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Submission + - Probe into Fukushima No.2 reactor hits snag

AmiMoJo writes: Sources familiar with the decommissioning process at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant say efforts to determine the state of molten fuel in the reactors have hit another snag. Two new devices developed at a cost of more than 4 million dollars to take X-ray-like photos inside the No.2 reactor are too big to install. TEPCO devised the machines so that they use elementary particles called muons to see through hard surfaces and map the spread of fuel inside, but found the 8-by-8-meter devices will not fit the No.2 reactor building site unless they remove and decontaminate other equipment first. They believe that would hinder the decommissioning process and cost twice as much money as they spent creating the devices.

Comment What goes around, comes around (Score 4, Interesting) 90

I remember back in the 80s that light meters in cameras used to use Silicon (SPD - Silicon Photo Diode), but then they all started using Gallium Arsenide (GASP - Gallium Arsenide Photo Diode), as it reacted faster (presumably because of the lower resistance).

There was even talk back then about making Gallium based semi-conductors, for the same reason.

Good to see it coming to fruition

Comment Re:Delicate electronics (Score 2) 840

The problem isn't around knowledge, but that it requires equipment not expected to be in a normal home. A house can have tools available to fix large mechanical objects, but not extremely delicate electronics that require an electron scanning microscope to properly fix.

Best thread summary of the year (OK, so the year is still young...)

Seriously though, most houses will have a toolbox with sufficient "stuff" to at least make a stab at fixing mechanical parts (Hammer, screwdriver, awl, pliers). For electrical items, a bit more "stuff" is needed (soldering iron, multimeter), but still there are enough people interested that it can in the house.

Electronics, now is basically "when it breaks, it's trash" (although there are groups of people who are dedicated to restoring 1990s vintage computers - probably the last generation where a steady hand with a soldering iron could still work, and the motherboards weren't multi-layer)

Comment Re:But is it false? (Score 1) 268

I know that defamation suits can be filed (and sometimes even won) even if the information being published is true... but it's my understanding that in the case where the published information is true, the onus is on the person who is suing to show that the *intent* of the publishers was to actually defame them... which of course is quite difficult to do in court. They would have to, using factual evidence, show how it was somehow considerably more probable that there was actually any malicious intent on the publisher's part than any claim the publisher the might make to contrary being true.

Or, in short, to prove defamation, [citation needed]

Comment Re:Spreadsheets - best and worst thing there is (Score 1) 422

Yup, naming ranges has dug me out of a (self-inflicted) debugging hole on more than one occasion.

I find that another good rule of thumb is "do stuff (functions, documentation, formulae) so you can understand it in 6 months' time"

It's when someone asks me "can you just add a few bits on to this one you created?" for something I did literally years ago. That's when a good structured basis saves so much time.

Of course, sometimes I wonder "What was I thinking, when I did that?"...

Comment Spreadsheets - best and worst thing there is (Score 3, Funny) 422

Spreadsheets are like a blank piece of paper with grid squares. Which means you can put anything down, tied together with some formulae, and it's brilliant.

Which is also why it's complete pants - the "anything goes" really does mean that.

(That, and it will tend to break when you most rely on it)

Comment Re:That's totally how it works (Score 2) 343

"I wonder how many CEOs actually believe in this drivel..."

Too many, because they themselves run on high-octane fuel all day

Except, of course, that they don't run high-octane, as they have delegated everything down to the workforce.

The best bosses are the ones who know that they have delegated stuff, and (even better) avoid the "presenteesim" culture by deliberately knocking off work at sensible times (meaning the workforce can do likewise).

The worst are the ones who really think that they doing all the work (like it was back when they were in charge of a tiny operation), rather than realising that they are now part of a large organisation and have grown the company in order to delegate the workload.

Comment Re:can only speak for myself, but.. (Score 4, Interesting) 343

"off task probably half the day"
Which means that you are "on task" around half the day.

Wow! You rock!

Seriously, on a project management course some years ago, it was pointed out that the best individuals within an organisation can devote about 50% of their time to a task. The rest is taken up with (non-task) phone calls, meetings with others, summaries to your boss, and "personal needs breaks" (and lunch!), and so forth.

The "average" worker can be expected to devote 33% of their time to the task, as they also have to contend with IT issues, "other worker" issues and sheer "I need some downtime" type stuff.

So, if the article suggests "12 doing the work of 10" then that's an unrealistic 80% "on task".

Now, if it was "12 doing the work of 3", then there would be a case.

Comment Re:It's a pity (Score 1) 161

Until they shut down or start holding your data for ransom...

This story is a perfect example of why I will never trust cloud storage.

True enough - I use it as a means for people to view stuff of mine, without having to send them a large email. But I retain the originals on my own machine.

(And currently migrating a number of club newsletters from UbuntuOne to Dropbox. If Dropbox dies, then I still have the originals)

Comment Re:This. Exactly this. (Score 1) 237

And more this.

OK, so maybe displaying the UID "takes up too much space" - except that the large font (is there a way of changing it without changing it in your browser?) means there is already "too much space" - except this is wasted.

Not defaulting the parent posts's subject is an annoyance (but might encourage some "maybe my reply should have a different title" - except that breaks the thought flow when wanting a quick reply).

And all wasted space was in "beta-classic" view - the headlines only is too little info, while the tiles means even less information on screen.

How about looking at the BBC News website (and mobile version), to see how you can have a lot of information (on a non-mobile), and have a reasonable slew of clickable/movable icons for the mobile version. This comes across as the worst aspects of a desktop and a mobile site... The Windows 8 of blog sites, even

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