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Comment: Re:This never works (Score 1) 296

by Muad'Dave (#49562123) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

Actually the studios axed DiVX. The agreements were for so many movies per year, and as the studios didn't want to hurt DVD sales or their own (nonexistent) streaming services, they began to provide movies like "I'm Gonna Git You Sucker", I kid you not. The DiVX platform was way ahead of its time - it was a tiny embedded JVM on its own processor that had a standard interface for the DVD player system to interact with. The same hardware ran on every single DiVX player - write (and build) once, run anywhere.

Supposedly the concept of the 'jar' file was a direct result of DiVX research.

It was a really cool idea - I could buy a disk from 7-11, toss it on the shelf, and watch it when I wanted to - no timeout on the first viewing. You could watch it as many times as you wanted to within 48 hours of the initial viewing, and be charged a buck or two thereafter (including on someone else's device). Each disk was individually serialized, so the backend always knew which disk had already been played.

Comment: Decent idea (Score 1) 281

by Muad'Dave (#49561697) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

I hope these monsters are UL-listed and won't jack up my homeowner's insurance because they're a fire risk.

At 10 kW * hr, I wonder what size inverter they supply? My house has a 20 kW generator and that will run everything, including the 2 AC units (mostly startup current). If their inverter is the same size, that battery will last _maybe_ 3-4 hours in the summertime.

Comment: Too cool! (Score 1) 125

by Muad'Dave (#49561313) Attached to: Liquid Mercury Found Under Mexican Pyramid

I'd love to don an airtight suit and try to walk/crawl on that river.

According to these documents, I'd displace .0092 m^3 (9195 cm^3) of mercury (yes, I weigh in at nearly 125 kg).

By using the largest values for foot, calf, and thigh volumes, the second document tells me that I could stand up in the mercury, and that it would come up 15% of the length of my thighs or so.

Assuming I'm vaguely rectangular when I'm supine (41 cm wide by 183 cm tall), I'd float in 1.2 cm of mercury.

Comment: Re:= paracetamol (Score 1) 187

by Muad'Dave (#49469435) Attached to: Acetaminophen Reduces Both Pain and Pleasure, Study Finds

We have at least one instance of that in the US - Excedrin. Their "Extra Strength" formulation has the exact same amounts of the active ingredients as their "Excedrin Migraine" and "Excedrin Menstrual Complete". At least at Walgreens Online they charge $17.99 for 200 Extra Strength caplets and $18.49 for 200 Migraine caplets. In the actual brick-and-mortar stores the prices are usually identical. Walmart's prices are the same.

Comment: Not Esperanto (Score 1) 8

I'm sure you're aware of Esperanto, which is a 'constructed' language proposed as a universal second language. There are also Interlingua, Ido, and Novial, but I don't know anything about them.

The things in Esperanto that turned me off are listed here:

"the use of "Classic Greek and Old Latin singular and plural endings -o, -oj, -a, -aj" - those are unpronounceable to native English speakers ('oj' would be naively pronounced as 'ohgz' or 'oddgz' instead of 'oy').

"letters with circumflex diacritics, which some find odd or cumbersome, along with their being invented specifically for Esperanto rather than borrowed from existing languages; as well as being arguably unnecessary, as for example with the use of instead of w."

An optimal language, IMHO, would have no diacriticals, no gender aside from pronouns (he, she, etc), very few verb tenses (I can indicate time by using more words - "I eat the apple before" vs "I ate the apple" - no verb tense needed), and no ambiguous spelling or pronunciation. With all these limitations, it may sound like caveman language :-)

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

Did you stop to think that the article I quoted means "The coal that is burnt in Germany" not "coal that is mined in Germany"? You're too quick to dismiss the source data. Why would an article quote radiation figures for coal that's not being used, as you state? You've repeated this over and over, but I hoped you'd figure out your misunderstanding yourself and that I wouldn't have to point it out to you.

