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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Rising Ape Re: American car companies... (413 comments)

I'm from Europe myself (well, Britain), so I know about the kind of models we get. It's not clear what "fault rate" means - does this refer to number of faults discovered at legally required inspections (like the UK MOT)? A simple percentage is a bit vague as it doesn't give any indication of how costly the faults are to fix.

I was basing my original comments partly from the figures from here,as that tries to take into account cost of repairs too.

3 days ago
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Microsoft Considered Renaming Internet Explorer To Escape Its Reputation

Rising Ape Re: American car companies... (413 comments)

Do you have a link to those statistics? I'd genuinely like to know, because everything I've seen suggests that the German brands are not as good as Ford for reliability these days. Especially BMW, which may be nice to drive but can have some expensive problems (cooling systems that break after 60k miles, high pressure fuel pumps, diesel engine swirl flaps which can come loose and destroy the entire engine...). The Japnnese brands are typically better than both though.

It's debatable to what extent Ford of Europe can be considered American cars anyway - they have traditionally had completely different models and manufacturing plants.

3 days ago
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Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear fanbois (435 comments)

mdsolar accusing someone else of being a fanboy. Now I've seen it all.

3 days ago
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Gas Cooled Reactors Shut Down In UK

Rising Ape Re:not big in UK (120 comments)

Especially in this case since Windscale was also gas-cooled.

Air-cooled. Which is indeed a gas, but very different to the CO2-cooled reactors described here. Windscale was an air-cooled, open-loop plutonium production reactor designed in the 1940s. It didn't generate electricity and has very little relation to the later electricity-generating reactors.

about two weeks ago
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I'd most like to (personally) explore:

Rising Ape Re:Jungles, but I'm too scared (246 comments)

In the UK there is pretty much nothing that can hurt you by way of flora and fawna (bee stings and bramble prickles aside).

Well, someone got repeatedly bitten by an adder recently. But given that he'd apparently picked up... well there's just no helping some people, is there?

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Not unheard of (442 comments)

I didn't complain about them, I was making a more general point. Jealousy is indeed not a good reason to stop someone from earning money, but accusations of jealousy are often used to stifle legitimate complaints about wealth distribution in the world. Few people would expect everyone to be paid the same, but having CEOs earning 1000 times an average employee is hardly reasonable either, given that that money only exists thanks to the work of those lower down. It's not jealousy to question that.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Not unheard of (442 comments)

Unequality is not a bad thing - it's natural

Most wealth inequality is far from natural - it's the result of it being easier to get more money when you already have it, thus favouring those from wealthy backgrounds. It's no more natural than the old feudal system, where those who inherited land and titles had the power.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Rising Ape Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

True, but it certainly doesn't sound like natural laughter. What's the betting they manipulate the laughs a lot - increasing the amount, adding them where there weren't any before, etc.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

Power purchase agreement prices are not the whole story as they ignore the effects of any extra, separate subsidies (such as the federal tax credit for wind). If the PPA was the whole story, why is there such a large variation (factor of 3) in prices for the same year? The nuclear price is an "all-in" levelised cost of electricity (plus an element of profit for EDF) - the relevant comparison is to the equivalent for wind, which your own link shows to be $80 to $100 per MWh. Unless the Energy Information Administration have got it wrong, but I trust them more than the AWEA's carefully selected figures. Would you trust nuclear figures from Areva?

And as I said before, what they can *sell* power for isn't necessarily what it costs to produce. Germany often now has negative wholesale electricity prices - is that because they can genuinely afford to pay people to take it away? No, it's because they get a separate feed in tariff for anything produced. There are many factors determining the sale price, which is why I'm trying to compare based on the actual costs of installation. And that shows nowhere near as rosy a picture as you're trying to paint.

With the cost of wind falling, the fairer comparison would be for future wind PPA's where we might see a factor of 12 or 14 rather than seven.

Can I borrow your crystal ball when you've finished with it? Your own link shows that the cost does *not* consistently fall - there's a significant increase from 2000-2008, for example. There's a recent fall since that peak, but if it went up before it can do so again.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

Your link shows a chart (under "Cost of New Generation Resources") which gives the cost of wind power as 4 to 5 times the figure Amory Lovins was presumably working from. Not sure how that's supposed to be proving me wrong.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

If you think there's a flaw in them - or you know of somewhere where you can install wind for about $500 per kW - then please feel free to point it out. Your profile says you're an astronomer, so finding the flaws in such a simple calculation shouldn't be too hard for you.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

Lovins does seem to have his facts straight on wind and nuclear costs that you object to taking 1.68 dollars to the pound we get about 2.3 cents/kWh which is mid-range for recent wind contracts in the Midwest.

