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Comment: Re:And why not? (Score 1) 37

Safe until it kills millions when a plant blows up.

Unlike, say, coal, which kills millions under normal operations, right?

Or didn't you know that routine coal-mining fatalities are a couple of orders of magnitude more numerous than all fatalities associated with nuclear power? Hell, coal mining fatalities in the 20th century in the USA ALONE were comparable to the death-toll from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

And then there's the rest of the world's coal mining casualties, plus secondary effects from the pollution.

And never mind that nuclear plants don't "blow up". Unless you fill them up with TNT and set it off, of course.

Comment: Re:The Better, Longer Lasting, Cheaper Bulb (Score 1) 150

by ScentCone (#49367203) Attached to: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon
No. Pretending that market pressures don't drive companies updating their products and their pricing is ridiculous. You have to know that. So what are you trying say, by pretending that it's otherwise? My "argument" isn't wrong: companies continue to improve their products and adjust their pricing because markets require that. It's very reasonable to wonder about someone's experience and awareness of economics and business realities when they say otherwise.

Comment: Re:Tax (Score 1) 164

by CrimsonAvenger (#49366759) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Nuclear is dead, I can't be bothered to argue about it. Ten years from now renewable energy will be a fraction of the cost of nuclear and will be the cheapest form of energy worldwide without any need for subsidy. 10 years from now if you suggest we use more nuclear energy, anybody who knows anything will frown at you like you're mad.

It's funny, but I remember hearing the same sort of comment back in the '70s during the energy crisis.

Oddly enough, it didn't seem to have worked out that way.

Comment: Re:The Better, Longer Lasting, Cheaper Bulb (Score 1) 150

by ScentCone (#49366021) Attached to: Graphene Light Bulbs Coming To Stores Soon

That is not "market economics" but improvements in production ...

Why the hell do you think that people who make things bother to improve production? Because if they don't someone else will, and they'll lose their market. You really do lead a sheltered life, don't you. I can tell you've never actually made anything, or been tuned into the bottom line of any business entity that does. You should. You'd learn a lot.

Comment: Re:Oh goody (Score 2) 192

by CrimsonAvenger (#49365903) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

Wait until the SCOTUS tells states that immigration enforcement is a federal matter, and that states therefore cannot prevent illegal immigrants from voting or holding elected office.

While some elected office require citizenship, not all do, in case you are unaware.

However, voting requires citizenship at local, state, or federal level.

Which means that even if SCOTUS says that immigration enforcement is a Federal issue (it is, frankly), that won't result in any new voters until citizenship requirements are met. Though it might result in some new candidates for public office....

Comment: It's all about the physics stupid. (Score 1) 82

by DerekLyons (#49365843) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

So, when the Wright Brothers were building their plane you were standing their telling them it couldn't be done eh?

Nope. Unpowered flight already existed by the time the Wright brothers headed to Kitty Hawk, and powered flight was right on the edge of possibility. The drives you propose, aren't. The problem is, you don't grasp that fundamental difference and thus assume that people who aren't as egregiously ignorant as you are the ones in the wrong.
 

Just because there isn't off the shelf technology at the moment doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for longer term solutions to interplanetary travel.

True. But those solutions must fall within the bounds of physics and chemistry - and nuclear reactors and ion engines, for the reasons I outlined, don't. Absent new physics, they never will.
 

Regardless of the propulsion system, having electrical power, lots of it, is the difference between coasting from A to B in a tin can vs something that could actually be called a Ship.

Only to someone who doesn't grasp physics in general as well as the mathematics behind orbital mechanics. Absent new physics, all vehicles in space are going to spend far more time coasting than under power.

Comment: Re:Goddard and Von Braun (Score 1) 82

by CrimsonAvenger (#49365813) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

As far as we know, there may be no way to produce or find and mine hydrocarbons such as methane. Mars's atmosphere lacks significant hydrogen content. If there's subsurface minable water, that could solve the problem, but only if there's plenty of it.

Hmm, CH4...so methane is 1/4 H2 by mass, and 3/4 C...

Which means, absolute worst case, that we have to carry the H2 to Mars, thus giving us only a factor of four improvement over having to carry ALL the fuel to Mars.

If, as seems moderately probable, Mars has frozen water under its surface, you produce all the fuel there. Or, if our moon has H2O, as seems probable, then it's actually easier to ship fuel from Luna to Mars than to put the same fuel into Mars orbit FROM Mars.

Note that a mass-driver, a la "Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (which would also be workable on Mars, if you built one on steroids) would make the process even more efficient, in that all the H2O from Luna could be sent to Mars or LEO without having to burn any of it to get it off the moon.

Comment: Re:QuikClot and Celox (Score 1) 69

If this technology becomes common place, I expect those with crustacean allergies will be required to wear a red tag same as those with pencilin allergies.

It might even become practice to use it anyway and follow up with a treatment for the anaphylaxis, if the bleeding is severe enough. People can survive shellfish reactions with management - severe internal bleeding, not so much.

Comment: Re:The value of technology investment (Score 1) 82

by bill_mcgonigle (#49365579) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

This is the first article I've seen that explains well how GPUs can/are being used for practical applications along with what can be achieved and some of the issues.

