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Comment Re:oh, I don't think they're ignoring bad tech (Score 5, Interesting) 134

While I agree that there is a lot of information being lost in the media grinder, and that the handling of Fukushima should be made into the poster child for clusterfuckitude, I would say that this is an example of (some) Japanese politicians taking some of the more rigid aspects of Japanese culture to task.

Also, contrary to what the GP is trying to say, this is not about making the technology appear safe and blaming human error. It even says this in the summary, "We cannot rule out the possibility that a small-scale LOCA (loss-of-coolant accident) occurred at the reactor No 1 in particular."

This reaction is the opposite of what has historically happened in Japan when this sort of issue arises. The ex-TEPCO execs and their government cronies are being lambasted in the press and on the net for being given cushy jobs and TEPCO is being nationalized. Hopefully, harsher measures will be applied (if the furor doesn't die down).

Hopefully, those responsible for the human errors will be made to pay for their mistakes, and those technological shortfalls will be shored up. If they can't be fixed, we'll have to find a new way of getting power.

Comment Re:Scientific philanthropy in Japan ? (Score 4, Insightful) 107

Why do my moderator points never come when I need them?

a) Philanthropists don't pay for Japanese whaling. It's paid for by corporate investment, government tax breaks, and profits from the sale of whale meat at such popular restaurants as Gansokujira-ya ( In this way, it's quite similar to other food-based industries around the world, like the beef industries in the USA and Australia.

b) There are many good excuses for making despicable things acceptable. Luckily, the sustainable whaling taking place in the Southern Ocean isn't despicable. I mean, seriously, it's probably the only sustainable "fishing" market on the planet. Why would anyone complain about it?

c) Finally, whales can't talk, so asking them what they think probably won't result in any useful answers.


Submission + - Predator drone used by North Dakota Police for arr

garymortimer writes: "Meet the Brossarts, a North Dakota family deemed so dangerous that the local sheriff needed unleashed an unmanned Predator drone to help bring them in.

The Brossart’s alleged crime? They wouldn’t give back three cows and their calves that wandered onto their 3,000-acre farm this summer.

The Brossarts are the first known subjects of the high-flying new surveillance technology that the federal government has made available to some local sheriffs and police chiefs – all without Congressional approval or search warrants"

Submission + - Googlers Offer $33M for Use of NASA Airship Hangar

theodp writes: 'I wanna be a billionaire, so freakin' bad, buy all of the things I never had.' The Mercury News reports that NASA is considering an offer from Google's billionaire founders to provide '100 percent' funding to save Hangar One. Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt have, through a company they control, proposed paying the full $33 million cost of revamping Hangar One, once home to the Navy's giant airships at Moffett Field, in return for use up to two-thirds of the floor space of the hangar to house their fleet of eight private jets. In October, the Googlers struck an agreement with NASA Ames calling for the use of their 'co-located' Alpha fighter jet to, among other things, help NASA mitigate wildfires and study global warming.

Submission + - NASA Space Exploration Workshop Discusses Moon vs. (

MarkWhittington writes: "NASA conducted a workshop on the Global Exploration Roadmap, the plan for the human exploration of the moon, near Earth asteroids, and eventually Mars in San Diego, California on Nov. 14-16. Among the topics of discussion were the establishment of a way station at the L2 point between the Earth and the Moon, the advantages of exploring Earth approaching asteroids vs. going back to the Moon, and various cost, commercialization, and international cooperation issues."

Submission + - Can Toads Help In Predicting Earthquakes? (

ClockEndGooner writes: The BBC is reporting that a team led by Dr. Friedemann Freund from NASA and Dr. Rachel Grant from the UK's Open University have found that “animals may sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur when an earthquake is about to strike.” Just prior to the quake that struck L'Aquila, Italy in 2009, Grant observed a mass toad exodus from a colony she was monitoring as part of her PhD project, and her published results prompted NASA to contact her as they found that highly stressed tectonic plates released a greater amount of positively charged ions that affected the water quality, which was sensed by the toads. According to NASA’s Freund, "Once we understand how all of these signals are connected, if we see four of five signals all pointing in [the same] direction, we can say, 'ok, something is about to happen'."

Comment Re:Side by side (Score 1) 284

I live 240km from Fukushima. Though I'm far from the irradiated area, my claim to fame is the black-ish rain I had to walk through to get to work a few days after the earthquake. Anyway, I believe that nuclear power should be a part of our future power generation strategy, but because of the potential dangers surrounding nuclear power in a seismically unstable region, the industry should be heavily regulated.

So, I am very happy that there are enough regulations surrounding nuclear power to increase the cost of energy production.

Expensive nuclear > cheap coal.

Comment Re:Microsoft Has No One To Blame But Themselves (Score 2) 203

That's a bit misleading. You say that the PS3 is in last place worldwide, and then you say that the 360 is the fastest selling console right now. Then you make the conclusion that the 360 is increasing its lead on the PS3.

However, you left out the part from TFA that mentions that it's the fastest selling console in the US. You can make no conclusion about worldwide sales figures based upon the sales figures in the US. You can't just mix data samples like that.

I don't care about the whole console war or anything, I just like my statistics to be honest ones.

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