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Comment Re:Classic case of Occam's razor (Score 1) 117

From what I understand, they were counting service contracts as sales for that year instead of splitting it up over the service life of the contract. Apparently in US bookkeeping these need to be handled like depreciating assets and accounted for over a period of time (or that's how I understood it). Since Autonomy makes a good chunk of its money on contracts, that could add up fast.

Comment Re:the real fraud (Score 1) 117

Not quite so, as they had a robust server market for HP-UX on the high end with its lucrative services market. Yes, that has been dying to Linux recently, but it was a cash cow for a long time after the Compaq purchase. Compaq itself died from making the massive misstep of buying DEC, which had started making the transition to services (and incidentally part of the eventual appeal of HP buying them). HP has continued to move into services, acquiring EDS, which had dumped almost all of its non-services based, primarily, IMO, to keep its stock from going junk (despite saying it was to streamline... why else dump profitable divisions?). In fact, HP was attempting to get out of the PC market entirely fairly recently.

As an oddity, I've worked for every one of these companies at some point, and only one during transition (UGS back to EDS).

As an additional oddity, I currently work for an autonomy customer that had questioned autonomy's stability and direction before the merger and started supporting Solr in parallel. I don't know why they believed autonomy was in danger, but apparently our marketing folk are smarter than they look. In any case, the only way we dump autonomy is if they stop supporting it because we have customers giving us boatloads of money to support it.

Comment Re:Safe, Green Thorium is a myth. (Score 1) 258

Once again, ignorance...

A thermal reactor can't explode - it is like a pot of hot water (or in this case, a liquid fluoride salt), not like a pot of water on a burner you are constantly adjusting to keep from boiling up or boiling out of the kettle like a LWR is. Yes, it is possible to build a pressurized water reactor with thorium as the fuel, but this is not what we are talking about. A LFTR type design can potentially leak if the containment vessel is cracked, but if it did it would rapidly cool and become a solid, meaning there is little chance it would spread. The containment vessel would likely contain a floor drain, draining a leak into underground storage. Thermal reactors can be shut down and started in a very short period of time (minutes as opposed to days for LWR). There is certainly no need for anyone to stick around if the containment vessel is cracked - it passively drains and cools and no generators are needed to actively cool it.

The only way you could even get close to a Chernobyl like spread of radiation is to blow the reactor up with a really, really big bomb. Tsar bomba or Massive Ordinance Penetrator ought to do it. That would create a large dirty bomb and get the radiation spread desired. Of course, the logistics of such an attack is a bit less than trivial - buying a nuke on the black market and setting it off is probably easier.

Comment Re:Don't be ridiculous. (Score 1) 258

OK, I'll bite. You need not only the land, but also relatively unpopulated land that gets lots of sun for most sun farms. That means long transmission lines and lots of power loss. It is estimated that the huge wind farms starting 100 miles or so south of me loses 40% of its power in transmission.

So you say build them on every rooftop... well I live in a typical over-regulated city in the US, I can't, and I'm guessing many others can't, as well, at least to install efficient ones that turn toward the sun. The problem is they are considered unsightly (as are wind turbines), so the only way you can have them is to build them into the home itself. If you think they wouldn't enforce, well, I've been ticketed for having grass 8" long when it rained for 2 weeks straight and again for having garbage cans visible from the street (despite being in an enclosure - I had to add 2" to the enclosure height to meet that city ordinance, for crying out loud). Hell, to use a mobile fire pit on my cement patio requires me to pull a permit, notify the police and fire department that I have the permit, and call both of them any day I use the fire pit. The police actually laughed when I called, saying they had never heard of that law (I knew of it because it was printed in the city distributed newsletter). The fire department thanked me for obeying the law and wished more people did.

Comment Re:Hot, liquid fluorine is too corrosive (Score 2) 258

Most of these issues are solved in the LFTR design, from what I recall. Some of the problems with long term storage after decommission are known only because they mothballed the MSRE. Mainly, they know radioactive fluoride gasses build up, and the cracking issues should be resolved with changes to the blanket.

Oh, and the only reason one hasn't been built is because Nixon killed the program (really, and pretty much exclusively because LWRs meant jobs in California and the MSRE threatened those jobs) and the nuclear industry prefers to stick with their patented designs, which bring more money to Westinghouse and the like. The exact dollar figure invested since Nixon killed the program: $0. Meanwhile, the US has tossed almost $750 billion into IFR with zero success (Russia has had success on a lesser investment). Congress tends to get in the way in the US.

Comment Re:Only if you can separate it from the U-232 (Score 2) 258

Actually, it is fairly trivial, but not straightforward. The "easy' way is to separate out the Protactinium-233 and ignore U233 (what you want) and U232, which can't easily be separated. Protactinium-233 naturally decays into U-233, however, producing protactinium-233 is undesirable (because it sucks up scarce neutrons - a LFTR produces about 1.07 for every 1) in a LFTR and can be limited or (practically) eliminated by increasing the size of the blanket. Of course, if you WANTED protactinium, you could design your blanket accordingly and separate them, but you need to siphon it off carefully or the reaction will stop and you will need to inject more U233. Obviously leaving the Protactinium in the reactor is fine, as after it decays to U233 it is fuel.

The nice thing about either LFTR or IFR (4th generation reactors) is they burn the actinides off, so the dangerous waste only lasts about 300 years. The US has dumped billions into IFR (about 3/4 of a trillion last I checked, and incidentally, nothing into LFTR) and has zero working reactors. Russia spent far less and has two and is building a third.

