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New Sunlight Reactor Produces Fuel

StellarFury Re:Why bother? (269 comments)

I wouldn't say horribly inefficient. Most polycrystalline silicon cells get 12-15%, which isn't too bad. Some research groups have made PV cells that get 40-60%. The problem is that they don't do direct fuel conversion - you have to then use the electricity to do electrolysis or drive other chemical processes, which are inevitably going to be lossy. So you get 12-15%, run it through two or three processes that are 10-50% efficient, and suddenly you have 1% or less solar-to-fuel efficiency. Which, yeah, totally sucks.

And solar concentrators take a ton of space. This process runs at 1500 celsius or higher, so you can't just do it in a trough. You need a tower or dish system, which take up huge amounts of space.

more than 3 years ago
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New Sunlight Reactor Produces Fuel

StellarFury Re:Renewable Energy (269 comments)

Renewable on Earth's timescale. Long before the sun runs out of fusable material, it will probably turn into a red giant and devour all the inner planets, Earth included.

And if we manage to go colonize other planets, they'll probably have stars too, which we can also use "solar" technology to extract useful work. The method is renewable until the universe ends, as long as you're within reasonable distance of a star. Your argument is purely semantic, and you should probably stop getting pissed off about it.

more than 3 years ago
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Lord of the Rings Online To Go Free-To-Play

StellarFury Re:Validation or desperation? (138 comments)

And here's the other issue: for your non-paying user to gain those items, or items of equal power, the structure typically requires that user spend a prohibitive number of hours grinding menial tasks.

So either you waste your money on virtual merchandise to stand a fighting chance or you waste every bit of your free time not having fun in order to (theoretically) make the game fun.

Fuck MMOs.

more than 4 years ago
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Re-Engineering the Immune System

StellarFury Re:I was under the impression (175 comments)

Your impression was very, very wrong. Not only can we see most disease-causing agents with electron microscopes, we have X-ray and/or NMR crystal structures of a huge number of viruses - meaning we know, down to a "where each individual atom is" level of accuracy, what these things look like.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

StellarFury Re:Fair Use? (527 comments)

Can you get the death sentence for rape? No. Sorry to burn down your straw man.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

StellarFury Re:Fair Use? (527 comments)

What I'm condoning is the sequestration - the removal and subsequent isolation - of someone who has willingly forfeited the right to participate in society. If the sequestration is being stuck in a tiny box full of rape for 44 years, so be it.

I know this is going to make me sound like some sort of wannabe hardcore high schooler with a trenchcoat, but seriously, I think the Saints said it best:

"Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal. These are principles which every man of every faith can embrace! These are not polite suggestions. These are codes of behavior and those of you that ignore them will pay the dearest cost!"

That's all I'm saying. We're talking about rape and murder - in most cases, especially this one, these actions are indefensible. Of course there can be mitigating circumstances, and the court should take them into account more than they do. But not with this case.

more than 4 years ago
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Former Congressman Learns About Streisand Effect

StellarFury Re:Fair Use? (527 comments)

That's just... really off-base. I think your opinion constitutes a very, very small minority. For most people, rape and murder are the big unforgivable crimes. They're the absolute violation/nullification of others' rights. And they deserve to be punished as such.

more than 4 years ago
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Broadband Rights & the Killer App of 1900

StellarFury Re:That's a very US-centric view (565 comments)

In Europe, your countries tend to be roughly the size of a larger state in the US. You simply don't have the same geographic and logistic issues of deploying infrastructure that exist in the US.

more than 4 years ago
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DVRs Help Some TV Shows Improve Ratings

StellarFury Re:Over enthusiastic conclusions (297 comments)

Except that only 45% of people (or less) give two shits about commericals. I don't think DVR is devaluing ad time, rather, it's revealing the actual value of ad time - the number of people who aren't tuning out their commericals.

I'm not sure that DVR is burning down content provider's homes. It's more like doing an audit on a $250,000 home and discovering, due to structural damage, it's only worth $125,000.

more than 4 years ago
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DVRs Help Some TV Shows Improve Ratings

StellarFury Re:Really? (297 comments)

The point he was making was that technologies the RIAA/MPAA are afraid of actually end up making them money, which does make sense in this context. All the questions posed were sarcastically rhetorical, not literal.

Please read comment before posting reply. Thank you, come again.

more than 4 years ago
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The Medical Benefits of Carbon Monoxide

StellarFury Re:In a word no (177 comments)

All right, how about drinking alcohol? How about eating red meat? How about veganism?

