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Comment Criminal towers? (Score 4, Insightful) 122

It was publicly demonstrated not long ago that it's possible to listen into a given persons GSM calls relatively easily with cheap, consumer grade, equipment. If there's a bunch of these impostor towers knocking about and the police's position is that it's not them using them then I'd quite like them to be making an effort to find out who they do belong to ASAP. Shrugging and saying “we don't have the resources to bother tapping your phones” is not an acceptable response even if it's true.

Comment Total fruitcake (Score 2) 320

The guy is a well known loon. In the past he's been very vocal in his support of homeopathy and various other quackery. If memory serves he once also publically claimed that blood won't clot under a full moon.

He sits on the Science and Technology Select Committee and the Health Select Committee. An astonishingly clear example of an elected official not being fit for purpose.

Comment Totally out of his league (Score 1) 73

Everything from the trial just reinforces my first impressions that Ulbricht was attempting to operate a site for which he simply didn't have the skill set. The 'murder' plot was an incredibly obvious scam to separate him from his cash. I'm astonished that any reasonably intelligent person would be taken by it. His op security was appalling. If the might of the DEA, and whatever other three letter agencies they can rope in, is hunting you then you need to be a lot more careful than he was. Having a full local site backup on your bedside table? Using the same laptop you log in to your admin account for anything else? Stupid. Keeping a fucking diary? There are no words.

Comment Re:The return of Cthulhu might be really bad... (Score 1) 329

From a quick read it appears to be data from; World Ocean Database 2013 (National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC). Apparently available here;

In the paper they specify what program they used and how they processed the data. It is the first part of their 'methods' section.

What was the problem?

Comment Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 652

Sorry, but that’s a terrible idea. Submarine power plants are designed to meet a totally different set of design requirements than you want to set for a land based power generation plant. They need to be very small and quiet. Everything else, particularly cost, is secondary. Their fuel has to be highly enriched (>90%) U235, which is massively expensive and a proliferation problem. They are not designed for refueling – typically the whole core is replaced. Their ultimate safety feature in an accident relies on them being surrounded by an unlimited amount of ocean water.

If you take a submarine reactor and redesign it to be more suitable for a power reactor, you end up with a standard PWR.

Comment Re:The biggest news was left out (Score 1) 68

"One of the most famous examples of the human artificial boundary phenomena is running. For the longest time, a four-minute mile was considered physiologically impossible. When the record was broken, it was swiftly broken again by another bloke a month later. Within a few years, everyone was running four-minute miles. It's now a standard, and the record is much lower than four minutes. "

The progress in mile records over time is linear. There's no evidence that people believing that it was impossible held anyone back.

Comment Re:Gallium? (Score 1) 260

Galliums a mild reactor poison; it's thermal cross section is a couple of barns. When it comes to super prompt criticality induced by fast neutrons in a bomb core it'll make next to no difference. I don't think it's a misinformation trap.

I totally agree with your point that nuclear terrorism is massively unlikely. This article is ridiculous scaremongering.

Comment Re:Unless the plant is surrounded in a glass dome. (Score 0) 128

Many modern plants have passive cooling that doesn't require mains power. Every plant I'm aware of has multiple generators and multiple redundant grid links. Disabling them all is not as trivial as you make it sound.

That aside, the compounding problem at Fukishima was that the surrounding infrastructure was totally wrecked because of the Tsunami. Most places in the world they'd just truck in a back up generator before anything untoward happened.

Comment Re:Really not being not shouting from the rooftops (Score 1) 495

That's a misrepresentation. Feed enough different sets of red noise into the algorithm and you can get a hockey stick shaped result. Even the wikipedia article notes this;
"McIntyre and McKitrick's code selected 100 simulations with the highest "hockey stick index" from the 10,000 simulations they had carried out, and their illustrations were taken from this pre-selected 1%"

That's hardly surprising and tells you nothing about the validity of the analysis. Look at enough random data sets and you'll eventually find one that gives you the 'correct' result.

Comment Re:Fucked Up (Score 1) 221

There tend to be three levels you can buy in the UK. The least common is 'Third party only', which only covers your liabilities to other people. Next you get 'Third party fire and theft', which does what you'd expect. Last is fully comprehensive which covers everything including making good your losses even if there's no third party to pay out.

Comment Conditioning (Score 3, Interesting) 59

I have often wondered if some kind of boredom conditioning could help with gambling addiction.

My idle thought is based on experience my brother and I had about a decade ago while undergraduates. Around this time the online casino business was extraordinarily competitive and they were offering rather large incentives to sign up and play. At this time, although not any more, the terms and conditions of these bonuses were such that you could claim them, wager the minimum amount they mandated and withdraw a large proportion of the free money they had given you. Of course, to be profitable, you had to play a very short list of games with a low house edge and stick absolutely rigidly to the optimum playing strategy.

Over one summer this was our 'job'. Between us we gambled a cumulative total of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even accounting for various sites where we wrote software to do it for us, we played more blackjack than the vast majority of people ever will in their lives. To start with it was very exciting as the variance ensures a rollercoaster of upswings and downswings. By the end it was just another massively boring data entry job as we'd seen regression to the mean work its magic so many times. Neither of us ever wanted to see a casino game ever again.

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