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Comment: Re:What on earth (Score 1) 234

by jafac (#49306965) Attached to: No Fuel In the Fukushima Reactor #1

Anything that becomes molten will mix into the fuel and dilute it,

Not really. Anything that becomes molten, will pretty much vaporize, because Uranium melts at like 2000 F. If the Uranium is molten, everything else will boil away.

However: It's bollocks because the hole in which the uranium is burning, has fissures and crevases, and the Uranium would unevenly flow into small, tight spaces, spreading out and; ultimately diluting and cooling.

Experiments done at Argonne labs back a few years ago also suggested that the Uranium will form a cooler coating, as an outer shell. The core may remain molten, but the shell is cool enough to harden, and contain the molten core. The core may burn through the shell, but much of the mass will be left behind, as the molten part runs down into the burned-out cavity below, and the process repeats.

In any case, either of these scenarios would generate significant ongoing outgassing, and none of that has been observed at Fukushima; so it's likely the fuel melted and diffused and cooled. Just like Chernobyl.

Comment: I'll join the chorus: Mac. (Score 1) 385

by aussersterne (#49289585) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Get a nicely configured MBP and be done with it.

It's the most common platform in research and academic settings for individual use these days, which means that there is a social dimension to the available support (i.e. people around you can help with problems). Meanwhile, the platform is narrow enough and the OS and hardware tightly bound together enough that one-off bugs and edge cases are exceedingly rare (which is not the case for Linux).

And Apple has very reasonable quality control in both hardware and software.

Having done a Ph.D. and dealt with the pressures and complexities that come therewith, I'd say that the overriding concerns should be reducing the PITA factor, keeping downtimes short, eliminating unexpected behavior and gotchas to whatever extent possible, and buying in to the largest on-the-ground support network (i.e. installed customer base) that you can find with identical hardware/software.

All of these things point to Mac for academic research settings.

Comment: Re:The quality of a lot of that feedback is suspec (Score 1) 236

by ColaMan (#49259799) Attached to: Microsoft Has Received 1 Million Pieces of Feedback For Windows 10

If you buy a blender and it doesn't turn on, you'll take it back to the shop where they'll say things like, "You plugged it in? Locked the jug on top of the base correctly? Pressed this button here?"

"It doesn't print" is a bug report, but it's a report that implies a two-way conversation is going to take place. Perhaps Microsoft should have said in the app, "Hey, put as much info as you can in as to what you were doing at the time, because we can't get back to you once you hit submit."

Comment: Humane Methods and Definitions (Score 5, Insightful) 1080

by eyepeepackets (#49258353) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century

The guillotine was originally adopted by the French as an evolved and humane method for taking a human life and, considering what we've seen with alternative methods this past century, I have to agree: It's fast, relatively painless (quite possibly completely painless when one considers the shock reaction of the body,) somewhat messy, but has great symbolic and even theatrical value. Granted, the upper classes world-wide hate this device with a fearful passion, but that is actually part of its value.

Comment: You're right and wrong. (Score 2) 320

You're absolutely right about incentives and grant money.

How you tied this to the Nobel Prize is beyond me, so let's drop that.

The incentives are all about grant money and outside (the campus) capital. As a result, the science takes a back seat to market economics, market-ing (both of corporate partners and of academic institutions themselves, which increasingly operate in a competitive marketplace for enrollments), management concerns, investors, etc.

This incentive structure is increasingly becoming the norm well beyond U.S. shores.

So the problem isn't that science is increasingly wrong, it's that scientists are increasingly doing labor that may *involve* science, but that is in fact product-oriented R&D driven by short-term investment timelines and economic and investor-friendly optics, and whether any of it is good *science* is secondary or tertiary to whether it's profitable, whether directly or indirectly.

Let the scientists go back to doing science first and money-making (whether to support their own tenure lines or to support corporate profits) second or even better, third, fourth, or fifth, and you'll find that the ship rights itself.

Comment: Re:What do you mean 'in 10 years'? (Score 4, Insightful) 209

I am not a participant in ANY social media at this point

You don't define slashdot as 'social media'?

But I know you live in the US. You're somewhere in your late 40's. And like to ride bikes. And train on said bikes a lot because you're on a road race team. And that's just the first page of your slashdot comments that I idly flicked through.

I suppose you could tell me that's all part of the plan and that you're actually a dog........

Google

The Abandoned Google Project Memorial Page 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the Hello!-Wave-Lively,-Reader! dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Quentin Hugon, Benjamin Benoit and Damien Leloup have created a memorial page for projects adandoned by Google over the years including: Google Answers, Lively, Reader, Deskbar, Click-to-Call, Writely, Hello, Send to Phone, Audio Ads, Google Catalogs, Dodgeball, Ride Finder, Shared Stuff, Page Creator, Marratech, Goog-411, Google Labs, Google Buzz, Powermeter, Real Estate, Google Directory, Google Sets, Fast Flip, Image Labeler, Aardvark, Google Gears, Google Bookmarks, Google Notebook, Google Code Search, News Badges, Google Related, Latitude, Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Health, Knol, One Pass, Listen, Slide, Building Maker, Meebo, Talk, SMS, iGoogle, Schemer, Notifier, Orkut, Hotpot, Music Trends, Refine, SearchWiki, US Government Search, Sparrow, Web Accelerator, Google Accelerator, Accessible Search, Google Video, and Helpouts. Missing from the list that we remember are Friend Connect, Google Radio Ads, Jaiku, SideWiki, and Wave.

We knew there were a lot, but who knew there'd be so many. Which abandoned Google project do you wish were still around?

+ - Windows 93 Is Real, And It's Spectacular

Submitted by rossgneumann
rossgneumann (3901661) writes "It’s 2015, but Windows 93 is finally ready. Your new favorite operating system is here and it’s weird as hell. The browser-based OS makes us thirst for what could’ve been if Microsoft didn’t skip between Windows 3.X and Windows 95. The fully clickable “OS” greets users with the Playstation 1 bootup sound signaling they’re about the trip into an alternate universe. The first version of Windows 93 went up in October, but its creator posted on Reddit last night that it’s finally complete."

Comment: Mr. Moynihan should have read on the (Score 1) 375

by aussersterne (#49162227) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

problems of epistemology, including in science.

Note that there are no shortage of facts whose veracity depends on nuanced facets of context and condition, some of which are disputed.

For example, fact or not: "Linux is a difficult operating system to use, and is a better choice for geeks and hackers than for regular users."

Or how about:

"Android is an operating system written by Google."

Or how about:

"The Bermuda Triangle region has seen an unusually high number of ship and plane disappearances over the years, and may be a particularly dangerous place to travel."

Because unless Google's algorithms are very, very nuanced in their approach, each of these is going to be seen as carrying high levels of factuality based on the preponderance of content out there, particularity in high-authority sources.

Of course, statements like the first and third are too complex for Google's rankings to evaluate and rank, and it can only work with very simple assertions on the order of "Milk is white," or "Obama is a Democrat," the it's going to do practically nothing (good or bad) at all for the rankings, since facts with this level of consensus are generally undisputed, even by those that promote falsehoods.

Comment: This shifts the weakness in Google's rankings (Score 3, Interesting) 375

by aussersterne (#49160739) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

from gameability (in short, SPAM) to politics. Rather than punish above-board or non-predatory websites, it will punish both subversive and innovative thought that runs well ahead of social consensus. Sure, it will also eliminate willful misinformation, but it turns Google into an inherently conservative, rather than socially innovative, force.

Can't say I think it's better. Probably not any worse, but certainly not panacea.

Comment: Sociological problem: CYA (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by aussersterne (#49148335) Attached to: Invented-Here Syndrome

Part of the problem is the CYA issue.

If you're writing the code, you sound like a laborer ("I have to..."). If it breaks, it's your fault and you're on the hook publicly.

If you present a third-party component in a meeting, you sound like a manager ("I propose that we..."). Once three or four other people in the meeting have concurred, if something breaks it's the third party's fault. A ticket or two are initiated, it's someone else's problem and everybody gets to cast blame somewhere beyond the walls of the company.

Rational behavior, regrettably.

"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards

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