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Comment Re: Crime not Advertizing (Score 2) 136

There is a funny tendency of people to put high intensity lights on top of entirely unmanned systems. Microwave relays, solar farms, remote storage facilities, high tension towers, water tanks, and so on. These lights do nothing useful, waste power, but seem to be assumed to be required.

It is really astonishing how far a single high intensity light that is not shielded can contaminate the night sly with pollution. It does not take many such ill-considered light fixtures to contaminate an otherwise pristine dark sky.

This is one area where dark sky ordinances, and recognition of dark sky preserves are important. It helps keep the 'stupid' light.

Additionally this encourages properly shielded light fixtures. We need light to shine down to see things at night, light shining horizontally into our eyes makes things harder to see, and light shining up into the sky does nothing useful. Reflective shielding (or properly design LED lights which are inherently directional) save energy and money. When light is used only for illuminating the ground, something like 90% of it is absorbed.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 253

Antisemitism has historically been linked to anti-banker and anti-capitalist sentiments

Except for the largest antisemitic group in history, the Nazis who were decidedly right wing.

Yes they were (right wing), but no not by any means the largest antisemitic group in history.

That group would be Orthodox Christianity which has been stridently antisemitic since at least the late second century.

It seems the break-up between Judaism, the religion of every original follower of Jesus, and Christianity being a separate religion was a messy one with a lot of bad blood.The earliest account of Jesus' life is the Gospel of Mark, written decades after the fact, and records a negative memory of Jews as being the reason that the Romans crucified Jesus. Though not antisemitic per se (though difficult to credit as accurate) Christian writing get worse from there until by the late 3rd Century the non-canonical Acts of Pilate has the harsh Roman Prefect as a Christian saint, and the Jews are the enemies of God himself, having rejected their own Messiah and murdered him.

Antisemitism rested on an explicitly religious basis throughout Europe until modern times. Pogroms did not kill Jews because some of them were bankers, they were because "The Jews killed Jesus".

Comment Re:Nuclear Power is the way to go for clean baselo (Score 1) 168

The U.S. has 20,000 MW of pumped storage on the grid right now (2% of U.S. grid capacity) and another 5% have been granted permits for construction.

Add 800 KV DC long distance transmission lines and electricity can be moved coast-to-coast with losses of only a few percent. Pumped storage can store electricity from anywhere in North America, and then supply it to anywhere in North America.

In fact, with 800 KV DC lines much of the need for storage disappears entirely. Grid supply can be balanced simply by moving electricity from where the sun is shining/wind is blowing to where demand is currently high.

Yeah, you can throw some batteries on to the grid, and may be attractive in certain specialized situations, but they aren't really needed with an revamped North American grid.

Comment Re:What battery will be used? (Score 1) 126

A 2011 study found 39 million tons of economically recoverable lithium (at current prices). Allowing for an 80 kWH battery (Tesla's have 70, IIRC) EVs would use about 20 kg of lithium (this costs about $180). So this will build 2 billion EV cars (there are only one billion cars on Earth right now), or twice that if we go with 40 kWH batteries. So there enough lithium for a lot of vehicles.

The "lithium reserve" estimate is very soft (on the upper end). Unlike oil it is not intensively exploited so many worldwide resources are likely undiscovered or underestimated. And as is true of many resources, modest increases in price will likely greatly expand the reserves. We can afford to spend more for that 20 kg of lithium.

BTW, there is also enough platinum for about 2 billion Mirai type hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Comment Re:Different motive (Score 1) 126

The US is currently more or less self dependent for Oil, having larger reserves than most of the ME countries ... combined.

Rydberg Energy's most recent estimate has (using the estimate type most favorable to the U.S., which is the most speculative) finds the U.S. to have slightly less oil than Saudi Arabia alone. Throw in other Middle Eastern countries and it is well more than 2-to-1 to the U.S. disadvantage.

Comment Re:Different motive (Score 1) 126

Very little oil from the Arabian Peninsula makes it into the US.

More or less true. In 2016 6.8% of all U.S. oil consumption was supplied by the Arabian Peninsula. Not a lot, but hardly nothing - it is 1/8 of U.S. imports.

The United States produces mostly all the oil it needs internally now.

In 2016 the U.S. produced 45% of the petroleum that it consumed, less than half. This is down slightly from 2015 (48%) when Saudi Arabia ramped up production, cut oil prices, and shut down U.S. exploitation of high priced tight oil.

A bit over half of our imports come from Canada and Mexico, and the rest mostly comes from OPEC.

Comment Re:Understanding Watson... (Score 1) 39

And although only a little over a year old, it seems that this book is already uselessly out of date. Look at the only recent review on the Amazon site, it gives it two stars because the URLs referenced in the book at no longer valid. Given that the book is only about using those web-based analytic services being promoted by IBM, not about understanding any actual technology (check the index on Amazon "look inside") this is a major drawback.

It appears (to me) that "Watson" is simply a branding IBM is using for any sort of machine learning service they wish to promote, rather than actually designating some system or technology. I'm not at all sure there is any relationship between "Jeopardy Watson" and the "Watson" they are now promoting.

Comment Re:They probably need a book... (Score 1) 108

And looking at the contents of the book with Amazon preview it looks like it is entirely about using Watson's services, instead of being about Watson's architecture, implementation or technology - on other words, understanding anything about Watson itself.

In that context, where web access is the whole point of the book, bad URLs would make it next to useless.

Comment Re:They probably need a book... (Score 2) 108

From the 2017 Amazon review it appears that all of the URLs in the text are now bad, after one year. Not sure how severely that impacts the value of the book but the reviewer only gave it two stars. So that "four star" average rating should be taken with a grain of salt. I certainly would not buy it new, you can get it for a little more than half the (allegedly) discounted Amazon new price.

Comment Re:I like the way it was done overseas (Score 1) 556

He may have to conclude that the Air Force must be abolished forthwith, as only an Army and a Navy are specified in the Constitution. If we are strict originalists clearly any power not granted in the Constitution does not exist. Creating an Air Force must require a Constitutional amendment.

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