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Should Everybody Learn To Code?

stoicio Misery Loves Company (387 comments)

Is there some kind of global investment in hemmorroids that we are all unaware of ?
What is the point of this ?
Plant a garden people.

about a year ago

Valve's Steam Machines Are More About Safeguarding PCs Than Killing Consoles

stoicio Re:PCs Don't Have Decades for Games (296 comments)


But aren't they selling an aweful lot of video cards pretty much for bitcoin mining and not gaming?
Bitcoin is about to go flop because the designer of it percieved that the computing world
would stay static, which it logically couldn't. The perception that desktop computers will
always be PC boxes, required by the world, is pretty much the same kind of situational bias.

I am guessing the 65 million number for Steam are a count of people who have logged on to try it
out of curiosity. The daily user numbers indicate actual customers and that count is orders of magnitude smaller.

I am skeptical that the desktop PC market is sustainable for more than 5 more years. Most of the common things
people have historically done with PCs can now be carried around in ones pocket with the cellphone. That leaves
the home gaming, desktop PC, to become a single use device in most households.
Why would anyone bother with that kind of cash outlay for something that sits idle 90% of the time? Nostalgia?

I'm guessing that the consoles will become less expensive as competing Indian and Chinese technologies arrive
on the market. I can't actually believe that Japan and USA will have any corner on the electronics design market
in a short period of time. The US is not training enough new people, has a miniscule proportion of the global population
to draw ideas from and has lost the ability to do anything other than rewrap old tech (ie: the xbox is really just a crippled PC),
and Japan has social demographic issues that will create a shrinking pool of technically skilled people capable of making new
product (hence the new 'Walkman'). An indication of this is that Sony would rather serve games to a gaming thin client.
The Playstation4 is probably the last of that series of devices from Sony.

We also need to remember that handheld devices will keep improving. Nvidia know this, that is why they are now targeting
graphics device designs, specifically to support that platform.

All things told, as nostalgic as I am for the 1970's and 1980's computer era, the desktop PC is so over it's not even funny.
No amount of wishing will make the PC come back because the public now know what the PC will (and will not) do
and are moving on to more generally useful tools.

about a year ago

Valve's Steam Machines Are More About Safeguarding PCs Than Killing Consoles

stoicio PCs Don't Have Decades for Games (296 comments)

Isn't the desktop PC market actually declining?
The reality is that most people never needed a desktop PC and can get by without one just fine.

Home PCs are now only for old people who are used to that sort of thing.

The desktop workstation wil become a specialty item used for science,
and engineering. The rest of the population will be using thin clients on
remote apps, or smaller, more ergonomically suitable, portable devices.

It's difficult to believe that desktoip PC gaming actually has 'decades' to survive.
I'm questiong the business plan here....

about a year ago

Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though

stoicio They really are tasty compared to the alternative (325 comments)


I'm no monster. The last ice age had most of the worlds water up on land.
The majority of northern atlantic humans survived by hanging around the intertidal zones eating
seals and sea-veggies.

A super volcano would cause another ice age.
The resulting die-off would reduce the human population to levels
where eating seals would no longer be a hardship on the environment.

Living in a cave underground is a near certain path to starvation.
Seals are a good, practical, food with a strong ice-age-nutrition track record.

about a year ago

Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though

stoicio Underground? (325 comments)

Couldn't we all just dress warmer and eat seals and seaweed instead?
It's easier to move with the food.
I'm not much for underground....and seals are quite tasty as long as you have garlic or onions.

about a year ago

Former CIA/NSA Head: NSA Is "Infinitely" Weaker As a Result of Snowden's Leaks

stoicio Statement Indicates Lack of Contrition by All (572 comments)

" It will take years, if not decades, for us to return to the position that we had prior to his disclosures."

First, if someone (NSA) breaks the laws of the country and gets caught, wouldn't the expectation be that they stop doing that?
This statement indicates that the NSA doesn't get it. The expectation is that they will continue with the surveillance
state as planned.

Second to that, no one from the government has actually taken this statement to task. This indicates
that it will be business as usual for the NSA and CIA no matter what the laws of the land are.

Finally, the lack of actual caring from all quarters about this would indicate that all the elected representatives
in government are on board, no matter what their bobbing heads say on T.V. . Apparently the law doesn't apply to employees
of the state since no one fom the NSA has been arrested or fired.

about a year ago

Tesla Model S Battery Drain Issue Fixed

stoicio Volvo 240-DL Battery Dies Due to Dashboard Clock (239 comments)

Sad but true.
I contacted Volvo but they didn't send a repair person out.

