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Comment Re:Cute. Too bad it won't scale up... (Score 2) 113

to be a significant power sources without either destroying foodcrops or natural ecologicies

Plenty of cropland is already used for biofuel. If we can do so more efficiently, then more area will be available for food and/or nature.

or get more than about 5% efficiency - less than a solar panel.

Comparing biofuels to solar panels in area efficiency is silly. Solar panels cost hundreds of dollars per sq meter. Cropland does not. The important metric is not watts/area but watts/dollar. Also biofuels are liquid and can be used as transportation fuel in affordable vehicles. Solar electricity cannot.

Keeps everyone hopeful, despite the complete silliness.

TFA is completely devoid of any technical information, so I don't think you don't have enough information to determine if her invention is silly or not.

Comment Re:Beware of the next step (Score 1) 337

Fine. Political opponents. Sheesh. TeaBagger=TeaParty=AntiObama/Democrat=PoliticalOpponent

Not everyone that opposes corruption does so for political advantage. Some of them actually really believe in honest, transparent government. Many of the most outspoken critics of the NSA spying have been Democrats. Such as Ron Wyden the Democratic senator from Oregon. If you look at his record, he is about as from a "teabagger" as you can get.

Comment Re:Beware of the next step (Score 3, Insightful) 337

What stereotype? I didn't write down any stereotypes

You use a derogatory term to refer to anyone that would suspect Democrats of abusing the national security apparatus for political ends, while stating that it is nonetheless reasonable to suspect future (presumably non-Democrat) administrations. If you study history, you will learn that the most dangerous authoritarianism is that which is cloaked in righteousness.

Comment Re:Tech specs (Score 4, Informative) 115

Helium? I think we are wasting so much.

The market is already fixing this. Helium prices are rising. The primary reason for this is shale gas. Helium is a byproduct of natural gas production. Some gas wells in Texas contain as much as 4% helium. Gas wells outside the USA contain very little helium, making America the dominant producer. But America is switching to shale gas, which contains very little helium, and the helium producing wells are being shut down because they can't operate profitably with historically low gas prices. So helium prices are climbing, and frivolous uses are being curtailed. Disneyland Tokyo has already stopped selling helium balloons of cartoon characters.

 

Comment Re:Tech specs (Score 1) 115

Is there any reason not to use hydrogen for this application?

How do you know they are not using hydrogen? TFA does not say what gas they are using. So maybe they are using hydrogen but don't want to say so because of the idiots that associate it with the Hindenburg or hydrogen bombs. Thousands of people drown every year in a liquid that is 2/3 hydrogen, so there is no denying that it is dangerous stuff.

 

Comment Re:Oddly specific denial (Score 4, Insightful) 176

well that would explain why they say that Justice Department hasn't done it.

That is NOT what they said. Read the quote carefully. It simply says that the speaker has no knowledge of the justice dept doing it, not that they didn't do it. This is a classic example of a bureaucratic waffle. It sounds like they are actually saying something meaningful, but if you parse the sentence, it is basically vacuous.

Comment Re:not a bicycle (Score 4, Informative) 123

Now - something purely human-powered that could fly would be impressive, but this is not.

It might be impressive, but it would not be new. Flying bicycles have been around for a while. The Gossamer Albatross was pedaled over the English Channel in 1979, a distance of over 22 miles.

The hard part is not getting a bicycle to fly, but to get it to hover with human power.

Comment Re:Expensive, ultimately disposable infrastructure (Score 1) 216

There was a recent news items article for Lithium-Sulfur batteries with 4 times the capacity of today's.

There are lots of things that work in the lab, but are impractical in the field. Will this battery work at -50F in Fargo, ND? How about at 120F in Las Vegas? Will it handle 3000 discharge cycles? Will it be safe if it ruptures in an impact? Will it degrade if it is left fully discharged in an airport long-term park lot for three months? Very few batteries meet these criteria.

Comment Re:Expensive, ultimately disposable infrastructure (Score 1) 216

An interesting concept but it seems very unlikely this will be a prefered solution in 30 years as battery technology improves.

One problem with nerds that are living in the age of Moore's Law, is that they end up believing that other technologies enjoy the same sort of exponential improvements as semiconductors. In general, they do not. There will almost certainly be some incremental improvements, but I wouldn't bet on any big breakthrough in battery technology. If you look at the periodic table, there just isn't anything to the left or above lithium, except hydrogen which isn't practical for a number of reasons. It is extremely unlikely that we are going to discover a new alkali metal between lithium and hydrogen.

Of course, someone may invent "Mister Fusion", but that is not a battery.

Comment Re:and in tsunamis? (Score 1) 89

I wonder how the whole thing will be able to move if there's a tsunami?

A tsunami big enough to cause much damage is unlikely to be generated locally, so there would probably be an hour or more of warning. The biggest danger would be a tsunami generated by the fault-line of the "ring of fire" passing through Indonesia. That means it would most likely come from the east, so an obvious defense is to build the hotel on the western side of the island. The article doesn't say, and Google maps doesn't show an island named Kuredhivaru, so I don't know if that is what they are doing. But I am sure they thought of these things long before we did.

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