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Comments

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Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

InterGuru Re:This was tried 35 years ago (280 comments)

Do I understand correctly that you have worked on that project? If so, could you comment on what the people on LPP Fusion are doing? Is is feasible / safe / sustainable?

Is it safe? I see no safety problems beyond those normally found in laboratories or industrial projects that use high energy densities.

Is it feasible? Who knows? That what science experiments are designed to find out.

Is it sustainable? I assume you are asking is it affordable. I suspect that it could be supported for less cost than the toilet paper used at ITER.

about 2 months ago
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Fusion Power By 2020? Researchers Say Yes and Turn To Crowdfunding.

InterGuru This was tried 35 years ago (280 comments)

This was tried as the Trisops Project 35 years ago but lost funding because all of the fusion energy project's focus was on the Tokamak.

Trisops was an experimental machine for the study of magnetic confinement of plasmas with the ultimate goal of producing fusion power. The configuration was a variation of a compact toroid, a toroidal (doughnut-shaped) structure of plasma and magnetic fields with no coils penetrating the center. It lost funding in its original form in 1978.
The configuration was produced by combining two individual toroids produced by two conical pinch guns, located at either end of a length of Pyrex pipe with a constant magnetic guide field. The toroidal currents in the toroids were in opposite directions, so that they repelled each other. After coming to an equilibrium, they were adiabatically compressed by increasing the external field.

Disclosure: I was an author on the paper and of the referenced Wikipedia article;

about 2 months ago
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Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

InterGuru Re:ambitious? (330 comments)

The article did not say oil would run out, just affordable oil.

Here is a summary

The problem is not peak oil, but peak affordable oil.
We are already there, the big oil companies have cut back exploration because the cannot make money even at $100/barrel.
High oil prices choke off growth in our economy
With little or no growth, we cannot pay our debts.
As in 2008, unpayable debt will crack our financial system
As not in 2008, the central banks have shot most of their “arrows” and have few left in their quiver.
With a broken financial system, we will have the social chaos that was barely avoided in 2008

about 5 months ago
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Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

InterGuru Re:ambitious? (330 comments)

After the oil runs out, there won't be any money. Details here. Warning -- it's a harrowing read.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

InterGuru Re:The more simple you make it the less complex it (876 comments)

because you can't produce something complex with something simple

Hmm, this sounds like a creationist's argument against Darwinian evolution.

about 6 months ago
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Studies Say Earth Won't Die As Soon As Thought

InterGuru Life can still exist without the surface water (155 comments)

A Princeton-led research group has discovered an isolated community of bacteria nearly two miles underground that derives all of its energy from the decay of radioactive rocks rather than from sunlight. According to members of the team, the finding suggests life might exist in similarly extreme conditions even on other worlds.

about 6 months ago
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Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

InterGuru I don't see why there is a technical problem. (1038 comments)

I don't see why there is a technical problem with capital punishment. Twice I had open heart surgery, Twice I was put under anesthesia. Neither time did I feel any pain or discomfort. While I was under they could has turned me off without me being aware.

I am against capital punishment. Like nuclear power it requires a level of perfection that we do not have. Still, if you must do it, it seems we have the means to do it humanely.

about 6 months ago
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FBI Edits Mission Statement: Removes Law Enforcement As 'Primary' Purpose

InterGuru A bad set of priorities (539 comments)

In the last dozen years we have had about two dozen victims of terrorism and 100,000 victims of gun crime. Yet we are devoting so many more resources to terrorism. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. Bin Laden's strategy was to bankrupt the United States and we are helping him succeed.. The main danger of terrorism is causing overreaction. With this, NSA and Iraq he is on the way to success,

about 7 months ago
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Is Computer Science Education Racist and Sexist?

InterGuru I hope their solution works, but I doubt it will (612 comments)

Including culturally relevant instructional materials represented a driving focus of our course development," explained ECS Team members who now advise Code.org. "Cultural design tools encourage students to artistically express computing design concepts from Latino/a, African American, or Native American history as well as cultural activities in dance, skateboarding, graffiti art, and more.

Fifty years ago the African Americans' lag in education was attributed to textbooks that ignored them, and a lack of adult role models in the schools. As time went on many black educators entered the workforce and textbooks included african american in pictures and as examples. Unfortunately it did not help much. We still have a gap.

about 7 months ago
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Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments

InterGuru Which translation of the 10 commandments? (1251 comments)

Catholics, Jews and Protestants have different translations of the 10 Commandments. Some translations differ on how to divide the commandments. Muslim translation(s) may differ too.

I suggest a lawsuit to post all translations, or perhaps just post the original Hebrew version.

about 8 months ago
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Nearly 1 In 4 Adults Surf the Web While Driving

InterGuru Is this a problem? (365 comments)

Has the accident rate increased?

about 8 months ago
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Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger LHC

InterGuru Just the bonus for a few sleazy bankers (263 comments)

When the LHC was first built I was impressed by the multi billion $USD cost. Now we spend that much just bailing out a bank so they can pay bonuses to their never-indicted criminal executives.