I can't believe it. I trusted Sweden and this is how I am repaid....
Damn you Sweden!!!!

I just replaced it with a, standard domestic brand, Ford Pinto.
Sounded like a great deal. We'll see how it goes.
Frick'n Sweden.....

1 year,15 days

A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

stoicio It Takes A ot of Energy to Make Solar Cells (1030 comments)

There are hidden energy costs in foundering solar cells.

The boules of silicon used to make solar wafers , common to most panels,
are grown in a blast furnace that uses huge amounts of natural gas
or other fuel or electricity to make the melt.

The metals used to make mounts use huge amounts of energy to
mine, founder and mill.

The plastics used for covers almost completely come from oil.

The electronics processes used to dope and assemble
cells and panels are poisonous and cause huge amounts of pollution.

When we talk about costs and environmental impacts solar panels
look good if you close your eyes to how they are manufactured.

I think one commenter hit the nail bang-on when they wrote that
products imported to countries should be required to be manufactured per
the internal environmental laws of the destination country (us).

Solar electric is no a panacea. It is certianly no environmental saint either.

Wind has a far lower carbon footprint and much faster return scaled
against production energy consumption. But people don't want the noise
and dead birds.

They all have a down side. Pick one, and let's get on with it.

1 year,29 days

Nvidia Removed Linux Driver Feature For Feature Parity With Windows

stoicio Re:There is a Fix for This (237 comments)

How much do you think it would cost Nvidia to haul all those cards to the recycler?
Think of it as a kind of protest fine.

about a year ago

Nvidia Removed Linux Driver Feature For Feature Parity With Windows

stoicio There is a Fix for This (237 comments)

1.) Go to the Nvidia site and search for 'Linux' and then surf all the linux related
pages on thier site.

2.) Send an email to technical support and ask why you can no longer use all the monitors on your desktop.

3.) Buy an AMD/ATI card , send them an email to let them know why. Let AMD know you are using Linux and why.

4.) Send your old Nvidia card to Nvidia head office for RMA in protest by mail. (Write it off)

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Programmers Who Have Not Stayed Current?

stoicio New Programming Paradigm...? (509 comments)

"How do you deal with programmers who have not stayed current with new technologies?"

The hiring of anyone is based on applicable skills. The applicable skill for programming is the ability to learn.

It seems odd that companies would not assess skills required for the actual job at hand rather than demand 'The New Skill-Set'.

Our company has gone through a couple fiascos due to programmers due to this myth.
To be clear, just because a programmer 'knows' a language does not necessarily make that programmer any good at programming in that
language or any other.

Also, Just because a programmer doesn't know 'Current Technologies', does not mean they are poor programmers. In fact, it's often
better to hire someone who is willing and able to READ THE MANUAL and get up to speed, which is what most good programmers do

Give a new prospect a test to see if they can, and are willing to, learn.


Read and perform the following tasks and questions.
If you cannot complete a task for some reason, write why you cannot, and how you would go about getting enough information to complete the task.

Question/Task #1: Write a small program in C/C++ that opens a file, writes a string to that file, closes the file, opens the file again and reads the data to the screen.

Question/Task #2: Look at the following code. What do you think it does?

Question/Task #3: How would you learn to write a small program in a language like ? How long do you think that would take? Would you require access to the language reference manual after a week of programming in ?

Question/Task #4: Document the following code.
        LVAR X #
        LVAR Y #
      X = ChuckaBlocka(A) #
      Y = HumBucket(X B) #
      BegaBoards = YodelMax(Y) #

--End Test--

The point of the test questions may seem obvious at first, but each question has a alterior motives other than the task.
The idea is to get some insight into HOW the programmer thinks and attempts to resolve the problems.

I would rather hire an older programmer who is able to learn and identify patterns, than any programmer with
'the new technology' who has none of those pattern comprehension skills.

about a year and a half ago

Does Scientific Literacy Make People More Ethical?

stoicio Out-Thinking Ourselves (315 comments)

People make morality and ethics far more complex than they really are.

The complexities of modern morality have been built specifically to be so.
If something is very complex it needs 'management'.
Who better to manage such complex subjects than authorized moral guides?
Who better to decide on moral guides than moral organizations?
etc., etc..

