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Comment: Re:Here's to hoping they don't find oil (Score 1) 152

by RockDoctor (#49556105) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

What is the solution,


As in "Oh, Yellowstone is erupting. I'll get some popcorn to watch until all the news broadcasters are dead. Then get on with my life."

A Yellowstone supervolcano would be devastating for the United States and most of Canada. At home, we might even get some ash fall (but we get that from Iceland already). Wouldn't be good for crops for the next couple of years, but we could probably use a 50% population drop. It'll be back in less than a century. Fuck up comms ofr a couple of years too, but the world will go on.

Comment: Did iTunes ever work on XP? (Score 1) 366

by RockDoctor (#49556021) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users
It destroyed my daughter's machine when I got her an iMP3 player one Xmas and she tried to install iTunes as instructed. Obviously she hadn't taken advice to back up her school work to the file server, so that was my weekend fucked.

Never considered an Apple product since, and only touched them on occasions (to move them out of the way).

Comment: Re:Or it could be their breakfast. (Score 1) 89

by RockDoctor (#49499379) Attached to: World's Oldest Stone Tools Discovered In Kenya
Try reading the article?

The sediment in which the flakes were found was dated by magnetostratigraphy to have been deposited 3.3 million years ago, meaning the flakes cannot be younger than that age.

Remarkably, the article's authors did actually put that information into the article, so that people could possibly read it and become better informed. It's a shocking new concept called "communication".

Comment: Re:Antarctica (Score 1) 137

by RockDoctor (#49499359) Attached to: Road To Mars: Solving the Isolation Problem

Nevermind many of the various "voyages of discovery" that European nations conducted from the 1400s onward that went into uncharted territory, spending long times at sea,

"uncharted" does not equate with "unoccupied".

A couple of years ago, my commute to work included an 8 hour boat ride starting from port passed by Vasco de Gama on his outward trip to Calicut ; at that time, the port had been established for several centuries by Arab slave traders.

Comment: Re:False Dichotomy (Score 1) 363

by RockDoctor (#49499313) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Seriously, the stuff is all around us, from axle grease and lubricants found sitting in every vehicle on the planet (including junkyards),

Are you serious? Unless you're talking about a lubricant distributor's warehouse, you're not talking about more than a few months supply. That's what distributor's warehouses are for.

to existing-but-unused reservoirs sitting around idle in abandoned refineries and petroleum distribution companies scattered throughout.

I had a friend who worked in environmental clean up from abandoned petrol stations, and working in the oil industry myself (well, the both of us do now) I've got a better idea than most about the amount of paperwork involved in hydrocarbon handling. I simply do not believe that there are significant amounts of hydrocarbons in your putative "abandoned refineries". The paperwork would be horrendous and unrelenting, and in any case that feedstock is both valuable and dangerous. Do you have any conception of the number of isolations and lock-outs you need to get a confined space entry permit for accessing hydrocarbon storage tanks.

Citation needed.

(I'm going to guess that you come up with some story about hundreds of tonnes of contaminants which leaked out of a tank during the working life of a refinery. Which is not the same thing at all. Your first problem in exploiting such a "resource" is going to be mining the stuff - again - followed by separating it from the waste.

Comment: Re:Please, Don't tell Michael Bay (Score 1) 99

by RockDoctor (#49499287) Attached to: Transforming Robot Gets Stuck In Fukushima Nuclear Reactor

Love it, hate it .. but, honestly you simply can't discount a film franchise in which two of the four movies have had global revenues of over a billion dollars and shows up on the lists of highest grossing films.

You might not be able to discount them, but I certainly can. Crap remains crap even if it's designed to sell merchandise (Transformer-branded shit-paper, anyone?) and succeeds in that by means of brat's pester power.

I didn't actually know (or care, in the slightest) that they were a quadruple of films, or that they were high grossing. I only know of their interminable existence from the presence of mounds of promotional crap in the town centre.

Comment: Re:If you insist on keeping physical hardware (Score 1) 446

The fire safe (as is typical for the class) should be rated for 1500 degrees for 30minutes while keeping the inside temperature below that necessary to char paper. The walls are heavily insulated and the seals on the door in extreme heat melt and seal the interior completely.

There are other things to consider which can seriously alter your fire situation.

(I'll point out that I have to do fire training including a number of evacuations through burning buildings every couple of years, and have been doing it since we routinely had people die in the training. It is very likely that I've spent more time in burning buildings in BA sets than the average Slashdotter, unless there are a lot of undeclared firefighters on the board. I work in the oil industry, and dieing in a fire is a non-trivial risk at work, in addition to the normal hazards of being at sea.)

Being in the UK, we build our houses with bricks, mortar and concrete, with minimal wood. Rather different to the US, I gather, and I'm not sure how that would alter the progress of fires there. If I were to get a fire safe, I'd probably mount it by either excavating into the floor of my garage (concrete) and covering it's access with a paving slab (40mm thick) ; or I'd mount it into the concrete and breeze block wall of the garage along the party wall with the neighbours. Since I don't keep significant flammables in the garage (that is in the shed, outside ; that can burn and I'd get a toasting fork instead of getting worried.) Either of those options should take hundreds of degrees off the exterior temperature of the fire safe. Putting it in the floor would be better temperature-wise, but not so good for protection from water damage. But since I've also got water-proof diving pouches and silica gel in abundance, I'm pretty sanguine about water.

Where to site a fire safe - for a combination of low fire risk and acceptable security (I wouldn't put it in the shed!) is going to have a very big effect on the conditions it is exposed to.

Comment: Re:LHC Too (Score 1) 229

by RockDoctor (#49499131) Attached to: 220TB Tapes Show Tape Storage Still Has a Long Future
Does the LHC still use bubble chambers? Not at ATLAS, according to , nor at CMS. Nor in LHCb. Nor in ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment). The TOTEM experiment uses something called a Roman Pot. and I've now got bored.

From the other end of the telescope - would what is essentially an imaging detector like a bubble chamber be suited to a high-data rate situation like the LHC?

Comment: Re:It's been nice knowing y'all (Score 1) 417

CO2 concentrations in liquid, sure. But what does that have to do with PH? You indicate that it's self-evident, but it's not to me. Maybe you can explain that relationship in high-school sciencey language.

In equations : CO2 + H2O H2CO3

In words : Carbon dioxide dissolved in water is in equilibrium (ASCII doesn't have the proper double-direction arrow) with carbonic acid.

H2CO3 H(+) + HCO3(-)

Carbonic acid, dissolved in water, can split up into free protons and bi-carbonate ions. (I've bracketed the charges to distinguish them from the "and" symbol).

Really, if you didn't get your head around this sort of incredibly elementary chemistry while you were at school then you shouldn't be approaching anything about real-world chemistry, which is not under any obligation to be as simple as you want it to be. (For a start ; there's another ionisation stage where the bi-carbonate ions form more protons and carbonate ions ; and the protons are solvated in the real world.

I'm not a professional chemist ; but I grew up in a house with a chemist, studied it for a year at university and have been making routine practical use of (wet and gas-phase) chemical analyses for nearly 30 years in labs literally around the world. I can't work out how your understanding of chemistry can be so appallingly wrong. That colours your entire credibility on a fundamentally chemical topic, and if you can't recognise that, then your credibility on all other subjects is destroyed by yourself.

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.