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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Rei Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (585 comments)

The EPA guidelines are in line with the level of risk: very, very little. If you want to cut your mercury exposure, don't stop using CFLs, stop eating seafood.

As for the Bridges case, you should read the Maine EPA's account. CFLs were new back then, and they had decided to use her case to learn more about what sort of advice they should give for dealing with broken bulbs. So they sent someone with a meter because they wanted to learn more, not because that's standard practice. The carpet was already intended for removal as part of a rennovation. They took readings all over the room. The only place with "high" levels was right where the bulb broke - not in the ambient air, not anywhere else on the carpet, not on the toys, not even under the carpet where it broke. I say "high" because even the levels right where it broke weren't actually high, just over Maine's long-term exposure guidelines (which is obviously not applicable to a temporary event). Moving the meter even six to eight inches away rom the breakage point dropped the levels way down. She was told that the bulb breakage was "of negligible health concern". However "the homeowner expressed particular nervousness about exposures to mercury even in low numbers", so they told her what she could do if it bothered her, one of which was calling a cleanup contractor. And of course any private cleanup contractor will charge you an utter fortune. The Maine EPA came back two days later after the story hit the news, before anything had been done in the house. The area where the bulb broke had dropped down below Maine's limit.

The case was ridiculously blown out of proportion.

yesterday
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Rei Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (585 comments)

Are you reading the same webpage I am? Where does that say you're supposed to bag up your bedding and pillow and toss them into the garbage - "EPA's words"? It says no such thing. It basically says open the windows for 5-10 minutes and shut off your HVAC, scoop up the fragments, use tape to get the little bits, wipe it, put all the waste in a sealed glass jar or plastic bag, and properly dispose of it. Ooooh, terrifying! And at the bottom of the page it says:

What if I can't follow all the recommended steps? or I cleaned up a CFL but didn't do it properly?

Don't be alarmed; these steps are only precautions that reflect best practices for cleaning up a broken CFL. Keep in mind that CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury -- less than 1/100th of the amount in a mercury thermometer.

Clearly you're reading that page from a bizzarro universe where it says something like "If you break a CFL and don't move out of your house and entomb it in a concrete shell then you'll get electro-cancer that will kill you and all of your descendants."

2 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Rei Re:LEDs (585 comments)

Link.

I know the guy who runs the company - they're serious about good making good products and being honest with people. Compare with the sort of chinese stuff you see cheaper on Ebay. First off, the stuff you see on Ebay usually lies about the output - they give "nominal watts" instead of actual watts, the nominal watts usually being double that of the actual. And then compare the weight - the Black Dog ones are twice as heavy. Which may not seem like a good thing, but it's because they have such a vastly larger cooling system, which means much greater expected longevity. Also Black Dog goes all out on their spectrum, they use a lot of different bands, including UV.

I'm probably one of the few people in the world using the lights legitimately, lol ;) I grow tropicals in my apartment in Iceland.

2 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

Rei Re:China won't like this (69 comments)

Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding you - are you saying that there's something extraordinary about the concept of thermal spraying to lay down material? Perhaps you should look it up. Usually it's only used for high performance coatings, but there's no reason that with computer control you couldn't lay down whole objects, rate is (mainly) only limited by nozzle size, so you can trade off between speed and precision.

2 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

Rei Re:China won't like this (69 comments)

What "extraordinary claim" is being made?

What praytell is so unreasonable about discussing technological possibilities? Is this not Slashdot? If there's something ridiculous about technological speculations on something that they do not currently have the time or resources to work more on, then almost all all of modern technology was at some point ridiculous.

Why exactly do you think that 3d printers must inherently always be glorified hot glue guns? Wht is so unreasonable about the concept that there could be alternative methods to lay down material in alternative shapes?

2 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

Rei Re:China won't like this (69 comments)

And a home injection moulder is impossible why? Bed of pistons on one side (doesn't' need to be high res), attached to a stretchy surface (even a high temperature stretchy surface if you need one - graphite felt can tolerate most molten metals). Exact same thing on the other side. Thus they can make a mold shaped like any object. Your system can spray release agent or whatever else is needed. Hollows can be made either by inflation of an air bag inside the mold; casting and releasing an inner, re-applying release agent, then recasting; or a combination of the two. If the bed of the moulder was openable, you could use the mould as a layup for composites.

