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Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

balsy2001 Re:Yes, trust the UN (367 comments)

The individuals that make up the working groups are PhDs from a number of universities around the world. The co-chair of working group I is a guy from China (you would think they have a reason not to want global warming). You also seem to be missing the difference between what is happening and what the solution is. The wealth transfer to poor countries doesn't have to be the solution to the fact that global warming is real.

about a year and a half ago
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Observed Atmospheric CO2 Hits 400 Parts Per Million

balsy2001 Re: Hydrogen Sulfide (367 comments)

And I wonder how many of the people making claims on here are actually climatologists. I am not and since I don't think there is a giant conspiracy of climatologists, I take my cues about global warming from the IPCC (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml). Even though I am not a climatologist, I can read, and the IPCC 4th assessment report agrees with you.

about a year and a half ago
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3D-Printed Gun May Be Unveiled Soon

balsy2001 Re:then he's going to get sued to oblivion (625 comments)

He will go to jail before he gets sued, unless he possesses a Type 7 FFL. Making guns is illegal unless you have the proper licensees.

about a year and a half ago
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3D-Printed Gun May Be Unveiled Soon

balsy2001 Re:Barrel and slide/bolt too? (625 comments)

The more interesting part of this development is the possibility to make receivers on your printer. For example, the only federally controlled part on an AR-15 is the lower receiver. Every other part can be bought with no paper work (e.g., barrels, triggers, upper receivers, stocks, optics,...). There are already production models that use polymers. Factories that do this type of stuff require an FFL (federal firearms license) for manufacture of weapons. If you can do it in your house all the rules are out the door (legally you are also supposed to have the FFL, but...). You can make the receivers and buy the rest of the parts with cash for a fully untraceable gun. Another interesting point is that there are only very small difference between fully automatic versions and semi-automatic versions of the AR-15, if you can make the receiver at your house you could make a full auto version.

about a year and a half ago
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Laser Fusion's Brightest Hope

balsy2001 Re:Totally unworkable (115 comments)

I am not saying the estimates are wrong, but I take these types of estimates with a grain of salt. People have been warning about the end of oil for decades and saying peak oil is not far off. The problem is that these predictions are inherently based on proven reserves. In oil, as the demand increases (and hence the price and profit), companies start looking harder for more. In oil they historically keep finding it. The same may not be true for Uranium, but there is a decent chance there is more uranium out there than people think. All that being said, I am a big fan of breeder reactors. Thorium Breeder reactors are NOT experimental and have been used in commercial pressurized water reactors (LWBR http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shippingport_Atomic_Power_Station and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breeder_reactor) that put electricity on the grid (about 60MWe). Non-throium breeders have also been run that are liquid sodium fast reactors (EBRII http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBRII) which produced 20MWe. You may be confusion these technologies with liquid flouride throrium reactors (LFTR).

about a year and a half ago
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Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

balsy2001 E-books (648 comments)

I wouldn't be surprised to see a bigger push towards e-books. That is a way around the "problem" for the publishers.

about a year and a half ago
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Technology To Detect Alzheimer's Takes SXSW Prize

balsy2001 100% accuracy? (81 comments)

Not quite in line with the data. FTFA "Kaplan said 100 percent of subjects who scored below 50 percent on the test have gone to receive an Alzheimer's diagnosis within six years, while none of those who scored above 67 have developed Alzheimer's." This doesn't equate to 100% accuracy. What happens between 50 and 67%? Plus it doesn't say what the sample size is. Is it 1, 10, 100, 1000? Some more robust statistics would have been nice. They were probably trying to keep it simple instead of confusing people with 99/99, but they could have said "approaching 100%".

about a year and a half ago
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Global Warming Has Made the North Greener

balsy2001 Re:More green? (398 comments)

I guess I could see how a certain world view might cause you to incorrectly say that about the second book (guns germs and steel), but you clearly have not read Collapse. Collapse talks at length about how many white and non-white civilizations/societies have collapsed, barely escaped, or are on the edge now.

about a year and a half ago
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Global Warming Has Made the North Greener

balsy2001 Re:More green? (398 comments)

A book called COLLAPSE by Jared Diamond goes into some good detail about the viking settlements and the conditions that allowed their society to survive and then collapse. The rest of the book discusses other societies that collapse and the reasons. Interesting read if you like the subject. His other book (Guns Germs and Steel) is also very good.

about a year and a half ago
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Adjusting to Google Glass May Be Hard

balsy2001 Re:AH-64 Apache Helicopter (154 comments)

It is very common for competition shooters to put a barrier in front of one eye while focusing on the target with the other (I don't find that it take conscious effort, and I only shoot like this randomly as I am not a competition shooter). This keeps them from having to have one eye closed for long periods which gets tiring. In the case of a shooter, your brain just forgets about the other eye while in that situation. If I place my finger close enough to my eye that the other one can't see it, I can't focus on it regardless of effort because it is too close. With shooting you are focusing on the farther object and forgetting the closer (and the barrier is far to close to focus on anyway), maybe that is an important distinction.

about a year and a half ago
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Adjusting to Google Glass May Be Hard

balsy2001 Re:AH-64 Apache Helicopter (154 comments)

You may be saying this but for those unfamiliar with the set up, see the third picture in this link and the description (http://science.howstuffworks.com/apache-helicopter5.htm). It works with a monocular lens, the left eye never gets covered nor has the projected image.

