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Comment: Jane/Lonny Eachus goes Sky Dragon Slayer (Score 1) 366

... I was referring to your original "solution" to Spencer's problem, which you posted publicly on your website as a "refutation" of a comment of my own. Your explanation of how you found that solution led directly to a positive feedback loop, which I mentioned to you at the time. That has been a couple of years now. ... [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

Once again, I explained that the equations I'm using account for an infinite series of reflections. But as MIT explained, this infinite sum converges to a finite temperature. If Jane thinks he's found a mistake in MIT's derivation, please let everyone know exactly where.

And Jane, that wasn't a couple of years ago. I refuted your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense 3 months ago, not a couple of years ago. It probably just feels like years because you've been cussing and screaming and insisting you're right and I'm wrong for hundreds of pages. Seriously, look at the index at the top of that comment, which has links to this never ending “conversation” LINK, LINK, LINK. BACKUP 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

But you have never acknowledged your original error. Ever moving the goalposts, ever finding new "explanations" for how your "solution" somehow didn't ACTUALLY violate conservation of energy. [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

Jane, have you ever considered the possibility that I didn't make an error, and that you simply don't understand physics as well as professional physicists do? For instance, you screwed up the very first equation because you don't know how to apply conservation of energy to a boundary around the heated source. I've tried to show you how to derive that equation, but you've repeatedly refused. Why?

Furthermore, you won't even ask a physicist you respect if electrical heating power depends on the cooler chamber wall temperature. This would be even easier than writing down a single equation. Just ask Prof. Cox (or any other mainstream physicist) and their answer might finally help you see why your Sky Dragon Slayer equation violates conservation of energy.

... My solution was already demonstrated to be true, and your solution was already demonstrated to be false. I have no obligation -- or reason -- to engage in your game of "No, but you HAVE TO do it this way...". Especially when "mainstream physicists" and textbooks on the subject say I don't. No, I don't have to do it according to your own ill-conceived notions. I already did it, my way... that is to say, the "mainstream physics" way. ... [Jane Q. Public, 2014-11-27]

No, Jane's repeatedly demonstrated that he's incapable of judging whether a solution violates conservation of energy, which is apparently an "ill-conceived notion". Furthermore, Jane's somehow convinced himself that his Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is "mainstream physics" at the same time that he completely ignores Prof. Grant Petty, Prof. Brown, Dr. Joel Shore, the National Academies of Science, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Australian Institute of Physics, and the European Physical Society, and many other scientific societies.

Since Jane doesn't seem to think those societies understand mainstream physics, maybe Jane will listen to Prof. Steve Carson who also tried to educate a Sky Dragon Slayer. Notice that his eqn 9 with negligibly similar areas is equivalent to my equation, not Jane's Sky Dragon Slayer equation. Again, that's because Jane's Sky Dragon Slayer equation violates conservation of energy: power in = power out through any boundary where nothing inside is changing.

Jane, don't you see how absurd it is for you to simultaneously insist that your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is "mainstream physics" while completely ignoring the fact that mainstream physicists are telling you the Sky Dragon Slayers are wrong? Doesn't that self-contradiction bother you even a little bit?

Riverat said Jane would need to actually witness the experiment to change his mind. After hundreds of pages of listening to Jane cuss and scream and endlessly insist that he's correct, I'm starting to agree with riverat. But I'm starting to doubt that Jane would even be convinced by an experiment performed right in front of him.

Jane, what would you do if you saw first-hand evidence that electrical heating power depends on the cooler chamber wall temperature? Would you admit that your Sky Dragon Slayer nonsense is wrong, and try to understand how to apply conservation of energy to a boundary around the heated source? Or would you just retreat to some other absurd evasion, and keep endlessly arguing that electrical heating power doesn't depend on the cooler chamber wall temperature?

Comment: Re:Alive and gobbling (Score 1) 73

by Rei (#48473053) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Surprised you haven't gotten any "but animals eat meat!" comments.

Animals also commit petty murder and mass rape. I like to think that we have the intelligence to choose to not have to imitate the behavior of other animals and decide our own path. And fortunately, we have a digestive system which allows us to make that choice when it comes to our diet.

Comment: Re:What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 73

by Rei (#48473045) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Swans can literally kill people - a guy died just a couple years ago when swans attacked his boat and then kept attacking him while he tried to swim to shore, until he drowned. More common though are things like bruises (up to and including black eyes), scratches, and skin-puncturing bites. A google image search for swan attack shows how they don't mess around when they feel threatene (there's even pictures of one attacking a full-grown horse)

Comment: Re:What's with turkey anyway (Score 2) 73

by Rei (#48473019) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

It's not all that distant of a relative of chickens, actually - it's in the same family (but a different subfamily). It's kind of wierd that one family (Phasianidae) has almost all of the commonly consumed poultry - chicken, turkey, grouse, quail, pheasant, peafowl, guineafowl, etc. Go up to the order level and you find more (mostly regionally popular) game fowl, like ptarmigan. And once you hit the superorder level, you get the water fowl like ducks, geese, and swans. I can't even think of any other poultry species. There's lots of Aves clades, subclasses, and infraclasses, but apparently the species that people find make good eating are rather clustered together.

Comment: Re:Niche energy (Score 1) 86

by Rei (#48471461) Attached to: WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

A lot of companies are involved in a lot of renewables tech research. That doesn't mean that any particular one is going to be profitable. The vast majority are going to be big failures.

Wave power's track record so far has been subpar to say the least. And looking at their diagrams, I can't imagine that they're not headed straight for the same fate. Even if we assume that their numbers aren't overly optimistic, their design looks like it would involve several times more steel per nameplate capacity than a wind turbine tower. And they're operating in a much harsher environment. No rotors, but they're dealing with major hydraulic pumping instead. It just doesn't look like a winner to me.

