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Comment: Re:We should move towards more nuclear and solar (Score 1) 256 256

Have you looked at what they are calling "Clean up"? I believe that in Britain they actually filled one reactor building (not just the reactor) with cement. I presume they removed the fuel first. And it's still considered a hazerdous area and entry is forbidden to most people. That's not anything I'd call "clean up". And, IIUC, the US hasn't figured out HOW to close down the Hanford reactors, and is threatening to pollute the Columbia river right down through Seattle. If we need to evacuate Seattle that will be a fair inconvenience. There have already been minor leaks.

I'm not really convinced we know HOW to clean up a reactor site. Even cleaning up after a gas station is a real problem.

Comment: Re:We should move towards more nuclear and solar (Score 1) 256 256

Doing it for research, with energy output being among the things studied, is something I'd support. The current system, though, is worse than nothing. It's setting up random time bombs all across the country. The older ones are just entering their critical period. The more recent ones weren't designed to last as long. Everything is being pushed to produce more power and last longer than it was designed to do. And there's no way to clean up when you shut them down.

OTOH, I don't expect a "China Syndrome", more many "Fukishima-like" incidents. With an occasional incident as bad as Chernobyl (though not through the same failure mode).

Until we can deal with the waste produced by reactors, they shouldn't be anything much more than research projects. Would a fast-breeded really consume all it's fuel? Perhaps that's the way to go. Perhaps some other design. Don't build twenty of a design that hasn't been well tested through decomissioning and cleanup. (Even then expect that you've missed some major problems, but that's no excuse not to do anything.)

Comment: Re:And where does the nitrogen come from? (Score 2) 256 256

Almost. Clover, beans, etc. cannot fix nitrogen. What they *can* do is host microorganisms that *do* fix nitrogen. But this doesn't happen automatically, and different plants host different fixing organisms, so you need to ensure that the proper host is innoculated with the proper fixer. If you buy plant seed this is usually (not always) already done, but it often comes with a coating of accompanying applied fungicides. Sometimes this is intentionally applied to prevent people from eating the seeds. (Check the history of Morning Glory seeds, I forget whether it was "Heavenly Blue" or "Pearly Gates".) Sometimes it's just because the most effective fungicides are somewhat poisonous.

Comment: Re:lettice under LED grow lights? (Score 1) 256 256

It's not clear that using sunlight to grow things is the best approach for urban farming. In fact, unless you are doing rooftop farming it probably isn't.

The real question is, "have they solve the energy problem?" The reason this approach hasn't worked before except for suppliers to real gourmet restaurants is that it's too expensive. Largely this means it uses too much electricity. As a result, it's only been viable where you need extreme freshness.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 116 116

Unfortunately, by your definition I don't believe that there *are* any civilized nations. It's not that I disagree with you, exactly. But I believe that your idealized definition of civilized doesn't map to any country in the world either at the present time or at any previous time.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 116 116

Plenty of excuses, but sorry, if we're using English "kill the messenger" essentially means to act in such a way as to discourage others with the same (or sufficiently similar) message.

You may use the excuses to claim that the intent was other than "killing the messenger", but not to argue that that isn't what they did. To argue that that isn't what they did you would (probably) need to show that their action did not serve to discourage others with similar communications.

OTOH, perhaps in Spanish the phrase would be taken literally, as it once was in English. But in modern English "kill" has many figurative uses, such as "kill the spotlight" (though I think that's now more commonly "strike the spot", which also doesn't involve hitting the light).

Comment: Re:I hate bloatware as much as the next person... (Score 1) 83 83

Why not? Suing them seems totally appropriate unless they are making adequate pre-purchase disclosure, and ensuring that the prospective purchaser is aware of the characteristics of the thing they are purchasing.

Disagree? Re-read Adam Smith.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 2) 384 384

Yes, but remember, in those days "Cookie Monster" was a typical virus. And internet communities were relatively homogenous.

There are, there must be, limits to free speech. Shouting down someone else doesn't count as free speech. At most it's a reasonable reaction to their stifling of your own speech.

In this case it appears (as an outside observer) that this is the silencing of an honest, truthful, and respected voice. If she is an employee of Rededit, then I suppose that is their right, but the proper response is to refuse to deal with or support Rededit in any way. Which is what this protest appears to be doing.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 2) 384 384

What you say is clearly reasonable, but I've got to believe that you are mischaracterizing this event. Censorship is always questionable, even when done for the highest of motives. So are you asserting that the folk on Rededit were inciting to violence? Taken literally it appears that this is what you are saying. I'm sufficiently unfamiliar with the events that this could even be a true and accurate characterization. But I think I'd need to have seen some proof before I believed it.

Given the way that people often behave, I have to admit that defending incitements to violence isn't something I have a hard time believing. What I have a hard time believing is a massive outcry in support of defending incitements to violence (without considerable prior propaganda).

Comment: Re:It's that time... (Score 1) 338 338

It's important. The times that it's critical are rare. So... add if's it's in the middle of the road you prefer to stop rather than run over it. If it's up-right it's proper to dodge dangerously rather than to hit it. The number of crawling kids in the middle of the road is quite small, but it's larger than the number of infants, so add in something that smoothly increases the probability of human as it's (estimated) weight approaches 90 pounds and decreases it as it exceeds 300 pounds. Or 400. So you have a flattened bell curve with a smooth top.

But really, all this fiddling is just to handle corner cases. Usually you just stop or avoid the thing on the road without wondering much what it is. Only if you can't do either of those do you need the fancy figuring, which is a pain, because that's when you need the fast decision, so you "corner case handler" need to be something simple.
Rule 1: If it's standing up, it's a human. Don't hit, even if you must take damage. (This yields several false positives, but too bad. We need a quick decision.)
Rule 2: Estimate it's weight. (Ouch! That looks like a slow while you're doing it, slow and start dodging.) If it's above 25 pounds, avoid even if you must take damage. (Note that hitting something heavy at a fast speed will damage you no matter what.) Continue slowing and preparing to dodge. If it's following a ball, dodge even if you must take damage.

Sorry, time's up.

This isn't a perfect approach, but it's simple, and doable. The hard step is estimating weight. There is a problem with false positives. A paper mache statue would count as human. But it should handle all common cases. And there should also be a distinction between streets where the traffic is slow and rare and streets where the traffic is fast and common. Freeways are much less likely to have humans walking in the road.

Additionally, there should be a rule about not overdriving your reaction time, especially on slow streets, but nothing can stop a kid from running out right in front of you from between two parked cars. And nobody, neither automaton nor human, can reliably deal with that. Which is why that first rule about "upright" is made to yield a lot of false positives. If you have time, then you can refigure things and perhaps decide that "that's a paper mache statute", so you may start to dodge in a way that will damage yourself, and then refigure to avoid damaging yourself when you, more slowly, decide that such action isn't needed.

Beware the new TTY code!