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Comment: That's computers 10x faster than today (Score 1) 279

by macpacheco (#49129743) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

At 7nm, we'll have computers easily 10x faster than today's 16nm fab we're shifting to.
16nm to 7nm we're halving each dimension so 2x2x2 increase in number of transistors in the same space, but going smaller transistors can decrease voltage and increase frequency, so 10x speedup easy.
Hopefully we'll have 8 core CPUs with 4GB of on CPU memory. Having CPU/GPU/RAM/pretty much the whole computer on the main chip = lower memory access timing plus other advantages.
Use that advantage wisely you lazy programmers, cause its your last opportunity to be lazy.

Comment: Re:BS aside, is the K-XL a good thing or not? (Score 1) 430

by macpacheco (#49129679) Attached to: Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Wrong. Oil is cheap because of shale oil. The USA was almost self sufficient before the Saudis decided to try to undercut shale oil.
But guess what, shale oil is getting more and more competitive. Some of it is still competitive @ US$ 60, which will eventually make it hard for oil to go above US$ 70-80. At US$ 80 most of the oil in the world is economical.
It's really sad when people don't want to discuss with facts, but would rather cherry pick the argument that fits his agenda.
You should watch Fareed Zakaria GPS and some other facts based programs, that focuses on educating us and finding solution to problems rather than creating 24x7 sensationalism.

Comment: Re:Drama Online (Score 1) 212

by macpacheco (#49106761) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

If that guy is actually doing a 400 mile journey every day, the Tesla will come out free after five years, since even without free supercharger electrons, charging a Tesla is wayyy cheaper than buying gasoline, even with today's prices.
A 85kWh Tesla * average US$ 0.12 / kWh = US$ 10 bucks to charge your car. With solar panels you can get that down by a bunch.
That drives an average 250 miles. Or 4 cents per mile.
So a full million miles would cost just US$ 40k in electricity !

How much does it costs your car to drive 250 miles ? Just Gas and Oil change to keep it simple.
Teslas don't need to change engine oil or spark plugs. Most of maintenance is tire related. Mechanical breaks are there, but due to regen breaking, they wear very little.

Most people pay at least US$ 50 to drive 250 miles in gasoline alone.

Interestingly, I did the math for the 2015 Prius, which advertises 50mpg combined, with US$ 2 / gallon gas, would also put the Prius @ 4 cents / mile, excluding maintenance. Prius maintenance isn't quite a cheap as the Tesla, but since the Prius is less than half the price of a Tesla, money wise its interesting. But the Prius has nothing on luxury, performance, style and status of owning a Tesla.

Comment: Re:Drama Online (Score 1) 212

by macpacheco (#49106629) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

The oil situation is utterly bad.
In the worst case, refining heavy oil consumes so much natural gas just for refining that should that oil be left underground, and that gas went into an efficient natural gas thermal plant (60% efficiency), the Tesla would go further on the natural gas electricity alone vs the produced gasoline be put into a Prius. Now, most oil isn't heavy, but refining even the lightest easiest oil does consume lots of natural gas, in the end a Prius end up being about 20% efficient from well to wheel, while a Tesla gets above 40% from baseload natural gas (and even better in CO2/mile from the average USA grid generation).
When you consider Canada Bitumen Oil, the pollution is even higher, as natural gas is burned to make steam to extract the oil from the ground, then more natural gas used for refining. The final quality of Bitumen Oil is good enough, but when the whole thing is added up, its even worse than heavy oil imported by large oil tankers.

Comment: Re:Drama Online (Score 1) 212

by macpacheco (#49106591) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

In the meantime, the Tesla tells you how much range you have left projected in real time.
Unlike many gas tanks, Tesla remaining power indications are reliable. There could be some change in kWh/mile consumption (going from flat to montain terrain, going from city to highway), but its way more accurate than gas cars.
In the meantime, most cars can't even tell you how many gallons you have left with decent accuracy. Cars also greatly vary in miles/gallon rate due to changing driving conditions.

