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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Firethorn Re: name and location tweeted... (861 comments)

I'm wondering a little differently. I wonder how plugged in that gate representative must of been to find and successfully identify the source of the tweet and call the family off the plane before it left.

I say this because I don't see some SWA social media monitoring department demanding the tweet be removed in that fashion. I figure it was the 'dissed' gate rep herself that did it.

3 days ago

Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Firethorn Re:What's stopping me you ask... (532 comments)

This was the deal for me. Reading about the 3D stuff I might need to go back, but when I went in for the procedure I ended up being declined because the risk to my night vision was too high.

3 days ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Firethorn Re:Why? (260 comments)

You'd end up with servers welded to the rack.

Then you're not using big enough racks!

More seriously, it's one of the reasons I suggested 600V. I'm surprised you didn't pick up on that part. I wasn't suggesting running 12V through the racks, I was suggesting running 600 VDC. Which, of course, creates it's own issues. Such as a certain amount of theft prevention, but increases turnover in techs. ;)

4 days ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

Firethorn Re:Why? (260 comments)

For a 1% power loss over 1 metre at 700A, you need 0000AWG cable. It's about 1kg of copper (that's a single conductor, you'd need one for the return path, another kg and another 1% power loss)

Bah, just use the chassis as return; the frames might only be steel, but there's a good amount of it. That and I suggest 600V for truly limiting the amount of power lost through cables. ;)

5 days ago

EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

Firethorn Back up your opinion, at least (230 comments)

At least your opinion is backed up by facts and reasoning, unlike the AC's.

Fact: Humans today, on the whole, live better lives than they ever have before.

Brighter colors and whiter whites is only a small fraction of what makes our quality of life so much better. For example, modern medical care has prevented far more death, retardation, and disabilities than modern industry has created short of the sheer population increases it's enabled.

about a week ago

EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

Firethorn Re:headed in the wrong direction (230 comments)

(Pretty pointless to have a 1mSv/year limit when you have had a population of millions living in twice that for a couple of millennium without any measurable problems.)

Indeed, this is even measurable. 1mSv/year is average, if variations caused significant differences in cancer rates you'd expect it to readily show in in areas like Colorado vs Mississippi.

about a week ago

EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

Firethorn Re:headed in the wrong direction (230 comments)

This is a fallacy. The threshold should be set on the estimated benefits of a higher threshold vs the estimated harm from the additional radiation. The background radiation has nothing to with it.

Bingo. Consider that the likely alternatives if you kill nuclear power are coal and natural gas. Realistically speaking you'd have to consider the harm from coal pollution for every kWh burned, which I'd easily say is going to be more. Natural Gas is far cleaner, but still has some pollution issues even without considering global warming. With this in mind, loosening nuclear power restrictions can actually save lives if you use it as an opportunity to prevent more coal or NG plants.

about a week ago

Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2

Firethorn Re:Solar efficiency (133 comments)

but the panels need to be replaced after about a decade.

You're using very old information. Current generation solar panels are guaranteed to produce 80% of original power after 25 years. The original 'modern' panel is still working 60 years later, and there are lots of evidence they last at least 30.

Though I agree on the nuclear power. I'd be building at least 300 new reactors if I could. It's just that in my original post I was saying that using solar electricity to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere is stupid, especially at those efficiencies. Note that I said 'Even in'; I didn't mean to say that it was the most efficient option.

And yes, synthetic hydrocarbons produced from nuclear power would be a welcome alternative, though I still hold hope for algae based biodiesel/fuel*.

*You can get oil and diesel out of the fats, ethanol or gasoline equivalent out of the carbohydrates.

about three weeks ago

Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2

Firethorn Re:Solar efficiency (133 comments)

So basically you're saying that now is the perfect time to be doing this research so that it can possibly reach useful levels by the time fossil fuels have been largely phased out within some jurisdictions?

Depends. I don't mind research, indeed I love it. But research isn't magic; there's a definite 'law of reducing returns' out there in general, especially when we're playing with energy. There are huge numbers of vastly different ways to reduce or sequester CO2.

