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Optical Concentrator To Make Solar Power Cheaper

Malekin Re:Very original idea (141 comments)

Amplifying light with a glass 'optic' would be quite original.

Optical fibre amplifiers use a length of erbium-doped glass as the amplification medium. They were invented in the 80s and are used around the world. An external source excites the erbium and as the signal to be amplified comes in it stimulates emission. The result is a signal coming out brighter than the one that went in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_amplifier

Of course, it'd be daft to use one in this application as while they do amplify, it's not like they're >100% efficient.

more than 4 years ago
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Fusion-Fission System Burns Hot Radioactive Waste

Malekin Re:Weapons Grade Production? (432 comments)

Quite simply, it's immoral to leave future generations the obligation to take care of a problem, both physically and financially, that we generate today.

I think future generations would prefer we left them a mountain or two full of radioactive waste than an entire planet catastrophically altered by global warming.

more than 5 years ago
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Oldest Weapons-grade Plutonium Found In Dump

Malekin Re:Mystery Pits (552 comments)

Did you notice that was the last time that Japan attacked anyone? Peace is the result of completely removing your enemy's capacity or desire to wage war. Sad, but true.

Or your enemy removing yours. Either way it seems the only way to peace is tyranny.

more than 5 years ago
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Tapping the Earth For Home Heating and Cooling

Malekin Re:Ground source makes cents (215 comments)

If you ignore the mindless Greenpeace types, and your power is from nukes (like in France) there are no greenhouse gas emissions at all and the air stays nice and clean.

Greenpeace are a bunch of nutjobs and the more base generation goes nuclear the better, but it's not totally greenhouse-gas-emission free. Mining the ore and enriching it generates GHG. The many, many tonnes of concrete that go into building the plants (~200 cubic metres per MW) generate GHG. Sure, it's the total GHG/kWh is less than just about any other technology, but it's not nothing.

more than 5 years ago
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New York City Street Lights To Go LED

Malekin Re:flicker crashes (303 comments)

Assuming the line voltage is run through a full wave bridge rectifier, there would be a 120 Hz flicker, imperceptible to most people. Toss a large capacitor across that DC output and you've got dramatically less ripple.

I certainly hope they're a wee bit more complicated than that. Can you imagine the power factor problem we'd have if we replaced all streetlights with LED ones that just use a bridge and large capacitor?

more than 5 years ago
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Brand Names Take On Generics In PSU Showdown

Malekin Re:In other news... (223 comments)

Electrolytic capacitors are one obvious place cost can be cut.

There are a couple of topologies that are applicable. Most computer powersuuplies are (I think) single-switch forward converters. The topologies with more switches provide better performance, but more switches means more expensive transistors.

Higher frequency switching generally provides more stable output, but requires "faster" transistors and transistor drivers, which again, are more expensive than "slower" ones.

more than 5 years ago
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How To Build a Homebrew PS3 Cluster Supercomputer

Malekin Re:Why doesn't Sony make it ? (211 comments)

I betcha there's enough talent out there to make a small desktop unit. An affordable, out of box, mass produced Sony supercomputer./p>

I think Sony feels that's exactly what the PS3 is.

more than 5 years ago
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Telstra Kicked Out of $15bn Broadband Project

Malekin Re:Senator Conroy's handiwork (158 comments)

Everything I've seen points What evidence do you have to support your claim?

*Everything I've seen points to him personally supporting this policy.

more than 5 years ago
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Telstra Kicked Out of $15bn Broadband Project

Malekin Re:Senator Conroy's handiwork (158 comments)

Conroy rarely comments on the filter because he does not support it.

You've stated this a number of times but I don't buy it. He may be Labor, but he's right wing and socially conservative. He's a headkicker - a politician who is in it for the politics and not to represent the will of his electorate. He's so religious he earned himself the nickname "the altar boy."

The policy for the mandatory clean feed was written and put in place after he was given the portfolio. Everything I've seen points What evidence do you have to support your claim?

more than 5 years ago
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Australia Says No to Internet Censorship

Malekin Re:Australia Says No (209 comments)

We had forgotten how much of irresponsible populists the Labor party are.

If Little Johnny is to be remembered for anything it was his ability to sniff and exploit popular opinion. He was a canny bastard and that's why he lasted as long as he did.

Australia went Labor because we hate politicians and we get eventually sick of whatever party is in charge and vote in the other guys. The two parties are so similar that the issues at each election are just window-dressing.

Now we have that idiot Rudd spending education dollars on free laptops, telecommunications infrastructure dollars on censorship and tax dollars on allowances to buy Christmas presents. I can't believe that I voted for these arsehats.

The coalition also spent millions on internet censorship, the "technical colleges programme" and a range of allowances like the baby bonus.

If you wanted something different you should have voted for the Greens.

more than 5 years ago
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Aussie Censorship "Live Trials" Won't Be Live

Malekin Re:Streisand effect (148 comments)

If you want to censor something, having a list of censored things only makes people more curious. It's much better (for the censors) to keep the censored list secret.

This reminds me of the anecdote of the old lady who went to compliment Samuel Johnson for not putting any "bad words" on his dictionary.

