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Comment Re:Yeah, I thought this problem was solved (Score 1) 17

Newly installed cooling towers deal with this, as this search shows.

That search clearly isn't showing me what it's showing you, because all I'm getting is a bunch of descriptions of the problem. Pathetically, even the CDC page only describes the problem, even though the CDC has renamed itself the centers for disease control and prevention. If you actually drill down a couple of links you get to their page on prevention... which only covers hot tubs! Your tax dollars at work! No, wait. They're on vacation.

Comment Re:Cooling towers (Score 1) 17

I believe these refer to cooling towers used for air conditioning, from context. These are more efficient versions (if I understand it correctly) of the compressor (the box that's usually outside as part of a normal two unit home air conditioning system), that use water evaporation to cool the system.

Comment Re:Against the law (Score 1) 66

Oh the laws are just,

Because you said so, right?

tell me something what part about requiring carrier insurance(including the minimum required for liability)

Uber provides additional insurance while carrying a fare, and insurance premiums are already assessed for mileage which accounts for the additional mileage between fares.

having a chauffeurs license,

A worthless thing which does none of the things it is claimed to do.

and operating with a business license and having the mandated tax requirements for provincial/state and federal are unjust.

It's easy to do people for taxes. But there's plenty of unjust fees and taxes.

Uber doesn't want to have any of these on their drivers, that's what the problem is.

False. You're a liar.

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 1) 59

Nope - it decays to 234U, which has a 246k year half life and is also an alpha emitter. There's some minor spontaneous fission in 238Pu, which can produce basically whatever, but the spontaneous fission half life is 4,77e10 years, which is dwarfed by the alpha half life of 87,77 years. There's also the potential for the occasional alpha side reaction, but the cross sections are extremely low.

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 2) 59

Yes, it is that bad. And he makes it even worse by boasting about how "incredible" the efficiency of the "super-efficient" panels and then giving it a terrible efficiency, something in the ballpark of 11% if I recall correctly. And then states that the panels are at a fixed tilt (with the "scientist" protagonist not understanding why they'd choose a particular angle... *snicker*) - so they're not sun tracking. Combine this with Mars's low solar constant. Combine this with the dust that he says he has to keep wiping off the panels. Combine this with the not-all-that-impressive panel area to begin with. Combine this with the maybe 20-30% efficiency you might get in producing PAR with a good LED grow light. Combine this with the fact that these are not grow lights, but rather the normal room lighting built into the habitat (white phosphor = loss of energy). Combine this with the fact that anyone who thinks you can grow caloric crops on normal room lighting is a moron, regardless of how much power you have available to you.

I can break it down with exact numbers for you if you want, but I'll just sum it up for you: it's 2-3 orders of magnitude off, and that's assuming that there's no bottleneck of how many lights the habitat was built with, which would actually probably bottleneck it to 3-4 orders of magnitude off. To people who've never grown caloric plants without sunlight, they can be forgiven for not understanding how vastly much energy it takes. Trust me: it takes a *ton*. The sun at Earth imparts about a kilowatt of light per square meter. Per *square meter* - and that's light, meaning to reproduce the sun, you have to use several kilowatts per square meter to account for the losses. Think of how much power an efficient light bulb consumes. Now think of how many of them you need to use to equal a kilowatt of power consumption. And how much of your light you lose to straying.

You have a few things going for you. The sun goes down at night. The sun isn't always high overhead, so you have cosine scaling. So you don't have to produce as much energy as the above implies. But it's still a mind-boggling vast amount of light to need to produce across a very large area. A very good yield of potatoes (which contrary to his claims, you absolutely will not get in his situation even if you had sufficient light - going into why would be a longer post than even this one) - is about 50 tonnes per hectare per year, or 5 kg per square meter per year, or 11000 calories per square meter per year, or about 3-4 days worth of calories for our anything-but-sedentary protagonist, meaning a farm area of about 100 square meters. If one assumes that the reduced solar output caused by sun angles and night to roughly compensate for the energy losses to convert electricity into light and the amount of light that strays, then you need about 1kW constantly per square meter, or 100kW, to match the energy input from the sun. That's the power consumed by 80 average houses in the US. Not like his hab would have 100kW of lights just built into it....

It's easy to forget how intense of an energy source the sun is, and how much energy it takes to keep a human going.

The thing is, had the author not been totally ignorant about plants (despite making his main character a botanist... a botanist that somehow nonetheless seems disgusted by manure ;) ), there are ways one could have reasonably written in a doable scenario. But botany is one of the many, many things that Weir totally bungled in the book.

Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 348

What do those Princeton egghead PSYCHOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS know about nutritional science? Nothing. That study is bogus.

Let's see...

"In results published online Feb. 26 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity."

Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 348

I'm not. I throw beer down my neck. But sometimes I'm out shopping and I feel like an OJ - and once in a while I get the urge for a Coke.

