule of energy stored in the fuel (coal, oil, gas, uranium) only 0.3 joules gets delivered to the consumer. From well to wheel, the energy loss of transmitting electricity is considerably higher than the energy loss of transporting liquid fuel (gasoline, diesel) to the consumer. So much so, in fact, that even though electric drivetrains are much more efficient that ICEs the total fuel cycle efficiency is higher for ICE vehicles given the US's current energy mix (again, on average). When every state is like Oregon, getting most of its electricity from renewables, then it'll be a different story.

more than 5 years ago
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New Fundamental Law of Network Economics

Bombula Re:How exactly does one calculate this value? (106 comments)

The distinction between value and utility also seems skewed. The two are not remotely the same, even in purely financial transactions. Add to that all other 'transactions' across a 'network', such as me posting this comment to slashdot, that are non-financial but which certainly have utility, and you're nowhere near a meaningful valuation of said network.

So I'm forced to agree with the cynics: this seems to be a put-up job designed to make it easier to assign $$ losses resulting from network outages in court cases.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Is Google AdSense a Scam?

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "The owner of a small website is complaining that Google's AdSense program is a scam, since his account was terminated without notice or recourse for alleged abuse just prior to payout. Comments and feedback on this story across other news sites suggests hundreds or thousands of website owners have had similar experiences with AdSense. The real question is, if Google can track the number of clicks from a given IP address for purposes of detecting abuse, why not simply set a per-IP click limit and solve the abuse problem? Or could there Google have an ulterior financial motive for leaving the problem unaddressed and instead canceling accounts before making payments?"
Link to Original Source
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Online Olympics Coverage - Good or Bad?

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "What do slashdot readers think about NBC's online olympics coverage? As someone without TV, I rely on the Internet for news and entertainment. When NBC promised comprehensive coverage of the 2008 games with thousands of hours of online video, I was thrilled. But the actual execution? Not so thrilling. Poor site structure, virtually non-existant organization of video clips, no rhyme or reason to which parts of events are filmed (Day 2 men's gymnastics has just a single 2.5 hour clip of highbar, 90% of which is video of the judges deliberating while the loudspeaker announces other events unseen in the background), missing or incorrect event schedule information, and of course we're stuck with Microsoft's Silverlight media player which works poorly in Firefox. Worst of all, the results of all the events are shown in the video descriptions so the whole site is one giant spoiler for every event. Is this just incompetence, or part of a strategy to make people continue to watch TV?"
Link to Original Source
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Interactive graph of average consumer spending

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "The NY Times has an interesting article with an interactive graph of consumer spending, compiled with BLS data and showing changes since last year. It's interesting stuff, and is sure to defy many of your expectations and, if you're like me, much of your personal experiences. For example, healthcare and rent both ring in at around 6 percent of average consumer spending. However, this may be more indicative of the flaws of simple averaging rather than using median and modal analysis."
Link to Original Source
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Creative upset by modder's driver improvements

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Creative is upset by a modder's improvements to their X-Fi drivers for Windows Vista. The company claims that "by enabling our technology and IP to run on sound cards for which it was not originally offered or intended, you are in effect, stealing our goods." Licensing software is one thing, but since when do companies get to dictate the terms of use for hardware their customers purchase? Will GM and Ford be telling me when and where I can drive my car next? WTF?"
Link to Original Source
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Disney tries to silence damning study of Baby DVDs

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "Fark.com is running a funny story about how Disney CEO Robert Iger tried to silence a University of Washington study about Baby 'educational' DVDs by posting UW President Mark A. Emmert's letter of reply. Funny as this is, it's the study's findings that are striking: "The authors found a large and statistically significant reduction in vocabulary among infants age 8 to 16 months who viewed baby DVDs or videos, compared to those who did not view them." [emphasis added]."
Link to Original Source
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Will Paper Batteries Power Next-Gen Gadgets?

Bombula Bombula writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "A BBC article reports that, "Flexible paper batteries could meet the energy demands of the next generation of gadgets." Apparently, "the versatile paper ... can also double as a capacitor capable of releasing sudden energy bursts for high-power applications." The research team has, "produced a sample slightly larger than a postage stamp that can release about 2.3 volts, enough to illuminate a small light." Even more interestingly, "The flexible battery can function even if it is rolled up, folded or cut.""
Link to Original Source
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GM CEO Bob Lutz says clean diesel is too expensive

Bombula Bombula writes  |  about 7 years ago

Bombula (670389) writes "In a video on GM's blog, CEO Bob Lutz says clean diesel engines, already widespread in Europe, would add $4,000 — $5,000 to the price of each car and are therefore impractical for the US market. He adds that emissions standards are more stringent in the United States, and that this is also part of the problem with switching to diesel engines. Given the enormous latent interest in moving towards biodiesel people are leaping to call BS on his statements, but is there any truth to them?"
Link to Original Source

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