I think people's conceptions of the potential of garage/small business solid printing is way too constrained, people envisioning only half-arsed extruders. Personally I'd love to see an attempt to 3d print with thermal spraying; your material could be anything you can have as a sufficiently fine power or fibers, and you can have it impact the target at whatever temperature (cold to thousands of degree) and speed (slow to over 1000 m/s) you want, depending on the type of material, by varying the partial pressures of the fuel and air you feed into the chamber. You have the potential to print out materials that are even stronger than cast objects (high velocity compaction). You can use the same system to do finishing work (finishing the main purpose of thermal spraying today) - sanding, polishing, coating, painting, etc. It could build support structures and then later sandblast them away. The potential seems tremendous. Not super fast (although you can vary your nozzle size, bigger for greater flow rate at the cost of less precision), but still, I find the concept very interesting.

3 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Rei Re:LEDs (585 comments)

All of my lights in my apartment are either fluorescent or LED, mainly LED, yet I still consume about 2k kilowatt hours per month / 65 kWh per day / 2.7 kW average.

Hmm, I should probably mention that my brightest LED light is 570 watts (real consumption, not incandescent equivalent) and is on 24/7 ;)

3 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Rei Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (585 comments)

Where's your controlled, statistically significant comparative study data? Or are we supposed to go on an anecdote? Because we do have lots of data - for example, here Consumer Reports talks about their testing results.

Mercury? Every bulb CF tested contained less than 5mg. Let's go with 4mg as our figure (even though some are under 2%). 17-44% of said mercury will vaporize if you leave it sitting around for 8 hours. Let's say you clean it up and 10% gets into your air, which is probably a gross overestimate. What percent of that will you breathe and have actually get incorporated into your body? Probably in the low single digits, but lets be pessimistic and say 20%. So 80 micrograms. The mercury of a mere 1 1/2 cans of tuna.

But wait, there's more. The mercury in CFLs is "inorganic" (metallic, unbound) mercury, while mercury found in food is almost exclusively "organic" (methyl and dimethyl mercury). "Organic" mercury, being much more bioavailable, has many times worse health consequences per microgram.

The short of it? Don't stand in a closet and smash dozens of CFLs and then fan them while hovering over them and breathing deeply for a day or so. Otherwise, you're fine.

3 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Rei Re:Oh good (903 comments)

Ignoring how easy a device should be to disable. Even if it's not simple to physically disconnect the device for some reason, imagine how easy it'd be to clip the antenna or shield it whatnot. No signal, no disabling. What are they going to do, send a repo man after the car? Well, then the device was useless because that's what they'd have done anyway.

Plus, given that I bet a lot of people with such devices live in bad neighborhoods, I bet there's no shortage of people in the area who could offer hotwiring services for a lot cheaper than a late car payment ;)

4 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Rei Re:Could be improved (903 comments)

Or they could make it a crystal that gets implanted in poor people's hands that could change color based on their payment standing, from white to yellow to green to red and then flashing red on Lastday.

4 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Re:Obligatory quote/s (224 comments)

Just amazing, such an incredible two-faced attitude toward whistleblowers. Alexander Litvinenko was about as clear cut example of a whistleblower as you can get. He was an FSB officer who leaked the reports that the FSB had ordered the assassination of Boris Berezovsky. He was was arrested for his leaks, but acquitted - but the government continued going after him after his acquittal, so he fled to the UK and was granted asylum. In the UK, out of reach of the Russian government, he continued writing books and giving interviews leaking more information, including claims of the Russian government's involvement in the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the Russian apartment bombings that both solidified public resolve for Russia to re-invade Chechnya and helped bring Putin to power.

And he was killed for that. By polonium. Traced straight back to a nuclear power plant in Russia via a British Airwaves jet from Moscow.

Now, let's just say that Litvinenko was just speculating wildly or BSing about everything he said about Russia. That doesn't change the fact that for whatever reason, he was asssinated by polonium traced straight back to nuclear power plant in Russia via a British Airwaves jet from Moscow.

But to you, a guy writing negative things about Putin makes him terrorist recruiter and that was justified? Seriously?

4 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Re:Obligatory quote/s (224 comments)

As it happens, Russia is crafting whistleblower protections right now:

Hahahaha!
Stop it, you're killing me!
All too funny.

Russia hardly even tries any more to pretend that their media isn't a bunch of scripted reports with paid actors or that they're remotely a free, fair democracy. Heck, in the last election, Chechnya had 99.59% turnout with 99.82% voting for the "Butcher of Grozny". Some precincts were apparently so eager to vote for him that they had 107% turnout. Really impressive on Putin's part! ;) It's amazing that they can still find useful idiots like you to defend them.

4 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Re:Future wars (224 comments)

Except that sort -R isn't available on older versions of coreutils.