As for the wolves, very interesting article. I don't think it'll work everywhere, but we can duplicate at least some of it.

about three weeks ago

Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2

Firethorn Solar efficiency (133 comments)

Indeed. For the foreseeable future you'll reduce CO2 more by using the panels to displace coal power and even Natural Gas. Only after you've shut ALL of them down and still need to reduce CO2 does this make sense.

Even in ~20 years we'd be better off doing something like use all the retiring EV batteries* to help stabilize the grid and shift solar power to the 7-9 pm peak.

*10 years for EVs to actually reach significant market penetration, 10 years more before people start replacing the batteries in them.

about three weeks ago

Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

Firethorn Re:Google should talk with Tesla (236 comments)

Huh, never heard that. Any citation on Musk saying that?

Tesla's existing cars are actually reasonably priced for their luxury/performance envelope.

about a month ago

Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

Firethorn Google should talk with Tesla (236 comments)

As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company's eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley.

Danger to their present business models, you mean.

Personally, I think that Tesla would be an excellent company to talk with. Elon Musk speaks their language.

about a month ago

Cambridge Team Breaks Superconductor World Record

Firethorn Re:ummm...nope (73 comments)

Which would be odd, seeing as how in US parlance 'fridge magnet' does indeed mean a magnet intended to attach to your fridge, typically containing advertising or cute sayings, or holding things like sheets of your kid's art up.

Per wiki a typical fridge magnet is 5 mt, or .005 Tesla. So this experiment is more like 3000X as strong as a fridge magnet.

This thing is 10X as strong as most of my 'fridge' magnets, but then I like to play with neodymium ones.

Going by my experience, their 'fridge magnets' would hold to a fridge very well without requiring excessive strength to pull off. Most of mine you have to think about it a bit.

Oh, and 16T is enough to levitate a frog.

about a month ago

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

Firethorn Re:Libertarian nirvana (534 comments)

But the logical extreme of modern-day Libertarianism is Anarchism.

Slippery slope fallacy. That I support having *limited* government does not mean that I support *NO* government.

about 1 month ago

MP Says 'Failed' Piracy Warnings Should Escalate To Fines & Jail

Firethorn Re:Red flag facts (135 comments)

Someone might be seeking damages or criminal penalties for what was done before the AP was switched off.

Then, like a coffee shop you provide what information you have about those who connected, and move on.

about 1 month ago

CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Firethorn Re:So....far more than guns (454 comments)

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

Wouldn't that be the cart leading the horse? If you're committing suicide with a gun in 'under a year' my first thought is that there's a very good chance you bought the gun specifically contemplating suicide.

The suicide problem is huge, and we're not actually losing all that many young adults to anything else. Disease is down, car fatalities are down, other accidental deaths are down, etc...

I feel like it would be extraordinarily intellectually dishonest of me to accept handguns as public health issue, and not alcohol. They are both serious concerns and need to be acknowledged as they are, not stewed in pots of rhetoric.

I agree. Heck, my proposals of fixing schools and our mental healthcare system would actually address suicide as well as violence and other crimes, so bonus.

about 1 month ago

MP Says 'Failed' Piracy Warnings Should Escalate To Fines & Jail

Firethorn Re:Red flag facts (135 comments)

As I understand relevant statutes, such as the corresponding US statute (17 USC 512), protections like "common carrier" and "safe harbor" stop applying once there exist "red flag" facts that reasonably should alert a provider to a subscriber's wrongdoing.

Well, a solution to that is that once notified of legal proceedings, you shut off your anonymous AP.

about 1 month ago

Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

Firethorn Re:Shill (534 comments)

The problem with suing them is that you can only target the corp's assets. Structuring it in such a way that the 'company' doesn't actually have any is pretty standard.

I'm thinking that the BATFE needs to come inspect them to make sure they're in full compliance with the NFA. The regulations are completely different between being a government agency like a police department and a commercial company like a 501(c)(3). I'm also willing to bet that they use government letterhead to purchase restricted stuff.

