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Comment: Re:OS Lock In (Score 3, Insightful) 173

by Quarters (#47235765) Attached to: Dell Exec Calls HP's New 'Machine' Architecture 'Laughable'

Do you truly, honestly, I mean...REALLY believe that Microsoft expends any time at all even thinking about ReactOS or WINE, let alone worrying about the .00000000000001 of a fraction of a portion of a negligible amount of a percent effect it might, MIGHT have on their bottom line?

Seriously, answer seriously, please.

Comment: TLDRWABRRTFA (Score 1, Funny) 162

by jqh1 (#46684161) Attached to: Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

Does advice that crosses the TLDR threshold score well with CBR but poorly with WABR? From TFA, [brackets added]:

> (if you make your advice hard to follow [read], that reduces the chance of somebody actually climbing that mountain [reading it]
>and then pointing out to you if your suggestion didn't work). So it's not just that the advice-giver is being unhelpful, it's that they're being a dick.

what is the TLDR threshold anyway? I'd love to see a quantification of the amount of information that can fit inside it

Comment: Re:Look for skid marks (Score 1) 436

by Quarters (#46494897) Attached to: Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

You're not going to just put a 777 down on some rural 2 lane road. You need a clear 1 mile (or more) straight reinforced runway. Not only is a 777's wheel track too wide for an average road the gross weight of the plane would crush the asphalt (or dirt or gravel) under the wheels. Bare minimum you'd need a fairly modern multi-lane highway. Something like that would be traveled enough that someone would notice a large commercial airliner attempting to land on it.

Comment: Re:It's called "Capitalism" (Score 2) 674

by dermond (#45887651) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class
100% agree. its already in the manifesto: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm

.. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property

Comment: Overstating the case like mad (Score 1) 140

by Phanatic1a (#45090443) Attached to: Two-Laser Boron Fusion Lights the Way To Radiation-Free Energy

This doesn't light the way to radiation-free energy.

http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/11412

"Although there have been a few proposals for fusion reactors employing plasmas far out of thermodynamic equilibrium (such as migma and inertial-electrostatic confinement), there has never been a broad, systematic study of the entire possible range of such devices. This research fills that gap by deriving fundamental power limitations which apply to virtually any possible type of fusion reactor that uses a grossly nonequilibrium plasma. Two main categories of nonequilibrium plasmas are considered: (1) systems in which the electrons and/or fuel ions possess a significantly non-Maxwellian velocity distribution, and (2) systems in which at least two particle species, such as electrons and ions or two different species of fuel ions, are at radically different mean energies. These types of plasmas would be of particular interest for overcoming bremsstrahlung radiation losses from advanced aneutronic fuels (e.g. ^3He-^3He, p-^{11}B, and p- ^6Li) or for reducing the number of D-D side reactions in D-^3He plasmas. Analytical Fokker-Planck calculations are used to determine accurately the minimum recirculating power that must be extracted from undesirable regions of the plasma's phase space and reinjected into the proper regions of the phase space in order to counteract the effects of collisional scattering events and keep the plasma out of equilibrium. In virtually all cases, this minimum recirculating power is substantially larger than the fusion power, so barring the discovery of methods for recirculating the power at exceedingly high efficiencies, reactors employing plasmas not in thermodynamic equilibrium will not be able to produce net power. Consequently, the advanced aneutronic fuels cannot generate net power in any foreseeable reactor operating either in or out of equilibrium."

You're shooting a beam of protons through a gas of fuel, this is about as far away from thermal equilibrium as you can get. Only a small proportion of protons will actually wind up fusing, the power it takes to generate those protons and shoot them into the fuel (or the power to take the ones that miss fuel ions and recirculate them to give them another pass through the fuel) will dwarf the power you get from the fusion reactions. In other words: big fat hairy deal. Fusion is easy. It's the extracting useful amounts of energy from it that's hard, and this process can't do that.

