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Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly

Waffle Iron Re:Glad society is stable for that long (217 comments)

Second, people can read signs even after revolutions. If you put "severe radiation, stay out" on a concrete building, it'll be fine.

An additional advantage to those signs is that in a dystopian future, the terrorists are usually the good guys. The info will help direct those good guys to where they can find materials helpful in the fight against evil governments.

3 days ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

Waffle Iron Re:Isn't "Cutting the Wind" cheating? (254 comments)

It's not cheating if it's part of the strategy of the event. See also: NASCAR, speed skating, bicycle racing, etc. It just means that in addition to raw speed, the runner needs to effectively manage the interactions with other runners.

At any rate, this arbitrary milestone would have been achieved long ago if the wavelength of light emitted by exited caesium 133 atoms were only a tiny fraction of a percent longer.

about two weeks ago
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A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

Waffle Iron Re:Distance and Charge Time (174 comments)

I can't wait for to be woken at 5 AM when the turbine generator fires up outside my bedroom window ;(

The garbage trucks active at wee hours are usually emptying dumpsters. The engine noise is least of your worries compared to the sound of them slamming a half ton steel box up over the truck then down onto the pavement.

As a former weekly 3:00am victim of this practice at an apartment I used to rent, I think that operating any garbage truck between 11:00pm and 6:00am should be made into a felony.

about two weeks ago
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Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

Waffle Iron Re:Time to retire bash! (329 comments)

Python? You serious? Bye bye one liners with for loops or anything else. I really doubt anyone wants to have pretty code enforced on them for something as simple as iterating through a few numbers one time, ever.

$ python -c 'for x in range(3): print "One"; print "Liner!"'

about three weeks ago
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Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?

Waffle Iron Re:No, who cares? (267 comments)

A single human on Mars could do in a week more than every previous rover on mars put together has accomplished to date.

Sure. And at only 100X the cost of all those missions, it would be such a bargain.

about three weeks ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Waffle Iron Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (602 comments)

I was looking at LED replacement bulbs at the hardware store the other day ($20 each). I am suspect as to their efficiency.

Get a Kill-A-Watt meter and test the power consumption of LEDs youself. All the ones I've checked have used just about exactly what it says on the package.

They have large heat sinks on the which get very hot. That is wasted energy.

They have heat sinks because the LEDs need to stay very cool to work properly. Incandecent bulbs don't use heat sinks because they need to heat up to thousands of degrees just to get a small fraction of the photons they emit into the visible range. Now which do you think is wasting more energy?

There is no way to pack an efficient transformer into such a small space.

I doubt that any CFL or LED on the market is using a plain 60Hz transformer. They're using switching power supplies, which can be very efficient. That's becuase they crank the frequency up to a range where a small transformer *is* efficient.

Houses need wired seperately with a lower voltage appropriate for powering LED lights.

You'd still need a switching power supply to match the low voltage to the exact needs and wiring pattern of the particular LEDs. That's why most every PC have a separate power supply on the motherboard just inches away from the main power supply to convert 5VDC to whatever the processor needs.

Not to mention the power loss of low-voltage wires. If you put 100W of LED lights (about 6 bulbs) in a room at the end of a 50-foot run at 5V, you'd be pulling 20 amps. If you used 14AWG wire, at 0.25 ohms for the 100 foot round trip, you'd have a 5V voltage drop just from the resistance of the wire. You would also be violating code, which would require you to install a dedicated 12AWG circuit just to power 100W. That's obviously completely unworkable.

In summary, all of your uninformed "gut feel" opinions on these technical issues are unsurprisingly wrong.

about three weeks ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Waffle Iron Re:Plain solar panels cost less (268 comments)

Look at the frigging picture in the article. This thing is to be built like a radio telescope, probably with a price tag to match.

about three weeks ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Waffle Iron Re:Plain solar panels cost less (268 comments)

which would also be used on PV

No, most PV panels are flat and fixed in place.

about a month ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Waffle Iron Re:Plain solar panels cost less (268 comments)

It says it's parabolic right in the summary.

TFA shows a parabolic dish made of smaller mirrors. Those mirrors may look flat, but there's no way that they get "2000X" solar concentration unless each individual mirror is also precisely curved.

The whole setup looks far more expensive than conventional solar panels of the same area, or even a larger set of solar collectors capable of gathering the same amount of energy.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Waffle Iron Re:This has nothing to do with wasting food (385 comments)

Actually, as soon as the garbage men show up, it's the governemnt's trash. I don't see why they shouldn't be free to do whatever they want with their property.

