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

by hairykrishna (#48574033) Attached to: Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

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

by hairykrishna (#48465385) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

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

by hairykrishna (#48267749) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

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

by hairykrishna (#48248837) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

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

by hairykrishna (#48184465) Attached to: Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

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.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 5, Insightful) 986

I am a physicist. I strongly disagree with your view that the methodology is sound.

The measurement methodology for the 'power out' was not the way I would do it. It effectively comes down to measuring the temperature of the 'reactor', in air, and applying calculations. Temperature is measured via an IR camera. It is filled with many ways that they could mislead themselves. I have personally used such a camera to measure surface temperatures in a high power density accelerator target and it is far from a straightforward enterprise. Why not just load the whole thing into a bomb calorimeter? That's the immediately obvious way to measure what they want to measure.

They do not adequately describe their power input. They start out with 3 phase. There's some kind of power supply box in the chain before the resistors. Who supplied this box? More details on what's actually measured as 'input power' is required. Is a circuit diagram too much to ask for?

The isotope data would be compelling. However, it's clear from the paper that Rossi handled the fuel at loading, removal and possibly at points in between. Substitution would have been trivial.

No radiation was observed. LENR, cold fusion, whatever you want to call it where no radiation is emitted is completely incompatible with all known nuclear physics. The idea that it doesn't violate any known physical laws is nonsense.

Comment: They have some interesting tech (Score 4, Interesting) 171

by hairykrishna (#48074565) Attached to: Apple Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Files For Bankruptcy

I work in BNCT research and some guys from GT advance have presented at a couple of recent conferences. Of interest to us was their 'hyperion' (yes, like Borderlands) accelerator they'd been developing. Huge amounts of beam current from a fairly compact and easily maintained package. They were planning on using it to peel off very thin layers of sapphire via ion implantation, we could use it as the first stage of a neutron generator and I'm sure there are tons of other industrial applications. The senior guys I met seemed very good - proper engineers with the minimum of marketing bullshit. I think they'll do ok even if this is a pretty major set back.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 4, Interesting) 497

by hairykrishna (#47415943) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Define 'scepticism about AGW catastrophism'. I'm a professional physicist and I would suggest, based on experience talking to my colleagues, that there is very little scepticism amongst physicists that humans are responsible for observed temperature rises and are going to be responsible for a whole lot more. It is certainly not 'rampant'. Consequences of said warming for the human race is a different topic.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken