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Comment Re:Why is this one in the news? (Score 1) 1134

The story has really gotten traction because we know the identity of two of the shooters--unfortunately, both of Muslim faith.

And you wonder why people are increasingly wary of Muslims--especially the well-documented history of terrorist acts done by Muslims since the middle 1960's when groups like al-Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine were formed.

Comment Re:Least responsible superpower (Score 1) 151

They had to impose rules on reducing sulfur emissions from coal-fired plants because the "acid rain" was ruining forests and lakes downwind of the plant, let alone the oxides of sulfur were damaging buildings in cities. That's why coal from Wyoming's Powder River basin with its very low sulfur content came into high demand by the late 1980's.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter, USA emmisions are already down (Score 1) 151

This is why India is building a test reactor to see if Alvin Weinberg's research into molten salt nuclear reactors (MSR's) fueled by thorium-232 can be scaled up to commercial operation. If it works, India could within a generation scrap its coal-fired power plants as they are replaced by very safe MSR's, especially given India has some of the world's largest proven reserves of thorium-232.

Comment Re:The MSR is the way to go. (Score 1) 366

I believe that one reason why Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) ended research into molten-salt reactors was the very fact they couldn't use it to manufacture uranium-235 and plutonium-239, the two fissile elements used in nuclear weapons. But as a power generator, the liquid fluoride thorium reactor holds enormous promise because of its inherent safety and the fact it uses thorium-232, which is as common as elemental lead in the soil.

Comment I have my doubts. (Score 0) 412

I think in the end, the next iPhone will look very akin to the iPhone 6/6+ design, but will likely get rid of the physical home button altogether, thanks to new touchscreen technologies that will allow parts of the touchscreen to become a big Touch ID fingerprint sensor area. Given that Apple has demonstrated they can make a thinner device without sacrificing the 3.5 mm headphone jack with the current iPod touch and iPod nano models, they don't need to sacrifice the headphone jack in the name of "thinness."

Comment The MSR is the way to go. (Score 1) 366

I think in the end, what will happen is that we'll end up choosing molten-salt reactors fueled by thorium-232 dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel--the so-called liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR).

The advantages to LFTR's are numerous:

1. Thorium-232 is as common in the soil as elemental Lead--indeed, one of the huge problems with rare-Earth element mining is figuring out how to get rid of the thorium. Suddenly, all that thorium is in high demand for nuclear reactor fuel.
2. LFTR's can even use re-processed uranium-235 fuel rods and plutonium-239/241 from dismantled nuclear weapons dissolved in molten fluoride salts as fuel, making it a very viable way to get rid of a huge current nuclear waste problem.
3. You don't need expensive pressurized reactor vessels.
4. The reactor size can be scaled from 40 megawatts to over 1,000 megawatts power output. That means they could be used for powering installations as small as computer server farms all the way up to powering whole cities, and they can generate power 24 hours a day constantly.
5. Because the fuel is in liquid form in the reactor, there is no such thing as a reactor meltdown if the coolant is cut off for any reason.
6. A SCRAM emergency shutdown of the reactor is dumping the liquid fuel out of the reactor quickly, a lot easier to do than the complex safety systems found in today's uranium-fueled reactors.
7. Using closed-loop Brayton turbines to generate power, you eliminate the enormously expensive need for big cooling towers or locating the reactor near a large source of water.
8. The amount of radioactive waste generated is tiny compared to uranium-fueled reactors, and that waste has a radioactive half-life of under 320 years, which means really cheap nuclear waste disposal using disused salt mines or salt domes (if the nuclear medicine industry doesn't grab it first!).

Note that scientists think that the Moon and even Mars may have large quantities of thorium-232 that could be mined. As such, we may enough thorium-232 to power LFTR's for potentially _tens_ of thousands of years at current power consumption rates.

Comment I'm not surprised. (Score 2) 188

The problem with diesel engines is that to make them just as clean as gasoline engines, they require a combination of diesel particulate filters and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system to make it easier to remove NOx gases--the combination of the two is NOT cheap, as anyone notes from a US-legal Mercedes-Benz or BMW turbodiesel car. And how well will those systems stand up to the type of demanding usage on a taxicab with its heavy stop and go driving.

I wonder why London Mayor Boris Johnson didn't announce a plan as far back as 2010 to phase out the use of diesel engines on London taxicabs and buses in favor of using compressed natural gas (CNG). Here in the USA, many cities are now mandating buses and taxicabs switch to CNG, and in Asia, CNG have been used for buses and taxicabs for many years.

Comment Not surprised at this. (Score 1) 424

I'm not surprised that Disney wanted to do something different with the Star Wars universe. After all, Disney saw the precedent of the many issues of the prequel trilogy and that's why in the new trilogy, Disney wants to get back the "feel" of the original trilogy. Indeed, I expect "The Force Awakens" to be essentially a self-contained movie, but with just enough plot points "open" to do the subsequent two sequels.

Comment Let's see how honest is Comcast's speeds. (Score 2) 113

I've stayed at my brother's place when his connection to Comcast High-Speed Internet (originally) had 50 mbps download speeds, now 100 mbps download speeds. Using Speedtest.net, I was getting around 44-47 mbps under the old setup and 90-92 mbps under the new setup.

But now, Comcast is preparing to roll out DOCSIS 3.1 service by 2017; they're converting all of their HD channels to MPEG-4 compression to free up bandwidth space to allow DOCSIS 3.1 service. In theory, DOCSIS 3.1 is capable of around 1 gigabit download speeds; just how fast Comcast will the new service be is still a major unknown, though I think at least 350-500 mbps download speeds is possible.

Comment I block ads with AdBlock Plus because.... (Score 1) 307

....the big problem with online ads is that they use Adobe Flash, Oracle Java, etc. to render the online ad--and that results in dramatic slowdowns in rendering web pages, not to mention ending up being a vector for malware attacks.

If we are to solve this problem, the following needs to be done:

1. All ads must be created using HTML 5.0.
2. No autoplay of any media file. Only with user interaction can any media file be played.
3. No animation in the ad.
4. Ads must be limited to a reasonable banner size.
5. Strict bans on cross-site scripting.

Comment Re:Genius or not (Score 1) 662

The sad part is that Westerners DO have justification for being cautious around Muslims, given the known history of some very heinous terrorist acts by Muslim terrorists at least since the middle 1960's.

The way Ahmed Mohamed acted when questioned by school authorities and the police didn't help matters, either.

Comment Once HTML 5.0 was finalized in October 2014.... (Score 1) 229

...It was only a matter of time before Adobe Flash heads to the ash heap of computer history.

Besides being a MAJOR user of system resources, Flash was also a major vector for malware attacks. That's why Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera are all wishing that Flash goes away as soon as possible.

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