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Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 298

Yes. I've run numbers before. No, I'm not going to be bothered to do them again for a Slashdot chat on a thread that's rapidly becoming out of date. Feel free to do your own if you doubt me. Take a sampling of solar plants with a realistic capacity factor and a sampling of hydro plants with a realistic capacity factor, and compare. You'll need a broader sampling on hydro because solar thermal plants are "fairly" consistent (with the exception of compact linear fresnel plants, of which last I checked there was only one), while hydro reservoir sizes vary wildly for a given output.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 298

No, a RTG is distinctly different from a nuclear reactor in almost every single way. They do not involve chain reactions. They do not involve neutrons to any significant degree. Moderation, cross section calculations, etc don't even come into play. It's just a ball of material that stays hot due to capturing its own alphas. RTGs are not considered nuclear reactors. There is no wiggle room on this; they're an entirely different class of spacecraft power systems.

RTGs scale down quite well. They're also, however, about as far on the opposite side of the affordability spectrum as you could possibly get.

There have been actual nuclear reactors used on spacecraft in the past, as I wrote, primarily by the Soviets. But they're anything what you'd consider a cost effective design for civilian power generation.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 298

Higher fissile number density = higher enrichment = nonstarter. Fine for submarines, not for civilian power. Re, reflector, you still have to deal with free path issues when determining overall reactor size. The more you're spending on inert mass relative to how much power you're getting, the worse your economics. Plus your reflector is contributing to (n, gamma) and other neutron consuming reactions (although it's possible to use a moderator that you need anyway (say graphite) as a reflector... although there are issues with that as well to deal with)

You'll note that I mentioned and agreed with the mass production argument - if fission power is going to have an actually sustainable renaissance, I would expect modular reactors to be the means. But I nonetheless questioned whether that could be enough to overcome the basic issues on top of the additional challenges that a small modular reactor imposes.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 298

Energy density (with respect to time) - J/m^2-s or equivalent.

As for "Who cares?" The GP for one. Me for two. Most people on Earth as well. The more land that is used up, the less you have for other purposes, be that for humans (agriculture, forestry, mining, grazing, etc) or natural habitat. It hits doubly that reservoirs target land defined most notably by the following characteristics:

1) Large river
2) Deep ravine/basin
3) Significant altitude change

In short, they often tend to be the areas most important to wildlife, often locally-unique habitats, as well as the most scenic areas within a given location - areas responsible as well for significant mobilization of sediment and oxygenation of water.

Solar, by contrast benefits most from environments full of endless identical flat wastelands. The more mundane and barren, the better.

Comment Re:They both look the same from here (Score 1) 10

Wow, where to start with this one.

The claim that monarchies are legitimate so that makes them non-fascist is total bullshit - those monarchies didn't just naturally evolve - there was a lot of blood spilled in the process.

Oh shut up. Now you're picking random potentially totalitarian things out of the air as if Fascism is a generic term of really bad totalitarian governments.

Monarchies are a completely ridiculous diversion and no, they're not the same. They're not even the same type of thing. Fascism is an ideology, not a constitutional system of government. And nobody would argue that monarchies are "legitimate" so that makes them "non-fascist", because the term has no meaning here. Are fascist governments not "legitimate"? I'm pretty sure Mussolini was the legitimate leader of Italy until the Italians found a new use for meathooks.

Nor is this a discussion of totalitarianism, and we're not trying to define totalitarianism. We're discussing Fascism, a specific ideology, created by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, and expanded upon by Adolf Hitler and others after that.

Europe in the 1920s and 1930s is precisely relevant to defining Fascism. That's when the first Fascists appeared. And almost from the beginning, Mussolini was adamant about "protecting" the "Aryan race". Between his own rhetoric, and Hitler's influence, this culminated in the Manifesto of Race on the Italian side. I don't need to tell you what it culminated in on the German side.

If you reject the inventor of the term "fascism" as being somehow unconnected to his own ideology, and decide to ascribe completely unrelated movements and constitutional systems (!!!) to Fascism purely because they're totalitarian, then again you're just plain not addressing the term.

And to circle back to the topic, I called Trump a fascist. Not a communist. Not a king. Not a totalitarian. Not a dictator. A fascist.

