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Comment: Couple problems (Score 4, Informative) 92

by Solandri (#46784285) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor
Mind you, I am pro-nuclear.

Meanwhile, the biggest issue that faces most nuclear plants under emergency conditions â" overheating and potential meltdown, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island â" would be virtually impossible at sea."

Simply being at sea doesn't prevent the cooling problem. Remember, Fukushima was right on the ocean. The problem is that the cooling system has to have at least two loops. An internal loop of coolant (usually water, though salt has also been used) actually travels inside the reactor. Consequently it picks up some residual radioactivity from being exposed to all those neutrons flying around. You cannot just use this single loop for cooling, or else you're releasing this radioactive coolant into the environment.

A second external loop of coolant cools the internal loop via a heat exchanger. This external loop picks up nowhere near as much radioactivity, and the coolant (water) is safe to dump back into the environment.

If it were just one loop, you could come up with a clever design using thermal expansion to make the water flow through it to provide passive cooling in the event of a pump failure. But with two loops (and the inner loop being closed), you're pretty much reliant on active pumping to remove heat from the reactor core. The problem at Fukushima was that power to these pumps failed, and backup generators designed specifically to supply power in that scenario were flooded and their fuel source contaminated.

I don't see how putting the plant on a floating platform helps in this scenario, unless you're willing to open up the primary cooling loop to the environment and just dump water straight into the reactor (with the resulting steam carrying both heat and radioactivity out). Which was pretty much what they ended up doing at Fukushima. If they'd done it before the cladding on the fuel rods melted, we'd only be dealing with a small amount of radioactive water (deuterium, tritium, etc) being released into the environment as steam, instead of fission byproducts being directly released. So I don't see how being by vs on the ocean makes any difference for this scenario.

Maybe you could design the steel containment sphere to act as a heat sink, allowing sufficient cooling when submerged? But the containment's primary job is to contain what happens inside. That's why it's a sphere - it encloses the largest volume for the least amount of material and surface area, and its mechanical behavior under stress are very easy to predict. This is precisely the opposite of what you want from a heat sink. You want the most surface area for a given enclosed volume. Which makes me suspect that the steel containment could only operate as a heat sink if you're willing to compromise its protective strength somewhat.

The other problem I see is that putting it out at sea hinders accessibility. Meaning more mundane events like a fire, which are trivial to handle on land, become much more problematic at sea.

Comment: Re:RAID? (Score 2) 236

by Solandri (#46782697) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon
This. Most people still incorrectly concentrate on sequential read/write times. SSDs are only about 4x faster by that metric - 550 MB/s vs 125-150 MB/s.

Where SSDs really shine are the small, rapid read/writes. If you look at the 4k r/w benchmarks, a good SSD will top 50 MB/s 4k speeds, and over 300 MB/s with NCQ. A good HDD is only about 1.5 MB/s, and maybe 2 MB/s with NCQ because of seek latency - the head needs to be physically moved between each 4k sector. That 100-fold difference is what makes SSDs so much faster in regular use, not the sequential r/w speeds.

Comment: Re:Useful Idiot (Score 2) 325

We've shown Americans how we deal with leakers by our handling of Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Snowden had no choice but to go to our enemies for asylum.

Please don't compare Manning to Snowden. Manning copied everything he could get his hands on and released it all without any consideration for whether or not it had a valid reason to be secret. He threw the baby out with the bathwater. Snowden has been careful to release only the things he feels violated the oath he and others took to the U.S. Constitution. One is a vandal. The other is a genuine whistleblower if not a patriot and hero.

For him to be a hypocrite, he'd have to spy on americans. If he has to do propaganda for the Russians to survive, then who cares? It's the Russians' problem, not ours.

