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Comment: Re:A lot less safe than I thought (Score 1) 1148

Even if all those failed, there's still the containment building which remained intact- the part that blew up was an external shell that doesn't matter in terms of containing a meltdown.

Worst case, they'd have a pool of molten uranium encased in a concrete shell.

Comment: Re:Seems just as safe as ever... (Score 1) 1148

I voted slightly less safe, I expected the cooling failsafes to work without power. Apparently, on newer reactors, they do.

That being said, even if the cooling had failed completely, including the emergency seawater flooding, with the main concrete containment structures surviving, the worst case scenario might be slightly worse than Three Mile Island(which destroyed a reactor, and that was about it). Sure, there's a bit of radiation released, but the toxic chemicals that could be released from a fossil fuel plant going up would probably be at least as bad.

They should look at upgrading the emergency cooling systems to newer standards that are gravity fed, that would have made this nearly a nonevent and might have even let them bring the damaged reactors back online, which doesn't seem likely now. A review of the containment structure design would also be in order- the spec called for surviving an 8.2 quake, this was an 8.9- significantly more powerful. They did survive so they might not need upgrades, but I'd still review the design to be sure they weren't just incredibly lucky.

All in all I'd say that this shows that while nuclear power has risks, these risks can be managed through a solid design and well trained operators.

Comment: Re:No attempts at finding other sources? (Score 2) 187

by BoneFlower (#34774236) Attached to: Google Wins Injunction Against Agency Using Microsoft Cloud

It's not so much that milspec stuff is better, it's that the extensive testing is supposed to ensure a level of quality to a high level of confidence.

Sure, the regular civilian stuff might be superior in nearly all situations, but you don't want to be finding the one situation where it is not while on the battlefield with people trying to kill you. Sure, the odds of finding that situation at all might be smal, but knowing the odds, which those test seek to ensure, is a huge help in managing the risks.

Comment: Re:Windows 7 (Score 1) 404

by BoneFlower (#34750588) Attached to: Windows 7 Trumps Vista By Reaching 20% Share

Windows Service packs, at least cumulatively over the course of a major version, are pretty close to equivalent to Mac OS X new versions. And they are free upgrades. Even if you buy the Professional Edition full install, your wallet will probably come out ahead of a Mac users over the same timeframe, even if you both got your hardware free. Of course, value for your dollar is another matter, and different people will call this different ways and that's fine.

Windows needs an infrastructure focused release too. Like OS X up through Leopard, there's some ugly that has collected and they need to focus on that. Windows needs a Snow Leopard style infrastructure update. Windows 7 service packs should probably focus on this, and hand out new user facing features when Windows 8 ships.


Apple Wants Patent On Video Game-Based iBooks 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-your-own-stories dept.
theodp writes "Patently Apple reports that a new Apple patent application has surfaced describing an application that would record your personal journey through a video game and turn it into a custom comic or iBook when you're done playing. Imagine how thrilled little Billy's Mommy would have been if she only had the chance to read the story of her son's foray into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or see how he dealt with BioShock's Little Sisters."

Comment: Re:FUD (Score 1) 276

by BoneFlower (#33070548) Attached to: FBI May Get Easier Access To Internet Activity


I buy that post-9/11, a review of the balance we have struck between freedom and security was warranted.

However, the freedom side of that is vital. Yes, if we don't look after security, anyone will be able to come in and take any freedoms we theoretically have. But without freedom, all that security has exactly no point whatsoever.

Reviewing the balance is fine. But it must be an open, public debate with equal weight given to both sides. Working from an assumption, made before the review, that security must improve, is ridiculous and dangerous.

Comment: Re:Does this apply to everything? (Score 1) 266

by BoneFlower (#33023078) Attached to: Court Rules That Bypassing Dongle Is Not a DMCA Violation

At least as applies to simply using the protected work.

I wouldn't be shocked if it reaches the Supreme Court and they uphold the ruling in the most narrow manner possible, leaving fair use copying uncovered while permitting simple use and viewing.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Court says fair use shouldn't be covered, just that it was not explicitly part of the original case so it does not get answered in their ruling.

Comment: Re:Too bad we don't have rules to deal with this (Score 4, Insightful) 839

by BoneFlower (#30593666) Attached to: Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

The problem is, this doesn't just cover the light,it apparently also can make a signal appear to be something it is not.

This is a severe problem. If they were simply obscured, you are right, fairly easy to deal with. But if they appear to not be obscured, but the snow causes misinterpretation as apparently has happened, bad things will happen that are not the fault of the drivers, but the idiots who installed these systems without the manufacturers option for a heating element.

Comment: I've seen this done very badly (Score 1) 467

by BoneFlower (#30048468) Attached to: Attack of the PowerPoint-Wielding Professors

I've also seen it done very well.

My History professor, the power points are brief talking points. It's the stuff a good professor would have on index cards in the days before power point. Well, what most would have as the title for the index card. They help keep the lectures and peoples notes organized, but do not come close to substituting for either. If you expect to pass by copying and studying the power points, you'll fail hard.

The lesson is presented in the lecture. If he needs to present any substantial information visually, he'll go to the whiteboard, though he does often put useful charts up on the power point, and has used his image choices as starting points for class discussion. His lessons are better with the power points, but there was one time in his Western Civ class where he left his flash drive at home. He went on and presented the lecture pretty much as he would any other day, we just didn't have convenient headers for different sections of our notes that day.

I'm really impressed with how he handles Power Point. It is a tool that definitely improves his ability to teach the class, but he uses other tools as well in a well integrated way. And he can function pretty well without it should he need to. The tool is strictly subordinate to the goal. This makes it both more useful and less necesary.

Most others though, they try to cram all the material in the power point and read it nearly verbatim. I have trouble seeing the point in even attending class, just download the power points and read them myself.

Comment: Not as bad as the summary makes it sound (Score 2, Informative) 550

by BoneFlower (#30020270) Attached to: Visually Impaired Gamer Sues Sony

It's actually got a point.

The main issue appears to be Everquest and the other MMOs they make. These games do not feature reasonable accomodation for visually impaired users. There is only so far you can accomodate visually impaired people in a visual medium, but it's good to go as far as you can without damaging the experience for those with normal vision.

The lawsuit refers to World of Warcraft and some other games to show that such accomodation is in fact possible in an online video game context at a reasonable cost.

I'm not sure the ADA actually applies to online games, but if they can convince the court that it does, they seem to have a solid argument for trial.

Comment: Re:Can't say I'm surprised, unfortunately. (Score 1) 1146

by BoneFlower (#29978386) Attached to: Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

I'd love to be able to make flat decisions on cars like that.

Unfortunately, I'm fairly harshly limited on costs. The most expensive car I've owned is my current Sunbird which I paid $800 for, and it was a stretch to afford that much. But, as might be expected, this being the most I've paid, has also gotten me the most mechanically reliable of any of them.

I've pretty much got to go with whatever is cheap. But since getting the Sunbird and driving it in New England weather, I'm going to go out of my way to find something affordable that has ABS. ABS is no replacement for being a decent driver, but it can certainly help when other people start being dumb in the snow.

Live free or die.