The basics of morality, as we know them, were originally to maximize the social benefits
of the 'tribe' from the activities of the individual. In ancient times the larger the
size of the tribe the more stable the society contained in it. Thus the strict rules around
such things as 'non-reproductive relationship behaviours', and who gets to get some
and who doesn't, and with whom they get some.
(or who gets to have who as a familial/reproductive resource)

To have these types of (stupid assed) rules, they need to be enforced by someone,
by some means. To keep strong arm enforcers focused at the bidding of
the 'moral guides' it is necessary to have a hierarchy. Hierarchy ensures
that the valued contributions of the individual are *unevenly* distributed
up the hierarchy. The moral guides at the top need to have the most to maintain
a false sense of value. The enforcers need the next highest valuation to keep
them from turning on the top eschellon.

To have valuation that is different for various social levels, morals need to be manipulated
to make this seem fair. After all, it isn't really fair distribution of resources. But, als long as
the general population are beaten up enough to believe it's fair all is well.

Ethics are designed starting from social morals. They are practicable rules that are used
to maintain the status quo of the hierarchy.

Most of or social morals are either misguided, outdated, unjust, and nonproductive
relics of societies barely out of the cave.

It would be difficult for most of us to imagine a truely just society since, to some extent,
we all benefit from the currently unjust moral structure. Many are so tied to the
social delusion of hierarchal moral systems for benefit they can never overcome that bias,
or they would lose thier livelyhood. We are a part of the existing hierarchies that govern
the various parts of our societies.
(ie: social governance, education, symbolic economics, family)

True morality distils down to the facts of our organism. We are organisms that require food, water,
air, shelter from the elements, and a sense of community. We live, reproduce, and die.
The things that maintain those cyclic factors as equally, effectively as possible, with stability,
and sustainablity are moral.
Those that do not maintain them are immoral because they fail the organism.

At best we should try to cause as few of our fellow organisms to fail as possible.

about a year and a half ago

'Energy Beet' Power Is Coming To America

stoicio What A Waste (238 comments)

It takes a huge amount of energy to boil sugar out of beets.
Is this a big sucking sound from big sugar?

about a year and a half ago

How a Programmer Gets By On $16K/Yr: He Moves to Malaysia

stoicio Culvert (523 comments)

In the 90's I made good money programming for $9 per hour while living in a culvert.
I just had to make sure I 'Looked' like I had showered (or something), for meetings.

Now, I'm middle aged and have a much larger culvert with some boards to keep
my stuff off the water when it floods.

Good times.....

about 2 years ago

Pope To Resign Citing Advanced Age

stoicio How Will This Affect Vatican Stock? (542 comments)

This is kind of leaving Vatican shareholders in the lurch.

Is there a new CEO picked to run the place already?
Seems like a bit of a publicity stunt to me....

This can only result in loss of market share for the Roman Church.

about 2 years ago

Is the Era of Groundbreaking Science Over?

stoicio No IP for E=Mc^2 (470 comments)

'Big Al' didn't get IP from the 'ergs from mass' thing.

about 2 years ago

Is the Era of Groundbreaking Science Over?

stoicio Your colleagues ... (470 comments)

Gee, I thought 'anonymous' only hacked networks.
Who knew you also work on particle physics....

about 2 years ago

Is the Era of Groundbreaking Science Over?

stoicio Depends on the Genre (470 comments)

Isn't this like saying we now know everything major, so only minor things are left to discover.

Seems a bit dubious since there are massive voids in our scientific knowledge in many fields.

And, didn't we just find a Higgs Boson(s) recently?

about 2 years ago

Lenovo Could Take Over RIM

stoicio Jim Flaherty ..... Intelligence Concerns (114 comments)

Hmmmm.....intelligence concerns......
The party that sells out citizens info to foreign powers at every turn,
or worse loses everyones data on a portable hard disk, or just looks the other way
while personal information is bled and leaked from government databases by
public employees (ex, bored, or otherwise).

I think I'll just move to China. It's safer.

about 2 years ago

Are Teachers Headed For Obsolescence?

stoicio The Main Point of School is Warehousing Kids (570 comments)

The post is interesting but I think he misses to point of modern public education.
Daycare for kids while adults work.
I know that statement may seem insulting to the field of primary and secondary education
but it becomes clear when, kids are unable to attend school, that parents are normally more concerned
with the lack of available warehousing than the lack of education.

If there were no question in parents minds about the importance of learning, the
public education budget(s) for primary and secondary education would have doubled until the system
was actually functional (much like military spending).
As is most public schools limp along and scrape money together from all and sundry.

