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Comment YES! IF it's the RIGHT nuclear (Score 1) 485

And last gen pressurized water reactors are not it. LFTR. Simple to say, easy to build and the correct answer according to the father of nuclear power. Safer by orders of magnitude than Uranium based reactors and requiring far less to build and maaintain, it's also able to burn up a lot of the radiocative 'waste' from the old model reactors. Runs hotter at normal sea level pressures and is walk-away safe.. these things could start being built inside of a few years. There has already been one that ran safe for thousands of hours.. the only thing that would need to be done to start using them is developing a commercial variant from the test reactors. years and we could start retiring coal plants across the world.
As a bonus they could be far more useful in manufacturing, smelting, desalinization as well as artificial fuel creation from carbon 'waste' to make a regenerative cycle liquid fuel that is a drop in replacement for our current gas and diesel fuels. It is the correct answer to the question 'how do we reduce carbon emissions and provide enough power for a 21st century world?'

Comment Ignorance is dangerous (Score 1) 585

and this is why our founding fathers thought education was so important. For a democracy (even a representative one) it's even MORE so. "Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one" Benjamin Franklin said that, and it's as true today as it ever was. For any government to say it's in our best interest to NOT have the ability or right to privacy in order to 'protect' us is completely full of shit.

Comment Re:Just 5 billions for 200 MW?? (Score 1) 182

Sigh. Just.. sigh. Ok, break down a power plant into 2 parts then, and we'll make this easier to grasp. ONE part makes heat. The other part takes the heat and converts it into power. Ok... the part that converts the heat into power, that will still have to be there.. the part that makes heat, you remove that and put a fusion reactor there instead. Now currently gas turbine is the go-to sexy for power generation. It's relatively cheap to build, easy to maintain and doesn't have a huge footprint. Most of the current crop of fusion reactors being worked on (other than the tokamak) would be equivalent to the footprint and cost of the gas turbines and have one very important bonus.. NO FUEL cost, or very small compared to chemical generators like coal and gas turbines.

That even discounts that some of the more radical fusion reactors won't pan out. Aneutronic fusion is the apotheosis of power generation.. there IS no conversion from heat to electricity. The reaction gives on 'beams' of supercharged beta particles and ions which are captured (for lack of a better word) directly generating electricity. This reactor could be housed in a building so small it wouldn't look any bigger than a residence.

There's also the tech-we-won't-use, a LFTR. It would be an incredibly cheap reactor to build, it's operating cost would be extremely low and have a footprint very similar to that of a gas turbine plant. As an added bonus the byproduct of extra heat it produces could be put to use creating manufactured liquid fuels that would be drop in replacements for gasoline and diesel.. to de-salinize water and heat enough to power industrial plants for things like smelting etc. it's fuel is cheap as dirt and it can even use the leftover waste from a heavy water reactor AS fuel. Pretty much an engineers' dream.. just not allowed to be built or pursued.

Comment Did anyone back then have original ideas? (Score 1) 139

I mean, now we know Gygax stole D&D, Jobs stole the mouse and the desktop OS from PARC, Gates stole (bought) DOS from another guy.. holy shit. Can you imagine if the actual creators of these things had managed to cash in on their ideas instead of the icons we now venerate?

Comment You should be able to sue... (Score 1) 279

I recently stumbled on a somewhat similar situation, albeit on a much smaller scale. I recently decided that I wanted to update my 3+ year old S3 Samsung phone. it's in perfect working order, but there are new apps etc that I can't run on it, so I figured 'time to Cyanogen-mod this puppy!" I very quickly found out that the last update that was pushed to my phone, something almost like 2 years ago, purposely blew a 'q fuse', rending my phone unchangeable. In my opinion this was done maliciously and has caused me financial harm; if I could flash my phone with a newer os I would not need to buy one which is exactly what the carrier obviously wanted to prevent.

I know this is a trivial example compared to the expense of your tractor.. but it's becoming more and more common. Another example, my motorcycle has a computerized fuel injection system that is locked. It uses a proprietary software program to make changes to it.. I was forced to buy an after market fuel controller to make changes to the fuel map, basically an 'adder' only. The onboard ECM is more than capable of handling the increased fuel demand I need to support the after-market modifications that I made, but I'm locked out of the system and are unable to make changes to it.