In which case that's the amount they can sell the power for, not the amount it costs to produce. 2.3 cents per kWh -> $200 per year at 100% capacity factor, $60 per year at a more realistic one, implying a needed installed cost of ~ $600 per kW to get a commercially acceptable rate of return. With maintenance costs, that'll need to be much lower still.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Waste disposal not included (343 comments)

A leak - even a big leak - isn't exactly "blowing up" though is it? That phrase implies severe (irreparable) damage, possible injuries and a big release of radioactive material.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

That looks like yet another vague non-technical report lacking in quantitative analysis.

Nevertheless, after skimming through it it disagrees with your claim that "the need for storage is a myth". For example, on page xviii:

"Some key technologies, which are critical for deep decarbonization in all DDPs, are not yet technically mature or economically affordable. They include:
Advanced energy storage, flexible load management, and integrated portfolio design for balancing power systems with high penetrations of variable renewable energy"

And you also might not like page 166:

"To be realistic, nuclear power and fossil-fuel power generation with CCS each offer the largest scope for decarbonization of the energy system to 2050."

I've found it impossible to take Lovins seriously since he claimed that UK new nuclear cost was seven times that for wind in the US - for that to be true, you'd need to build, install and maintain a wind farm while selling the power it makes for 2 cents per kWh. That's either just plain lying or, if he truly believes it, a sign that he hasn't checked his facts carefully. Or indeed at all.

about two weeks ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

Rising Ape Re:Nuclear power is in decline (343 comments)

Do you have anything from a credible source (such as a recognised scientific or engineering journal)? Or is all you can do to link to the website of a self-promoter with no industrial experience and a history of lying like Amory Lovins?

about two weeks ago
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Switching From Microsoft Office To LibreOffice Saves Toulouse 1 Million Euros

Rising Ape Re:sure, works for France (296 comments)

Without laws and regulations it is up to you to negotiate. With the laws and regulations it is already negotiated for you, you have no choice but to accept part of your compensation in vacation/sick days rather than in hourly wage.

And without the laws and regulations I have no choice but to accept sod all holiday time because employers won't budge on the issue. The average person's negotiating power is minuscule compared to a big company.

Before health and safety laws workers got killed on the job all the time, and the attitude was largely "there's lots of desperate workers, they can be easily replaced". If a safe working environment was beyond the power of the little people to negotiate, what chance a less serious matter like holidays?

about a month ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Rising Ape Re:Advantages? (146 comments)

The fact that someone bothered to make uPnP suggests that there's a need for this capability for average users. Things such as voip, gaming, exchanging files - if you can't have peer-to-peer connections, you're reliant on big centralised services for all of these things. Granted, we seem to have gone down that path already (perhaps driven in no small part by the prevalence of NAT), and these services may have a place, but do we want it to be *all* there is to the internet?

As for your second point - well, Microsoft seem to have managed it, and if they can surely anyone can. I accidentally left my Windows box connected to the internet without an external firewall for a few months with no ill effects. That would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

about a month ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Rising Ape Re:Advantages? (146 comments)

And if your use case includes one of those legitimate reasons, then it's your responsibility to know enough about security to configure the firewall. It is fundamentally impossible for there to be a safe alternative to this!

Do you really expect the average user to know about IPs, ports, TCP/UDP etc.? That's not very realistic. I don't agree that a safe alternative is impossible - there's no magic power that packets have to hack a computer. Any failings are due to poorly written software.

If an application doesn't need to listen for connections, it shouldn't open a port. A firewall won't make any difference here.
If an application does need to listen for connections the firewall will need to let them through. Again, the firewall doesn't help - at least not at the level of sophistication you'd see in a home router's firewall.

about a month ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

Rising Ape Re:Advantages? (146 comments)

The problem with that is how many home users know how to configure the firewall? There are legitimate reasons to have incoming connections. Unless you want to reinvent uPnP for v6, but that would be needlessly complex and probably have security flaws of its own.

Frankly there's no excuse for any modern software to be vulnerable even if connected directly to the internet with no firewall. This isn't 2003 any more, and in any case it's commonplace for computers to be connected to all sorts of untrusted networks such as public wifi. So anything that assumes "a firewall will take care of it" is utterly irresponsible.

about a month ago
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White House Approves Sonic Cannons For Atlantic Energy Exploration

Rising Ape Scary name (272 comments)

"Sonic cannon"? Nice bit of hyperbole. Everyone else just calls them airguns.

That ~ 250 dB @ 1m is a bit misleading. It won't be that loud at 1m because airgun arrays are not point sources. Additionally, there shouldn't be anything that close as it's standard practice to start at a lower amplitude and ramp up slowly. The amplitude falls off with distance quite quickly.

This technology has been in widespread use for decades.

about a month ago

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