All of these things carry risks. Secondhand smoke can be dealt with through appropriate legislation (which in a number of cities, it has). If there are people still willing to risk their lives for a few puffs, who the hell are you to say they can't?

I'm not a smoker, but I'll be damned if we need to add yet another piece of legislation that removes personal freedoms in favor of keeping a few idiots who can't read warning labels safe.

more than 4 years ago
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Student Loan Interest Rankles College Grads

StellarFury Re:All mine were cheap! (1259 comments)

Having met a large number of history and philosophy majors, I can tell you that they are no more politically and/or civically informed or capable than the average engineering or physics major.

It is not the field of study that counts for "an informed citizenry." The seeds for "informed and capable" are sown well before high school. The prejudice against arts & humanities majors isn't because those fields are less important, but because those fields have made more allowances for jackasses who don't belong in college, and permit the graduation of citizens who are not informed or capable and will never be, thanks to the indoctrination in the culture of "know-nothing" by their parents and early teachers.

Also, please refrain from implying that us lowly widget-makers are somehow beneath the likes of Al Gore. By claiming science lobbyists as more important than actual researchers, you demean the work of thousands upon thousands of scientists actually producing the technology required to combat climate change.

more than 4 years ago
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The Medical Benefits of Carbon Monoxide

StellarFury Re:Cigarettes (177 comments)

It's called morphine, jackass.

more than 4 years ago
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The Medical Benefits of Carbon Monoxide

StellarFury Re:In a word no (177 comments)

Carcinogens have no real safe levels to the EPA and FDA. Because we still don't know enough about the biochemistry behind tumorigenesis, it's impossible to give an absolute measurement of "safe levels." That's why the government regulators say "there is no safe level," because they don't know what is and isn't safe.

I agree with you about smoking being stupid and dangerous, but really, your post is a bunch of emotional knee-jerk nonsense. People who want to smoke will smoke. Are you now going to tell everyone that they should stop driving because the risk of being horribly mutilated or killed is never zero unless you're not driving?

more than 4 years ago
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The Medical Benefits of Carbon Monoxide

StellarFury Re:Gee whiz! (177 comments)

The definition of homeopathy is that the harm of a given compound is inversely related to its concentration, and once you reduce the concentration far enough, it starts having therapeutic effects. So, most homeopathic "drugs" are something like 1 ppm of a compound in water. This does not count as a "dose" by any stretch of the imagination, as 1 ppm is probably less than what's already present in your body as trace compounds.

more than 4 years ago
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IBM, Intel Execs Arrested Over Insider Trading

StellarFury Re:Corrupt Complete. (198 comments)

You're both idiots. You're responding to posts assuming a definition of the word that is not the definition the parent was using. I know context is a real subtle thing, but really, you should try paying attention to it. It'll help.

(For reference, the above text is elitist.)

more than 4 years ago
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Getting Students To Think At Internet Scale

StellarFury Re:Data management problem (98 comments)

Clarification: the headline says "students" in science need to learn to think in internet-scale terms. This is clearly, clearly false, and bordering on stupid. There's no reason a chemist, biologist, or physicist needs internet-scale data sets if the systems they study are simply not that large.

The summary says computer scientists, which I only partially buy. Again, you have to be working in a field that uses those data sets. If you aren't, then what does all your upscaling knowledge do for you? Diddly. Basically, if you're a star person, a protein person, or a particle person, then you need this. If you aren't, you don't.

more than 4 years ago
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"Father of Fiber Optics" Wins Nobel Prize

StellarFury Re:Why so long? (74 comments)

20-30 != 43. The criticism is valid, this is an old (even by Nobel standards), really important piece of research that should have been recognized 10 years ago.

more than 4 years ago
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Creating a Quantum Superposition of Living Things

StellarFury Re:Sure they're alive (321 comments)

Wrong. Reproduction is only one of the criteria for determining if something is alive or not.

The others include:

Detection of and response to stimuli
Growth/Life cycle
Organization
Metabolism
Homeostasis

Viruses fail to carry out the last two. Which makes it not alive - but not dead either.

about 5 years ago
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Creating a Quantum Superposition of Living Things

StellarFury Physicists Don't Understand Biology (321 comments)

Last time I checked (admittedly, that was five years ago in AP Bio), viruses still didn't fit biology's qualifications for life. They don't maintain homeostasis. Viruses aren't "alive." You can't really quantify if an virus is alive or dead - only "active" or "dormant."

Let me put it to you theoretical types in your own language. The virus ALREADY exists in a superposition of states - those of "alive" and "dead" - and you can't collapse that wavefunction until biology solves the Schroedinger Virus Equation for the system.

about 5 years ago

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