As long as people continue with their blithe uncaring attitude about the gadgets and hardware they 'buy' w/out understanding what's in them it's only going to get worse and worse. Copyright law needs to change, and drastically. The attitude that 'doesn't matter as long as the corp makes a profit' has to stop as well. Forced obsolescence is NOT ok..locking people out of the things they own is not ok. This message needs to become important.

Comment You sir have read too much sci-fi (Score 1) 645

Ok, I'll grant you that our current nuclear reactors leave a lot of long-lived transuranic elements with extremely long half-lives. That's why In most of the enlightened posts up to now (that you probably didn't read or can't understand) people are suggesting newer and better designed reactors. A Thorium based reactor, especially one that is in a liquid fluoride moderator has NO long lived (at least none longer than say 100 years or so) fission products. Most of the ones it DOES produce would be useful in medical research and other scientific endeavors, AND to top it off, the current waste that we have laying around can be BURNT OFF in them. That's right, the leftover mess from 60 years or so of playing with nuclear power can be safely disposed of, making useful power instead.

Your supposition that we'll all be back to beating on rocks at some undetermined point in time is fatalistic at best. I can say that the cornerstone of a modern society is POWER. Before we harnessed chemical energy in a large scale manner that power came from people in the form of slavery. At every juncture in the timeline of humanity when there was a breakthrough in the production and dissemination of power the standard of living for the common man improved dramatically. There are huge swaths of humanity that still do not have access to the limited resources of dinosaur fuel we used predominantly today. You want to raise up the poor unwashed masses around the globe, and feed them better? Provide them with affordable cheap and safe power. Without power, agriculture, sanitation, construction etc etc etc are stifled. With it, clean water is made easy, sewage treatment becomes trivial, medicine, education, clothing, heating, cooling etc etc etc, all become possible. Cheap plentiful power is the ONLY way to advance the cause of the human race. PERIOD. Fossil fuels can not provide it for all of us. "Renewables' like solar and wind can provide trickles of what's needed, but they'll never ever be able to completely meet the needs of an advanced society.

I am disgusted by the droves of mindless nay-sayers who vilify nuclear power without any understanding of what it is they talk about. Endlessly belching out their vitriolic toxic idea that they've parroted from others w/out understanding what it is that they are talking about. You're worried about education in remote places in the world? How about we review what our own children are learning in the schools in our first world countries. When children know more about the pop-top 40 charts than they do the periodic chart of the elements, that's a problem. When modern adults can tell you all about pookie's day on some reality show but can't tell you anything about the history of the human race, that's a problem. I say take away their goddamned 'selfie-sticks' and give them a slide rule, and the know-how to use them!

Comment Why is everyone thinking about 1970's power plants (Score 1) 645

When they look at the cost of power plants, they always go with the old gen1 or 2 style multi-billion dollar nuclear plants from 40 or 50 years ago. There are dozens of better and safer ways to build nuclear power plants and that includes the new sexy ideas of small 'unattended' modular power reactors. Then there are the innovative designs that rewrite the whole idea behind nuke power altogether, like LFTR reactors. Hell, even if you don't go full bore Thorium reactors there are a lot of intermediate designs that use fluorine salts as a moderator and other of that ilk as well. If we put a fraction of the time and energy into building modern reactors as we did to upgrade fucking cell phones we'd all have a modular reactor in our neighborhoods by now. Jesus.. can we prioritize at all here people?

Comment THIS should be foremost... (Score 1) 352

in people's minds when they go to vote. These corporate shills only want to get themselves into a position of authority so they can extort more money out of corporations to buy their support and influence. I've said this before.. if we don't find a way to detach elected officials from the bribe money they get (excuse me, I mean 'donations') there won't be any gov't left. I would love to hear the explanation this guy could spin should he be brought to task on this... I'm sure he would defend it as 'American' to try to get ahead in life or some such shit. We need a new Mission/Vision statement in gov't.. 'of the PEOPLE and for the PEOPLE, not the corporate interests!" What kills me is the number of led-by-the-nose run of the mill people that will side WITH this clown even against their own interests.

Comment Re:Surrounded? (Score 1) 336

I would say, until you walked a mile in THEIR shoes etc etc. Did you even read the linked article? They already have 3 solar farms. They have very valid concerns about the property values as well as the agricultural heritage of the area. The proposed location of the solar farm would have been 50ft from peoples houses and too close to the state route it would run alongside. In other words whoever wrote the original article should be vlillified, NOT the residents of this town.

