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Comment: Re:But I thought nuclear power was cheap (Score 1) 179

by KonoWatakushi (#46640463) Attached to: Vermont Nuclear Plant Seeks Decommission But Lacks Funds

What a waste – Vermont Yankee is in beautiful condition

The NRC recently extended the operating license for 20 more years, so apparently any issues were minor or have been addressed. It sounds like your claims are significantly exaggerated, and that there is no safety concern.

Most of Vermont's electricity came from that plant, and closing it is only going to result in burning more fossil fuels and increased prices.

Comment: An interesting calculation... (Score 1) 712

Solar versus nuclear: a question of scale. Further comments go into detail about resources and areas.

Read about Germany for an idea of what $50 billion will buy in terms of renewables--that is a drop in the bucket of their expenditures. Despite having been at it for more than a decade, they have little to show for it except skyrocketing electricity prices. Replacing fossil fuels with solar is an expensive fantasy.

Comment: Re:That old joke ... (Score 1) 712

Nuclear? Great. Better start changing regulations and lining up money. Lots and lots of money.

All considered, nuclear is the cheapest option available. It can be expensive up front, but 60+ years of reliable energy at virtually no marginal cost more than offsets the initial investment. China is also demonstrating that even conventional reactors can be built for a fraction of the cost of their US counterparts. Molten salt reactors offer even greater potential for cost reduction, and will undercut fossil fuels directly, removing the primary incentive to burn them. Providing a source of energy cheaper than from fossil fuels and offering it to the developing world is the only practical way to curb their combustion.

High cost of nuclear the US can be attributed to the endless litigation, insane regulations, and lack of any recent construction experience. All of these are readily addressed given the will to do so. (Current regulations are not based on science and safe radiation limits, but what is practically achievable. This is absurdly overzealous, and if emissions from gas and coal plants were held to the same standards, we'd be without power.)

+ - Utah cable companies want to prevent broadband growth by law also->

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "On the heels of the smackdown received by cable lobbyists in Kansas, Ars reports out of Utah that the cable companies aren't giving up hopes of preventing competition through legislation. The bill called Interlocal Entity Service Prohibition would prevent a regional fiber consortium from building infrastructure outside the boundaries of its member cities and towns — a direct attack on Google's work in Provo and the UTOPIA network. Utah is the third state to be involved in the Google Fiber rollout of gigabit fiber to the home."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Here's how it compares to 4 nuclear plants... (Score 2) 253

by KonoWatakushi (#46160001) Attached to: India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

4GW is the peak output with clear skies at noon. The 6.4 TWh/y is the expected yearly output, as quoted from the article. That yields an anticipated capacity factor of 0.18, after taking into account that the earth rotates and has clouds and such. Wind and solar look great if you compare nameplate capacity and ignore the variability. In reality though, getting useful power out of them is pure fantasy unless you have pumped hydro available nearby, and even then it is not competitive.

Comment: Here's how it compares to 4 nuclear plants... (Score 4, Insightful) 253

by KonoWatakushi (#46159057) Attached to: India To Build World's Largest Solar Plant

"The solar photovoltaic power plant will have an estimated life of 25 years and is expected to supply 6.4 billion kilowatt-hours per year, according to official figures."

For reference, a single 1GWe nuclear plant operating at (a conservative) 0.85 capacity factor will produce 7.45 TW-hours/year of reliable power. So this solar plant isn't the equivalent of one reactor, much less four. Considering that nuclear plants typically last 60 years and AP1000s are near $2/W in China, the solar option costs five times as much over that time frame.

While this solar farm is idle at night and unreliable by day, the transmission infrastructure must be built to handle the full capacity of the equivalent four nuclear plants, and it will sit idle most of the time. The solar option makes no economic sense, when instead they could purchase two actual 1GWe nuclear plants, and have 15 TW-hours/year of reliable power for more than twice as long.

Comment: Re:Jet Fuel? (Score 1) 230

by KonoWatakushi (#46070077) Attached to: New England Burns Jet Fuel To Keep Lights On

These are usually used as a source of last resort. They are usually avoided even for peaking demand. They are loud, suck fuel like crazy.
They exist for precisely this type of emergency, fuel shortage, scheduled down time of gas fired plants, or any grid failure.

That may have been the case once, but combustion turbines are now the preferred complement to highly variable wind, as they spin up fast. Ironically, this "green" solution uses considerably more fuel than combined cycle gas turbines alone to produce the same amount of energy. (30% efficiency for 70% of the time while wind produces no energy, versus 60% efficiency 100% of the time with CCGTs alone.)

Comment: Dynamic Packet Filter (Score 2) 141

by KonoWatakushi (#46013405) Attached to: Linux 3.13 Released

One of the comments points to DPF, which uses dynamic code generation to demultiplex packets. This is a very promising and surprisingly old idea. A dynamically generated classifier/filter could replace the entire network input path, and interface well with Van Jacobson's net channels. In addition to providing superior performance, it would afford far greater flexibility and modularity of code.

Comment: Time to revisit architecture... (Score 2) 275

by KonoWatakushi (#45896071) Attached to: End of Moore's Law Forcing Radical Innovation

The refinement of process has postponed this for a long while, but the time has come to explore new architectures and technologies. The Mill architecture is one such example, and aims to bridge the enormous chasm of inefficiency between general purpose CPUs and DSPs. Conservatively, they are expecting a tenfold improvement in performance/W/$ on general purpose code, but the architecture is also well suited to wide MIMD and SIMD.

