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Comment: Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 407

by jonored (#44168187) Attached to: NSA Backdoors In Open Source and Open Standards: What Are the Odds?

I think the point isn't that "there is a large knowledge gap between the NSA and the independent cryptographers" so much as "the NSA has acted in a way that patched vulnerabilities they had private knowledge of in publicly available crypto", which suggests that they at least consider both keeping vulnerabilities in endorsed cryptography and fixing them.

Comment: Re:packet radio? (Score 1) 371

by jonored (#44114249) Attached to: FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

So it'd be legit and legal to send a message encrypted with a private key and the public key to decrypt it? That gives any reciever that the sender knows the private key to that public key, but doesn't actually send anything at all that's not decryptable within the message. (Not that you'd do that, you'd send an encrypted hash of the message, but still...)

Comment: Re:First (Score 1) 405

I'm pretty sure that "A trip that simply could not have happened if I couldn't have worked during the drive time between stops." indicates "wife drove, I was at work in the car so I could keep my job and do the month-and-a-half road trip I didn't have enough vacation time for". Survive in the short term, yes. Do the trip in the situation and have a house to come back to, maybe not...

Comment: Re:Because the Article Breaks Down the Claim Fully (Score 3, Informative) 830

by jonored (#33277694) Attached to: Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand the Brain

The "3 million base pairs are 6 million bits" isn't because each pair has two parts, it's becuase each pair has four possibilities. 3 million digits in base 4 is equivalent to 6 million digits in base 2.

For instance, decimal 15 is "33" in base 4 and is "1111" in base 2. You could think of it as one bit for which basepair is at this point in the chain, and one bit for which orientation it's in.

Comment: Re:But the beauty is (Score 1) 402

by jonored (#29133365) Attached to: US Navy Tries To Turn Seawater Into Jet Fuel

The difference is ~95% efficiency in a big electric motor vs. ~20% efficiency in an internal combustion engine. Running two thermo cycles instead of one invokes Carnot twice, which with current materials caps out at a theoretical maximum of ~60%, and in practice we end up at ~30-40% efficiency for a big power plant using a steam cycle and ~20% for a gas cycle engine. Just having an internal combustion engine in the loop makes the thing around four times more expensive to run. And that's not counting any profit margin for the conversion company, either.

Comment: Re:Is it really that imprecise? (Score 1) 1006

by jonored (#29028027) Attached to: Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City
At least for the power draw when idle, if it does, then it's either dumping the power as heat or self-destructing. You can't overcharge a lithium battery or you get metallic lithium in the cell and ruin and make it unsafe. It's certainly not going to be on the same order of magnitude as charging it for use. You'd need to actively design it to perform that badly, or have a dumb converter attached to the mains, to get a significant power consumption when idle if you had the neccessary circuitry to keep the batteries from catching fire. As for the life of the batteries, that does depend on how they've done things. Some companies (panasonic's toughbook division) seem to rate their batteries at the capacity they'll have in the middle of their lifespan, which would pretty much leave the average MPG unaffected. But it'd be a nice question to have answered.

Comment: Re:Simple really, just like government accounting (Score 1) 1006

by jonored (#29027889) Attached to: Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City
You know, we build locomotive engines as hybrids because converting mechanical to electrical and back ends up as a more efficient system for them than doing it purely mechanical. They don't have batteries for regenerative braking. If the volt is doing things at all right, that little engine is running at its peak efficiency any time it's on, which you simply can't do if you require the engine to be able to impart a reasonable acceleration to the car.

Comment: Re:Gut bacteria (Score 3, Informative) 232

by jonored (#29017625) Attached to: 10 Worst Evolutionary Designs
The apparatus to ferment cellulose into digestibles internally is rather large and high-maintainence. There's the multiple 'stomachs' before the main one where the bacteria breed, the cow routinely vomits up some to mechanically reprocess, and occasionally when venting becomes blocked for any reason a cow dies becuase their lungs were crushed by the expanding gasses in their stomach. termites get away with a lot because of being small. Additionally, there was that study that indicated that developments in the human intellect were associated with us starting to use cooking as an external digestion method - might not be the best thing for us in particular to add digesting some of the hardest foodstuff to use when we already diverted that energy to brainpower. And if we use cows properly we get the best of both worlds anyways - fueling ourselves off of cellulose with only the effort of keeping a few cows to eat. Of course, we don't, and use them as an inefficient step between stuff we /can/ eat and us, but that's another issue.

Comment: Re:More hair-brained ideas for "Global Warming" (Score 1) 418

by jonored (#28439643) Attached to: DoE Considers Artificial Trees To Remove CO2

The point that the total amount of mercury in a CFL (~5micrograms) is a little lower than the amount of mercury in five ounces of average tuna, and you're supposed to /eat/ the tuna, and won't exactly be licking the traces of mercury out from the broken shards of the bulb. The level of exposure that you get from the CFL being worriesome probably precludes all seafood of any sort...

It's also a volume of mercury several orders of magnitude smaller than that in a mercury thermometer, which is much more of a concern.

Comment: Re:Life Cycle Analysis (Score 2, Insightful) 432

by jonored (#26667541) Attached to: Fusion-Fission System Burns Hot Radioactive Waste
On the other hand, this machine would then be converting what they are asserting is hard to deal with transuranic waste to mere irradiated metals - this might be a situation where it really would be better to need to dispose of irradiated reactor parts rather than a smaller mass of worse waste. They are wanting to use this to take just the hard to burn fraction of the waste, and burn that to get rid of it - most of the waste is burning in normal breeder reactors like the ones other countries use and the US doesn't build.

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred. -- Superchicken