Comment Re:Why is this on Slashdot? (Score 2, Insightful) 151

The Legislative branch is supposed to represent the PEOPLE of this country, not just it's CEO's. The laws they are trying to repeal on ones that are supposed to help not just Americans, but the whole world to have cleaner air, cleaner water and be more sustainable. The problem is these wack-jobs have been convinced that there is no way us poor little human beings can ever change our planet in any significant way; that's the purview of 'THE CREATOR". I've had this diatribe spewed at me every time I've tried to talk intelligently about carbon emissions, global warming, you name it. It's almost boiler plate (direct from Fox News I'm sure) "I can stand on a mountain top and look at the majesty of the earth and KNOW that GOD created all things, and nothing man can do will change it!". I don't know where this rhetoric came from, but it's almost the same wording. If for nothing else, the ultra-conservative religious right have GOT to have the best PR machine since the original theological spin doctors a 1000 years ago.

Comment Re:No union needed (Score 1) 262

The people making the laws are the same ones pushing the H!B agenda...the laws in this country increasingly do not favor it's constituents, rather it's capitalists and those who can afford to 'buy' the laws to ensure their profits.

A single worker usually doesn't have the political and legal acumen to be able to represent themselves in negotiations. Like it or not, there is strength in numbers. A company can callously fire or mistreat an employee w/out the support of his fellow workers, it's considerably harder to do so when there is an organization that watches out for his rights. I will agree that there is corruption and graft in the unions, but that is true of ANY organization once it becomes large and established. A board of directors have their own (and supposedly their stockholders)) best interests at heart and will do anything to maximize that profit margin. Having a counterbalance like a union to look out for the welfare of the workers, and in a lot of cases the company itself is a good thing.

Comment shaking with rage (Score 1) 262

This happened at my job year ago.. albeit in a much lower tier job working an internal help desk. I fortunately escaped the help desk months before it was dissolved and started working as a local IT guy in the same company. Ever since that episode, I've told my boss and anyone else in the hierarchy, I do not care what you offer me.. when you decide that it's a viable alternative to give my job to someone else for less pay.. you've decided I'm supernumerary and I will NOT train my replacement. I am not racist, or in any way derisive of other cultures but in the case where the Indian group took over the help desk that I worked at it was in no way 'better' for anyone, other than possibly whatever middle manager managed to get a promotion off of the backs of the 'saving's he managed to make. To this day I have to deal with the incompetence and ignorance of this off shore help desk on a daily basis. As commonly practiced, as soon as you train up someone to do the job, they move on to greener pastures and you start all over again with another untrained and unusable new trainee. It's an abhorrent practice.

Comment Hope more companies do this... (Score 1) 328

so that just maybe people will wake up to the world we live in. We've given over most of our rights and just expect that the corporations are some benign entity that just can't wait to do something else for us. A few more blatant slaps across the face would do people good I say.

Can we get the cell phone companies in on this too please? Maybe the banks too?

Comment Re: Co-Eds Needs To Stop Showing (Score 1) 399

We have lost ourselves in an attempt to be politically correct in this society. Here's what I mean..

A young man sees a a young girl and finds her attractive and approaches her. Not physically restraining her, or drugging her or any other form of persuation other than expressing interest. and by the current ideology of militant feminists he has committed rape. No, I'm not kidding.. as defined by rabid feminists simply by trying to communicate that he is attracted to a female in a perfectly normal way he has made 'unwanted advances' and made her uncomfortable by 'forcing her' to say no, or to say she's not interested.

There is a current trend in some colleges to create 'safe zones' for women.. in essence, a place where no males are allowed to enter. According to some, merely having a biological male in their presence makes them feel as if they are in danger of being raped. The inherent sexism in this is lost on them.. only women need to be protected and shielded and only their rights should be respected. I read yesterday where they are trying to expand that so that it specifically lists 'white people' as well.. because minorities can't feel equal or unpersecuted unless there aren't any white people around. To entertain EITHER of these odious ideas is not only unconstitutional it's madness. Rape should have very clear definitions... talking to someone is NOT rape. LOOKING at someone is not rape. Having consensual sex with someone that is inebriated is NOT rape. It may be poor judgement on both parties involved, but it's NOT rape.

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