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Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 3, Interesting) 281 281

4th gen can run on things which are waste products of current generation of nuclear power and they promise to be 100 times more productive.
Yes, fission is not renewable, but it can be damn efficient with what 4th gen is promising. At same time it is not fossil - neither in true meaning (fossil of long dead things), or by what is commonly meant by this (burning it up and releasing CO2).

What I'm advocating is exactly investing in stopgap solution - but with stopgap being 1000+ years, to allow us to look for true alternatives. Renewables are just not efficient/reliable enough to get us out of fossil completely and this means a lot shorter time period due to pollution (I count GW as pollution).

Comment: Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 3, Insightful) 281 281

Always a dichotomy between renewables versus fossil fuels. Either you are hippy windmill-hugger or bad CO2-spewing coal monster.
Maybe, instead, he could throw few billions in direction of 4th gen nuclear power and give us another 1000+ years to focus on solving fusion and/or proper renewable energy research/storage etc?

Comment: Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 1) 126 126

This might be because in most places you will call them map/dictionaries (int->whatever) if they are single dimensional and sparse _matrices_ when having more dimensions.
One in the test is sparse matrix. Calling it sparse array requires a bit of mental exercise (by having said array indexed by tuples of (x,y) instead of integers). But this probably comes from concept of 2d arrays, which are neither...

Comment: Re:No, not really (Score 1) 298 298

Not at all. 'sounding' is a key phrase here. Most people don't care about over-lifetime ecological cost of product, they just look at the most efficient period and ignore the rest. Example of old-tech, inefficient solar panels - they ignore cost (and by cost I mean pollution/carbon-footprint rather than money) of manufacturing the panel and transporting it, then they focus on energy gains on sunny days again ignoring possible maintenance/replacement costs and finally disposal costs.

As MightYar said, it might end up being beneficial in long run because of drive/money to improve the solution, but nobody is saying "I'm green, so I'll increase pollution by using inefficient and crappy 'greenish' technology, so it can improve and in 20 years has net benefits". They all think that direct benefits are there from day one, just because technology _sounds_ green.

Comment: Re:No, not really (Score 1) 298 298

One of my friends was so early adopter of the hybrid cars that he got one as soon as possible, with considerable premium paid - because it got transported to Germany by plane. He was so proud touting his environmental friendliness until I asked him to compute when his car will save enough gas/pollution to save extra things which had to be used to transport it by plane instead by ship...
Another, living in quite cloudy/rainy part of Germany, installed solar panels on his roof to save environment. This was in 90ties... you can imagine pollution cost/effectivness of producing/transporting panel back then to what he was getting in terms of electricity.

Anyway, a lot of 'normal' German people are very eco-oriented, but they look at it with specific approach - they are early adopters of anything sounding 'green', regardless of actual benefits or cost to environment.

Comment: Re:Doing it wrong. (Score 1) 116 116

It is very hard for me to get exact numbers in few minutes, but we would need to compare amount of people transported by dirigibles/number of deaths to amount of people transported by planes/number of deaths. I have no doubts that more people died in airplane crashes over all time, but at same time I feel that number of people who survived plane flights will anyway make this ratio better by orders of magnitude.

Big part of it might be due to maturity of technology - if we had dirigibles now, they would be quite flawless. But I don't think that you can compare 1900-1940 era of dirigibles to 1950+ era of commercial aviaton in any kind of safety metrics and have dirigibles come on top.

[We] use bad software and bad machines for the wrong things. -- R.W. Hamming