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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

MtViewGuy Re:It could happen (336 comments)

Here's what could save the "Rust Belt": easy access to fresh water. And water is going to be more precious than oil at the rate things are going.

Yes, the winters in the Upper Midwest can be harsh, but look at how the Minneapolis-St. Paul area has thrived in spite of that, thanks to careful city planning to make it viable even in the middle of winter.

3 days ago
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Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown

MtViewGuy Re:Nothing new - Always had tech jobs (336 comments)

The big problem for Michigan is one county--Wayne, where Detroit is located--is literally dragging down the state. This is why a massive reorganization of Detroit's city finances was needed, and Detroit needs more transport links to Windsor, ON, something that the long-awaited New International Trade Crossing bridge will help in a big way.

Detroit has the potential to be a very prosperous city doing goods trade between the USA and Canada; with the right government and infrastructure improvements, it could fulfill that goal, something that could make even the tech industry boom in that town.

3 days ago
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

MtViewGuy Re:We' never see tax code simplification (422 comments)

And American residents and businesses are spending something like US$432 BILLION per year (according to some economists) for tax compliance. We need a drastically simpler tax system, if only to cut this spending by 60% or more.

about a week ago
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The Net Routes Around Censorship In Turkey

MtViewGuy Re:DNS block (82 comments)

Not going to work when you can use third-party DNS servers like OpenDNS and Google Public DNS. :-)

about a month ago
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WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

MtViewGuy Re: Eh... (150 comments)

That's what I said about Number 1--everyone has to agree on a new variant of the WPA standard. That could take a while. Meanwhile, I use a 16 alphanumeric character randomized password that will be still very hard to crack by brute force.

about a month ago
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WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

MtViewGuy Re:Eh... (150 comments)

It could be fixed by upgrading the software used by routers and by client devices, but 1) everyone has to agree on an updated standard and 2) how are they going to do the upgrade for Android-based cellphones? (Easy to do on an Apple iOS device--just run an update to iOS itself.)

about a month ago
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Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

MtViewGuy Diesel engines ARE the problem. (405 comments)

Here's the problem: thanks to favorable tax laws, people in Europe are buying diesel-powered automobiles in huge numbers--in fact probably over 60% of new cars sold in Europe in recent years are diesel powered.

Problem: until very recently, diesel-powered vehicles did not have to meet the same very strict emission requirements required for diesel car sales in the USA--namely, meeting the EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 (or California Air Reources Board ULEV Level II) certification. The Euro4 and Euro5 emissions requirements result in much higher NOx emissions and diesel particulates than the US standard, and as such with so many fairly polluting diesel auitomobiles, European cities in the very recent past started to run into problems with higher NOx and particulate levels in cities.

Today, new European cars have to meet the new Euro6 emissions standard, which is almost identical to EPA Tier 2 Bin 5. This is why the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz can now sell a lot more diesel-powered cars in the USA--the diesel engines only need very little change to meet EPA standards.

This is why I wonder London did not switch their famous double-decker buses and London taxis to compressed natural gas a LONG time ago. Such a change could have dramatically cleaned up the air of London, another city that has experienced NOx and particulate air pollution problems in recent years.

about a month ago
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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

MtViewGuy Re:This is what the EU is for (358 comments)

Too bad CENELEC wasn't able to get everyone to agree to a modified "Europlug" connector with grounding plug--that would have resolved a LOT of issues with electrical connections. At least North America has pretty much standardized with the NEMA 5-15 (type 5 15 amp) three-prong connector.

about a month ago
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EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

MtViewGuy Re:Dumb (358 comments)

The EU should just standardize on two USB port charger designs, one smaller one for cellphones and one larger one (up to 12 W capacity) for tablet computers. And make sure the "universal" charger will actually charge all Apple iOS devices (there's been an issue where many USB chargers won't charge an iPhone, iPod or iPad).

about a month ago
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How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

MtViewGuy I remember the way back.... (100 comments)

....When a 20 MB Seagate ST-225 hard drive at US$499 including controller was considered a good deal--and this was way back in 1984! Today, I can get _three_ 3 TB hard drives and still have US$50 left from that same US$499.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

MtViewGuy Re:Coal is dying anyway (712 comments)

I think within the next 100 years, coal will be replaced by something else: thorium-232. Why? Because thorium-232--which is as common as lead in the Earth's crust and likely have huge deposits on the Moon itself--is the primary fuel for the molten-salt reactor, a nuclear reactor that is extremely safe to run and generally produces a tiny amount of the radioactive waste of uranium-fueled pressurized vessel light water nuclear reactors. And there is enough thorium on Earth and the Moon to run these reactors for potentially tens of thousands of years.

