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Comment Re:Hide enough ads, and the media outlets will cha (Score 1) 247

For whatever reason product placement doesn't particularly bother me. When I see a close-up of a phone or a shoe in a movie or TV show, I know that it is a form of advertising but it doesn't detract from my viewing. Probably because the actual time of advertisement is on the order of a second or less. When it is just a brief glimpse that requires no interaction on my part I can tolerate it. What I can't stand are commercials that you have to sit through on TV, or worse, commercials you have to sit through to view a web page or online video. If the advertisement presents itself and then disappears very briefly without interrupting me or requiring input on my part, that is just fine. When the ad requires me to click it to go away, click it to continue, blocks what I am trying to do, or wastes my time, that is unacceptable and I will always either block it or stop using the service that employs it.

Comment Re:To say nothing of their own reputation (Score 1) 561

What I find astonishing about Fukushima is learning that we've decided to keep nuclear waste in a manner that is not failsafe. That we need to actively cool.

That is possibly the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. It's not like it's an infinite amount of heat.

Spread it out, pour some iron on it, and put in some giant heat sinks or something.

Christ, it's like everyone is an idiot or something. 'Hey, this generates a set amount of heat per second, forever, and if it ever gets above a certain temperature it will melt through things.'. 'Herp derp, let's pump water past it. There's no way that could go wrong.' 'Maybe we could rig it where it just distributes the heat to the air or the ground or something, which would only fail if the sun started consuming the earth and heated the atmosphere up massively?' 'Nope, takes too much space. Water pump, that's the plan!'

I understand reactors having problems when shut down, but the waste? Seriously?

You do realize that the "waste" and the reactor are the same thing, right? The "waste" is spent fuel which was previously in the reactor.

You have a gross misunderstanding and your criticism is thus profoundly wrong. Fukushima Unit 4 had its core offloaded into the spent fuel pool because it was in a refueling outage. All the decay heat which potentially causes a meltdown in the core was in the fuel pool instead. This decay heat must be removed just as it must be removed from the core.

You fail to even understand basic concepts of how a nuclear plant works. How your post got modded +5 is boggling to me, these facts are easily available e.g. on wikipedia.

Comment Re:To say nothing of their own reputation (Score 1) 561

Spent fuel pools do require active cooling, but nothing elaborate - just a simple heat exchanger. The caveat is when a core is offloaded into the spent fuel pool during a refueling outage. In that time frame, all the decay heat must be removed and requires additional heat exchangers to be running. The time for the pool to boil is much shorter during that period, on the order of ~24-72 hours. The reason for pumping water into a spent fuel pool during an emergency situation is indeed to cool it - to replace water that is boiling away. There are plans now to make portable external backup coolers as a result of the initial concern over spent fuel pool boiling at Fukushima (which turned out later to have not been a problem).

Comment Re:"a small leak" (Score 1) 263

1 pCi exposure typically will kill in 10^-8 of cases, but there were 9000^12 pCi dispersed by SNAP9. You can take any view you like about how many of them have actually been exposed to humans.

Your logic is comically flawed. The danger posed by 1 pCi is extrapolated from the danger of exposing one person to 9000^12 pCi. You are then trying to double extrapolate that 1 pCi back to a large number of people. Statistics doesn't work like that.

Analogy: Drinking 5 liters of water all at once will kill 1/10 people. Obviously therefore drinking 0.05 liters of water will kill 1/1000 people.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 1105

If you want to ban dumping lead into the environment without actually banning it, using a tax, you could impose a $1,000,000 per gram tax on dumping lead. Even though I can't afford $1,000,000, I can avoid dumping any lead at all. You can't avoid emitting carbon dioxide. A tax on carbon dioxide is a tax on energy.

Comment Re:What about the tsunami? (Score 1) 259

Riiiiight. And the dramatically higher cancer rates don't mean a thing if you can't prove that any given case is directly attributable to the radiation exposure that was caused by the event. Do you really, I mean really, believe such a bullshit rationalization?

Yes we expect you to believe such a rationalization because that is the definition of rational. Are you proposing that we base science and policy on emotion and fear instead?

Comment Re:Limit loans to STEM degrees. (Score 1) 917

That might help in the short run but eventually we'll be stuck in the same place again, with large numbers of students taking out student loans for degrees which are not in demand or there are too much supply. Government interference in the market is always the root cause - it creates a moral hazard. A better idea would be to fix the education system so that a high school degree has some meaning again, perhaps like the system in Germany where you have college-prep high school and technical high school to prepare for real life. Or alternatively, increase the desirability of cheap community colleges.

Comment Re:Interest Rates (Score 1) 917

Yet the banks can be loaned money at 0% so isn't the government losing money then by lending at the rate?

Yes.

So why not have the government lend to people at a higher rate then the banks?

They are.

The banks aren't loaning the money so it might do more good to lend to the people and free up cash flows for the population vs. a few banks.

If the banks aren't loaning any money then how is it we have $1,000,000,000,000 of student loans?

Comment Re:WTF Slashdot? (Score 1) 917

The reason why far fewer people went to college 50 year ago is because our high schools weren't utter failures at meeting basic education needs back then. In 1950 a high school diploma meant something, so there was no need to go to college for many people. Nowadays you can't get a job as a lab technician or repair guy without a bachelors degree. I blame the public education system for this.

I still have no sympathy for anyone complaining about $100,000 student loan debt though. There is absolutely no reason why you must go to an out of state private school to receive your higher education in art history. Go to community college for 2 years while working part time, then transfer to public state university and graduate on time. Even with no financial assistance it is not at all hard to graduate with zero debt.

Comment Re:This problem was solved in 1958 (Score 1) 314

I can't imagine any kind of propulsion system for interplanetary, let alone interstellar trips not using some sort of nuclear reaction at it's core.

What kind of Ion engine could you drive with a 500 megawatt reactor?
What kind of magnetic fields could you generate with that much electricity?
Would it be enough to shield the ship from radiation in the same manner that the Earth's field shields us?

Enough for a manned mission to the outer solar system but still several orders of magnitude too low for a one-way trip to Alpha Centauri. For interstellar travel to our nearest neighbor within a human lifetime, you would need something like 1000 times the energy produced by the world for the mission.

Comment Re:Minumum wage (Score 1) 737

For one thing, when more people are paid more, the can spend more, which supports greater employment all around. That logic is perhaps too complex for the Republican mind,

Too complex? Your rationale is about as sophisticated as a child's. "Why not just pay everyone a million dollars! Then everyone would be rich!!"

If you force businesses to pay workers more than their labor is worth, then the business must raise the prices on the goods produced to compensate. Hence the workers have more money, but everything costs proportionally more. It's just like thermodynamics. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Comment Re:The Term "Inconvenient Truth" Applies (Score 1) 737

Whether conservatives know it or not, they are not resisting the Theory of Global Warming, they are resisting the policies that many conclude from it.

Of course we know it, that is our clearly stated position. Just like it is an "inconvenient truth" that the proposed policies by western governments to combat GW will do nothing to combat GW (as long as they completely ignore the developing world and entirely focus on the US alone), but will certainly make those in politics extremely rich and powerful.

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