Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Nuclear reactor cores (Score 1) 92 92

Ah, a rather different sort of core. For catching yours, you'll probably need a bit more than breathing apparatus.

But hang on a few seconds - your cores are already a happening event, so what have you got to achieve? Stop it going anywhere ; stop any nuclear reactions ; minimise venting of volatiles ; cool it down. For stopping the nuclear reactions, you need either boron by the tonne or cadmium (and of the two, cadmium is a poisonous heavy metal and boron a bio-not-particularly-nasty ; easy choice) ; IIRC. For cooling it down and stopping it going anywhere, you really need thermal inertia ; dumping heat you can do by running it into a bed of sand or anything with a high thermal mass, as long as it contains enough (dispersed) boron to kill the reaction. Arranging your flow paths so the the core separates into multiple smaller, isolated units to increase the cooling surface - would that make clean up harder or easier. Reducing volatiles - I guess you need to choose your mineralogy.

Can you make cement with 30% by weight boron? Or cement with an aggregate of a high-melting boron mineral?

I'm sure this has been well discussed before, but I don't know the state of the art, and after an 8 hour meeting today, I'm going to the bar!

Comment Insurance is not like music (Score 1) 231 231

Music by specific artists is a unique product -- another artist generally can't reproduce the same music in exactly the same way.

Insurance is the opposite. All auto insurance is essentially the same -- the differences have very little value. If one insurance company fails to update it's business model, 5 more insurance companies will swoop in and take the business.

Comment Does not follow (Score 1) 231 231

Premiums will necessarily drop? What planet do you live on where prices go DOWN? With the great exception of the computer industry, prices are almost always sticky to the upside. Seriously insurance companies would not be so foolish as to price themselves out of the market.

Comment Re:Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 1) 687 687

and the keyboard default layout will never change because at this stage almost everyone in the (developed, at least) world uses a keyboard in that layout.

Dream on, Sunshine.

You describe your frustrations with switching between US and UK layouts. Well, I have that fun, because I'm a Brit and the client's laptop includes software (which I don't use, but "meh") which requires a US-ian layout. But, of course, the physical key caps are laid out in the Dutch pattern (about as different from UK and US as they are from each other. But I've got a Russian keyboard layout installed, for when I'm chatting to the wife from the other side of the world. Three month's ago the trainee (uses the machine on night shift) had German installed because she's German. The partner representatives - who also use the machine - had added Arabic and Turkish layouts. And the next job, we'll have Francophones along, so they'll probably go AZERTY too.

I doubt that a USian or British QWERTY layout is even a majority, worldwide.

Comment Re:Perhaps this can get us further down? (Score 1) 92 92

Do you think that is what stops us from drilling deeper? I always thought that the biggest problem was the drill strings. After all, a working bit only gets above 150 degrees (Centigrade, of course) if you've fucked your pumps and have a crack head on the brake.

Comment Re:Core catcher (Score 1) 92 92

Core catchers? As in the jamming sleeve that stops your core from sliding out of the bottom of the core barrel, after you've cut it?

I've seen dozens of them when I've been catching core (and I just had the lovely news that I'll probably be catching my next series of cores in breathing apparatus. Oh joy!), but I've never seen one that had significant signs of heat damage.

What sort of coring do you do that burns out catchers?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)