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Comment: Re:Subsidies? (Score 1) 498

by Loki_1929 (#48415313) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

How many tax subsidies finance into your average power plant? ...long term storage costs for nuclear waste

Now that's just unfair. Long term storage costs for nuclear "waste" only exist because the government doesn't allow for the reprocessing of perfectly good fuel. If they did, we'd be more like France, where the total final long-term waste of a family of four's entire lifetime fits in a soda can. And as all the usable energy has been removed from it, it actually is waste, meaning there's no energy radiating from it and no danger from it. At which point, those costs look vastly easier to manage and all subsidies can come off with virtually no impact to costs.

Government created a problem (basically a tax) by disallowing the reuse of perfectly good fuel. It then partially solved the problem it created by generating a subsidy to offset the tax. In the meantime, good fuel is wasted, exposed, and dangerous. It's about the dumbest thing in the world, but then again, it was something our government came up with, so at least that makes some sense.

Comment: Re:Obviously. (Score 1) 695

I encourage all climate denialists to get at least 4, maybe 5-sigma certainty on any cancer diagnosis before taking any action. Cancer treatments are expensive after all, and you should wait until you're really, really, super duper extra sure you have it!

First of all, what on Earth is a "climate denialist"? Are there people who deny that the Earth has a climate? Or is it a farcical misnomer purposely intended to ridicule anyone with the slightest bit of skepticism about something that even the experts aren't 100% certain about? (hint: 95% from IPCC != 100%)

As for your medical advice, the next time you notice your body temperature rise by 1/2 degree in an hour, best go ice bath yourself immediately or you'll soon be dead.

Comment: Meanwhile... (Score 1) 251

by Loki_1929 (#48323457) Attached to: Undersized Grouper Case Lands In Supreme Court

Meanwhile, Kagan and Kennedy appear amenable to a more literal reading of the statute, given that groupers are in fact touchable and that makes them "tangible objects" under the ordinary meaning of those words.

Did they also appear to have their fucking derp faces on while doing this? SCOTUS is supposed to be the court of common sense, where nothing else matters except what makes sense in the light of the US Constitution and being a reasonable human being. What kinds of goddamn idiots are these we've allowed to sit on this court?

Thank goodness this fisherman didn't also throw his old Beatles albums overboard with the fish, since those are "records" under the ordinary meaning of the word. Maybe in all these confirmation hearings, instead of asking potential SCOTUS justices a bunch of stupid hypothetical questions they won't answer anyway, we should use the time to figure out if the person is a moron who will do stupid shit like this.

Comment: Re:Obviously. (Score 1) 695

The human race is a child sitting in the control room of an old Soviet nuclear power plant. A light started blinking red and some of us think we may have done something to make it start blinking red. What you're arguing is that rather than taking the time to understand how a nuclear power plant operates and what the controls in front of us do and what that blinking light means, we should start pushing buttons to see if we can make the red light go away.

That's suicidally stupid, except it's suicide for all of mankind which makes it worse. We're the only known intelligent species in the entire universe living on the only planet in the entire universe which is known to sustain life. We have a responsibility to maintain that life. Purposely screwing with the conditions on that planet without having a solid understanding of how the climate operates is completely insane and irresponsible. A responsible course of action is to take reasonable measures to limit known impact points (i.e. things we know for a fact have a measurable and directly observable negative environmental impact) while we seek to gain an understanding of the system as a whole.

Comment: Re:Obviously. (Score 3, Insightful) 695

Third option: Non-carbon generated electricity that is cheaper than carbon. (That's an economic, as in real, 'cheaper', not tax/subsidy to make it cheaper)

So, modern nuclear power it is. Start mass producing CANDU reactors (CANDU 6es and ACR-1000s) around the world while pushing ahead with research to convert them to using Thorium so we never run dry. Put them everywhere that needs power and that can't use geothermal. Standardize on common-sense, workable regulations (starting with eliminating any stupid anti-reprocessing rules) and plow through any NIMBY BS put up by local ignorant fools. Within 20 years, you'll have replaced all fossil fuel electricity production with something that actually works and provides plenty of power for everyone.

So the cheap electricity option is not even really an option, is it?

Sure it is. It requires a huge up-front cash investment for construction, but running costs are quite low. Complete the work to replace other fuels with Thorium and you've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 years of power for the entire planet at current rates of use. Increase usage by two orders of magnitude and we're down to maybe 1,000 years if we never put another penny into energy R&D.

