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New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

cnaumann Re:Old saying (249 comments)

You need a four dimensional fix. You must solve for X, Y, Z, and t. This requires a fix on four satellites. You can work with three if you assume you are on the surface of the earth and know your elevation.

about three weeks ago

New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

cnaumann Re:No, It Won't (326 comments)

Note that the income of the 1%, if distributed evenly among the 99% would represent only about a 14% pay raise across the board. The wealth of the 1% would nearly double the wealth of the average American, if uniformly distributed.

Claiming that redistribution would double the average wealth is not quite right. The upper 1% control about 30% of the wealth. Redistributing this would make everyone else 30% richer on the average. Doesn't sound like much, does it?

Let's put numbers on that. There is about $120T in total wealth in the US. The upper 1% control about 30% of this, or about $36T. The population of the US is about 310M. That comes out to a redistributed wealth of about $120,000 per person, or about $360,000 for a family of three. So basically you are talking about a house, free and clear in a moderately high end market for every family in the US.

about 2 months ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

cnaumann Re:How would we know? (819 comments)

Exit row seating usually offers a bit more leg room with no reclining seats in front of you. It used to be free, now many airlines charge for it. Therer is no shortage of takers.

I am 6 foot 6. I would rather stand for two hours than try to sit in one of those seats. Only problem is that i am not allowed to stand (I have asked) and on many planes I can't stand up straight anyway. I don't need the knee defender. If you are sitting in front of me, you will not be able to recline your seat.

about 3 months ago

It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

cnaumann Re:people charge of traffic lights are engineers b (144 comments)

You would be surprised how conditioned you can become to traffic patterns always being a certain way. I nearly caused an accident last week when I turned left in front of a car that was going straight. I am a good driver... why did I do that? The intersection was where two small neighborhood roads intersect the main road. After I screwed up, I realized that In the last 25 years, I had _never_ seen a car go straight through that particular intersection. I unconsciously assumed that he was waiting for the light so that he could turn left, like cars always do.

Traffic engineering is not about saving gas. It is mostly about preventing accidents. That is one of the reasons you see so few Yield signs these days.

about 3 months ago

Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

cnaumann Re:Source is HVAC Contractors (303 comments)

Do you have a cite for this decomposition into carbon tet? You would have to knock the fluorine(s) off the R11 or R12, that is not so easy to do. I can see where bromine containing halons could decompose into chlorine containing halons given a mixture of chlorine and bromine containing halons and some UV light.

about 3 months ago

Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

cnaumann Re:Source is HVAC Contractors (303 comments)

I have never seen an R10 have system. The are not common. It is possible that R10 exists as a contaminant in some older systems, but that would not account for the numbers they are seeing here.

about 3 months ago

Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

cnaumann Re:Getting permission... (143 comments)

Also, how does it detroy waste products that have very low neutron capture rates like 137Cs?

about 4 months ago

San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

cnaumann Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (343 comments)

Assuming a 30 lifetime, a 1.1 GW output per reactor, 2 reactors and 90% uptime, the 4.4 billion dollars decommissioning cost works out to 0.84 cents per kilowatt hour generated. There was a third smaller reactor that is also being decommissioned that is not counted. That is a pretty good deal.

about 4 months ago

How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

cnaumann Re:Snake Oil (114 comments)

If you are using a credit card in a store like Target, they not only know your likes and dislikes, they know exactly what you buy. Sometimes they know more about you than your family.


about 4 months ago

Grad Student Rigs Cheap Alternative To $1,000 Air Purifiers In Smoggy China

cnaumann Re:Lots of people criticize this for its obviousne (182 comments)

Go to Amazon and look for HEAP air fliters for home use. You will find models from $50 to $250.
Yeah, A LOT of people have had this idea and brought products to market.

about 4 months ago

Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

cnaumann Yes, more power than we could ever use... (461 comments)

One thing I have been curious about...

What was Germany doing with all the power that was being produced by their coal plants during this magic hour? They could not simply turn them off. While it is impressive than they met "50% of their demand" was all the power being produced actually being used or were they dumping it somewhere?

about 5 months ago

How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

cnaumann The first transistor (183 comments)

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld patented a FET in 1925. The FET is the type of transistor used in all modern CPUs.

about 5 months ago

Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

cnaumann Re:huh (394 comments)

Here is a nice believeable breakdown for home energy use:


Space heating is the biggest use of home energy, followed by water heating and AC. Most of the rest of the stuff is pretty trivial.

Also remember that if you need space heating anyway, the excess heat produced by appliances in living spaces is not going to waste.

about 5 months ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

cnaumann Re:It ain't broke (865 comments)

Some of the push button systems are truly horrible. The BMW 328i has two buttons, one labled 'off' and the other labled 'start/stop engine' As a bonus, the engine stops running (sometimes) when you push the brake and the car comes to a complete stop.
Want to guess how to turn the car off? Shift to park, take your foot off the brake and push engine start/stop...

Another fun fact. Guess what happens if you get into a Prius with the right key plus another Prius key? The wireless push button system does not work. You have to use it in 'manual mode'. Pro-tip: make sure the instruction manual is in the glove box.

I would be very happy with a two position switch to turn the car off and on and a push button starter. All the single button systems have design issues.

about 7 months ago

Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube Puzzle In 3.253 Seconds

cnaumann Re:Applications (60 comments)

Try LEGO model railroading. Yes, it is a real hobby.

about 8 months ago

Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

cnaumann Re:*Shrug* (304 comments)

If you are not expecting to update the firmware on your TV, you have not purchased a web-enabled TV. Mine updates its firmware all the time. Same with your car.

about 10 months ago

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

cnaumann Re:Dont do anyone any favors (644 comments)

Sure, but why should the tax payers pay for it?

And what does the manner in which the child was conceived, the relationship between the biological parents, the fact that the mother is gay have to do with anything?

If you want a system where the biological father can simply sign a document that says he want nothing to do with the child, fine, lets implement such a system. But that is not how the current system works.

The court is not wrong here.

about 10 months ago

Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

cnaumann Re:Uh? (734 comments)

Two things will drive the cost back up.

1) You still have to build roads. Roads are largely paid for by a tax on fuel, but electric cars do not have to pay that tax, yet. Make no mistake, they eventually will be taxed. There will be no 'free' travel.

2) Solar availability. Even if you have enough storage capacity to get you through the night, there will likely be time where you go several days without a lot of sunlight. What do you do? Grid power? You are going to find that utilities simply cannot afford to maintain an infrastructure for people to uses every now and then. The first thing that will happen is that they will stop buying your excess power at full retail rates. That step alone will increase the cost of solar power, because you will have to use or store every Watt you are generating in order pay back the cost of the installation. The second thing that will happen is that utilities will slap you with a very significant 'availability charge' just to be connected for those few days a month you need grid power.

Solar power _will_ have an impact on how utilities work, but there is no way it alone will make grid power obselete. With transportation, don't bet against fluid hydrocarbons.

about 10 months ago


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