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Comment: Re:Build colonies on Earth (Score 1) 234 234

Indeed, I was playing fast and loose with the definition of resource, but I think in this case it can be considered as such. ;) Too much sun can still be a bad thing, especially if it's evaporating all the water, and the energy absorbed and reflected by the solar panels will reduce the temperature underneath. So let's assume that the solar panels are 30 feet above ground and block 30%-70% of the light. (There is some percentage that optimizes the total system of electrical power + plant production, but I don't know what it is.) We put greenhouses underneath, mainly to contain the moisture - we're going to have to irrigate so a closed system (with a floor) would be best to prevent the water from disappearing into the ground as well. Most greenhouses have to have fans and shade systems to prevent overheating on even nominally warm days.

So we use some of the power to run a desalination plant to provide the water, and the rest of the energy we use in-country or export. Given a 100 square mile facility, underneath we've just added almost 100 square miles of quality agriculture in a country that has very limited resources, and we've begun to replace the oil-export economy with a real production economy that actually employs people. (I'll note that we also have to figure out what to do with the higher-salinity water - that's a potential eco problem.)

This system could be expanded gradually, even possibly to thousands of square miles. Solar power costs are already getting close to competitive with thermal power plants, and by synergizing the real estate this way it could make a real difference to the folks in North Africa, for instance. It also has a social benefit, as it employs workers.

Many of the breadbaskets are in higher latitudes - India and central Africa are the exceptions - and receive much less light. A Sahara growing facility has more sunlight than is really necessary for most plants.

Comment: Re:Knock it off (Score 1) 234 234

:) A bit of exaggeration, perhaps, but not much. The original MSR at Oak Ridge (late 1960s) fit in a small building. But more interestingly, the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Experiment involved reactors that were small enough to fit into a 1950s-size bomber. The direct-cycle GE reactor was quite successful, produced about 2.5MW and powered two modified J47 jet engines. The indirect-cycle Pratt & Whitney reactor would have produced less radiation problems, but never got finished.

There's a cool picture of the HTME-3 on the Wikipedia page - the reactor looks to have about the same mass as the two engines. And the reactor eliminated the need for fuel tanks and 20,000 gallons (about 80,000 lbs. - B-52 capacity) of fuel. Of course I think that is without various shielding, etc. But a key factor in favor of MSRs is that they work at high temperature and low pressure. This means that a heavy pressure vessel is not required, and the higher the temperature the better the efficiency of a heat engine.

The entire ANP project was snakebit from the beginning. Between 1949 and 1961 it was started, mismanaged, cancelled, restarted, mismanaged, cancelled, and finally shutdown in 1961 as ICBMs made the entire project obsolete. It was truly one of the worst-managed projects the USAF was even involved in. As it happened, my father was a building contractor, who had the contract to build the reactor test buildings in Arco Idaho. The government's engineering staff screwed up big time, and (long story goes here), my dad lost $400,000 on the project - the gov promised to repay him but it never happened. We lived on dirt and sticks for several years after that. It's just a coincidence - I first started looking into MSRs about 10 years ago, and only later discovered the connection with my dad.

Comment: Re:Responses (Score 2) 172 172

"How frequently have people run into companies sending sensitive information (like passwords) in cleartext via e-mail?"

I see this and people sending both public and private PGP keys to outsiders more than I should from other companies. I assume it's because in general American businesses have devalued IT for so long that they're getting exactly what little they pay for now with barely trained and barely competent people who don't know anything about security.

Comment: Re:It's the end of the world as we know it! (Score 1) 214 214

Furthermore, even if they would manage to return the blocks to the pool in a couple of years, it would both be too late and too little and the demand for address space far outpaces the supply that ipv4 can offer.

This. We got 7 billion people - probably closer to 10 before it peaks, and as a minimum I should have one IP address at home, at work and for my cell phone. So 3*10 billion is 30 billion, IPv4 can offer 4 billion. And that's not counting every other odd thing I might want, like remote-controlled alarm/heating/whatever at my cabin or my car, servers of various kind and maybe IoT will become good for something.

Of course they probably could have just done it much, much simpler by making a dotted quad a dotted quint:

For compatibility each host under is granted 256 ports IPv4 ports mapped from x*256 to (x+1)*256-1 to a designated "IPv4 compatibility ports" like say the last ports from 65279 to 65535. So can either be fully addressed by quint-capable equipment or that'll be mapped to And will have mapped to and so on. You could use the same technique to provide a virtual IPv4 interface for legacy software, it thinks it is listening to but it's really listening at - and any application it tells to connect to would work.

That would have led to a gradual 256-times expansion of the address space without any hard switch-offs. But instead they decided to solve everything and now 19 years after the IPv6 standard we're still only barely in motion.

Comment: Re:Adverts (Score 1) 67 67

Is this just a pre-hype for a kickstarter to get people to rush on day one ?
come on slashdot this is not news yet ...

or am I getting old

Well, if it helps, that shitty Hot Hardware ad-farm doesn't even link to the Kickstarter page. The only links in the article are "tags" to more crap on their site. I was mildly curious about how it attaches to the laptop and where power comes from, but oh well.

It's articles have been posted a few times to Slashdot in the last couple of weeks and every time there's never a link to the real content. The site is useless garbage.

Comment: Re:We're All Dicks (Score 5, Interesting) 193 193

We're all dicks.

I dislike how this phrase is being used because I think it trivializes the extent to which Jobs was not a good person and introduces an inappropriate levity into the discussion. A much better term would have been acute sociopath.

And another movie about Jobs? Sounds more myopic than biopic. When Hollywood starts making remakes of their failed biographies you know they've scraped through the bottom of the barrel. Most people today only know Jobs as the other Santa who introduced shiny new toys once a year. If you want to read about the interesting stuff, just check out It's filled with fascinating stories written by the people who created the Macintosh. Steve Jobs even shows up a couple of times.


"Jobs" vs. "Steve Jobs": Hollywood Takes Another Stab At Telling the Steve Jobs Story 193 193

theodp writes: Didn't like Jobs , the 2013 biopic about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher? Maybe you'll prefer Steve Jobs, the 2015 biopic about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender. "Steve Jobs is a tech visionary, total dick," writes Esquire's Matt Patches in his mini-review of the just-released Steve Jobs trailer. So, is inspiring kids to become the "Next Steve Jobs" a good or bad thing?

Comment: Re:I have another way (Score 1) 423 423

Microsoft has two solutions; only share passwords using their Wi-Fi Sense service, or by adding "_optout" to your SSID.

Or, just don't use windows 10. I think I may have found the answer there.

Also, don't give your SSID to anyone who does or might in the future use Windows 10, or have a Windows phone.

Any programming language is at its best before it is implemented and used.