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Comments

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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:I'm not holding my breath (564 comments)

Half that - it sounds like the proof of concept is done (announced in 2013, this article seems to confirm they finished that), 5 years to the operational prototype and 10 years to production.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:NIMBYS (564 comments)

Lockheed has tight military ties and the military doesn't have to obey NRC regulatory restrictions and can do basically anything they want. It would not surprise me if they built one or more of these for the military before they even started trying to push one through the NRC. It also is a good way to avoid the nuclear lobby, which would do everything in its power to delay construction of such a reactor for as long as possible (because their clients have a vested interest in this technology failing).

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:Amazing if it works (564 comments)

Which, as other posters have said, that exhaust is awfully hot, curious to how it would be contained without melting stuff. You certainly could use a Brayton Cycle turbine by keeping that heat relatively high with whatever you heat with it (but MUCH, MUCH cooler than the vented plasma).

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:More nuclear waste? (564 comments)

Even with fission if we just built breeder reactors the hundred thousand year storage becomes a 300 year storage problem (and you'll have much less of it to store).

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:Is it fission or fusion? (564 comments)

Whenever you're talking Deuterium-Tritium reactions, you're talking about fusion. The article is suggesting submarines and aircraft carriers could carry this fusion reactor rather than their current fission reactors.

It sounds like they built a half sized prototype promised in 2013 (this does not demonstrate fusion, it proves the plasma containment works - now they need to prove it can scale and hook it to a generator):
"Lockheed said it had shown it could complete a design, build and test it in as little as a year, which should produce an operational reactor in 10 years"

and also
"McGuire said. A small reactor could power a U.S. Navy warship, and eliminate the need for other fuel sources that pose logistical challenges.
U.S. submarines and aircraft carriers run on nuclear power, but they have large fission reactors on board that have to be replaced on a regular cycle."

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:We need cold hard facts. (564 comments)

There is a video link from 2013 higher up on this page, and here's the wiki page. It looks like they found a more compact means of containment as opposed to a tokamak. They also disclose that they then generate a plasma by using RF energy (it's a microwave!), but suggests they have not actually heated this up to fusion temperatures in their 1/2 scale reactor and need to build a 100MW test reactor to do that. Models suggest it will scale. They also suggest that the plasma could go to even greater temperatures, meaning other elements could potentially be fused.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:wow (564 comments)

The chance of earth becoming like Venus is pretty slim due to composition of the two planets, but the runaway greenhouse effect is definitely something worth looking into. The planet definitely could become hostile to life.

And yeah, the majority of energy the earth gets is nuclear in some way if you count just heating the planet into the equation. Solar and geothermal harvest nuclear energy from the sun and earth. Wind and Hydro use gravitational energy, and the other main one is hydrocarbon based (oil and coal). Too bad the majority of man-made energy is still hydrocarbon based.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:Only A Decade Away (564 comments)

Well the biggest hurdle to fusion has always been getting the initial sustainable reaction and getting more power out than was put in. Stuff like containment was largely solved long ago (though there are several solutions and even more being worked on). If I had to venture a guess, the initial reaction problem is what they solved.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Creepy Re:Of course! (564 comments)

Yeah, but power plant nuclear reactors are very different than spacecraft nuclear reactors. Most people seem to have this misconception that all fission reactors are the same and most spacecraft use radioactive decay reactors (called RTGs). You can read spacecraft reactors here

5 days ago
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How Women Became Gamers Through D&D

Creepy Re:More feminist FUD (238 comments)

Unfortunately, this study included "casual" gaming like Candy Crush and not serious gaming (like console or PC) where the numbers still skew highly towards males. Still, it's a start.

5 days ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Creepy Re:as the birds go (608 comments)

It is not that wind turbines aren't more dangerous than other sources, it is that they are dangerous to certain species such as bald eagles. Conservationists have even sued the government over it.

about a week ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Creepy Re:XFD @ wind subsidies costly cf. oil (608 comments)

Well with nuclear, current plants are extremely expensive to build and very fuel inefficient. Gen IV promised to remove that inefficiency but America has publicly pretty much abandoned Gen IV (but some companies are still developing various reactors in private). Russia, on the other hand, is just getting rolling and has already sold some Gen IV fast breeder reactors to China. Going from .5-5% fuel efficiency to roughly 70% is a huge step, and that could be 99.5% with reprocessing, but reprocessing always gets squashed because it leads to "proliferation" (which could be avoided by making some parts of reprocessing a closed system, especially protactinium, or even leaving protactinium in the reactor, though you won't get 99.5% efficiency if you do that).

about a week ago
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Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Creepy Re:as the birds go (608 comments)

Either by bridging the gap between line and pole (usually larger birds) or hitting the line itself, which apparently can be hard for them to see in bad weather.

about a week ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

Creepy Re:So many problems (134 comments)

1) While I don't know specifics, I'm sure streaming, probably oct-trees, and possibly compression/decompression of nodes in the oct-tree.

