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Bill Gates May Build Small Nuclear Reactor 347

Hugh Pickens writes "TerraPower, an energy start-up backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, is in discussions with Toshiba Corp. to develop a small-scale nuclear reactor that would represent a long-term bet to make nuclear power safer and cheaper. Toshiba confirmed it is in preliminary discussions with TerraPower, a unit of Intellectual Ventures, a patent-holding concern partially funded by Gates. Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori says the two sides are talking about how they could collaborate on nuclear technology, although discussions are still in early stages and that nothing has been decided on investment or development. TerraPower has publicly said its Traveling Wave Reactor could run for decades on depleted uranium without refueling (PDF) or removing spent fuel from the device. The reactor, the company has said, could be safer, cheaper and more socially acceptable than today's reactors. Gates's recent focus on nuclear power has been fueled by an interest in developing new power systems for developing countries where he says that new energy solutions are needed to combat climate change. Terrapower faces a lengthy, multi-year process to get its "traveling wave" reactor concept reviewed by regulators but if TerraPower succeeds in advancing its plans, it could provide an alternative blueprint for the nuclear industry at a time when new reactors may be coming online."

In Praise of the Sci-fi Corridor 171

brumgrunt writes "Technically a corridor in a science-fiction movie should just be a means of getting from one big expensive set to the next, and yet Den Of Geek writes lovingly of the detailed conduits in films such as Alien, Outland, Solaris and even this year's Moon by Duncan Jones."

Comment Re:Another end for Ubuntu... (Score 1) 330

the elimination of an often used shortcut (CTRL+ALT+Backspace, on the default install)

If the X server needs to be killed often, that is the real problem, not disabling c-a-b. The average end-user shouldn't have to be killing the X server. For the technical-minded, there are trivial ways to kill X if need be: switching to a vterm and remedying the situation, using the magic SysRq combos, and setting DontZap to false so c-a-b does work.

Comment Re:Likely to backfire (Score 5, Insightful) 544

Not to be callous or anything, but I wouldn't call her "unlucky". Tragic? Yes. Unlucky? Getting hit by a drunk driver is "unlucky". Driving a car at 100 MPH while on cocaine is incredibly poor judgment. I agree with your point, though - I hadn't heard of her either. Sadly, three of the top four Google results contain pictures of the accident.

Comment Re:3-4 movies a month for $77? Why NOT buy? (Score 1) 474

$17/month, not $77/month. At that price, watching 3-4 movies is a bargain. The nearest rental place to me costs $4-5 per DVD. It's also about an hour round-trip on bike (1.5-2 if I'm walking). It's worth it, if only just for the convenience. Buying the 3-4 DVDs a month is going to cost me more than $17, not to mention that some movies I have no intention of seeing a second time.

Comment OGMRip (Score 1) 501

OGMRip has been my favorite for a while. The only downside, as of now, is that you have to manually tell it if the video source is progressive/telecined/etc (the author is working on that feature). However, I might have to try handbrake again. When I last tried it, there was no good Linux GUI.

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