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Comment: bomb making potential (Score 1) 204

by KDN (#46983325) Attached to: Thorium: The Wonder Fuel That Wasn't
Do they have this right? I thought the reason Carter went toward Thorium instead of Uranium/Plutonium was because U-233 only emitted 1.3 neutrons (on average) per fission vs U235's 1.9 and Pu239's 2.4. Note: these numbers are from memory over 30 years ago, and I've not been able to find the google in-can-ation that can confirm/correct the values. If anyone has the correct values, or the reasoning, please feel free to chime in.

Comment: Blame the victim (Score 1) 798

Yup, its just like rape victims years ago. YOU THE VICTIM must have provoked it. YOU THE VICTIM ARE THE CAUSE. I'm glad that rape victims are usually not blamed any more. I just hope in the future that bully victims are afforded the same. Unfortunately, in the 40 years since I was that victim, I see not much has changed.

Comment: Re:Very amusing but... (Score 1) 314

by KDN (#46603535) Attached to: Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

It's marketing. And it's excellent marketing. Plausible risk has little to do with it, but it makes me want to invest in the company.

Its very good marketing, I can almost hear him saying "oh yeah, take that".

On the negative side, I bet there is some teenage brat "suffering" from Affluzenza who is going to drive this car off a cliff, and when he skins his knee he is going to get his daddy to sue the company for a billion or so dollars.

Comment: Re:indeed (Score 1) 314

by KDN (#46603475) Attached to: Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates

Indeed it does; it makes me wonder why they don't make the Tesla S look more like a badass car and less like a family sedan.Wouldn't take much revision to have, say, a Tesla Se, that's got minor revisions ala body panels.

I have to wonder if they are going to do a "Mad Max" version of the Tesla :-) Driving through massive potholes, smashing concrete blocks in the street, deflecting steel rods. Perfect for driving in NYC :-).

Comment: Re:"extrusion"? (Score 5, Informative) 314

by KDN (#46603431) Attached to: Tesla Model S Gets Titanium Underbody Shield, Aluminum Deflector Plates
Cost and strength. You can extrude something for a fraction of the cost of 3D printing or milling. You can even extrude titanium if you have a big enough press. (google "heavy press program" if you want to see some MONSTER presses.) Both extrusion and milling still have strength advantages over 3D printing. Where 3D printing shines is prototyping, small run, or fancy designs that are too difficult to extrude or cast or mill. But give it a few more years. The other methods have been around far longer, so we know how to do things well.

Comment: Re:Savvy (Score 2) 292

by KDN (#46544209) Attached to: Back To the Moon — In Four Years

Well, "Lead" and "technically savvy" doesn't mean "doing the actual building." We're quite good giving money to china for building stuff. That SORTA fits the bill.

Yeah, how'd that Chinese moon rover work out for them, huh?

How many of our missions blew up on the launch pad or burned up in the atmosphere due to a conversion error or had mirrors ground to the wrong focal length? With every step you should learn something, even if its what not to do. To paraphrase Q: if your that afraid of risk you should go crawl under your bed and hide.

Comment: Re:Yeah, too bad there's no real reason to do so.. (Score 3) 292

by KDN (#46543767) Attached to: Back To the Moon — In Four Years
No reason to go? Exploration, research, challenges and opportunities and technical advances that we can't even begin to articulate. We have not even begun to explore the moon. More men accompanied Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World than have landed on the moon. Even without men we can send dozens of missions to help iron out the details of new propulsion systems like ion or hall or vascimar. We can develop and deploy robotic probes with a far faster turn around time (and less need to gold plate everything) by doing the development on the moon instead of Mars. We can see the long term radiation effects on materials once they are outside of Earth's protective magnetic field. Put even a small observatory on the far side of the moon and you open up huge opportunities shielded from all the transmitters on Earth, and outside of Earth's atmosphere. I would put several at different spots to enable long baseline measurements as well as lessen the expense of triple redundant systems in case of failure.

H

And lastly, give this generation something to shoot for. Something other than the newest Angry Birds or social media app. Something to shoot for, to make history, to inspire a new generation like JFK's speech on going to the moon. It will happen. The question is, will they speak Chinese or American?

Comment: Re:Exposure .... (Score 1) 95

I'm not an expert in radio isotope absorption. But my understanding of the protective effects of potassium iodide is that it floods the body with iodide, thus lowering the odds that the radioactive version will be absorbed. My understanding of strontium-137 is that it is chemically similar to calcium, and therefore is absorbed when there is insufficient calcium. I read these theories in articles on Three Mile Island, so the research may be very old. If anyone has newer research I'd be interested.

Its good that they are checking the kids, and that the detectors are picking up the normal potassium exposure. Like it or not, they have become a laboratory on radiation exposure. Also I agree that the environmental and anti business people will be trying to scare everyone.

Comment: Re:until someone hacks it (Score 1) 216

by KDN (#46360613) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships
I don't think I said doomed to failure or it will never work. When they start losing money or generating bad publicity, they will hopefully fix it. Microsoft comes to mind, as does Adobe, as does WEB going to WPA, as does the original cordless phone to something like DECT, as does the old blue boxing of phone booths to out of band signaling. Hopefully they will get it right the first time, but judging by the rest of the industries, they won't. Frankly I can't think of a single instance where someone did a good job right from the start. Can you?

Comment: Re:until someone hacks it (Score 1) 216

by KDN (#46360255) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships

...and you need to keep control of that vehicle for a few weeks to get it into a friendly port for unloading, during which time (1) folks with guns are doing their best to find you, and (2) you have no hostages to use as bargaining chips if they do so.

That's an awfully high-risk venture to get the kind of talent you'd need to hijack control in the first place [stealing private keys used to encrypt/authenticate the control chanel, etc] to sign off on.

I do information security for a living. I've seen hundreds of products where security is left out because (a) they need to get it to market faster, (b) it would add a dollar to the cost, (c) security is the users' responsibility, (d) I can design security better than anyone else on the planet, or (e) I don't care. Go through the archives of comp.risks if you want a few examples. Read Schneider's blog if you want more. Read slashdot.org if you want more.

Now here is a fun one: man in the middle attack. Take over the boat, but keep sending "normal" conditions back to the owners.

Comment: Re:until someone hacks it (Score 1) 216

by KDN (#46358437) Attached to: Rolls Royce Developing Drone Cargo Ships

Support pylons of the Golden Gate Bridge, have several of them collide at the entrance to the Long Beach shipping terminal, blocking access for a few weeks, run over the deep water loading ports for crude oil. Run over a deep water drilling rig. I can think of any number of terrorist activities one could do. And remember, time and time again, no one really thinks of security until that "oh s___, we've been hacked" moment.

Except they could already do that with a manned vessel if it was at all feasible.

I'm not talking about boarding the vessel. I'm talking about hijacking the communications link and taking over the vessel. Then you could do it from anywhere in the world and have just about zero chance of getting caught.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus

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