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Comment: Re:Replaced by what? (Score 1) 712

It would cost much more than $50 Billion to replace that generation capacity. Here are a couple options:

Coal currently produces a ballpark average of 200,000 Megawatts of power for the US continuously (based on the published annual generation totals). So we use that number to figure out how much of alternative generation sources you would need.

Lets start with Nucular since that is (relatively) simple with almost continuous output: Most recent power plan under construction in the US is Watts Bar 2 (look it up) that will produce 1180 megawatts at a cost of ~4.5Billion. To replace 200,000 megawatts you would need about 170 of those Watts Bar 2 plants at a total cost of approximately $763Billion in today's dollars! Wowser. Also note that there is a fuel shortage looming that makes spinning up new multi-billion $ reactors a potential waste of time and $. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10...

Ok, lets move on to renewables. There are lots of options here...wind, solar, concentrated solar, tidal power, ect. The thing with non-hydro renewables is that most of them are cyclical or random like the weather. So you need huge storage capacity to go with them. Projects like the Bath County Pumped Storage Station are a great solution for this, but for 200,000 megawatts of renewables, you would need about 70 of those at a cost of $100Billion+. Thats just for the glorified "battery" and does not count the cost of the generation facilities themselves which would be hundreds of billions if not $1Trillion+.

Just keeping things in perspective:)

Comment: Re:$129 for a freaking SMOKE ALARM?! (Score 1) 177

by bobcat7677 (#45085409) Attached to: Nest Protect: Trojan Horse For 'The Internet of Things'?
I have to agree. It is cool and can do a few things that a normal smoke detector cant (such as act as a sensor extension for your Next thermostat and notify your mobile if there is smoke and you are not home), but the price does seem a bit steep for what it is. If it was $50 I would have already ordered at least one to go with my Nest thermostat. $130 is painful.

Comment: Re:Isn't it empty? (Score 5, Informative) 608

by bobcat7677 (#45028967) Attached to: Shots Fired At US Capitol
1. Yes, Preliminary reports are that the suspect is a woman who had a child in the car. 2. "ramming" may have been an embellishment. I heard it described more like she "tried to go through the gate" but security stopped her. 3. There is no confirmation if the "suspect" even had any weapons. From the preliminary reports, it sounds like the shots fired were actually fired by the police to stop the car from getting away. 4. It was just clarified by the capitol police chief that the injured officer was NOT shot but rather struck by a vehicle.
Earth

Producing Gasoline With Metabolically-Engineered Microorganisms 233

Posted by samzenpus
from the gunk-to-gallons dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For many decades, we have been relying on fossil resources to produce liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel, and many industrial and consumer chemicals for daily use. However, increasing strains on natural resources as well as environmental issues including global warming have triggered a strong interest in developing sustainable ways to obtain fuels and chemicals. A Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) reported, for the first time, the development of a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through metabolic engineering of E. coli."

Comment: Re:Location, Location, Location (Score 2) 117

by bobcat7677 (#44975941) Attached to: As Hurricane Season Looms, It's Disaster-Preparedness Time
Sorry, forgot to mention volcanoes. Mount St. Helens could erupt again too. But the servers are located outside the lava and mud flow paths for all of these (there are maps widely available that show these things). Even a major eruption would be unlikely to pose a physical threat to the servers and damage to electrical or internet infrastructure would be temporary and easily routed around at worst. Probably the most likely thing might be ash from an eruption potentially clogging cooling systems...but that is easily mitigated by making sure the air handling systems in your data center have pre-filters installed.

Comment: Location, Location, Location (Score 2) 117

by bobcat7677 (#44975433) Attached to: As Hurricane Season Looms, It's Disaster-Preparedness Time
We have our servers in a data centers in inland Oregon/Washington. There has never been a hurricane or typhoon within a thousand miles, seismic events are rare, the area is used to large amounts of rain so flooding has minimal effect, the weather is temperate so there is rarely extremes in heat or cold and Tsunamis would have to get past the coast range mountains to be an issue. Basically, nothing ever happens there. I would recommend anyone with important data at least have a DR location in a low risk geographical area.

