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Comment: Re:How about some news about toyota and bmw? (Score 5, Insightful) 318

by kellymcdonald78 (#49642481) Attached to: Tesla To Unveil Its $35,000 Model 3 In March 2016

Amazon doesn't survive due to selling "zero emissions" credits that it gets from the Californian government to other manufacturers. I'd like to see Tesla make a profit without all the cronyism and end user tax credits.

Tesla doesn't make a profit because it reinvests everything into R&D and the capital equipment it needs to scale. It would be a bad sign if they did make a profit, as it would mean that they don't have any ideas on where to spend money on growth.

+ - Fifty Years of Moore's Law

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: IEEE is running a special report on "50 Years of Moore's Law" that considers "the gift that keeps on giving" from different points of view. Chris Mack begins by arguing that nothing about Moore’s Law was inevitable. "Instead, it’s a testament to hard work, human ingenuity, and the incentives of a free market. Moore’s prediction may have started out as a fairly simple observation of a young industry. But over time it became an expectation and self-fulfilling prophecy—an ongoing act of creation by engineers and companies that saw the benefits of Moore’s Law and did their best to keep it going, or else risk falling behind the competition."

Andrew Huang argues that Moore's Law is slowing and will someday stop but the death of Moore's Law will spur innovation. "Someday in the foreseeable future, you will not be able to buy a better computer next year," writes Huang. "Under such a regime, you’ll probably want to purchase things that are more nicely made to begin with. The idea of an “heirloom laptop” may sound preposterous today, but someday we may perceive our computers as cherished and useful looms to hand down to our children, much as some people today regard wristwatches or antique furniture."

Vaclav Smil writes about "Moore's Curse" and argues that there is a dark side to the revolution in electronics for it has had the unintended effect of raising expectations for technical progress. "We are assured that rapid progress will soon bring self-driving electric cars, hypersonic airplanes, individually tailored cancer cures, and instant three-dimensional printing of hearts and kidneys. We are even told it will pave the world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies," writes Smil. "But the doubling time for transistor density is no guide to technical progress generally. Modern life depends on many processes that improve rather slowly, not least the production of food and energy and the transportation of people and goods."

Finally Cyrus Mody writes that it seems clear that Moore’s Law is not a law of nature in any commonly accepted sense but what kind of thing is Moore’s Law? "Moore’s Law is a human construct. As with legislation, though, most of us have little and only indirect say in its construction," writes Mody. "Everyone, both the producers and consumers of microelectronics, takes steps needed to maintain Moore’s Law, yet everyone’s experience is that they are subject to it."

+ - SpaceX Dragon launches successfully but no rocket recovery

Submitted by monkeyzoo
monkeyzoo writes: SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft en route to the International Space Station with supplies (including an Italian espresso machine). This was also the second attempt to recover the launch rocket aboard a ship, but that apparently was not successful. Elon Musk tweeted that the rocket landed on the recovery ship but too hard to be reused.

Comment: Re:The moon (Score 1) 74

by kellymcdonald78 (#49327811) Attached to: World's Largest Asteroid Impacts Found In Central Australia
Most of the Moon's craters formed during the Late Heavy Bombardment period (3.8-4.0 billion years ago). The Earth was likely similarly impacted during this time, however on the Earth, geologic processes have erased almost all evidence of these. Oceanic crust is recycled every 200 odd million years, and there wasn't much continental crust during that period. Any crust that remains has been weathered, eroded, uplifted, folded, compressed, a dozen times. The Moon being geologically dead, and lacking any weather, retains these scars

Comment: Re:budget (Score 5, Insightful) 59

by kellymcdonald78 (#49305269) Attached to: Report: NASA May Miss SLS Launch Deadline
It's not the size of NASA's budget, (Bolden keeps saying they have all the money they need for SLS), it's the unholy mess of earmarks that ties NASA's hands at just about every step. These days NASA can't take a shit without some congressional earmark telling them what brand of toilet paper to use. NASA is no longer about space, it's about launching money into key congressional districts

Comment: Re:Why terraform? (Score 1) 228

What if the similar "big thwack" that created the moon on Earth, had done something similar on Venus as opposed to killing its rotation. Current theories suggest that the Moon's influence was important in establishing plate tectonics on Earth which did a lot to fix all our early CO2. Venus without a large moon, never developed plate tectonics and kept it's CO2 in the atmosphere leading to its runaway greenhouse effect.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by kellymcdonald78 (#49242545) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

> The military hardly uses plutonium

Wut? That's practically all they use.

In weapons yes, however all military reactors use highly enriched uranium (sub reactors even use super-grade uranium which has higher U-235 concentration than what is typically used in weapons)

> current price to last several hundred years

At the currently tiny fraction of worldwide production. If you are arguing for some sort of fission economy, then there's not nearly enough of the stuff.

If there is a fission economy than new sources will be found and developed. Then there are breeder reactors, thorium, sea water extraction, and ultimately the rest of the solar system. People always seem to compare what Solar will be in 10 years to what nuclear was 30 years ago. Or can we abandon Solar because if we go "full solar" we'll run out of Indium or Lithium

> and it'd take so long to build that it'd never be economical.

It doesn't make a difference, the non-nuclear side is already too expensive to build:


Oh, no... someone wrote a blog. His argument assumes that the ITER approach is the only one that will work and that costs will never come down, he also assumes that if Fusion were perfected and became widespread we somehow couldn't build additional fission reactors, or build specialized fusion reactors to produce tritium (I guess we've lost the ability to build CANDU reactors), Darlington itself has been approved to build 2-4 new reactors if required. Plus we don't know if Pollywell fusion will pan out, or if Lockheed Martin will somehow live up to their claims. However it's perfectly fine for Solar advocates to assume that breakthroughs in battery technology will solve all of its issues

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by kellymcdonald78 (#49242137) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again
The energy from the Sun just doesn't magically turn into electricity, it requires the extraction of minerals and elements to produce the physical panels, batteries, controllers, inverters, etc, etc, etc. If you're going to reject Nuclear since we only have 10,000 of years of Uranium, will you also reject Solar as we may only have 10,000 years worth of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium to build panels out of? Plus if we look to the solar system, Earth is not the only place to find Uranium (hey if you can put your fusion reactor in space, why can't I get my uranium from space too)

Comment: Re:Why can't they fairly negotiate? (Score 1) 61

They haven't flown anything in 3 years (and that was a capsule abort test). The sub-orbital vehicle "New Shepard" hasn't flown since 2011. Even Virgin Galactic flies more often than BO. SpaceX has flown more operational flights in the past 6 months than BO has had test launches since the company was founded. SpaceX may have better PR, but then again they are actually doing stuff beyond publishing the odd PowerPoint every few years

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)