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How Engineers Are Building a Power Station At the South Pole

MarkRose Re:Why not nukes? (108 comments)

Load following with a nuclear plant isn't difficult if you can easily control the moderator. This can be controlled by computer. In designs with large negative temperature coefficients (such as LFTR) the reaction speed can be controlled by the rate heat is removed from the reactor, making load following is as simple as controlling the speed of a pump in a coolant loop. Most (all?) current commercial reactors are not designed to habitually operate this way.

Commercial reactors are usually run full power for capital cost recovery reasons. The cost of fuel for nuclear versus the capital cost of current reactors is such that it is always cheaper than the fuel (or storage) for alternative power generation, so in periods of low demand, nuclear wins. Capital costs are high because it is difficult to handle high pressure water (and the 1700 fold expansion in volume if containment is lost) in current commercial designs. Designs using molten salts operate at atmospheric pressure and will be dramatically cheaper to construct. Companies such as Terrestrial Energy and Flibe Energy are working on commercialization of molten salt reactors, which are feasible from megawatts to gigawatts. Such a reactor would be ideal for a remote research base.

about a month ago

The New PHP

MarkRose Why use the Zend engine at all? (254 comments)

Many of the problems with PHP are from the crappy language implementation. I recently came across a Java implementation of the language. It's been around forever, but as I hadn't heard of it, I figure many people reading this thread haven't either. It's Quercus. It's certainly worth a look as a Zend alternative.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sort?

MarkRose Re:My method (195 comments)

Thank you for that :)

about a month and a half ago

U.S. Border Patrol Drone Goes Down, Rest of Fleet Grounded

MarkRose Re:WTF? (138 comments)

Cheap multicopters have come a long way. While battery life is still a concern, hovering in strong winds is not. Combine that with an anti-vibration system and get very smooth imaging.

The battery issue is solved by using aeroplanes, which use far less energy to stay airborne, and instead of hovering, circling the target.

about 3 months ago

CERN Antimatter Experiment Produces First Beam of Antihydrogen

MarkRose Re:First! (136 comments)

One could say It matters so little it antimatters.

about 3 months ago

Government Lab Uses Smartphones To Measure Gamma Ray Exposure

MarkRose Re:A few apps exist already (105 comments)

Easily through airplane skins, which are usually constructed of light materials. Cosmic rays are all over the x-ray and gamma spectra, and while you will absorb some, most of the very high energy gamma cosmic rays will pass right through you. However, the increased radiation is easily detectable.

about 3 months ago

Building a Better Bike Helmet Out of Paper

MarkRose Re:Bike helmet? (317 comments)

One time I was taking a jump on my bike at 25 km/h, but was off balance and landed on my side, including the side of my head, at the same speed in rocks and packed dirt. I still have my left ear because I was wearing a helmet.

about 3 months ago

PC Shipments In 2013 See the Worst Yearly Decline In History

MarkRose Re:Have you seen the PCs they're selling these day (564 comments)

On the higher side of things, you find ridiculous and exotic offerings like the Yoga 2 Pro with a 13.3" LCD that has a 3200x1800 resolution (hint: you can't read anything at all unless you squint)

I wish I could have found a laptop like that when I bought a XPS 13 Developer Edition with the 1080p display in a 13 inch form factor, giving 169 DPI. It was the only Linux-compatible laptop I could buy with reasonable pixels for the screen size. The 275 DPI display of the Yoga 2 Pro would pack 63% more pixels in and allow me to adjust my fonts 40% smaller. I still see the pixels in my current display at 18" away from the screen, especially on curved letters, and it's the lack of pixel density getting in the way of smaller fonts. A 300 DPI laptop would be wonderful!

about 3 months ago

How One Man Fought His ISP's Bad Behavior and Won

MarkRose Re:Public DNS considered harmful (181 comments)

In my experience, using public DNS has solved far more problems. Quite often ISP DNS servers are slower to respond, do nasty things like wildcard unresolvable addresses to some dumb search page, and, as you mention, cause CDN requests to be directed to overloaded and bandwidth starved edge servers (and the YouTube CDN in particular when the ISP has its own video service...).

about 4 months ago

Why Charles Stross Wants Bitcoin To Die In a Fire

MarkRose Re:OMFG (691 comments)

Since Bitcoin is deflationary, it makes more sense to stockpile (or hoard) it than to spend it. That is also what makes it more like a commodity than a currency.