Comment Re:What a LFTR really means (Score 4, Informative) 258

LFTR uses liquid Fluoride, not liquid Sodium. More than likely, the water would vaporize due to the extreme heat. If you want to be paranoid about liquid sodium, take a look at the US government and nuclear industry's preferred reactor type, the IFR (integral fast reactor) which uses both high pressure and liquid sodium.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 332

When I was a kid, checking out certain library books immediately put you on an FBI list. Now it's much easier - they just grab all your emails and non-https posts as they get routed through servers and toss them in a file on you. All of your secure emails probably get tossed into an NSA supercomputer and cracked and filed as well. I'm sure visiting certain web sites like or puts you on a watch list as well. No, I'm not paranoid, but my government is.

Comment Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (Score 1) 384

I think you severely underestimate North Korea - they have an immense reserve army (the largest in the world) in addition to an active army, all brainwashed into unswerving loyalty. Any dissent is punished by 3 generations of imprisonment in a remote work camp (that means you and your next two generations of children grow up with lifetime jail sentences if you are a dissenter, and yes, you get conjugal visits just to create additional generations to punish, but they also are brainwashed with loyalty just like other children). Their special operations forces regularly infiltrate the south but retain complete loyalty to the north. Any invasion by the US would be a massive folly - like Afghanistan but instead of Allah, you have the living god Kim Jong Un and his parents and grandparents to worship.

That said, NK really has no interest in defeating the United States - its main goal is conquering the South and reuniting Korea under the North's oppressive regime and throwing out their "corrupt" western influences. China would actually like it if the North took the South, as it gives them less competition in the region, but if America and South Korea pushed back the North again (highly unlikely given the massive troop numbers they have, but many probably would be armed with little more than pointed sticks - but China did that and just used massive numbers of bodies to win, so NK could, too), they'd more than likely join into the war on the side of the North, as they did in the Korean war. When that happened the US got their butts kicked back from the northern border to where the DMZ is today. A secondary goal of NK is to bomb the shit out of Japan and invade them and torture and kill the entire population in retaliation for the treatment they had under Japan's yoke last century. Koreans hold serious grudges...

Comment Re:What's good for the goose... (Score 1) 768

Actually, taxing the rich and redistribution that wealth is FAR from socialism by any definition - in fact, it actually benefits a capitalism because the poor are more likely to spend the money and the rich horde it. Taxing to dump into social security or welfare sometimes are lumped in as "socialism" because they are social programs, but you still can choose, say Crocs over Nikes when you spend that money, whereas socialism as per transitional communism does not have such choices and is meant to deal in goods, not money. About the closest thing we have to the modern, somewhat slanderous meaning of socialism (which originally meant the workers own the factory) is universal health care, which we could call socialist if it had a single provider that could never change, as per some countries.

As for the purpose of taxation or whether the poor actually deserve to get money from the rich, well those are different questions entirely. I do sincerely believe we need to fix our homeless and drug treatment systems, as I've seen far too many homeless using the heroin-methadone cycle, where they sell methadone to buy heroin and "relapse," which is basically a way to keep buying heroin with no real income. If you wonder why I was at a shelter to begin with, it is because my wife's ex, a homeless army veteran, is there, and she feels like she has to help him despite him being both selfish and an idiot most of the time (though I think he also has untreated mental illness).

Comment Re:What's good for the goose... (Score 1) 768

Actually, the POTUS earns $400,000 a year and in 2010 it took less than 370k a year to be in the top 1%. I recall his total compensation was closer to $800k last year.

So you are incorrect, Obama is in fact in the top 1%. America seems to have this delusion that 1% means "earns 1 million or more" and that is incorrect (in fact, the average of the top 1% is only about 1.5 million).

Comment Re:That's great... (Score 3, Interesting) 151

The catch is this is American style drip brewed coffee. I'd be curious to see if this same finding is true for French Press or Espresso, which previously have been found to contain oils that are cancer causing, but these are removed in filtered coffee. Perhaps they counteract each other. Also I'd be curious if they used teabags or a tea ball in their research (that didn't find results in favor or against), which would be similar to filtered vs unfiltered coffee.

Comment Re:Automation and unemployment (Score 0) 602

Wrong - government spending has in fact gone down (at least this past year and in 2010, but had an uptick in 2011 - and yes, that is the conservative think tank heritage foundation, so not liberal news). It has grown quite a bit since Obama took office, however.

When military and entitlements (you know, stuff like Social Security) consume 81%+ of your budget, there isn't much to work with. And actually, those military numbers aren't entirely correct because military contracting often comes out of the discretionary fund. That said, I saw a pie chart of military spending and over half of that was entitlements as well (pensions and health care for veterans). Without new revenue or cuts to entitlements, we're going to be buried in debt for a long time.

Comment Re:However (Score 1) 239

Which is why the non-paywalled article specifically says they extract protactinium and leave the U232 and U233, which is fairly easy to do, and then let the protactinium decay to fissile U233. The problem I see is reactors like LFTR as well as small IFRs at best generate a 1.07:1 neutron ratio, which is just barely enough to produce excess protactinium that will not be later needed to provide fissionable material to sustain the reaction. Also both LFTR and IFR require nuclear bomb grade seed fissile material (and IFRs need about 20x more). If you're that ambitious to build a bomb, just steal the seed material, especially from the US NRC's favored IFR.

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