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Sir Richard Branson Quietly Shelves Virgin Submarine Plan

taiwanjohn Re: Yes, and... (47 comments)

No one will ever need more than 640 kB of memory for a personal computer...

3 days ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

taiwanjohn Re: Restrict carbs, not calories (153 comments)

Forgot to mention coconut oil, which is a major contributor to the fat content of my diet.

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

taiwanjohn Re: Restrict carbs, not calories (153 comments)

I've been losing weight steadily for several months now, on a low-carb, high-fat, "paleo" lifestyle which includes light exercise and intermittent fasting. I do not pay any attention to calories whatsoever, I only avoid carbs and eat as much "real food" as I feel like, meaning single-ingredient, natural, fresh-cooked or raw products, as opposed to the processed "edible food-like substances" which occupy most of the shelf space in a modern supermarket.

In terms of caloric intake, my diet is about 75~80% fat, 15~20% protein, and 5~10% carbs.

I eat a lot of the following:
Raw veg: carrot sticks, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, salad.
Cooked veg: spinach, cabbage, sprouts, etc..
Fermented veg: dill pickles, sauerkraut
Dairy: butter, cream, cheese, cream-cheese, sour cream
  - Do eggs count as dairy? I eat about two per day.
Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc..
Meat: the fattier the better, especially organ meats
Fish: the fattier the better.

I avoid all processed foods and carbs in particular: Sugar, soft drinks, fruit juice, bread, pasta, starchy veg (eg. potatoes)... and also "somewhat avoid" legumes in general and soy products in particular.

As for exercise, I don't have a regime or program, I just live in a walkable city with great public transpo, so I end up walking a couple miles per day on average. I also started using a stand-up desk last spring. I've been losing a steady 1lb per week for the last half year, and am well on the way to my target by next summer.

about a week ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

taiwanjohn Re:Depends (566 comments)

Four "heads" on a single PC? Or if you have multiple PCs, how do you arrange keyboards and mice?

about a week ago
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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

taiwanjohn Re:Reduced revenues != lost profit (280 comments)

Economy of scale still applies to solar energy. It's still going to be cheaper for a utility company to set up hundreds
of solar panels and sell the electricity to consumers than it will be for everyone to buy/maintain their own system.

That pretty well describes Elon Musk's business plan with Solar City. From what I've seen, it looks like they've already passed the tipping point into self-sustaining progress. Their main problems seem to be keeping up with demand and managing the "growing pains" of such rapid business expansion.

about two weeks ago
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Berkeley Lab Builds World Record Tabletop-Size Particle Accelerator

taiwanjohn Re: Beowulf cluster... (90 comments)

Seriously though, how far can this scale up? What if just plug one of these into the LHC?

about two weeks ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

taiwanjohn Re: Storage vs. Grid purchase? (235 comments)

TFA is 190 words long. How is it possible to define this as anything other than a "fluff" piece?

about three weeks ago
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Renewables Are Now Scotland's Biggest Energy Source

taiwanjohn Re:Storage vs. Grid purchase? (235 comments)

In addition to transportation, I'm curious about storage. How much "peaking power" comes from renewables (or stored renewables) as opposed to grid purchase (or quick-startup resources such as gas turbine)?

I'm stoked to hear about real-world success in renewable energy, but I see a lot of "fluff" cheerleading in the press without much attention to details about how much this or that project produces, compared to total consumption, and how much power is being consumed by various sectors of society.

As home-built or purchased alt-energy installations become more common, and more people become aware of these issues, I hope we'll see more discussion of these issues in the press. It's about time.

about three weeks ago
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Scientists Develop "Paint" To Help Cool the Planet

taiwanjohn Re: Sherwin Williams (145 comments)

They can use the old Sherwin Williams slogan: "Cover the World!"

about three weeks ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

taiwanjohn Re:Next step - Semiconductors (69 comments)

The only solution that I see is to recruit people that will be polyamorous without developing excessive jealousy.

"I must say, that is an astonishingly good idea you have, Doctor!"

-- Russian Ambassador to Dr. Strangelove

about three weeks ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

taiwanjohn Re: Next step - More materials (69 comments)

We'll need the fuel depots in any scenario, simply because LEO is a more versatile launch/assembly venue, capable of handling much larger missions than anything that could be launched (with or without fuel) from Earth.

And don't assume that mining the moon will be "insanely" expensive until you've seen the methods that are being worked on right now. Bottom line, the cost of the fuel itself will be just a tiny fraction of the total cost to deliver it on orbit. And as it turns out, there's a significant advantage for producing fuel on the moon -- it takes a bit more than 3x as much delta-v to move a certain mass from Earth to LEO as it does from the moon to LEO (9.3 km/s vs. 2.74 km/s, respectively).