4 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Re:Obligatory quote/s (224 comments)

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

I dunno, it seems to have worked pretty well for Putin. I mean, wake me up when Obama starts going around assassinating dissenters with polonium and forcing all popular blogs to register with national media censors.

I of course think that the US has stepped way out of bounds with a lot of stuff it's done. But I do find there's this rather curious American Exceptionalism often in play where only the US is deemed capable of moral or relevant behavior, and it's just taken as both a given and irrelevant that others take it to far worse extremes.

5 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Re:Don't Need Them (224 comments)

As a whistle blower myself, I found that the trick is to do diaphragm exercises. Lots of people focus too much on the muscles in the mouth, but the real airflow comes from the lungs. Also, get yourself a real competition-grade whistle, not a cheap piece of Chinese-made junk. I personally am fond of the late Soviet militiary whistles - not only do they have a distinctive sound, but the titanium pea is extremely efficient at transforming air pressure to sound with little resistance.

5 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Rei Future wars (224 comments)

Well...

egrep ".*ism$" /usr/share/dict/words | perl -MList::Util=shuffle -e 'print shuffle();' | tail -n 10 ... tells me that the next ten things that the US is going to wage war against are:

Factionalism
Occidentalism
Aerotropism
Briticism
Rebaptism
Establishmentarianism.
Freemasonism
Achronism
Henotheism
Selenotropism

I look forward to the War on Henotheism. Make up your minds, there's either one god or there's multiple! If you don't pick between the existence of one god or multiple, then the Henotheists win!

(Side note: Slashdot, stop playing content critic with your "Filter error: That's an awful long string of letters there")

5 days ago
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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Rei Re:So in the future ... (144 comments)

Really, shipping bulk raw materials is equivalent to shipping finished goods, in your world? Finished goods are usually predominantly waste space, are full of packaging, have to be handled gingerly, and need to be distributed to individuals in different locations. Raw materials are packed together as densely as possible, little to no packaging, can be thrown around, and go straight to just a couple manufacturers. And when import taxes come into play, it's even more extreme, since those are generally based on the price of what you're importing.

about a week ago
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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Rei Re: So in the future ... (144 comments)

You know, I was just thinking, wouldn't it be possible to make a rapid 3d *moulder*, for those bulk parts that you don't require as much precision on (aka, chair)? Picture a stretchable half-mould surface, on a large bed (maybe 50x100cm for a home edition, larger for a workshop) with a grid of little pistons on it that can change it's shape (nothing too high res, maybe one every square centimeter). Picture a second half-mould positioned just opposite, such that the two elements can close off off a 3d space. Such a system could virtually instantly form whatever shape you want, spray the inside with release agent, pipe in a thermoplastic or thermoset resin or wax (for lost wax casting) or confectionary or whatnot, let it set / cure it, and then open up. The pistons could then reshape to ready for whatever shape you want next. If such a moulder would you mess with the two halves individually after they've formed their shapes, you could use it as a composite layup, too. Disposable liners for the mould could be used if sticking / damaging the adjustable mould surface would be a problem.

Wouldn't that be getting awfully close to the potential that mass manufacture currently has? Casting as many times as you want and only having to wait for the product to set? Sure, you'd be limited to relatively simple geometries, but if you need anything more complex, that's what regular 3d printing is for. Hollow shapes could be handled in a two-stage process, first printing out the inner, releasing it, securing it in place, respraying both it and the mould with release agent, then printing out the desired part. I'd think a well-designed moulder could handle that without human intervention.

Hmm, come to think of it, it might even be possible to make a direct metal casting moulder. I know there are high temperature flexible fabrics that can withstand the temperature of most molten metals (various ceramic fiber ones), although I'm not sure whether there are any with sufficient flex for such a role. Oh, hey, carbon fiber and graphite felt are used as a flexible insulating material , that'd probably do the trick.

about a week ago
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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

Rei Re:Competitive pricing? Depends... (144 comments)

Come to think of it, this has to be a godsend for Hollywood. They've got the budgets, and you can use the same model for both CG special effects and printing for camera work (whether we're talking about printing for miniatures, animatronics, prosthetics, molds for prosthetics, gadgets or other small objects, etc). No need to have both your 3d artist and a physical artist create the same thing.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped A Politician's Son

Rei Rei writes  |  about 3 months ago

Rei (128717) writes "As was previously reported here, the Russian government has accused the US Secret Service of kidnapping the son of ultranationalist LDPR MP Valery Seleznev in the Maldives. The son, Roman Seleznev, stands accused of running one of the world's largest carding operations, with others charged in the affair having already been convicted; however, Roman had until recently been considered out of reach in Russia. Now the Maldives has struck back against these claims, insisting that they arrested him on an Interpol Red Notice and transferred him to the US, as they are legally required as an Interpol member state to do. “No outsider came here to conduct an operation,” president Abdulla Yameen stated. “No officials from another country can come here to arrest anyone. The government has the necessary documentation to prove it.”"
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Who's Killing The Electric Car Again?

