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Comments

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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Mike Van Pelt Re:wow (566 comments)

Fission plant wastes are two differnet problem sets: 1) Fission products, which are pretty much gone after a couple of hundred years for even the long-lived ones, and 2) transuranics bred from uranium absorbing neutrons. It's the transuranics that are the long-lived stuff, but they are potentially nuclear fuel, so should be recycled into new fuel rods. Plutonium is the most obvious one of these, but any transuranic is going to alternate between absorbing neutrons, decaying via some decay path or another, and eventually hit a fissionable isotope of something, at which point it gives off a bunch of energy and joins the fission product problem set.

Of course, if this fusion technology of Lockheed's really does pan out, no one is going to bother. I want a Mr. Fusion to power my Tesla.

about two weeks ago
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PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

Mike Van Pelt Re:Sheesh, what's the problem? (367 comments)

Heh... I just saw a commedian on TV last night who said "I hate PETA. I would eat a cat just to piss PETA off." The audience roared with laughter.

about two weeks ago
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Co-Founder of PayPal Peter Thiel: Society Is Hostile To Science and Technology

Mike Van Pelt Re:The third law of slashdot. (238 comments)

But what percentage of the people who make such a big ostentatious show of being so very very very concerned about CO2 and climate change are not also rabid anti-nukes? Much of our problem with CO2 is that we failed to phase out coal in favor of nuclear decades ago. And California just shut down another nuclear plant, replacing its carbon-free energy with more megatons of CO2 dumped into the atmosphere. (Yes, California does have some "sunny days when the wind is blowing" power generation. But as long as any power is being generated by fossil fuels, shutting down nuclear plants is increasing amount of fossil fuels burned.)

about two weeks ago
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Co-Founder of PayPal Peter Thiel: Society Is Hostile To Science and Technology

Mike Van Pelt Re:The gift of Technology (238 comments)

A usefull corrolary to keep in mind is one from the "Freefall" web comic: "Any technology, no matter how simple, is magic to you if you don't understand it." And too few people really understand science or technology on even a basic level.

On the other hand, I like Dr. Barry Gehm's version, too: "Any technology that is distinguishable from magic is not advanced enough."

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Mike Van Pelt Re:Navel gazing (652 comments)

While environmental studies professors continue to pump out ready excuses for imposing increasing economic feudalism in Europe and North America, China and India are going to build out nuclear power and produce energy. I doubt they'll be dissuaded from trying because of anything this professor says.

When people like this say, "the world can't" remember that they actually mean, "we aren't going to let you."

This. I wish I had mod points today to mod this up.

about three weeks ago
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Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Mike Van Pelt Re:Arithmetic Denialism (200 comments)

Meanwhile ... this week's Science Friday podcast had a couple of people on touting the "Stop Global Warming" march, and one of them did, in fact, with no sense of irony whatsoever, tout his previous activity in anti-nuclear marches. And Ira Flatow did not call him on it.

As I suspected...

about 1 month ago
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Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Mike Van Pelt Re:Arithmetic Denialism (200 comments)

Not a very detailed article -- basically, it just says "Amory Lovins says that..." which I find singularly unconvincing without more support than that.

Lovins is an absorbing speaker. I heard him give a talk on his idea for his super-duper-ultra-mega-hypercar. But his arguments veer towards the tendentious. In the example of his car ideas, it's amazing to me to hear someone who supposedly has a degree in physics assert that crumple zones will protect someone in a featherweight vehicle in a collision with a normal car. Really? Has conservation of momentum been repealed because he says so? I don't think so.

I'm not ever going to forget that one of his premises is that cheap, clean, abundant energy is inherently a bad thing. "Nothing short of disasterous", in his words.

Not that I'm going to toss it out just because Amory said it. But I'm certainly not going to blindly accept it as TRVTH because Amory said it, either. I'm going to subject it to a great deal of scrutiny, to see what his assumptions are.

about 1 month ago
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Hundreds of Thousands Turn Out For People's Climate March In New York City

Mike Van Pelt Arithmetic Denialism (200 comments)

How many of the people marching in this protest have also marched in "No Nukes Shut 'Em Down" marches? How many agree with the anti-nukes? To power an industrial-technological civilization, the alternatives we have are (1) nuclear and (2) coal. There is no (3), no matter how much the arithmetic denialists claim that we can power our civilization on "sunny days when the wind is blowing" energy.

about a month ago
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Putin To Discuss Plans For Disconnecting Russia From the Internet

Mike Van Pelt Re:PLEASE! (241 comments)

But... but... but... where will I get all my Viagra spam from if he does this?

about a month ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Mike Van Pelt Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

Who are "the 11 Puerto Rican Prisoners of War" that the group she did belong to supports in their list of goals? Is that the group of FALN assassins who tried to murder Harry Truman?

about a month and a half ago
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5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

Mike Van Pelt Re:Two factor authentication time! (203 comments)

Yeah... I tried that. It makes it near impossible to view Youtube videos on my TiVo. The TiVo doesn't stay logged in nor does it remember passwords, so I have to get a new OTP every time I want to view on the TiVo. (Though, now I also have a Chromecast, and I suspect it works more reasonably with 2FA... Time to give it another try, I don't use the TiVo to watch Youtube anymore since I got the Chromecast.)

