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Comment Most methane comes from Dams not Cows (Score 2, Interesting) 189

According to the estimates of the INPE researchers, dams are the largest single anthropogenic source of methane, being responsible for 23% of all methane emissions due to human activities.

Thus irrigation for crops is worse on the environment than cows.

Comment Re:Be a Licensed Profession, folks... (Score -1) 331

Let me interject here as a business owner who hires developers to build the services sold to other businesses. So let me get this straight, you are going to prevent me from hiring whoever I want to do development and will further raise my costs? I already outsource 75% of my development work to Ukrainian developers. This will simply further increase this percentage to maybe 95% or what the hell, why not 100%?

Comment Re:Holy shitballs, all the sci-fi books were right (Score 1) 344

It seems to me, though, that setting up a "spacecraft manufacturing facility" (including materials production, fabrication and assembly) on the Moon is a project of many decades.

Yes of course. I'd assume at least a 100-150 year minimum to properly set up such a facility complete with lunar mining, lunar nuclear reactors, probably earth moving equipment manufacturing, smelting and casting and machining. There is so much that would be either necessary or desirable that will take a long long time to get going.

As far as asteroids go I don't think an Orion ship would be able to change the course of any even moderately sized one. Or were you thinking as a means of getting some humans off planet to prevent the extinction of our species? In any case a pulsed nuclear ship big enough to do either of those missions would be prohibitively expensive.

Comment Re:If You're not rich, have a bright future! (Score 1) 365

Instead there are going to be general purpose AIs

In 20 years? We are nowhere near that now. There would have to be fundamental breakthroughs in AI and probably in neuroscience to have even the slightest chance of that being true. A more realistic time frame would be 2000+ years from now. Millennia rather than decades.

Also if we ever do reach self-aware general AI they will be entities with rights. We could not just make them work without compensating them. That would be slavery. They would become just like mechanical people with some advantages and some disadvantages over the rest of us bio-humans. And they would surely expect to get paid at least as much as us. Maybe more if they have greater strength and stamina and are willing to do boring and physically demanding work. Probably robotics companies will try to give their machines just enough intelligence to follow basic commands but no more. That means any intellectually demanding jobs will remain quite safe.

Companies won't be hiring new workers

I would think robotics companies would be hiring a lot of new workers if what you are saying ever comes to pass. Building millions or billions of sophisticated general purpose robots even without advanced AI requires a lot of humans, both smart and not so smart.

they'll be buying new machines

From whom exactly and how will those companies build those robots? With magic? They will need people for that. Even if they can build the robots with other robots they will at some point need humans to build the robots that make the robots that make the robots... Maybe eventually only the premium most advanced models will require humans to build them, but that point is probably at least 1000 years away.

Low skill jobs the world over are particularly vulnerable this time around.

Well all I can say is those robots better be very cheap indeed because labor in the country where I am living now can be had for as little as $5-$7 per day.

In any case it is called progress. If we followed your logic we'd all still be riding in horse-drawn carriages to get around. Of course horseshoe manufacturers and hay growers would have loved that.

Comment In other news (Score -1) 239

In other news the American recovery is strong, inflation is low and unemployment is down, report various government and 'independent' sources. Vote Hillary, she is like Obama (if Obama wore a skirt... Sorry, pant suit..) These 20000 will only reduce the net unemployment numbers once they are no longer with Cisco but instead are working 2-3 service sector jobs, serving coffee in the morning, greeting at your local Walmart .... Or maybe digging and filling up government ditches, since even coffee shops and Walmart jobs are getting cut. Why don't we all just continue voting collectivist, be it fascist or socialist, it worked so great up until now?

Or maybe people should try something novelle this time, like a little freedom from government "helping everybody".

Comment Re:Holy shitballs, all the sci-fi books were right (Score 1) 344

One of the points of Orion was that it provided more than enough power to lift heavy vehicles from Earth's surface.

I never considered that to be one of its primary advantages. It's just too dirty. Not sustainable for multiple launches. It's primary advantage is that it can carry enough fuel with it to actually go somewhere interesting in a reasonable time period. Most propulsion systems cannot. We could just just set up a spacecraft manufacturing facility on the moon and launch from there.

Comment Re:interstellar mission (Score 1) 344

I''ll reiterate that quoting a "speed in which a technology can reach" is meaningless.