If it was my job to have a go at wave power, I can't imagine going for anything involving large amounts of structural steel or hydraulic pumping; I'd keep it simple and just go for a grid of cables (potentially a high tensile strength UV-resistant plastic), anchored at the edges to keep tension up across the whole grid, with the only slack available involving the grid pulling on regularly spaced springloaded reels (the rotation thereof generating electricity), with any combination of floats, drag chutes and weighs/anchors to cause the needed tug from the movement of water. No pumps, no hydraulic fluid, no large compressive-loaded structures, just a tensile structure that would be (proportionally) lightweight and easy to deploy.

But hey, it's not my industry ;)

Comment: Re:It's a (Score 4, Insightful) 19

by hey! (#48470135) Attached to: Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

piece of crap with propellor

That's the interesting part.

This is what engineering is about: meeting a need cost effectively. The point of a toy RC airplane is to have fun. Traditionally it was expensive fun that didn't last very very long before you crashed. Having fun for longer with less $$ outlay == better engineering.

Comment: "Steam" is only half the salary equation (Score 4, Insightful) 261

by hey! (#48469173) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

Specifically: the demand curve half of the equation. The other half is the supply curve. A platform can have *no steam whatsoever*, but so few programmers that the salaries are reasonably high.

Consider Delphi programming. I see Delphi positions come up once in a blue moon -- it's not used much any longer. But those salaries run from $80K to $110K plus. Sometimes you see a Delphi position come up in the mid 40s, but I suspect they're government positions.

I've seen listings for COBOL or PoweBuilder programmers both in the $60K to $110K plus range. You can bet when a company offers $110K for a PowerBuilder programmer it's because it's having a hard time finding one.

Comment: I blame it on the Moon landing. (Score 3, Insightful) 489

by hey! (#48467757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

July 20, 1969 was, possibly justifiably, the biggest national ego-validation event in human history. The problem was after that when it came to national achievement, our eyes were firmly pointed back in time. We no longer do things "because they are hard". We're more focused on cashing in on the achievements of past generations.

When you tell Americans we have a backward mobile telephone system, a technologically primitive electric grid and distribution system, and Internet connectivity that lags behind the rest of the developed world, the reaction is usually disbelief. How can that be? We put a man on the Moon -- although by now it should be "grandpa put a man on the Moon."

Comment: Re:Ross Perot is awesome! (Score 1) 122

by hey! (#48467433) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

He was also a conspiracy theorist who had the money to indulge his paranoid fantasies.

He had the phones of his own employees tapped. He hired private investigators to spy on his friends and family, and to dig up dirt on friends of his children he didn't approve of. He went beserk when he found out the designer of the Vietnam Memorial was an Asian American, calling her racial slurs and hiring lawyers to harass the veterans who supported her.

This is a man who thinks that both the Carter and Reagan administrations conspired to hide the presence of hundreds of POW in Southeast Asia.

I often tell my kids "there's no kind of dumb like a smart person's dumb." It's a warning against arrogance. Smart people can get too used to being right when other people around them are wrong. But in truth there is a worse kind of dumb: rich person's dumb. That's because money can give ideas instant credibility with people in a way arguments cannot. There's a strong inclination in this country to idolize rich guys.

Comment: Re:It boils down to energy storage costs (Score 1) 623

by Rei (#48466617) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

And from their numbers, it doesn't look like they're using a reasonable estimate for Chernobyl. There've been some ridiculous estimates out there from both sides, ranging from "only the couple dozen who died directly" to "millions".

One can look at the approximately 10% higher mortality rate within the exclusion zone to get a rough sense of the consequences, but without knowing demographics, it's hard to draw conclusions from that. Probably the best (peer-reviewed) analysis I've seen compared doses with the US military's mortality data from exposure to the nuclear bombings in Japan. You get a figure of about 4000 extra deaths with moderate confidence and 5000 with low confidence (the error bars can be in either direction). So very rough ballpark of 9k deaths, plus the first responders and the like.

Yes, even when you include things like that, nuclear's death toll is lower than coal, no question. But it's not as low as they make it out to be. Their bias is obvious.

The deadliest nuclear accident, Chernobyl, was caused by defense department testing.

Yep, nuclear disasters can happen from both man and nature. That's hardly a comfort. Will "defense department testing" cause the next major nuclear accident? Very unlikely. But there almost certainly will be a "next major nuclear accident" - we just don't know what form it will take. It's a "known unknown".

Whereas Fukushima was all user error?

No. But if you're going to include "dam-induced casualties from storms", then you should include "people spared from storms by dams" also, it's only fair. And thus hydro's death count would be strongly negative.

Perhaps it is possible to offset renewables in such a way that they can provide 90% of our power needs, but no one has ever done it.

Speak for yourself. I live in Iceland where over 99,9% of the grid is renewable (primarily hydro). 99,9% renewable baseload at that. There's even serious preliminary work looking into building the world's longest submarine power cable to export power to the UK.

Again, not saying that hydro is my preference - I've stated my preference above. Just pointing out that your claim is wrong.

(Concerning the power cable: I'd support if A) they'd only be adding geo plants and wind to meet the extra power need, and B) the government would tax the power sales to the point where the cable makes just barely enough profit to economically justify its existence... but I'm sure that A) they'd probably just dam up the highlands some more - who gives a rat's arse that we have some of the world's most abundant and cheap geo and wind power that could easily compete on the European market, hydro gives a tiny bit more profit margin!; and B) the government would hardly push back at all on power export royalties because, hey, JOBS! Jobs damming up the highlands!)

The ideal voice for radio may be defined as showing no substance, no sex, no owner, and a message of importance for every housewife. -- Harry V. Wade