As for the "You started with an insane amount of "radiation" spread by coal plants. Now -- after 3 or 4 posts -- you accept that perhaps maximum 1%" --- I have done no such thing. I used the MOST CONSERVATIVE numbers to prove my point. Even using the lowest figure of 1% you still have to reconcile these facts:

"In the USA, 850 million tonnes of coal was used in 2009 for electricity production. With an average content of 1.3 ppm uranium and 3.2 ppm thorium, US coal-fired electricity generation in that year gave rise to 1100 tonnes of uranium and 2700 tonnes of thorium in coal ash."

If 1% is lost to the atmosphere, simple math (so simple you might be bothered to verify it) shows 11 tonnes of U and 27 tonnes of Th are released. My previous post was indeed in error. I was off by a factor of ten, but not the way you claim - I previously said "2.7 tonnes of Thorium" when the actual number is 27 tonnes.

As for your mercury numbers, you're the one that's way off. this paper sampled US coal for 25 years and came up with a mean mercury value of 0.17ppm. As stated above, US coal has 1.3 ppm U and 3.2 ppm Th. There is 7.6x as much U as Hg, and 18.8x as much Th as Hg.

Besides, the original argument was "Thirdly, the 'idea' that coal emits noticeable radioactivity is a myth from the 1960s/1970s" - I've proven that clearly there is noticeable radiation released on a continuous basis.

If you are too lazy to do any research, then I'm done with you. Continue with vague hand-waving and accusations of bad math and maybe someone will believe you.

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

Read the original article again. OLD plants emit as much as 10% - new plants with advanced scrubbers emit no more than 1%. Here's the quote, emphasis mine - search for it:

"Some 99% of flyash is typically retained in a modern power station (90% in some older ones)."

That's not my statistic - if you don't believe it, follow the footnotes in the article.

As for the 50 mg/Nm^3, your limit is higher than ours if the 18.3 mg/Nm^3 is correct. The US burned 850x10^6 tonnes (850x10^9 kg) of coal in the year 2009. Even of we go with the 1% figure nationwide, that's still 11x10^3 kg of uranium and 27x10^3 kg of thorium up the stack. Refer to the quote from the same document, below:

"In the USA, 850 million tonnes of coal was used in 2009 for electricity production. With an average content of 1.3 ppm uranium and 3.2 ppm thorium, US coal-fired electricity generation in that year gave rise to 1100 tonnes of uranium and 2700 tonnes of thorium in coal ash."

This article seems to show that Germany is not so clean after all given the relatively large amount of coal it burns compared to its EU neighbors.

This chart shows Germany using 256 million short tons of coal in 2011. That's 232x10^9 kg. With German coal containing up to 13 ppm of uranium and up to approximately 39 ppm thorium (see the first liked article for the source of those figures), that means:

In 2011 German power plants emitted up to 30x10^3 kg of uranium (232x10^9 x 13ppm x 1%) and up to 90.5x10^3 kg of thorium (232x10^9 kg x 39ppm x 1%).

Note that US coal contains up to 4 ppm uranium while German coal contains up to 13 ppm. From the first article, "US, Australian, Indian and UK coals contain up to about 4 ppm uranium, those in Germany up to 13 ppm ...".

I really can't make it any clearer that ALL coal plants emit fly ash, and because of the vast amounts of coal burnt around the world, that fly ash represents a significant and easily detectable amount of radioactivity (not to mention the chemical toxicity) released into the atmosphere around the plants.

I think I've proven my point with reason and numbers to back it up - all you've contributed is disbelief and scorn.

Comment: Re:So Germany is not a state? (Score 1) 265

I'm sorry you're so stubborn, ignorant, and nationalistic to believe that a mere 1% of the ash generated from burning coal couldn't possibly escape into the atmosphere in the Fatherland. Unless you've got alien-level technology, your German scrubbers are bound by the same physics as those in the US - ~99% efficient is the maximum you can get. - 99% efficient - 90% - 99% efficient = 99% efficient

Table 3 in this document directly compares particulate matter emission regulations in the US and Germany - as you can see, the average PM emissions for German plants is 50 mg/Nm^3 as opposed to 18.3 mg/Nm^3 for all new large plants in the US as mentioned in this document.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.