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Comment Re:30 years (Score 0) 395

Would have been true, if not for the environmentalist anti-nuke nuts.

Spoken like a true nutter yourself, but at least you're consistent.

For a more reasonable and fact-based view, see Maury Markowitz's reasoning: Why fusion will never happen

You can argue all the technical superiorities of fission over wind all you want - in fact, they're pretty much all true. It is a fact that wind cannot be dispatched while nuclear has a CF around 90% and provides all sorts of baseload. Here's the problem with all of those arguments: the bank doesn't give a crap.

In summary, it's economics and bankers, not some leftist boogie man that you love to point to.

Shows, again, that you know shit about any of these things.

Comment Re:A step forward, but... (Score 2) 395

Achieving practical nuclear fusion for power generation would be a very nice step forward. But "holy grail" is rather overselling it, I suspect.

Even when practical, we're still talking very big, very expensive plants that depend on a long supply chain for all its parts, the high-purity fuel and so on. When you consider the building, running and maintenance costs, and the cost of dealing with the spent fuel (much better than for fission plants of course) the energy won't be all that cheap.

And they'll be competing with rapidly dropping costs for solar and other renewables.

Quite - almost any tech advances that will help fusion will also help other energy sources.

And the cost(s) would be unbelievably huge. Multiple times a fission reactor's cost.

I found this story quite interesting - and disappointing. Essentially argues that we'll never have fusion and gives his (Maury Markowitz's) reasons for it: Why fusion will never happen.

For me, this seems to capture the gist of his argument nicely:

You can argue all the technical superiorities of fission over wind all you want – in fact, they’re pretty much all true. It is a fact that wind cannot be dispatched while nuclear has a CF around 90% and provides all sorts of baseload. Here’s the problem with all of those arguments: the bank doesn’t give a crap.

So the places that are building nukes are invariably where the local government is willing to put up the money, generally interest free. We have new reactors in China and Korea, and everyone else is doing basically nothing. Actually in the US all the money is backed by the government, and the companies have ignored it anyway. It’s just too expensive and economically risky.

Comment Re:Exceeds state authority (Score 2) 192

Very true. No idea why you're modded down to 0... you're correct.

Not sure if you read replies, but just FYI - Anonymous Cowards' posts start at a score of 0, and logged in users with reasonable karma start at 1.

Subscribers / users on your "friends list" may have a bonus point attributed to their posts, hence start at 2, although I'm not entirely sure how this part works.

Users also have an option in their settings to assign an extra point to posts that have been moderated by category, i.e. Informative or Funny if said user is interested in pushing such posts to higher prominence in their own reading. i.e. These points aren't actually attributed to the comment poster, but to the page presented to the reading user.

Comment Re:This kind of stuff is Exhibit #1 (Score 1) 282

News in Canada is just as tailored, don't kid yourself. The Sun/National Post = pro-Conservative party.

From my understanding, this is true.

The Star/Globe and Mail = pro-Liberal party.

Um, the Globe and Mail endorsed Harper in the last election.

Seems they're okay with his "national media may ask 5 questions per day, total" policy.

So it seems they see their job as not "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable" but as purveyors for government press releases. Or something.

I find the best news for any country tends to be from sources that aren't in that country. For solid Canadian and American news, I use the BBC.


Comment Re:Most streetlights are wasteful (Score 1) 307

I see street lights as a waste of money.

Not just a waste of money. Most of them are a waste of fuel, ... emissions ... We could eliminate vast numbers of street lights in all likelihood with no adverse effect at all while saving a lot of money and reducing pollution.

I don't disagree with your points, however I've heard that power plants have to run at a rate that generates excess power over night (can't be shut off and restarted at dawn), therefore street lights use power that has to be off-loaded regardless.

The use of power during the overnight hours is discounted to municipalities, in some instances, as I understand it.

Hence I am not certain that they create much excess air pollution, nor cost as much to operate as one might to expect.

I could be wrong and don't have time at the moment to do much searching on the topic.

Comment Re:Exactly as many black holes as we thought! (Score 1) 92

The summary title directly contradicts the summary text. They predicted ones that they hadn't seen yet. Then they found a way to see them, and it matched up with predictions. How is that "more than we thought" at all?

C'mon, editors...

Indeed, from TFA:

The scientists pointed NuSTAR at nine candidate hidden supermassive black holes that were thought to be extremely active at the centre of galaxies, but where the full extent of this activity was potentially obscured from view.

If we simply assume that there's a super-massive black hole at the centre of each galaxy, then they have increased the expected quantity by zero if I understand correctly.

Obviously that requires an assumption, but otherwise aren't we assuming that there are not super-massive black holes at the centre of galaxies until we find each and every one?

I prefer the former assumption myself, in this particular case.

Comment Re:I gave up on some Google Apps (Score 1) 62

I have limited access to Hangouts, but is there a way to insert a carriage return into a message?

There's a little button for smileys. If you hit shift, the smiley button becomes a carriage return.

Also, how to remove the stupid fucking smilie face icon from the keyboard?

The keyboard isn't really part of Hangouts itself, and you can use an alternate keyboard. There are at least dozens of options available, and probably more. Swiftkey is fairly popular, I believe, but it has the same smiley icon (although it *does* show a carriage return as the long-press action for that button). I don't have any other keyboards installed at the moment to compare.

Thank you!

Tested it tonight. Switched from Pinyin to Google keyboard, and shift key turns smilie face into carriage return.

That solves that problem, since it's not my phone and I rarely use it.

On the other hand, on my device, doesn't seem to work. But I just don't use Hangouts, problem solved.

Comment Re:I gave up on some Google Apps (Score 1) 62

I have limited access to Hangouts, but is there a way to insert a carriage return into a message?