I dunno why you think he has to spy on Americans to be a hypocrite. By doing propaganda for the Russians, he is affirming that sometimes you have to compromise your lesser values in order to protect greater ones. That's exactly what he's whistleblowing the U.S. government for doing - compromising Americans' privacy in order to (in their best estimation) protect their safety. If you actually listen to what Feinstein and others who defend these programs are saying, they're not evilly rubbing their hands together while cackling with glee that they're violating the Constitution. They implemented these programs because they genuinely thought the benefit (improved safety for Americans) was worth the cost (warrant-less searches and degradation of privacy).

What differentiates what he's doing IMHO is that if something is written in the Constitution, that kinda implies that it's an uncompromisable value. That you cannot violate Americans' 4th Amendment rights even if doing so would result in greater safety. Exceptions can be made during martial law and war, but no such declarations were made (unless you consider the war on terrorism to be a real, declared, and unending war).

Comment: Re:Assistant Principal doesn't believe it was bull (Score 1) 775

* If bullies are frequently heard talking about how they're going to teach-someone-a-lesson, in your world does that mean we should let the abuse slide and just judge them on their poor teaching skills?

No, it means that we really need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

1. Just because you say "you're wrong" doesn't mean that I am.
2. Thanks for proving my second point for me.
3. Thanks for proving my first point for me. The guy you attacked didn't claim to have been bullied, much less to relish bullying others.
4. Nope. And even if I did, asking would be sufficient, not asking and then immediately following up with a charge that the parent bullied the child.

You've already solved it with 'punishment' which in your head seems to be abuse that's sanctified because of its 'educative' goals.*

Yep..

Of course, that's how perpetrators of any human vice justify their personal use. They alone, out of the whole human race, actually have a reason for their actions.

Name even one society which does not punish. Alternately, explain how a universal lack of punishment is a virtue. Because that is precisely where you've taking this given your rejection of punishment by judges, administrators and parents.

And again... troll.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 775

1. Kids shoot up schools. Why schools? Why not shopping malls before Christmas or movie theaters during blockbuster premiers?

1) Kids are in school 30%-40% of their waking lives. It's normal that a disproportionate amount of everything that happens to them happens at school.

2) They don't really shoot up schools. Statistically a kid is much more likely to be shot outside of school than in school. It's just that "school shootings" have become a thing for the media, so the threshold at which one will become a national news story is much lower than, say, a bunch of gang members shooting each other in a drive-by shooting, or a bunch of teens being killed in a car accident. Despite the impression you get from the media, if you want your kids to be safe from shootings, you're better off sending them to school. Normalize for the time they spend in school (#1 above) and statistically they're even safer.

3) When a shooting happens at a school, the vast majority of victims are other kids simply because of the demographics of the people in the area. So it gets classified as kids shooting kids. When a shooting happens outside of a school, the majority of victims are adults. So it gets classified as a "regular" shooting incident even if a significant number of kids were victims

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1448

by hey! (#46772927) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

It's not a "re-examination". It's a butchering.

You say that like it's necessarily a bad thing.

We've got to stop acting as if the Founding Fathers were like Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the Constitution chiseled on a couple of stone tablets. They were brilliant, enlightened men for their day, but the Constitution is not a document of divine inerrancy.

The US Constitution is the COBOL of constitutions. Yes, it was a tremendous intellectual innovation for its time. Yes, it is still being used successfully today. But nobody *today* would write a constitution that way, *even if their intent was exactly the same* as the founders.

For one thing it's full of confusingly pointless ("To promote the Progress of Science") and hoplessly vague ("securing for *limited times*") phraseology that leaves courts wondering exactly what the framers meant, or whether they were just pointlessly editorializing ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State").

It's also helplessly out of date. The Constitution was drafted before the existence of mass media and advertising; before photography even. It was the appearance of photography in newspapers that woke people up to the idea that they might have privacy rights that were being threatened. A Constitution written in 1900 would almost certainly have clauses explicitly recognizing a right to individual privacy and empowering the government to protect that right. A Constitution written in 2000 would almost certainly have clauses restricting the government from violating individual privacy.