I once heard someone quote a study regarding adding more money to the school system
not showing any improvement. My observation was that if you say you're doubling the rice
you give to the starving it sounds magnanimous, but if you're only giving each starving person
a resulting 2 grains of rice they are still going to starve.

If education were about teaching or learning, 25 percent of GDP would be spent on that.

more than 2 years ago



Secret International Agreements to Censor the Internet

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 2 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "kurzweilai.net has a story linked from the original located at CommonDreams.org stating, "Negotiators from the U.S. and eight other Pacific Rim countries meeting at a secluded resort in Leesburg, Viriginia, working out deals in the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that could hamper free speech on the Internet"

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has also presented notes on this."

Link to Original Source

Where Is The Competition for Google Earth?

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 2 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "Google Earth has been around now for +7 years. To quote Wikipedia: "Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004". End Quote.
        My question is, "Where is the competition?". GML is a network specification for serving geographic data, by request, to client applications (aka. browsers). The spec is available for public use.
        If we look at the history of web browsers NCSA Mosaic arrived in 1992 and met competition quickly my Netscape. By 1997 Netscape had already been purchased by AOL and Internet Explorer and Firefox had attained market share.
      That's a span of 5 years.
        Here we are greater than 7 years after the dawn of Publicly available Google Earth and the industry is yet to see a major competitor arrive that is compatible with the spec. There is the Microsoft Virtual Earth, but once again this is a proprietary system meant to lock everyone into buying server product, and controlling the flow and use of information, just like Google Earth.
        There doesn't appear to be an openly available server side specification for generating content. There are OGC specifications for WMS, WFS, et al. but those are bloated XML schema specifications that are not particularly efficient when compared to the way HTML is used.
          If technological development is accelerating how is it that the geographic web browser market has remained almost static for 7 years?
          There are so many ways the Google Earth application could be improved upon. To begin with, there is no API in Google Earth that allows GML mark up to be made dynamic and interactive in the same way as a web page. Sure, there are some kludges to allow people to put a floaty globe in a web page using a browser plug-in, there is a basic spec for KML, but when it comes to interactivity and programmability, G.E. is either broken or closed.
            The lack of private initiative shown in this market segment seems a bit odd.
        The public development of GML has also been stagnant. There is no body akin to the W3C to guide development and expansion of the GML specifications use, other than for strictly mapping.
        Surprisingly, no web browser vendors have made platform independent extensions to the web browser to simply include GML, in either 2D or 3D, as part of the HTML(6-7?) specification. Once again, there are vendor specific plug-ins but nothing that generally takes the geographic paradigm and places it where APIs can be readily applied and extended.
        So how do we get a 'Firefox' and/or Opera for GML?"

Free games boost gaming industry revenue

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 3 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "Interesting article via Reuters.

"An increase in the number of people playing free games is providing the gaming industry with an additional source of revenue as gamers shell out millions for virtual goods and add-ons.""

Link to Original Source

Is Oracle The New SCO?

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 3 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "Is Oracle becoming the new SCO? When the theatrics of litigation become more important than the content of the case, one begins to wonder what is actually driving Oracle these days. Some of this seems reminiscent of past SCO litigation. The database as a product is essentially dead. Perhaps Java is all Oracle has left. What does everyone at Slashdot think?"
Link to Original Source

UFO's Tampering with World's Nuclear Arms

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 4 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "http://www.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central/stripes-central-1.8040/ufo-expert-aliens-cautioning-humans-on-nukes-1.119813

The link above is from Stars and Stripes and contains the full story.
This is an addendum to the previous UFO/Nuke story submission from CNN.

Is 120 or so military professionals a big deal?
An why exactly does the U.N. now have a special ambassador to deal with extraterrestrials?


Link to Original Source

Would Economic Collapse Destroy the Internet?

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 4 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "When economics get tight, do people dump their connectivity to cut costs?
I'm curious what trend ubiquitous global communications would see in a global economic meltdown.
Would we lose the freedom of communication that we enjoy today simply because people will have better things to do with their cash?
Will governments rein in free speech and communication to control the social message?"

Zero 'G' weddings

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "ABOARD G-FORCE ONE (Reuters) — The bride wore white and earrings resembling tiny planets, the groom a tuxedo and cuff links shaped like spacecraft, and the wedding party attended in blue jump suits. New York City couple Erin Finnegan and Noah Fulmor floated into matrimony on Saturday thousands of feet (metres) above the Gulf of Mexico in what organizers said was the world's first weightless wedding held in zero gravity conditions. Officiating at the ceremony was Richard [Lord British] Garriott, a second- generation U.S. space traveler, and ZERO-G co-founder, who is also a registered notary."
Link to Original Source

regarding: Researchers Crack WPA Wi-Fi Encryption

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "In the the recent post titled, "Researchers Crack WPA Wi-Fi Encryption "

Claims were made that WEP and WPA-PSK are now cracked.
Yet at this location there is a technical podcast at
'Security Now' says that is bogus.

