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Comment: Re:You are the 1%, asshole. $115/month avg person (Score 1) 288

by Required Snark (#48210053) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?
Go and live in the 3rd world on $115 a month yourself, asshole.

Your attitude is the root cause of the ever increasing divide between the rich and the rest in the US.

I can't figure it out. Do you want to be a member of the lower strata of society with no upward mobility and no ability to change your status? Do you want to be a surf in the 21st century?

Either say something useful and back it up, or go back and hide in your mother's basement and leave the adults alone.

Comment: Third World America (Score 0) 288

by Required Snark (#48209773) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?
This is another symptom that the US is sliding out of the first world and into the third world. It goes along with our creaky unmaintained road, water and sewage infrastructure, along with our badly out of date airports and crappy passenger rail system.

And then there's our overpriced and underperforming health delivery system. (Note: ACA/Obamacare is a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.) And our failing K-12 education, which is severely underfunded and strangling on bureaucracy.

Along with the steadily declining state level college/university systems. (And before the right wingers start screaming about foreign students, remember that they come from places where it's much harder to get into any school and a lot of the higher educations options are not as good as the US, even with our decline. Both public and private schools love out of country students because they pay full tuition.)

But it's all OK, because the upper 10%, and mostly the upper .01% and above are doing really good. For example six members of the Walton family had the same net worth as either the bottom 28% or 41% of American families combined (depending on how it is counted).

Of course historically low corporate tax levels have nothing to do with this, right?

Although taxes paid by corporations, measured as a share of the economy, rose modestly during the boom years of the 1990s, they remained sharply lower even in the boom years than in previous decades. According to OMB historical data, corporate taxes averaged 2 percent of GDP in the 1990s. That represented only about two-fifths of their share of GDP in the 1950s, half of their share in the 1960s, and three-quarters of their share in the 1970s.

The share that corporate tax revenues comprise of total federal tax revenues also has collapsed, falling from an average of 28 percent of federal revenues in the 1950s and 21 percent in the 1960s to an average of about 10 percent since the 1980s.

The effective corporate tax rate — that is, the percentage of corporate profits that is paid in federal corporate income taxes — has followed a similar pattern. During the 1990s, corporations as a group paid an average of 25.3 percent of their profits in federal corporate income taxes, according to new Congressional Research Service estimates. By contrast, they paid more than 49 percent in the 1950s, 38 percent in the 1960s, and 33 percent in the 1970s.

So it it any wonder that the US is at best standing still, and more likely moving backwards when it comes to national infrastructure spending? And guess where the money goes?

Comment: Data, not evidence (Score 4, Insightful) 58

by Required Snark (#48202037) Attached to: First Evidence of Extrasolar Planets Discovered In 1917
Evidence is the loaded term here. It's only evidence in the context of a hypothesis, otherwise it is an observation, i.e. data.

The Hertzsprung–Russell diagram was proposed in 1910. It wasn't until the 1930's that it was understood how fusion was the energy producing mechanism for stars. Without understanding fusion and stellar evolution, there was no context in which to fit the observation of enhanced metallic elements in the star's spectrum.

So this only became evidence decades after the initial observation. It's interesting that the observation was made so early, but only retrospect makes it significant.

Comment: There is no such thing as a "safe" fission reactor (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by Required Snark (#48173211) Attached to: Fusion and Fission/LFTR: Let's Do Both, Smartly
Safety is not about technology, it's about human error. As long as people do dumb things, no design will prevent a catastrophe.

Look at the three big reactor failures: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima. All three were caused by human error. For Chernobyl, it was a dangerous design and running dangerous tests. For TMI, it was a less dangerous design, and they still screwed it up with bad procedures. For Fukushima, they made a series of globally bad design choices because they refused to consider realistic worst case external events. Plus they uncovered a flaw in the containment structure design that lead to the hydrogen explosions.

All of these are human error.

And it's not just reactors. The British Petroleum oil platform blowout in the Gulf of Mexico was human error. The sinking of the ferry Sewol in Korea was human error, as was the sinking of the Concordia off of Italy. BP also had a refinery blow up in Texas because of bad operations and ignoring a known problem with volatile fume leakage.

So no matter how secure a technology looks, it will still suffer a complete worst case failure. Assuming anything else is wishful thinking.

What's the worst case for LFTR? No one seems willing to even talk about it. It's remarkably like the head in the sand attitude that lead to the Fukshima disaster.

