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Comment: Re:No, no unfair advantage at all... (Score 1) 174

by Sqr(twg) (#47548349) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion

So what? It's sports. Entertainment. For fun.

If there were scores of athletes showing up with amputated limbs, winning everything and distroting the rankings, then this discussion might be worth having. But these are the statistics so far:

    Long jump competitions won by peoploe without prosthetic limbs: A shitload
    Long jump competitions won by peoploe with prosthetic limbs: One

You might argue that he is getting an unfairly large share of the prize money, thus hurting the other athletes, but it is probably the other way around. He's drawing more attention to the sport, hence bringing in more sponsor money, to the benefit of all.

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 1) 285

by Sqr(twg) (#47539219) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

The main way to make datacenters environmentally friendly is to build them near windfarms, and to build more capacity than you need. Then process data in the center where electricity is the cheapest, i.e. where there is an excess of wind at the moment. This increases the profitability of windfarms and leads to more investment.

Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 1) 156

by Sqr(twg) (#47490189) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

are you five?

As I wrote in the first sentence of the post you are replying to, I worked for seven years in research and development on fuel cell vehicles. You do the math.

Have you ever even driven a car or owned one?

I've driven a fair number of different vehicles, including prototype fuel cell cars.

You seem hot have no clue about weighing pros and cons or understanding the challenges new tech must overcome.

Unlike you?

You know what? nobody gives a crap! the three important things for hydrogen stations are cost per mile, fuel source, and GHGs. nobody cares about mathematical efficiencies.

Efficiency is the most important factor in determining cost per mile. A car that requires four times as much electricity will have approximately four times the cost per mile. It will also cause four times the green-house gas emissions, assuming that the source of the electricity is the same.

(Protip: If you want to be taken seriously in any kind of scientific argument - Don't say that "nobody cares about mathematical ..." Scientists do care about math.)

you know what people do care about? range and convenience time. you know what's not convenient? recharging for four hours every 20 mins!

Four hours charging for every 20 minutes of driving was over twenty years ago. Today, most electric cars have a range that exceeds what their owners drive on an average day. This means the owner spends 10 seconds per day (one minute per week, assuming that he has Sundays off) plugging in the car when he gets home. The average non-electric car owner spends much more time than that filling up his car. A fuel cell car owner would spend even more time, because hydrogen cannot be transferred as quickly from one tank to another as liquids can.

Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 4, Insightful) 156

by Sqr(twg) (#47489827) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

I worked on fuel cell vehicles for seven years, but quit because I realized there will never be a future in it.

There are lots of reasons, but the main argument is this: It takes about four times as much electricity to power a fuel cell car as a battery-electric car. (Fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity at about 50 % efficiency, and making hydrogen from electrolysis has about 50 % efficency, not counting losses in compressing the hydrogen and when tranferring the compressed gas to the car. Batteries can have 95 % efficiency both in charging and discharging.)

You could make hydrogen from natural gas, of course, but the "no fossil fuels" argument goes away, and efficiency is still no advantage over a combustion engine that runs on natural gas directly.

The only advantage a fuel cell vehicle has over a battery-powered one is range, but range is less of an issue whith batteries, because chargers could be everywhere, unlike hydrogen tank stations that have lots of safety issues.

Comment: Re:Bah (Score 3, Insightful) 280

by Sqr(twg) (#47467053) Attached to: Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

Using a password manager with one strong master password + randomly-generated passwords unique to each website is better.

...if, and only if, the password manager is completely secure in itself.

If the terminal used to access the password manager is compromised, then the attacker gets the master password and thus access to all keys - not just the one that was requested.

In other words, you might have used an insecure computer to log on to slashdot, and the attacker now has your bank login credentials.

Comment: Re:Does anyone oppose this? (Score 1) 155

by Sqr(twg) (#47447359) Attached to: Fighting Climate Change With Trade

The tarrifs are a result of the German company SolarWorld's decision in 2012 to use its influence on the US state department to impose tariffs on Chinese exports. The Chinese responded in kind.

Presumably there are still some companies that sell more domestically than they export. The question is then: how much political influence do these companies have.

(If it weren't legal for corporations to buy US politicians and civil servants, the problem would probably have existed in the first place.)

Comment: Re:If they learn chess on tablets, (Score 1) 128

by Sqr(twg) (#47447101) Attached to: How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Either that, or just poin a webcam at the table so that a remote judge can be contacted when needed.

When I played chess as a kid, we'd often play tournament games without a referee. Both players are required to write down the moves (unless short on time) so the game can be played back afterwards if there's any ambiguity. This approach might not work if one of the players is an asshole, but none of the members of our club was.

The proposals in TFA (brain implants, rfid tags in chess pieces) are stupid beyond belief.

Comment: Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (Score 4, Interesting) 216

by Sqr(twg) (#47317897) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

the only reduction in CO2 comes from the centralization of production

...where you can do CO2 sequestration and, theoretically, bring emissions down to zero.

(Other than that, I agree with everything you wrote. I worked in R&D on automotive fuel cells for seven years and quit because I believe there's no future in it. They might have been a good idea when the competition was lead-acid batteries, but not any longer.)

Comment: I've seen it. (Score 2) 51

by Sqr(twg) (#47288739) Attached to: Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

I can certainly believe that tanning would be addictive. I know some people who just don't seem to be able to stay off the tanning beds. At age 30 they have the skin of 60-year-olds. (Although this is in Sweden, where you only get a couple of hours of natural sunlight per day in the winter, and lack-of-sun depression is probably more common than tanning addiction by orders of magnitude.)

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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