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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Rising Ape Re:Nope. (432 comments)

Unless we just really have no problem with every X years some spot on earth becomes uninhabitable for the next 50,000 years...

More like 300 years at most, with most of the affected area clear in under 100. The offending isotope is Cs-137, which has a half life of about 30 years. The long lived stuff isn't volatile enough to be released in significant quantity.

about a week ago
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Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield

Rising Ape Re:Stop the Tesla Love (152 comments)

It might be OK if there was something technically interesting about it. But what's technically impressive about Tesla? Connecting a load of Li-Ion batteries to an electric motor isn't anything remarkable.

There've been more novel (and relevant) improvements to combustion engines over the past decade.

about two weeks ago
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Physicists Produce Antineutrino Map of the World

Rising Ape Re:Hmmmm ... (75 comments)

Probably not, actually. Neutrinos come from beta decay, which isn't what produces the energy in a fission chain reaction. Even the fusion reaction in a hydrogen bomb isn't itself neutrino producing. The fission products left over would produce neutrinos as they decay, but that would occur steadily over time and over a wide area, as they'd have been dispersed by the explosion.

about three weeks ago
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Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

Rising Ape Re:Ummm.... (330 comments)

Yes, but the CO will eventually get oxidised to CO2 in the atmosphere anyway.

about three weeks ago
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Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

Rising Ape Re:Ummm.... (330 comments)

CO2 emissions are directly proportional to fuel consumption (for a particular fuel). It's the other emissions - CO, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides etc. that can vary dramatically.

about a month ago
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The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

Rising Ape Good that someone's competing with Intel (111 comments)

As someone who had a BBC Micro as his first computer (lovely machine for tinkering), it's nice to see the descendants of Acorn survive the juggernaut of the PC and x86. And long may it continue, the last thing we need is a vertically integrated colossus like Intel dominating everything, no matter how good their PC processors are.

about 2 months ago
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National Ignition Facility Takes First Steps Towards Fusion Energy

Rising Ape Re:nuclear blast furnace reactors (127 comments)

Fission fusion hybrids have been thought of. Unfortunately you tend to get all the problems of both - the fusion part is still expensive, while the fission means you still have a big decay heat problem to deal with.

about 2 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

Rising Ape Re:you know (426 comments)

That's a very valid point, but what I remember of modern language teaching at school (French in my case) was very utilitarian. Just lots of vocabulary, conjugation rules etc. to memorise - all how to speak the language but very little as to why you'd want to bother and little of intellectual interest. Latin was better, in that we actually looked at examples of Latin literature and poetry and the Roman civilisation. Shame the language was much harder, with all the noun declensions and so forth.

All a bit of a waste really, as there's a lot of interesting things to learn about languages. The scientific side - how they evolve over time, how various languages relate to each other - cognate words, sounds shifts etc. And the literary/cultural side for those that way inclined.

In any case, I can't see anything that programming languages have in common with natural languages besides the word "language".

about 3 months ago
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Even After NSA Leaks, Government Still Trusted Over Private Firms

Rising Ape Re:Interestingly enough (234 comments)

Smokers pay in a lot via tobacco taxes, and of course there's the reduced pension payments from not living as long.

about 4 months ago
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Sun Not a Significant Driver of Climate Change

Rising Ape Re:More BS (552 comments)

Global emissions of carbon dioxide by people in a recent year totaled over 30 gigatonnes (or 30 Gt), That is roughly 82,000 metric tones per day from humans. That is between one half and one seventh the amount put out by volcanoes.

No, 30 gigatons per year is 82 *million* tons per day, not 82 thousand.

So by your own figures volcanoes are less 1% of human emissions.

about 4 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

Rising Ape Re:"Can you hear me now?" (582 comments)

I'm no expert on it, but I think you're right. I'd assumed the article was talking about something similar - but looking again at it, it's not clear whether "The Federal Communications Commission is working toward drafting rules in January to formalize the IP transition — switching communications systems to Internet protocol." is talking about replacing the core network (as 21CN was supposed to do), actually scrapping voice service completely or something else. Scrapping voice would seem to be an overreaction - if nothing else you could supply equipment to the subscribers to give them the same service, just over IP.

about 5 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

Rising Ape Re:Wire is good (582 comments)

Which is fine if you're in one of the few places which has fibre, but not terribly useful anywhere else. And DSL is a hell of a lot better than mobile data.

about 5 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

Rising Ape Re:"Can you hear me now?" (582 comments)

Indeed so, I often have trouble understanding people on cell phones.