So here's a question: what happens when a molten salt containing fluorine, uranium, thorium and other miscellaneous radioactive elements comes in contact with water? Does it explode? Does it burn in air? How toxic are the substances entering the environment? (Trick question: both uranium and fluorine are very toxic elements. Fluorine forms many toxic compounds with carbon.) What is the equivilant explosive energy of tons of molten uranium salts?

If it is burning, how do you put it out? (Note: with fluorine compounds water is a bad idea. It's explosive.) How do you build a containment vessel that will withstand all of that? How will the cost of proper containment and emergency planning and equipment impact the economics of power generation?

A burning LFTR makes a burning graphite reactor seem like a campfire for a marshmallow roast. Good luck with that.

Comment: Re:Other things they said couldn't be done... (Score 5, Insightful) 566

by Required Snark (#48150109) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project
You're observation about Slashdot is correct. The attitude of a large fraction of posts is, for want of a better word, stupid.

Teh Stupid is characterized by mindless criticism, nitpicking, absolutist rhetoric, and willful negation of facts. All of which are on display in the response to this thread.

The aspect I find most disturbing is a clear anti-intellectualism. Comments are not based in fact or logic, but self centered illogic: if I say something is right/wrong, that all I have to say.

As for the "agenda driven posters", I think the agenda is egomania. That would explain the obsessive negative attitudes. Being relentlessly negative is a way of asserting yourself if you don't have anything else to say.

Is this getting worse? I'm not sure. I think I see more of it, but don't know if that is because I am more aware of it, rather then an real increase.

At any rate, when I become annoyed enough, I respond with evidence oriented responses. I find references to uphold my position, and include quotes and links. Now someone may disagree with me, but at least I am not making assertions based solely on my individual position. I am generally disappointed because very few people respond with their own external references.

In this case I don't feel the need quote very many examples, because the behavior in this thread is rather self evident.

Comment: Re:Relative sizes (Score 3, Informative) 213

by Required Snark (#48109717) Attached to: NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest
The first building constructed for the Library of Congress was the Thomas Jefferson building in Washington DC. It opened in 1897.

The current floor space is approximately 600,000 square feet or 55741.8 square meters or .021522039 square mile. The state of Delaware is approximately 2026 square miles. Therefore, the size of the methane hot spot is around 94136.23 times the size of the Library of Congress.

Note that this leaves out the sizes of the Annex, built in 1930, and the Madison building, built in 1981. The Madison building is over 2 million square feet.

Comment: Re:yes, let's "zoom out" (Score 4, Insightful) 213

by Required Snark (#48109513) Attached to: NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest
Any references? And by references I mean something that was not funded my the energy industry. Preferably in a peer reviewed journal that is not funded by the energy industry. You know, some organization that is actually credible, rather then being a bunch of paid shills.

Lacking that, I'm just going to assume that your are making stuff up. The "logic" of "Fracking has been responsible for a big decline in US greenhouse gas emissions" seems to be lacking. How could the conclusion follow from the premise? How about "An increase in the consumption of Nutella has been responsible for a big decline in US greenhouse gas emissions"? Makes about as much sense.

Comment: Re:Go Ross, Go! (Score 1) 208

Ohio Judge Sentenced to 28 years in 'Kids for Cash' Scheme

Ciavarella pleaded guilty on February 13, 2009, pursuant to a plea agreement, to federal charges of honest services fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with receiving $2.6 million in kickbacks from Robert Powell and Robert Mericle, the co-owner and builder respectively, of two private, for-profit juvenile facilities. In exchange for these kickbacks, Ciavarella sentenced children to extended stays in juvenile detention for offenses as minimal as mocking a principal on Myspace, trespassing in a vacant building, and shoplifting DVDs from Wal-mart.

There was originally a plea agreement, but Ciaverella refused to admit that he had accepted bribes for funneling juvenile offenders to a private jail. The agreement was dropped and he and his co-defendants went to trial.

On February 18, 2011, a jury in federal court found Ciavarella guilty of racketeering. This charge stemmed from Ciavarella accepting $997,000 in illegal payments from Robert Mericle, the real estate developer of PA Child Care, and attorney Robert Powell, a co-owner of the facility. Ciavarella was also on trial for 38 other counts including accepting numerous payments from Mericle and Powell as well as tax evasion.

On August 11, 2011, Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. On May 24, 2013, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated one count of the indictment against Ciavarella, but upheld all other charges, as well as his sentence. The Third Circuit refused to reconsider on July 24, 2013. The Supreme Court, which rarely accepts such cases, declined to hear the appeal in 2014, although Ciavarella could file a post-conviction relief motion before U.S. District Court within one year. With good behavior, he could be released in less than 24 years, when he would be 85. Ciavarella, inmate number 15008-067, is serving his sentence at Federal Correctional Institution, Pekin in Pekin, Illinois. His earliest projected release date is December 30, 2035.

