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Comment: Re:What you're missing... (Score 1) 250

by Fierlo (#45242173) Attached to: Jeffrey Zients Appointed To Fix Healthcare.gov
Lots of things are designed not to fail. Arguably, everything is designed to not fail, however, everything that is designed well is designed to fail gracefully or in a predictable fashion (or at least, not catastrophically).

The reason you don't get invited to meetings is that you demonstrated arrogance (or misplaced humour) when asked a legitimate question.

Not that being in meetings is particularly pleasant, but there is sometimes value in being present.

Comment: Re:old, really old, news (Score 1) 586

by Fierlo (#44910039) Attached to: USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document
There should never be accidental detonation of any munition on a bomber/fighter. The entire point is that they target something. Whether a country is at war, or flying a training exercise during peace time, you never want any weapon to detonate when the plane goes down shortly after takeoff.

Comment: Re:Clarification requested on "load priority" (Score 2) 687

Not sure how it works in the US, but in Ontario, there is the Feed-In-Tariff program (FIT). Otherwise known as a way to make money from renewable energy. Depending on the scale / method of electricity produced, you are guaranteed a different rate. Something like $0.13/kWh for wind, and $0.40/kWh for solar. And I think the term they use to describe them is 'non-dispatchable', in that, the grid must always accept the energy provided by these generators. Other generators (natural gas / hydro) are generally responsible for curbing output and maintaining adequate spinning reserves.

I assume it is somewhat similar in the US but don't know the details.

Nuclear plants aren't usually asked to reduce power, as they provide baseload generation. It is simpler to ask a fossil plant to shutdown.

Comment: Re:Living up to your name, I see. (Score 1) 274

by Fierlo (#44534121) Attached to: Samsung Infringed On Apple Patents, Says ITC
FRAND doesn't mean that the price of licensing the patent should be near zero. Just that it should not be discriminatory. If Samsung's typical price is in the range of 2.4% of the handset, then why would it be different for Apple? Just because they chose to produce a more expensive shiny trinket? If that's the case, then everyone else would say that they were discriminated against (I paid 2.4% and Apple only paid 0.3%).

Also, if Apple really didn't want to pay the appropriate licensing fee, then they could have just used technology that did not violate any of the patents. After all, they do place a very high priority on IP.

Comment: Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

by Fierlo (#44377493) Attached to: Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan
Maybe you should help subsidize them because you want to buy meat, bread and gas. You don't think the farmers live in the city, do you? What about the oil refineries? Obviously, they drill and refine oil in your city specifically for you, and could not possibly be doing this in an area that is unattractive (except for the oil refineries).

You strike me as one of those city hipsters that doesn't actually know what goes into making their life possible.

Comment: Re:The day human beings become rational ... (Score 1) 1029

I recently went to see "The Purge", and prior to the start time (8:35), there was a pre-show consisting of entertainment trivia, product placement spots, and such.

At 8:35, the commercials started. I timed it. There was a full 10 minutes of commercials.

Then there were previews. 10 minutes of previews. I don't mind the previews usually, but after sitting through 10 minutes of commercials, I just wanted to see the movie.

For an 86 minute movie, there was 20 minutes of stuff before the movie started, and the movie ended up starting at 8:55 instead of 8:35.

I won't be going to the theatre again any time soon.

Comment: Re:is it really that big of problem? (Score 1) 924

by Fierlo (#44150883) Attached to: The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens
Answering your phone and leaving the theater means it was probably important.

However, checking your texts and responding??? Texts are never important. If they were that important, it wouldn't have been a text (no guaranteed delivery time, and no feedback that it was received). It would have been a phone call, and taken care of by the above scenario.

The fact that you see people checking their phones and texting (here and there...) during the movie does not mean that you live in a more polite region, it just means that your definition of polite has shifted dramatically during the years.

Comment: Re:I never found it a REAL problem (Score 1) 924

by Fierlo (#44150875) Attached to: The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens
You know, I am sure that the Red Cross does many good things, like you mentioned, however I am often conflicted about large humanitarian / philanthropic organizations. They just seem like they have many layers of management.

I am always glad to hear about the 'normal' folk who provide immense value to these organizations.

Comment: Re:NIMBY (Score 1) 436

by Fierlo (#44096811) Attached to: The Aging of Our Nuclear Power Plants Is Not So Graceful

In the case of any thermal station (nuclear, coal, etc.), this is not good, because they are suddenly producing vast amounts of waste heat that must be quenched. The sudden changes in temperature cause the heat exchangers can go into thermal shock. Also, once cooled, any brick refractory material must be checked. This process takes days, especially in the case of nuclear generating stations where numerous rigorous safety checks must be completed. Thus, once the grid has been destabilized, it cannot restart quickly.

The heat exchangers (e.g., boilers / steam generators) at a nuclear plant don't go into a 'thermal shock' when a plant is forced to shutdown unexpectedly. The plants are designed to reduce power rapidly (~2% per second, in some cases) to vent steam to maintain the temperature / pressure in the steam generators and primary heat transport system. This is called 'zero power hot' by many utilities. You're producing basically zero power, but the systems are still hot.

The reason it takes longer for a nuclear plant to restart after reducing power rapidly is the xenon transient. At full power, there is a baseload of neutron absorbing xenon-135, which is daughter product of iodine-135. When power is reduced, xenon-135 is no longer being 'burned,' only produced by the decay of iodine. The result is that there is a large amount of negative reactivity that the control systems cannot counteract. Depending on the exact fuel makeup, it can take about 30-36 hours for the xenon to decay down far enough such that you achieve criticality again.

Page 11 of 14 for a nice graph

Comment: Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 1) 1215

by Fierlo (#44067453) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?
I was thinking along these lines too. For any issued report / calc (either internally or externally), it should be very simple to reproduce for one of two reasons:

1. It is a 'simple' problem with only one real solution.

2. The report / calc is issued with the exact instructions and/or files to reproduce the results.

It is much harder to do #2 when you're trying to follow along what someone else has done in the GUI vs. a flat text file where errors can be very readily apparent, or at least checked programmatically.

Comment: Re:Come on guys, have some ethics (Score 1) 128

by Fierlo (#43921625) Attached to: GM Crop Producer Monsanto Using Data Analytics To Expand Its Footprint
A large degree of unknowns is okay, from a crop diversity perspective. It reduces the likelihood of a single organism being able to wipe out the entire crop.

A plant with a relatively homogeneous genome will be more susceptible to certain types, and less susceptible to others.

However, it only takes one very efficient killer to wipe the GM crops out. It may take several different ones to whack the more diverse crops.

Comment: Re:So, not a Tepco site (Score 1) 72

by Fierlo (#43880493) Attached to: Monju Nuclear Plant Operator Ordered To Stop Restart Preparation
Preventing regulatory capture is pretty simple in theory. You give the regulator real power, complete independence, and almost more importantly, money. Doesn't really matter where the money comes from. I would think in most countries, the utilities pay a large portion of the fees. If a certain site requires more oversight, the utility is obligated to pay for it.

However, the real reason for requiring the regulator to have enough money is to ensure that they can hire higher-end technical experts to really challenge the utilities.

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