It's funny how we can't afford to repair our bridges and schools, but when it comes to bailouts and worthless wars, cost is no consideration.

about 8 months ago
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4 Prominent Scientists Say Renewables Aren't Enough, Urge Support For Nuclear

InterGuru A best nuclear power will be a niche solution . (776 comments)

For 2008, the average worldwide generated electric power is in the order of 5 TW. . This is estimated to increase at the rate of 2.2 percent per year from 2010 to 2040 .

This means will need to increase generation capacity by about 110 Gigawatts per year. If we generously assume that each nuclear power plant generates 1 GW, to supply all the increase from nuclear generation we will need to open a new plant about every three days. Given the immense cost, complexity and large delays associated with construction of new nuclear plants there is no way we we get close to that number.

about 9 months ago
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Will Cloud Services One Day Be Traded Just Like Stocks and Bonds?

InterGuru I've heard this before (168 comments)

One if Enron's hare-brained schemes was to develop a market in bandwidth . It was one of the things that steered me away from investing in what was then the hottest stock in the market

about 9 months ago
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Inside the 2013 US Intelligence "Black Budget"

InterGuru Too much secrecy, not too little, is the problem (271 comments)

Thought experiment: What if just before we went into Vietnam and Iraq, someone leaked all our intelligence about these countries. There is a good chance the outcry would have stopped these stupid/criminal wars.

about a year ago
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Technologies Like Google's Self-Driving Car: Destroying Jobs?

InterGuru The Industrial Revolution (736 comments)

All of us benefit from being the heirs of the industrial revolution. Even the poorest of us have better health and nutrition than before. We all have better healthcare than the mightiest king did 300 years ago. Yet for the average person who lived during the industrial revolution life was poor hell. Craftsmen and herders were sent into Dickensian factories and mines. I hope we can live long enough for the majority of citizens to see a benefit from our present computer revolution.

about a year ago
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Researchers Discover Way To Spot Crappy Coffee

InterGuru 7.65 cents per bean. (184 comments)

I counted 102 beans in my coffee scoop. I weighed a scoop at 15 grams which gives 30 scoops to a pound (454 g ). This means there are 3060 beans in a pound. At a price $400/pound civet coffee comes out to 7.65 cents per bean.

I measured Brazilian coffee, not civet. The real number may differ.
.

about a year ago
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Three Banks Lose Millions After Wire Transfer Switches Hacked

InterGuru Re:Smart Criminals (179 comments)

Another example of the increasing skill requirements for today's work force. 50 years ago the only skills required to rob a bank was the ability to hold a gun and drive a getaway car. Now - sheesh - you have to know how to break into a high security switch.

The average guy has no chance to make it nowadays.

about a year ago
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Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria That Can Colonize Most Plants Discovered

InterGuru There is no such thing as a free lunch. (187 comments)

The bacteria gets its energy from sugar in the plant. How much sugar? How much does it decrease the plant's yield.

about a year ago
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Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water

InterGuru We need contingency plans for inevitable failures. (237 comments)

If done properly and carefully, fracking does not produce environmental damage.

If done properly and carefully, deep sea oil drilling does not produce environmental damage.

If done properly and carefully, nuclear power does not produce environmental damage.

However, we know from the last two examples, things are not always done properly and carefully.

If we allow fracking, we have to assume that failures will occur, and have public plans, with pre-arranged financing, on how we will handle the inevitable failures

1 year,6 days

Submissions

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Tylenol-laced Mice airdropped over Guam

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  about 8 months ago

InterGuru (50986) writes "The examiner reports that Tylenol laced mice are being airdropped over Guam.

Mice recently airdropped on Guam were highly toxic to their predators as they were pumped full of Tylenol. The mice were airdropped on the island paradise as food offerings for the Brown Snake. This airdrop is an attempt to eradicate the snake from the island paradise of Guam, according to KPLR 11.com on Dec. 3. The Brown Snake has devastated the island’s native bird population and the slithering creatures have caused millions of dollars in damages to Guam’s electrical infrastructure. The U.S. Government stepped in and offered poisoned mice to the snakes for their dinner.

I wonder whether this will be picked up as an example of government waste?"

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Functional Claim Drafting Practices Considered by USPTO

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  about a year and a half ago

InterGuru writes "From the article in American Intellectual Property Association website.

Despite public misconceptions to the contrary, software is not patentable. Of course, aspects of software, or “software related” patents exist in which an otherwise statutory apparatus or product is claimed that includes computer implemented functionality. In an effort to enhance the “quality” of these software related patents, the USPTO issued a notice last Thursday in the Federal Register entitled: Request for Comments and Notice of Roundtable Events for Partnership for Enhancement of Quality of Software Related Patents.