So children have already been thrown in jail because of a corrupt judge accepting bribes from the people who built the prison. How can you doubt that in our current "campaign contribution" aka "bribe" driven political system that people aren't being sent to jail for corporate profit. It's just that the bribes have been made legal, and every one, including the so called prosecutors, are in on the scheme. We have accepted a society where corruption is the norm, and you refuse to acknowledge it.

Comment: Re:Go Ross, Go! (Score 1) 208

People were soliciting for hit men on Silk Road. You good with that?

Even if no one had been killed by the time they were shut down, when you have an marketplace that enables payments for illegal acts what kind of behavior do you expect? Do you think that it would stop at drugs? Murder and sex trafficking are just as illegal. Even if Silk Road had prohibited payments for that kind of activity, don't you realize that another market allowing these transactions would exist?

I wonder if Kickstarter would let me set up a project so I could pay for someone to kick the shit out of you. Nothing personal, just to make a point. How does it feel when you are the target?

Comment: Re:Here's the project poster (Score 1) 315

by Required Snark (#48108855) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal
It is not a torus. You are not talking about the UW design. You are standing on your soap box criticizing a fictional design that you made up.

"It attaches current-carrying handles to either end of the central plasma"

“Here we imposed the asymmetric field, so the plasma doesn’t have to go unstable in order for us to drive the current. We’ve shown that we can sustain a stable equilibrium and we can control the plasma, which means the bottle will be able to hold more plasma,” Jarboe said.

The UW apparatus uses two handle-shaped coils to alternately generate currents on either side of the central core, a method the authors call imposed dynamo current drive. Results show the plasma is stable and the method is energy-efficient, but the UW research reactor is too small to fully contain the plasma without some escaping as a gas. Next, the team hopes to attach the device to a larger reactor to see if it can maintain a sufficiently tight magnetic bottle.

It is a Spheromak that makes use of technology developed for the ITER fusion reactor.

A high- spheromak reactor concept has been formulated with an estimated overnight capital cost that is competitive with conventional power sources. This reactor concept utilizes recently discovered imposed-dynamo current drive (IDCD) and a molten salt (FLiBe) blanket system for first wall cooling, neutron moderation and tritium breeding. Currently available materials and ITER-developed cryogenic pumping systems were implemented in this concept from the basis of technological feasibility. A tritium breeding ratio (TBR) of greater than 1.1 has been calculated using a Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP5) neutron transport simulation. High temperature superconducting tapes (YBCO) were used for the equilibrium coil set, substantially reducing the recirculating power fraction when compared to previous spheromak reactor studies. Using zirconium hydride for neutron shielding, a limiting equilibrium coil lifetime of at least thirty full-power years has been achieved. The primary FLiBe loop was coupled to a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle due to attractive economics and high thermal efficiencies. With these advancements, an electrical output of 1000 MW from a thermal output of 2486 MW was achieved, yielding an overall plant efficiency of approximately 40%.

I have no idea if this is a breakthrough or not. I don't know if it will scale up. It's not my field.

I do know that you are a Slashdot Pundit who lives in a fact free void and you are spewing meaningless nonsense. Although you quote some of the UW press information, you obviously did not bother to read or comprehend what they were saying. You didn't even bother to get the facts right about what kind of magnetic confinement topology they use. You went off on a rant about a completely different system.

Do Slashdot and the world a favor: STFU. You have no idea what you are talking about. Go away and leave us alone. You are wasting every one's time.

Comment: And her child? (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by Required Snark (#48087331) Attached to: DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook
So the DOJ also involved her child by posting his picture? As part of a drug investigation?

She should also be suing them on behalf of her child for endangerment. In drug transactions family members can be targets of violence. The DOJ was putting a minor in harms way.

That would go really well for the DOJ in court. I would love to be in the courtroom and watch some lawyer from the DOJ defend a practice that puts a child at risk. I'm sure that the jury would hear that testimony and decide there and then that the DOJ should loose the case very painfully.

Also, aren't their laws pertaining to the use of images of minors without parental consent? Even if the image was obtained legally (not likely in this case). Sounds like a potential criminal case to me. Of course, considering it's the DOJ, they could have used the image in a pedophilia sting and nothing would happen.

If at first you don't succeed, you are running about average.