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Comment Re:Price? (Score 2) 112

True. Microsoft botched RT by getting greedy. Like iOS, it is locked down tight, so you can only install "apps" from their store. Sure, that gives MS a cut of the action, Xbox-style, but it's hostile to users and real Windows doesn't have that restriction. Plus it doesn't run real Windows applications. So its ecosystem is pretty narrow and not likely to become very good.

Comment Re:Hope it makes him feel better (Score 2) 362

He walked into an unlocked closet, hooked up his laptop to a campus Ethernet connection, and ran a script to access a web site. The only "crime" was using a script rather than surfing, slower, by hand. He wasn't tapping others' communications. There was just a copyright question over how many documents one should access.

Comment Re:Generation Y's unusual sense of "responsibility (Score 5, Insightful) 362

The prosecutor aims for a high degree of punishment because they hope for a plea bargain, with every intention of keeping the maximum sentence recommendation intact in the event that the case actually goes to trial. It is a way to undercut the constitutional guarantee of trial by jury by raising the stakes so high that a jury trial becomes an untenable gamble.

Thus the Ortiz-Heymann tactics in this case should be seen as what they were, an untenable subversion of basic constitutional rights, by persecutors with a goal of putting notches in their belt, hoping to gain political points with an ignorant public afraid of any and all "crime".

Comment Re:A Loss For Several Reasons (Score 1) 120

Price might have killed the BB10 line too. The Z10 was priced near an iPhone and the Q10 was priced even higher. That's a ridiculous way to break into new markets when you're behind, and when the teardown cost of parts makes it clear that there's plenty of margin to work with. Some imbecile at BBY was greedy and shot the moon, when they should have taken their medicine and priced it competitively. BB10 devices get great user reviews.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 327

LordA, that's just insane. DFHs didn't cause GE, Westinghouse, and other giant corporations to use old reactor designs and not new ones. Yes, TMI stopped the construction of new ones in the US, but they were only going to keep building the trashy old ones. That's where the money is.

Each uranium reactor needs custom fuel rods, built by the reactor manufacturer. So that's what they peddle, like HP printers and their ink, where they make their money on refueling, not just (if at all) up front. Thorium MSBRs don't work that way. No long-term revenue. Imagine where Gillette would be if their razor blades stayed sharp forever. Wear and tear is the heart of the business model.

Comment Uranium would be in short supply (Score 3, Informative) 327

The market now may not be tight, but the world's total supply of U-235 is very small. Plus it takes vast amounts of energy to refine it out of the ore, since over 99% of the uranium is U-238. And if I understand the process correctly, it's refined by making it into UF6, which is spun in a chain of centrifuges. Now how do you make UF6? With FOOF! Look that one up... fluorine dioxide. Nasty.

If we really tried to power the world's electric supply with U-235, we'd soon run low. (Or die from meltdowns.) But there's a virtually infinite supply of thorium. It's not just cheap; it's practically free, since it's a waste product of rare earth mining, and we need to refine tons of neodymium in order to have good magnets for motors and generators. Yes, the MSBR needs a seed of U-233, but enough of those reactors do exist.

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 4, Informative) 327

Thorium doesn't use fuel rods, so it doesn't need the zirconium, etc. The thorium is simply dissolved in the molten sodium fluoride.
The main reason it was abandoned in the US is that it was single-use, civilian power only, not dual-use military-civilian. You can't power a submarine with a thorium reactor and you can't build bombs from its waste products. It produces very little waste, a small fraction of what uranium-cycle reactors produce.

Comment Re:Price Adjustment (Score 2) 330

But it might as well be completely different.

With Linux, a developer can compile to an target platform and make it available. And since sources are often available, someone else's program can be ported to a different target CPU.

With Windows RT, programs can only be installed from the Microsoft Store. So whether or not they're compatible is irrelevant. Both the original developer and Microsoft have to agree that it should be made available for RT before it can run there. So having commonality with Win8 is merely a convenience for developers.

Comment Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (Score 1) 395

That was a hit song by Dionne Warwick in the 1960s. It extolled the small-town life of what was then a pretty small place, when the Santa Clara Valley was still agricultural (anyone remember Paul Masson vineyards, the bulk-wine producer just west of town?).
"LA is a great big city, put a hundred down and buy a car."
San Jose was the opposite of LA, the place you went back to when LA got you down.
Now, of course, San Jose is more like LA than any other place in northern California. Bigger than SF or Oakland, and sprawling all over. Suburbs in search of a city.
No wonder I like it here in Boston.

Comment Re:Yeah, I'll think about that for you. (Score 2) 204

Check your math. Gasoline sold at retail typically has 10% ethanol (usually corn-derived) and 90% actual gasoline. So if they did away with the alcohol, the price would go, well, probably nowhere, since alcohol's price isn't zero, and it has less energy per gallon than gasoline. It's there because the corn states and ethanol producers lobbied to require it. It is a net waste of energy since growing the corn and turning it to alcohol consumes more energy than it creates.

Comment Windows8 can be tamed, but why should you have to? (Score 2) 1010

You can fix Windows 8 by adding Classic Shell or something similar, and then it acts a lot like 7, and you can avoid TIFKAM. But Microsoft never admits to a mistake. They are probably doubling down on it in Blue, rather than fixing it. It's a sure sign of too much monopoly power.

So if you need a new PC, then it's possible to live with 8, but it's true that PCs don't get obsolete as quickly as they used to. Unless you are a hard-core gamer and need the fastest performance, a 4-year-old system is likely to suffice. Especially on the desktop, which is easy to upgrade. Laptops are more likely to physically wear out, though some well-made ones last a long time. Mine's over 6 years old, runs XP, is on its fourth battery, and the keys are worn down, but it still works pretty well.

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