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German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

KovaaK Re:What does it have to do with Japan... (364 comments)

-Cost for a 100000 years mainenance of the waste was never in calculations when people argued prices

It's folly to claim that the "waste" that is 95% re-usable won't be reclaimed well before the "100000 years" that you claim it is dangerous. The only reason so few countries have bothered with reprocessing said waste is because it isn't economical right now, and it's actually dirt cheap for us to store it since there is so little of it. As uranium becomes harder to find in a few decades, do you honestly think scientists and engineers won't be looking at the spent fuel and say "hey, I bet we can reprocess that economically"? Side note: once reprocessed and run through a reactor again, high level radioactive waste is only dangerous for ~300 years. Surely that's manageable, compared to fossil fuels that dump poisonous gasses and heavy metals into the atmosphere at thousands of times the quantity that do not decay.

-90% of German (or American) plants would not withstand impact of a plane bigger than a Cessna.

In that event, what would the damage be? I'd imagine the worst case would be a plant that is incapable of running again and cost quite a bit to clean up, so it would be an economic disaster for the company that runs the plant. But would anyone be harmed outside of workers at the plant? Psychologically, maybe, but physically no. A much better "use" (in terms of damage/effort) of a terrorist hijacking a plane is to aim it for skyscrapers and highly populated areas.

more than 3 years ago

German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

KovaaK Re:What does it have to do with Japan... (364 comments)

Our electricity sources will be 100% renewables by 2025[...] There will be use of natural gas before we are fully based on renewables

The best case (without nuclear) for Germany is that by 2025, you will be getting 25% of your energy from renewables with the remaining 75% as gas "backup" from Russia. Furthermore, your electric bills will be 5-20 times the countries as economically developed as Germany. Do you think all that work on the longest sub-sea gas pipeline in the world will be for nothing after another 14 years?

I'm sorry, but while I appreciate the tone that you provide in this conversation, your comment seems quite delusional to me. 100% renewable is a physical impossibility. A high of 35% capacity factors that are all tied to uncontrollable sources can not possibly power your country. You have a serious fossil fuel industry that not only has significant resources invested in supplying the fuels, but also burning them. That industry isn't just going to say "OK, we're going for wind and solar now." They will fight to the bitter end. Your country's hatred for nuclear will have to turn to a hatred of coal and gas, and even then I doubt your government will roll over and force them to do the "right thing".

more than 3 years ago

German Parliament Backs Nuclear Exit By 2022

KovaaK Re:What does it have to do with Japan... (364 comments)

A man has a pool in his back yard, but the neighborhood kids keep sneaking in at night and peeing in it. The man decides to expand his house around the pool and hire a small squad of 24/7 security personnel for $250,000/year. While the man is at work, a very dedicated psycopath with explosives and automatic weapons takes out the man's on-shift security team, kills his wife, rapes his kids, and pees in his pool. The man's neighbor (Germany) hears about all of this and says "good god, I'm getting rid of my pool now, it's just too dangerous."

Some people are smart enough to realise that while the earthquake/tsunami was the initial cause the same end result could occur via some other event causing cooling failure at a nuke plant.

I disagree. I'd say that some people are smart enough to realise that while the damage to the nuclear plants in Japan was unfortunate, it was a casualty of the earthquake/tsunami, not the tragedy itself. Nuclear plants may not be perfect, and they can cause a small amount of harm in incredible circumstances. Things like record-breaking earthquake+tsunamis, acts of war between advanced nations, meteors falling in unfortunate locations... these kinds of incredible circumstances are far worse for the populace than the anything nuclear plants can do. Perspective is important, and the German populace and politicians seem to be lacking it right now.

more than 3 years ago

Slashdot Launches Re-Design

KovaaK Re:april 1st already? (2254 comments)

I'm another user stuck on IE7 at work. Last year they upgraded us from Windows 2000 running IE6 to Windows Vista running IE7. My laptop is completely locked down. Until a few months ago, I ran a Portable version of Firefox, but then I got a nasty email from IT saying that my Internet access would be revoked if I continued to run unauthorized programs on my laptop. 800 people on site, and the eight person IT Department just happens to be in the cubes right next to me... *sigh*.

Anyway, to the Slashdot programmers: this sucks. Not only do I have the same issues that other posters mentioned (Bars on main screen show up on the right covering the first half of all stories on the main page), but just going to completely breaks portions of my instance of Internet Explorer. After visiting the main page, google's gchat fails to connect and many sites don't load at all. Google reader also breaks down. Restarting the browser fixes it, but going back to Slashdot re-breaks it.

The buttons for any of the options pages don't have any text on them, neither do "Post", "Preview", or "Cancel". I'm hoping that the layout of the post buttons haven't changed, but I'm effectively running blind.

