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Comment: Re:it always amazes me (Score 1) 338

Exactly. People commenting here seem to think that if you just have a shitload of hydrogen in the general vicinity of an atomic explosion, you get a yield orders of magnitude higher. Never mind that nuclear scientists are smart, and do things like "math" and "small-scale experimentation" before going all redneck and just giving it a go with a big bang.

Comment: Re:it always amazes me (Score 1) 338

I'm also not really sure how Israel could claim land in Iran, which is all the way across Jordan and Iraq. Some people commenting on this article could do well to acquaint themselves with a map - the only arab land they are going to claim without a formal border war is the settlements they are now building in the west bank that they took from Jordan almost 50 years ago when Jordan aligned itself with Egypt in 1967 and got their asses kicked.

It's more likely that Israel decides that they've had enough of Syria's shit and moves north, than hopping two countries to the east.

Comment: Re:the US 'probably' wont use a nuke first.... (Score 4, Insightful) 338

Two things:

1. One night of fire bombing in Tokyo killed more people and did more damage than the atomic attack on Hiroshima did. The difference was it took an armada of bombers to do it, rather than just one plane with one package to drop off.

2. Truman wasn't just looking to end this war, but prevent the next conflict that was already brewing up - one with the Soviets. By showing Stalin that he was not only incredibly vulnerable to an attack that he couldn't bog down by throwing millions of people at like he did with the Nazis, and that the person on the other side was capable of using that kind of weapon, that war never came.

Was dropping those two bombs the right decision? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is world history, and seeing the devastation of two cities from these comparatively small weapons compared to what the 1950s and 1960s brought, it might have brought pause to anyone looking to use them later in the coldest days of the cold war.

Comment: Re:Race to the bottom... (Score 1) 261

by MachineShedFred (#49335587) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

You missed a perfect opportunity for a car analogy:

The "race to the bottom" is because everyone is competing on price, when they don't have to. Mercedes and BMW are doing just fine without having to undercut Kia on price. At the end of the day, they're all cars; but sometimes people pay more money for more features.

Comment: Re:Easy as 1-2-3 (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by MachineShedFred (#49335395) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple

Yeah, way to paint hundreds of millions of people with a brush that is appropriate for maybe 500 people.

For every one person who stands in a line, there are 100 that think that guy is an idiot, but still prefer to use Apple products to the competition. But go on trying to paint the picture that everyone that uses their stuff is some zealot that kneels facing Cupertino five times a day. That grew old in the late 90s.

Comment: Re:Stop using lithium! (Score 1) 184

The reason lithium-6 deuteride is used in thermonuclear weapons is because it creates tritium and deuterium once bombarded with X-rays produced by the detonation of a fission device, which can then fuse due to the heat and pressure of said detonation to make an even bigger bang; and it's a more maintainable device due to not having to deal with refreshing the tritium all the time because it tends to half-life away, unlike the stable lithium-6 deuteride.

Also, lithium-6 is separated from the >92% of lithium-7 specifically for the creation of nuclear weapons, which nobody is doing anymore because the nuclear powers already have shit tons of it laying around from decommissioning warheads. Which also says nothing about how your phone battery has exactly 0.0% deuterium in it, and even if it did, it's unlikely that you'd be bombarding your phone battery with the X-ray output of a fission bomb at the moment of supercriticality; and if you were, you'd likely have other problems. Like being a wisp of vapor being quickly scattered over the landscape.

Comment: Re:Whatever ... (Score 2) 140

by MachineShedFred (#49322383) Attached to: "Google Glass Isn't Dead!" Says Google's CEO Eric Schmidt

I'm thankful for that. The failure mode of most mechanical problems with an average car is that it gently rolls to the side of the road. The failure mode of most mechanical problems with an average light aircraft is plummeting to death, and likely destroying something below you in the process.

Think of all the nitwits you see on the freeway, and then imagine them with hands on stick in a Cessna. No, thanks.

Comment: Re:We should stop using the word renewable (Score 1) 316

Burning wood is far better for the environment than burning coal or oil. Planting new trees will pull the carbon out of the air to make the tree grow, and trees replenish many orders of magnitude faster than coal or oil. It also doesn't release nearly the chemical filth that burning oil and coal does.

Wood may not be as energetic as oil or coal, but not exactly "bad."

Comment: Re:And now why this can not be done in the USofA (Score 1) 316

To US Energy Dept. estimated, in 2012, that there is ~12GW worth of power that could be tapped from existing, non-power-producing dams []. That's handily 10% more hydro than what we've got now.

10%? Check your math.

One dam on the Columbia puts out 6.8GW by itself.

Decaffeinated coffee? Just Say No.