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Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

OneAhead Re:Something wrong at the foundation - (428 comments)

Then, when asked "what's your point", it would be better not to answer with the opposite of your point.

More importantly, I still feel the analogy is flawed. There's no way you can show mathematically that the market size relates to the surface of the earth as the surface of some form of matter in a box relates to its volume. The best you can do is argue that market size is proportional to population and that you can stack population in high-rise buildings, but that would be ignoring the arable surface area needed to keep said population fed (not to mention the currently non-renewable resources needed for their little comforts).

yesterday
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Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

OneAhead Re:Something wrong at the foundation - (428 comments)

Fine, you cannot divide atoms for the purpose of calculating surface area, in the "ordinary matter" sense of surface area. Surface area (in its ordinary sense, ie. for calculation adsorbtion, transistor density, catalysis, electromagnetic skin effects, data storage, reaction rate,...) loses its meaning at subatomic level. Happy now?

And since we seem to be in a pedantic nitpicking match: you don't need anything near the LHC to subdivide atoms and/or demonstrate the properties of many subatomic particles in a classroom setting. As long as you're not expecting to make big physics breakthroughs, some benchtop instruments will do. ;-)

2 days ago
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Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

OneAhead Re:Something wrong at the foundation - (428 comments)

There's an interesting point there. I wouldn't necessarily go as far as saying Capitalism is a failure, but that automation of physical and mental tasks (coupled with hitting the limits on exploitation of natural resources) present a change in the playing field that will require thorough revisions of the game. We probably can keep some form of Capitalism, but in the shape of a social democracy, like present-day Norway - likely even more radical. To the Americans among us who haven't shed the cold-war brainwashing yet: no, that's not the same as communism - Norway is still a capitalist country, with free speech, free enterprise, and people being free to make more money than their neighbors (though keeping it multiplying for generations while the poor get poorer and work harder is substantially trickier than in the US).

2 days ago
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Venus' Crust Heals Too Fast For Plate Tectonics

OneAhead Re:this makes no sense to me. (130 comments)

CO2 also reversibly "neutralizes your red blood cells"; the reason we're alive is that it only does so at a much higher concentration than CO. Once the CO2 level goes above about 10% for more than about 15 minutes, you'll likely suffer brain damage and/or death, no matter how much oxygen there is in the air.

2 days ago
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3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

OneAhead Re:Astronouts are experts? (70 comments)

Perhaps I should have phrased that more carefully. No, being astronauts doesn't preclude them from having a valid point, as I said myself. It does, however, put a little bit more burden of proof on them than if it were an expert making the same claims. All they have so far is: "We will (in the future) present data (nobody else has) that shows that all the experts are wrong and that you should give us money." Now, I don't know about you, but that's enough to drive my scam-o-meter straight into the red. No matter whether you're talking infinite-dilution homeopathy, cold fusion, or a certain probiotics company that has recently been flooding the internet with claims that the US is suffering a debilitation candidiasis epidemic, the playbook is always the same.

Tomorrow, they will give their presentation. If the experts don't tear them to shreds is the days after, then and only then you will have a story worth posting on slashdot.

2 days ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

OneAhead Re:This Republican scam to destroy education... (105 comments)

if they still held to the political philosophy and beliefs they held in 1860

I'm not judging the rest of your post, but this here is a silly argument. In multidimensional political space, the one-dimensional Democrat-Republican axis of American politics has turned 180 degrees since 1860. It's like two fencers who were so busy fighting each other they didn't notice they switched position. Which is a nice demonstration of how ridiculous a two-party system is.

3 days ago
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Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

OneAhead Re:Zontar the Mindless - backup your libel (105 comments)

It is beyond me why you waste your time replying to this guy. What he does is just attention-seeking behavior, and you're encouraging it by acknowledging him. Just ignore him; nobody in hell is taking him serious so you don't need to worry about defending your reputation.

I would even go as far as saying that even the sig is unnecessary. Hanging out the dirty laundry of someone who is clearly suffering from mental illness is a bit like beating up a little child for calling you names. Stiff upper lip and all that.

3 days ago
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3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

OneAhead Astronouts are experts? (70 comments)

I'm not saying these guys don't have a valid point, but why is something important because an astronaut says it? Aren't astronauts usually pilots who received advanced training for going to space? How does their word carry more weight than scientists or analysts who have studied the subject their whole life? Again, their point may or may not be valid, but this is the kind of stuff that belongs in a Sunday newspaper. For "news for nerds", I at least expect an article in Scientific American.

3 days ago
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

OneAhead Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (348 comments)

There is one thing that, above anything else, determines a scientist's career: getting original research published. Where "original" implies "before your competitors". Which means letting your competitors look into what you're doing before it's published is career suicide. If you're gonna attach strings to your funding stipulating that every small tidbit you find should immediately be publicly available, then the only scientists who will want to work for you are the ones who publish dull uninnovative research.

Not to mention all the unnecessary animosity surrounding the many results that later turn out to be untrue but were thrown before the public before the person producing them got the chance to double-check (which often takes months). This is enough of a problem as it is already; given the breakneck competition, people often tend to publish too soon rather than too late.

4 days ago
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

OneAhead Re:Why do these people always have something to hi (348 comments)

No doubt within less than two weeks, he'll be complaining about "intransparency and lack of reproducibility" again, as if he never saw GP.

4 days ago
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VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

OneAhead Re:So what? (348 comments)

Whoosh.

4 days ago
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MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

OneAhead Re:Should or maybe not (217 comments)

Apart from hurricanes, which have been mentioned elsewhere in this discussion, there's also the obvious problem of someone who doesn't like you (in the case of the US, think N. Korea) sneaking in a submarine and scoring a direct torpedo hit on the reactor vessel. *Shudder*.

4 days ago
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MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor

OneAhead Re:Not a retarded idea. No way. (217 comments)

Because the people designing it did not stick with the minimum legal specs for the seawall height like the geniuses at Fukushima had, but did some research on their own. And simply made the seawall much higher.

Yeah, and then once the water came over the seawall, the inevitable mayhem was exacerbated by:
* A lot of the electrical equipment needed to get the pumps up-and-running again being under the waterline and not sealed, so flooded and water-damaged
* The backup generators being placed in a vulnerable position
* The containment being an obsolete design, based on engineering principles that have long been discredited (but hey, there are many of those still up and running in the USA)
* Common "bugfixes" to mitigate some of the known weaknesses of the design (valves and stuff) not being implemented
* The spent fuel pools not being very well contained, and pretty full (endemic in the industry)

Hindsight is 20/20, but my point is, the industry can be made a whole lot safer just with some simple fixes, not to even mention newer designs that have passive cooling capabilities. If it would not have been dismissing its critics for decades, something this accident would never have been this bad, and the industry's future would not be threatened by public outrage. In line with what parent said, Fukushima Daiichi comes close to a "man-made disaster".

Conventional plants are not that bad, if they are designed by competent people. If you put them on barges, though, as these dudes are proposing, you are just adding to the potential failure modes, while not avoiding any that are impossible to handle. Not a good thing.

To be honest, TFA is a lot better thought-out than a nuclear-plant-on-a-barge, but even so, it remains a monstrosity that gives me the creeps just looking at the CGI.

5 days ago
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Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

OneAhead Re:versions (177 comments)

Looks like someone doesn't understand the process of big distros bugfixing, releasing and supporting stable kernels.

5 days ago
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Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

OneAhead Re:Not a surprise (133 comments)

Given the data in TFA, I would say this turned out to work rather well.

5 days ago

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