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Comment: Re:Solar efficiency (Score 1) 133

but the panels need to be replaced after about a decade.

You're using very old information. Current generation solar panels are guaranteed to produce 80% of original power after 25 years. The original 'modern' panel is still working 60 years later, and there are lots of evidence they last at least 30.

Though I agree on the nuclear power. I'd be building at least 300 new reactors if I could. It's just that in my original post I was saying that using solar electricity to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere is stupid, especially at those efficiencies. Note that I said 'Even in'; I didn't mean to say that it was the most efficient option.

And yes, synthetic hydrocarbons produced from nuclear power would be a welcome alternative, though I still hold hope for algae based biodiesel/fuel*.

*You can get oil and diesel out of the fats, ethanol or gasoline equivalent out of the carbohydrates.

Comment: Re:Solar efficiency (Score 1) 133

So basically you're saying that now is the perfect time to be doing this research so that it can possibly reach useful levels by the time fossil fuels have been largely phased out within some jurisdictions?

Depends. I don't mind research, indeed I love it. But research isn't magic; there's a definite 'law of reducing returns' out there in general, especially when we're playing with energy. There are huge numbers of vastly different ways to reduce or sequester CO2.

As for the wolves, very interesting article. I don't think it'll work everywhere, but we can duplicate at least some of it.

Comment: Solar efficiency (Score 3, Informative) 133

Indeed. For the foreseeable future you'll reduce CO2 more by using the panels to displace coal power and even Natural Gas. Only after you've shut ALL of them down and still need to reduce CO2 does this make sense.

Even in ~20 years we'd be better off doing something like use all the retiring EV batteries* to help stabilize the grid and shift solar power to the 7-9 pm peak.

*10 years for EVs to actually reach significant market penetration, 10 years more before people start replacing the batteries in them.

Comment: Google should talk with Tesla (Score 4, Insightful) 236

by Firethorn (#47350439) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company's eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley.

Danger to their present business models, you mean.

Personally, I think that Tesla would be an excellent company to talk with. Elon Musk speaks their language.

Comment: Re:ummm...nope (Score 4, Interesting) 73

by Firethorn (#47350397) Attached to: Cambridge Team Breaks Superconductor World Record

Which would be odd, seeing as how in US parlance 'fridge magnet' does indeed mean a magnet intended to attach to your fridge, typically containing advertising or cute sayings, or holding things like sheets of your kid's art up.

Per wiki a typical fridge magnet is 5 mt, or .005 Tesla. So this experiment is more like 3000X as strong as a fridge magnet.

This thing is 10X as strong as most of my 'fridge' magnets, but then I like to play with neodymium ones.

Going by my experience, their 'fridge magnets' would hold to a fridge very well without requiring excessive strength to pull off. Most of mine you have to think about it a bit.

Oh, and 16T is enough to levitate a frog.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by Firethorn (#47333553) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

For example: for the first year after purchasing your first handgun, that's the single most likely cause of death in your life, approaching almost 50% of deaths.

Wouldn't that be the cart leading the horse? If you're committing suicide with a gun in 'under a year' my first thought is that there's a very good chance you bought the gun specifically contemplating suicide.

The suicide problem is huge, and we're not actually losing all that many young adults to anything else. Disease is down, car fatalities are down, other accidental deaths are down, etc...

I feel like it would be extraordinarily intellectually dishonest of me to accept handguns as public health issue, and not alcohol. They are both serious concerns and need to be acknowledged as they are, not stewed in pots of rhetoric.

I agree. Heck, my proposals of fixing schools and our mental healthcare system would actually address suicide as well as violence and other crimes, so bonus.

Comment: Re:Red flag facts (Score 1) 135

As I understand relevant statutes, such as the corresponding US statute (17 USC 512), protections like "common carrier" and "safe harbor" stop applying once there exist "red flag" facts that reasonably should alert a provider to a subscriber's wrongdoing.

Well, a solution to that is that once notified of legal proceedings, you shut off your anonymous AP.

Comment: Re:Shill (Score 5, Insightful) 534

The problem with suing them is that you can only target the corp's assets. Structuring it in such a way that the 'company' doesn't actually have any is pretty standard.

I'm thinking that the BATFE needs to come inspect them to make sure they're in full compliance with the NFA. The regulations are completely different between being a government agency like a police department and a commercial company like a 501(c)(3). I'm also willing to bet that they use government letterhead to purchase restricted stuff.

BATFE: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
NFA: National Firearms Act. Federal law regul

Comment: Re:Far-fetched? (Score 3, Informative) 104

by Firethorn (#47328187) Attached to: Funding for iFind Kickstarter Suspended

For comparison, an RFID reader has the same FCC-imposed limits as WiFi, an EIRP of 4W (or put another way, a 1W transmitter with a typical 6dBi antenna).

RFID readers are also generally bigger than a cell phone, utilize a protocol developed specifically for low power(Bluetooth is incredibly complex and high-powered in comparison, actually doing handshakes and stuff), don't do any more than transmit a number(essentially), and work at ranges a whole lot less than 200 meters.

If we could build a wireless power receiver that doesn't need a specific power transmitter that can transmit powerfully enough to be heard at a couple hundred meters into something the size of a dime ALL small consumer devices would be looking to use it. Bye-bye chargers for the most part would only be the first step.

Comment: Re:We keep getting closer to a dystopia (Score 1, Insightful) 135

Prosecutor,"You should have never said that fellow. You're responsible for what other people do on your router. So lets see what other criminal activities they did before we sentence you to just a couple years of jail."

Common Carrier protection.

Comment: Re: better idea (Score 1) 501

Personally, I'm thinking about experiments in tsunami protection which involves rods/posts set up in such a way it creates a resonance effect that disrupts the whole thing, reflecting the energy back upon itself. Neat stuff, but I'm not an expert and am probably not using the right words.

Still, setting up some massive wind turbines in the correct patterns should have the same effect at massively less cost, and actually provide power to boot.

Comment: Re:and paying the price too (Score 1) 461

by Firethorn (#47317299) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

but as the day approaches and the reality of replacing the German nuclear base load supply with Russian gas, gigawatts of domestic coal expansion and French nuclear exports sets in the policy will probably be set aside.

Especially with the prospect that Russia might turn off the gas again... It's done it before.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach