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Comment: What is so sacred about privacy? (Score 1) 511

by barv (#45799137) Attached to: US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal

I am not personally concerned about privacy. People who are wealthy through shady methods probably have concerns about the authorities discovering the sources of their wealth. If people spy on me, I am not particularly concerned. I have nothing that I need to hide.

I object to only privileged institutions (and privileged people who have access to those institutions) having exclusive legal access to all that "private" data that I generate. This is the twenty first century, and everything has changed. Privacy, like copyright and patents, is dead and gone forever. Get used to the idea.

We should make all that phone metadata public. And the output of all publicly funded webcams. Repeal all those laws that criminalize information hacking. The NSA has that access, so why should not everybody have the same access? If you are concerned about stalkers, I would expect that apps would soon be available that would advise of who is researching your data or watching you.

Sure, our moral standards will have to change. Surreptitious liaisons will cease to exist. Even now, your partner is probably available 24/7 by cell phone.

One thing for sure. Not giving legal protection to privacy would expose a lot of corruption. Hopefully, it might even reduce my tax bill.

Comment: Calorific Value (CV) of E10 v E0 v price (Score 1) 330

by barv (#45446245) Attached to: Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

In Australia, Petrol (Gasoline) costs about $1.50/L(itre) and E10 costs about $1.46/L, so Gas costs 2.7% more than E10
CV of Ethanol is 29.7 MJ/Kg. CV of Gasoline (Petrol) is 47.3 MJ
so 1 Kg E10 has Calorific Value = 0.9 * 47.3 + 0.1 * 29.7 = 45.5 MJ/Kg
Calorific Value of E10 / E0 is 45.5 / 47.3 = 96.2%
So Gas has 3.8% more energy than E10
So buying gas for a 2.7% increase in cost we get a 3.8% increase in energy.

Comment: Re:Climate Scientists (Score 1) 366

"Your ridiculous straw-men simply don't hold up to scrutiny".

That is my response to alarmists. They take one fact (That CO2 has gone from 0.028% to around 0.04%) and have blown it up into total disaster, Your continuation is my response

"You haven't offered any facts, simply your guesses as to what will happen"

You know about Dunning Kruger, so accept an ex farmer's knowledge (and peer reviewed opinion) that the latest on Agriculture is that it actually has a net benefit from the fertilizing effect of higher CO2. Accept a travellers observations and history that the people of Holland have made Dykes work very well for hundreds of years. Accept that the scenario that Greenies offer to stop disaster is to take CO2 back to 0.28%, and that achieving that would take our world back to pre industrial levels. A Tax of $100/Kg on Carbon might be a good place to start reducing CO2. (That would mean gasoline at ~$400/gallon. What would that do to food production and deliveries infrastructure?).

IMHO it is better to save the starving billions by improving their wealth and infrastructure than to tax them into penury so that selfish western Greenies can peer out from their Chelsea Tractors at a natural disaster and blame it on "Deniers".

Comment: Re:Climate Scientists (Score 1) 366

I'm not bistable. As Noordhaus (Harvard economist I think) says, those people who pollute are getting a free ride. Noordhaus estimated $5-10/tonne CO2 tax would compensate society for that pollution. Maybe now it's $20 with inflation.

Where I am, Greenies want a tax big enough to stabilize CO2. Estimates that I accept as realistic range from $500/tonne upwards. They won't tolerate Nuclear.

And economy is not "just money flowing around". If it were, the USA would not be a great innovative power. The world powers would be the places with huge populations. (So yes, I've read Ayn Rand). Rome spent money on armies. Didn't make their economy great.

So you have mine subsidy. It;s not unusual in areas built above coal mines in my country. Requires an Engineer to tell builders and Architects how to build houses that will "float". I understand the Japanese build multi story buildings that are earthquake proofed.

Get with it. The world is not stable. The Sun has stopped having spots, which some people think means an ice age is (or would be if it weren't for CO2 burning) about to hit the world. Sea levels have always risen and fallen. So build Dykes. Weather warms up? Buy A/C. There is always a solution, but the wealthier the society, the better it will recover from disasters (such as the Phillipines).

