Finland's Nuclear Plant Start Delayed Again
I worked on a competing bid for this plant from a Swedish supplier that had a track record of completing nuclear plants ahead of schedule and under budget. After loosing thst bid, the nuclear department of that company was shut down.
The same company and the Finns were also set to sign the contract for a downtown district heating nuke for Helsinki. It would have been a major success for nuclear technology. The day before the signing press conference, Chernobyl happened.
My point is that the process of bidding and bid evaluation on high priced projects is so burdened by politics, marketing hype, and luck that we might as well just flip a coin. It happens all the time that the contract is awarded to someone who can't fulfill it, while more capable suppliers are sidelined.
Securing the US Electrical Grid
If NSA has installed weaknesses and/or back doors into most commercial hardware and software globally, then everyone, Al Qaeda, as well as power companies, use the same stuff.
Ask any security manager. He'll tell you that we must assume that bad guys will eventually learn how to exploit those weaknesses and/or back doors, leaving us highly vulnerable to attack.
The Cyber Command wing of NSA has the responsibility to assure that they can successfully attack any enemy, any time. They can not know now who that future enemy might be. Therefore, the only way they can be assured of accomplishing that mission is to make sure that no computer, no IT operating anywhere on the planet is really secure. I fear that they are planting the seeds by which bad guys can attack the power grid in the future.
"MythBusters" Drops Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci
I disagree. It may be entertainment, but the show is a great model for amateur science. Being amateur does not mean it is not science.
You say, "Real scientists don't need to perform these shitty expriment and can solve the problem with basic thinking and most of the time basic arithmetic."
Wikipedia's article on the scientific method says, "To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning."
I say it is your concept of science that is flawed.
Geographic Segregation By Education
I agree with what you said kosh271 except:
1) if the population reduction is great (say 75% or more) and the need is urgent (say 50 years or less), then birth control can not possibly be adequate.
2) if birth control is inadequate or unattainable (you said it can not come to pass in your country) then what?
None of us want to advocate killing, but the next most drastic step after birth control (and maybe the next most drastic step after that) lead us to ethically taboo places that no one is willing to discuss. That suggests that our fate is demise though inaction because all suffupicientky effective actions are too drastic to consider.
Raise this subject in a room full of activists and you'll empty the room in an eye blink. No one dares to discuss it publicly.
Geographic Segregation By Education
The article only discusses domestic segregation, but the elephant in the room is national differences.
If global warming becomes as bad as they say, many heavily populated areas of the world (think India) will become too unproductive to support their population. Other areas (think Canada or Scandanavia) will become more habitable. Clearly the only humane policy will be totally open borders and to allow unlimited migration globally. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
My point is simply to mock the massive hippocracy and parochialism of western societies.
When Beliefs and Facts Collide
We've been trained to "follow the money" in all circumstances of public advocacy and to be highly suspicious of those who would befit financially. Scientists who say "increase funding for my field", or "I deserve a prize", or "better agree with this or you'll lose tenure and not get your grants approved." undermine the credibility of the whole profession.
Malpractice is what I call it when Scientists mask politics under the cloak of science. Science can speak about climate change, and perhaps about the cause. On the other hand, what to do about it (if anything) is a question of values, not science. It sounds immoral to spoil the world for our grandchildren, but that's not science. So when scientists get on the media and try to dictate what we must do about it (such as renewable energy), that's malpractice because it is a political issue not a scientific issue. When they threaten to label you as a denier if you disagree, that's even worse. When they tell the politicians to obey scientific edits or else, that's an attempt to create an uber ruling class.
My point is that much (not all but much) of the blame for cynicism goes to the scientists.
Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches
Maybe this slashdot entry really will vanish if someone files an official request to remove it to Google.
If i were Google, I would play hardball. I would not just remove the article from the search, but the whole BBC web site. That would eventually lead to removal of all court and eventually all government web sites from search engines. As the whole Internet began to go dark as seen by Europeans, it is my guess that they would relent and reverse the decision.
Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?
Line losses for electricity are in the 10% or greater range (the figure for Canada is almost 40% due to the amount of power we get from relatively remote hydroelectric facilities). So electricity and hydrogen aren't too far off-base with respect to losses.
I call bullshit. The losses are not that high.
" For example, a 100 mile 765 kV line carrying 1000 MW of power can have losses of 1.1% to 0.5%. A 345 kV line carrying the same load across the same distance has losses of 4.2%. ... Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997 and 6.5% in 2007"
I can tell you that most of those losses are in low voltage local distribution, not the long distance transmission.
You claim 40% losses from the remote hydro in Canada. James Bay alone makes 16 GW of power. 40% of that would be 8.4 GW. In order to dissipate that much power from those thin wires, the temperature of those wires would have to be hotter than the core of the sun, and it would warm up the transmission corridor to Miami Beach climate. That's nonsense.
Think of countries like Sweden and Brazil where the bulk of the power is generated thousands of miles from the consumers.
They operate without excessive losses.
Cite your sources dude.
Did the Ignition Key Just Die?
Doesn't anyone remember KISS?
If the only function was to start the car, then a simple off/acc/on switch plus a momentary button for start, is all that's needed.
If we add the requirement of anti-theft security, it gets harder. Conventional keys would suffice to lock/unlock the doors, while a button would start the car once you're inside. Who said that two levels of security are magic (1) the doors (2) the ignition switch? Why not one, or three, or four levels?
Students Remember Lectures Better Taking Notes Longhand Than Using Laptops
Ditto what Minulpa said.
