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Comment What about France? (Score 1) 645

The French do not subsidize their nuclear, which has been 75% of their electrical production for decades. Their accident and death rates are microscopic compared to any other form of generation. There is pretty much no anti-nuclear movement there, it has no constituency - and the French are hardly shy about demonstrating when they're unhappy about policy.

So if France of the 60's, just 20 years after a devastating war, with 1st-generation nuclear tech and resources, could go mostly-nuclear in a few decades - why is it just inherently impossible for a richer, higher-tech world now to do the same?

Comment Re:Another NPR snowjob (Score 1) 413

Why would they start now? They haven't asked for proof from anybody recently. Make a claim that Iraq has yellowcake, that Ebola is highly contagious, that vaccines cause autism, they'll just print it.
Then they go to somebody else entirely for the counter story.
If they demanded proof, it would keep people from making inflammatory claims. But their new business model is inflammatory statements, preferably on both sides. A maximum of conflict is to be generated. Far more clicks that just correct information in the first place.

Comment Re:corrosion, welding and dings (Score 1) 236

I believe the point is that every member would be thinner. It might have a faster or same or even slower corrosion rate, but still have a shorter lifespan.

Ductile iron water pipes appear to corrode about 30% slower in mils/yr than the earlier cast iron; but the cast iron pipes, less strong, were twice as thick, so they're still in service as ductile iron pipes 20 years younger are failing. You can cathodically protect the earlier metals too...and all other things (like that) being equal, the thicker piece of metal is around longer.

Since your loss of value is many years away in most environments, it may be economically minor in cars, which are expected to depreciate to zero in under 20 years anyway.

Comment Back to the question... (Score 1) 388

...about soundproofing, not poisoning dogs, I believe it was.

Nobody's mentioned that soundproofing and heatproofing are largely the same thing. If your walls are well-insulated, your primary entrance for sound is through the windows. The questioner didn't mention his climate, but if he doesn't have double-pane glass, that's your major problem there. And you're probably cheaper to go to triple-pane or just two sets of double-pane before you start coating all the rest of the walls with another layer of acoustic panels or some such.
Then there's doors. Make sure you have heavy doors, well-insulated.

Comment Re:Because It's the Only Thing That Actually Works (Score 1) 290

Or as Dr. Gwynne Dyer put it over 40 years ago, "The next war is a come-as-you-are war". It isn't just that nobody would be able to invent a new type of weapon during the course of it; they couldn't manufacture a single copy of any weapon. In WW2, it was a battle of factories: could we build tanks and planes faster than they could? Faster than they could shoot ours down?
Dr. Dyer pointed out that the next war is very unlikely to exceed 30 days duration, much less the 30 months needed to put out a single tank or plane these days.

Comment Re: Because It's the Only Thing That Actually Work (Score 1) 290

"Ya gotta" ABSOLUTELY HATE ANY AIRCRAFT "whose sole mission is ground support " if you are an Air Marshal who has no job unless they're doing strategic bombing. Fixed that for you.

  Close-air support hands over an AF asset to some Army(!!) lieutenant to boss around with a walkie-talkie. That's why the AF has been trying to kill it for decades.

Comment In a biz that says "Viral" and "Exponential" a lot (Score 1) 1

...5% growth over 5 years is barely detectable. Ditto 5% shrinkage. I'm not saying it isn't statistically relevant, just that it implies PHP would still be a solid career choice for a programmer in their mid-20s, at that rate...by the time the market has shrunk 25% and jobs were getting tight, you'd be the guy with 20 years experience.

Comment Re:150 years ago... (Score 2) 378

The technologies of the 20th century, much less the 21st (we're already 1/7th of the way through that century), are enough to settle Antarctica. And there are some seriously, seriously overpopulated places on Earth now, and the land values in Manhattan and London are preposterous.
But nobody is even talking about colonizing Antarctica for lebensraum. Not even doing that some decade in the future, ever. Nobody in India is saying "man, when India hits 1.4 billion, we'll just have to move some folks to Antarctica".

Or the Gobi Desert. Or the central plains of the whole of Russia, where some millions of square miles are barely used for anything, not being quite productive enough for grain growing. Only a *little* technology, compared to Mars, would be needed to colonize land areas the size of all of Mars...and are right here at the bottom of a gravity well, with free air(!!).

As Charles Stross says, call me about space colonies when Antarctica is full.

The professor's point is not that humans lack adventurousness or industry; but they don't go doing much more than the one trip and plant-the-flag unless there's profit in it. There's no profit in Antarctica, the Gobi, or the Russian Steppes...and way, way less in Mars, still less beyond it.

It's not even about transportation costs; you could lower those until you could get a tonne to Mars as cheaply as to Antarctica and there would STILL be no space colony unless Mars had something to offer than the Gobi did not.

Comment New features every few months (Score 5, Informative) 83

Just a few months back, lwn.net had a longish story on PostgreSQL. They were scoring a victory with the "UPSERT" command addition in 9.5, which with speed updates old records, OR inserts a new one, if none. A big feature on your commercial databases. Apparently, PostgreSQL's biggest worry lately is that it has so many developers adding cool new features that there's some resource lacks maintaining and cleaning the base code. (Possibly unfair oversimplification of lwn.net story.)

I discovered PostgreSQL to get a free geodatabase for mapping, with the PostGIS plug-in...the open plug-in architecture being one of the greatest things about a FLOSS database. After nearly 25 years with Oracle and thinking everything else was a toy by comparison, PG blew me away. Amazing features, high performance, reliable. It's an amazing project, and this news is both impressive and unsurprising.

Comment Why did they buy based on "cores"? (Score 4, Insightful) 311

I was shopping for VCRs about 20 years back and asked the Future Shop guy how much better it was for having (quoting from the card beside the VCR) a "19 micron tape head". Turns out they ALL had 19 micron tape-heads (whatever the hell that *meant*) as it was the spec for a VCR tape head, at the time, at least. It was just another bit of science-y sounding technobabble to put on the card.
Buying based on core count is like buying for the 19-micron thing; it's either a fast machine for your purposes or not. Absolutely the only way to tell that for sure is a test. The only thing that was ever useful with, say, "megahertz" was that it had for a decade or so there a correlation with the performance you'd get in real use. I've never found "cores" to have anything of the sort.

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