BATFE: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
NFA: National Firearms Act. Federal law regul

about 1 month ago

Funding for iFind Kickstarter Suspended

Firethorn Re:Far-fetched? (104 comments)

For comparison, an RFID reader has the same FCC-imposed limits as WiFi, an EIRP of 4W (or put another way, a 1W transmitter with a typical 6dBi antenna).

RFID readers are also generally bigger than a cell phone, utilize a protocol developed specifically for low power(Bluetooth is incredibly complex and high-powered in comparison, actually doing handshakes and stuff), don't do any more than transmit a number(essentially), and work at ranges a whole lot less than 200 meters.

If we could build a wireless power receiver that doesn't need a specific power transmitter that can transmit powerfully enough to be heard at a couple hundred meters into something the size of a dime ALL small consumer devices would be looking to use it. Bye-bye chargers for the most part would only be the first step.

about a month ago

MP Says 'Failed' Piracy Warnings Should Escalate To Fines & Jail

Firethorn Re:We keep getting closer to a dystopia (135 comments)

Prosecutor,"You should have never said that fellow. You're responsible for what other people do on your router. So lets see what other criminal activities they did before we sentence you to just a couple years of jail."

Common Carrier protection.

about a month ago



Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Firethorn (177587) writes "From Decatur Daily
Shut down 22 years ago in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority has reactivated Unit 1 at Browns Ferry Nuclear plant in response to rising demand for electricity in North Alabama. It's the first reactor activated since 1996.

It's expected to produce 1,155 megawatts, power 650,000 homes, and employ an extra 100 workers at the plant.

Renovations cost $1.8 Billion, but they expect the payback to be done within 4-5 years, down from the 7-8 years estimated in 2002, mostly because of increased fuel costs for the alternatives."



Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 5 years ago

You know, I found a story on fark leading to a postive spin on Walmart. Of course, the thread had all sorts of entries on how bad/evil Walmart is. While I certainly don't agree with everything in the article, neither do I believe that Walmart is worse than the devil. It's of only average evilness for a large corporation.

One points brought up was the 'liveable wage'. While Walmart does indeed have one of the lower wage medians, it's a retail store. It's wages are in line with the other 'mart' stores, grocery stores, and their ilk. If anything, a lower median wage indicates that they aren't top heavy with too many managers. 90% of their workers are covered by health insurance - and not government plans.

Here in the USA we have a messed up view of what a 'liveable wage' is. It's part of why we've lost so much of our manufacturing - cheaper laber outside the USA.

I'd rather have them have a job that might not pay enough for them to get that 60" Plasma, own two cars, not to mention such 'essentials' as cable, high speed internet, a thousand+ computer, etc, than NO JOB.

Essentially, I feel that it'd be a better situation to have welfare set up so that people are always better off working than not working. They're also always better off working the better paid job than the lesser**. As part of that, I'd get rid of the minimum wage.

IE we declare the minimum living income to be X. Really bad standard of living, barely covers the basics. Everybody gets X.
Joe gets a job making Y. His welfare payments are adjusted such that he gets Y + (X-Y/3). I use a divisor of 3 because there are costs associated with working, and a /2 is a bit too quick. Let's say X is the Poverty line. We'll go with a family of 4. $21,200. Ouch. Still, let's say they get job/s earning $30k. They'd 'lose' 10k in benefits, still obtaining $11.2k in benies. They now have an effective income of $41.2k, which while not great, is better than sitting completely on welfare. Meanwhile the single guy would be looking at $10.4k, and that $30k job would leave him with $400 in benefits. He's still better off getting that pay raise, though. I'm firmly of the belief that somebody working and contributing is better than not working.

That would help with our outsourcing problem, while wages would drop, it would help make us competitive on the global workforce market again.