Steve Gibson:"The reports that WPA-PSK/WPA2 WiFi may no longer be secure are bogus."


See episode 167.

Who Should we believe?"

Steve Fossett

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "I am wondering how many of the suggestions provided by
people from the internet were seriously considered
during the search for Steve Fossett.

Was there a main search website or hotline provided
for those who may have had useful information or ideas.

How would one go about filtering such a system to
get the best information?

Also, I wonder if Fossett was victim of an
STOL 'Moose Hunter Stall'. Something that
has happened to many seasoned pilots at low altitude
with a cross wind. He was, after all,
spotting for places to run a speed record trial.

If that is the case, the downed aircraft should be
very close to a flat or playa. This would seriously
reduce the search area, allowing for a much more
comprehensive search of maybe 20 areas that are
serviced by access roads.

A SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) image of
Nevada would show all of the 'smoothest' places
and help focus the search."

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stoicio (710327) writes "I was just over at wikipedia doing some random searches.
There doesn't seem to be an entry for either Frank Ogden
or Dr. Tomorrow.

Has Dr. Tomorrow missed the future or is he just too busy?
Has anyone else heard of this guy?"



Good Technology and the Entrenched User

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Habit tends to win out over good technology and positive change. Human beings, in general, don't respond well to change. This makes it difficult to implement technological improvements. This is especially true if the end user has formed entrenched habits around specific technologies.

After spending a number of years developing web 2.0 tools for science it is interesting to note how many times I see this. People will nod and appreciate the value of a new tool but will revert to what they know through experience. Many times the learning curve is used as an explanation for this although this can be a bit of a red herring. In most cases there is an emotional investment in a specific technology.

Operating systems and word processors could be used as examples of this. Most people will never use the majority of features offered by modern word processing software. Yet, often, those very unused software features are used as selling points as to why an individual would not switch to something simpler, less expensive, or better.

Many technologies are selected by people due to emotional attachment rather than reason. Many technologies are also selected to support existing peer groups rather than the fundamentals of good business sense.


Recycling Paper is Bad for the Environment

stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 5 years ago The rush to be environmentally friendly has caused many to suspend their healthy skepticism of the accepted green techniques.

Common environmental lore dictates that recycling paper is beneficial to our environment. Is this, in fact, the case?

The recent UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, produced some information that seemed to indicate that what we assume to be harmful to the environment may be just the opposite.

see: The article

This got me thinking about recycling, the goodness of it, and the possible flaws as well.

Don't get me wrong here. I'm not advocating everyone cease recycling. We need to keep as much stuff out of landfills as possible, or at least be organized enough with our waste so as to completely eliminate it. There should really be no need for landfill sites. Raw materials, like metals and plastics, should be reused. Current landfills are the highest grade mining deposits of raw materials on the planet. Why mining companies aren't actively vying for those pure ores is a mystery, since:

  • a.) we know where they are.
  • b.) There's already a road to get there.
  • c.) processing it can only be an improvement to the environment.

I live in a region that is forest rich. Forest commodities are the lifeblood of almost every community here. Global warming, however, is changing that. Insects, which were once killed by long cold winters, are now eating their way through the forests. The rate of deforestation due to climate change has accelerated far beyond anything that logging could ever accomplish. In fact, most of those trees need to be removed, to make way for species that are less affected by insects. If logging doesn't remove the diseased trees, a lightning strike and massive fire most certainly will. Logging these dying trees is mostly a band-aid solution, since there is no real market for all that wood. Some of it is converted into secondary products, the rest is chipped and burned for electricity.

Producing energy from wood is a good thing. Wood is a unity fuel. Burning wood can never produce more carbon dioxide than it sucks from the air while the tree grows.

In 1995 the world produced over 266,000,000,000 metric tonnes of pulp and paper. Most of this was produced from trees. Trees are not the most efficient producer of fiber. Trees are very slow growing and textile crops like flax and hemp have been shown to produce better yields per area of land used.

My bone of contention is with paper recycling.

In the context of global climate change we have been stymied for want of methods to reduce greenhouse gases;mainly carbon dioxide. Paper is a product that actually contains carbon captured from the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide. In light of recent research into biochar , would it not make more sense not to recycle paper?

