Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry

Maury Markowitz Re:Red mouse nub (73 comments)

> Products like the BlackBerry Passport (number 2 selling unlocked phone on Amazon right now)

Wow, there's an example of faint praise.

4 days ago
top

Rumor: Lenovo In Talks To Buy BlackBerry

Maury Markowitz Re:Different reactions (73 comments)

> Chinese company acquired 51%, only to have another Chinese company buy a 40% stake in the next company he ended up at.

This is a problem why?

If you don't like it, stop sending them all your money.

4 days ago
top

Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

Maury Markowitz Re:Maybe get one thing going before the NBT? (172 comments)

> Bullshit. I upgraded to 8. Love it.

Everyone else hates Windows 8.

Sadly isn't quite as catchy as Everyone else loves Ned Flanders.

> Just because the faggots you pal around with on the internet shit their diapers

Ahh, a true vulgarian.

5 days ago
top

Microsoft Gearing Up To Release a Smartwatch of Its Own

Maury Markowitz Maybe get one thing going before the NBT? (172 comments)

Anyone remember Apple in the early-1990s? Coming down off a high of realizing they could charge $6000 for a computer, the company felt invincible and practically started chasing every Next Big Thing that came along. It didn't make a difference whether they had any background in it, whether anyone in their market wanted it, or whether it really was going to be the Next Big Thing - if someone said it was, they were on it!

By the mid-90s it was clear the company was in utter disarray. Teams throughout the company were chasing products as mundane as X.400 servers while at the same time offering the ridiculously designed PowerTalk that, for all purposes, rendered the server useless. Meanwhile no one could be bothered to work on anything as dull as the OS, which became a ridiculous collection of warts on bags. Copeland was the most obvious symptom of this problem, not the end result.

And then came Jobs. First he fires most everyone while personally interviewing new hires. Almost all ongoing projects were cancelled outright, even ones that maybe shouldn't have. Lots of utter trash, like OpenDoc and CyberDog, were thankfully killed, although people still lament HyperCard to this day. In any event, within ONE YEAR the iMac was introduced and by 2000 the Mac lineup was completely overhauled and greatly simplified. THEN they did iPod.

I believe the lesson to be learned here is that any company, no matter how large, can only do so many *new* things well. That number appears to be somewhere around two. You can continue improving existing lines, but radical change requires the entire employee base to pull in the same direction, and maintaining cohesion at that level on too many projects is simply not going to work.

So...

It is really a good time for MS to be doing a watch? The phone and tablet efforts are still completely up in the air. I don't run a multi-billion dollar company (and I'm very happy to say that) but it seems pretty clear that jumping into yet another product category while *every one* of their other categories needs major work seems extreme unwise to me. Hell, Windows 8 is universally detested. That needs to be addressed first.

5 days ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Um (218 comments)

> I expect the can shed an order of magnitude off launch costs.

So do I, but the problem is THREE ORDERS of magnitude.

> dramatically reducing what needs to be lifted

Even if you have to lift zero, you're still better off on the ground.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Fission is Dead (218 comments)

> Smarter countries than the USA are racing ahead with smarter U235 reactor designs and thorium reactors.

Hmmm, let's see:

India - been trying to commercialize thorium reactors for, what, 45 years now? How many are in commercial operation? Zero? Right.

Canada - so convinced of the future of nuclear power that they sold off the entire reactor division of AECL for $15 million and a $770 million tax right-off (so basically negative $750 million).

China - the latest saviour for everyone's flavour-of-the-month design, but also the country that builds and installs more PV and wind than any other, at somewhere between 5 and 10 times the *planned* reactor build-out, if that wasn't on hold.

> Growing, not dead.

It's just a flesh wound!

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Pure FUD from from a known renewable troll... (218 comments)

Hey look, I'm a "known renewable troll". Yay, I'm famous!

> First of all, LCoE ignores the cost of integrating intermittent wind and solar into the grid

Which is why everyone is building wind and not nuclear, I guess.

> Those cheap wind turbines require an economically infeasible storage and transmission infrastructure

Which is why Lazard, and enormous economic forecaster, is the one making these numbers.

> The Chinese are now building AP1000s for a quarter of the cost

So they say, but they also say they are building wind turbines for a quarter of the cost

> Picking the most expensive first of a kind nuclear build ever is hardly representative of the cost of nuclear.

The Lazard numbers were averages, with error bars.

> Fuel cost is negligible today,

Wind is free. Last time I checked that was cheaper than "negligible".

> Read about ThorCon [c4tx.org] for what is possible

A device designed by a guy with exactly zero experience in reactor design, worked on as a home project? Right, ok.

> as compact brayton cycle turbines become available

Which, of course, would have the exact same effect on any other power source that uses them, which means everything else would get cheaper too, and reactors would retain their cost disadvantage.

Wow, some comeback there AC.

about a week ago
top

The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Maury Markowitz No you wouldn't (349 comments)

> If you can reach the fabled "breakeven point" of nuclear fusion, you'll have opened up an
> entire new source of clean, reliable, safe, renewable and abundant energy

Total BS.