Oh darn.

Comment: Re:Obviously. (Score 1, Insightful) 695

He's correct in what he said, just not why he said it.

Good science isn't political at all; it merely describes reality. Climatology, as groups like the IPCC present it, isn't good science. It's a bunch of fudge-factor-laced models and ignored observations tightly wound around a political agenda. Basically, ignore what you can't explain, place assumptions anywhere the data is incomplete, draw conclusions that don't match up to reality, and pretend it all makes sense because you have "consensus".

That's not to say there's nothing usable in the whole thing. The problem is that we need better data collection, more data collection, and a lot more work put into understanding the underlying mechanics of the system as a whole before we start drawing wide-reaching conclusions about the drivers of the whole thing. The data needs to be put into real context and that means realizing the limitations and inaccuracies inherent in the proxy measurement techniques we have today and not trying to use some statistical fuzzy math to come up with some make-believe historical record.

But back to what he said, he's right in that the political nature of the "Global Warming/Climate Change" zealotry isn't science. It does, however, bear a striking resemblance to many cults.

Comment: Inaccurate headline (Score 4, Informative) 239

by Loki_1929 (#48115005) Attached to: Where Intel Processors Fail At Math (Again)

The headline is quite inaccurate. The processors are doing what they're designed to do; approximate the results of certain operations to a "good enough" value to achieve an optimal result:work ratio. Sort of like how the NFL measures first-downs with a stick, a chain, and some eyeballs rather than bringing in a research team armed with scanning electron microscopes to tell us how many Planck lengths short of the first down they were.

This is a documentation failure. They're fixing the documentation. For anyone who would actually care about perfect accuracy in these kinds of operations, there are any number of different solutions to achieve the desired, more accurate result. The headline and the summary make it seem as though there's a problem with the processor which is simply incorrect.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 342

by Loki_1929 (#48063315) Attached to: Fortune.com: Blame Tech Diversity On Culture, Not Pipeline

But these 716 women who had made it past all that shit and were working in the tech sector found that once you get there, it sucks to be in a job where you're treated poorly because you're a woman, or you feel isolated because everybody else is a guy.

There are exceptions. My sister is a successful electronics engineer. But she works in a big company where she's not the only woman. She might have left the industry too if she had worked her first job in a smaller company where it was all men except her.

So.... the problem is still in the pipeline? If suddenly, tomorrow, there were twice as many women as men in the tech pipeline and that continued for a decade, which of the things these 716 women identified as problems in the industry would continue? Being the only woman? Rarely. Being treated poorly because you're a woman? Unlikely when more of them are working there. Your sister is actually the counter-example to the Forbes article: put more women into play and suddenly the culture is no longer an issue.

Comment: Re:uhh (Score 1) 549

by Loki_1929 (#48047567) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

Granted, but it's twice he's taken on a "there's no way, guy's a joke for even trying!" kind of challenge and succeeded really beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

It may turn out that this endeavor is simply beyond the ability of humanity in its present state of development, but that's a far cry from Musk being a snake oil salesman. Again, you can accuse him of having a reach exceeding his grasp, but he's demonstrably capable of accomplishing far more than anyone imagined when he first made his ambitious claims. There are a lot of steps between where we are today and a human being stepping onto the Martian surface and Musk appears to be taking some very practical approaches to taking each of those steps. He may not make it all the way there, but he obviously isn't insincere in his efforts.

Comment: Re:uhh (Score 1) 549

by Loki_1929 (#48037387) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

When Musk claimed he was going to start a new and successful American car manufacturing company when nobody else has managed to do so in the past half century or so and American manufacturing was considered a sick and dying animal, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. When Musk claimed he was going to start building rocket ships and launch stuff into space and make deliveries to the ISS at a fraction of the cost of anything done by NASA, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. But he just went ahead and did those things, successfully, at great personal risk because he's both driven and incredibly capable.

If there's one lesson we should all have learned by now, it's not to bet against Elon Musk. He's a risk taker with dreams greater than just about anyone alive, but I think the worst you can claim about him at this point is that his reach exceeds his grasp. Calling him a snake oil salesman is demonstrably unfair. All the other crazy things he's set about doing are happening before our eyes. Creating a self-sustaining colony on another planet may seem beyond our will our even beyond our capability at this point, but Musk's view that it must be done for the survival of humanity is a view shared by Stephen Hawking and many others. If there's anyone alive today who can make it happen, it's Musk.

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