He's a racist who demonizes and dehumanizes non-whites, and scapegoats them for America's "problems". He has contempt for democracy. He directly and actively promotes violence against his political rivals. He wants to use the law to punish those who oppose him, from politicians to the free media.

I don't like Clinton, but she's none of those things. And you have to be those things to be a fascist.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 2) 298

US or Russian naval officers would disagree with you.

See what I wrote above. You can make a reactor of any size. But you lose efficiency - both neutron efficiency and cost efficiency - the more you scale down. Nuclear sub reactors' scaledowns are aided by the use of highly enriched uranium as fuel, something you don't want to do with civilian nuclear plants. And note that even nuclear subs' reactors aren't "small". A Los Angeles class, for example, uses a 165MW reactor. And nuclear power plants, unlike subs, generally need to have multiple reactors so that they can be taken down for maintenance / fueling.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 3, Interesting) 298

The GP is correct. Solar farms are a pretty dense energy source - comparable (when the reservoir is included) to all but the highest head dams, and an order of magnitude or two more than a typical dam. And some designs can get even more dense, such as linear fresnel reflectors (which cover a higher percentage of the ground because of less issues with self-shading as the sun moves). Plus, solar can be paired with wind. Wind is a low energy density source with respect to total acreage, but very high with respect to actual surface area required on the ground.

Beyond this, a few notes. Much solar doesn't have to take up any new land at all, as one notes from rooftop solar (ideally industrual/commercial), parking shelters/covered walkways, etc. And places where solar plants are made are most typically desert areas. And there's a curious reversal in the desert when it comes to life: while shading terrain hinders life in moist areas, it encourages life in desert areas. In the desert, places that provide shade (ironwood trees, saguaro cacti, large rocks, etc) tend to turn into oases of life - not simply by providing relief from the blazing sun, but slowing down the rate of water loss from the soil. Now, this doesn't usually happen with solar plants because at this stage, most are kept cleared. But that does not have to be the case.

Comment Re:Not a copyright violation, a Trademark violatio (Score 1) 214

No it's not legitimate if he merely mentioned either. Merely mentioning a trademark doesn't mean you're in violation of trademark law, otherwise you wouldn't be able to talk about most commercial products. The precise restrictions on trademarked word use are best described by a lawyer, but remember the intent of trademark law is to prevent people from passing an item off as something associated with the trademark owner, not to restrict people's ability to talk about products they've seen or owned.

For more information, visit Bing and google "trademarks".

Comment Re:About time. (Score 4, Interesting) 496

Medical professionals have a professional duty to state medical facts. If they refuse, they can and should be placed in a different career path.

An accountant or lawyer promoting a Sovereign Citizen view of the relationship between client and state would be struck off. A Bridge Engineer who rejects Newtonian (or better) mechanics would be struck off.

This isn't like banning a doctor from discussing gun safety because you lobbyists are worried it might lead to a decrease in household gun ownership. This is about nurses being required not to mislead people about medicine, abusing their positions as respected medical professionals to sow misinformation. It's not a freedom of speech issue, it's a professionalism issue, and critically it's a life and death issue.

Comment Re:Or... (Score 1) 121

Funny thing is after I lived with the flip phone for a year or so, about a year ago I bought the cheapest smartphone I could ($30, at Walmart!) and was stunned at how much better it was than the GN. OK, the screen was worse, as was the amount of storage -- though the fact it took SD cards mitigated that in part, but it really was faster, smoother, and the UI had less bugs. It resold me on Android.

I honestly don't think price has much to do with device "niceness" in the Android world. Sure, in the early days, you had a few "cheap" phones with sub-WVGA screens that were barely usable, and right until a couple of years ago even the slightly better ones seemed cobbled together, but right now I'm actually seeing low end hardware that's caught up with Android's needs, while critical features continue to get removed from phones as they get more expensive.

And some of those removed features do, actually, make the phone less frustrating. That cheap $30 Walmart special had dedicated navigation buttons for example - its replacement doesn't, meaning I have to swipe from the corners to get buttons that'll close a full screen app or just send that full screen app a "back" signal. How is that an improvement? It isn't. The buttons are removed because it interferes with the lines of the device and would make it fractionally bigger, aesthetic considerations that undermine usability and makes the device more annoying to use.

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