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Comment Re:They never stated they were using chlorophyll (Score 4, Informative) 386

Cyanobacteria use phycocyanin for photosynthesis, as an accessory pigment to chlorophyll. A number of pigments can serve accessory to chlorophyll, and there are several types of chlorophyll. Larger multicellular organisms such as trees other macroscopic plants can use a number of these pigments together to capture a broader range of the EM spectrum and therefore more energy from sunlight. Cyanobacteria use only a narrow range of the EM spectrum for photosynthesis because they use only a narrow range of pigments. I was given the benefit of the doubt in my calculation of the best-case scenario, but logically the energy efficiency therefore must be FAR below the photosynthetic limit of ~14%, which makes this company's claims thermodynamically impossible and patently absurd.

Comment Re:Too good to be true (Score 5, Informative) 386

Definitely too good to be true. The energy contained in 15,000 gallons of biodiesel ~= 10,000 gallons x 133,000 BTU/gallon x .000293 kwh/BTU = 0.58 MM kwh The energy falling on one acre of land in the tropics ~= 5kwh/m2/day x 365 days/year x 4046 m2/acre = 7.4 MM kwh/year/acre So they're capturing 8% of ALL solar energy falling on each acre of land in their fuel, assuming they are in the tropics and not in the continental United States. The efficiency limit for photosynthesis is around 14%, which isn't calculated on a per-acre basis, but on a molecular exposure basis. Even if you could cover each acre with pure chlorophyll, the conversion efficiency would not exceed 14%. So they are claiming they will exceed 50% of the theoretical photosynthetic limit AFTER all the energy and efficiency loss of processing, for a net yield of 15,000 gallons? Total BS. If they claimed 1000-2000 gallons, maybe, but with their claims you can bet it's a pump-and-dump green stock scam.

Comment Bullshit (Score 1, Insightful) 260

The energy contained in 40,000 gallons of B85 biodiesel = 40,000 gallons x 133,000 BTU/gallon x .000293 kwh/BTU = 1.55 MM kwh

The energy falling on one acre of land ~= 5kwh/m2/day x 365 days/year x 4046 m2/acre = 7.4 MM kwh/year/acre

So they're capturing 21% of ALL solar energy falling on each acre of land in their fuel. The efficiency limit for photosynthesis is around 15%, which isn't calculated on a per-acre basis, but on a molecular exposure basis. Even if you could cover each acre with pure chlorophyll, the conversion efficiency would not exceed 15%.

This is therefore a green scam, undoubtedly designed to temporarily pump the company's stock. The last big one I heard of to do this was Valcent Technology's subsidiary Global Green Solutions. Don't believe the hype, especially when it's physically impossible.

Comment Re:It's Amazing (Score 1, Flamebait) 259

Not complete? No shit.

I downloaded Windows 7 RC and for most stuff it's actually fine - I'm using it as I write this. Not unbelievable, but quite good ... once it's working. Fast, pretty stable, all that stuff. But some serious problems getting it working.

First, the activation key didn't work for me. I did it all legit: downloaded and installed W7 from, created a ID, got the activation key, pasted it in and "we're sorry, the activation key you entered is not valid for this version of Windows". Just plain broken shit, no excuse.

Dude, if you can't fucking get your basic shit together, why wouldn't I just use Ubuntu? With Linux, if it doesn't work at least I have the consolation that it's free.

It's like test driving a prototype Chevy and the fucking _key_ doesn't work. Pro Tip 1, you moron engineers, the FIRST thing you make sure works on a new car/OS/whatever is the FUCKING KEY.

The comedy continues. There's also a bug in the W7 RC that causes the OS to crash when running installer packages off CDs ... from Microsoft... So I, like hundreds of others, had to do a reg-edit hack to install MICROSOFT OFFICE.

Pro Tip 2, you FUCKING IDIOTS: before you release a new OS for testing, the second thing after making sure the FUCKING KEY works is to make sure YOUR OWN FUCKING SOFTWARE WILL INSTALL ON IT.

Seriously. This is stupidity on the "I forgot to put my pants on before I went to work this morning" level.