Consider NIF, for instance. They're about 1/3rd of the way to ignition - which is way beyond breakeven. According to them, they're actually at breakeven already, although their definition is bologna.

The fuel capsule costs about $1 million. The value of the energy it releases is about 5 cents. Over the 40 years they've been actively working on ICF, the energy levels continue to climb, while the economics continue to decline.

Breakeven is like getting a lead balloon to fly - doing it is cool, but it doesn't mean you'll be catching the 6PM Led Zeppelin to London.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Um (218 comments)

> I also really like orbital solar following PG&E's design strategy

OMG.

http://matter2energy.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/the-maury-equation/

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Fission is Dead (218 comments)

> Is that the study from the other day that was summarily dismissed because
> it made up bogus costs for nuclear power, to make wind look better?

Ummm, no.

Maybe you should google up Lazard.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Fission is Dead (218 comments)

> as you are including both subsidies and non-generation costs

Sorry, are you replaying to my post?

If so, I think you need to look up the definition of overnight costs.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:advocating nuclear (fission/fusion) is an IQ te (218 comments)

> Look up "energy return on investment" if you want to know more.

I did:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested#Economic_influence_of_EROEI

Wind outperforms nuclear, 180%. PV is 70% of nuclear.

So, you were saying?

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:advocating nuclear (fission/fusion) is an IQ te (218 comments)

> Fusion has the potential to fuel all energy needs and future ones with minimal waste

For infinite cost.

Sheesh, how do people not understand this fundamental point? There are hundreds of forms of energy out there, thousands. We don't use them because they cost to much. Fusion costs more. Even if the price of energy goes up, that means we'll use one of the thousands we're not using now. There is an infinity of money between now and fusion.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:A Load Of Marketing (218 comments)

> Nobody has built a large-scale reactor of this type

Yup.

> I am not saying we should not do it, quite the opposite.

The *only* question is "how much can we do it for".

If it's over $4 a watt, and I'd say the chance of that is 99%, then there's no point trying.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Fission is Dead (218 comments)

> Let's say I had a tested, working LFTR design

Ok.

> Do you really think it would be very hard to convince the public that it is inherently safer than other fission designs

No.

But you make the common mistake of assuming that fission isn't being built because of NIMBY. Fission isn't being built because of $8 to $10 overnight CAPEX.

So, is your LFTR three times cheaper to build than a AP1000? With all that plumbing? Are you sure? Because it has to be - three times cheaper.

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:We need Nuclear here! Fission and fusion. (218 comments)

> nor massive amounts of land for large scale wind farms

I had to look this up because I thought you were wrong. But you're not. Georgia has crap for wind:

http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/wind_resource_maps.asp?stateab=ga

What up with that?

about a week ago
top

Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Maury Markowitz Re:Fission is Dead (218 comments)

> It doesn't matter how safe modern fission designs are;

It makes no difference one way or the other.

Modern fission plants cost between $8 and $10/Watt. Wind turbines cost about $1.50/Watt. See page 11:

http://www.lazard.com/PDF/Levelized%20Cost%20of%20Energy%20-%20Version%208.0.pdf

Since the average fission plant has a CF around 85% to 90%, and the average wind turbine has a CF around 30 to 35%, that means that in energy-equivalent terms, wind has an equivalent cost of about $4 to $5. As a result, the *unsubsidized* LCoE of wind is less than fission. Scroll back to page 2.

So until you can figure out a way to chop the overnight CAPEX of fission plants by a factor of two, and reduce the fuel cost to zero while you're at it. Add to that the need to borrow massive unsecured loans, the inherent risk of long construction times, and the continual habit of going 2x over budget, and the banks run screaming from nuclear.

about a week ago
top

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Maury Markowitz Re:A better link for the story (566 comments)

Did you click the same link? I went to an article on spheromaks.

BTW, there is *ample* evidence spheromaks don't work.

about two weeks ago
top

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Maury Markowitz Re:It is small, not sure it consumes less than 100 (566 comments)

> In all the fusion research the key question is, "Is it producing more energy than it consumes?"

That's stage one, technical feasibility. Then you get to stage two, economic feasibility...

"Is it producing enough electricity to sell that it covers the interest payments on the CAPEX it took to build it?"

Even if we get stage one, so far it is *extremely* clear that tokamaks and ICF will *not* *ever* be able to pass stage two.

New devices like this may, but in any event, both large and small devices are still not even at stage one.

about two weeks ago
top

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Maury Markowitz Re:that's misleading (566 comments)

> Thorium reactors are incredibly difficult to make products for a bomb in any practical way

You mean *conventional fission bomb* using *conventional recovery techniques*. If one does not make those two invisible assumptions, the entire argument falls apart.

It is, for instance, *trivially* easy to make any number of radiological weapons using a thorium plant, including dumping the salts into a water supply.

It is also somewhat easy to use the neutron flux to breed fissiles, which will make a bomb just fine.

And one can extract fissiles from the fuel, it will simply be more expensive and dangerous. But certainly not impossible on either measure.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

Maury Markowitz hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Maury Markowitz has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?