about a year and a half ago
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Adjusting to Google Glass May Be Hard

balsy2001 AH-64 Apache Helicopter (154 comments)

The Target Acquisition and Designation Sights, Pilot Night Vision System (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Acquisition_and_Designation_System,_Pilot_Night_Vision_System) for the AH-64 uses a single eye piece. So it seems like this type of thing can and has been done (and this one is pretty cool, it tracks the head movements of the pilot and points the 50 caliber cannon where he/she looks). The single eye piece doesn't seem to cause problems for the pilots that use these systems. Not saying I am interested in Google Glass, but they should have been able to figure out the problem discussed in the TFA.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Identity Theft Attempt In Progress; How To Respond?

balsy2001 Re:Don't just sit on your hands... (239 comments)

Plus once you file the police report and are a suspect of identity theft you can freeze your credit for free (usually it costs up to $10 per agency per person depending on the state you live in). Freezing your credit is easy to do and essentially eliminates the possibility of someone starting credit in your name (unless they break into your house and take the codes you printed from the three credit bureaus after freezing your credit). There is a guide to freezing your credit on the website of a financial podcast I listen too (http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/personal-finance-credit/credit-freeze-and-thaw-guide/nFbL/). You can also check on your credit for free once each year at the following website https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp (I recommend checking one of the three every 4 months).

about 2 years ago
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U.S. Reps Chu and Coble Start Intellectual Property Caucus

balsy2001 I love good music (150 comments)

And good films. However, it is only possible to make money on those when people in other industries are employed and have disposable income. These jobs are secondary effects of others having money to spend on them. It is maslow's hierarchy of needs, if everyone else is broke they can't and won't buy the media. Some will turn to piracy and some will just do without. You can't create jobs or support an economy with a circle of media industry workers buying each others stuff. By necessity there needs to be other people involved. If the law makers wanted to help, they would work on improving the economy. With more disposable income in the hands of the masses, media sales would increase. If the media industry wanted to help they could improve the quality of their product and/or lower prices (I feel like there is not nearly as many good movies any more, but maybe it is just because I am getting older). While "strengthening" the IP protections of artists may prevent some people from pirating media, I don't think this is the big problem. I'm not sure I know any adults in the work force that pirate stuff. Most just buy the things that they think are worth the price and don't bother with the other stuff.

about 2 years ago
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NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor

balsy2001 Re:Chart of the nuclides (368 comments)

I am used to just calling it KAPL (I worked in the "program" too) but got to typing quickly. Did you know the authors?

about 2 years ago
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NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor

balsy2001 Re:Chart of the nuclides (368 comments)

I missed Ni64, thanks. But it isn't obvious that it is a better choice that Ni62. Ni62 has a larger neutron cross section and higher abundance than Ni64. But who knows if cross section means anything in this scenario, especially after you hit this stuff with 30THz.

about 2 years ago
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New Process Takes Energy From Coal Without Burning It

balsy2001 Re:Bullshit (365 comments)

I agree that it happens and by people who do know better.

about 2 years ago
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NASA's Basement Nuclear Reactor

balsy2001 Chart of the nuclides (368 comments)

All kinds of information nuclear reactions and decay is available in "Nuclides and Isotopes", a chart of the nuclides published by KAPL (Knowles Atomic Power Laboratory). I recommend the "chart" in book form as it comes with a bunch of nuclear physics discussion. Based on the description in the article Ni+n=Cu+e. There is only one stable isotope of Ni that has a chance of going through this process and resulting in a stable isotope of copper and that is Ni62. Ni62 is only 3.63% of naturally occurring nickle. The most abundant isotope is Ni58 (68.07%) and it will go to Ni59 with addition of a neutron and will beta decay to Co59. Ni59 has a 7600 year half life so you could continue to change it to Ni60 then Ni61 then Ni62, but all of this wouldn't happen instantaneously as stated in the article (I guess you could start an enrichment plant so you are only using Ni62, but that cost a lot of money and energy and would have to be factored into the energy balance of the final "reactor"). These types of reactions don't take place in nature because the stable isotopes are already at the bottom of the "valley of stability" (have a minimum mass or maximum binding energy, see pages 27-28 of the 16th edition of the "Nuclides and Isotopes"). I guess it is possible that the 30THz vibrations change the local laws of physics, but I will remain skeptical until there is more than speculation. The article states, "LENR is a very long way from the day when you can go out and buy a home nuclear reactor. In fact, it still has to be proven that the phenomenon even exists, but hundreds of experiments worldwide indicate that heat and transmutations with minimal radiation and low energy input do take place with yields of 10 to 100 watts." TFA states that they are not even sure if the phenomenon exists and it doesn't provide the total energy input to the system so you can't tell if 10-100W is noise or error in the measuring equipment (this is one of the things that was going on in the cold fusion of years past).

about 2 years ago
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New Process Takes Energy From Coal Without Burning It

balsy2001 Re:Bullshit (365 comments)

Agreed, but even "less pollution than X" can be misleading. It is difficult to compare different types of pollution on an apples to apples basis. For example, how much carbon released into the atmosphere given a certain amount of cyanide that seeps into the ground from cyanide heap leaching? But at least that discussion would get the facts on the table. I would argue that the word "clean" isn't always used with a negative motive, but it is likely that the person using it doesn't have an in-depth enough knowledge of the subject to say anything else (in which case maybe they shouldn't be talking). Remember Hanlon's razor, "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

about 2 years ago

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