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Implant Restores Paralyzed Man's Leg Movement

Phoshi Re:All the best (65 comments)

Well, even if there's no practical usage yet, that it works at all would surely be a great step towards building something that does work? Rome wasn't built in a day, etc.

more than 2 years ago
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Implant Restores Paralyzed Man's Leg Movement

Phoshi Re:All the best (65 comments)

Legs can't 'make decisions on their own', especially not something as complex as balance, which requires information from the inner ear. It seems likely to me that this doesn't interface with the brain simply because that's also a very complex, mostly theoretical field. However, that this can be done at all gives a lot of hope for next decade's paralyzed people regaining some level of conscious movement.

more than 3 years ago
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LastPass Password Service Hacked

Phoshi Re:Hacked? (268 comments)

Except that if you actually read TFA, you'll see that they don't know for sure any data was compromised, but if it was, it wasn't the password containers. This is preventative, to stop any theoretical attacks that could happen if they actually were compromised. Because, yes, PR - being secure is their thing. If there's even a chance they've been compromised they have to take serious action, because it'd only take one actual breach to sink them.

more than 3 years ago
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Gitbrew Releases OtherOS++ PS3 Linux Dual Boot

Phoshi Re:world's most affordable supercomputer (240 comments)

Other supercomputers have years of design improvements, modern processors are much more efficient than they used to be.

more than 3 years ago
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Researchers Build Wearable Generators

Phoshi Re:Help power cars? (84 comments)

Surely it does - when the tire un-deforms as it's coming off the road. There's not much 'wasted' kinetic energy in a car.

more than 3 years ago
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Things Get Worse at Fukushima

Phoshi Re:Yup, sure! (1122 comments)

Nuclear reactors confirmed for being safer than christmas?

more than 3 years ago
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A New Class of Nuclear Reactors

Phoshi Re:Does anyone here read? (560 comments)

The *generators* failed because they were flooded, the batteries failed because they could power the cooling for 8 hours, and 8 hours passed.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Conducts Massive Botnet Takedown Action

Phoshi Re:Microsoft helps the internet (302 comments)

Well, noticing higher than average network traffic would be a good start.

more than 3 years ago
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DirectX 'Getting In the Way' of PC Game Graphics, Says AMD

Phoshi Really? (323 comments)

That might make sense, were it a case that PC graphics weren't 10x ahead of console graphics, and yet we're maxing out our cards. We are not. A mid end card handles even the most visually intensive games very well at above console resolutions. Yes, we could get more power out of our cards, no, it is not the reason graphics are not improving.

more than 3 years ago
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Microsoft Conducts Massive Botnet Takedown Action

Phoshi Re:Microsoft helps the internet (302 comments)

Except that you can have as much security as you want, but there'll still always be people who click yes to every message box because they want... I dunno, whatever the craze is these days. 100 free animated cursors or whatever. It's not the fault of people like us, who would know how to spot a botnet, it's the fault of people that don't know, and don't care. The same would happen on *nix if you had huge quantities of people who would give anything and everything root just because it asked. What MS really need to do is educate people - instead of an intimidating dialogue that says "DO YOU WANT TO ALLOW THIS YES | NO" there needs to be an explanation of the consequences.

more than 3 years ago
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Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants

Phoshi Re:I'd be open to it, but good luck with everyone (430 comments)

I realise new-generation plants are significantly safer, but it's a very general point. Any outside source you rely on can completely fail, however unlikely, so keep everything you need on site. I'm not sure where "Physics said titanic could sink" | "No, physics said titanic could sink", so I'm going to assume you misread and gloss over it. Physics also says that, while nuclear plants aren't infallible, something like Chernobyl can't happen, there's nothing to burn and meltdown is near impossible, and even if it does happen secondary containment is practically impenetrable without outside interference (And as the recent events in Japan have shown, "Outside Interference" would need to be quite potent)

more than 3 years ago
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Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants

Phoshi Re:I'd be open to it, but good luck with everyone (430 comments)

Uh, no, you don't. Seawater and boric acid has always been a last ditch plan, and has always been on the table. The plants themselves were totally unharmed, unfortunately this design of plant relies on active cooling in order to completely stop the reaction (Because even without fuel there's enough residual energy there to keep going for a while. Not self-sustaining by any means, but not an instant cutoff), and active cooling is difficult when you don't have any electricity. That's what the earthquake and tsunami did, knocked out offsite power, and backup generators. The plants themselves got through it just fine. Of course, without active cooling there's not much you can do, hydrogen will start to build up as a byproduct of the reaction, so you'd better vent that (The 'radiation leaks', despite being an absolutely tiny dose), but you can try. You could flood the reactor with seawater and boric acid, the seawater will cool the reaction very quickly and the boron will absorb any residual radiation - but there's a reason they don't use seawater normally. It's corrosive enough to damage the reactor beyond repair. That's why they don't want to do it, not because it might not work, but because it'll break their reactors. Oh, and if you're still worried about the previous leaks, I suggest you never eat another banana. They're radioactive too, and on the same sort of scale.

more than 3 years ago
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Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants

Phoshi Re:I'd be open to it, but good luck with everyone (430 comments)

The thing is, physics said that the titanic could sink. Physics says that a nuclear plant can't critically melt down a-la Chernobyl. A terrorist's bomb, similarly, is going to have a hard time being stronger than an earthquake of magnitude 8.9, which left every single reactor undamaged - and, somewhat ironically, if they'd simply kept operating there would have been no issue because they could power their own cooling, but of course there was no way to predict that, so shutting down was the right thing. I think that what we need to take from this is that no matter how much we plan, and how much we try to minimize the worst case scenarios, they'll still happen, and we need more than 8 hours of battery backup for the cooling systems. Still, coal will run out relatively soon, as will every non-renewable source (Soon in generational terms, rather than traditionally soon), and as our power requirements grow (Which they will), taking huge amounts of energy out of the earth could start to have serious concequences. You can't create new energy, so however we do it we're taking power from somewhere - I'd rather it was a controlled nuclear fission reaction, rather than the thing that keeps us alive. Of course, it's a moot point anyway, because we're really just waiting for sustainable fusion, then we can stop these silly discussions and start on the important things like warp travel.

