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Radioactivity Cleanup At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 25 Years On

Ranbot Re:Usual story, nothing to see here? (123 comments)

And you may be right. I don't pretend to have all the answers. I just have a little more hope because I've seen similar situations with large contaminated abandoned factory complexes work out, or at least get a little better.

Honestly, the only private application for Hanford that came to mind for me was a new nuclear power site, but I that would be a tough political battle. But, if a new nuclear reactor is ever built in this country it makes sense to do it in a place like Hanford that's already contaminated, than risk contaminating a virgin location. Further, the risks, environmental safety controls, personnel training, etc. would all be similar; there's already an active nuclear power facility there, there's established infrastructure to build from; and the place is crawling with gov't officials to keep an eye on things.

about 2 months ago
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Radioactivity Cleanup At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 25 Years On

Ranbot Re:Usual story, nothing to see here? (123 comments)

Environmental liability can be mitigated with the correct contracts/agreements. It happens all the time when contaminated sites are transferred to new owners/operators. (I am an environmental consultant and I've been involved in many similar deals.) There won't be a single, whole-site solution and there might be some areas that will never be useable again, but Hanford is a big place and there are probably some portions of the property that could be safely reclaimed. It takes some people willing to look at the potential risks/gains, add some incentives/protections, and work out a deal.

about 2 months ago
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Radioactivity Cleanup At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 25 Years On

Ranbot Re:Usual story, nothing to see here? (123 comments)

You're wrong and I can prove it. Scroll through pictures in the article and you'll see a photo of "Steam coming off of Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station. The nuclear facility is a private utility but within Hanford's site..." (copied from photo caption)

about 2 months ago
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Radioactivity Cleanup At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 25 Years On

Ranbot Re:Usual story, nothing to see here? (123 comments)

If there was a way to encourage some private interest in the property things would move things along a little faster. I'm not saying that privatization if the cure to everything, just that when there's no direct economic value in a property, nothing gets done. We have thousands of Brownfield sites across the nation demonstrating this. However, there are also many large abandoned industrial sites that are getting cleaned up and repurposed, because someone is finding something valuable to put there. It even encourages gov't agencies to move, because there's potential new tax revenue, jobs, etc.

about 2 months ago
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What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

Ranbot Re:Work the way down to no license (301 comments)

I disagree; the qualifications should be stricter as the tech improves. For example, graduate level maths requires higher qualifications to succeed than 1st-grade maths. It's all maths to the autonomous vehicle. It's life or death/injury for the rest of us.

Ok, fine, but you're not allowed to use the internet until you pass a written test about how the internet works, and you must show all of your work.

about 2 months ago
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Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

Ranbot Re:Why can't it be both? (362 comments)

Bingo. Last time I heard, he also owns a company that makes rockets too.

Clearly, SpaceX should stop building rockets and just sell rocket fuel.

about 2 months ago
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Is The Future Actually Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Not Electric?

Ranbot The mistake was an EV SUV (4 comments)

I think Toyota's problem was trying to introduce the EV in an SUV model. One of the main selling points for most SUV buyers is the percieved greater "utility" for emergencies, hauling, off-roading, etc., but anxieties of EV range/power, whether true or not, oppose that perception of "utility." Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S are selling just fine, but they aren't trying to compete in the SUV market.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook post engagement drops but monthly engagement up for companies

Ranbot Social media spam (1 comments)

"...But a new report counter-intuitively shows that even as per-post reach drops, total monthly reach can grow."

Because if marketers spam lots of FB posts, someone is going to read them eventually. Quantity over quality.

about 2 months ago
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A Look at Smart Gun Technology

Ranbot Re:Life or death (765 comments)

I wish we could have that in the USA. But this is a large, sparsely populated country. The cost of a cop on every corner would be very high. And we are, by tradition, the refuge of eccentrics and oddballs.

That could easily be a description for Australia too, but they still manage to survive despite much more restrictive gun control laws than the US.

about 2 months ago
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Loses Deep Sea Vehicle

Ranbot Re:I'm not buying you another one (93 comments)

Some wild research students must have gone for a joy ride with the professor's submersible. Kids these days! Get off my oceanic trench!

about 2 months ago
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What Was the Greatest Age For Indie Games?