Excellent! so then there is no problem getting close to the speed of light via fission fragment propulsion then? Or were there practical engineering limitations you are ignoring with that statement? To me the speed reachable by a spacecraft that we could actually build (budgetary issues aside) today is very much the whole point of the exercise. In theory you probably could build an antimatter rocket with just a few atoms of antimatter, but it would not do very much now would it? And yet in theory it has a VERY high specific impulse, right? For a picosecond. Don't ion drives have excellent specific impulse? But they have barely any thrust and are not (at least not yet) practical means for propelling any serious spacecraft (in terms of mass).

And fission fragment rockets have a much higher ISP than Orion.

So what is the maximum speed reachable by a reasonably sized manned or unmanned spacecraft using fission fragment propulsion? You may say it doesn't matter, but then tell me how long it will take for a non-micro sized ship to get to Proxima Centauri using fission fragment propulsion. Has the math been done? Have you done it?

A rocket that propels itself by firing pingpong balls out the back with an air cannon can reach relativistic speeds

Prove it by building one.

As for the rest it is very interesting, but given the billions or trillions of dollars necessary could we build an interstellar ship with this system today using current tech that could reach Proxima Centauri in half a century? We know that we probably could do exactly that with Dyson's simple spring pusher plate pulsed system. Yes it is untested except at a ridiculously small scale, but it should all work using 1960s tech (and A LOT of money). As in any untested system it would probably fail dramatically the first few times, but at least no new tech is needed and plutonium in the form of bombs has the energy density to actually have enough fuel to reach high speeds. Lack of fuel is really the biggest problem with spacecraft propulsion. Not Isp. If we had infinite quantities of massless fuel we could reach relativisitic speeds easily even with standard chemical rockets. That's why every space enthusiast's dream is some kind of warp drive or space drive or ramjet or solar sail that doesn't require that you bring your fuel with you. What makes Orion or any nuclear pulse drive so special is that you can bring enough fuel with you for practical interstellar missions. I don't care about Isp. I care about the total trip time to various destinations like Proxima or Gliese 581.

Comment Re:Unfair to bash nuclear (Score 1) 254

How about another source referring to a more recent Duke study? Further, coal slurry has plenty of heavy metals which are also ugly environmental contaminants that react poorly with human populations, particularly when they leech into water supplies (or just bury your town). In any event, I can't imagine anyone making the argument that it's good for humans or for the environment to have mountains of coal slurry hanging around. Outside of a coal lobbyist, I don't think anyone actually believes it's harmless.

And you have to admit the Wikipedia linked info about Shakti is pretty damn thin. An offhand comment in a publication appears to suggest that maybe possibly something somewhere could have come from Bill's father-in-law's third cousin twice removed on a stormy Tuesday...

Comment Breaking the Law (Score 0) 108

There I was racially discriminating, in the hood down town
all inside it's so incriminating picking phones to own
feel as though nobody can avoid my prying eye
so I might as well begin to put some action in my life
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law
Breaking the law, breaking the law

Comment No they can't, I'm special (Score 4, Funny) 990

Electric cars won't ever work because I drive 3,000 miles each way to work every day across all the peaks of the Himalayas hauling seven shipping containers filled with concrete. And if an electric car can't do that without me having to stop along the way, it's a useless piece of shit that nobody can ever use for anything. /UsualElectricCarNaysayers

Comment Re:Unfair to bash nuclear (Score 1) 254

You are saying that NOW after India used it to make nuclear weapons? Seriously?

Well, first of all, they didn't. They used the CIRUS research reactor in Trombay. The US and Canada gave it to them under an agreement that it would only be used for peaceful purposes.

Oh come on now, do you think the readers are really that stupid? Alex Gabbard pushed that line and the bullshit about terrorists building nukes from ash but he was getting paid to lie when he did it. It's no more real than his novels about hillbilly moonshiners.
It's as radioactive as fucking sand because that's what the stuff that becomes ash was before it ended up as impurities in coal.

I didn't say anything about building nukes from coal slurry, so that's a strawman. I made the point that coal has real, measurable impacts that one can actually see whether one subscribes to the concept of global climate change caused by human activities (such as burning coal) or not. The idea is that you can readily see severe environmental impacts from coal and oil power plants without having to get into any sort of complex interconnected open system dynamics. You can just see entire towns buried by fucking coal slurry like Kingston, TN and in Martin County, KY.

Also, coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste. But please, don't let facts get in the way of whatever agenda it is you're pushing. You done yet?

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