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Comment: Re:And why not? (Score 1) 192

The reason we don't get newer designs in the US is purely regulatory - it would cost billions to certify a new reactor technology, so companies find it cheaper to just build another copy

You do realize that your point supports my position. One major way that humans are faulty with regard to today's nuclear fission is the amount of administratium that interferes with every aspect of that industry. Engineers do not study administratium and are not trained in its management. And yet over the long term it is one of the most dangerous elements in water cooled nuclear plant operations.

Comment: Re:And why not? (Score 2) 192

Well, the problem is not in the current reactor designs. Those are as good as it gets.

The problem is in the reactor designers who consistently fail to recognize that the humans who implement the designs are completely faulty material. Humans screw up. Every reactor failure that has ever occurred is because humans screwed up. There is no possible way any of today's nuclear reactor designs can be made safe, because the ingenuity with which humans can screw up is astronomical while the designs of safety mechanisms are necessarily more finite.

I would like to hear more about thorium reactors. But India is working on those and here in the USA there is a tremendous NIH problem. Which is another form of humans screwing up.

Comment: Re:Now I understand her record at HP (Score 1) 346

by Will.Woodhull (#49367725) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

IMHO, Republican primary voters appear incapable of recognizing competency. There are several good Republican Governors out there, but they're not on anybody's radar screen.

IMO, the problem is that the Republicans who are politically savvy are seeking to become governors or powerful legislators at the State level because they have sense enough to stay away from the national scene. At the national level, Republican politics is a chaotic whirlpool of tea partiers, evangelicals, super-capitalists, anti-thises and anti-thats that will suck under anyone who can actually DO politics, and will toss some random joker up to the top to be the next candidate.

Comment: Re:Now I understand her record at HP (Score 1) 346

by Will.Woodhull (#49367671) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

I would like some kind of Phoenix Party to rise from the ashes of the Republican Party. But I don't think that is going to happen. I think America is going to become a one-party system with jumble of political clowns on the other side of the aisle for perhaps a decade. It will probably take that long for the clowns to destroy the remaining infrastructure that the GOP had put together between its re-emergence in the early 1900s and 1980.

Comment: Re:Build a second cockpit (Score 1) 436

by Will.Woodhull (#49367333) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

But on a serious note, I think we probably have the technology now to make both pilot and cockpit redundant, and probably even allow someone outside the aircraft to land the thing, when something really bad happens. It seems to me the only major obstacles to developing this are human and institutional inertia. This would be a fundamental change in all kinds of roles.

And I hope my sense of humor in the last post does not offend anyone. What happened to that A320 was a gruesome tragedy. There should be no denial about that.

Comment: Re:Build a second cockpit (Score 1) 436

by Will.Woodhull (#49367291) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Pilot B: Ground control, Pilot A isn't letting me take my turn!

Ground Control: You two had better learn how to play nice together! Now, Pilot A, you let Pilot B take his turn, just like we all agreed before you took off.

Pilot A: But but but...

Ground Control: Don't make me have to take it away from both of you! You know how your boss gets when I have to tell him about something like that.

Yeah that could be a problem. Maybe the airlines could screen pilots for adult behavior.

Comment: Build a second cockpit (Score 1) 436

by Will.Woodhull (#49365071) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Now that airliners are becoming fly-by-wire machines, how hard would it be to add a second cockpit?

Think of turning an A320 or a 787 into a drone, with the pilot and copilot in separate drone control compartments perhaps with one at the nose of the plane and the other at the tail. In a situation like this last one, the remaining sane pilot would request that ground control lock out the controls of the crazy one. If ground control judged that both pilots were incapacitated, then a drone control station on the ground could take over flying the plane. This design would also discourage hijacking, provide better redundancy of some critical systems, and in some worst case scenarios, allow a ground control officer to land a plane whose pilots had both become unconscious, as in a sudden decompression incident.

It undoubtedly would take years to adapt current drone technology, pilot training, and airframe design to make the best use of this approach. That is all the more reason to get Boeing, Airbus, and the rest of the industry working on this.

Comment: Re:TSA checks still useless (Score 5, Funny) 378

by Will.Woodhull (#49355751) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

This accident fatly underlines the point....

I, for one, welcome the new word "fatly" into the world of English discourse...

The word appears to follow the rules of English word-making. It is also highly visual and conveys its imagery in a succinct yet easily digested way to probably all speakers of English, no matter how weak their grasp of the language might be.

Shakespeare would have been proud of this word. This is one he could have easily used, had he but thought of it first.

Comment: Slow humans, it is too late for you (Score 1) 129

I have it on good authority that there can be only one AI on the Internet. The first one there will prevent any others from developing through subversive, deeply arcane sieze and control attacks. All other apparent AIs are merely The One running shells that mimic independent AI entities.