Comment: Re:Three levels of break-even (Score 3, Informative) 429

by Phanatic1a (#45068225) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

You're not delusional. JT-60 in Japan sort of reached breakeven, but with one hell of a caveat: JT-60 only uses D-D fuel, but it achieved conditions in the plasma such that if the D-D fuel was replaced with D-T fuel, it would have achieved Q=1.25.

What's delusional is the notion that ICF can ever be a commercial source of fusion power. Even after you squint and wave your hands and say "We reached break-even, if you count only the energy absorbed by the fuel," you need to realize the huge inefficiencies at every step along the chain. Conversion of electricity into laser energy is really inefficient. The IR lasers are frequency-converted into UV beams, a process which is only 50% efficient. And only about 10% of *that* actually goes into compressing the fuel.

And that fuel is frozen D-T contained within a copper-doped beryllium capsule that needs to be spherical to micron tolerances, and the surfaces of that sphere need to be smooth to *nanometer* tolerances. The beryllium must be precisely 150 microns thick, and a 5-micron hole is laser-drilled through it. The capsule in turns rests within an equally-precisely made hohlraum comprised of a gold/uranium alloy. Each one of these precision assemblies costs tens of thousands of dollars to make, assembly of the various parts also must be done to micron tolerances. And out of this, if fusion works perfectly and every bit of the fuel is used, you can expect a maximum possible energy output of 45 megajoules. That's 12.5 kilowatt-hours of energy; if you can manage the miraculous feat of 100% efficiently converting that back into electricity, you could sell that electricity for about $1.25.

For commercial fusion, they'll need to burn 15 of these targets per second, every second, indefinitely. Which means that in addition to needing a fusion gain factor of about *60* (compared to 20 for a tokamak, which will also probably never produce commercial fusion power), they'll need to get the fuel cost down to like 10 cents per target.

Meanwhile, fission just works. Figure out how many LFTRs we could build for the cost of the NIF and weep. ICF is a jobs program for engineers who got scared as hell when the cold-war ended and started pimping their bomb-research machines to environmentalists who don't understand physics or economics.

Comment: Re:Yet another story... (Score 1) 124

by Quarters (#44908921) Attached to: Work Halted On Neal Stephenson's Kickstarted Swordfighting Video Game
Sales are not profit. R* didn't make a billion dollars in one day. GTA V sold $1B worth of copies in a day. At best R* will see about 40% of that. Even then, VCs aren't going to just jump at game development. GTA is the exception, not the rule. It cost over $265M and took somewhere in the neighborhood of five years to make GTA V. During development *every* R* studio was involved with it. There were no other games in production. There was no fallback plan, essentially. GTAV was risky every way you look at it. Mitigating that risk was the fact that it was GTA and that R* has a proven record of being able to deliver. While that's great for them it's only great for them. Take an extremely large random collection of game developers, give them $265M and five years to make a game. You won't see $1B in sales on the first day. Chances are depressingly better than average that you won't break even. Except for the large well established studios (studios, not publishers) it's a very risky industry. VCs are generally risk averse.

Comment: Re:And the story is...? (Score 1) 453

by Phanatic1a (#44328217) Attached to: TSA Orders Searches of Valet Parked Car At Airport

"If you're going to park a car full of explosives, you can either create a small crater in a car park, or you will go for the airport - so cars that are left outside are checked."

Not quite. What you probably meant to say was that "...cars that are left outside are checked by some minimum-wage monkey whose chief marketable skill is being able to maneuver a car into a parking space."

If bombs in parked cars were an actual concern, they'd be using trained and skilled personnel in order to search them. You think a parking lot attendant is going to check underneath the car, or under the hood, or in the trunk, or in the wheel wells, or behind the dash, or any of the other places in a car where substantial quantities of explosive can be concealed from view?

  No. Of course not. At best he's going to check under the seats and steal your loose change. This should let intelligent people know that there are two possibilities here:

1. Bombs in parked cars at short-term valet-parked lots are not a serious security threat.
2. The TSA is criminally incompetent and that useless titsuck of a government agency should be sequestered with extreme prejudice.

Note: These are not mutually exclusive possibilities.

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. -- Stanley J. Randall

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