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Comment Re:How is it that anyone supports this? (Score 1) 127

The whole water vapor thing has the nice effect that it should be reasonably reversable, and if it works might buy us a little time.

Time to do what? That seems to be reasonably straight forward at this point, the problem is the political will and the costs involved.

  • Step 1. Build Gen 3+ PWR Reactors to replace all coal power stations currently in service. These are commercial designs that can be built today on a technology that we have 50+ years experience with in a commercial capacity, not some pie-in-the-sky Gen 4 tech that hasn't really succeeded past the research reactor phase
  • Step 2. Build devices to concentrate and remove CO2 from seawater. We have already built research devices that can do this using a series of membranes to concentrate the dissolved CO2 and then using available industrial filters to remove the CO2 from the water. Can this be done on a large enough scale? that is a current research topic, but worth pursuing as the seas are already doing a fine job of removing the CO2 from the atmosphere where the warming effect is, rather than fixing the atmosphere and releasing all the stored CO2 in the ocean again.
  • Step 3. Encourage cattle farmers to change their habits to increase grass growth. There's plenty of available desert in Australia, and no shortage of livestock there either, no doubt there are other suitable continents as well.
  • Step 4. Subsidise electric cars and do a cash-for-guzzlers scheme to reduce inefficient cars on our roads

There are likely other little things we can do that will all add up, but that would make a fairly big dent right there.

Comment Re:all voting should be paper and pencil (Score 1) 393

The reason for not giving a receipt is that in that case, people can demand you to show your receipt to check if you voted for the right candidate.

In a country of 300 million, do you think this is an effective method of rigging an election?

Personally i'm all for a blockchain style public ledger of pseudonymous votes, with each voter being given a receipt of their choices and their blockchain id for independent verification of the electronic result. The election result can be cryptographically verified by anyone, public or private for signs of tampering, and having voters able to check their vote as recorded in the electronic system helps breed trust.

Sure, if someone can match your blockchain id back to you they would know how you voted, but unless there was voter coercion on a mass scale the outcome of the election is likely to be unchanged

Comment Re:Why does anyone care? (Score 1) 117

I think that should be "a very short pulse" -- but pulses used for ignition are much higher energy -- from 70kJ to 2MJ, according to your link.

The HiPER is a proposed project to experiment with this type of fusion, requiring the use of Petawatt scale lasers

A 2 Petawatt pulse over 1 Picosecond isn't quite a 4 Petawatt pulse over 10 Picoseconds, but its on its way. Considering the organisation in TFA are now planning on scaling to produce 10 Petawatt pulse, maybe the timescale can be reduced for Ignition.

Comment Re:Investigating if laws were broken (Score 1) 312

That holds true for most people, but sometimes you are dragged into something you don't want to. For example, if you are minding your own business running a convenience store and some guys come in with guns demanding money, and out of fear for your life, you shoot first and kill one of them. Now you have to spend the rest of your life in jail for something that you never premeditated or wanted to have happen.

Interesting how you define premeditation, is it only premeditated if the whole scenario was planned? One could argue, that by purchasing and carrying a firearm you had already decided, ie. premeditated, that in certain circumstances you would use it to shoot someone.

Whether or not shooting someone for self defense is reasonable or not is up for debate, but why would you carry a gun if you had no intent to use it, under any circumstances?

Comment Re: Screws with users (Score 1) 319

The original poster was discussing the fact that you can hop in any modern car and know with certainty how to actuate the left or right hand turn indicators.

Except you cant. Japanese/Korean cars use the Right Hand Side stalk for turn indicators, and European cars use the Left Hand Side. In a market with equal amounts of both like Australia, either you know your cars well and can guess accurately, or its basically 50/50.

Comment Re:issues with liberals and scientists as well (Score 1) 278

Gen IV reactors are still at the prototype/design phase, and as such you cant really just build one and expect it to compete with proven commercial designs.

China is however building out Gen III/+ reactors like no tomorrow. which are the current state-of-the-art production grade reactor designs. Personally I don't see why the rest of the developed world can't follow suit, replacing the aging plants with outdated designs in the process.

Comment Ponzi Scheme (Score 1, Insightful) 359

Bitcoin works by convincing others to buy into the game for the promise of returns, thus pushing up the price. So take any 'expert' who claims the value of bitcoin is going to boom, or "can only go up" with a bag of salt as its more likely that they are following their own interests and not yours.

Comment Re:Scale (Score 1) 62

To help understand the scale, the cable length is approximately the diameter of the earth (12742 km).

Spanning the diameter is cool and all but perhaps not the most useful comparison until we start laying cables through the core of the planet.

Perhaps a more useful comparison is to the circumference (40,075 km), so slightly over a quarter of the way around the planets surface.

Comment Re:Terrible Analysis (Score 1) 250

Seems to be a case of Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

They are using the percentage of job postings as their main example of this decline, without stating whether the total number of jobs has increased/decreased/remained static. The actual number of C# jobs could be increasing if the entire field is also increasing, so the only conclusion they can come to is that the C# is losing market share.

Comment Re:Yep. I'd pay money. (Score 1) 236

The main issue with a Cashbook type concept is how do you get people to pay for a social network with no users?

Maybe a Whatsapp style "free for a year" to get people hooked, but even then Google Plus couldn't break Facebooks critical mass whilst also being free. Is the additional 'Privacy' enough of a carrot to get people to change?

Comment Re:Online voting is easy (Score 1) 258

We are really really good at handling online transactions of various kinds. Voting is easy. You just have to give up the secret ballot...

Anonymous secure verifiable voting is a bad joke.

Agreed. The bitcoin blockchain is a perfect technology to use for electronic voting, however then the whole election would be a matter of public record, even if that record doesn't have names attached. I don't see this as a deal breaker, how else are you going to get people to trust the system if they cannot verify their vote later? A public blockchain means people can verify their vote hasn't been altered, and with enough independent verification the result of the election can also be verified.

Technically online voting isn't all that far removed from postal voting as far as being sure someone isn't being coerced into voting a particular way. Although something must be said about the efficacy of this method of rigging elections.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"