×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Mike Van Pelt Re:Classic pricing problem (315 comments)

You left out a biggy: 5. Don't punish conservation.

How do some CA utilities punish water conservation? It goes like this: A. drought hits. B. utility requests conservation. C. Good citizens comply. D. Because utility revenue is proportional to usage, utility has less revenue. E. Utility has to raise rates. F. Good citizen who complied is a chump. He ends up paying more because he did a good deed.

And on top of that: Good citizen complies, water supplies get more scarce, mandatory rationing is implemented as it is Every. Single. Time., in the form of "Everybody must cut back on their previous use by x%", bad citizen just waters his lawn three times a week instead of every day, but good citizen is screwed.

2 days ago
top

11 Trillion Gallons of Water Needed To End California Drought

Mike Van Pelt Re:Better Link (315 comments)

Yeah, I really hate "gadzillions and gadzillions of gallons of water" reporting on the water deficit.

Taking their figures, 42 cubic kilometers, and California with an area of 423,970 square km, that's a deficit of about 10cm of rainfall, statewide.

(Assuming I didn't slip a decimal point.)

Yeah, it grossly underestimates the issue, because that much rain all at once would mostly run off, and rainfall is not evenly distributed, but it's more useful than the nutty measurement that was reported in that article.

2 days ago
top

The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

Mike Van Pelt Re:'it is out of stock now; try to ask next year.' (113 comments)

We'll know that communism has succeeded when we find a communist country that doesn't prevent its citizens from leaving.

This. Oh, so very much this.

2 days ago
top

MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Mike Van Pelt Down with Solid State! (416 comments)

We should stop using transistors and purge our textbooks of all knowledge of DNA because Shockley and Watson are racists.

about a week ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Mike Van Pelt Re:awww.... (717 comments)

HR departments and felons... oh, yeah. At a previous employer, we really desperately wanted to hire a really good technical guy, but he'd been convicted of possession of some AT&T code at some time in the past. My boss pushed back on HR, and they said "You can probably force the issue and get him hired ... eventually. But we can and will use every means at our disposal to block and delay it for as long as we possibly can. I can guarantee it will be at least a year."

So, since we needed someone sooner than a year, we had to pass on our ideal candidate.

about two weeks ago
top

EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

Mike Van Pelt Re:Theory vs reality? (172 comments)

I've had air conditioning. And I've had lack of air conditioning. Air conditioning in the summer is a very big improvement to quality of life in most of the United States. Maybe not so much in Sweden. But I do not live in Sweden.

about 2 months ago
top

EU Sets Goal To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40% By 2030

Mike Van Pelt Re:Theory vs reality? (172 comments)

Actually, large coal plants are enough more efficient than the usual automobile internal combustion engine that, even with electrical losses along the way, there's less CO2 emission per mile with an electric car charged from electricity powered by a coal plant than from a gas car.

about 2 months ago
top

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Mike Van Pelt Re:wow (571 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 2 months ago
top

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 2 months ago
top

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 2 months ago
top

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 2 months ago
top

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 2 months ago
top

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 3 months ago
top

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 3 months ago
top

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 3 months ago
top

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 2 months ago
top

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 3 months ago
top

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 3 months ago
top

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 4 months ago
top

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 4 months ago

Submissions

top

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
top

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?"

Journals

Mike Van Pelt has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?