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Comment: Re:50 Hz vs 60 Hz (Score 1) 53

HVDC tie lines and rotary frequency converters can do this. There are many instances of this in the US interconnection, just look where the Amtrak network (25 Hz) connects to the transmission grid (60 Hz).

It's all a matter of how much money are you willing to spend for the additional reliability. Until the nukes went offline, Japan's two grids were self-sufficient enough that transferring energy between the two wasn't cost effective to justify a highly connected interface. By the time you needed it, it was too late to build.

Heck, there are only 24 transmission lines above 200 kV that connect New York to the rest of the eastern interconnection.

Comment: The ultimate "man made earthquake" (Score 3, Interesting) 166

by daveschroeder (#49418797) Attached to: The Arrival of Man-Made Earthquakes

Russian analyst urges nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and San Andreas fault line

A Russian geopolitical analyst says the best way to attack the United States is to detonate nuclear weapons to trigger a supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park or along the San Andreas fault line on California's coast.

The president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems based in Moscow, Konstantin Sivkov said in an article for a Russian trade newspaper on Wednesday, VPK News, that Russia needed to increase its military weapons and strategies against the "West" which was "moving to the borders or Russia".

He has a conspiracy theory that NATO - a political and military alliance which counts the US, UK, Canada and many countries in western Europe as members - was amassing strength against Russia and the only way to combat that problem was to attack America's vulnerabilities to ensure a "complete destruction of the enemy".

"Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment. There are signs of growing activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States - a country just disappears," he said.

"Another vulnerable area of the United States from the geophysical point of view, is the San Andreas fault - 1300 kilometers between the Pacific and North American plates ... a detonation of a nuclear weapon there can trigger catastrophic events like a coast-scale tsunami which can completely destroy the infrastructure of the United States."

Full story

Comment: There's a couple of problems... (Score 1) 226

by Mysticalfruit (#49370117) Attached to: Chinese Scientists Plan Solar Power Station In Space
1. China lacks a lot of knowledge when it comes to building and maintaining large things in space...
2. Imagine China could get this to work, there's so much lost in the down link due to the atmosphere you'd need a REALLY powerful microwave emitter or laser, at which point you've now got a death ray in orbit. There are pretty strict rules about NOT militarizing space and nobody would be cool with a country having their own personal death star in orbit.
3. If instead they decided to use low power, the collector on the ground would have to be so massive, it would have been cheaper to just invest that money into getting fusion to actually work.

Comment: And why not? (Score 4, Insightful) 227

Considering that nuclear power is the safest form of power the world has ever known, I'd say it's worthy of recognition for offsetting carbon more than anything else. To borrow a phrase, "It's the energy density, stupid."

There's a reason why China has 30 nuclear plants under construction, while the US just approved its first new plant in 30 years.

Comment: Editable (Score 1) 298

by mdfst13 (#49356717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

One of the most important criteria is that good code be easy to modify. Readability, testability, elegance, and simplicity all lead back to that. When you change code, you should be assured that it will do what you expect. Bad code produces surprising side effects when you change it. Good code warns you (possibly through unit tests attached to the code) when you are doing something questionable. If you have to run the code to determine what it does, then that's not good code.

Needs evolve and change over time (or simply become clearer). Good code needs to be able to follow.


Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident 737

Posted by timothy
from the that's-bad-news dept.
hcs_$reboot writes The Germanwings plane crash takes a scary turn. After a couple of days investigation, it appears that the co-pilot requested control of the aircraft about 20 minutes into the flight. The pilot then left the cockpit, leaving the co-pilot in full control of the plane. Then, the co-pilot manually and "intentionally" set the plane on the descent that drove it into the mountainside in the southern French Alps. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German national, could be heard breathing throughout the plane's descent and was alive at the point of impact, according to the prosecutor.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1, Funny) 886

Like all holy books, it's so vaguely worded you can twist to your means. In your sect of the great burger religion, your temples only allow people named Ralph. In my sect, they disallow Ralph.

Obviously, I'm going to have to start a holy burger war to resolve whose right.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 5, Funny) 886

I'm going to instruct my chain of burger joints to check ID's at the door... Anybody with a first name of "Ralph" will be turned away at the door. My holy book over here clearly states that "Ralph shall be name of the demon who will eat the world." I'm disinclined to have people named Ralph in my establishment who're likely to go into a demonic craze and start eating people. Also any "hussies" named "Roberta" or "Rebecca" they're just tricky sluts, they're not allowed in either.

Comment: Re:Again? (Score 2) 172

MIT was showing this off awhile ago and I *believe* they sold it to DuPont... you can buy it in cans to coat things like boots. I think the innovation here is that they've made the coating either tougher so it won't abate over time and/or they've figured out how to make it food safe... I can't imagine making your insides hydrophobic would be that good for you...

Comment: Putting the Voltec system into other vehicles... (Score 2) 229

I'm an extremely happy Volt owner! It is by far the best car I've ever owned.

Question #1. What is Chevy's plans to extend the Voltec system into other models such as the Trax and/or the Equinox? I ask because my wife's current vehicle is an AWD SUV and I'd like to replace it with a like vehicle that's a EREV but is still AWD and has cargo room. I know the 2016 Volt has a square battery pack and thus a 5th seat, I can only assume that's to make it fit better in other chassis?

Question #2. Why does Chevy not promote the Volt?!? You never see a Chevy commercial that has the Volt in it. They had the "low battery" commercial a couple of years ago and then nothing. When I go places I have people constantly coming up and asking "A volt? What kind of car is this? Chevy? Wow, this thing's awesome! I had no idea..." My wife's joked I should become some sort of Chevy Volt Ambassador!


Comment: Re:It Won't Matter Anyway (Score 1) 179

by Mysticalfruit (#49267393) Attached to: Russia Abandons Super-Rocket Designed To Compete With SLS
The paint flake incident is what lead the shuttle to be basically flow upside down and backwards at an angle to put as much ship as possible between the crew and and any debris.

I have heard talk of people pitching the idea of "space trash trucks" that would use a variety of techniques to capture and/or deorbit as much trash as possible. LEO is entirely too big to clean everything but there are some bands that are higher priority than others.

Comment: Easy solution... (Score 1) 115

If a company bids and wins a chunk of spectrum they'd have X amount of time to do something with it, say 2 years. After that, if the company isn't using it, it would go back into the pool to bid on again. Possibly there could be some extension if the company could demonstrate that it was actively working (i.e. "Hey look at this 15 satellites we've got queued up to launch...") to use the spectrum.

The time spent on any item of the agenda [of a finance committee] will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. -- C.N. Parkinson