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Comment: Re: But is it reaslistic? (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#47799815) Attached to: Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

Consider how many generations are exposed to these treatments in the real world. Yet we don't see new "bioweapon" strains popping up all the time.

Actually, we do see dangerous drug resistant strains coming up all the time. And why should those environments be even remotely as effective at creating a bioweapon as deliberating creating an environment where the dominant selection processes are for bioweapon potential?

Comment: Re:Competition is good. (Score 1) 187

by khallow (#47799777) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

Look -- I'm as impressed by what SpaceX has achieved as the next guy: basically, I'd describe the pattern as "taking as much unneeded complexity out of the process". But SpaceX couldn't thrive in an environment in which NASA and the government's space program didn't exist. It's a symbiosis (and Elon Musk is clear enough in acknowledging that; actually this clarity is one of his main strengths)

So what do you think NASA does (well supposed to do, I guess, ignoring its role as yet another distribution system for doling out Other Peoples' Money)? And how does developing its own launch vehicle at somewhere around a factor of ten more than SpaceX can help NASA do that?

Comment: Re:Competition is good. (Score 1) 187

by khallow (#47799737) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

Fast forward to 21st century and progress made by SpaceX and others is result of wealth inequality. Few billionaires have some billions they can put into to what they want rather than meeting political objectives (war, votes, whatever).

Ok, so what? In other contexts, that's an interesting observation, say as an argument for wealth inequality. But I don't see it as having any relevance to the current discussion. NASA has a history of occasional interference with private enterprise particularly when NASA projects are threatened or embarrassed. And it remains that SpaceX in particular has demonstrated a much superior ability to design rockets and similar things than NASA does.

Argue all you want, you still have to deal with the tyranny of the Rocket Equation.

I remain puzzled by the point of your post. This so-called "tyranny" permits quite a bit. For example, it doesn't prohibit NASA from consolidating its operations and upping its space game - without even getting another cent in extra funding from Congress. The politics not the physics of the US space program more or less preclude that.

Comment: Re:No miracles (Score 1) 187

by khallow (#47799671) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets
I have to agree with the other replier. Blaming the public's need for accountability for the risk adverse nature of government is silly. It would be far worse without that accountability. Probably not Holodomor level malfeasance, but you certainly aren't considering the negative consequences of removing accountability from the decision-making process for a government entity.

Another thing to remember here is that risk taking isn't automatically a good thing. As the grand parent noted, because government doesn't care about the outcome, they can obsess over things like engine efficiency at any cost rather than building a viable and economical engine. That sort of fatally flawed decision making process isn't going to get any better just because you choose not to look at it or criticize it.

Comment: Re:*drool* (Score 1) 171

by Jane Q. Public (#47798097) Attached to: Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory
Sure, but as I say, I don't work in an office and there aren't lots of people using my network. Only one or two. So a 4-core machine is usually fine, but faster is still better. It would be great to have $2000-$3000 for an 8-core Haswell-E with motherboard and all the associated components, but it's not in the budget right now. Maybe next year. Besides, clock speed should be up again by then.

Comment: Re:Jane/Lonny Eachus goes Sky Dragon Slayer (Score 1) 520

by Jane Q. Public (#47798049) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Superconductors are distinguished from aluminum by internal properties, not radiative surface properties. That's because conduction happens inside materials, whereas radiation is emitted and absorbed on surfaces.

You're not thinking.

We're talking about the context of SPENCER'S experiment. The only heat transfer in or out is radiation. It order for it to actually superconduct all the heat absorbed, it has to dispose of that heat somehow. The only way it has to do that is to super-radiate as well (emissivity very close to 1). This is the only logical conclusion. Otherwise it could not be a thermal superconductor; it would build up heat and HAVE TO conduct it away more slowly, like any other material. And there is a similar argument for absorptivity.

You keep wanting to have things both ways but that isn't going to work.

I am aware that the only thing that has an emissivity and absorptivity of 1 is a black body. I'm not stupid. But your hypothetical thermal superconductor could not store heat like a black body and remain a superconductor. That's a contradiction. So it's a different creature, from your imagination. This is why I say: leave it out. There is no way you can try to demonstrate anything else with it, either, without leading to a contradiction. And it's not part of the original experiment anyway; it's nothing but misdirection.