If it's the government's trash, why are they threatening ME with a fine if THEIR trash has too much food waste in it?

Because you have an agreement with the government that they will take possession of some types of your undesirable property in exchange for fixed fee. Part of the agreement is that different types of undesirable materials have to be segregated in order to reduce overall costs, direct and external. You did not properly segregate the materials as specified under the agreement, and therefore pay a specified surcharge. Presumably, this surcharge helps the government offset the cost of having to build a new landfill earlier because the current one is filled up with your otherwise compostable food waste.

Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to segreagate your waste according to the government's specifications. You're always free to load your garbage in your car, find a privately run landfill who will accept it as-is, and bring it there.

about a month ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

Waffle Iron Re:Plain solar panels cost less (268 comments)

Mirrors are a whole lot cheaper than PVs.

Flat mirrors, maybe. Parabolic mirrors on gimbals with sun tracking mechanisms, maybe not so much.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Waffle Iron Re:This has nothing to do with wasting food (385 comments)

Nobody can stop you from discreetly handing your bags of spoiled food over to a man who pulls up to your front door in an unmarked service vehicle.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Waffle Iron Re:This has nothing to do with wasting food (385 comments)

other blatant examples of government micromanagement (like looking through your trash)

Actually, as soon as the garbage men show up, it's the governemnt's trash. I don't see why they shouldn't be free to do whatever they want with their property.

If you don't like the government's terms of service, you're always free to hire a private firm to come in an unmarked van and discreetly take away your food waste.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Waffle Iron Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (385 comments)

Get them in season (early winter months), still on the stalk, and cook them properly (refer to the Good Eats episode on Brussels sprouts, for exmaple). There will still be some variations in quality based on the exact batch you have, but the best vegetables I've ever eaten have been when I found particularly good stalks of Brussel sprouts.

about a month ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Waffle Iron Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Your statement should apply equally to pedestrians and cyclists. However, pedestrians aren't the ones arguing that they'd be safer walking down the middle of the road than on the sidewalk.

Neither cyclists nor pedestrians travel down the middle of the road.

Because most pedestrians that are hit by an automobile are not on the sidewalk, they're in the road.

As I said, only a small fraction of cyclists are hit while traveling down the road not near an intersection.

At an intersection, by definition, YOU'RE IN THE ROAD, whether you had been on a sidewalk or not. Now read that last sentence again, because you seem to be incapable of understanding that simple geometric fact.

The issue is that motorists rarely look for objects moving faster than 0.5mph coming from a sidewalk. Maybe instead of making cyclists stop and dismount at every goddamned driveway as you want, we should address the original source of the risk and institute a nationwide comprehensive 15 mph speed limit.

I never suggested they didn't get killed by cars all the time. I said they manage to handle intersections just fine. That is, with an acceptable surivaval rate.

Where did you come up with that idea? Pedestrians are routinely killed at intersections, coming from sidewalks. Where do you get the idea that that's acceptable?

I don't hear nearly as much whining from pedestrians rights groups as I do from cyclists rights groups, so I assume that pedestrians have greater success in intersections than cyclists do. Of course, it's possible that cyclists are more whiney. Could go either way.

Maybe they're whiny because they hear unsubstantiated crap like this all the time from ill-informed people like you.

about a month ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Waffle Iron Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Somehow pedestrians manage to handle intersections just fine, all while staying on sidewalks and crosswalks. Perhaps if navigating intersections is too challenging on a bicycle, one might dismount and walk the bike cross?

Pedestrians get killed by cars all the time. Please stop talking out of your ass.

about a month ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Waffle Iron Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Yet only something like 5% of bike injuries involve being rear-ended by cars on roads.

Almost all other cases would involve intersections of some sort, where being on the sidewalk doesn't help or is counterproductive. You're still vulnerable to the high-speed cars while crossing roads, and you're more likely to collide because they're not looking at where you're coming from.

about a month and a half ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Waffle Iron Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

If we could only arrange for every segment of every bike trip to enjoy a 3% downhill grade, a stiff tail wind, 40 degF dewpoint and partly cloudy skies, then almost nobody would even bother to buy a car.

about a month and a half ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Waffle Iron Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

You are not kept away from cars on a sidewalk.

Since drivers rarely look for traffic on sidewalks as they go in and out of driveways and side streets, you run a high risk of getting run over at every curb cut. At least when you're on the road, drivers usually see you when they bother to glance up from their cellphones.

about a month and a half ago

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