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Comment: Re:And this doesn't seem like a bad idea? (Score 1) 105

by iMactheKnife (#47425515) Attached to: Mapping a Monster Volcano

The Chernobyl experiment was not ordered by scientists. It was ordered by a political appointee who wanted to exceed his boss's expectations and show that the plant could also generate useful power at low neutron densities. The onsite engineers protested to no avail. Unfortunately, the reactor graphite core did not shut down evenly. Instead, full neutron current ran in small sections of the graphite without adequate cooling. When the graphite reached the temperature to dissociate water, the free oxygen ignited a granite/hydrogen explosion which blew about 190 MT of fissionables out of the containment and into the environment.

I'm one of the proposers of an international nuclear intervention process for nuclear disaster like Chernobyl.

Comment: Forget May. What about January? (Score 1) 547

We had a record COLD winter this year. Will a one month record a few tenths of a degree higher make up for it? And how much money does the government propose taking out of the economy to fix a portion of a tenth of a degree?

Let me know when it's safe to assume this is not a political argument.

Comment: Neural gaming interfaces (Score 1) 552

by iMactheKnife (#47084043) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

There are a few neural gaming interfaces that are not prohibitively expensive. One of the fancier items is "emotive.con", which taps several cortical centers. Since the damage was reported in the brain stem, the EEG activity in the higher cortical centers ought to be intact.

She will still need training, but if it was me, I'd be damned happy to have a device like this.

Comment: Re:And on many bands.. (Score 1) 180

There are so many digital and complex analog signals on the ham bands, especially 70 cm and 220, that it would be pretty unusual for someone to detect an encrypted signal from all that clever noise.

I've sent pictures on ham radio bands thousands of miles (slow scan), but none encrypted. I run software defined radios and several digital modes.

However, any form of commercial business or encryption is against the regs.

Hams enforce the regs in their own rules and we are pretty efficient at it.


Comment: Bundy grazing land (Score 1) 180

Nevada ceded administration of their state land to the Fed originally because the new state had no infrastructure to tend the land or secure it. The Nevada constitution provides explicitly for grazing on this land. It is supposed to be pubic land, not private land held by the Fed or BLM. There is a constitutional prohibition against the Fed owning land as a squatter.

The idea was that at some future time the Fed would relinquish the land to the state of Nevada. Fat chance of that.

Around 1993 BLM insisted on a contract that required ranchers to give up their water and grazing rights forever, except where the BLM doled them out for a fee. All but a few ranchers quit the range. Bundy refused to sign and got stubborn.

Twenty years later, 200 armed BLM thugs showed up with snipers and SWAT teams to collect the grazing fees.....the rest is history. By coincidence, that grazing land is now set aside to mitigate tortoises for a solar power plant about 35 miles away. By coincidence, Harry Reid's son is an executive for that power plant project. By coincidence, the head of the BLM was Reid's former staffer. By coincidence, nothing was done for 20 years until those people suddenly needed Bundy gone.

Comment: "We make the laws" (Score 1) 509

by iMactheKnife (#46718269) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

About a decade ago I was involved in an aerospace project and had to make a presentation to a group of legislators and their assistants regarding remote telemetry of an AUV. The response time was squishy because of transmission time for the radio signal from the distant AUV. The legislators had a report to that effect and wanted to know why we could't fix the problem. One if us mentioned that the speed of light was a law of physics. To which a congressperson responded. "Well, we make the laws. We can change them."


Comment: Re:You are joking but (Score 1) 564

by iMactheKnife (#46696587) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

I believe the real issues have little to do with the right to contract with another for an exclusive consensual arrangement. That right, which we call marriage, ought to be mediated, if at all, by ministers or secular magistrates, and the agreements registered locally. When there are tax deductions and tax rates skewed toward marriage, health-care, social security, loans and other financial consequences, that becomes a spousal support issue, not a "marriage" issue. Blowing this up into a matter of morality is simply a disguise.

Let the Federal and State get out of the "marriage" business and get out of the bedrooms. If the financial landscape is no longer skewed, the heat will disappear from the discussions.

Here is the real question: The State once had legitimate interests in "line of descent" and family members as inheritors of real estate and chattels. Then it acquired an "interest" in middle class and family as the foundations of civilian society. Are these interests really legitimate in modern society, or would they be better left to individuals and their chosen religious ministries?

None of this needs to change the basic supports for raising children, which we subsidize in various ways.

Comment: Serial computer like a road (Score 1) 105

by iMactheKnife (#46687115) Attached to: Sand in the Brain: A Fundamental Theory To Model the Mind

The limitation on serial computation is not really in the architecture, it's in the code. If the compiler were to generate multi-threaded code where serial dependencies were minimized, (and if coders learned to use this feature), then it would be fairly easy to uncouple the various cars on the computer train and let them each follow their own tracks until some intermediate output was exchanged.

A lot of new VLSI architecture is capable of this kind of uncoupling. Even with the same clock rates.

Comment: 2-sided problems (Score 1) 208

by iMactheKnife (#46657567) Attached to: USB Reversable Cable Images Emerge

My iPhone 5 connector is no longer reliable. Half the time it is plugged in and the iPhone does not get charged. Tolerances are tight on the tiny thing and its socket loosens up with time, allowing just enough play to disconnect if the phone is even breathed on. 2-sided, yes. Bipolar would be a better description.

"Nuclear war would really set back cable." - Ted Turner