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Comment: Re:Texas needs water, not oil (Score 1) 179

by confused one (#46799065) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again
California and Texas need to learn two words: De-Salination. yes, it's expensive. You got choices... Thirst and dead crops or spend money on desalination plants. Well, there are two more options... (1) Invent a method to alter weather patterns and steal someone else's rain. or. (2) declare independence and go to war with the U.S., annex neighboring states and pipeline water from the Mississippi directly to Texas.

Comment: Re:Build refineries in ND (Score 3, Informative) 179

by confused one (#46799039) Attached to: Obama Delays Decision On Keystone Pipeline Yet Again
This. It would talk longer to build the refinery than it would to build a transcontinental pipeline. In addition, if you think they're having problems trying to build a pipe from Canada to Texas to flow crude oil, wait till they try to build a large refinery in ND and then build the pipeline to carry the processed output across country. You'll have people pulling the NIMBY card for the refinery. The same people trying to stop the crude pipeline, trying to stop the gasoline pipeline. And lots of others complaining about the increased truck and train traffic carrying the hazardous chemical secondary production outputs and byproducts.

Comment: science fiction... (Score 3, Insightful) 61

Most science fiction says it happens this way:

After the asteroid impact... Humanity pulled itself from the breach of collapse and rebuilt. Once they could regain a foothold on space, they made it a priority to put in place the necessary resources to make sure it would never happen again.

OK, so, while it is fiction, sometimes literature provides insight into the human psyche. Frankly, I doubt you'll be able to convince the world governments to put any real money into an asteroid defense venture... that is until an impact happens and does sufficient damage to wake up all the people in power up. Most think that it will never happen. Most also believe they have more important issues to deal with in their local district and can't concern themselves with global issues.

Comment: TMI (Score 1) 216

by confused one (#46785505) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor
Who told you that lie? Several reactors have suffered a melt down / loss of primary containment event where fuel slumped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and burned through. TMI is an example of such an event. This was always a possibility in Generation II PWR and BWR designs. It's one of the reasons we need to be building Generation III+ replacements.

Comment: Re:Couple problems (Score 1) 216

by confused one (#46785483) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor
There was a drawing visible in the video for about 10-15 seconds. Mind you, it's not a lot to go on... The reactor itself was shown below the water level. The design appeared to be similar to designs I've seen which use passive convection cooling. In addition to that, the outer containment was labeled as "flooded with sea water" or something to that effect. To your other point, the shape of the outer containment was a cylinder. The appearance was similar to some Generation III+ designs that flood the building and rely on passive convection cooling to keep a reactor nominally within safe limits, should something serious go wrong with the primary and secondary systems. Again, that's based on a 10 second glimpse at a sketch in a video... so not to be taken seriously.

Comment: Re:Wait a second... (Score 5, Informative) 352

by confused one (#46782925) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"
yes, yes they did. Mercedes released a Euro B-class car using a drive train jointly developed by and supplied by Tesla. In addition, Mercedes is reported to be buying batteries for other projects from Tesla. Me thinks the Mercedes salesman is trying to protect his sales numbers and trying too hard to not look behind the curtain.

Comment: Re:attacked by a pillow (Score 1) 36

by confused one (#46782881) Attached to: The Squishy Future of Robotics
I do... I've seen large industrial machines that use what are essentially soft robotics techniques and soft manipulators. The examples given in the article are all small and target search and rescue apps. That's great. I've seen a 4 story structure lifted on airbags and moved across a smooth surface by an automated system. Point was you can't assume it scales to industrial scales and assume everything will be soft and harmless. When the "soft" robotics moves up to the larger scales, as it is just as likely to do as it is to move to smaller scales, you can't discount the energy involved. I hate to see someone make the assumption "They're soft so they're harmless" and let that idea get promoted as gospel regardless of scale.

Comment: Re:attacked by a pillow (Score 1) 36

by confused one (#46782821) Attached to: The Squishy Future of Robotics
Funny you should mention that. I happen to be an engineer working in a manufacturing plant. Absolutely safe... No. As safe as we can make them, yes. We put all kinds of safeties like light curtains into the systems, to protect human workers. The summary above says they are meant to work "cage free" and the worst that could happen is... Well, they're working with small scale and underestimating the damage potential. That's all I'm saying.

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