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Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by imikem (#48142333) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

Which problems would those be? Last I checked, number of dead people from nuclear didn't even register on the bar graphs comparing relative safety of power generation technologies. You can watch "Pandora's Promise" and see the EBIL RAY-DEE-AY-SHUN on the guy's dosimeter as he walks around Fukushima Daiichi. Note that the readings are lower than in the city of Denver. Oh Noes! We had better evacuate the capital of Colorado!!

Until we have stopped fossil fuel use, by which I mean SHUT THE LAST COMBUSTION POWER PLANT DOWN PERMANENTLY (combustion engines in transportation sector, and particularly aircraft could go on awhile longer), I believe it is irresponsible in the extreme to avoid nuclear power. The costs of the Fukushima disaster are nearly all political, and mainly incurred due to hysteria, fear-mongering and in all likelihood smart businessmen who see a way to profit enormously from said hysteria.

Comment: Re:Too bad... (Score 1) 610

by imikem (#48142207) Attached to: Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

"And no, none of that cost is due to NIMBYs or lawsuits. It's the build and operating cost of the plant that is the problem."

And that build and operating cost factors in NIMBYs and lawsuits via the absurd NRC [or $YOUR_REGULATORY_BODY which probably cribbed NRC's] regulations. Otherwise it just isn't very expensive to pour concrete and fab a reactor core.

Comment: Re:Might want to tighten the bolts on those sabers (Score 1) 199

by imikem (#47870223) Attached to: China's Island Factory

It's highly arguable whether any of these hot spots currently involve vital interests of the US. Penis-measuring is, as you note, a rather expensive proposition at this level. The American public generally shrugs, or at most bitches a little at the cost in dollars, but a decade plus of body bags and young men with missing limbs have reduced appetites for being the world's cops. That would change quickly in the case of a threat to a close ally, let alone US possessions.

Comment: Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 448

by imikem (#47828089) Attached to: Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Re Iran, the Mossadegh government seems to have been a little too friendly to the Soviets. They shared a long border and the USSR had occupied substantial parts of Iran during (and for several years after) WW2, so there was real fear in the West about losing the whole country to the Soviet bloc. This would have given Persian Gulf ports to the Soviet Navy, an existential threat to the West's oil supplies.

I am not saying the Iran coup of 1953 was a brilliant or ethical move, only that it is somewhat understandable in the geopolitical calculus of the time. It wasn't ONLY commercial profits at stake.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 448

by imikem (#47827865) Attached to: Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Well one thing that comes to my mind is a dead-man switch. Require whatever ordnance or vehicle to check in and obtain a new certificate from a trusted authority (no not a commercial CA) to continue functioning. Sign the firmware with this cert, and make it hard to get physical access to the ASICs without destroying the gear. In normal circumstances this could be a trivial, largely automated process associated with standard maintenance processes. Set the TTL to something like 6 months and there's no danger of impacting legitimate operations, while minimizing the usefulness of looted gear.

What is now proved was once only imagin'd. -- William Blake

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