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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

surd1618 Re:Legal... sort of (177 comments)

True it's not miraculous. It's really pretty good stuff though. Cotton production uses something like 5% of agricultural land and huge amounts of pesticides (some of which are not used for edible plants, which I think is telling). Flax (linen) is good too, and can make nicer fabric, but hemp is stronger (because of longer fibers) and higher-yielding. Really, the fiber length of hemp is a great property. I think the main reason hemp would not displace cotton is the inertia of industry, not commerce or environmental considerations.

4 days ago
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

surd1618 Re:Yes, Please (245 comments)

I think a better car analogy would be, "Look, freeways just came into existence, but you need a faster car than your model T."

4 days ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

surd1618 Re:Or... (253 comments)

I thought about this a lot while reading through old Russian novels (pre-revolution). It seemed to me that people actually had a lot of respect for civil servants and would have accepted medals or awards instead of money. Now leaders just walk the revolving door, and it's 100% about the $$$.

5 days ago
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New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight

surd1618 Re:Ammonia fuel (117 comments)

Even if it only made 0.0001% nitric oxide and some kind of catalytic converter caught 95% of that, it would still destroy the environment faster than fossil fuels. And that's if none of the ammonia ever escaped from vehicles, let alone the industrial production and transport.

about two weeks ago
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New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight

surd1618 Re:Nitrogen Cycle (117 comments)

I don't think that vehicles fueled by ammonia would be better for the environment than fossil fuels. This could be true if we didn't make mistakes or none of our vehicles ever leaked anything. But thousands of vehicles loaded with gallons of toxic gas cannot be safe, let alone the waste and by-products, both in manufacture and consumption. I'm not sure if huge increases in acid rain would be nicer than global warming. I'll grant it's not as bad as hydrazine.

about two weeks ago
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New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight

surd1618 Nitrogen Cycle (117 comments)

How about we reuse all the fixed nitrogen we already made instead? Right now water in Toledo, Ohio is undrinkable because of algae blooms in Lake Eerie. I'm sure we use a lot of energy in the Haber process, but I think that's a trivial concern compared to the environmental problems we can cause if we keep pumping organic nitrogen into the environment. It could turn out to be a very very bad thing to do overall. I think we'd be way better off if we reduced ammonia production, rather than switching to a more efficient way to make ammonia. I'm all for innovation generally, but to me, this idea reeks.

about two weeks ago
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Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

surd1618 Re:110 or 240v (260 comments)

These different patterns all exist for motors. 3-phase simplifies the design and deployment of induction motors used in industry. That is all. There's not a substantial difference between the efficiency or simplicity of various AC output formats. The various phases exist for historical reasons.

about three weeks ago
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San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

surd1618 I got it! (404 comments)

I thought of the solution!
Just be a good person and work hard wherever you live. That way, you, your kids, and your friends won't want to move to a fuck-all overcrowded megapolis and scratch out a living in a hyper-competitve environment just to try to 'get ahead'. Simple. No more parking problems.

about 2 months ago
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In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

surd1618 Re:I downgraded (248 comments)

Sorry to reply to myself but I noticed I should be clear. When I said 'clip it at random points' I meant everywhere, so if we're encrypting ASCII then scramble it up into chunks no longer than say 10 bytes.

about 2 months ago
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In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

surd1618 Re:I downgraded (248 comments)

https://qrng.physik.hu-berlin.... for instance, or others. And to deal with the fact that a man-in-the-middle could intercept your pad, just download somewhat more than you need and clip it at random points (okay since we are talking crypto, pseudo-random). Then so long as the contents of the DVDs are never revealed, there will be no way for the man-in-the-middle to know what part of the pad to use to decrypt your data. Supposing it was text and they ran an algorithm to test every offset of the potential pad against your encrypted message, they would get about a bazillion false positives. Really I suspect dev/random would be good enough for most anything so long as the copy was physically delivered to the recipient. I hope someone could actually make a guess at how long it would take a computer to decrypt an ascii email padded with stored dev/random data so long as the interceptor could not access the stored pad (although maybe they could discover info about the system that produced it).

about 2 months ago
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"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

surd1618 No Need For Engineering (396 comments)

According to Dan Koeppel in his book linked here, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World there are scores of species and varieties of bananas. Many have annoying seeds, but many also have large amounts of vitamin A, and Koeppel discusses the fact that on some islands these are a major source of vitamin A for the populace. So, I'm not dead-set against GMOs, but why should anyone take the risks (even if they are low), when we could instead merely introduce more cultivars already bearing copious amounts of vitamin A, and let the best one win? This would not only avoid the whole GMO issue, but it would also introduce new flavors, and may reduce the chances of the plants from being wiped out by Panama disease or black sigatoka, which threaten bananas mainly because likely every banana you've ever eaten is genetically identical, which usually predisposes a population to diseases, if you didn't know.

about 2 months ago
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US To Auction 29,656 Bitcoins Seized From Silk Road

surd1618 blockchain secrecy (232 comments)

I have not followed this topic very closely, but I think this is a sufficiently specific question with a sufficiently complicated answer to be worth asking: because people have to make large purchases I'm sure there's names involved, so will these transactions de-anonymize Bitcoin to a great extent? I understand agencies can already track specific blockchains if they really feel the need, but I wonder if this will make it much easier.

about 2 months ago
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Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

surd1618 Re:Because... (325 comments)

This. To be good at being rational you must practice somehow.

about 2 months ago
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Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

surd1618 Re:Who is being taxed, exactly? (322 comments)

How did this comment get modded -1? It has a thesis and some data. Maybe someone doesn't agree, but that's no reason for a neg mod.

about 2 months ago
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In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

surd1618 I downgraded (248 comments)

What's the point? I can't hide. If I really need security between two endpoints I'll mail them a DVD of quantum random data and I'll use my matching DVD as a one-time pad. Short of that, apparently nothing works.

about 2 months ago
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Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

surd1618 the article hyperlinked through 'strongly' (519 comments)

I couldn't find a full copy of Melville B. Nimmer, “National Security Secrets v. Free Speech: The Issues Left Undecided in the Ellsberg Case", but for anyone who wants to dig in, here's a link to a preview of the article in jstor. It says you can sign up for free and you get to rent articles for 14 days.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/...

about 3 months ago
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New Federal Database Will Track Americans' Credit Ratings, Other Financial Info

surd1618 Re:Credit rating databases aren't new (294 comments)

and can pretty easily be displaced

Except they're all turning into cartels. Classic example: Ma Bell was all busted up, and step by step all the baby Bells got permission to unite with their little neighbors, and now we have a few corporations that have divided the phone service into market segments, all of which have Bell heritage. Some markets, like say grocery stores and many emerging products, definitely still compete, but wherever there's big money, increasingly there is collusion and shell-game competition. Cheers for Elon Musk, though.

about 3 months ago

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