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Comment Re:Turning CO2 into what? (Score 1) 142

Given the Ample selection of carbonate minerals, I don't doubt that you can get an equivalent-to-concrete-or-better construction brick out of a process designed to scrub substantial amounts of otherwise freed carbon dioxide. It will be interesting to see, though, how the whole process stacks up once you factor in the sources of whatever other materials will be reacting with the carbon dioxide.

It's less a question of whether it works, this isn't some 'run your car from water! Secrets Big Oil doesn't want you to know!' vaporware; but it may or may not be economic without a subsidy regimen based on its green credentials.

Comment Re:radioactive water (Score 1) 111

The only potential issue that springs immediately to mind would be vapor escaping through the sleeve in the lid (though, at this point, is anybody even going to notice a little extra evaporation in the face of all the deliberate and ongoing-accidental water releases?), and the possibility of the measuring rod 'binding' if it somehow ends up tilted too far from vertical and placing excessive force on just a couple of contact points (which would quite possibly cause the slip sleeve to bite into the rod and keep it fixed in position even as the water level changes). I'm sure that some clever mechanical engineer has a design for a superior leak-resistant and low-friction slip sleeve; but I don't know the details of such a beast.

Aside from that, though, it was a perfectly serious suggestion. Materials cost, per tank, is peanuts, float-type sensors are fully compatible with electronic instrumentation, if desired; but also work totally passively, and the failure mode still allows you to track state from a safe distance with a clipboard minion and some binoculars (unlike the failure modes of ultrasonic rangefinders, photointerrupters, or similar widgets, which might stop responding or start sending back dodgy numbers, with no ability to verify except by sending somebody into the tank farm to check it out.

I wouldn't want to be the lucky guy who gets to stand on the roof of the shoddily-built radiation-goo tank and retrofit a sensor sleeve; but including it in the design of new tanks wouldn't be difficult.

Comment Re:Oh, come on... (Score 1) 104

Its about money. There's no other reason to make an effort in anything in this world other than to gain extra cash.

That's part of my confusion, though: 22k and limited edition of 260 seems high by the standards of altruistic motives (even if the fancy 3d printing really does cost the full amount, which wouldn't be beyond the realm of plausible, the limited edition is clearly artificial); but seem quite low by pure cash grab standards.

Comment Oh, come on... (Score 5, Interesting) 104

"But the museum is hoping to increase access to pictures"

"Every Relievo is numbered and approved by a museum curator. There is a limited edition of 260 copies per painting."

Well, what's it going to be? If this is about 'increasing access' or some similar highflown motivation, why are they limiting the editions and pushing the individual-numbering-and-'approval'-to-make-a-reproduction-feel-authentic nonsense?

If this is just a fundraiser, why start at 22K?

Comment Re:radioactive water (Score 1) 111

Honestly, I'd be inclined to do it the 'keep it really, really, simple, TEPCO' way:

Float style liquid level meters are extremely simple devices. Small lighter-than-water float on the bottom, a rod(ideally with stripes or distance markings, like scale bars), and a sleeve in the lid of the tank that keeps the apparatus upright and allows the rod to move up and down freely.

If you do have rad-hard electronics in place, an optical sensor for the stripes, or a hall effect sensor for a rod with magnets at intervals, or similar, are easy to add. If not, the amount of protruding rod can be read from some hundreds of meters or more with a wholly unexciting pair of binoculars.

Comment Logical enough... (Score 4, Insightful) 93

I'm mostly unimpressed by the twee nonsense about kids these days being 'digital natives' or something, imbued with mysterious computer-using powers (sure, kids these days are almost all users, unlike older age brackets that have holdouts; but the bar is not high for 'using technology', thanks to years of dedicated UI polishing and idiot-proofing, so only the usual much smaller percentage of nerds have any reason to go beyond trivial levels of knowledge); but it seems perfectly reasonable that they'd be a relatively privacy-conscious group.

After all, kids are among the demographics most likely to be surveilled and to be punished or otherwise restricted based on that surveillance. Parents, teachers/admins, peers, present or near-future employers and college admissions officers, cops (whether they just come and break up that party you foolishly put on facebook or whether you are already familiar with being stop-and-frisked depends on other demographic variables, of course), all actively watching and frequently acting on that.

Adults are still pretty heavily watched; but the range of banal behavior they can engage in without consequence is substantially greater.

Submission + - NSA Officers Sometimes Spy on Love Interests (wsj.com)

Jah-Wren Ryel writes: The latest twist in the NSA coverage sounds like something out of a dime-store romance novel — NSA agents eavesdropping on their current and former girlfriends. Official categories of spying have included SIGINT (signals intelligence) and HUMINT (human intelligence) and now the NSA has added a new category to the lexicon LOVEINT which is surely destined to be a popular hashtag now.

Submission + - The financial relationship between the NSA and Silicon Valley (theregister.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: 'New documents from Edward Snowden published in The Guardian have shown for the first time the financial relationship between the NSA and some of the largest names in the tech business over the PRISM data-collection scheme ..`

"Last year's problems resulted in multiple extensions to the certifications' expiration dates which cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension – costs covered by Special Source Operations" the document reads.

Comment Re:Rent-seeking (Score 3, Interesting) 89

"I'd be more surprised if AutoDesk weren't moving to subscription delivery of online product. They are the most widely "pirated" company of non-consumer software, ever. :-)"

Given that, for most of the software Autodesk makes, 'online product' is going to mean 'you download the install package and the DRM phones home a lot' rather than 'runs in a web page' or 'is delivered via ICA/RDP/X11/whatever from Autodesk's machine'. Heavy 3d (and customers who may not be at liberty to just ignore NDAs surrounding the stuff they are working on) don't fit well with that model unless you have impressive bandwidth and minimal latency.

Because of that, the anti-piracy effects of 'cloud' (in this sense) are pretty minimal, they certainly have been with Adobe's flavor. What this sort of subscription model does do, though, is remove the need to make version N+1 so compelling that people who own version N or version N-1 are moved to buy it, or at least pay an upgrade fee. This doesn't mean that you'll totally stop making improvements or adding features; but you get paid either way, so you no longer face the "Is our new product actually a meaningful improvement over our old one?" test on a regular basis.

That's what makes moving to a subscription model (for what is fundamentally client software, obviously charging fees for ongoing access to things hosted on my servers or otherwise generating recurring costs is a different matter) raises suspicions of 'lack of imagination'. Do you have enough market power that you can dictate an often-unpopular pricing arrangement? Do you suspect that you have no ideas for version N+1 that will motivate people to upgrade? Subscription model time!

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