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Comment: Re:Not Even Funny (Score 0) 272


Subtract all fossil fuels from your current lifestyle. And all plastic, unless you are using casein(rendered cheese).

I think you'll find that your lifestyle will be about Cuban on the level of energy intensity. That is obviously feasible, but not without sacrifice. Unlike your idol Al Gore you won't be flying ANYWHERE ever again.

Comment: whales get the bends? (Score 1) 272

Um, that's a bit of a puzzle, the whale breathes in air at atmospheric pressure, therefore to a first order approximation the air in its body can't be at much more than that after compression and then surfacing.

I'm not saying its impossible, but I can't see what pressure is driving the nitrogen deep into joints etc, it should all be in equilibrium.

the whole point with bends and SCUBA is that you are breathing high pressure air, and so high pressure nitrogen diffuses into the parts of the body with lower partial pressures of nitrogen, then when you surface the high pressure nitrogen wants to diffuse out again, but can't easily. If the whole lot starts in equilibrium then it all compresses together. This loosely is why duck diving into quite significant depths is safe without a decompression stage.

Comment: Re:Slashdot has drunk the KoolAid (Score 3, Informative) 441

Sorry, I misread the article, they are capping the growth in new WT installation for the next 6 years to about 80% of recent growth rates, and are building several new coal plants, whether that results in a net reduction in % windpower depends on economic growth achieved, ie crystal ball.

Comment: Slashdot has drunk the KoolAid (Score 3, Interesting) 441

Oddly enough both of the calculations in the OP were correct, yes, the wind turbine generates energy equivalent to its energy of manufacture quite quickly, and yes it is still a bad idea to rely on wind energy for use in a national grid except for a tiny percentage, each MW of wind turbine relies on an additional MW of conventional generators if you want 24/7 availability, or I suppose you could try energy storage, which ought to be added to the turbine operating cost and energy payback.

Interesting to see such knee jerk support for an inappropriate technology. I wonder if the posters above have ever thought through why Germany is /reducing/ its reliance on wind turbines?

Comment: Re:Yay! finally some accountability for all those (Score 1) 205

by ishmaelflood (#32191824) Attached to: UK Court Finds Company Liable For Software Defects

I think you've missed the point. Engineering software in general, including the stuff with a $4000 per seat per year maintenance contract, comes with a EULA that basically says the software provider is not liable for the results from that software.

Even if it is used in accordance with the help manual by trained users.

Even if the problem is directly caused by a fault in the software.

Comment: Don't need the dental hygiene advice (Score 1) 842

by ishmaelflood (#32145802) Attached to: How To Behave At a Software Company?

I read a few of the above. While the dental flossists seem to have taken over, here is my advice to a young real engineer-
-Yes, fair enough, wear clean clothes, shower, brush your teeth. You'd have to be VERY clever to make up for being stinky
-carry a notebook. When you ask a stupid question (probably all of them) note the answer down. That way you'll never ask the same person the same question twice.
-enthusiasm- we're fucking good at being cynical. Your attempt /will/ sound lame. Trust me, you need to be enthusiastic before you'll get accepted.
-sense of humour- you will need one
- stupid hours- I regard people who work long hours as people who can't organise themselves, or production-workers. Others may differ.

BTW, computer engineers aren't real engineers. There may be different rules for them.

Comment: Vaguely relevant comment (Score 1) 462

by ishmaelflood (#32096338) Attached to: Do Gamers Want Simpler Games?

Sorry, I haven't read any of the above inspiteful commentary.

here's my take.

Most good games are too long.

80 bucks Australian for a game, I'd really like to know I've done it at 40 hours or less.

Here's the big name games I've played through, and thought the length was about right

Terra nova (several times - actually this is due to be played again)
System Shock (the original-I'd play this again if Barry gives me the CD back)
Warcraft 2 (bit dull now)
Mechwarriors- 2 and 4 (was there a 3?)

HalfLife was brilliant except the last mission was stupidly hard and I gave up and I won't play it again
Syndicate was brilliant, the last mission was stupidly hard but I did it once, and I'll play it again but ignore the last msiiosn

UFO - I've played a couple of times quite a long way through, without really getting to the end. Quite happy to do it again from scratch, the early msiisons are much more fun.

Biggest playability award goes to Gunship 2000 - in squad mode, or railroad tycoon.


California Legislature Declares "Cuss-Free" Week 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the f#*k-those-f@^king-f%&kers dept.
shewfig writes "The California legislature, which previously tried to ban incandescent light bulbs, just added to the list of banned things ... swear words! Fortunately, the measure only applies for the first week of March, and compliance is voluntary — although, apparently, there will be a 'swear jar' in the Assembly and the Governor's mansion. No word yet on whether the Governator intends to comply."

Comment: Re:At least they don't pollute the city directly (Score 1) 278

by ishmaelflood (#30188358) Attached to: Berkeley Engineers Have Some Bad News About Air Cars

I think you are referring to MDI? They haven't manufactured a single production vehicle, despite 10 years of press releases. They have got rather a lot of ignorant investor's money.

Why would the oil companies give a monkey's about air cars? The thermodynamics proving that they are hopelessly inefficient is covered in the first year of an engineering degree, at least in the UK.

The early stories were reprints by mouth breathers, of the press releases issued by a company desperate for investor's funds.

Yes, if you compress air carefully and keep it at the temperature to which it rises (very hot indeed), and then decompress it carefully, you can make it quite efficient. BUT your range will suffer a lot, as the mass of air that can be stored is then much smaller.

Think of your family tonight. Try to crawl home after the computer crashes.