Comment: Re:Drama Online (Score 1) 212

by macpacheco (#49106539) Attached to: The Best, and Worst, Places To Drive Your Electric Car

No, its because he's a wimp that can't do math. In regular cars in most situations you have a gas station every 10 miles or so in the city at a gas station every 20 miles or so at a highway. So most owners aren't afraid to push it to 50 mile reserves when they know there are gas stations everywhere.
If you're lucky there's a supercharger every 100 miles along your route. Often a long trip needs planning, and some nerve for those that are usually lazy. Oh, and cold weather makes it worse.
For us engineers, physicists, IT guys, pilots, their predicament is stupid.
It's being fixed. It's called supercharger expansion and free HPWC equipment (Tesla medium power chargers) for businesses. Give it until end of 2016 and that argument will be squashed like a bug.
For some it will take a 100 kWh battery pack plus some other range improvements that are bound to happen given Tesla insane innovation pace to finally kill this argument. By 2020 a top end Tesla should manage 500 miles range @ 60 mph and no ac or heating. At that point those people will feel comfortable to drive an actual 300-350 miles on a charge.
PS: Nissan LEAF is a compliance car. Its a glorified golf cart. Until they get to at least 160 miles, they are a joke. When you have a 100 mile car in normal conditions, and add winter problems, the LEAF becomes next to useless in cold weather. And their real plans to upgrade the battery aren't spontaneous, they are driven by the Gen 3 Tesla and the Chevy Bolt. It's called compliance cars.

Comment: Re:heres another lie. (Score 1) 237

by macpacheco (#49106323) Attached to: Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Plan

Like carriers, phone makers are all evil. At least Android is less evil.
But in general phones today are optimized for usage in wifi. They are perfectly willing to gobble GBs of data very quickly, even for things you don't want to (specially when not home). Its the same thing with my chromebook. It auto downloads chrome os updates from the internet any time it finds them, even if I'm on a crappy GSM signal trying to get my e-mail in a hurry. And there's nowhere to block it easily.
All phones need to have an intermediate model between airplane mode and normal data mode. A slow data mode. Block everything that isn't essential.
But then we run into another fact, if we knew everything out phone os and phone apps do at all times, there would be LOTS of things we wouldn't want it to do EVER, but the phone marker and apps makers want it.
In that game, Android is far from perfect, but its wayy better than iPhone.

Comment: It's not a bubble, happens when fed funds=0% (Score 1) 252

by macpacheco (#49099111) Attached to: No Tech Bubble Here, Says CNN: "This Time It's Different."

When investors can't earn almost anything on fixed income, they pile on stocks.
In essence, if interest rates=2%, stocks=x, if interest rates=1%, stocks=2x (apreciate so they give back the same rate of return), but then there's the other way around, when interest rates starts to rise, the stock market could crash predicting the revaluing of assets.
The math isn't exactly 2%, x, 1%, 2x, there are other factors, but the basic idea is still true.
A bubble is what happened before 2008, the market was overvalued by a lot, even with fed funds @ 8%. Completely different situation.

Comment: Aliens evil enough to come attack us ... (Score 1) 576

... Will destroy themselves centuries before they can come and kill us.
Unless there is technology that we can only dream of today, like warp propulsion, our current physics can't provide us even with the means to power a warp drive.
Even with the most advanced conceivable nuclear ion propulsion, coming with anything over a few dozen tons from the closest solar system is essentially inconceivable.
If mankind decided to put together a large enough spaceship to send men to the nearest goldilock planet on another solar system would require all of earth to pool together massive resources, like decades worth of current space budget of all of earth's planets combined.
So while it highly likely there are many planets with intelligent life in the milky way, that civilization would first have to fully unite itself before they could dream about launching a spaceship able to just visit earth. In fact should their intents be military, its far more likely they would land on Mars, and use Martian resources to increase their popullation and manufacturing resources before trying to attack us.
Its all about understanding DeltaV, Specific Impulse and other utterly inconvenient scientific facts that make sending humans to other solar systems impossible today (hence the same challenges for the inverse trip). The rest is just Sci Fi.
Maybe the next Einstein will revolutionize Physics like the last one and unleash practical, compact, lightweight fusion to power and solve warp drive physics to use that power.
Take Ion thrusters. In order to be very efficient, it pushes individual little molecules at very high speeds, typically using electricity from solar panels.
Very high ISP, but tiny thrust. That good old solar energy problem, low energy density.
If we could increase ion thrust energy by a factor of a thousand, we would need monster energy sources to generate that kind of power, but if those are too heavy, the whole advantage of reducing the fuel used is wasted by the heavier energy source. So far there has been no viable electricity source that was light enough to replace solar cells to power an ion drive efficiently (for interplanetary level missions).
Plus the most efficient propellants are heavy noble gasses, like Xenon and Krypton, both very hard to come by (one predictable source for them would be nuclear reactors, but solid fuel reactors make harvesting those complicated, can't drain the gasses in realtime).
Some one will suggest plutonium 238 type nuclear thermal generators, but those only last one century, their power drops precipitously due to half life effect. It has to be a nuclear fusion / fission power source whose fuel can be stowed aboard and be good to use 10000 years later.
Oh, and the ship must be big enough we must send families that will live and die aboard the ship. Those landing on the other side will be dozens to hundreds of generations later.