Comment Re:More bullshit (Score 1) 505

"Pass"? That's your argument? It's written on an old piece of paper, therefore you don't need to mount a logical defense of the criticism of privatizing all goods and services in a modern global economy? Since when does any theory, economic or otherwise, get a pass? Oh I know - it's like when Copernicus and Galileo said "The Earth goes around the Sun" and the Church pointed to what was written on an old piece of paper and said "pass".

The truth is, tabloid (i.e. neoclassical) economic theory does a shite job of arguing for privatization of a whole range of public goods and services, particularly those that were traditionally under common property rights regimes.

Any real economist will tell you that most markets must be regulated or else they tend toward inefficiency, that profitable markets are inefficient by definition (because economic rents, aka net profit, can only be extracted from an uncompetitive and opaque market), and many markets - like the ones mentioned by the parent poster - are too inefficient for private ownership at all.

Comment Re:Wireless (Score 1) 141

Couldn't agree more. iPhone works like complete shit where I am unless I log into my home wireless network with cable internet. On 3G it's slower than 14.4 modem. The internet is virtually unusable for anything but gmail. Weather info almost never updates. The iPhone has great potential, but in my experience it basically just sucks shit in real life when running on AT&T's network, and isn't worth the money - especially since it's far faster to text with a full qwerty keypad.

Comment Re:first post! (Score 1) 820

While I agree that the Next Generation lacked depth in the sense that more or less all of its characters were cut from a single moral mold (unlike, say, the new Battlestar Galactica), I think that all the stuff about being needing to be able to 'relate' to characters in order to be interested in them is overrated.

I can't really 'relate' to Superman, Darth Vader, Captain Kirk or Captain Piccard and yet they some of my favorite characters of all time.

I'm far, far less interested in characters who share my own character flaws and would sooner stick pins in my eyes than watch reality shows, dramas or sitcoms about more 'relatable' characters.

My personal take is that the story and character interaction needs to be dynamic, with moral dilmenas and problems that are not simple or black and white enough to be solved with phasers or a punch in the face in order to be interesting. And that's it. I don't need a character to be an alcoholic or a single parent or someone wracked with guilt or a betrayed friend or an embittered rival or any of a hundred other stock cardboard cutouts in order to 'relate' to them. When a person is faced with a tough situation and no easy choices, I find it interesting, whether their own personal backstory (or lack thereof) is one I have firsthand knowledge of or not.

Comment Re:Hype (Score 1) 179

Maybe they should put the review of the 150,000 ideas out to the public as well? They'd probably get a lot of interesting (and some useful) feedback. Crowd-sourcing the review would probably make sure that the best ideas did indeed percolate to the top. They might also attract other sources of funding too. Not sure why Google is playing this all so close to the chest if the goal is to save the world. Seems like they only want to save the world so long as they control the process and get the credit. Hmm...

Comment Re:Whoa (Score 1) 435

I recently tried Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04 on my older laptop. To my dismay, neither worked out of the box, nor could I overcome driver problems in a reasonable time period (1 hour). So, back to XP. It's frustrating. I haven't tried a slackware distro in ages, so maybe I'll give that a shot but my hopes for working broadcom 43xx wifi drivers aren't high... Harder to understand why radeon xpress cards aren't supported in Windows 7 given that they work fine in Vista...

So, drivers are my first big complaint, but right up there are all the problems of bloat you describe. It just seems ludicrous that MS Office needs GB of RAM to run well. I'm old enough to remember GUI running spreadsheet apps on a C64 (yeah, that would be 64 kilobytes of RAM) using GEOS (

Comment Re:Won't the companies just move? (Score 1) 1505

You make a good point, and provide evidence in favor of the argument against any and all corporate taxes. It makes much more sense all around to simply tax the owners of corporations.

What we need is just what common sense tells us: a heavily progressive income (including capital gains) tax structure, as originally suggested by Thomas Jefferson:"exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise."

Comment Re:two ways to solve the tax "scam" (Score 5, Insightful) 1505

Here's another option:

Require companies to generate ONE set of financial statements each year, not two.

At present, companies create one set of financial statements for shareholders (showing big profits) and one statement for the IRS (showing little or no profits). A simple law that forbids this two-faced scheme would do a great deal to bring companies in line.

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