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Comment Re:Obligatory reading (Score 2) 419 419

Right, but the other side of the equation is not zero. Coal fired power plants, and the associated mining is responsible for the vast majority of mercury in our food chain. During normal operation, the effective radiation released from coal fired plants are ~100 times that of a nuclear plant. Combustion of fossil fuels produces air pollutants that lead to increased cancer risks and statistical increases in related deaths. Combustion of fossil fuels also are a major source of greenhouse gases.

Then note that the Fukushima accident was close to a worse case scenario, i.e. a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami. Even then, better planning could have prevented this disaster. The safety standards in place at Chernobyl were so ridiculous it's not even worth considering when it comes to accessing nuclear power risks. Lets learn from our mistakes and make improvements, rather than throwing in the towel and increasing use of fossil fuel power plants.

I applaud the view of France, who never wavered in their pursuit of nuclear energy, as opposed to Japan and Germany who overreacted to the situation. I think both countries will eventually regret the path they've taken. I'd certainly like to see the U.S. pursue nuclear energy, since it is the only practical clean energy source that addresses the issue of base load, other than hydroelectric plants, which have significant limitations in where they can be installed.

I'm all for other clean energy sources like wind and solar, but anyone who thinks we can move to them for all our energy needs is living in a fantasy world. The only way that can happen is with unrealistic breakthroughs in storage technology, not the steady increase in storage capability that we've seen over the last 100 years. Stop reading and believing all the "major breakthrough" stories posted to Slashdot regarding this. Inevitably they turn out to be false, or just another step on the same progression we've seen over the years.

Comment Re:Won't save most of the 4000 lives (Score 1) 615 615

But perhaps some of those accidents caused by the car drivers are indirectly caused by the truck drivers. Truck drivers used to be the knights of the road. Now they drive like they drive their car. A lot of times when there is a backup of traffic on a highway it is due to a truck trying to pass another truck. They start to pass, get to a hill can't complete the pass, start to pass on the downhill, then hit another hill, etc. Sometimes it takes more than 5 minutes for a truck to get ahead of another truck and then they proceed to travel a 1-2 mph faster than the truck they passed. Meanwhile, as soon as the pass is complete, a lot of car drivers speed up to pass the trucks before another truck gets the idea that they have to pass another truck. Or they try to pass on the right of the truck that is still trying to overtake the "slow" truck in the right lane. I've seen lots of crazy maneuvers made by car drivers in this situation, induced by the incessant need for truck drivers to pass other trucks, which didn't seem to happen anywhere near as often 20-30 years ago as it does now. So yes, the car drivers may be ultimately respsonsible, but some of it is brought on by the behavior of truck drivers. With AI trucks we'll probably see a lot more truck caravans all following each other at the same speed in the far right lane, without the need to keep passing each other.

Comment Re:How can it be 50% improvement if (Score 1) 105 105

You're correct that it is not a 50% improvement, but because of your bad math (1/3 of 12 is 4, not 6). The real fail is the article which got it wrong with respect to Xeon E5 V2. You can get Xeon E5 V2 chips with 15 cores, so the V3 chips are really only a 20% improvement.

Comment Re:Responsible Agency Enforcing Law (Score 1) 222 222

There are a lot of differences between typical recreational use and commercial use. So the recreational vs. commercial is only one small part of the guidelines outlined in Advisory 91-57. The main issue is that recreational model aircraft are flown with line of sight, and any camera is used either just for post flight video or for potential assistance, but not for primary flight. This kind of flight is almost useless for commercial use. A commercial UAS uses the camera as a first person view for actually flying the vehicle. Typically RF power is increased to be able to fly the vehicle much further. This is significantly more dangerous. There is a huge loss in situational awareness. If the camera system fails then you are literally flying blind. The camera is not showing the plane itself so it is more difficult to diagnose the beginning of a failure. When a recreational flyer sees his vehicle failing he can immediately turn it around and since it is not out of line of sight there is a much better chance that the pilot can get the vehicle back or most of the way back. The pilot has full situational awareness of what is under and around the plane/vehicle. Commercial UAS systems are typically higher power, heavier, larger batteries, etc. You really don't want these things flying over your head. Use of them in urban or suburban settings should be carefully regulated.

Comment Re:UUNET in 1987? (Score 1) 116 116

Are you talking about websites? Because I can't imagine people were all that excited about new telnet, ftp or gopher sites. If you're talking websites then your timeline is a little off. The World became the first ISP in 1989. Tim Berners-Lee created the first website in December 1990, but didn't really advertise the fact (and make a web browser available) until August of 1991.

Comment Re:UUNET in 1987? (Score 1) 116 116

UUNET was not providing internet connections at that time. They started out as a UUCP service provider, primarily providing email and Usenet feeds via uucp. So sometimes people will say they are the first ISP, just like people will claim Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL were all ISP's back then. But The World was the first true ISP providing access to the Internet, which probably wasn't all that exciting for the general public at that point.