Yes, IE7 sucks. Unfortunately, some of us are stuck on it. I didn't ask to be a beta tester for this site, so I'm not pleased.

more than 3 years ago

The Rise and Rise of the Cognitive Elite

KovaaK Re:Class Difference (671 comments)

You are correct that there is some difficulty for those with degrees in getting jobs, but the recession hit those with less education the hardest. December 2010's unemployment numbers are as follows: Less than highschool 15.3%, Highschool grad with no college 9.8%, Some college or associate degree 8.1%, Bachelor's Degree or higher 4.8%.


more than 3 years ago

Cosmological Constant Not Fine Tuned For Life

KovaaK Re:More galaxies would sterilize planets (536 comments)

Even though BitZstream is using quite a few flame inducing words, he does have a point. A quick google suggests that we've identified life on Earth that uses gamma rays for energy. This was one of the examples I found by searching...

more than 3 years ago

Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

KovaaK Re:Coverage? (252 comments)

Are there extraordinarily well engineered nuclear plants that can withstand attacks of idiocy?

Pretty much all of the US designs. Take a look at the EIA's data from 1998 through 2009. The two baseload sources that are supposed to be running 24/7 are coal and nuclear. Nuclear power has been ridiculously reliable in the past decade. Even with a select few nuke plants shut down for a year or more, the average for nuclear is way higher than coal.

The reason for this is simple - the nuclear industry is very effective in implementing predictive/preventive maintence programs and sharing operating experience between companies. Whenever anything goes wrong with a critical component it is extensively analyzed, and the important information is relayed to all other nuclear generating facilities in the US. External failure is treated with the same rigor as internal failure.

Of course, there are some exceptions to this, but the point I'm trying to get across is that the nuclear industry takes itself seriously, and the results of the dedication are self-evident.

more than 2 years ago

Split Screen Co-op Is Dying

KovaaK Re:Serial cable? (362 comments)

When you played Doom multiplayer, you were using a serial cable. "Null modem is a communication method to connect two DTEs (computer, terminal, printer etc.) directly using an RS-232 serial cable." (

A little younger, and you might have missed it.

more than 2 years ago

Labor Lockout Lingers At Honeywell Nuclear Plant

KovaaK Re:Coverage? (252 comments)

Thank you.

I'm quite annoyed by the people who are here pretending to care about the environment and safety of the public. Most people yelling about safety in these comments are just here because it contains the words nuclear and/or radiation. If they really care, they should be asking how it compares to other situations that happened near us, such as: the Gulf Oil leak, the Massey coal mine collapse, the Natural Gas power plant explosion in CT, the Natural Gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno CA, any non-nuclear related chemical plant that leaks dangerous substances, your average coal-fired power plant operating under normal circumstances...

All of these events have happened in the past year in or around this country, and no one seems to care any more. Should I list China's coal mine collapses too? I'm willing to bet that any given incident I listed was more significant in terms of damage to surrounding life and the environment than whatever has happened or will happen at Honeywell.

This doesn't appear to be too large of a story in the media yet. I wonder if they are giving nuclear commensurate coverage for once.

more than 2 years ago

Minecraft Reaches Beta Status, Price Goes Up

KovaaK Re:Poor programmer? (279 comments)

I've never had Minecraft crash on me. Are you playing a pirated copy or something?

SMP required a rather large re-write, so there are definitely issues with it. Considering that server-side inventory was just released (in beta-state, mind you), issues like item duplication are almost expected.

more than 2 years ago

Patent Supports PSP2 Rear Touch Pad Rumor

KovaaK Prior Art with a better name... (49 comments)

The Motorola Backflip calls it the "Backtrack Navigation Pad". I'd assume Motorola already has a patent on it. It's mildly annoying - I've had the phone since April and I still forget it's there 90% of the time. Easy enough to disable in the options, thankfully.

more than 3 years ago

Google Engineer Sponsors New Kinect Bounties

KovaaK Re:That's good (96 comments)

It's a nice proof of concept and step in the right direction, but I wouldn't call it complete. He is simply tracking the two closest blobs, which happen to be his hands. Give the community some more time before we start making announcements about a minority report type interface being complete :P.

more than 3 years ago

Diablo 3 Hands-On

KovaaK Re:Worthy successor to Diablo 2?! (216 comments)

Unrelated to what Fibe-Piper was talking about, but the community of modders has come up some handy mods/hacks such as D2MultiRes for higher resolution in Diablo 2. But my favorite mods are probably Median XL by Laz (total conversion with entirely new skills, uniques, sets, uber levels, challenges), and PlugY (infinite stash, stash shareable between characters, redistributable stat/skill points).

more than 3 years ago

Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself

KovaaK Re:Yep it is the Faustian Bargain (384 comments)

that demonstrated that low-dose radiation is actually beneficial, acting like a vaccination to reduce cancer rates and extend lifespan of nuclear workers and atomic bomb survivors.

