Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Dear Europe: (Score 1) 202

Dear USA Had you done what other non-European countries did, and get involved at the start of the wars instead of the ends, millions would have been spared. Instead, you continued to trade with Germany during the war and held back your support. Oh well, better late than never, I suppose.

Comment Its the last line in the summary (Score 1) 60

"And the business model is proven around the world."

This is why he wants traditional methods. Control the wire, control the cost of the signal. using satellites, balloons, drones - they work with beams to a spot in the sky. who can control the beams? If someone other than the local bully . . . err telcom controls access to the 'net, their business model.

Give me the ability to walk around my local telcom to get an internet feed from someone who ONLY does internet (not a subsidiary of an integrated tv/telephone/broadcast media producer, distributor and internet provider) and I'll jump in an instance.

Comment Re:There's still no magnetosphere (Score 5, Interesting) 261

magnetosphere is useful for keeping an atmosphere in geological time frames. As we are all finding out, man does not function in geological time frames, but much faster. An atmosphere on Mars would degrade over time, without replenishment if we don't have a magnetosphere. So basically, we'd need to crash a comet or two onto the planet every century. If we have the ability to create an atmosphere in the first place, maintaining it would be several orders of magnitude easier.

What is being proposed is terraforming, which even with nukes is not "quick" in human terms.

Comment Assumes Heat is a Waste Product (Score 1) 207

Where I live, three months of the year we need our central air conditioning. The remainder of the year we either need a small amount of heating, or a LOT of heating. Having my gaming machine add to the heat of the house is just a bonus. My TV providing 700W of heat? Bonus! Of course, the cost of electrical heat is higher than natural gas heat, but that heat pushed out from the computer reduces the total heat I need from natural gas. A bit of lost efficiency ($/but) yes, but you cannot consider it waste heat for most of the year.

Oh, and I upgrade on a 3 or 4 year cycle, so there is ongoing power efficiency gains, but there is absolutely no way that spending $1000s every 3 years will balance out the "savings" in lost electricity. In terms of effect on the environment, where I live the only fossil fuel used to generate electricity is natural gas, and that represents 15% of electrical generation.

Comment Re:desalination (Score 1) 203

I am well aware of the magnitude difference between the heat load from the total solar flux to the planet and the electrical output of a nuclear power plant. However, that still doesn't change the fact that the statement "A nuclear plant does not contribute to global warming" is incorrect.

Comment Re:desalination (Score 1) 203

The generation of energy does contribute to global warming. What you are implying is that as the generation of power doesn't use fossil fuels, the waste products do not contribute to the greenhouse effect. However, 100's of megawatts of electricity will 100% turn into 100's of megawatts of heat. unlike solar and wind energy, nuclear energy is a net generator of heat. Solar and wind are heat energy neutral, as the energy is pulled from the environment, used as electricity, and then released as heat where the sun's energy was going anyway. The energy from the nuclear material never originated in solar energy smacking into the earth.

Comment Re:'Climatedot' again... are you sick of this yet? (Score 1) 203

With all due respect, this article indicated two factors leading to national water stress, the first is the currently recognized changes in rainfall patterns. The second is the political/population aspect to those nations. In many cases, it is not a total lack of water resources that will affect the population, but its distribution within the country and the lack of infrastructure or political will/means to match the distribution of water to the distribution of usage.

While many might focus on the "man-made" side of the issue regarding the changes in water distribution, the far far greater calamity is the 100% man-made factors that make up the political problems.

The US has unmatched monetary resources to easily manage the water distribution changes caused by changes to the climate, regardless of their cause. However, the political environment makes usage of those monetary resources to change the water usage distribution to match the future water resource distribution impossible. And sadly, there is next to zero chance of any change in the collective political will to alter US use of water to match future water distribution.

Submission Inflatable Space Launch Pad Patent Granted->

Punko writes: "Canadian space company, Thoth Technology Inc., has been granted the United States patent for a space elevator. Announced today in the USPTO’s Official Gazette, the freestanding space tower is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base. Reaching 20 km above the planet, it would stand more than 20 times the height of current tall structures and be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.

The technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30% of the fuel of a conventional rocket."

Somehow making a tower out of gas filled pillows 15 kms tall without external support wires seems fanciful

Link to Original Source

Submission Space Elevator With Inflatable Tower Planned By Canadian Company

Dave Knott writes: Pembroke, Ont.-based Thoth Technology has patented an inflatable tower that could carry a "space elevator" higher than passenger jets fly – and eventually into low-Earth orbit. Their plans describe a tower with a space launch platform on top that could theoretically be built to more than 200 kilometres high, and reach into low Earth orbit. It would be made of stacked rings of Kevlar cells inflated with hydrogen or helium to an extremely high pressure. An elevator could ride up the tower, carrying spacecraft, satellites and other goods to be launched into space – along with tourists looking for an extraordinary view.
The traditional space elevator concept consists of a fine cable with one end attached to weight in space, orbiting the Earth, and the other end tethered to the ground. However, Thoth Technology thinks there are two challenges with that idea: (1) It needs to be built in space. (2) The cable would be degraded by meteor and lightning strikes, and have to be replaced every six months. Thoth claims their inflatable elevator tower could be built from the ground up, and easily withstand not just lightning and meteors, but even category five hurricanes, stating that the design includes gyroscopes to control the tower's movement and actively stabilize it during major storms
The company hopes to build a 1.5-kilometre-high prototype within five years – a height that would make it significantly higher than the current world's tallest building, the 830-metre-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. They further expect that a tower elevator reaching 20 kilometres above sea level, starting from the top of a five-kilometre-high mountain, could be built with 10 years at a cost of about $5 billion US.

Comment Re:Fusion (Score 1) 337

Politicians haven't been instructed by their owners to pursue it yet. What is the point of owning oil and gas supplies if someone makes owning them pointless? Let us finish pulling the oil from the ground and making money with it, THEN we'll allow you to spend the taxpayers money to develop the technology that we will acquire to sell energy to the taxpayers. Let's just make sure we maximize our profits on oil/gas BEFORE we agree to make oil and gas worth less than they are now. Of course we realize that oil and gas will still have value in the fusion future, just they will be work a lot less than they are now.

So remember, maximize our profits now, spend taxpayers money a bit later to ensure profits for us in the future.

Comment Re:What plan? (Score 1) 88

One of the simplest questions is How big an NEO do we need to stop? Once you realize our ability to stop NEOs is very limited (in terms of mass) and is 100% dependent on early detection, the initial focus should be on improving detection of NEOs. And even then, the future may be : "INBOUND NEO >90% CHANCE OF EARTH IMPACT --- MASS IS ESTIMATED TO BE . . . oh crap" and now we're back at the current stage of hoping it misses.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 2) 154

Sorry, but I'm having trouble imagining such a facility being run by a typical American for-profit entity. Bad morale, low standards, high staff turnover, no loyalty to the employee, so no loyalty from the employee back to looking after the public.

So how's about we agree, that we'll make the operating entity an crown (or state) owned utility (not for profit) and run with a well paid, well trained, workforce ?

Comment inside or out (Score 2) 171

Is the colour meant to display for the condition of the wearer (which could be a display in advance of coitus) or for the condition of the partner (which is a display after coitus)?

Folks seem to be focusing on the partner's condition here. I think this idea would be far more valuable to the partner. Here put this on and we'll - hang on - blue plus yellow means clamidia and the clap - sorry fella - no joy for you. Warning of impending risk is far better than - hey wow, she's was really loaded up with bugs.

A raincoat will keep you dry in the rain, checking the weather may keep you from going out in the rain in the first place.

The trouble with a lot of self-made men is that they worship their creator.