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Except what alternatives do we have? (769 comments)

I'm not discounting their usage at all, I'm discounting their usage as a primary source of power. It may always be windy somewhere, but unless you plan to turn every country in the world into a pincushion, you're not always going to be harnessing it. Geothermal is great, and in places with enough energy close to the ground is almost a perfect solution, but drilling 5-10km into the ground (Which for many sites would be necessary) isn't currently viable on a large scale. Also, while 'renewable' on any reasonable timeframe, it is possible for them to cool down their local area significantly enough to affect power generation, and there have been cases where it looks like they caused an earthquake - so it's not perfect. Great, where it's easy to do, lesso elsewhere. Renewable sources are pretty great, but I do not think that they can provide enough power for us at our current level of technology, and when they can provide enough power, they won't scale into the future. And, of course, you can't take a geothermal plant with you into space, and one day we're going to have to leave this little rock anyway.

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Except what alternatives do we have? (769 comments)

Electricity isn't required "8 hours a day", and the grid required for current solar panels to supply an entire country's worth of power... actually might be workable in the US, you have a lot of empty space, but over here in the UK we don't actually have room for all the of required panels. It's not ignorance, it's maths. Once they're more efficient they'll help, but until then? While sticking panels and poles absolutely everywhere to always be taking advantage of light and wind might sound like a good idea in theory, it would be expensive, difficult to maintain, difficult to administrate, and environmentally damaging too. I didn't mean to completely write them off, just as a viable source of significant amounts of power - people can do it for their own house, and I applaud them, but it doesn't scale, and it's certainly not cost effective on larger scales.

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Considering ..... (769 comments)

True, and were I on somewhere more likely to be read by marketers than nerds I'd watch my language a little more, but I hope we all realise that failure is *always* an option :P

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Considering ..... (769 comments)

Oh, absolutely, I didn't mean to imply they were completely safe and nothing could possiblie go wrong. However, they can't "go chernobyl" ever - when I say literal impossibility I'm not talking hyperbole, but simply physics. It can't happen. Modern reactors don't have anything to burn to throw the fallout up into the atmosphere, upon power loss fuel rods automatically drop (Not through a powered system, but rather they're kept in place via electromagnets - so no power, your fuel rods just fall, your reaction dies), and the reaction never gets hot enough to burn through containment. They're really very safe things - of course they could still go wrong, just not like that.

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Considering ..... (769 comments)

I do not consider geothermal a valid form of power. Why? Because it's great when you can get it, and absolutely jack shit when you can't. You can't move energy very far without the efficiency losses making it prohibitively expensive, so either we go entirely to battery power, or geothermal isn't a global option. Local? Absolutely, greenland already get most of their power geothermally, iirc, but here in england? Ain't happening. It's not a serious alternative. Use it where you can, but more often than not you *can't*.

more than 3 years ago
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Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown

Phoshi Re:Considering ..... (769 comments)

Except what alternatives do we have? Yes, nuclear power can go wrong, but in a modern nuclear reactor (Read: Not this, but anything we build in the future) the worst case scenario is serious damage to the plant and some minor radiation leaks. Chernobyl is a literal impossibility with new plants. But hey, nukes are bad, let's drop the tech - what else shall we use? Well, there's coal, oil, and gas - except while nuclear power does serious environmental damage in a worst case scenario, coal/oil/gas do serious environmental damage in regular use. So scratch that, they're crappy too. Let's take a look at the renewables sector - how about biomass? I mean, it's a pretty simple concept, and any emissions will be offset by growing more biomass. Perfect, we have our solution! Except you need somewhere to grow the biomass, and then you can't grow food. Electricity is nice, but we need food to live, so I guess biomass can't provide all of our energy. It can do some, but we need something else too. Alright, people talk about wind, solar, and wave energy a lot, there must be a good reason. Well, I look outside and while it's sunny, it's not windy - if my power supply isn't consistent it's worthless, so scratch wind and solar. Wave power? Well, the tides are fairly consistent, but the output simply can't match a full plant. Still, it works. So we have some power coming from biomass, and some from tidal power, and... well, crap. We've run out of viable options. Let's revisit a few old ones, then. Coal/Oil/Gas have serious environmental issues, but they've worked well so far. Nuclear is the safest of the lot (4 people have died from nuclear accidents in the last 20 years, over 4000 in coal alone), cheap, and clean - so er, why did we discount that one again? Because in an unprecedented earthquake, followed by a large tsunami, on an old design nobody makes any more, there's a *partial* meltdown? Any other plant in these circumstances would have fared much worse, and these reactors are old technology. It's not nuke fetishism, it's common sense.

more than 3 years ago

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