Basically the guy looses all credibility here.

Well, maybe you can help me. I'm having serious difficulty finding any serious refutation of in-depth studies of radiation hormesis (which you claim makes someone lose all credibility). Maybe if you're so experienced in debating these issue, you could provide me with such a refutation to Bernard L. Cohen's paper published in Health Physics from 1995 titled "Test of the linear-no threshold theory of radiation carcinogenesis for inhaled radon decay products."

Here is a link to the original paper:

A tl;dr version of it was described here.

more than 3 years ago

Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself

KovaaK Re:Yep (384 comments)

What we do know is of the states highest in the list of cancer averages (within the cancer incubation period after the accident) the ones with similar population density surrounded Pennsylvania, where TMI occurred. New York with roughly 3 times the population, which topped the list, was also in the fall out zone. So it's easy for anyone to say that no-one died because of TMI because there is no gathering of data, no official study, no evidence. It's more honest to say "We don't know how many people died as a result of TMI because because no data was collected".

If you are aware of any such study please provide a link to it.

While I don't have a direct link, Ted Rockwell makes mention of such studies in his blog from time to time. You might be able to contact him for more specifics.

In the post I linked, he writes the following:

And we now know, and have documented, that the type of commercial nuclear plants we have built or planned, cannot, in fact, create a radiological disaster. In 1981, after the Three Mile Island incident, Chauncey Starr, Milton Levenson and others summarized and documented their research on the potential consequences of the worst realistic casualty for commercial nuclear power plants of the type being built in the developed world. They concluded that few if any deaths would be expected off-site.

The research was expanded to a billion-dollar effort, by several nations, over the following decades to the present. After September 11, 2001, with another 20 years of data accumulated, I arranged for 19 nuclear-expert members of the National Academy of Engineering to publish a Policy Forum in the mainstream, peer-reviewed journal Science , updating the 1981 report after TMI, and reaffirming its conclusion that the worst that can be expected is few if any deaths offsite. That conclusion was publicly agreed to by the then-Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The American Nuclear Society White Paper on Realism, followed up with more details, additionally confirming that conclusion. We can no longer claim that radiation is mysterious or uniquely dangerous. The risks of nuclear power are now better understood than most other hazards we face in our daily life.

more than 3 years ago

Final Fantasy XIV Launches To Scathing Reviews

KovaaK Re:To each his own (401 comments)

Then you enjoy defending said shitty game, while everyone else just plays games that aren't shitty. Just like people who stuck with Everquest after WoW came out.

That's fairly short sighted. Aside from all of the people who invested months worth of playtime in their Everquest characters and didn't want to re-do it in a new game, Everquest's raiding game actually challenged the players to think and be creative. On top of that, if you have large amounts of people not leaving EQ due to the above reasons, then going to WoW means leaving a portion of one's social community behind.

WoW certainly improved upon EQ in many ways, but you are completely failing to understand the situation. I can't believe you got modded up.

more than 3 years ago

Open Source PS3 Jailbreak Released

KovaaK Re:Console are all about control (226 comments)

I have been a PC gamer for years, but that doesn't mean that some games and genres don't work better on consoles. When was the last time you played a good party game on the PC (Worms would be my most recent, and that feels like ages ago)? How about a 2d fighting game?

I just ordered a PS3 yesterday for the purpose of playing Blazblue with friends. Sure, there is an arcade version of the game that I can torrent and play on my PC, but the input feels like shit (even with a PS3 or XBOX360 controller) and it has no online play.

Of course, when it comes to first person shooters, nothing can beat a good duel in almost any of the Quake series on PC.

about 4 years ago

PS3 Hacked via USB Dongle

KovaaK Re:What has this to do with sony yanking linux? (337 comments)

The obscurity is that the inner workings of the software were hidden. Even if there was a glaring back-door to the system, no one would know about it. With the RAM glitches he was talking about, people got a chance to look into the software and find out where potential holes existed. Said RAM glitches removed the obscurity.

more than 4 years ago

Google's CEO Warns Kids Will Have to Change Names to Escape "Cyber Past"

KovaaK Re:Just give your kids a famous name (706 comments)

What about the unfortunate people who end up with the same name as registered sex offenders, or people on the no-fly list? It's safer for the employer to just weed out the potential bad seeds early on...

more than 4 years ago

Sony Developing 3D Screen-Sharing Technology For Two Players

KovaaK Re:The USPO should really learn the word "obvious" (174 comments)

Or even just using 3D tech to present two different 2D images.