But what is the point of stockpiling something if you never intend to use it? You're making the same argument as waiting until next year to buy a computer because it will be cheaper, but for some reason people buy computers anyway. At some point the holder of Bitcoins will value whatever can be bought with those Bitcoins more than the Bitcoins and an exchange will happen -- with another person who values Bitcoins more for what can or could be bought with them at a later date. Bitcoins are a de facto currency, regardless of what anyone wants them to be.

about 4 months ago

Cobalt-60, and Lessons From a Mexican Theft

MarkRose Re:61 (174 comments)

Call me a skeptic all you want, but I'm telling you, if you put your money into Cobalt60 now, you'll be lucky to even have half five years from now. The value of the USD may be eroding, but not at 13% per year! Stay away from it like it were radioactive!

Coins are old school. The future is in gaseous money! And you'll like this: it's also blue! That's right friends, the future is Iodine131! You can't spend it fast enough! There is so much demand for it that you can't keep it around! Not only that, it doesn't weight down your pockets like Cobalt60, no, you can keep it in your lungs!

about 4 months ago

Open Source Beehives Designed To Help Save Honeybee Colonies

MarkRose Re:Colony Collapse Disorder already understood (172 comments)

I was just about to post that video. A summary from the YouTube video description:

12 things to prevent colony collapse disorder:

#1 general approach: use organic practices
#2 general approach: strengthen bee immune system instead of "attack and kill" what nature uses to remove weak bees
#3 don't use insecticide (for mite control or any other insect problem) inside of hives - bees are insects!
#4 allow bees to create their own cell size (typically smaller) - no more pre-made foundation or cells
#5 genetics based on "survival of the fittest" is superior to genetics resulting from mass production where the weak are medicated
#6 swarming is the natural way to good genetics
#7 local bees have adapted to challenges in your area
#8 stop moving hives
#9 feed bees honey, not sugar water
#10 feed bees polyculture blossoms, not monoculture
#11 stop using insecticides on crops - bees are insects!
#12 raise hives off the ground

about 4 months ago

Valve Joins the Linux Foundation

MarkRose Re:Better late than never (108 comments)

You are not alone. I've spent more on games in the last 2 months than I had in the prior 15 years. All thanks to Steam on Linux.

about 4 months ago

How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?

MarkRose Re:"Methane Bomb"? (416 comments)

Hey man, it's funny if you look on the lighter side.

about 8 months ago

Nicaragua Gives Chinese Firm Contract To Build Alternative To Panama Canal

MarkRose Re:This could be good news (323 comments)

The Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert, BC, is undergoing expansion and will be able to handle those ships. It's not in the US, but it's much closer sailing and it's connected to the continental railway network over the lowest (shallowest grade) railway pass (Yellowhead) over the Rocky Mountains.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Building a Web App Scalable To Hundreds of Thousand of Users?

MarkRose Re:Start with scalable technologies! (274 comments)

The one other thing I missed is to also think of designing a service oriented architecture. Every role that your system has, such as authentication (I'd use OAuth2), should be its own service. By using clearly defined APIs, it will make it easier to replace pieces of your system with new ones (even written in new languages), and it will give you an interface to write tests against for your tests.

1 year,2 days



Several American States Going Bankrupt

MarkRose MarkRose writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MarkRose (820682) writes "Blogger Mish points out that several States are in serious financial trouble. New Jersey is insolvent, and Goldman Sachs is drawing ire for advising default swaps against the State, as well as California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Several more are not far behind. Without Federal welfare, many will be forced to make drastic service cuts and lay of millions of people across the country. What will you do if and when your State goes bankrupt? Are you prepared for the ensuing economic collapse? (orig)"
Link to Original Source


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