Comment Re:Too quick to dismiss DSL? (Score 3, Informative) 324 324

RIght. That nearest hub/station/whatever is called a DSLAM. A DSLAM can be installed near or in your neighborhood and fed by fiber. I have a fiber fed DSLAM in my neighborhood and I subscribe to a 40 Mbit VDSL2 service. I'm less than 1000 feet from the DSLAM, as are most of the people in our neighborhood. The generic "DSL" covers a wide range of service. The fact is that many people can only get 1.5 Mbit (or even only 256 Kbit) service, so they assume that (or 5-7 Mbit, which is the next tier typically available) is the best that DSL can offer.

Comment Too quick to dismiss DSL? (Score 2) 324 324

Perhaps you have been too quick to dismiss DSL. I assume that currently your DSLAM is not very close to the neighborhood and therefore AT&T can only offer the slower DSL speeds. Perhaps you can convince AT&T to install a fiber fed DSLAM near the border of your neighborhood. If there is fiber in the area this can be done without digging up your neighborhood. With current DSL technology (VDSL2) they could offer much higher speeds (up to 100 Mbit down, but more likely 20-40 Mbit). This can be done over your existing neighborhood phone wires as long as the distance to the DSLAM is fairly short. However, your neighborhood still might not be big enough to make a good case. At the very least you would have to get a significant number of your neighbors to commit to buy a high rate DSL service. Are there other nearby neighborhoods that could benefit? That might increase the chances of it happening. I'm not saying that there is a high probability that you can convince AT&T to do this, but you should at least consider all your options.

Comment Phone Detector (Score 1) 924 924

A lot of people are suggesting faraday cages as the answer. I'm not sure that is really as cheap as people think it would be, and I really don't care if people are using their phones during the pre previews or previews. I'm thinking that a zero tolerance policy along with a phone detector system is a better answer. My guess is that once the lights are out, an HD camera mounted in the ceiling over the audience will easily be able to pick out any light coming from the audience. With a one time simple calibration (putting a light in the end seats of each row and telling the software how many seats are in the row) the software can probably report the exact seat location, or close enough. Then after some threshold, say 30-60 seconds of light, the system could report the theater number and seat location of the light source to theater staff. An usher could then be dispatched to observe the behavior and throw the customer out, or at the very least cause the customer to quickly put their phone away when the usher walks into the theatre.

Comment Re:Bias (Score 5, Informative) 150 150

Yes, that is one of the purposes of a pretrial hearing. The judge has to determine whether or not the case should proceed to a trial or be dismissed. In order for there to be a trial, the Judge has to determine if the party bringing the lawsuit (the federal government in this case) has enough evidence to warrant a trial. The Judge also has to make a preliminary judgement about how likely the party bringing the lawsuit will win. This is needed in order to determine whether any preliminary injunctions should be issued prior to the trial (i.e. an injunction that takes place and stays in force until the trial is completed or another hearing reverses the injunction).
The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

Comment Re:Who has a leal use for this. (Score 2) 293 293

This seems to be a reasonable situation to define limits to what a law abiding person needs for personal use.

Seriously? I hope you are the last one to say it. Reading between the lines of your quote above, it would appear that you think it might be reasonable to outlaw access to this technology, solely because you can't think of a legal use for it.

As others have posted, there are certainly legal usages. I can think of others, but that is besides the point. The whole idea of limiting something because it might be used for illegal purposes is ridiculous.

Regardless of the "legal" ideas proposed, sometimes new technology leads to new ideas, i.e. as storage costs go down and capacities go up, new ways of using storage may evolve. One (possibly half-baked) idea I can think of is crowd sourced, highly redundant, "free" backup storage.

Comment Re:I don't get it. (Score 5, Informative) 293 293

No, the article is quoting aureal density which is expressed in gigabits or terabits per square inch. The problem with the article is that it is combining data from various sources and misreading/misinterpreting the data (so what's new, this is Slashdot after all).

First, the summary above says that Seagate will produce a 60 Tb drive by 2016. That is not true. Seagate has said they will produce a drive with "up to" 60 Tb of capacity (30-60 TB) by the end of the decade. This is based on the theoretical limits of HAMR technology, which are projected to be in the 5-10 Tbits/sq. inch. range. Current 4TB drives are made with platters that have a density of around 650 Gbits/sq. in., so the math works (10Tb/.65Tb is approximately 15x).

The other part of the article is talking about what the maximum density is likely to be over the timeframe from now to 2016 using PMR technology and transitioning to something new like HAMR. PMR technology will top out at about 1Tbit/sq. inch, so anything over that will require something new like HAMR. that underlying article quotes 1.8 Tbit/sq. in in 2016, which may not be out of line with 5-10 Tbit/sq. in. by 2020 as a new technology like HAMR comes online.

The two articles that I am basing the above on are:
Seagate/HAMR article
IHS/ISuppli article

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde