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Comment: Re:Shudder (Score 5, Interesting) 342

by Mspangler (#47970863) Attached to: US Revamping Its Nuclear Arsenal

"It seems to me the use of strategies like this assume that the people involved are relatively rational.

In our current world this doesn't seem to be that good an assumption."

Nor in the past world. Read "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman.

My first thought was "What were they thinking?" My next thought was "There was no thought involved." 17 million dead by the end, and not a nuke in sight. They didn't even discover the neutron until 1932.

Comment: Re:deja vu (Score 1) 174

Actually, you have a point. And so does the plan to make plans for geological engineering. The climate has not been stable for 2 million years. If we don't manage to overheat it (by which I mean get back to at least mid-Miocene standards), then it will fall into another ice age. Like the last one that pushed all the way down to Long Island.

So one way or another humans are going to have to stabilize the climate, or go back to migrating around the edges of the ice (whereever they may be). And the coast lines as well, remember that sea level goes up and down 100 meters during an ice age cycle. Try keeping your ports operating through that.

Comment: Re:The question should be, what is causing delays? (Score 1) 142

by Mspangler (#47687293) Attached to: Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

"It is silly to require an N-stamp on every last nut and bolt (even in non-safety related systems) rather than using off the shelf parts where suitable."

That is a legacy of the Thresher. You don't always know what part is really critical until it fails.

As far as "Regulations should be focused on safe designs, not on libraries of paperwork certifying safety" I wholeheartedly agree. But OSHA does not. They want an auditable full documentation paper trial of every change, no matter how minor. We have several people at work who only track paperwork. You might look up the 14 point Management Of Change program sometime.

And I do not work in the nuclear industry. They are an order of magnitude worse.

Comment: Re:Books 7 soviet union (Score 1) 421

by Mspangler (#47641935) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

One of the Soviet Union's great accomplishments was the depth and breadth of the education they provided. And the end result of that was it's collapse when the citizens figured out how thoroughly they were being lied to. Don't think other governments didn't notice this little detail. Compare the longevity of the Soviet union with that of the House of Bourbon in France, where education of the commoners was, shall we say, less important.

Yes, I'm feeling cynical today.

Comment: Re:Need to make SIMPLE changes. (Score 1) 389

by Mspangler (#47421297) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

"Then require that all new construction below 5-6 stories will have on-site AE that will equal or exceed its HVAC usage."

So what form of alternative energy will work in the Inland Northwest's freezing fog, where you have no wind, all-day fog, high temperatures in the mid 20's (F), and the day is barely 9 hours long, and sun (if you could see it) is no higher than 25 degrees above the horizon?

Now if you are going to use an annual average it might be doable, because right now I have 15 hours of daylight, and so far this summer I've used 4 hours of AC. Last year I used the AC mode of the heat pump 10 days total, as compared to the 7 months with the heating mode engaged.

Comment: Re:Not to be snarky (Score 1) 538

by Mspangler (#47290819) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

"*Not* being a college graduate is a certain guarantee of a lifetime of poorly paying jobs."

False. Chemical plant operators earn six figures with their overtime and shift differential. They may be working a rotating shift, wearing Nomex, and carrying an escape breather wherever they go, but it's not a poorly paying job.

Comment: intel and power efficiency (Score 2) 230

by Mspangler (#47180145) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

"They've been actively focusing on increasing power efficiency for a number of years now, so I have no doubt they'll be able to bring strong competition."

It Intel wants to, they can bring strong competition. They used to have their own ARM variant, but sold it off. They decided that there was no future in low power. Oops.

When they do get a low power chip they seem to lose interest, and then crank up its performance, and its power budget. Then Steve Jobs would yell at them, and they would produce another low power chip. Then repeat the cycle. Now that Steve is gone, will they go back to thinking a 135W CPU is acceptable?

In Intel's world, Grand Coulee dam exists to power their CPU, and the rest of the hydropower on the Columbia is to run the cooling system for that chip. Institutionally they haven't figured out that we have all the cycles per second we need, and battery life is now the critical parameter. Obviously if your dream PC has a 1000 W power supply on a dedicated circuit you will not care about power the same way you will if your phone keeps going dead every time you need it.

As is often the case, the problem is Management, not Engineering.

For the record, I'm using a 2.5 Ghz Core 2 Duo P8700. It's 6 year old technology and entirely fast enough. It has a 25 W power budget. The "ultra-low power" 2 core Haswell has a 35 w power budget. So they have gone backwards. Remember, I don't need more speed, so I don't care if the Haswell CPU is faster.

The question is does Intel get this point? If they say "you are not our target demographic" then fine, and I'll pay them just as much attention as I pay to Miley Cyrus. Which is to say none.

Comment: Satellite too. (Score 1) 340

by Mspangler (#46945747) Attached to: Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

I dumped Dish earlier this year. Same reasons; too many commercials on the few channels I did watch, and their last price hike crossed the $50 line.

They tried to convince me stay by offering a free upgrade to HD, but I told them I didn't have an HDTV. That is not strictly speaking true, my TV will do 720P, but it does not have an HDMI input (it has component, composite and S-video.) But close enough. All these HDMI-only boxes are useless (including yours Apple.) And no I'm not replacing my TV until it dies.

They finally gave up and went away. I got a bottom end Roku for watching the few things that might interest me. The one "local" TV station (only 120 miles away) has a Roku channel, so I get some local news and the weather.

Comment: Re:Awesome if true. (Score 1) 865

by Mspangler (#46924865) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"The only reasons to buy a manual are cost and 'fun to drive',"

and better mileage;
and ability to push start;
and better engine braking;
and safer on snow/ice; (clutch removes all drive from wheels, and can you step on the pedal when you see the ice coming. )
and ability to skip gears entirely if needed
and avoiding WEEEE-woooo-WEEEE-woooo all the way up any moderate grade. Yeah I can shift the silly PRNDL down myself and stop it, but it's supposed to be an automatic transmission.

Comment: Re:No, thank you. (Score 1) 865

by Mspangler (#46924779) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"I say "keyless" because my Nissan has a physical key hidden inside the key less remote fob to open the door if the car battery is dead."

So there is a key in the keyless system. I always wondered what you were supposed to do when your car battery died. Smashing the window with the nearest rock just to get the hood open in order to put the jumper cables on the battery didn't seem very sensible.

Fortunately my vehicles have normal keys, so this never came up.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350