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Comment: Re:Time delay (Score 1) 93

Or over the sum of the billions of planets out there, it may turn out that at any given time there are a few hundred in the midst of an industrial revolution, who's light is just now reaching us.

Space is really, really big. And one consequence of that is provided we know what to look for, and have the capability to see it, we have a very large sample population to test for various observations.

Comment: Re:Advanced? (Score 1) 93

Also no one is saying this is the only way life can possibly exist. The assumption with the search for extraterrestial life is that our first goal is to find anyone else out there, and the easiest way to do that is to look for people who are enough like us that we can make logical assumptions about them (which is a bit anthropological principlely but it's valid).

If tomorrow we discovered intelligent gas clouds living in the Jovian atmosphere, and correlated a bunch of spectral features to them, then you can bet we'd also be looking for life which obeyed those parameters.

Comment: Re:user error (Score 1) 708

The point is that it's irrelevant how much electricity you use, the question is where does the electricity come from?

If the government were throwing up new coal plants to meet a rising demand, then reducing demand would be relevant (not the case though). If its not, then the main objective in efficiency measures is to try to stall growth in consumption long enough to meet a new normal in how we build out capacity. Not this absurd idea that there's something inherently right about reducing "energy" use. There isn't. The exact thing we need to do is reduce CO2 emissions - that is all.

In a similar vein it's why I've little patience for hybrid/electric car takedowns based on the energy of production of the vehicle. That's irrelevant really: the question is in what form was it acquired? A hybrid or electric car built solely with electrically powered equipment is better then a conventional gas powered one, because there is no reason whatsoever it can't be powered by CO2-less sources.

Somewhere out there is an fossil fuel lobby which has had detailed meetings over reframing the language about climate change just laughing over how they've managed to divide opinion by getting people to mix up their terminology and it worked.

Comment: Re:user error (Score 1) 708

Why are we talking about energy use?

Energy use has been brought in as a patsy in climate change, because if we actually talked about CO2-emissions more often then the oil and gas industry would still be unable to pretend they're remotely part of the solution.

Presently, it doesn't matter how much electricity I, you or anyone else uses. It's not a number that needs to go down, because we have no reasonable level of non-CO2 emitting grid capacity, nor initiatives to build out more at a pace likely to keep up with a reasonable level of demand increase.

Comment: Re:Ewww... (Score 2) 242

by Electricity Likes Me (#47440067) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

I like that you are omitting any comment on what the life span of water-water interactions in liquid form is. Because it's on the order femtoseconds or shorter.

And it is transient to the existence of an actual solute or surface to create any statistically significant effects - i.e. anti-fouling coatings achieve part of there action by changing the water-packing order near the surface. But that doesn't persist once the surface is removed.

Also frankly, your entire comment sounds like a bait and switch on homeopathy in the making. Surface scientists and molecular biologists care about the structure of water over nanometer scale distances but generally no larger. That you feel it's important in a discussion of bulk filtration is...odd.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 1) 228

by Electricity Likes Me (#47427601) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

I don't know. It feels like with the improvements in RF engineering we've made today it should be possible to make a microwave which has better heating characteristics.

I mean the problem with the microwave as it currently exists is that it just kind of splats the energy all around the cooking space. Could we not design one which used constructive interference and multiple sources to build up a more even and precise cooking field?

Comment: Re:hmm.... (Score 1) 201

Guess which of those things we now take some security precautions with, such as tracking or licensing the sale of or inspecting in hazardous contexts?

All of them. You have just listed a list of things we treat seriously because they can be used to do illegal things and we don't want that.

Comment: Re:Bet it doesn't work (Score 1) 203

I was going to criticize this, but actually this seems like it would work. You could feed a single spool into a common melt chamber, and then use needle valves on the heads to control whether specific points extruded. All the benefits of a small nozzle diameter without the draw back when filling in large items.

Programmers do it bit by bit.