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Mike Van Pelt Waze, the battery killer (167 comments)

I used Waze off-and-on for a while. I didn't find the "social networking" stuff exactly appropriate while driving. Worse, it kept popping up screen-obscuring advertisements for things like Enema (however the rapper spells his name) albums that I have active antipathy to, and no way to get it to target ads less inappropirately.

Worst, though, was the battery use, and the fact that no matter what I did with the settings, it insisted on randomly re-starting itself and devouring my battery. That was why I eventually uninstalled it.

It did have some good features, but I sure hope Google doesn't incorporate its misfeatures into Google Maps.

about 2 months ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Mike Van Pelt Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

would reply to this

He sees a lot of egotism at work, too, but he says if you're setting out to change the world, you're probably going to need a big ego to do it.

"Yes, I have an attitude. It is not my problem."

about 2 months ago
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Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

Mike Van Pelt Rocky Mountain Institute? (409 comments)

Since the Rocky Mountain Institute's head proclaims that "It would be nothing short of a disaster if we were ever to find a source of cheap, clean, abundant energy", I take any statement from RMI with ... about a metric ton of salt.

about 2 months ago
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The Hidden Cost of Your New Xfinity Router

Mike Van Pelt Re:Service in exchange for a free modem? (224 comments)

It isn't a 'public' hotspot, it is a hotspot for Comcast customers. And you are getting something - the ability to use those same Comcast hotspots.

They also increased the bandwidth quite a bit when the new modems were delivered, and removed the bandwidth cap.

$20/year for the electricity to run it? Is that really so outrageous? Seriously?

about 3 months ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

Mike Van Pelt Re:Communist == Spy in America? (165 comments)

There was a certain celebrated folk singer. Communist, of course. In May 1941, he and his group published an album of "Don't send our boys over there to fight for the plutocrats" songs, against any involvement in stopping the Axis powers from taking all of Europe. ("Und tomorrow, ze VORLD!")

On June 22, 1941, he pulled this "peacenik" album from distribution, and quickly started cranking out "We must arm, fight, and save the world from Hitler" songs.

So, what happened on June 22, 1941? There's a reason I consider this folk singer to be Stalin's Sock Puppet.

about 3 months ago
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Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

Mike Van Pelt Re:Mod parent DOWN (514 comments)

I really admire the way the CEO of Cypress Semiconductor refused to knuckle under to Jackson back in 2001 after Jackson labeled Cypress a "white supremacist hate group.’” I hope every Silicon Valley target of his does the same.

T. J. Rodgers. One of my very favorite comments on Jesse Jackson ever: "Jesse Jackson is like a seagull. He flies in, craps all over everything, then flys out again."

about 3 months ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Mike Van Pelt Enough is enough (317 comments)

It's long past time for people that pull this kind of crap to get slapped with a "Vexatious Litigant" ruling, and barred from filing any more lawsuits... about ANYTHING.

about 3 months ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

Mike Van Pelt Re:Elmer Fudd (184 comments)

Exactly the first image that comes to my mind at the words "Magic helmet", too.

about 2 months ago
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"Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim

Mike Van Pelt Requirements for a DMCA takedown. (157 comments)

What's really needed (short of scrapping the whole thing) is to change the law so that DMCA takedowns must be of the form "I declare under penalty of perjury that I am the owner of this copyrighted material, and it is being used here in violation of my copyright." And start putting some of these bastards in jail for perjury if they keep this crap up.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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West Africa Internet connectivity slashed

Mike Van Pelt Mike Van Pelt writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Mike Van Pelt writes ""Large parts of West Africa are struggling to get back online following damage to an undersea cable."

Where will I go to get my get my (big bucks from the purloined millions of random deposed dictator of the day) now?"

Link to Original Source
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Google Maps missing satellite view

Mike Van Pelt Mike Van Pelt writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Mike Van Pelt writes "Google seems to be missing the satellite images tonight — when I click on any map at any resolution with the satellite option set, it shows the roads but no images, then replaces the roads with tiles of its "We are sorry, but we don't have imagery at this zoom level for this region" message.

This is an example, screen-captured before it had completely replaced the map with the "no imagery" messages.

http://mikevanpelt.com/images/Google-no-sat.png

Have they perhaps overreacted to the lawsuit reported earlier?"

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