Ease of handwriting is personal. Some people, like me, require intense focus to write longhand legibly. Thst means shutting out hearing what is going on while I write.
The correct answer is longhand for some, keyboards for others, and no notes for still others. Averages are as useless as an average bra size for women.
NSA Can Retrieve, Replay All Phone Calls From a Country From the Past 30 Days
Isn't anyone going to ask about the new NSA data center in Utah? It is claimed to have enough storage to save all the world's conversations for 100 years. What could NSA possibly have in mind for that?
The Billionaires Privatizing American Science
I'm sure that this news may make a lot of slashdotters uncomfortable. But I ask you to think of the alternative. They could spend their billions influencing elections. How many attack ads can you buy for $75 billion?
Here's a challenge. How should billionaires spend their money?
I'm not asking for how you would spend the billions if it was yours, nor am I interested in your concept of social justice or what is beneficial for mankind. I'm challenging you to try to imagine the world from, the billionaire's view.
NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization
15 years from now is 2029. In 2043, we are supposed to encounter Ray Kurzweil's Singularity. Those dates are awfully close from a historical perspective. If we reach The Singularity, presumably we will become smart enough to surmount problems.
Boy, what a great theme for a SF novel. A great race. Will we reach collapse or singularity first? Photo finish.
NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization
You are mostly right Peter, but continue the analysis another step. Because we are very good at finding alternatives, then we approach a point where nearly all resources reach depletion (nearly) simultaneously. The result is not just collapse, but a really devastating collapse. Worse, post collapse recovery will be greatly hindered by a resource starved world.
In terms of mitigatation, it would be better if we were no so adaptive and good at finding alternatives. Instead of a collapse, we might have a series of crises instead that would throttle down growth.
Drone Pilot Wins Case Against FAA
A manufacturer of toy planes who test flies one before sale, is doing it commercially.
A retailer of rubber band powered balsa gliders who flies a demo inside his store is flying it doing it commercially.
A kid's video of his Xmas present balsa glider flying past the Xmas tree, and posted on YouTube with ads is commercial flying.
Strict interpretation of the FAA's words lead to horrible absurdities.
Horribles are what lawyers use to get laws stricken down by courts.
People who write regulations need to temper zeal with reason.
Schneier: Break Up the NSA
I work in critical infrastructure protection CIP (the power grid). My nightmare is the back doors that NSA may have inserted in our systems.
Why would NSA do that? Because terrorists might get jobs at CIP companies and use their systems to communicate with other terrorists. Also because NSA can't selectively insert back doors only in the systems of bad guys. They do it by compromising any and all systems globally.
What is the problem for me? If a back door exists, then I must assume that it is only a matter of time before bad guys discover it and exploit it. The back doors become the biggest threat vector we face.
Why can't I just find and close those back doors? Because utilities have a long tradition of sharing information. If I learn how to make our stuff secure against NSA back doors, that information my get transferred overseas to institutions that NSA's cyberwar branch may wish to target. Private possession of knowledge of anti-NSA protection becomes a threat to national security in NSA's view.
The same government that demands to be my partner in making the grid secure, is also invested in making sure that it can never be secure. The government's conflict of interest is horrible.
FCC Wants To Trial Shift From Analog Phone Networks To Digital
Some states, such as Conneticut, require that "lifeline" POTS must have better than 0.99999 availability. Think of the need to call 911 during a blackout. They key to achieving that has always been the electric power supply. POTS networks did that by supplying an average of 2 watts per subscriber via the copper wires, independent of the power grid.
In a VOIP network, you could still have copper wires for the last mile, and I guess still use less than 2 watts per user. But the digital circuit design to pass the power through coulda be tricky. 2 watts per user, 2 KW per 1000 users, 2 MW per million users. It isn't impossible, just damn difficult.
I don't believe that the FCC has the authority to override these state requirements.
Does anyone know what their plans are for availability?
Have a Privacy-Invasion Wishlist? Peruse NSA's Top Secret Catalog
TFA does not give a link to this so-called catalog. Does anyone here have the link?
ITER Fusion Reactor On Track To Generating Power By 2028
It takes more than science to make a power plant. It takes engineering too.
I heard that one must deal with temperature gradients as high as 1 million degrees C per meter to extract the power from a tokamak.
500 MW electric means 1000-1500 MW thermal. That's a lot of power. If it is radiated in a small volume, the power density is sky high.
Is anyone at ITER even working on that problem? There is no guarantee that it is solvable.
U.S. Gov't Still Fighting the Man Behind Buckyballs; Guess Who's Winning?
Corporate personhood is *not* a good thing, no matter what you corporate sycophants think. Elevating a corporation to the same level in the law as an individual is a recipe for abuse, and it's rife in the USA.
Corporations should have a set of *limited* and *enumerated* rights that are secondary to individuals, not personhood.
And, yes, there is a reason corporate personhood exists... it's because robber barons in the 1800s wanted that way. Corporate rights aren't sent to us by God.
I read somewhere that if corporations were not persons, then they could not be sued. IANAL but I think I see the logic. Can the defendant or plaintiff in a lawsuit be anything other than "a person?" Albeit an abstract person.
Be careful before you retort with "sure, why not?" We could end up sinking the courts with infinite suits pitting machines against machines. My PC wants to sue your iPad.
No doubt some Slashdotter will contradict me, but I'll say that all laws apply only to "people." Only "people" can own anything. How could it ever be different?