about a month and a half ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

MtViewGuy Re:Replaced by what? (712 comments)

The only viable option (maybe!) is the liquid fluoride thorium reactor, but that could be at least a decade or more before that technology is finally perfected.

about a month and a half ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

MtViewGuy Re:This is more than a little bit naive. (712 comments)

Also, unlike China, American-based coal-fired power plants cleaned up their act decades ago with the EPA-required installation of devices to remove the sulfur compounds and heavy metals that cause the most environmental damage. This something that should be required in China, where uncontrolled emissions from coal-fired power plants are causing a huge fraction of the extremely unhealthy air pollution not only in the country, but also spreading to the Korean peninsula and Japan.

about a month and a half ago
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The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

MtViewGuy Installed on new-build planes? (461 comments)

I wonder is this device being installed on new-build airliners? A large, well-funded airline like Emirates would certainly want it installed on their large A380 and 777 fleet, especially given the distance of many flights out of Dubai.

about a month and a half ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

MtViewGuy Re:Two possible uses... (250 comments)

The most obvious use is to store Ultra HD video. By using HEVC or Google's VP9 codecs, they could probably fit a two-hour Ultra HD movie onto a single-sided 150 GB disc, which means we can watch 3840 x 2160 resolution movies played back from an optical disc.

about a month and a half ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

MtViewGuy No thank you. (769 comments)

This is going to make me buy an Aerobie AeroPress plus 350 filters for under US$30 online instead.

about a month and a half ago
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The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

MtViewGuy Re:Pour-over or french press or moka. (769 comments)

Or just as good, a Chemex coffeemaker, which has been "rediscovered" by serious coffee fans in recent years. Best of all, with a little practice you can make coffee in a Chemex that is WAY better than any Keurig machine out there.

about 1 month ago
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How About a Megatons To Megawatts Program For US Nuclear Weapons?

MtViewGuy Re:Burn the Uranium in safe Thorium reactors... (146 comments)

Except for one thing though: you need much more uranium-233 to build a fission-style nuclear weapon than uranium-235. Needing more fissile material means a much heavier nuclear bomb, and makes it not very practical for ballistic missiles and you don't want a heavier bomb on today's jet combat planes.

about 2 months ago
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Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

MtViewGuy Re:We need nuclear. (551 comments)

There are too many examples of what happens when uranium-fueled reactors fail: Windscale in the UK in 1957, Three Mile Island in 1979, Chernobyl in 1986, and Fukushima Daiichi in 2011, not to mention several reactor failures on board Soviet era-submarines--the results are pretty scary.

Meanwhile, molten-salt reactor experiment at Oak Ridge showed such a reactor can be run very safely, and unlike pressurized water reactors if there is a coolant cutoff the reactor can be safely shut down without running the risk of a reactor vessel explosion that could spew out a lot of radioactive materials like what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

about 3 months ago
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Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

MtViewGuy Re:We need nuclear. (551 comments)

However, I do want nuclear power advocates to get away from pressurized light water reactors (PWR's). There are so many disadvantages to using PWR's, especially with the use of expensive uranium-235 as fuel and the dangers of using a pressurized reactor vessel.

Meanwhile, China and DARPA are working on a joint experiment to test scaling up the molten-salt reactor (MSR) design that was successfully tested for nearly a decade at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. If they can scale it up, that means we'll have a nuclear reactor that is extremely safe to run (even in earthquake-prone areas) and uses commonly-available thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel, which means the potential for _thousands_ of years of fuel supply. And that could be a gigantic game-changer in terms of power generation, enough to do things like electrifying long-distance railroads around the world and do large-scale seawater desalinization to turn former deserts into arable farmland.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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MtViewGuy MtViewGuy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MtViewGuy writes "Honda's R&D subsidiary, working with the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), has finally developed a practical process for making ethanol from plant cellulose on a large scale. This is a huge breakthrough because by being to utilize the entire plant to make ethanol, you don't need to grow high-sugar plants such as corn, soybeans, sugar cane or sugar beets on a large scale; indeed, agricultural waste becomes a huge ethanol source.

This could mean a huge leap upward in ethanol production, tremendously expanding the usefulness of the world's oil supply since motor fuels can be mixed with small amounts of ethanol to "extend" the amount of fuel available. The press release from Honda is located here: http://world.honda.com/news/2006/c060914EthanolFro mCellulosicBiomass/"

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