GPU's have been used for all sorts of "practical" computations for half a decade now, but the really interesting part here is that CFD has been particularly GPU-resistant using existing algorithms. See the Xeon Phi processor, etc. for non-GPU approaches to throwing dedicated hardware at the problem. It's easy to underestimate the enormity of this quote, but "starting from scratch" when necessary is something SpaceX excels at:

I am grateful to SpaceX for allowing us to basically start from scratch on CFD and in many ways reinventing the wheel.

It's hard to gain sufficient insight from TFA but it sounds like this is as big as hidden-line-removal in computer graphics and that they've moved CFD to the boundary conditions and made that GPU-computable, which is like solving two or three orders of magnitude at once.

Comment: Re:Wrong Focus (Score 1) 82

by DerekLyons (#49365115) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

It's time to stop jetting around the solar system on chemical rockets. Designers and funding should be directed towards lofting and running multi-megawatt reactors. They would be used to power multiple ION engines

Yes... let's develop heavy power sources in order to power weak propulsion systems - what a great idea! Multiple ones aren't much better, you still need to power them, and you have to multiply a small number (thrust per engine) by dozens (or more) to get a usefully large number (thrust) for any significant spacecraft. (Which will still be far short, by orders of magnitude, for a useful size for a manned mission.)

Their extraordinary ISP is very attractive from an academic point of view and when considered in isolation... but real world vehicles aren't academic and the engines are but one part of the whole vehicle. When you start to design an actual vehicle and an actual mission, their extraordinarily low thrust-to-weight ratio precludes them from being useful except in a few very specific circumstances.

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 262

by ScentCone (#49364317) Attached to: Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad Thinks He Doesn't Use E-mail

They also said their records are poor in general. "We don't have a record of X" thus does NOT rule out X having existed in the past.

State Department IT staff are on the record having told her multiple times that her method of communicating was preventing them from archiving her official email as required. Are you saying that despite the steps she took to make sure that no mail sent to and from her counterparts all around the world, to and from other agencies and branches of government (including the White House) , and to and from the well known mile-long list of donors to her family enterprise and political operation, that somehow there was a magic link between her private server and some archiving mechanism at State? A link that you think might exist, but which SHE acknowledges did not exist, and which some how - despite no email address involving state.gov being used in such communication - magically somehow got archived at State, and not one single example of such can be found by multiple investigative teams? And why would they find it - preventing it from getting into that system is exactly why she built a path around it. State's archives have copious correspondence from hundreds and hundreds of their other officials, staff, contractors, previous cabinet appointees and related users - just not a single scrap from her? Of course they don't: she didn't use that system.

And SHE HERSELF says that she thinks having corresponded with staffers inside State was a good enough way to retain those messages. She hand-picked reporters and pre-approved questions in the only Q&A she's allowed on the subject, and so conveniently was able to avoid being asked how she thought that method would apply when corresponding with people like Blumenthal (who hasn't denied that the leaked emails were his, by the way). Which is why she's never had to address the fact she wasn't personally taking any steps to CC or otherwise mirror all of the mail sent to and from her private server, as required by law. She hasn't mentioned CCing her State.gov mailbox that because at her direction, State's IT never even established an email account for her to which she would mirror her mail.

When finally capitulating to demands that her public records actually be made available, she didn't print out 55,000 pages of them because of a failure by the staff and systems at State, she printed them out because that was the only way she was willing to make them available. She could have forwarded them electronically, in their entirety, as required (so that, as the law requires, a government archivist can evaluate the messages and cull the official from the private). But no - she and her lawyers opted for a method that would absolutely maximize the additional delays in allowing other people to look through the records, would remove helpful header information, and would add untold thousands of hours of taxpayer-funded work to turn the documents back into searchable form. That was a deliberate choice that added work on her part in order to make the process more difficult and slow for investigators and the press, who had been requesting the documents for years.

I can only find Republicans claiming that, not objective (non-political) examiners.

Do you consider the investigation run congress when it was controlled by HER own party (which established after spending millions of dollars looking into related things, that there were NO such records at State) to have also been polticized against her? Now - under pressure - she's dumped hardcopies of the records that actually did exist all along (well, just some of them), and investigators who - unlike the last ones - aren't in her pocket for political gain say that the records have large date gaps. Unlike HER, they are conducting activity that will be entirely in the public record. When the investigators looking into this say something, you and they know that they will be fact checked to death by her political operatives. Despite her deliberate attempts to hide her communications from standard public review, you are giving her the benefit of the doubt ... but when a long-time career prosecutor (with a sterling record) and now congressman who knows that everything he says will be subject to endless review tells you what's present (and absent) in what are now public records available soon for YOU to look at, too, you're assuming he's lying?

What's that have to do with points being discussed?

It goes to establishing her deliberate actions in this area. In cases of private communications being mixed in with official ones, government archivists are supposed to look at ALL records, separate the official from the private, and return the private records to the person who blended them together. She knew this, and took actions to deliberately prevent such review. And knowing that subpoenas were coming, destroyed all evidence of how such decisions were made.

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