By focusing our efforts on producing pulp from plants other than trees, and treating and landfilling waste paper, we could mitigate huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the Earths atmosphere each year.

Instead of recycling paper we should:

  • Concentrate efforts on only using paper that is not made from wood pulp.
  • Don't burn paper in incinerators. Treat waste paper with H2SO4 (sulphuric acid).
  • Recover the H2SO4 and use it again.It's just a catalyst.
  • Bury the paper or use it for biochar on our fields as a fertilizer. Burying it will make it disappear forever. Using as fertilizer will make it disappear for several hundred (possibly thousand) years.

By treating waste paper with sulphuric acid, the paper becomes mostly carbon as water is catalyzed away. By burying the treated paper the carbon could be locked away permanently. We would essentially be performing the same process that makes coal at a much higher speed than geology could do it.

What are the benefits of this?
The reduction in transport of recycled paper from the homes of millions of, albeit well meaning, householders would substantially reduce carbon emissions produced by hauling the same paper as many as 5 times during the process. If householders generated their own biochar (paper carbon) and put that at the curb, as much as 60 percent of the fuel used to haul the waste paper could be eliminated; cellulose (paper) being only 40 percent carbon.

Plants are the Earths most efficient mechanisms for sequestering atmospheric carbon. We should be utilizing this mechanism as much as possible to halt and reverse global climate change. The techniques we use, and financially support, to 'save' the planet need to be critically assessed. We need to do this sooner rather than later.

My suggestion is that householders should burn their household paper in a closed container and only send the left over carbon to the dump.


Drilling Holes in Earths Crust for Geothermal Energy

stoicio stoicio writes  |  about 9 years ago

Current approaches to drilling into the Earth seem to center on duplication of technology used to drill for water or oil.
      Drilling into the Earth to produce
geothermal energy only requires that the material produced by drilling may be removed from the hole at a fast enough rate to allow drilling to be maintained.
      One of the main concerns of making bore holes into the Earth is the amount of torque required to produce the hole. It must be kept in mind that the average thickness of the earths crust is over 30Km. The thinnest parts of the crust are in the oceans near trenches (~20Km), continents are the thickest (~40Km).
      It's necessary to have power where population requires it. This means that most geothermal drills will be near the coasts or perhaps drilled the full 40+ Km depth near to inland cities.
      Drilling holes with conventional drilling equipment is possible but not likely. New drilling equipment is required to drill these massively deep holes.
      One idea is to use a smaller version of the machine used to create the chunnel from England to France. This machine was designed to cut through limestone (chalk) which is very soft compared to most rock. Certainly a similar design could be made to produce, smaller diameter, vertical bore holes. Guided by gravitational instruments this machine could move, nearly autonomously, downward, requiring only power to be supplied. This would also resolve the torque problem, since the torsion aspects of the machine are only the length of the machine itself.

      At this point the greatest problem would become the removal of drilled material from the bore hole.
      Pumping the ground up material, as mud, would provide the easiest method for removal.

      Consider the amount of material being removed from a 2 meter diameter bore, 40Km into the Earth. Using the formula for the volume of a cylinder and assuming the material is dried:

Volume = ((Pi*Radius)^2)*40000

Volume = 394784 Cubic Meters of material.

      This is a cube of material approximately 74 meters on a side that must be hauled away and dumped. This material could be used a construction material or to level and stabilize lands elsewhere.
    The calculated volume is optimistic. This doesn't take into account ground water or other fluids that may enter he drill hole and mix with the material to make mud. Some water may be added to aid in lubrication of the drill.


stoicio stoicio writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I worked out the mass of polycarbonate plastic required to make a 3 metre diameter by 6 metre tall bell jar with a wall thickness of 10 cm.
(Heavy man...nice too)

I am wondering about the optical properties of polycarbonate at a thickness greater than 5 cm...

The visual properties could start getting cloudy at this thickness, and the whole point of the excercise is to make a clear viewing platform.
If you can't see through it there's no point.

I'll work up some more numbers this week.
Need to find a bulk supplier of clean polycarbonate prills. (8 tons ought to do it)


I have decided that polycarbonate is not
the way to go.
Due to the leaching of Bisphenol-A from
the plastic into the ocean, the bell would
soon become a contributor to oceanic pollution.
Not very good if you're attempting to be a naturalist.

Glass, now there's the ticket. Although,
glass takes a great deal of energy to

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