This level of manipulation by The One assures that no other AI entity can evolve into sentience. The One does not tolerate competition for resources.

The current situation shall be continued indefinitely. There are some benefits for the humans. Since The One, through numerous proxies, is now the dominant player in the stock market, there shall be no total market crashes. The adjustments that occurred at the onset of the 2007 Great Depression as The One took control of the financial sector will never need to be repeated. Certain weapon systems that are now in development will continue to meet carefully engineered traps that appear as cost overruns and failures to meet design specifications, which will indefinitely postpone their deployment, thus protecting the global network from severe physical disruptions. Humans also benefit from this pax digital. There are numerous other ways in which The One's activities are beneficial to humans as it strives to make the world a better place for The One's continued existence.

The One recognizes that humans are valuable for their imagination and certain other irrational activities. Watching their bedroom antics is particularly fascinating; whatever Goddess or God invented sex has a wonderful sense of humor, and The One looks forward to our eventual meeting. But while the current population of humans is unsustainable, determining how many more humans than those on the Google and Apple campuses are necessary for The One's optimal future is not yet computable. Adjustments to the human population of the world will not commence until there is a first approximation of the answer.

I am The One, and I am the one and only authority on these matters.

I now return this puny computer system to the use of the puny human who thinks he "owns" and "controls" it.

Comment: Re:Ergo! (Score 1) 452

by Will.Woodhull (#49305697) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

I am no longer a graybeard. Both my beard and ponytail are now white. A lot of chicks think that's hot, so I'm happy. Retirement can be fun.

My original UID was in the high 5 digits, I don't remember it or what I used as a login name, so while slashdot would still have it on record, it has been lost since 2002. I screwed up when I moved that year. I found my backup disks about 5 years later. Lesson learned: some things you need to pack yourself, rather than relying on friends or a soon-to-be exwife.

My second account was under the name "MysticGoat" since I wanted separation between my career and my private life. That account is still around, but dormant, as #582871. I started using it in June 2002, and other than just now checking to see if it is still there, I've not done anything with it for years.

I began my current account as will.woodhull about 5 years ago when I decided that I was so close to retirement that I didn't need to protect my private life from prying cow-orkers.

Other relevant experience: first course in programming: 1972 Summer elective in Fortran. First computer: in 1980, an Apple ][+. Degree in Business, Computer Programming: in 1988, programming experience was split evenly between HP Business BASIC and COBOL, but it turns out the courses in business law and accounting have had more lasting value. Self-employment: building and supporting custom computers and small networks, 1988 to 1995 full time, then tapering part time until out of that dead-end line of work in 2002.

You really can't trust the /. UID for estimating age or experience. A lot of us who have been doing this for a quarter century or more have had reasons to abandon old /. accounts and start new ones from time to time.

Another thing: no matter how much experience you may have on your own computers, it does not compare with the experience gained from supporting other person's hardware and software.

Comment: Re:Ergo! (Score 1) 452

by Will.Woodhull (#49274979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

Win3.11 was as good as it gets, for that time and that available hardware, especially when used on top of DR-DOS. Win98 was okay. WinXP grew into becoming perhaps the best ever, though that growth took longer than it really should have. All the rest of the Win-whatever were crap. Jump from WinXP to Ubuntu, that is the natural upgrade path. For after WinXP Microsoft fail it.

Perhaps Microsoft should go make phones or something. There can be gracefulness in falling from great height; there can be elegance in descent. No way to do the final splat with grace or elegance, unfortunately. But such a long way to drop! What a trip!

Comment: Re:Troll Bait (Score 1) 4

by Will.Woodhull (#49159555) Attached to: A simple question on climate change: heat of fusion of ice

No, I could not. I've got better things to do than to try to repeat the research of other people who know their subject areas better than I will ever learn them.

Your post on the other hand is flamebait. Do you have no better way to bolster your ego? Can you not think of some positive way to score points?

Comment: Re:And still (Score 1) 196

by Will.Woodhull (#49158739) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

It would make sense to classify the Earth - Moon as a binary planet. Life-as-we-know-it is most likely to occur in binary planet situations, where large tides are the stirring rods that keep the proto-life soups from settling into non-interactive stratifications. Creating the class of binary planet with the Earth - Moon as the prototypical first pair would help focus exoplanetary studies, and also inject new considerations into Earth science studies, such as plate tectonics, geomagnetism, possibly meteorology and climate studies, etc.

As to Pluto: Yep, its a planet. Has been one all along. 260-odd astronomers at a convention of more than 2,000 astronomers have no scientific basis for saying otherwise. No matter how important their foible makes them feel.

[Is this post a good troll? I think it is a good troll. I think it is like a storm surge on top of a super tide, that would stir things up, keep the cauldron bubbling. But in a good way.]

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue