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Comment: Re:Niche energy (Score 1) 87

by RockDoctor (#48476351) Attached to: WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

In most parts of the UK, shoreline erosion is a serious problem.

[SIGH] [Pulls on hard hat with "Rig geologist" written on the front.]

There are some fairly small areas where shoreline erosion is a problem. Most of them are on the East coast, south of approximately Humberside. A few problematic spots along the south coast. Or, if you want to look at it another way, in the relatively sheltered parts of the innermost English Channel and Southern North Sea, where the coasts of Holland and France are just a few tens of miles away, greatly reducing wave fetch.

Of course, due to the location of the capital, people who live in the area around the capital think that that quarter of the country is the only area that matters. Those of us who don't live in that capital, or even in that country of the UK, know differently.

More generally, managing coastal erosion is a very dodgy subject. Reducing the impact of wave energy on one section of the coast can increase, decrease, or leave little changed the rate of local erosion, as well as having the same range of effects up- and down- coast from the site of the intervention. The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. You have to examine every case on it's own details, and still expect considerable uncertainty of outcome.

Comment: Re:Economic system (Score 1) 628

by Kohath (#48466955) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

I would think saving the planet would be motivation enough.

That only works on the truest of true believers.

But if nothing else, I think the US government should fund and subsidize the shift to a new energy infrastructure, through research grants, tax incentives, etc.

Using money to motivate people. That works.

In a larger scope, it is interesting to me that profit is the only way we can think of to motivate people. It's as if we weren't creative beings at heart. Absent the profit motive, I think people would create and build things out of necessity, creativity, or a desire to make life better for oneself and others. Profit is actually a poor motivator because a well-done job or quality product is only a by product of a desire for profit. If a profit can be made with shoddy work or an inferior product, that's just as well; because the motivation is profit, not doing a good job.

You don't need to motivate people to do what they already want to do. But they're probably already doing that, so how will you get anyone to change?

The US government has shown that it will come up with large amounts of money when properly motivated. We need a Manhattan Project ...

In WW2, the US was attacked. This is an obvious motivating factor. Climate change is something with ambiguous consequences in the distant future. "Something bad might happen someday" isn't really similar to "we're under attack".

If you give up on using money, you can only motivate change by telling a convincing story or threatening people. That's why people focus on money.

Comment: Re:Next step - Semiconductors (Score 1) 69

by Dunbal (#48465929) Attached to: ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

I think you don't know what welfare is. The space program(s) are government money being spent on engineers and experts in all sorts of fields who work hard and come up with creative solutions to unusual problems. This gets them experience. It also benefits humanity as a whole because those engineers then go on to use their experience in other things they do in life.

Welfare is paying lazy people to sit around and continue being lazy.

Comment: Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 628

by turbidostato (#48465009) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

"Honestly, expecting 20% solar and 20% wind is...well...crazy."

Countries like Spain or Portugal, with higher population density rates (so less free land) manages to be about that 20% on wind (but roughly 3% on solar), so why exactly do you think it's crazy?

Technology is definitly there and USA have the wind too.

Comment: Re:Well of course (Score 1) 323

by turbidostato (#48464929) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

"Nobody has ever pointed out that it was actually a free trade agreement instead of a peace treaty"

You talked about that "unfair Versailles treaty". How, exactly do you think Germans found it to be unfair? "You should not engage in war against France" "Mein Gott! That's absolutly unfair!" Is that what you think?

"You might search for the (long) texts of the documents of the Versailles treaty and prove your hilarious statement."

I might...

Peace Treaty of Versailles

Articles 321-386
Ports, Waterways and Railways

Germany particularly undertakes not to establish against the ports and vessels of any of the Allied and Associated Powers any surtax or any direct or indirect bounty for export, or import by German ports or vessels, or by those of another Power, for example by means of combined tariffs. She further undertakes that persons or goods passing through a port or using a vessel of any of the Allied and Associated Powers shall not be subjected to any formality or delay whatever to which such persons or goods would not be subjected if they passed through a German port or a port of any other Power, or used a German vessel or a vessel of any other Power.


Import duties may be levied on goods leaving the free zone for consumption in the country on the territory of which the port is situated. Conversely, export duties may be levied on goods coming from such country and brought into the free zone. These import and export duties shall be levied on the same basis and at the same rates as similar duties levied at the other Customs frontiers of the country concerned. On the other hand, Germany shall not levy, under any denomination, any import, export or transit duty on goods carried by land or water across her territory to or from the free zone from or to any other State.


Goods coming from the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers, and going to Germany, or in transit through Germany from or to the territories of the Allied and Associated Powers, shall enjoy on the German railways as regards charges to be collected (rebates and drawbacks being taken into account), facilities, and all other matters, the most favourable treatment applied to goods of the same kind carried on any German lines, either in internal traffic, or for export, import or in transit, under similar conditions of transport, for example as regards length of route. The same rule shall be applied, on the request of one or more of the Allied and Associated Powers, to goods specially designated by such Power or Powers coming from Germany and going to their territories.

International tariffs established in accordance with the rates referred to in the preceding paragraph and involving through waybills shall be established when one of the Allied and Associated Powers shall require it from Germany.


et caetera.

Comment: Re:Nuclear doesn't work either (Score 1) 628

by Kohath (#48463943) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

But they don't say anything like this:

The problem isn't cheap energy but man made global warming and climate change; the CO2 levels are now so massive that inventing a zero emission ultra cheap energy source, that globally replaced all other polluting energy sources in an instant, no longer is enough stop the global warming process going on for hundreds of years.

They didn't address the "what if everything changed in an instant" case in their article.

Comment: Re:See what you did Slashdot? (Score 1) 323

by RockDoctor (#48463431) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

the visa numbers wil probably go down, hurting US business.

And the problem is?

In my experience (as a dev team lead and interviewer) foreign workers are generally more educated, more productive and more willing to got the extra mile than the local self-entitled bunch

Sounds like you've got the skill set to be a significant player in, say, the Indian IT business. So, move there where your skills are desired, and your pay check will probably go considerably further.

OK, you'd have to learn several more languages, but that's not exactly a problem. The reduced taxes from getting out of the clutches of the US tax people may be welcome too.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]