I myself don't understand this, but it sounds interesting. It continues,

Reading through the tea leaves, the USPTO appears quite interested in exploring means-plus-function claiming with the software community. Since this style of claiming directly links the disclosed structure of the patent specification (algorithmic in the case of computer implemented features), it may be that the Office is proposing to rein in the scope of software claims by requiring the more narrow claim type. ...

"
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The collapse of Jewish Achievement?

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  about a year and a half ago

InterGuru writes "In a large article about college admissions and Asians I found an intriguing paragraph.

The Strange Collapse of Jewish Academic Achievement From my own perspective, I found these statistical results surprising, even shocking. I had always been well aware of the very heavy Jewish presence at elite academic institutions. But the underwhelming percentage of Jewish students who today achieve high scores on academic aptitude tests was totally unexpected, and very different from the impressions I had formed during my own high school and college years a generation or so ago. An examination of other available statistics seems to support my recollections and provides evidence for a dramatic recent decline in the academic performance of American Jews.

I am Jewish and it does not match my experience in the 50's nor that of my children and their friends who were born in the 70's."
Link to Original Source

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MPG of a human

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

InterGuru writes "Tom Murphy, blogging from UCSD in his Do the Math blog asks
' I am curious to know how potent human fuel can be. How many miles per gallon do we get as our own engines of transportation? '

He finds, after accounting for the energy intensity of American agriculture, which uses ten units of energy to get one unit of food energy, walking consumes 18-34 MPG of oil equivalent, and biking comes in at 70-130 MPG.
Maybe if we switched to a more vegetarian diet, we could improve on this."

Link to Original Source
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Light too slow for Wall St. use Neutrinos?

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  more than 2 years ago

InterGuru writes "The New Scientist notes that Wall Street traders are frustrated with the limitations caused by relativity.

EVERY microsecond counts in stock trading. The New York Stock Exchange handles a third of the world's stock trading — around 22 billion messages a day. But NYSE Euronext, which operates the exchange, wants it to get even faster.

Slashdot has already noted the construction of a faster transatlatic cable. It seems however that even light is not fast for the casino that is now Wall Street.

"The speed-of-light limitation is getting annoying," Andrew Bach, head of network services at NYSE Euronext, told the European Conference on Optical Communications in Geneva, Switzerland, last week. With global markets currently in turmoil, it might seem a strange time to worry about the speed of trades, particularly when automated trading was implicated in the stock market's May 2010 "flash crash". But traders still want their computers to receive trading data and place orders instantaneously. And customers will go elsewhere if a rival is faster.

Send in the neutrinos!!"
Link to Original Source

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$400M cable to save 5ms for flash traders

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  more than 3 years ago

InterGuru writes "I just read an article in Popular Science that almost made me sick to the stomach. The headline says it all "Pricey Transatlantic Cable Could Save Milliseconds, Millions by Speeding Data to Stock Traders".

Here is $400M being spent just to give flash traders a 5 ms advantage in trans-atlantic trading. It adds nothing to the economy, just lets the Wall Street Casino operators skim more money from the economy. I addition, it diverts talent from productive projects.

Never has Matt Taibbi's description of Goldman Sachs, and by extension, all the big banks, as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" seem even more apt.

Bookwormhole.net over 30,000 links to published book reviews."

Link to Original Source
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I just turned Adblock off

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  more than 5 years ago

InterGuru writes "After three years of browsing with the Firefox extension, Adblock, I turned it off. This took some doing, as I enjoy the experience of browsing without annoying animated ads blinking at me.

I did not do it because I thought that blocking ads violates some social contract with the advertising industry. I did it because I felt that I was killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Most of sites I read, including Slashdot, depend on ads for the revenue needed to continue publication.

We all hear how the "mainstream press" (MSM) is a dying anachronism in the face of blogging. Yet when you look at blogs, they are usually responding to a MSM story. In spite of record readership on the Net, the MSM is in real economic trouble as its paper version loses readership. Internet ads do not bring in the revenue that paper does, but it is the future revenue stream.

Well who cares! We all should. Few or no bloggers have the resources to send a reporter out for a few weeks to cover an in depth story, or for that matter, have a reporter sitting in on the city council meetings. If too many of us turn ads off, we will kill off the MSM even faster than it is dying.

I now grin and bear it when a blinking ad disturbs me. I even blink back at it.

Bookwormhole.net — Thousands of published book reviews."
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An IT lawsuit is better than a nuclear war

InterGuru InterGuru writes  |  more than 6 years ago

InterGuru writes " Strategy Page notes that China is producing knockoff copies of its diesel submarine.

Russia is getting more and more upset at what it sees as Chinese making unauthorized use of Russian military technology. The latest irritation is the new Chinese diesel electric sub design, the Type 39A, or Yuan class. They look just like the Russian Kilo class.


In retaliation China is threatening a lawsuit.

The Russian sub building organizations are not amused, and are warning China of legal action if Yuans are offered for export (and in direct completion with the Kilos.)


Perhaps we could sic some IT Lawyers on Al Quaeda for violating the business process patents of older terrorist groups."

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