Another area ripe for innovation is memory technologies, which have suffered a similar stagnation limited to refinement of an ancient technology. The density of both cache and main memory can be significantly improved on the same process with Thyristor-RAM or Z-RAM. Considering the potential benefits and huge markets, it is vexing that more resources aren't expended toward commercializing better technologies. Some of the newer technologies also scale down better.

Something to replace the garbage which is NAND flash would also be welcome, yet sadly there appears to be no hurry there either. One point is certain, there is a desperate need to find a way to commercialize better technologies rather than perpetually refining inferior ones. Though examples abound, perhaps none is more urgent than the Liquid fluoride thorium reactor. Molten salt reactors could rapidly replace fossil fuels with clean and abundant energy while minimizing environmental impact, and affordable energy is the basis for all prosperity.

Comment: Re:What about all the new jobs in the "digital" ag (Score 1) 674

Some sort of means of distributing the wealth available from productivity gains is necessary, whatever you want to call it. In the end, there is nothing a human does which can not be replaced by a machine. It is not right that an increasingly automated system of production should serve a handful of owners while the remaining population starves. That is especially true, given that those owners have contributed virtually none of the real work that has brought us the benefits of modern civilization. (That we owe to the hard work of many people over thousands of years...)

1) Wealth shift is a distraction; the fundamental point is that it needs to be created rather than merely concentrated for the benefit of a few. To create wealth requires energy, and the developing world recognizes this simple fact. Most of that is coming from a sharp increase of coal plants today, but they are aggressively pursuing nuclear and will reap the benefits that we are forfeiting. While the west lets its energy, manufacturing, and other infrastructure decay, the real mechanisms for new wealth creation are growing over seas while ours recede. Sooner or later we are going to discover that exporting our monopoly on ideas is not a substitute.

2) We are nowhere near overpopulated, and the universe is a big place should it ever become an issue. Regardless, the best way to curb population is to lift them out of poverty. You have this backwards; people that can afford to relax and enjoy a bit of life, will not be busy popping out kids to help with chopping down trees for fires, fetching water, farming, washing clothes by hand, etc. When people are no longer burdened by such tasks, they also have time for education and innovation. Sure, some will watch TV, but even that is better than investment banking; those are the people really digging the hole for us all.

Comment: Re:Programmability? (Score 2) 208

by KonoWatakushi (#45869615) Attached to: Intel's Knights Landing — 72 Cores, 3 Teraflops

The recently revealed Mill architecture is far more interesting, and also offers a much more attractive programming model. It is a highly orthogonal architecture naturally capable of wide MIMD and SIMD. Vectorization and software pipelining of loops is discussed in the "metadata" talk, and is very clever and elegant. Those who have personally experienced the tedium of typical vector extensions will appreciate it all the more.

Based on sim, the creators expect an order of magnitude improvement of performance/W/$ over conventional architectures. (That being a very conservative estimate, with the goal being DSP like efficiency on general purpose code.) How they propose to achieve that is fascinating, but I'm even more exited about the potential impact on software development. The architecture described will vastly simplify the OS and compilers, and remove or greatly reduce a number of typical inefficiencies.

Knight's Landing leaves me with the usual impression of Intel using brute force and process superiority to retain the edge, and the Mill may offer enough of an architectural improvement to finally put and end to that. It would still be a long road, but it is a nice thought.

Comment: Re:SMP contention basically gone from critical pat (Score 1) 48

The filesystem work on HAMMER2 (the filesystem successor to HAMMER1) continues to progress but it wasn't ready for even an early alpha release this release. The core media formats are stable but the freemap and the higher level abstraction layers still have a lot of work ahead of them.

Have you considered space maps for tracking free space? I thought that was one of the more interesting ideas in ZFS.

Anyway, great work on the SMP scalability. It is refreshing to see a concerted effort in reworking the system to be more SMP friendly, rather than the profuse and convoluted locking that most others have adopted.

Comment: Re:Cost vs. Benefits (Score 2) 477

by KonoWatakushi (#45528631) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

Fused glass display is fine. It is the soldered in RAM, proprietary SSD, and glued in battery that are totally unacceptable. Ordinarily, I'd double the RAM in a year for a pittance, but now Apple forces you to pay a hefty premium for a limited amount of RAM up front, obsoleting the machine that much sooner. Replacement SSDs are available eventually, but with few options at high cost. Finally, who wants to take/send in their machine for battery service every two years? Batteries are consumables, and shouldn't be glued in anymore than a toner cartridge.

Comment: Re:My problem with nuclear (Score 1) 776

I'm sorry you took it that way, I was rather hoping that you would read it and develop an appreciation of how fluid fueled reactors are utterly different and fundamentally superior. Then, hopefully discontinue suggesting that people "educate" themselves with the typical anti-nuclear/thorium propaganda. While your links do not have tailored rebuttals yet, I expect that all of the various specious arguments are addressed within, repeatedly.

For an actual education, I would suggest starting at Energy from Thorium, or the forum if you have technical questions.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234