Comment: Re:Jane/Lonny Eachus goes Sky Dragon Slayer (Score 1) 520

by Jane Q. Public (#47797987) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Remember that the inner surface of the enclosing shell is different than the surface of the heated plate. The inner and outer surfaces of the enclosing shell are at exactly the same temperature because it's a thermal superconductor. That's what I've always been saying, despite your attempts to pretend otherwise.

I quoted your words above.

At equilibrium, the enclosing shell radiates the same power out as the heated plate did before it was enclosed. But its area is 1.0025 times larger, so its outer temperature is 149.6F (338.5K) instead of 150.0F (338.7K).

In order for what you say to be correct, then the "enclosing shell" you refer to is not the heated plate enclosing the source. Which would mean you were talking about a completely different experiment, not even the one Spencer mentioned with the heated plate enclosing the source.

I'm not interested. Original experiment. Latour's treatment of it. Show where he was wrong. Period. Stop prevaricating.

Comment: Re:Rules of war (Score 4, Interesting) 171

by phantomfive (#47797543) Attached to: Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

(heaven forbid they try, there are NATO air resources all around the place and those might get involved, resulting in a far larger-scale war).

NATO will not go to war with Russia over Ukraine. None of the members of NATO have that obligation since Ukraine is not a member, and moreover, none of them want to risk lives to defend Ukraine. It's a similar situation to Hungary in the 50s......did anyone help them? Of that situation, Krushkev said:

"In a newspaper interview in 1957, Khrushchev commented "support by United States ... is rather in the nature of the support that the rope gives to a hanged man."

Comment: Re:Competition is good. (Score 3, Insightful) 187

by Rockoon (#47796781) Attached to: Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

It took two world wars and one cold war to get us to where we are today.

Let me translate this for everyone:

"Yes, the government really did outlaw private space flight, and when the ban was lifted it still used its influence in order to raise barriers to entry to prevent competition with the oligarchy, but I think that it had a good reason to."

..and this true statement without the fucking spin is a far cry from negating any argument about how government held us all back yet again. The government did in fact hold us back.

The facts are that a private company can come along and get things done better and cheaper. If we were to believe the argument that the government does it better, then the government would have already done what SpaceX is doing. It didn't, therefore the government did not do it better. It had MANY decades to do so. Instead it prevented better from happening.

Comment: Re:And if they hade a place to store the waste. (Score 2) 183

by DarkOx (#47796441) Attached to: Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go

You are probably right but there are some things to consider here.

1) Transporting nuclear waste by rail is not exactly blue sky research. I don't think anyone seriously doubts we can find a way to get that done. Which is not say it will not take a great deal of thinking, research, testing, around the safety engineering of it or that it would be expensive to do.

2) It may prove politically impossible to ever transport these materials on a large scale. After the recent accidents with oil on rail, have the public pretty squeamish, about hazardous materials moving thru their back yards. Decades of propaganda have lots of people afraid and opposed to atomic* or nuclear* in general. In the wake of Fukushima we have already seen major western nations shutter their nuclear generating. If these trains were ready to roll today and there was a disposal site, politics would never let it happen. So there may be no need to undertake 1.

3) For practical reasons there may never be any disposal site. First for technical reasons breaders probably still make more sense, and solve the spent fuel problem. If we move in that direction most of the spent fuel isn't spent at all and it may be better to keep where it is now so its accessible. Reduces the need for 1, although only partially we still might need to move the stuff between sites.

4) Politically there may never be a disposal site. Reid has basically killed Yucca. If we can't muster the political will to put a storage facility in sparsely populated low economic value desert I don't know how we'd ever get it done anywhere else.

5) Environmentally it has been determined that even Yucca, most promising spot identified today is really not as ideal as we once thought. There may not be anyplace that is really 'good' to use as a radio active waste dump. Again killing the need for 1.

So in light of the fact that 1 is a known obstacle which we are confident is solvable, while the fundamental issues are more open questions it probably does make more sense to try and resolve the other issues first.

We can predict everything, except the future.