Ranbot Re:I'd say "right now". And it's getting better. (92 comments)

You must be young. Almost all indy titles today are shovelware using asset stores for their code, art and sounds. Games are being thrown together by everyone with a view of creation lots of titles hoping one is a hit

I used to scour BBS on my 14.4 modem looking for indy games to download, so I think I'm old enough to tell you to stop looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses. There was an indy PC game movement in the 80's and 90's that created some great things but there was plenty of forgettable shovelware too, you just forgot about that (go figure). Those old games also recycled plenty of their own code, art, and sounds. Also, 80's/90's indy developers were almost completely shut out of the console markets, but not so today. 80's/90's indy developers were also much more limited by the technology available, and not just graphics, but also the interface was mostly limited to keyboard/mouse and maybe a joystick. Today's indy developers has so much more available to them to use creatively. Graphics is obvious, but also things like Wii-Mote, Kinect, mobile phone capabilities (cameras, GPS, etc.), and new VR tech. Then you've got Kickstarter, digital distribution, and flexible pricing to get indy developer ideas/projects off the ground. Yeah there are going to be plenty of indy game turds, but there always have been.

about 2 months ago
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iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

Ranbot Re:I never thought I'd live to see the day... (386 comments)

Personally I'll take the smaller screen and portability of the smart phone over carrying two devices around any day. If I can't fit the device comfortably my pocket and make phone calls then it doesn't do me much good.

about 3 months ago
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NASA Setting Up $250,000 Mars Lander Competition

Ranbot Why? (44 comments)

It's not clear to me why NASA wants to retrieve a sample, other than they think it's an interesting technological hurdle. I'm pretty sure it's much easier and cheaper to land whatever instruments you need on the surface. By the time viable exporting from Mars is realistic technology will be so much farther ahead that I doubt the work for this prize will even matter. I'd love be convinced otherwise though...

For the record I'm a supporter of the space program and scientific research in general, and understand that scientific leaps in understanding can occur in unexpected places, but I think it is possible to direct funds to where the most potential is.

about 3 months ago
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Apple, Google, and Amazon's Quest For One Remote Control Is Futile

Ranbot Re:Bullsh*t (130 comments)

I agree, but come up with some better evidence... like Netflix and Amazon streaming services and good original shows (i.e. House of Cards), Hulu streaming for major networks, and Apple TV. If you're going to mention YouTube then bring up the YouTube music awards moving in on traditional cable-dominated turf.

about 3 months ago
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NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission

Ranbot Re:What's been the hold up???? (100 comments)

Thanks for the clarification. I don't mean to take anything away from other's achievements.

about 3 months ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

Ranbot What about the intangibles? (469 comments)

It doesn't surprise me that there's no noticeable difference between Stradivarius and well-made modern violin. But I wonder if there are other intangible benefits owning a Stradivarius, like boosts to the player's confidence and drive to excel. At any high-level musical play the differences between "very good" and "great" musicians are often very subtle.

I would also be willing to bet that that professional violin judges have some unintended bias towards players they see have a Stradivarius. Maybe this data will level the playing field though...

about 3 months ago
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NASA Laying Foundation For Jupiter Moon Space Mission

Ranbot Re:What's been the hold up???? (100 comments)

but it doesn't have oceans.

AND, there are lots of other interesting moons out that way. good to establish a precedent that this far out exploration can be done.

You aren't paying nearly enough attention.

1) NASA already landed a probe on Titan (the Huygens probe) so there's your precedent.

2) The previous point above that it's "goddam cold" is exactly right. Power sources, electronics, moving parts/mechanisms, etc. don't operate well (understatement) at the extreme cold that would be encountered at Europa. The Huygens probe was only expected to last mere minutes of operation at Titan's surface due to the extreme cold, and you can expect the same from Europa. So, there's a heck of a lot more engineering involved in getting to and then do anything useful on Europa vs Mars.

about 3 months ago
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Scientists Solve the Mystery of Why Zebras Have Stripes

Ranbot Re:Terrible summary (190 comments)

biting flies have an aversion to landing on striped surfaces.

Biting flies can't evolve?

I found the whole thing very unconvincing.

Agreed. I find it a little difficult to believe that biting flies couldn't evolve past this stripe defense. There are thousands, maybe millions, of generations of flies in one just one zebra lifespan, so flies clearly have the evolutionary advantage. Granted I don't know tsetse fly biology well, but I know many other biting flies can detect body heat and carbon dioxide from animals, which would reduce effectiveness of the stripe defense significantly, assuming the flies don't rely on vision alone to find prey/hosts. Furthermore, if zebras can evolve bug repellant stripes, why haven't other animals living in the same areas done the same? I don't think the bugs are that picky about which species they bite.

Have there been any studies to correlate populations of predators to striped zebras to put to rest the old claim that stripes help the zebras blend together as a herd to confuse predators, which rely 100% on sight to make a kill? That still seems like a more plausible explanation to me, and any bug repellant properties of stripes just be a welcome side-effect.

about 4 months ago
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Adaptation From Flash Boys Offers Inside Look at High-Frequency Trading

Ranbot Re:day trader loses to second traders (246 comments)

Most investors have their money in large diversified managed accounts that are indexes or target retirement funds (i.e. 401K, IRA, etc.). Due to the size of those funds when a fund manager places an order that order it often needs to be filled on several stock exchanges. The High Frequency Traders are racing those orders to the next exchange and artificially influencing the price for their gain. So the fund manager pays more or sells for less, which means all the investors get screwed too, and the high frequency traders skim from everyone in the fund.

about 4 months ago

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