Comment: Re:Safe Batteries (Score 2) 301

by bobcat7677 (#42621585) Attached to: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Grounded In US and EU
Except Boeing would not be paying that fuel cost. It's customers would. And when you figure the per passenger flight hour rate of the extra fuel for that, it's about $0.0005. Yes, thats 5 100ths of a penny added to the ticket price of a passenger making a 1 hour flight. There is cutting corners and then there is cutting corners. The main batteries of a fly-by-wire plane is not the place to be cutting corners like this. It costs them more to carry the trash you make during the flight then it would to add 18 lbs of safer battery. And that is just figuring the gross fuel cost. That fuel cost would be at least partially offset by a lower maintenance cost since LiFePo batteries would not have to be replaced as often. Beyond that, I am sure that this fiasco has already cost Boeing far more than $1millon and has cost the customers who have had to take ground planes and re-shuffle passengers untold millions. It's all fun and games till a $200million airplane catches on fire.

Comment: Safe Batteries (Score 4, Interesting) 301

by bobcat7677 (#42620495) Attached to: Boeing 787 Dreamliner Grounded In US and EU
It really seems silly to me that they chose to use a lithium ion battery with a cobalt cathode for use as a critical component of an airplane. They are not environmentally friendly, prone to fire, and don't last as long as some other technologies. They could have gone with a Lithium Iron battery and been much safer and require less maintenance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_iron_phosphate_battery That would have only added about 18 pounds to the entire aircraft, certainly worth the greatly increased safety factor. Just goes to show that this plane was built to be a cheap as possible with only cursory regard to safety.

Comment: Re:We need gas control! (Score 3, Insightful) 1591

by bobcat7677 (#42603487) Attached to: New York Passes Landmark Gun Law
I really wish people would look up the word "Infringe" before making statements like this:

"Your "Second Amendment Rights" to bear a gun or a Blue-Rhino gas can have not been infringed.".

infringe /infrinj/ Verb 1. Actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.): "infringe a copyright". 2. Act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on: "infringe on his privacy".

The usage in the constitution is the same as definition #2. To have our privacy "infringed" on does not necessarily mean that all privacy was taken away, it just means that some of it was taken away. So, likewise, any law that summarily prohibits all citizens from keeping and carrying (bearing) arms (weapons) of a certain "commonly used" type is a violation of the 2nd Amendment as that is "Infringement" by definition (the supreme court has previously allowed restrictions on "firearms not commonly used for self defense or militia purposes". Clearly, some of the firearms covered in this ban are very commonly used for self defense AND militia purposes, so I don't see how this law could be considered constitutional by any stretch of the imagination...especially the portion banning the possession of magazines over 7 rounds.

Comment: Re:Do Not Want! (Score 1) 272

by bobcat7677 (#42549385) Attached to: World's First Linux Powered Rifle Announced
You obviously didn't read the article. It's a bolt action rifle so you need a human to load a round a fire it (don't start with how they could make a semi-auto version...there are a couple reasons why they chose a bolt action for this system.). And it comes out of the box with video streaming capability. The thing even comes with an iPad to view the video stream. What you are talking about though is "remote controlled hunting" which is illegal in most US states, and can get you in in US federal prison trouble if you try to do it with a semi-auto rifle as that, by definition, turns the rifle into a "machine gun". Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_hunting

Comment: Re:It isn't Windows 8 I find to be the barrier... (Score 2) 269

by bobcat7677 (#42135961) Attached to: NPD Group Analysts Say Windows 8 Sales Sluggish
It's obviously designed to be a touch interface and using it with mouse input can be very frustrating. I have been shopping for a basic laptop and I see this over and over on customer reviews when I look at models that ship with Win8 now. They usually go something like "Great laptop. But Windows 8 is difficult/horrible/doesn't belong and you can't downgrade this version. I wish I had gotten one with Windows 7". I totally understand that feeling as I felt the same when I tried Windows 8 on my existing laptop. It seemed like it would be a nice touch interface, but that became extremely annoying since I didn't have a touch screen and using the mouse to do the "touch screen stuff" can be cumbersome and is not intuitive at all. You get used to it after a while, but I think it would remain annoying to most people and seems to reduce productivity.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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