-- "Why, did you look up all of them"? was the answer.

That doesn't quite follow because the list isn't the actual content being censored, but the addresses to the content. I can view the list and be satisfied (or not) that it's not being used for political censorship without actually viewing any illegal content - or, I could if it weren't a crime as it currently is.

more than 5 years ago
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Clarifying the Next Step in Australia's Net-Censorship Scheme

Malekin Re:Managing my digital rights, so I don't have to! (193 comments)

Here's an idea - Can the thousands of people who are reading Slashdot sign the petition?

That's a really bad idea. If the petition is shown to be open to fraud, it becomes much weaker. Those who are being petitioned may feel that it doesn't represent the will of a significant number of Australians, just a couple of crackpots who can write a script to register a thousand email addresses and sign the petition.

more than 5 years ago
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Clarifying the Next Step in Australia's Net-Censorship Scheme

Malekin Re:$30K donated to fight censorship, protests plan (193 comments)

There are protests planned around Australia around December 15. I'm going.

All of the protests are on December 13th, including the one in Brisbane (assuming by the fact you link a Brisbane newspaper that that's where you are) Details can be found at http://stopthecleanfeed.com/

more than 5 years ago
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Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters

Malekin Re:Not In The Streets (224 comments)

The problem is that in most democratic countries on many issues do not have a choice since the two (or three at most) major parties agree and so whoever you vote for nothing will change

The recent US elections are a case in point -

That's because the US federal election system is a first-past-the-post system, which is deeply flawed in this way. The Australian system uses preferential voting, meaning a vote for a minor or single-issue party (Like the newly-formed Australian Sex Party which opposes this censorship as a core platform issue) is not a wasted vote.

more than 5 years ago
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Aussies Hit the Streets Over Gov't Internet Filters

Malekin Re:What else can Aussies DO? (224 comments)

Although nicely social, demonstrations and protesting seems somewhat futile [snip] Naturally, they can vote the b#ms out, but that happens anyways as a matter of control.

One of the important goals of protesting is to get many people to take notice of the issue who otherwise wouldn't. If nobody pays attention to the issue it's not going to affect how they vote. With a colourful protest splashed across the evening news more people are going to want to vote the bums out sooner.

(And seriously, you self-censored the word "bums"? Harden the fuck up, mate)

more than 5 years ago
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Who Will Obama Choose As Copyright Czar?

Malekin Re:Cory Doctorow, the only man we could trust. (174 comments)

As for the 'unpublishing' - to what do you refer?

http://www.lolife.com/2008/07/that-boing-boing-thing/

Boing Boing deleted any and all mention of Violet Blue for reasons that remain unexplained but are assumed to be a lovers' spat. When people found out that Boing Boing had retroactively censored one of their contributors they felt that this was hypocritical given the editorial content of the site. Boing Boing tried to diffuse the situation by posting a non-explanation calling their actions "unplublishing". The term as used is an ironically Orwellian neologism for censorship, deepening the public outcry that the actions of Boing Boing editors were being childish and deeply hypocritical.

more than 5 years ago
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Who Will Obama Choose As Copyright Czar?

Malekin Re:Not the good professor (174 comments)

When somebody is taking away important rights like the right to tinker or freely archive important pieces of information, the correct response is not "How about we compromise and you only take half my rights away?"

more than 5 years ago
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Who Will Obama Choose As Copyright Czar?

Malekin Re:Not the good professor (174 comments)

He's a wise choice, a rational voice is a sea of stupidity.

Lessig is a very moderate voice. While he generally opposes copyright term extension, he supports DRM. He feels that people who say copyright law is utterly broken are extremist. He seems to think that the current scope of fair use provisions is adequate and just needs to be better respected. He feels that "something like the DMCA that protects adequate space for fair use and doesn't attempt to regulate technology directly is needed." (http://lwn.net/2001/features/LawrenceLessig.php3)

I have a lot of respect for the man but you can't meet the extremism of Big Media with moderates willing to compromise. The DMCA should be dumped and language written into the law the specifically protects reverse engineering. Fair use provisions should be expanded to reflect that way we use media in our lives and to provide better protection for educational use.

We don't need a moderate - we need somebody who will make dramatic changes to re-align the law with common sense.

more than 5 years ago
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Studios' Oz Power-Grab Revealed

Malekin Re:Glad someone's fighting (217 comments)

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a FREE country..."

I call bullshit.

As I recently heard Lessig point out, the US government is less popular with its constituents these days than it was preceding the American revolution. Your economy is circling the drain. You have massive and growing separation of the rich and poor. You've had almost a decade of politicians shitting on your rights and your founding principles.

The time for you to mobilise your well-regulated militia was long ago. And you know what happened? Nothing.

It's about time you stopped being so naïve. It's clear the governments of developed and developing nations have no greater fear of a population of gun nuts than of flower-wielding hippies. Neither community will sacrifice their bread and circuses so long as they can vote for a new guy in the next election. Fair and transparent democracy is the best and most natural defence of a free nation, not the possibility of slaughtering a stack of your fellow countrymen in the name of revolution. All that gets you is the sort of political stability we see in Niger and Darfur.

more than 5 years ago

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