To be fair, when I was reading about Nintendo's new 3D tech in their handheld 3DS, someone mentioned that the same tech was being used in car consoles to provide the driver with a GPS display and the passenger with a movie.

I think it's kind of clever. It's just that given current technology it's so simple that I'm surprised it hasn't been used more.

more than 3 years ago



AP Report on Industry Capture of NRC inaccurate

KovaaK KovaaK writes  |  more than 2 years ago

KovaaK (1347019) writes "A recent AP article, discussed here, attempts to show that the NRC is bending to the nuclear industry's will in dangerous and scary ways. Do their claims hold up? An expert with 36 years experience in nuclear reliability and risk assessment says no. On the AP's claim that there is no official body in the government or industry that has studied aging problem frequency and impact, he writes "That is an incorrect statement which could have been checked on the NRC website. I suggest that one look at the NRC's web pages that are devoted to equipment reliability trends."

Read more on his responses here."

Link to Original Source

News Reports on US Seismic Risk is Misguided

KovaaK KovaaK writes  |  more than 3 years ago

KovaaK (1347019) writes "With a large portion of the press in a frenzy to sell advertising, they seem to be picking up every story they can to make nuclear look bad. Most recently, there are hundreds of stories of how susceptible our nukes are to earthquakes, but very few have picked up on news that the original list is just used for screening purposes in the NRC, and it isn't indicative of how damaging an earthquake would be.
Is it just the press overreacting to nuclear? Someone please tell me there are some critical thinkers out there who can sort out the FUD from reality."

Link to Original Source

"Almost 100% efficiency" Solar cell materi

KovaaK KovaaK writes  |  more than 5 years ago

KovaaK (1347019) writes "

Researchers at Ohio State University have accidentally discovered a new solar cell material capable of absorbing all of the sun's visible light energy. The material is comprised of a hybrid of plastics, molybdenum and titanium. The team discovered it not only fluoresces (as most solar cells do), but also phosphoresces. Electrons in a phosphorescent state remain at a place where they can be "siphoned off" as electricity over 7 million times longer than those generated in a fluorescent state. This combination of materials also utilizes the entire visible spectrum of light energy, translating into a theoretical potential of almost 100% efficiency. Commercial products are still years away, but this foundational work may well pave the way for a truly renewable form of clean, global energy.

Can any solar proponents out there convince me that this development will be different than almost every other one that fades away?"
Link to Original Source



What Programming language to learn?

KovaaK KovaaK writes  |  more than 5 years ago First, some background information... I started programming when I was 12 (I'm now 23) by messing around with the Quake 1 game source code known as QuakeC. Before College, I never got more than halfway through a "learn Java or C" book before losing interest, but it was still more than enough as a primer for College. I majored as a Computer Engineer, which at my school was half Computer Science and half Electrical Engineering. I chose to lean much more toward the C.S. side since I generally enjoy programming, and I don't regret it.

While at the University, I learned way too much Java, a little bit more C, a decent bit of assembly, and some Perl. Classes I took taught me plenty in the areas of algorithms, AI, data structures, compilers, and general programming knowledge. I still feel like there is a ton of stuff that I can learn, but I'm having difficulty in choosing where to go from here.

Now that I'm out of school and employed as a Programmer, I find that I have a fair amount of free time on my hands at work. I started using my free time learning more Perl by doing problems on I finished about 70 of them or so and was having fun until I started getting more anal about my code. Perl is a great scripting language, but I ran into a few things that made me not want to go much further with it. (threads suck, and using packages for certain things can be selectively slow... there are way too many ways to do things, code becoming unmaintainable, and so on)

I know that Python is all the rage among programmers right now, and 3.0 just came out, so I started messing around with that. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that there are tons of modules out there that havn't been updated for 3.0. On top of that, I'm not particularly enjoying the syntax, so I haven't had much motivation to decide if I should go to an old version of Python or not.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for me on what language I should pick up? My thoughts are either to finally learn some solid C or C++ (C# maybe?), or grab an older version of Python (2.6 or 2.5 depending on module availability? Would 2.4 have a use). Any other suggestions are very welcome - I just want to make myself more desirable as a Programmer.

Also, I've sort of had ideas in the back of my mind of what I'd like to do with _insert language here_, and some random thoughts are:

  • Find a good GUI package for Win32 (kind of sick of Tk - I've seen it in 3 languages so far)
  • Do more Project Euler problems
  • Mess with Threads
  • Mess with OpenGL

Suggestions in this category are also very welcome.

Thanks much!

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