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Comment: Re:Who has a financial interest in this one then? (Score 2) 74

by Firethorn (#48953587) Attached to: Nuclear Safety Push To Be Softened After US Objections

I can't think of a reason ANYONE would want the nuclear power generation industry to be less safe than it possibly could be,

How about this one: where the increased 'safety' would mostly be theater and cost so much that it would raise the expense of the already known to be far safer nuclear power plants to the point that people burn more coal, which is known to kill hundreds of thousands a year from mining accidents and pollution. That's before you get into global warming.

Germany's building coal power plants to replace their nuclear and satisfy additional demand(presumably at night).

Comment: Re:Regulation, more regulation, only lawyers win (Score 3, Informative) 74

by Firethorn (#48953527) Attached to: Nuclear Safety Push To Be Softened After US Objections

You do realize that it takes a while for cancer to be fatal, right? Generally years.

From the time my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer until her death was less than a month. She had had it for far longer, of course.

Most high level officials/employees in Japan are incredibly old.

Comment: Re:population (Score 1) 217

by Firethorn (#48943529) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Using mostly off the shelf components and some hand made components, a trucking company has increased the fuel efficiency of a tractor trailer rig from ~5 to ~15 mpg.

Do you happen to have a link? I'm not arguing, but it's an interesting subject. I know, for example, that simply adding a fairing that turns the flat back of most trailers into a curved one saves a measurable amount of fuel, and I'm surprised that the truckers aren't using them - it's my understanding that they don't even need to be hugely structural.

Comment: Re:ok then... but (Score 1) 217

by Firethorn (#48943497) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I think you'd be surprised just how much gets used overnight just on street lights, let alone all the use for heating water when the cost is cheap.

Yeah, we need to do something about our light pollution.

As for heating water, if we seriously transitioned towards solar electricity I'd imagine that the 'cheap' time for using power would flip to the day and people would adjust their timers appropriately.

Comment: Re:Vast... Tracts of Land (Score 1) 217

by Firethorn (#48942049) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I think that jandrese was addressing the specific point of 'last significant famine was in '92' with 'there's one right now in NK'.

If anything, he's saying the link is stronger - the 400 year remark means that it's not just the 20th century, but dating back to the 16th that 'all' famines are politically based. Of course 'politically created' means that it could be engineered by an outside polity, rather than being of the government of the area itself.

For example, I remember reading somewhere that the potato famine was caused due to import/export regulations. It is indeed scary. One I remember from back in school is that the US shot a lot of the Buffalo with the intent of denying them to the Native Americans, a policy of starving them out.

Comment: Re:Exactly! (Score 1) 217

by Firethorn (#48941987) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Bio Diesel I actually like, sulfur is all but forgotten, and the increased lubricity actually makes it easier on your engine. But the idea of trying to convert a soy crop to BD100 is going to be dumb. Recycling waste vegitable oil from the food processing industry on the other hand, reduces waste and taps into an existing supply.

There's not enough waste oil for the demand for bio-diesel NOW. It used to be that restaurants had to pay to get their old grease hauled away, so they were more than happy to give it to the 'wierdos' who wanted to turn it into bio-diesel. Today it's a valuable commodity that the bio-diesel types have to pay money to get.

Personally, I'm for algae farms located in desert areas using seawater as a feedstock. Some solar panels to provide the energy needed to run the pumps.

Most can drive electric cars, but for lubrication and long-haul where electricity isn't practical, biodiesel and ethanol(or butanol, etc...) from algae for the bulk demand.

Comment: Re:Majority leaders home district (Score 1) 174

At current rates, with no reprocessing or advances in technology.

Don't forget: No additional exploration and no price increases as well. After WWII we went on an exploration binge, but since then we haven't really even looked.

With Thorium we'd have enough for tens of thousands of years.

Comment: Re:Martial law (Score 1) 308

In times of great danger, people band together and agree to be slaves in order to survive.

If you're comparing living under martial law to slavery, I think you do a disservice to slavery. It's bad if martial law lasted for a long time, but the goal of martial law should be to compensate for a failed/destroyed civil system. In which case you have martial law just long enough to rebuild the civilian structures.

It's more along the lines of 'things are bad right now, we all need to buckle down to survive'.

Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 90

by Firethorn (#48925443) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

And 10% savings with no changes to technology (apart from the platooning system of course) or driving is pretty good, isn't it?

Only on a closed track, and remember that my assertion isn't that the gas savings aren't there, it's that even with self-driving cars 8 meters isn't safe once you start trying to move it to production, especially when you'd have cars of different makes, and maintenance levels in the 'platoons'. It'd also be limited(mostly) to the highway systems, which doesn't do much for most commutes.

Comment: Re:Not just slashdot. (Score 1) 128

Just a nitpick, but most of the UTVs I'm talking about could easily be considered a "Mini Truck - (44)“Mini truck” means any four-wheeled, reduced-dimension truck that does not have a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration truck classification, with a top speed of 55 miles per hour, and which is equipped with headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, taillamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rearview mirrors, windshields, and seat belts."

For example, one can point out that this does indeed have 4 wheels, isn't NTSA truck classified, I don't know about top speed, but with 22.8 hp it's probably NOT hitting 55, and it has lights & turn signals. All you'd need to do is mount mirrors.

You can get electric, as well.

For example, I can't think of any routes that you could safely use to get from downtown Tampa to downtown St. Petersburg.

That's kind of exceeding what I was targeting as well - the old farts in retirement communities moving around the neighborhood.

Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 90

by Firethorn (#48918597) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

15 meters is the max they measured, you really need to be within 9 meters to realize 10% fuel savings.

That close you're looking at an impact by following vehicles if something happens to make the lead vehicle abruptly stop or slow.

Also, I wasn't considering dedicated 'lead' vehicles like trucks, but other cars, and computer driven by lots of different companies.

IE I don't trust their communications.

Comment: Not just slashdot. (Score 1) 128

True, golf carts aren't great if you have to go across town, but apparently they're quite popular in the retirement areas down in Florida. If you don't walk so well anymore, the weather's nice(though full cab versions exist), and all you want to do is go to the local convenience store or local community center they're great.

You also have UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles), which are golf-car like, but generally more powerful. They're popular in many industrial areas for zipping around while taking up less space than full size vehicles would need. Quicker to get in and out of as well.

Summary: I wouldn't underestimate their ability to sell and be useful in niche categories.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes

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