But it's not as though landlines are great sounding - G.711 isn't exactly high fidelity. Of course, to use anything better we'd need to have digital all the way to the home - but then we've got that for internet access.

Here in the UK, the major phone compant (BT) had a big plan to roll out a new network (21CN) to integrate all data & voice services on a new IP based network. After much fanfare they quietly dropped the voice part, which as far as I know is still running on the old circuit switched hardware. Apparently it's not so easy.

about 5 months ago
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Why You Shouldn't Buy a UHD 4K TV This Year

Rising Ape Re:4K makes sense for monitors (271 comments)

Because you usually sit much closer to a monitor than a TV?

about 5 months ago
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Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

Rising Ape Re:Yes. (1216 comments)

Those that risk their savings to purse a business are entitled to a fat profit.

Why? There's nothing more virtuous about that than working as a normal employee. Less, arguably - making money using your existing money is surely less morally deserving than making money by working for it.

I'm sure you'll say that you mean to work for it too - but you must also expect profits from employing others, or you wouldn't be complaining about this proposal. And if you want to take advantage of other people's labour, you can play by the rules society gives you or go home.

about 5 months ago
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Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

Rising Ape Re:Yes. (1216 comments)

If you're employing people then the money you make is not purely your own doing, is it? And if you don't, the restriction doesn't apply. So no problem.

There's no fundamental right to a fat profit.

about 5 months ago
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Germany Finances Major Push Into Home Battery Storage For Solar

Rising Ape Re:so green (282 comments)

Energy lost in transmission is about 7%, not 50%.

about 5 months ago
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Toyota's Killer Firmware

Rising Ape Re:Technology is hard and dangerous (610 comments)

Yes, but software failures like this are a very rare cause of accidents. Vastly more common is human error, which your classic car won't help with. However when some human cockup results in a crash you'll be more likely to be injured or killed thanks to the much poorer crash safety of old cars. This will easily outweigh the tiny reduction in risk from having no software.

about 6 months ago
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Stung By Scandal, South Korea Weighs Up Cost of Curbing Nuclear Power

Rising Ape Re:Antinuclear bias stops global climate change fi (200 comments)

Imagine if you could tell your car that it only needed 30% charge during the week because you were only going back and forth to work, so the other 70% could be sold back to the grid for a profit. The car and the smart grid automatically negotiate. On Friday the car makes sure it gets up to 100% so you can take that long weekend drive.

Sell back to the grid? If I had an electric car, I wouldn't be inclined to wear out the batteries (which have a finite life in terms of number of charge cycles) doing this.I once did a back of the envelope calculation using typical lifespan data for Li-ion batteries - I'd have to sell back at a ridiculously high price to justify the loss of battery life. And even practical storage schemes like pumped storage hydro need to sell at a higher price than they buy - a cost that typically isn't included in the cost of electricity estimates of wind and solar (which is fair enough as it's too dependent on other factors, but something that needs to be considered). Moot point though, as electric cars will stay uneconomic unless there's an huge and unexpected drop in battery costs or oil prices skyrocket.

We can only predict demand for large regions, not locally.

That's all we need, thanks to the grid averaging out demand fluctuations over space. The high reliability of the current grid is evidence for that.

Thing is that is never, every does die down for hours or days. At least, not everywhere.

Really? I've seen it happen on UK grid monitoring webpages (e.g. here)- wind generation under 10% of total installed capacity for hours at a time is quite common. In fact output varies quite savagely, presumably due to the cube-law dependence of output on wind speed. People often claim that "the wind is always blowing somewhere", but the data suggests "not enough it isn't".

With something like wind and individual turbine failing will drop maybe 20MW. Wind speed changes slowly, so if it is 20 knts now it won't be less than 18 or 19 knts in 20 minutes time, giving plenty of opportunity to spool up other sources.

Which other sources though? Renewables (except hydro and biomass, which are limited) can't be spooled up, they either generate or not depending on the availability of the resource. You can predict that you won't have power, but then you need to do something about it. Turning fridges off will only help on a much shorter timescale.

In contrast, handling a power station failure is a solved problem with the existing grid, as are demand surges. Solving problems that have already been solved isn't a compelling reason for something.

about 6 months ago
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Telegraph Contributor Says Coding Is For Exceptionally Dull Weirdos

Rising Ape Re:Dull Weirdo Here (453 comments)

Any average, ordinary person would be put to sleep if you started describing what you do for a living. If a programmer has even an once of social skills, they learn to not talk about their job with the average Joe.

That's true of most jobs. How many people want to hear about the details of accountancy, plumbing, corporate law or secretarial work, for example?

about 6 months ago

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