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Comment: Re:Foreign and no SSN.... Check your facts... (Score 1) 103

by TamCaP (#36949584) Attached to: How Face Recognition Can Uncover SSNs
Not completely correct.
Since few years SSNs have not been issued to international students on arrival / enrollment, but only when they take up their first student job (if any)... On arrival they get an ITIN number instead. And yes, many places that demand the SSN don't know what to do with the ITIN when they get one (despite the fact that the law states it should function in almost the same fashion).

Comment: Re:Sounds like (Score 4, Interesting) 1229

by TamCaP (#36288026) Attached to: Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment
Obviously, you didn't read the whole story. The farmer indeed got accidental Monsanto seeds (that part is true). What happened later, however, is that he used a herbicide on his field and realized "uuuuuu, those plants are still alive" --> collected the seeds from those and used them the next year. That's why he lost the lawsuit - he consciously selected for Roundup resistant plants.

Comment: Government is corrupt... (Score 1) 309

by TamCaP (#36100074) Attached to: FCC Commissioner Leaves To Become Lobbyist
Government is corrupt like crazy (see also all the D- Reps from places like Alaska or Louisiana protesting abolition of tax-breaks for big oil...). No news, really. They should actually have titles like Comcast Commissioner (FCC), or Rapiscan Secretary of Homeland Security (looking at you, Chertoff). At least it would make the situation clearer. Nothing to see here, move along.

Comment: Re:As seen on reddit & facebook. (Score 1) 1148

I believe that's the idea behind the new GenIII+ reactors. However, IANANE.
In the new reactors, there is an emergency(?) secondary circulation system that consists of large amounts of coolant (your good ole' H2O) above steel reactor enclosure. In case of trouble, this water is dumped and bathes the enclosure. There is another steel wall that is being cooled using air coming from outside (gravity driven or what-not). Thus the process goes: reactor rods (HEAT) > primary (radioactive) coolant > reactor containment > secondary/emergency coolant (non-radioactive) > coolant enclosure > moving air > atmosphere. In theory, in case of a situation like the one that happened in Japan, the system should work well enough with little or no extra power needed (if I understood correctly, most of it is actually automated and doesn't even require human intervention). Excess heat that is not removed by air cooling goes away with steam, so you might want to refill the water after few days. This paradoxically leads to less moving elements, control systems, pipes, etc. etc. and significantly reduces the reactor cost too. After you are done, you can just drain the secondary coolant, as it does not become radioactive. I guess it just took someone with enough imagination.
The only problem is, those reactors aren't fully certified yet. But works (and construction) are pending.

Comment: Re:If I were to design it (Score 1) 193

by TamCaP (#35326350) Attached to: NASA Wants Spacecraft For Mars Return Trip
I think the launch window depends directly on the amount of fuel (or if you prefer, m/s) you are willing to spend. I would think (yet, also, IANARS) that the more m/s you are willing to spend (thus the more fuel you are willing to move to orbit from Earth) the larger your launch windows would be.
And yes. Despite much smaller gravity well that Mars has, I guess it makes more sense to leave fuel for return trip in orbit than to take it to Mars surface. This way, if something goes wrong with the lander, you have a relatively "free" fuel depot in orbit for the next mission. In general, our space projects should be done as modular and with as much reuse of components as possible.

Comment: Re:I want... (Score 3, Interesting) 241

by TamCaP (#35237566) Attached to: Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser
I am pretty sure current light sensing technology is doing just great when it comes to that.

I on the other hand, wonder if it's possible to improve the device to work as an efficient energy "receptacle" / converter. Like a wireless power cable. You could then "beam" energy i.e. in space (where there is no atmosphere to kill all your photons) to your sattelite. One could also think about using fiberoptic cable instead of copper for energy transmission, but I don't see a real application for that (except maybe some exotic noise issues).
Yeah, the invention doesn't have many obvious applications. But it doesn't mean scientists & engineers will not come up with one at some point.

Comment: Re:overhead wires or third rails (Score 3, Interesting) 225

by TamCaP (#35054194) Attached to: Ski Lifts Can Could Help Get Cargo Traffic Off the Road
I think it's more of a metropolitan range mid-distance transport. It might be the new pneumatic tubes - if you need to move goods from one of your warehouses to the other, you simply move it to the Rope transport. Something like public transport for cargo. Will it work... time will tell.
In my humble opinion however, despite the relative ingenuity of the idea it involves a bit too much complication, and this will be a big barrier for adoption. Plus, someone show me the detailed ROI figures too...

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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