Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Peanuts (Score 1) 263

If you can project in advance exactly how much something will cost to build, that means by definition you're not doing anything novel because if you're doing anything new, you don't know what kinds of problems you'll run into.

Well, the VLHC would be novel, so there's gonna be unexpected costs.

Comment Re:No Cures, just more drugs, drugs drugs... (Score 1) 90

The funny part is back in the old days of medicine doctors and researchers were interested in finding cures and creating cures. Today it is all about making a profit and continuing to make profits.

Yeah, greed is totally a modern invention brought about by The Evil Corporations. I think my eyes just rolled a full 360*.

Comment Re:Soon we'll be able to model coal (Score 2) 90

All you'll do is generate a huge amount of data that adds nothing of value, because the data you're modelling from comes from the tiny pieces of data you already now, no *new* insight is gained from taking that data and modelling more copies of it.

Much like there's no point building weather prediction computers, since all we do is put data we already have from weather stations into them, and no point building FEM simulators for structural engineering since we already know how a single girder acts under stress.

Or... could it be that multiple simple elements can interact in ways that are not meaningfully predicted by an understanding of individual elements? NAW!

Comment Re:Neither will... (Score 1) 327

Oh, yes, wanting the kids you raise to be your own offspring can only be the result of a totem pole of arrogance up the ass. There's absolutely no biological or instinctual reason people might feel that way.

Zealots like you are the worst enemy of your cause, whatever unlucky cause you inflict yourselves upon.

Comment Good luck with that (Score 2) 405

The SCOTUS opened the doors to unlimited big-money influence in its Citizens United decision, and when given an opportunity to acknowledge that this was one of the worst decisions in SCOTUS history when a Montana law came before it by appeals, they refused 9-0.

Until the SCOTUS has turned over almost entirely during an era of greater social responsibility, you can look forward to any meaningful attempt to stop the influence of big money to be shot down under the banner of CU. Or the Constitution is amended. Which, given that outright supermajorities of both Democrats and Republicans oppose it - the only similarly near-unanimous agreement I can think of is the declaration of war after Pearl Harbor - is not actually terribly far fetched.

Comment Re:Yawn (Score 1) 367

Because "weather" is not "climate."

Weather is what it is out right now. Feel free to dig through graphs of past temperature records, and you can satisfy yourself that no day of the year will have the same temperature, humidity, rainfall, or anything graph on two successive years. Climate is the time-averaged expectation value and ignores anything on shorter than several year scales at the very least.

It's not even that simple, as there are many characteristic timescales involved in the climate, not just one. For example, the pacific decadal oscillation and atlantic mean oscillation occur over decade timescales and have an enormous impact on rainfall levels throughout north america.

Comment Re: Yawn (Score 0) 367

There's two big things that used to come out of fossil fuel smokestacks: CO2 and aerosols. CO2 increases the atmosphere's opacity to mid IR (thereby trapping heat), while aerosols scatter light in the upper atmosphere and generally prevent light/heat from reaching the surface.

Pollution controls have gone a long way towards reducing aerosol emissions, but CO2 continues to be dumped freely. So we see slight warming before the mid 20th century, then a levelling off, now expect faster warming.

Comment Re:I've been designing/building a 3D printer for (Score 1) 348

Open source is a nice idea, but I'll take thoroughly documented, reliable PIC hardware and IDE over an Arduino any day of the week, but I'm getting off topic...

Just like to say, there's nothing inherently wrong with the Arduino's hardware (the fact that a stm32f4-series device of comparable price is about two orders of magnitude more powerful notwithstanding). But their silly "hide the reality of microcontrollers" IDE and most-C language made me intensely stabby. I guess what I'm saying is, get an stm32. Or msp430 if you're ok writing in windows only.

Comment Re:Brute Force (Score 2) 218

In defense of "bury it," the sarcophagus at Chernobyl was built using late-Soviet era materials, under unbelievable constraints of time and construction difficulty. You try "doing it right" when your welders can literally work for about 15 minutes before they have to leave and never return, building structurally sound walls to support your dome is impossible, and all while knowing that every single vehicle and piece of equipment you bring in will have to be abandoned and left to rot because it's now Contaminated.

Any sarcophagus built at Fukushima will be as if construction at Chernobyl were to begin today: "This area is somewhat contaminated. Mind your dosimeter, wear your protective clothes, take a shower after every shift and don't lick your tools and you'll be fine. Oh, and smile for the tourists."

Comment Re:So permit them to fix them... (Score 0) 218

The power system you have now will be approximately the power system running when you die.

I think it's very unlikely that we'll still have gas to burn at the rate we're going by the 2090s. Coal, perhaps, but hopefully we won't be insanely stupid enough to completely and irreversibly rape our environment (dumping that much CO2 into the air would be a catastrophe beyond description due to ocean acidification) and then be left practically in the dark when everything except nuclear, hydro and solar becomes too expensive to fuel.

Comment Re:Cheap at half the price! (Score 2) 218

Fukushima, in short, has cesium contamination like Chernobyl (because cesium is volatile at low temperatures) but basically none of the heavy isotope contamination. So we can fast forward about 20 years on the recovery (virtually the entire open-air dose rate near Chernobyl is now Cesium decay). So while the radiation levels at Chernobyl have decreased from lethal to sorta-dangerous relatively quickly, it will still be another 120 years or so until they go from sorta-dangerous to pretty-much-not-dangerous.

Personally, I'd guess that around 2040 (one more Cs half-life) enough of the radiation from both Chernobyl and Fukushima will be gone, either truly due to decay or apparently by diffusing into the ground away from the surface, that there will be significant human return to much of the exclusion zones, although monitoring will have to be ongoing for a long time.

Comment Re:First for banning HFT (Score 1) 314

And yet, all the places in the world one who has the choice would actually want to live have tons of regulations, while the places whose names are synonymous with hell in the public zeitgeist have none or next to none.

It might have to do with how unrestrained human behavior creates problems when there are millions of them living in close quarters, and all those horrible, awful laws and taxes and regulations are our way of kinda making it work anyway.

Slashdot Top Deals

Real wealth can only increase. -- R. Buckminster Fuller