Even though my comment was a reply to yours, I wasn't really directing any criticism at you, drywit. I agree. I'll have a Coke now and then, too. If that's what I'm served at a backyard BBQ or something. I just try to add enough Jack Daniels to kill the taste of the HFCS.

Comment Re:Before anyone bangs on about bedallions and so (Score 1) 67

Yeah, self-driving cars in central London. That'll work, with all the roadworks, cyclists, pedestrians, buses, delivery vans, crossings, variable traffic controls based on congestion / time of day / both, road narrowing / widening, etc.. If you'd ever driven in any large town or city in UK (yes, even Milton Keynes) you'd know how silly that idea is.

The silly idea is that humans, who fuck up driving all the time, are inherently better than computers plus remote human monitoring of exceptions.

Do you think a self-driving car, such as we have today or even in the next ten years can cope with that?

Yep. Why not? The computers are better at following rules than we are.

Comment Re:How about that (Score 1) 78

The trend is towards using regular English endings in words with Germanic roots.

It makes good sense, too. English has so many rules specifically because it hasn't done that in the past, so we have words constructed with rules for latin, greek, german, english, etc., as you clearly know. It's infuriating.

Comment Re:Against the law (Score 1) 67

Haven't we had this discussion multiple times before?

Yes, but idiots keep pointing out how illegal Uber is without stopping to think about whether those laws are just. Nobody gives a fuck about the argument that what Uber is doing is illegal, unless they are already anti-Uber. Legality does not equal morality, so breaking the law is not in itself a sign of evil.

Comment Re:Are and storms that fierce on Mars? (Score 2) 59

Clarification on radiation shielding: you generally don't use just a hydrogen rich layering, there may be metallic layers as well (such as the craft's outer skin, tankage, etc). But most of the high energy solar and GCR is charged particles, mainly protons. The lower end of the energy range will almost entirely impact whatever shielding you use, creating a small shower of secondaries. Some high energy particles will impact, some will pass right through. Those that pass through will most likely pass through everything, and those that do impact crew will mostly impart only a tiny fraction of their energy to them. Those that impact the shielding create an ever-growing shower of secondaries; where the secondaries aren't sufficiently blocked poses more of a risk to the crew than had the particle not impacted anything at all on the way in. Primaries at over 10MeV or so are particularly prone to kicking off secondaries, and once you get into hundreds of MeV spallation starts becoming a significant component.

All of this together means that the most important particles to block are the secondaries, in that they're more numerous, less likely to cause negative side effects by blocking them, etc. Heavier secondaries like alphas are easy to block, while it's unrealistic to block a significant fraction of high energy gammas on something as light as a spacecraft. This leaves the neutron secondaries as your prime target for elimination, which can generally be captured if moderated down first, but otherwise pose a risk to the crew. The lighter the element and the higher the cross section, the better the moderator; also, the lighter the element, the more you can carry on a spacecraft. Hydrogen fits all three bills well. Once moderated down, then the capture cross section becomes key. Hydrogen can manage thermal neutron capture over a sufficient distance, but far better is something like boron. In fact, metals can sometimes be counterproductive, especially on the inner side of the shielding. They increase the risk of spallation, bremmstrahlung, and your neutron captures are much more likely to produce short half life isotopes which will then undergo beta- decay.

There's no need for an unusual amount of metal in the shielding (over what would be needed to build the craft itself), and no need to make it a faraday cage. EM radiation and charged particles are very different beasts.

Comment Re: The new normal for Android (Score 1) 114

Almost ALL Android Devices are "Abandoned" on the day you buy them;

Literally the only Android device I've got which got no updates is the Sony Xperia Play. I learned my lesson, and Sony can DIAF. (They explicitly promised ICS for it, but never delivered.) Every other device I've got has had at least two substantial upgrades, or will be getting them. TF201 got two. Moto G had one, is getting another. Nexus 4, not a problem. My crappy MK908 TV stick had two updates. All of these devices got at least a couple of years of support.

YOU brought up length-of-OFFICIAL-Support. you lose.

You don't even understand the argument, iFanboy. The argument is that once official support is over, your iDevice is garbage. At least there's a chance that someone will support your Android device. Now go throw your old Apple devices in the landfill and shut the fuck up.

Comment Re:Before anyone bangs on about bedallions and so (Score 1) 67

Before anyone starts with the whole "medallion" thing, that's not a thing in London. If you want to publicly tout for business (i.e a black caps), you have to do "the knowledge" which is a very extensive and tough test for knowing your way around without a stanav. And no: having a sat nav is not remotely equivalent to actually knowing your way around

No, it's better. Google knows where traffic is stacked up in real time. If there's been an accident and a lorry is across all lanes someplace, Google will know about it before a driver with "the knowledge" — it doesn't mean you're bloody omniscient. If you were, you wouldn't go into the cab business, because you'd be able to see that self-driving cars are about to eliminate it entirely and this is just a big wankfest to grab the last few years. Like you'd be an idiot to go into trucking right now, as a career.

Nonsense. Space is blue and birds fly through it. -- Heisenberg