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Comment: Re:So they've invented the plant? (Score 5, Interesting) 156

Not really. Plant metabolism is usually < 10% efficient at turning sunlight, CO2 and water into useful biomass. And the process for turning useful biomass into hydrocarbon fuels is < 100% efficient, so solar -> fuel is very low.

In their case, they're using intermittent power, from wind and solar, to do a modified Sabatier reaction and make methanol, which then goes into an integrated Fischer-Tropsch process to make longer-chain hydrocarbons.

The resulting solar -> fuel conversion efficiency is HIGHER than going through biomass production.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 137

if a disease can spread because it can find enough vectors since not enough vaccinate, you are also giving the disease time and space to tinker, and perhaps evolve a new strain that existing vaccines don't protect against

so: yup. but that's less superrich killing and more superstupid killing us

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 3, Interesting) 137

i always thought it would make a great conspiracy dystopian story where the superrich, with everything automated, don't need us anymore

so they simply kill us all off

the earth reduced to 700,000 souls from 7,000,000,000 in a matter of days (some sort of highly infectious agent?)

Comment: Re: Do not (Score 1) 122

by PopeRatzo (#49557337) Attached to: Liquid Mercury Found Under Mexican Pyramid

A bunch of workers hanging their body weight on the lever end would raise the stone a foot or two. You prop the stone with some timbers, shorten the lifting rope, and repeat. When the stone gets to the next level of the pyramid, you rotate the lever arm horizontally and pivot the stone to the next step.

Sounds plausible, except how does that lever get the stones to the top of a 455' structure? The widest "step" doesn't seem like it would allow room for enough guys to exert 800 lbs on a lever, much less for the lever itself. And we're talking a pretty long lever by the time you get halfway up. Then, you've got all the limestone sheathing to put up and you have to make sure the inside chambers are there, and accessible..

However they did it, it's pretty remarkable. I got to see it once up close and it's amazing.

Comment: Re:Damn... (Score 1) 418

by DaHat (#49556207) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

Christians ran the colonies from roughly the 1550s when the Spanish colonized Mexico and the Southwest to about 1785 on the East Coast when the Constitution, guaranteeing that the government could not endorse religion (e.g., "Congress shall make no law regarding an endorsement of religion") to bit less than a hundred years later when the Spanish/Russian governance of the west coast ended.

Partially true, the first amendment and it's prohibition at the time only applied to the federal government, state religions went on for a good bit longer, the last one ending in 1833 if I am not mistaken: https://digital.library.txstat...

Comment: Re:Damn... (Score 4, Interesting) 418

by DaHat (#49556189) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead

Really? So the mentality of the left and radical Islam is no different then as well I guess... as from the left I hear that Climate Change is true, unquestionable and those who disagree must be hounded out of public life or forced to comply with certain beliefs... and from the radical Muslims we hear that if you do not subscribe to their particular interpretation you should be stoned, beheaded or set fire to.

As you said "There is a difference in the end result, but the mindset is the same"

Comment: Re:Here's to hoping they don't find oil (Score 1) 152

by RockDoctor (#49556105) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

What is the solution,


As in "Oh, Yellowstone is erupting. I'll get some popcorn to watch until all the news broadcasters are dead. Then get on with my life."

A Yellowstone supervolcano would be devastating for the United States and most of Canada. At home, we might even get some ash fall (but we get that from Iceland already). Wouldn't be good for crops for the next couple of years, but we could probably use a 50% population drop. It'll be back in less than a century. Fuck up comms ofr a couple of years too, but the world will go on.

Comment: Did iTunes ever work on XP? (Score 1) 366

by RockDoctor (#49556021) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users
It destroyed my daughter's machine when I got her an iMP3 player one Xmas and she tried to install iTunes as instructed. Obviously she hadn't taken advice to back up her school work to the file server, so that was my weekend fucked.

Never considered an Apple product since, and only touched them on occasions (to move them out of the way).

Comment: Not likely (Score 0) 91

by PopeRatzo (#49555595) Attached to: Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body

Hell, I won't even use digital thermometers out of concern that they'll upload my body temperature to the internet. I'm not going to be uploading my vitals to some app developer in Mencino.

Honestly, I think we're seeing late-stage Apple at this point. Each new product announcement makes a smaller and smaller blip on the radar, and Apple is entirely a company whose fortunes are tied to the faddish vitality of a brand name. Every year Apple does less and less to differentiate itself, and their older products are starting to whither a bit. The people who were excited about OSX 16 years ago have less and less to be excited about with each passing year and those aren't the same people who are going to get excited over a watch or something that will tell them they need to exercise more.

I'm not saying Apple is going to crash and burn or disappear, but when a company's capitalization is their biggest news don't make the mistake of thinking the future is a foregone conclusion. (see: IBM).

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.