2) You need to add or modify the scene in an editor and create animations if you want those. No dynamic lighting or shadows at this time, pending hardware advances (it can be done, just not very well in realtime).

3) Laser scanning can quickly build rooms identical to real world rooms without having to go in and model everything. The flaw with it is anything behind any blocking objects won't be seen, so I suspect you end up with a partial model of a room. It is great if you want to observe the world from a single point, but most of the time you want to move around (this is my main skepticism so far). It is possible maybe with software to take several laser readings and then assemble the complete room. As I said, though, this is where I'm skeptical.

At the end of the video they say they can do animations and a demo of it will be coming soon. With them, that means around 2016+, but other companies and researchers have demonstrated voxel rendering and RAGE proves animation can be done with it.

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

Creepy Re:Voxel? We don't no stinking voxel! (134 comments)

Early graphics hardware was designed to texture triangles and didn't contain a bunch of highly parallel general purpose units like today's graphics hardware. Since raycasting (and raytracing) and voxels can be done in parallel, voxels are making more sense again. You can make entirely unique terrain without overlapping and blending a bunch of textures using disk streaming methods and some structure (Carmack used a sparse voxel octtree in RAGE [here's a BSD licensed example of a sparse volume octtree).

But as I said in other posts, don't expect fancy lighting and shadows until next gen cards are available (in fact, they maybe are by now, but they're way out of my price range).

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

Creepy Re:Euclideon? Not them again! (134 comments)

But John Carmack is the entire opposite, and his previous game, Rage, uses voxels for the entire terrain, so I think the technology is feasible. Really the main problem is lighting as raycasting and raytracing both need very expensive algorithms for soft shadows and soft lighting and the hardware to do it justice is not quite here yet. The methods I've seen for realtime result in either blocky shadows or grainy lighting.

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

Creepy Re:Static lighting only (134 comments)

First off, many genres of games don't need dynamic global illumination, so that is less of an issue that you make it. In fact, the only games I've played lately that have a global illumination model were Guild Wars 2, the Sims 4 (and yeah, 3 is generally better, but it isn't terrible) and Tomb Raider (2013 version). I have dozens of strategy, adventure, RTS, and racing games that have no global illumination at all. I don't play a lot of shooters outside of the few I know don't make me sick, but yeah that market uses a lot of global illumination.

Second ray casting and ray tracing both can support forms of dynamic lighting, assuming that's what they're using, and I seriously doubt they are doing something else like marching cubes to extract polygons, The problem id had with it in RAGE (which was also voxel based) was the GPU just couldn't keep up for lights and shadows, so they didn't put it in (and are working with hardware manufacturers to make next-gen cards more voxel light/shadow friendly). Techniques like real time radiosity tend to leave blocky shadows due to needing unacceptably large patch sizes. Real time photon mapping (a faster technique than radiosity) tends to create "grainy" images. AFAIK, there really isn't an acceptable solution yet.

In college I wrote a radiosity renderer that was certainly not realtime on a 100Mhz processor with some dedicated graphics hardware (an SGI Onyx, I believe), but it rendered scenes with eye catching detail, including dust particles in the air, which is really difficult to simulate with polygon renderers, or at least was last time I tried (but rendering took something like 72 hours... sigh).

Where polygon rendering tends to look fake to me in that architecture video is with curved metal objects. Something doesn't quite look right, especially with the sinks, but maybe it's because reflections are missing. Some polygon based graphics actually run something akin to mini raytracers in a hardware shader to get reflective curved surfaces (in fact, I've written one for shadows and I could do curved surface reflections with it).

about three weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Still Poisoning Insects

Creepy Re:bioaccumulation beginning to be noticed (119 comments)

Sadly, leaking radioactive plutonium-239 would probably be better than leaking radioactive strontium or cesium due to the inverse relationship between half life and danger to tissue. Plutonium has a half life of around 24100 years, so you could probably have a brick of it in your bedroom and it would never be a health threat to you. Yeah, it isn't the 1.26 billion years of potassium or 14 billion years for thorium (which is in granite), but it still is a very long time.

