Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:It isn't an all or nothing approach... (Score 1) 645

No, the problem is: what worst case can happen.

Which is? They run tourist trips to Pripyat! There is an area around it that you probably wouldn't want to live in if you didn't have to, but bear in mind that Chernobyl WAS a worst-case scenario - the reactor exploded. The world's still here.

First: no one can prevent the lifting without an act of war.
Secondly: the beam down would be low density microwaves, no one would that even notice.

I did flag these as opinions! I think that it would require an international agreement before beaming and form of concentrated energy back to earth would be allowed by governments. And if you think that people will be happy about "being bathed in microwaves from a space satellite" no matter how diffuse, you haven't been paying attention to the media.

That is nonsense. The solar panels we typically put on roofs are made from: sand

Please stop saying this. It's like saying "my i7 processor is made from: sand!". It requires microchip grade silicon, rare earths, and copper to make a solar panel. You can't go to the beach and steal a kid's sand-castle to make one. In particular there is a potential bottleneck around the supply of rare earths.

Wind is situational Depends on the size of the area, no?

Yes it does. But what it means is that the total installed power generation capacity will (probably) never be reached which leads us to:

and without better storage or matching generation will not be a trusted generation source.

Tell that the countries that use significant wind power.

It appears that these countries are building LNG and Coal backup plants, such as in Germany? Germany also can import nuclear power from France on a calm day. Another wind-power stalwart, Denmark can import power from the Scandinavian peninsula's hydro power and from Germany's neigbours via Germany too. Wind is a great power source, but pretending it doesn't have issues around base-load at the moment is disingenuous.

Also, offshore wind is going to be really, really expensive on maintenance. Few substances are as corrosive as salt water.

That is why the generators are 200m above sea niveau ... there is no salt water. Also, for obvious reasons: the generator nacelle is water tight.

The pylons will require significantly more maintenance than their onshore cousins, as will the blades.

You probably mean wave generators?

Yeah, I did. Theoretically, they are great but practically the maintenance considerations make them non-economic right now.

Most tidal plants need a big basin that is filled during high tide and emptied during low tide. So four times a day for roughly 2h each, it does not generate power at all. And more important: you need a suitable spot at the coast and a high enough difference between low tide and high tide.
Similar problems with the 2h break periods have current based tide generators. They exist and work well, maintenance and corrosion seem solved problems: but again you need special spots where the currents are strong enough. We build them around the british islands btw.

Maintenance and corrosion are "solved" by very, very intensive maintenance.

Comment Re:Israel won't like it (Score 1) 229

What if those Jewish immigrants declared they were going to buy up land in New York instead, and once they got enough people there they would declare their own state. And with a UN endorsement they did so until the UN announced a partition granting Manhattan to the new Jewish state.

This is viciously ironic given how the land rights for the island of Manhattan were acquired from the native Americans.

Comment Re:It isn't an all or nothing approach... (Score 1) 645

Chernobyl was not really an accident, though - Chernobyl is what happens when you turn off all the safeties and then deliberately stress the reactor to see what happens, and have your B team there and no backup plan. Chernobyl was deliberate. The result was not what they expected, but they effectively pushed the big red button to see what would happen. And even then the casualties were light (using WHO figures, your opinion on their reliability is your own), especially compared to the fear that it generated.

Argue economics about nuclear, but it has an enviable safety record. The problem is perception - you can name all the nuclear accidents but probably few, if any, accidents for coal or gas, even if the casualties were higher. Heck, dam failures are more devestating but people are still more afraid of nuclear.

Other opinions:
Orbital solar is unlikely to happen because no-one is going to allow anything that can beam energy in the control of another nation in orbit at the moment, all other considerations aside.
Solar panel production is going to become a bottleneck - particularly the raw materials needed - if the solar build out accelerates significantly. In the long term it will only become the bulk of power generation if we get continent sized grids or better grid-level storage. It is the preferred solution, for sure, but it will take time.
Wind is situational and without better storage or matching generation will not be a trusted generation source. Also, offshore wind is going to be really, really expensive on maintenance. Few substances are as corrosive as salt water. Otherwise we'd be using tidal generators everywhere.

Comment Re: Doesn't sound very credible to me (Score 1) 188

The linked study explicitly says that potentially petrol cars "must have been" emitting twice as much particulate as previously measured/estimated. As you seem to have forgotten it

Once thought to be minor players, gasoline-burning engines could put out twice as much black carbon as was previously measured, according to new field methods

I pulled the previously measured estimated numbers, doubled them, and they're still far behind the measured diesel ones. Double the gas ones again and they're still behind based on the current measurements although now it's close. How is this difficult to understand?

That's nothing compared to what gasoline engines are doing to your lungs.