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Rei (128717) writes "Aptera Motors is an manufacturer of safe, hyper-efficient, highway-speed electric three-wheelers. Funded by Idealab, Google, and a variety of other sources, they have been working towards making (take your pick): A) one of the ugliest, or B) one of the most beautiful vehicles ever to be mass produced. When they started accepting pre-orders, over 4,000 people from California alone came running with $500 deposits. However, in recent days, the company seems to be imploding, where in the middle of wave after wave of layoffs, disastrous information keeps leaking out. Among the examples: the company's CFO, Laura Marion, was cited by the SEC in 2006 for running an Enron-style accounting scam at Delphi."
Link to Original Source
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McCain taps creationism-proponent as VP pick

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rei writes "By now, most people know that senator John McCain has tapped one-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. While the commentary has ranged from the positive, such as its potential to be a game changer for him, to the negative, such as her involvement in Troopergate, little attention has been paid so far to her views on science. According to the Alaska Daily News, in the 2006 governor's race, Palin was the only candidate to suggest that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools. In contrast to her two opponents, one of whom suggested that such "religious based" lessons belong in a philosophy or sociology class, Palin stated, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both." In response to the backlash, she later backpedalled and insisted that she would not apply a creationism litmus test to her school board appointees.

Evangelical leaders are reportedly thrilled with her nomination."

Link to Original Source
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Nanosolar delivers high-efficiency thin film cells

Rei Rei writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rei writes "Thin film photovoltaic systems have been heralded as a way to make solar cells cheap enough for widespread adoption, but have also been criticized for their low efficiency. A number of companies have been working to fix this equation. Now, one of them — Nanosolar, a privately held company with funding from Google's Sergey Brin and Larry Page — has finally shipped their first cells produced in a mass-production environment. Nanosolar's cells boast being the world's first printed thin-film solar cell in a commercial panel product, the world's lowest-cost solar panel (they plan to sell at $0.99/Watt, compared to the current minimum of $4.83/Watt), and the world's highest-current thin-film solar panel (5x the next closest on the market), among other things. Their Panel #2, made available as a collectors item on Ebay with the profits going to charity, has already racked up bids of over $10,000."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "Yesterday, Slashdot posted about what appeared to be puddles of water sitting on Mars. Unfortunately, according to the Planetary Society's blog, the authors of the paper didn't even bother to check the context in which the "water" photos were taken. The article notes that one shouldn't trust papers that haven't yet gone through peer review. "The white square shows you where the image comes from. It's in the middle of Opportunity's Burns Cliff panorama, on some of the steepest slopes that Opportunity saw before arriving at Victoria crater! Those can't be puddles — unless the amazing "liquid" that puddles here on Mars in a freezing near-vacuum also has antigravity properties.""
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "There has been a lot of buzz today over Al Gore: in the wake of revelations that his Tennessee mansion uses 12 to 20 times more energy than usual comes an assault in the New York Times over the accuracy of his film, "An Inconvenient Truth". The article's author quotes a number of scientists who are critical of some of his statements, and describe the film as "alarmism". Quick to the counterpunch is RealClimate.org, which has published a harsh rebuttal suggesting habitual dishonesty and deception of readers on the part of the article's author."
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Rei writes "SpaceDaily.com is reporting the failure of a SeaLaunch Zenit-3SL rocket and its payload, leading some to question whether the damage will prove too much for the company. A split-second after separating from the tower, the rocket fell and impacted the platform with a firey explosion. The failure of the Zenit, a privately developed orbital rocket, comes as SpaceX prepares to launch a new Falcon I rocket after its last failed on liftoff after three successive, failed launch attempts. While the news for simpler private suborbital rocketry continues to look rosy, is private orbital rocketry perched on a precipice?"
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Rei Rei writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rei writes "Today, the prestigious Cambridge Energy Research Associates released a report dismissing the Peak Oil theory, suggesting that world oil production will continue to increase for the next 24 years, and then only level into a plateu. The report, which suggests that world reserves are enough to last 122 years at our current rate of consumption, also blasts Peak Oil theorists for repeatedly making unscientific predictions and then shifting them whenever their predictions fail to materialize."

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