Let's say Elon gets launch cost down to $125/lb to LEO. That means he's paying $1000 per gallon, just for transport to the depot. Which means my "insanely expensive" lunar miners can spend $500 per gallon to extract the fuel, and still beat Elon's price at the LEO depot. That is a significant forcing function, sufficient to drive mining activity on the moon for decades to come.

about three weeks ago
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WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

taiwanjohn Interesting... (90 comments)

This is one of the more novel designs I've seen. It seems to be scaled to a good size for wave action near the coastline, it's modular and extensible, and it looks like it would allow for small vessels to navigate over the grid, as long as their draft depth is shallow enough. Another advantage is that it doesn't "ruin the skyline" the way a wind farm might do in Massachusetts.Also, the ocean is more "reliable" as an energy source than wind or solar... this method ought to deliver a more "reliable" 24/7 output.

Sounds like a pretty good deal for certain areas, and I bet those areas will start installing this system (or something like it) in the next few years.

about three weeks ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

taiwanjohn Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (433 comments)

Overturning Citizens United will require a constitutional amendment. Have you done your part to move that process forward yet? Here are a couple of things you can do:

1. Visit MoveToAmend.org and sign the petition.

2. Visit Wolf-PAC.com and volunteer.

3. Contact all of your elected representatives at every level of government and make sure they know where you stand on the issue of corporate personhood, and why.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

taiwanjohn Re: Storage (516 comments)

Either way, storage is the "next big thing" for the electric grid. For one thing, it's essential for integrating intermittent sources like most renewables. But it will also help to make the entire grid more "islandable" -- diverse and distributed -- and thus more robust.

about three weeks ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

taiwanjohn Re: Next step - More materials (69 comments)

You still have to "up-mass" the raw materials.

For now, yes. That's why I said the real revolution would be learning how to harvest raw materials from space. And it won't take nearly as long as you seem to think.

I'll be surprised if it's more than five years before the first privately owned fuel depot begins operating in LEO. And I'll only be slightly less surprised if it takes more than ten years for the first lunar-mined fuel to be delivered to that depot.

Maybe you hadn't heard, but there are people being paid to work out how to do all these things, and have been for years already. And in case you hadn't noticed, SpaceX is about to slash the cost-per-pound to orbit by an order of magnitude, once they can land and re-fly a booster (scheduled in the next few months). The next few years and decades in space are going to be pretty spectacular.

about three weeks ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

taiwanjohn Re:Next step - Semiconductors (69 comments)

I've always wondered why they didn't try again with another crew, once they figured out the cement thing. (Or if they did, why I never heard about it.)

about three weeks ago
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ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

taiwanjohn Re:Next step - More materials (69 comments)

Things will start to get interesting when astronauts can create semiconductors in in space

Things will also get even more interesting when the full range of 3D printing materials can be used in microgravity. From ceramics to metals, polymers of various types... it will soon become possible to make virtually anything in space.

When things really start to get interesting is when we can also create these 3D printing materials in space, from in-situ space resources like asteroids and lunar surface mines. When we can do the whole prociss up there, without needing to "up-mass" anything from Earth, that will be a major turning point for humanity.

I'm very curious to see how various chemical processes, such as distillation, might be adapted to a microgravity environment. But I'm sure somebody will figure it out.

about three weeks ago
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Here's What Your Car Could Look Like In 2030

taiwanjohn Re: Autonomy is the killer-app... (144 comments)

because it has the potential to make "transportation service" a commodity, and rescue suburbia from rising fuel costs. If you don't have to pay for a driver, then taxi service essentially becomes short-term car rental. And if your main expenditure is the fuel/energy to run errands, then it would be very easy to live without a car, and probably cheaper too.

Let's just hope the "killer app" status doesn't refer to its safety record.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Nate Silver's new site stirs climate controversy

taiwanjohn taiwanjohn writes  |  about 9 months ago

taiwanjohn (103839) writes "One of the first articles on Nate Silver’s highly anticipated data-driven news site used flawed data to make its conclusions, according to some of the nation’s top climate scientists.
Silver’s FiveThirtyEight published its first article about climate change on Wednesday, entitled “Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change.” But climate scientists are condemning the article and its author, Roger Pielke Jr., saying he ignored critical data to produce a “deeply misleading” result.
The crux of Pielke’s article is this: Extreme weather events are costing us more and more money, but that is not because climate change is making extreme weather more frequent or intense. The reason we are losing more money, rather, is because we have more money to lose. Pielke came to this conclusion by measuring rising disaster damage costs alongside the rising global Gross Domestic Product. He also cited a U.N. climate report, along with his own research, to assert that extreme weather events have not been increasing in frequency or intensity."

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