Comment: Re:A precaution when done ahead of time. (Score 1) 311

by macpacheco (#49089401) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

The sole reason you can't remove fuel rods from a recently shutdown PWR/BWR is this:
    The reactor must be depressurized before fuel can be removed.
    But after the reactor is down to 0.1% power, it can be depressurized, even without emergency cooling. There's a big water tank above the reactor that can be used to provide enough cooling after depressurization to allow for removing the fuel rods.
    Handling fuel rods shutdown 4 weeks prior is normal operations. They will be radioactive, but within limits for removal from the reactor to the spent fuel pool. Perhaps you don't know about radiation suits, and special tools nuclear operators use to deal with spent fuel.
    A spent fuel pool is big. Big enough to handle a couple times the full fuel load of a reactor. As long as one fuel pool has only old spent fuel or no fuel, freshly removed fuel will not boil off the pool. The spent fuel pool is normally a closed environment using fans to circulate the air, but in emergencies doors can be open which provide natural air circulation. Those are not my conclusions. Those are US NRC detailed scenarios, which have been confirmed by multiple nuclear regulatory agencies.

Comment: Re:A precaution when done ahead of time. (Score 1) 311

by macpacheco (#49088891) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

That's what I expected from you. Just FUD. You aren't interested in facts. Anti nuclear types can't accept simple logical facts. If you were right and I was wrong, refuelling within a month just wouldn't be possible. But IT is. The over 400 reactors in the world (except those that have online refuelling) must stop every 18 months or so, for a month to refuel. The one month shutdown is exactly due to decay heat. But the shutdown itsn't 2 months. It's not even 6 weeks. It's just one month.
Of course if fuel must be handled by people, they use radiation suits, dosimeters, thick gloves. And long tools.
If you stop to analyze this logically, you will start finding many of the crazy lies the anti type nukes created around Fukushima, to predict end of the world scenarios. Same thing for TMI. Guess what, 99% of predictions didn't happen. And the bulk of the remaining ones will fall down with another 10 years or so. It's all based on not knowing enough nuclear engineering or perverting nuclear engineering facts.

Comment: Re:A precaution when done ahead of time. (Score 1) 311

by macpacheco (#49088819) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

If you remove a fuel rod one month after a shutdown, and leave it without water cooling, it will eventually melt. But I'm pretty sure it take in the order of a full day of more before it melts.

That's why there's this thing called a spent fuel pool. Water cools it. But that water needs NO forced circulation.

I don't know what kind of equipment is used to effect that in typical reactors. In a CANDU reactor (not a typical reactor), it's all robotics, as the process is done online, fuel rods are taken from the reactor even at full power. If decay heat was that critical that the rod would melt in minutes, this process wouldn't be possible.

I'm just explaining nuclear engineering facts that can't be questioned. If decay heat was anything like you try to pretend it is, those processes wouldn't be possible, yet they are done around the world many times per months.

Please go study nuclear facts. Nuclear engineering. Not anti nuclear propaganda you seems to like so much. bellona doesn't count. doesn't count. green peace doesn't count. Caldicott's blog doesn't count.

Comment: Re:A precaution when done ahead of time. (Score 1) 311

by macpacheco (#49084331) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

Got confirmation from a nuclear professional. A refueling shutdown is around 4 weeks anyways. So in the discussed scenario, as long as the reactor didn't meltdown, just move the fuel to the spent fuel pool. This suggests it could be done even 2 weeks after an emergency shutdown, as decay heat is 0.2% @ 1wk and 0.1% @4wks, so in 2 wks it's around 0.15%.
Remember this has been stated again and again, the first week is critical. I would add that the 2nd week is still a little delicate, but from the 3rd week on, the reactor is safe (even without emergency cooling).

Comment: Re:A precaution when done ahead of time. (Score 1) 311

by macpacheco (#49083749) Attached to: Nuclear Plant Taken Down In Anticipation of Snowstorm

If this were possible with 4 week shutdown, the overheating problem would be fully prevented. If its fresh fuel, or a rod that has been cooled for a long enough time, it would have essentially zero decay heat. We move the decay heat problem from inside the reactor (which is designed to minimize heat loss except to the primary heat exchanger), to the spent fuel pool, which is designed to maximize heat dissipation.
Besides, on a shutdown reactor, you don't even need to replace fuel rods, those could be left empty, just remove all rods into the spent fuel pool, and decay heat power = zero.

One person's error is another person's data.