Comment: ALIEN LIFE (Score 1) 164

by barv (#44762909) Attached to: Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals

This finding is more likely to be proof that all earth life evolved from an alien settlement marooned here. The aliens (and some of their food source plants/animals) devolved and evolved to all the animals and plants on the earth, which is why most species will have many genes in common. (Think Galapagos)

The only alternative I can think of is viral transmission. Dolphin gets flu with and flu virus adds dolphin genes, flu travels interspecies and bats catch it, and capture some of the genes from flu virus.

Both of those explanations are more inherently probable than convergent evolution as speculated. Wow, work out THAT improbability, then multiply by 50!

Comment: Re:Water can't be radioactive (Score 2) 198

by barv (#44638985) Attached to: New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

Dear Whargoul,

I explained it fully.

Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Nothing else.

Hydrogen has only one radioactive isotope, which is manufactured in nuclear reactors. One source says that isotope (Tritium) is worth $30,000/gram (that is ~ $1 million/Oz.) World annual production is about 50 lb. So it is unlikely that any large quantity of Tritium would be left lying around in Japanese reactors.

As stated above Oxygen has a few radioactive isotopes, but the longest half life isotope of Oxygen (Atomic Wt 15) is about 2 minutes. That means that the radiation from a given sample of 15O diminishes by 999,999,999/1,000,000,000 every hour. If you are a layman, that means it stops being radioactive very quickly.

So if none of the components of water are radioactive, ergo, water is not radioactive.

I must say the quality of comments on /. has diminished noticeably in the last few years.

Comment: morons all over the place (Score 1) 198

by barv (#44627039) Attached to: New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

"morons all over the place". You said it. In case you didn't know, heavy water is water made with the deuterium isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium is not radioactive, so heavy water is not radioactive. (That is not to say heavy water is not poisonous to drink). As I originally stated, tritium is the only isotope of Oxygen or Hydrogen that could be dangerously radioactive in this situation.

I am surprised that morons have the sense to hide behind an anonymous nom de plume. Maybe you and the author of "somebody never took college level chemistry 2." above are only halfwits.

Comment: Water can't be radioactive (Score 0) 198

by barv (#44626711) Attached to: New Radioactive Water Leak At Fukushima: 300 Tons and Growing

Water is hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen has 2 isotopes, Deuterium & Tritium. OK Tritium might be radioactive, but its not there. (Besides it's probably worth so much that there would be a race to get it). The longest life isotope of Oxygen is O15 which has a half life of 2 minutes, so its not a problem.

So water is not the issue.

It's the dissolved solids or suspended solids (sludge) in the water that is radioactive. If it's a sludge, it should be filterable. If its dissolved salts, there is probably a way to precipitate the radioactive bits. Failing that, evaporation should separate it out.

Comment: Lets face it. We can't stop spying. (Score 1) 749

by barv (#44013149) Attached to: Snowden Is Lying, Say House Intelligence Committee Leaders

The solution is to make all federal government source information available online. No secrets. All phone records, webcams, mics, the lot. If my taxes paid for data collection, then I want access to it.

My reasoning is that anybody (in the right place, with the right equipment) could intercept cell phone conversations. Even fixed wirelines could be intercepted by inductance methods. Webcams could be placed and focussed on public spaces all over, and the output uploaded to a website. Just like London. Anybody with people recognition software could then download those files and know where anybody is, now, last week, last year. At the moment, the more money you have, the more information you can buy.

All requiring no trespass, and probably quite legal. At the moment, you just need lots of $$$.

I am not particularly worried if anybody knows where I am or was, or what I said. I suppose cheating spouses might worry. And people engaged in criminal enterprise. Those who are concerned about communications privacy will just have to work harder at encryption and adjust their lives.

And that charge against Snowden that he has alerted terrorists to "spying methods". Oh Please. Even years ago, Bin Laden just didn't use phones. I really cannot imagine any terrorist who was idiot enough to trust a telephone to have got past year 6.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken

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