On another topic - U.S. homes lose $2 trillion in value in '08

Is this necessarily a bad thing? For a while there people were treating their homes as investments - well, a home IS an investment, but they were treating theirs like something they could buy then sell when their retired for enough money to retire on. Easy credit allowed people and speculators to buy far more home than they needed, or even could afford, putting a crunch on housing and raising prices to the point of unaffordability. Personally, I'd like to remain able to afford a decent home with a 30 year fixed, on no more than 30% of my income, not some fancy loan that I ultimately can't afford.


Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 8 years ago

What with the flooding, I feel that New Orleans should be renamed to 'New Venice'. I have many thoughts on this.

For one, it's just stupid to build a standard city below sea level, on the coast, especially in an area subject to hurricanes.

My idea, since the area's natural tendency is to be flooded anyways, we go along with it and build like in venice. It'd remain a tourist attraction, and would be far more resistant to hurricanes with proper construction. My idea is floating homes. Tie them in location with rails so they stay level. Give then around 3-4 meters of travel. You could reduce this by actually artificially raising the level of water, then when a hurricane comes, pump the water out to keep it level. It's hard to flood an artificially raised lake. You break a levy, the water level drops.

Then instead of levees, you build tide breakers, to moderate the tide and any breakers. Build 'sacrifice buildings' closest to the gulf, that can be used to break the tide even further. Then large buildings that won't float, but sit on a solid foundation, will use their first floors for nothing critical, and reinforce the ocean side to withstand the hurricanes, at least better. They're also to protect the homes behind.

Great tourist attraction, unique, pretty much floodproof.


Why do people keep calling me a republican?

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Disclaimer: This is intented to be a summery. There are all sorts of jinks and kinks in my beliefs. This is mearly a summery.

People keep calling me a republican on this board. If I am one, I must be an awfully strange one, seeing as how I'm pro choice, pro drug legalization, at least somewhat pro gay rights, and am an agnostic with atheist tendencies.

I believe in seperation of church and state, but I don't think that means that the state can supress people's freedom of religion. As in if a kid wants to read the bible or pray in school, they can (as long as it's not disruptive to class).

I think that school vouchers are a good idea. Private schools and parents have been doing more education with less than public schools for years.

I think that the government should run a balanced budget. I also think that the fairtax guys have a good idea, but that there are a number of kinks to work out.

The war on terror, war in Iraq? I think that we're taking the wrong direction at the airports. I think that all the violations of our rights are wrong. As for the war in Iraq, well, we're committed. We have to finish it, lest it turn into another Afghanistan. I can only hope the upcoming elections go reasonably well.

I am a strong supporter of the first amendment. I feel that if I'm not uncomfortable with at least some of what is being said, speech isn't free enough.

I am also a strong supporter of the second amendment. And yes, I believe that that covers machine guns. NBC weapons are a bit much even for me however. If it's not something that a single soldier can be expected to haul and use somewhat discriminatorily, it's not a personal arm.

I think that it's a major crime that the government can confiscate property without trial.

I think that our government spends too much money on various welfare and pork barrel projects. If we must have welfare, I think that people should have to work for it.

I'm a libertarion, not a republican.


First Entry...

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I usually mess something up in my posts, so if something seems odd, it might just be.

I'm certainly not average.
I'm pro-choice... And Pro-Death penalty
I'm for a strong military...but I'd let gays join
I'm for closing the border...but I'd let legal immigration be easy.
I'm for legalizing drugs...And serious prison time for DUI's.
I consider myself for a clean enviroment...but I'd do this closing all hydrocarbon powerplants and replacing them with nuclear.
I'm a strict constitutionalist.
I believe that if we must engage in war, we should wage it offensivly. Under modern technology, offense is what wins battles.
I'd eliminate welfare and the minimum wage, replacing it with a 'work-fare' program, where you have to work at something for forty hours a week (even if only picking trash up from the side of the road). Benefits would be mostly concrete, not cash. You'd eat at a dining facility, live in a provided apartment, etc...

I certainly have other views, but this should cover most of the issues.

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