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Comment: Best Source Of Real News I've Found So far (Score 3, Informative) 104

by Scottingham (#47431005) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines
A few months ago I was trying to look up the latest figures on the Ebola outbreak. All I could find through most news cites were BS articles that wasted 3/4 of their space on the background of what Ebola is and where Sierra Leone is. In my searching I stumbled across a Daily Map Archive from the EU commission.

Each day they bring a new map with news from around the world. Succinct news, showing where it is geographically, with actual figures and no other bullshit. Granted, it's nearly all bad news...but I've learned so much about events around the world that the major news outlets don't cover (too much time covering important things like Brazil Exploitation Theatre or the latest breaking news out of Hollywood).

Thine linken:

Coincidentally, their map today is of that very same Ebola outbreak. Things are not looking good.

Comment: Re:Sounds about right... (Score 3, Interesting) 441

The variable you are neglecting to consider is transmission losses.

Look into super-conducting cables. So far, only Germany has managed to get a 1km long super-conducting cable in place for a still tiny % of the energy necessary to make this global grid work in the way you're talking about.

1/3 Local nukes+1/3 wind+ 1/3 solar > coal

Comment: Water Reactors are Teh Suck (Score 5, Informative) 268

by Scottingham (#47285451) Attached to: The EPA Carbon Plan: Coal Loses, But Who Wins?
Of course nuclear power doesn't seem viable if you look at it's current state! All the reactors we have now were designed in the '50s. They use water as a moderator (ie thermal neutrons) and coolant, requiring complex assemblies of fuel rods and control rods. Thermal neutrons also cause way more incidental nuclear waste (irradiated steel cores, wires, etc). They use
It doesn't have to be that way! The most recent design for a fast reactor seems to be the most legitimate and feasible new design to date. It's called the dual fluid reactor.

It separates the fuel loop from the coolant loop. This has numerous advantages. You can alter the rate of either independently to best suit the current need. The coolant used isn't liquid sodium. Which, aside from not playing nice with air and water has a low boiling point and high neutron cross section. This reactor uses liquid lead as its coolant. Its so stable and resistant to radiation that the coolant loop can be piped into the non-containment area for power generation. In the papers I've read they mention coupling it to an MHR generator then a super-critical water loop en route to turbines.

It is engineered to run at 1000C, which at that temperature, makes it possible to do pyro-chemistry with electrodes to filter out the daught products in line with the fuel loop. The separated daughter products are then sent to a passive cooling chamber (the super short lived ones are hooked up to the coolant loop where it contributes to energy production) where they remain hella hot for a few hundred years. Then they become inert. There are supposedly lots of valuble metals after about 90 years that make the waste itself a hot commodity.

The reactor is designed to be a 2 meter cube, for simple production there are no bowed parts, only 90 angles with straight pipes. A reactor this size can put out 1500MW thermal.

Couple this with the recent advancement of laser-based particle accelerators and you wouldn't even have to start with enriched fuel! The power required to drive the laser would be
As Elon Musk would say (probably): Seriously guys, it's the 21st century, act like it!

+ - The EPA carbon plan: Coal loses, but but who wins?-> 3

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Mark Cooper with one of the best explanations of some of the most pressing details on the new EPA rule change: 'The claims and counterclaims about EPA’s proposed carbon pollution standards have filled the air: It will boost nuclear. It will expand renewables. It promotes energy efficiency. It will kill coal. It changes everything. It accomplishes almost nothing.' Cooper notes that although it's clear that coal is the big loser in the rule change, the rule itself doesn't really pick winners in terms of offering sweet deals for any particular technology; however, it seems that nuclear is also a loser in this formulation, because 'Assuming that states generally adhere to the prime directive of public utility resource acquisition—choosing the lowest-cost approach—the proposed rule will not alter the dismal prospects of nuclear power...' Nuclear power does seem to be struggling with economic burdens and a reluctance from taxpayers to pay continuing subsides in areas such as storage and cleanup. It seems that nuclear is another loser in the new EPA rule change."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Water Reactors are teh suck (Score 1) 3

by Scottingham (#47284113) Attached to: The EPA carbon plan: Coal loses, but but who wins?
Of course nuclear loses in this plan. They're only figuring in the economics of the current pressurized water 2% enriched dinosaur reactor types. Those are insanely expensive to run, not to mention inherently dangerous and able to melt down (albeit very very unlikely).

There should be an apollo-style program to get fast reactors online. One particular design that I've recently come across is the dual-fluid molten salt reactor.

It addresses a lot of the problems the LFTR reactors have (like not using sodium as the coolant!) and it can provide a wide range of operation types from breeder to 'waste' incineration.

Comment: Culture Shock (Score 3, Interesting) 99

by Scottingham (#47243229) Attached to: Can Google Connect the Unconnected 2/3 To the Internet?
Nobody has brought up an obvious (to me I guess) consideration.

How would 'other 2/3' perceive the internet / computers in general in their cultural context.

Imagine a refugee camp where war torn peoples flock across a border and are placed into a predesignated area. Now (if it was Turkey*) they'd have all the basic amenities, food, shelter, water, What they are lacking (as far as I can tell) is any pervasive computer/internet. Consequently, boredom is one of the biggest problems in these refugee camps.

What if they all had the internet though?

What would they do with something of that magnitude that they've never had before? Would it become self-organizing? Would they require classes? If so, how in-depth? What if the literacy rates were low? Could small pictographic games still provide entertainment? Could MMOs (or whatever) provide a sense of purpose, if only virtual, to somebody's life?

Now take that microcosm and multiply it by 'the other 2/3'.

We need to approach this as a legitimate problem that is capable of being solved through research and refinement.


"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_