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Comment: Just Do Prizes (Score 0) 73

by Baldrson (#47792021) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars

Prize awards have high leverage on private investment. Moreover, prize awards aren't spent only for the desired returns -- thereby relegating risk management to the private sector where it belongs.

Oh, I forgot, NASA's money comes largely from political considerations about which districts get how much government pork.

Never mind.

Comment: Re: But is it reaslistic? (Score 2) 362

The only Bacteria that are scary are anti-biotic resistant ones, all the rest can be cured with a dose of anti-biotic.

Don't be so dismissive.

I realize the plague is so dark ages and that we have antibiotics, but from 1990 until 2010 the overall mortality rate was 11%.

People still die even with antibiotics.

Comment: A willingness to fight (Score 4, Interesting) 573

by mc6809e (#47781749) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

Men in general seem to have less tolerance for what they perceive as error and a greater willingness to fight to correct error.

That's not the say that men are more often correct than are women. They just seem more eager to do battle, even if it is from behind a keyboard.

Anyone that's been involved in an edit war of wikipedia knows that the winner is often isn't the one with the best grasp of the facts, but it's the one least willing to give up the fight.

 

Comment: Re:Paying by the MB (Score 1) 525

by cduffy (#47763815) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

We've been paying for roads by the mile for decades, via gas taxes -- an effective way of making people who drive more, pay more.

That might be true if gas taxes were more than double what they are now.

Funds from gas taxes go to a fund accessible to the federal highway administration -- which is to say that they don't pay for city streets at all, which are covered purely by property taxes. Even then, the FHWA only covers about 49% of highway costs, meaning that the majority of the costs of highways remain borne by the states, and are paid out of different taxes.

(This is a sore point because so many folks wrongly consider cyclists freeloaders on account of not paying gas taxes -- when the amount of wear put on roads is proportional to cubed vehicle weight, making the road wear caused by cyclists negligible, whereas the property taxes and state sales taxes paid are not).

+ - Solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead->

Submitted by Elledan
Elledan (582730) writes "Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more, even bigger plants until the impact of these plants on wildlife has been further investigated. The BrightSource solar plant in the Mojave Desert which was investigated reportedly kills between 1,000 and 28,000 birds a year with the concentrated solar energy from its 300,000 mirrors, charring and incinerating feathers of passing birds. This isn't the first report of negative environmental impact by this type of solar plant either."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Did I miss the breakthrough? (Score 1) 305

by sphealey (#47707837) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

" If JET can reach break-even point, there’s a very good chance that the massive ITER reactor currently being built in France will be able to obtain the holy grail of everlasting green power generation: self-sustaining fusion.

Dozens and dozens of journal summaries with that miraculous word 'if'

sPh

Comment: Did I miss the breakthrough? (Score 4, Interesting) 305

by sphealey (#47707771) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

Did I miss the part where the human race had a miraculous breakthrough in fusion technology? Even setting aside the expected issues with neutron radiation (sorry, no Mr. Fusion Home Energy Kit) there isn't any fusion technology today that is even close to breakeven on an experimental basis. As for commercial operations...

Overdrawn? But I still have checks left!

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