And then there is slavery, an outright *evil* which is enshrined in the founder's version of the Constitution. That alone should disqualify any claim they may have had to superhuman morality.

So if we take it as given that the US Constitution is not divinely ordained, it's not necessarily a bad thing that the current generation should choose to butcher what the founders established. Would you re-institute slavery? Allow *states* to deprive citizens of liberty and property without due process? Eliminate direct election of senators?

So it's perfectly reasonable to butcher anything in the Constitution when you're proposing an *amendment* to the Constitution. That's the whole point. We should think for ourselves. In doing so, we're actually carrying on the work the framers themselves were doing. Every generation should learn from its predecessors, but think for itself.

Comment: Re:Dead? (Score 2) 109

by Solandri (#46772541) Attached to: Intel Pushes Into Tablet Market, Pushes Away From Microsoft
This is just the flip side of Windows RT. Microsoft developed RT to hedge their bets. If the market stayed with x86, they could sell regular Windows. If the market switched to ARM, they could sell Windows RT. RT didn't need to be successful, it just needed to be there.

Now Intel is doing the same - they're hedging their bets. If the market stays with Windows, they can can sell CPUs for Windows machines. If the market switches to Android or whatever OS over Windows, then can sell CPUs for those machines.

That's really what the phrase "Wintel is dead" means. It doesn't mean there are no more Wintel boxes being made. It means the Microsoft-Intel partnership is no longer an exclusive partnership as if they were one company. They're starting to treat each other as just another disposable business partner.

Comment: Re:Not a market back then (Score 1) 232

by Solandri (#46772357) Attached to: Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago
This. The tablet was held back for nearly a decade by Intel and Microsoft insisting that it had to be a convertible laptop. Microsoft wanted to make sure each tablet sales was a Windows license sale, and Office too if they could. Intel wanted to make sure each tablet sale was was an x86 CPU sale, and a high-end CPU too if they could. Consequently, the tablet PC market stagnated at fewer than 100,000 sales per year for close to a decade.

The real technology that led up to tablet market space wasn't the smartphone; it was the netbook. Suddenly people realized that most of the stuff they did on laptops (email, web browsing, myspace/facebook, listening to music, watching movies), they could do just fine on devices which didn't run Windows and didn't have a PC-like CPU, and consequently could be cheaper than a laptop, not more expensive like tablet PCs were.

Comment: Re:Assistant Principal doesn't believe it was bull (Score 1) 775

Oh, and you can bet my kid stopped that crap that day.

How'd you get him to do that? Did you bully him?

Trolling with baseless and inflammatory questions? Or intentionally displaying your abject stupidity by interpreting "bully" so broadly that the term becomes useless?

Given your posting history, my bet is on both.

For others who might care (since you won't):
Punishment and bullying are distinguishable in many ways, one of which is that punishment tends to be used after violation of a generally agreed norm by someone we recognize has the authority to punish (a judge, an teacher, a parent). Bullying tends to involve some random jackass acting on a whim or in reponse to a violation of his own personal rules. I'll assume for the sake of argument that you're aware of the various state laws and school policies that make bullying a punishable offense, rather than a figment of the GP's imagination.

Comment: Re:Hypocrisy abounds (Score 1) 763

by hey! (#46765817) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

What's so hilarious is that to most of the commenters here, the Koch Brothers exemplify the absolute evil in the system whilst (and simultaneously) George Soros is merely 'doing the right thing' and 'helping people speak truth to power'.

So in other words, what somebody says is less important than who says it.

Comment: Re:Tyrant: The computer game (Score 1) 763

by hey! (#46765803) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

While sorta fun, those games are not simulations. All you revealed was the program(mer)'s built-in biases and assumptions, rather than any insight about what happens in reality.

That's true of social science research as well. The difference is that social science research has to pass peer review, and stand up to contrary reearch in the literature.