Seems pressing what should be "Enter" sends the message - not at all what I want!

Also, how to remove the stupid fucking smilie face icon from the keyboard?

Those two things prevent me from ever using Hangouts myself, and IMHO do a lot to dumb down communications -- as if that weren't already enough of a problem.

Classic Games (Games)

Interviews: Ask Steve Jackson About Designing Games 111

Since starting his own company in 1980, Steve Jackson, founder and editor-in-chief of Steve Jackson Games, has created a number of hits, starting with Car Wars . . . followed shortly by Illuminati, and later by GURPS, the "Generic Universal Roleplaying System." In 1983, he was elected to the Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame - the youngest person ever so honored. He has personally won 11 Origins Awards. In the early 90's, Steve got international press due to the Secret Service's invasion of his office. The EFF helped make it possible for SJ Games to bring suit against the Secret Service and the U.S. government and win more than $50,000 in damages. His Ogre kickstarter a couple of years ago brought in close to a million dollars. His current hits are Munchkin, a very silly card game about killing monsters and taking their stuff, and Zombie Dice, in which you eat brains and try not to get shotgunned. His current projects include a variety of Munchkin follow-ups, and the continuing quest to get his games translated into digital form. Steve has agreed to put down the dice and answer any questions you may have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

When a Company Gets Sold, Your Data May Be Sold, Too 92

An anonymous reader writes: A new report points out that many of the top internet sites have language in their privacy policies saying that your private data might be transferred in the event of an acquisition, bankruptcy sale, or other transaction. They effectively say, "We won't ever sell your information, unless things go bad for us." 85 of the top 100 websites in the U.S. (ranked by Alexa), had this sort of language, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hulu, and LinkedIn. (RadioShack did this recently.) "The potential ramifications of the fire sale provisions became clear two years ago when True.com, a dating site based in Plano, Tex., that was going through a bankruptcy proceeding, tried to sell its customer database on 43 million members to a dating site based in Canada. The profiles included consumers' names, birth dates, sexual orientation, race, religion, criminal convictions, photos, videos, contact information and more. Because the site's privacy policy had promised never to sell or share members' personal details without their permission, Texas was able to intervene to stop the sale of customer data, including intimate details on about two million Texans." But with this new language, users no longer enjoy that sort of protection. Only 17 of the top 100 sites even say they will notify customers of the data transfer. Only a handful allow users to opt out.

MIT System Fixes Software Bugs Without Access To Source Code 78

jan_jes writes: MIT researchers have presented a new system at the Association for Computing Machinery's Programming Language Design and Implementation conference that repairs software bugs by automatically importing functionality from other, more secure applications. According to MIT, "The system, dubbed CodePhage, doesn't require access to the source code of the applications. Instead, it analyzes the applications' execution and characterizes the types of security checks they perform. As a consequence, it can import checks from applications written in programming languages other than the one in which the program it's repairing was written."

Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables 292

An anonymous reader writes: Bill Gates has dumped a billion dollars into renewables, and now he's ready to double down. Gates announced he will increase his investment in renewable energy technologies to $2 billion in an attempt to "bend the curve" on limiting climate change. He is focusing on risky investments that favor "breakthrough" technologies because he thinks incremental improvements to existing tech won't be enough to meet energy needs while avoiding a climate catastrophe. He says, "There's no battery technology that's even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it's cloudy and you don't have sun or you don't have wind. Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably." At the same time, Gates rejected calls to divest himself and his charitable foundation of investments in fossil fuel companies.

New Study Accuses Google of Anti-competitive Search Behavior 133

An anonymous reader writes: Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu — the man who coined the term "network neutrality" — has published a new study suggesting that Google's new method of putting answers to simple search queries at the top of the results page is anticompetitive and harmful to consumers. For subjective search queries — e.g. "What's the best [profession] in [city]?" — Google frequently figures out a best-guess answer to display first, favoring its own results to do so. The study did some A/B testing with a group of 2,690 internet users and found they were 45% more likely to click on merit-based results than on Google's listings. Wu writes, "Search engines are widely understood as key mediators of the web's speech environment, given that they have a powerful impact on who gets heard, what speech is neglected, and what information generally is reached. ... The more that Google directs users to its own content and its own properties, the more that speakers who write reviews, blogs and other materials become invisible to their desired audiences."

How Television Is Fighting Off the Internet 194

HughPickens.com writes: Michael Wolff writes in the NY Times that online-media revolutionaries once figured they could eat TV's lunch by stealing TV's business model with free content supported by advertising. But online media is now drowning in free, and internet traffic has glutted the ad market, forcing down rates. Digital publishers, from The Guardian to BuzzFeed, can stay ahead only by chasing more traffic — not loyal readers, but millions of passing eyeballs, so fleeting that advertisers naturally pay less and less for them. Meanwhile, the television industry has been steadily weaning itself off advertising — like an addict in recovery, starting a new life built on fees from cable providers and all those monthly credit-card debits from consumers. Today, half of broadcast and cable's income is non-advertising based. And since adult household members pay the cable bills, TV content has to be grown-up content: "The Sopranos," "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "The Wire," "The Good Wife."

So how did this tired, postwar technology seize back the crown? Television, not digital media, is mastering the model of the future: Make 'em pay. And the corollary: Make a product that they'll pay for. BuzzFeed has only its traffic to sell — and can only sell it once. Television shows can be sold again and again, with streaming now a third leg to broadcast and cable, offering a vast new market for licensing and syndication. Television is colonizing the Internet and people still spend more time watching television than they do on the Internet and more time on the Internet watching television. "The fundamental recipe for media success, in other words, is the same as it used to be," concludes Wolff, "a premium product that people pay attention to and pay money for. Credit cards, not eyeballs."

Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.