That is not a conclusion that you can take from the study you linked. That petrol is worse than previously thought does not make diesel better. By their measurements diesel is still signficantly worse!

Comment Re:With you on themed planets (Score 1) 508

Star Wars is signficantly less guilty in this respect than Star Trek, though. Even though the Emperor was racist AF (which is still canon, right?) both the Rebel Alliance and the general population had a lot of aliens in all of the movies. There was also a strong alien presence in the games and books.

Comment Re: Doesn't sound very credible to me (Score 1) 188

Whether or not it's true is irrelevant (although it is true by any rational measurement. That petrol is worse than thought does not make it worse than diesel). It's politicians so we expect them to be using 10 year old research to justify decisions that make their constituents happy. It does not require some worldwide conspiracy.

Comment Re: Doesn't sound very credible to me (Score 1) 188

So, despite that "particulate emissions from petrol cars are so low that they are not routinely measured" and can "emit 25 to 400 times more mass of particulate black carbon and associated organic matter ("soot") per kilometer" the fact that petrol cars may release twice as much particulate means that they've suddenly caught up?

Pull the other one, it's got bells on. Twice "barely measureable" makes "less barely measureable" and even in the worst case that means that diesel emits 12 to 200 times more. That's "a much higher level" by my reckoning. No-one's saying petrol is saintly.

With the most modern DPFs this would probably not be an issue - or at least not as much an issue as it is now - but we don't live in an ideal world. And the current state of play is that diesel is implicated in having (if not proven to have) measurable health effects in dense urban environments which is a specific use-case. Anecdotally, the rise of diesel is making buildings grimier than they have been since the smogs of London and Paris were beaten into submission. London cannot control car policy nationwide so it has to broad brush like this but the real solution would be refusing to grant MoT approval for diesels without adequate DPFs.
That's not the point I was responding to, though. I was pointing out that it's not some vast conspiracy, it has to do with the either perceived or real health impacts of lots of diesel in a small area.

Comment Re:EMV chip cloning (Score 1) 145

Yeah, I was aware of that one and actually meant (but forgot) to add a qualifer. However, that article title is misleading - the attack used was against a stolen card and the author is incorrect in that you cannot record everything "bar the unpredectible number" from the chip, clone it and expect to validate a transaction. The cryptographic key isn't revealed. Now if the unpredictable numbers are too predictable it may be possible to eventually get that key which would be a serious issue which WOULD allow cloning.
The unpredictable number is transmitted with everything else so it's, on it's own, inherently insecure in a cryptographic sense and given a raw message buffer I could read it for you without any tools. But it was not designed to be random (it's not called a random number, after all), it was designed to add a small element of "unpredictability" as an input to an althgorithm that's run on the card chip itself with key that's present on that chip and cannot be read.

Are there insecurities in an EMV payment system? Yes. Is it possible to use a stolen card? Yes (but much harder than a magstripe to the point of being very difficult indeed if you want to use it in a card-present scenario). Is is possible to clone a chip card? Not, as far as we know, at this point.

Comment Re:Fuck You Slashdot (Score 1) 145

Why couldn't you just use the first stolen card's body?

You need the original chip intact and the thickness increased from 0.4mm to 0.7mm. This made it harder to get into the reader so I assume it was to prevent the chip on top being pressured which may screw up the contact to the chip below, and also the card would look weird if it was half again as thick.

As for the PIN, if it's wrong in an offline environment you'd never know. At best, you can reduce windows and thresholds for requiring allowing cards to be used offline. You can't stop this attack with the current hardware while still allowing offline transactions.

True, but the customer's never going to see it!

There are 3 verification steps with EMV, card verification, cardholder verification and transaction verification. They were pretty coy about what they did but they said that they'd coupled the card, cardholder and transaction verification in a way that made this attack more difficult. As I said, it's pretty generic and they won't say how they did it.

Comment Re:Fuck You Slashdot (Score 1) 145

Stolen chip with malicious chip soldered on top. No idea why you need a second stolen card for the body as shown in the image.

So the card didn't have the chip protruding, which would have made it look tampered with. It may also have allowed the card to be inserted without damaging the new chip.

This was done in France in 2011. EMVCo claims they've fixed this or made it harder. They won't say how. No one believes them.

The will say how, they just won't give details. The basic problem is that you have offline PIN validation where the chip can validate the entered PIN and say "yo, it's all good, I've verified the PIN". This method is allowed for low-value stuff (think metro tickets) up to a bank-defined threshold for a bank-defined number of transactions, then the card is forced online.
To allow this, the original implementations allowed completely separate PIN validation and Transaction validation. They said that they increased the coupling so that if the PIN is wrong the application request cryptogram will no longer validate correctly, I believe.

Slashdot Top Deals

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry