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Comment: Re:For a country so good at engineering... (Score 1) 136

by TapeCutter (#47803613) Attached to: Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany
Renewables can and will eventually replace coal, that is a GoodThing(TM), sure they have an ecological footprint but (like nuclear power) it's virtually zero compared to coal. The question isn't nukes vs solar, the question is what combination of current technologies will replace coal's market dominance, current nuclear technologies cannot do this alone for several reasons, expense, limited fuel reserves, plain old fear. Solar is now significantly cheaper and certainly much cleaner than imported brown coal, which is why India has embarked on a solar project to supply power to 400M people (40% of the population).

Replacing coal sounds like a massive task but consider that every coal plant on the planet was built during my lifetime, some were even built and rebuilt. The economics is such that I'm now confident they will be replaced with solar/wind farms in the next 50yrs. The hydro dams are already in place and there aren't many suitable sites left for new ones. All forms of power generation must match supply to demand on the grid, ie: they need a buffer to be able to match the "wavy" demand curve of a typical city. Coal produces a flat supply curve (so called "base load"), it already uses the existing dams as giant batteries by pumping water uphill during off-peak times and pulling it back onto the grid during peak times. As renewables start replacing coal why would they not also use the existing hydro infrastructure to similar effect?

Comment: Re:Reall problem: German radiation phobia (Score 1) 136

by TapeCutter (#47803393) Attached to: Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany
The radiation is harmful to wildlife but no where near as harmful as plain old human habitation. Wildlife thrives in the Chernobyl exclusion zone not because the radiation is harmless but because there are no people. The DMZ on the korean peninsula is the same, no people, plenty of land mines and wildlife.

BTW: Coulter is a troll and Greenpeace did not kill nuclear power, Chernobyl did that, yes there were exceptional circumstances as there was with the BP oil spill but Joe Average doesn't give a shit about excuses when the inevitable mega-fuck-up occurs.

Comment: Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (Score 1) 454

by TapeCutter (#47799987) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"
"W" is the 23rd letter of the alphabet, W = 23 = 2 X 3 = 6 : WWW = 666. Isaac Newton wrote almost a million words on the numerology of 666, in fact he wrote a lot more about theology than science. Thing is nobody remembers him for his prolific "contributions" to theology.

Comment: Re:What a stupid question (Score 1) 161

by khasim (#47791893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Asking nerds what apps are good is like strolling into a literature forum and asking "I haven't read a book in 15 years - anything new out that you think is good?"

Well this "Twilight" series is a best seller. As is this "50 Shades of Grey".

I really with the old Twilight Zone was still running. I think that that premise would make a great episode.

Comment: Mod parent up. (Score 1) 274

by khasim (#47791829) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

I'm going to map my drive to work, by driving it a few dozen times.

And that is if you are the ONLY person with a robot car on that road. Which may be correct for the initial roll-out. But this is a great example of the "network effect". If 100 people in your state own robot cars then a LOT of your state will be continuously mapped / re-mapped / re-re-mapped / etc.

Are we really whining because a brand new technology can't do EVERYTHING for us? Because it only takes care of MOST of the drudgery?

There is space to be filled and page hits to be collected. Demanding instant perfection for every edge-case is a good way of doing both.

Google has logged over 700,000 miles in those vehicles. Without a single robot-controlled accident.

There might be problems in certain weather conditions. Or in certain other conditions. Or whatever. In which case the driver should take over.

And since it is software, eventually those problems should be solved.

Comment: It probably can. (Score 4, Insightful) 274

by khasim (#47791473) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Judging by how badly TFA was written.

If a new stop light appeared overnight, for example, the car wouldn't know to obey it.

Got it. So the cars cannot handle changes in traffic markers.

Google's cars can detect and respond to stop signs that aren't on its map, a feature that was introduced to deal with temporary signs used at construction sites.

So they cannot deal with new stop LIGHTS but they can deal with new stop SIGNS. WTF?

But in a complex situation like at an unmapped four-way stop the car might fall back to slow, extra cautious driving to avoid making a mistake.

And it would be "unmapped" for the first attempt. Right? Because the cars should be sending back data on road conditions and such to HQ. Right?

Maps have so far been prepared for only a few thousand miles of roadway, but achieving Google's vision will require maintaining a constantly updating map of the nation's millions of miles of roads and driveways.

And the car needs the map to drive, right?

Google's cars have safely driven more than 700,000 miles.

So they just drove over the same "few thousand miles of roadway" again and again and again and again? Until they got to 700,000 miles?

The car's sensors can't tell if a road obstacle is a rock or a crumpled piece of paper, so the car will try to drive around either.

As it should. Because you don't know if that piece of paper is covering a rock or a pothole or whatever.

For example, John Leonard, an MIT expert on autonomous driving, says he wonders about scenarios that may be beyond the capabilities of current sensors, such as making a left turn into a high-speed stream of oncoming traffic.

Isn't that one of the easier problems? The car waits until it detects a gap of X size where X is dependent upon the speed of oncoming vehicles and the distance it needs to cross PLUS a pre-set "safety margin".

Comment: Mod parent up. (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by khasim (#47791297) Attached to: Judge Allows L.A. Cops To Keep License Plate Reader Data Secret

This is the primary problem with "sweep" methods of collecting data.

There MIGHT be something in the "sweep" that MAY impact a current investigation. Therefore, ALL of the "sweep" must be hidden from the public.

Bullshit. There shouldn't be any difficulty in removing the items relevant to a current investigation. The should already be tagged as such. Then release the rest.

This is a case of "collect EVERYTHING and keep it FOREVER" so that anyone can be backtracked if the cops or politicians decide to do so. Where do you go? When? Why? What do you do there?

Now imagine a cop tracking your daughter to find out where she lives and where she works and which college she goes to and when she leaves for classes.

Comment: Re:It's made of plated steel (Score 1) 53

by Guppy06 (#47790863) Attached to: Watch UK Inventor Colin Furze Survive a Fireworks Blast In a Metal Suit

known for its superb conductivity of heat

Exactly: pinpoint heat sources will see that energy rapidly disbursed throughout the entire suit rather than stay concentrated in a hot spot.

Water's heat conductivity, its ability to spread heat out into meaninglessness, is one of the reasons why it's effective at extinguishing fires.

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.