Power supplies are inefficient at low load. If you care about them kicking out heat, you should buy them as small as you can get away with.
Rosetta/Philae returned to Earth three times for gravity boosts. Each time it was going at speeds which would guarantee its destruction if it hit the deeper parts of the atmosphere. Had this happened and Philae had carried an RTG, it would have been the end of ESA due to the public outcry, and NASA would likely be in public relations trouble too.
There are places for RTGs, but Rosetta was not it. Philae may have died prematurely, but ESA is alive to try again.
Fuel cell basically is a sponge of certain minerals which chemically absorbs hydrogen so that it is not that volatile.
No. A fuel cell is a device which turns chemical energy into electrical energy without having to turn it into heat first.
Still, when the NSA wanted access to Google's information, they went for tapping fiber optic cables instead of hitting them with National Security Letters.
The solution is encryption of course, but IPSEC is a royal pain and MACSEC is too limited.
Line of sight. Sorry, it's a pet peeve.
Fiber optic is trivial to tap. Almost as easy as analog phone lines.
Zimbabwes loans are primarily in foreign currencies. Never do that.
why in the world do people assume lower gas prices mean higher consumption?
That is called elastic demand. Almost everything has elastic demand. Assuming the opposite would be very silly indeed.
You cannot be forced to go bankrupt as long as your loans are in a currency you can print more of.
I was being facetious, I thought that both ideas were so ridiculous that it would be obvious to everyone why no one does that.
Obviously I was wrong about Stirling engines. Perhaps I will end up wrong about steam turbines too one day.
Indeed. There was protests about that, and that was just a single pass IIRC. It is just not worth the bother unless it is the only way to accomplish the mission.
You are lucky to get 10% efficiency from an RTG with a thermoelectric element, and proper Stirling engines or steam turbines are not popular in space for some reason.
However, Philae only needs 32W apparently.
Rosetta/Philae came back to Earth several times for gravity boosts. It would not take much to make those flybys into direct hits, probably turning the RTG into radioactive dust.
Agencies who are dependent on public funding are generally wary about spreading radioactive dust.
True. I was definitely wrong about that.
Still, I think the number of weapons ready for use is cause for concern.
They compensate for two if they are land turbines. It is a problem for such a few hours a year that it is not worth worrying overly about. Once we get electric cars integrated into the grid, they can tide us over for a couple of hours.