about a month ago
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Fukushima Radiation Still Poisoning Insects

Creepy Re:BS (119 comments)

Actually, had Fukushima had US standards, the backup generators would have been placed above flood levels and the disaster likely averted. Japan's ignorance of this known and acknowledged design flaw was largely their own fault, IMO. Chernobyl, as you said, was an intentional test that wasn't communicated properly. The other major non-test nuclear disaster, Three Mile Island, was caused by an equipment failure followed by misdiagnosis by engineers (a light indicated a valve was closed when it was in fact stuck open).. Again, though, shoddy safety standards were at fault.

As for the oceans around Hawaii, they probably were damaged more by the 106 above ground nuclear bomb tests the US did at the Pacific Proving Grounds - I doubt Fukushima and Chernobyl will ever do as much damage as those did, even if all of the reactors there had resulted in full meltdowns..

about a month ago
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Fukushima Radiation Still Poisoning Insects

Creepy Re:Cue the knee-jerk nuke lovers & their BS. (119 comments)

Cold fusion is a myth as far as we know, and the other powers you mentioned are actually forms of nuclear.

Solar is fusion energy from the sun
Geothermal is fission energy from the earth's core

I find it kind of funny that clean energy is usually nuclear (with gravitational such as hydro being the exception), despite anti-nuclear people favoring them.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Mozilla turns 10!

Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Creepy (93888) writes "According to Mozilla.org, Mozilla has officially turned 10 today.

March 31, 1998 is the date that Mozilla was officially launched. It's the date the first Mozilla code became publicly available under the terms of an official open source license and a governing body for the project — the Mozilla Organization — began its public work. It's always been known in Mozilla parlance as "3/31." We'll be celebrating Mozilla's 10 year anniversary throughout 2008.
"

Journals

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I realized today that it had been over a year since my last journal entry, so here's a new one. I'm still busy, I still work on computers and do OSS dev in my spare time (mostly computer graphics-sorts of projects). I've recently been tinkering with geometry shaders, but I'm still "feeling around" for how powerful they can be, and I'm mainly interested in using them for surface curvature correction (yes, I have weird hobbies...)

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I have no new stuff to report. Nothing fun at all - get a life and read somebody else's journal ;)

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Oblivion... underwhelmed?

Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Am I the only one that is underwhelmed by Oblivion?

The game is fairly pretty on my high end GPU (shadows are seriously broken - the backface shows), but it plays like Morrowind and you have to maximize your skills to actually play it at any reasonable difficulty, unlike Morrowind, which I find pretty lame. By the time I figured that out, I was already 15 hours into the game and not willing to restart, so I had to seriously drop the difficulty slider. To make matters worse, a good sneaky character does ok in 1 on 1 non-scripted situations, but when you get 2 or 3 or 4 on 1 situations, well, you can't backstab them all and you get pummeled in light armor. At this point, the game seems to be great for all out fighters and all out mages, but mixed classes will have a tough time unless you specifically target three skills each level and don't touch any others (which is hard to do because walk is so slow that I always have run on and gain acrobatics). Anyhow, enough venting - think I'll program on my own game for a while.

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  about 9 years ago

Well, it was time to add something new. My outside blog is where I post most stuff like this, but in the interest of semi-anonymity, I usually don't talk about anything outside of slashdot here. Makes for a boring log, tho.

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I do actually come here...

Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I'm worse at checking this thing than I am my web site, which is to say that I'm not good at it. I think I have too many journals.

If you have anything to say to me, say it here and maybe I'll notice :)

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So some people modded me down for an offtopic post marked Off Topic in the subject where there was a thread on some guy's incorrect sig... twice.

Like they were expecting an on-topic post :P

Sigh - yeah, I know, Slashdot says keep posts on topic, which I usually do, but hey - in context to what? I was on topic in context of the other guy's post :)

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I found it odd that in the past month I've received mod points 3 times, and hadn't been given any in about 4 months... and none of my recent posts have modded either way and I only meta-moderated once.

Bizarre.

Ah well, better go spend the latest batch.

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Creepy Creepy writes  |  more than 10 years ago

On this day, I consecrate my journal.

I'm not exactly sure why, but it needed to be done - and it certainly is more entertaining than watching Install Shield installing components of another product I have to have tested by the Monday before last.

Yawn. I hate working overtime weekends on boring projects. Well, enough yammering, the install is done. Back to work.

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