Comment: Re:I Pay (Score 2) 319

by Solandri (#46761103) Attached to: Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket
It would, except Comcast's monopoly is government-granted. A municipal government has decided to make Comcast the sole cable provider in the area, and prohibited other cable companies from offering competing service. The solution isn't to bash Comcast for acting like a monopoly (as much as I'd like to). It's to prohibit municipal governments from granting cable and phone monopolies.

I think it should be handled the way electricity and gas are handled - the company that owns the infrastructure cannot sell what is transported through those pipes and lines. They can sell service to other companies which provide the content, but they themselves cannot sell content. e.g. The Gas Company owns the gas lines coming to my house, but I can buy my gas from hundreds of companies which sell gas.

Also note that if there had been competitive cable internet, it would actually be Comcast paying Netflix for better service. If Netflix sucked on Comcast, Comcast's customers would've threatened to jump ship to another cable Internet provider. So to retain customers, Comcast would've been willing to pay Netflix to host their media locally to improve service. The only reason Comcast was able to strongarm Netflix into paying is because they have a monopoly on their customers.

Comment: Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (Score 1) 430

by Solandri (#46744585) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

It is strictly a parental issue in believing in education and starting it at home, where it must start by example.

I have to believe part of it is cultural. Black culture was forcibly put through slavery, where literacy and formal education was prohibited. Consequently their new culture came to value spoken language rather than written. I think that's why a disproportionate number of successful musicians are black (not currently true, but was true in recent decades). It's similar for Latinos (people of Central American descent, as opposed to Hispanics who are of Spanish descent). For centuries they were second-class citizens in Spanish-controlled territories and thus weren't given the opportunity to incorporate standardized education into their culture.

This is probably a good argument for not respecting all aspects of someone's "culture." If part of your "cultural heritage" is handicapping your kids in school, the solution isn't to change educational standards so that it's no longer a handicap. It's to alter your culture. (I'm first gen Asian immigrant, and I actually think Asians go too far in the opposite direction with too much emphasis on academic achievement. I'm actually glad to see current gen Asian kids prioritizing social integration over academic achievement.)

Comment: Re:u can rite any way u want (Score 2) 430

by Solandri (#46744411) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

English is a whole different matter, the English phonetics changed drastically from their Germanic roots during/ due to 'The Great Vowel Shift'. Strange enough the spelling remained basically Germanic but the pronunciation is nothing like it used to be.
This vowel shift is even more pronounced in American, the (a?) reason they have great difficulty in comprehensively speaking European languages, including Church-Latin.

English is a mish-mash of other languages, which also gives it more words than other languages. Its spelling and pronunciation are non-standard because most of those borrowed words retain part or all of their spelling or pronunciation from their native language. You even get words which retain spelling from their original language, but whose pronunciation gets shifted to a phonetic reading using rules from another language (e.g. niche = nitch instead of neesh).

English spelling and pronunciation will become standardized when all the world's languages decide to conform their languages to a universal spelling and pronunciation standard.

Comment: Re:I have a degree in computer science. (Score 1) 727

by hey! (#46743175) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Sinews (aka "tendons") are bundles of fibrous collagen bound together with an organic glue of proteins and polysaccharides. Sinews can be pounded to extract those collagen fibers, and then those fibers can be spun into cordage of any desired length.

The process is exactly the same as spinning short wool fibers into skeins of yarn, or transforming cotton bolls into cotton thread. The fibers are bundled together and twisted so they lock together and the axis of the resulting cord cuts across the axis of orientation of the fiber, producing a very strong thread. As the fibers are locked together into a thread, you continually add more bundles of fiber to the loose end. You finish by tying off the end of the thread you've created, or twisting the thread into a multi-strand rope.

Collagen fiber from sinew is an excellent cordage material, but less available in large quantities than plant fibers. For that reason you don't see sinew ropes. Although such a thing would be physically possible, sinew is a costly material so it is only used in specialized, low volume applications like fishing line and bowstrings.

Primitive people are every bit as smart as engineers who design microchips or airplanes; they just express that ingenuity through materials they can harvest and process themselves.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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