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Comment Re:Misleading (Score 3, Funny) 70

Planes do detect other planes in proximity with the aptly-named proximity warning. Miles in advance. With beeps buzzes and autopilot disengagement. They are called ACAS. There are various levels of support depending on version being used by an aircraft.

If the pilot fails to respond, there's a loud bang and a cut on his paycheck.

Submission + - Canadian Medical Association completes divestment from fossil fuels (nationalobserver.com)

mdsolar writes: The Canadian Medical Association’s General Council, held last week in Vancouver, may well be remembered as the moment that Canadian MDs made climate change — dubbed “the biggest health threat of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization — a priority.

First, the diagnosis of climate change as a health emergency was laid out in detail by one of Canada’s most well-respected doctors, Dr. James Orbinski, who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) in 1999. The Canadian Medical Association then confirmed it had in fact completed the divestment of its organizational funds from fossil fuels.

The meeting kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. Orbinski, one of Canada’s most noted humanitarians. “There is no question that climate change is the biggest health threat of our time,” he said, adding that "we cannot possibly live, we cannot possibly survive, we cannot possibly thrive” without a functioning biosphere. He spoke of the disproportionate impacts on Canada’s North, where temperature increases are already in the range of three degrees Celsius, and about the risks of extreme weather, wildfires, flooding and changing patterns of infectious disease.

One of the most passionate moments of Dr. Orbinski’s speech came when he was discussing the malnutrition and food-security risks of climate change.

“In 2011, climate-change driven drought affected 13 million people and 500,000 people died, in the Horn of Africa. This is utterly unacceptable," he said. "That we simply know this and we allow it to continue. It requires that we see ourselves differently in relation to others in the world. This is the consequence of climate change. It is profound and it is utterly unacceptable.“

Submission + - Physicists Examine The Viability Of Spherical Tokamaks In Producing Energy (ibtimes.com)

mdsolar writes: Nuclear fusion has been powering our sun for the past 4.5 billion years. Unlike fission — the process that powers our current nuclear facilities — fusion generates energy by fusing the nuclei of lighter atoms into heavier ones, and produces no long-term radioactive waste.

Imagine if we manage to replicate and miniaturize the process taking place in the core of stars. This would not only provide us a low-cost, clean and virtually limitless source of energy, it would also end our unsustainable reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

In a recent paper published in the journal Nuclear Fusion, a team of physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has detailed the design of a viable and efficient fusion device — one that already exists in an experimental form.

The spherical device, known as a “tokamak,” can contain high-energy, superheated plasma produced through nuclear fusion using relatively low and inexpensive magnetic fields. This, the researchers believe, makes it a leading candidate to complement the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor — a doughnut-shaped tokamak that 35 nations are building in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

The PPPL tokamaks spherical, “cored apple” design also allows tritium — a rare hydrogen isotope — to be created,

Submission + - Problems persist at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors (dw.com)

mdsolar writes: Five years after the second-worst nuclear accident in history, contaminated water is still hampering efforts to gain control of the site. Local residents are reluctant to return to their homes. Julian Ryall reports.

It has been five years and five months since three of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant were crippled by the biggest earthquake and tsunami to strike Japan in living memory. Work continues at the site to clean up the radioactivity that escaped into the atmosphere and to regain control of the reactors.

In its press releases, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) insists that steps taken since the accident are slowly but surely having an effect. But not everyone accepts their assurances — or those of the wider nuclear industry as it seeks public support to restart reactors across the country that have been mothballed since March 2011.

"There are numerous problems that are all interconnected, but one of the biggest that we are facing at the moment is the highly contaminated water that is being stored in huge steel tanks at the site," Aileen Mioko-Smith, an anti-nuclear activist with Kyoto-based Green Action Japan, told DW.

Comment Re:GE Invented offshoring (Score 1) 110

Wasn't GE big on that management system Six Sigma? I don't know any of the details about it other than I think it involves shit-canning the bottom 10% or something of the workforce just because they're the bottom 10% of the workforce.

I also remember a business news story from the Welch era where they were doing so much business in financial services some analysts suggested the company's valuation should be judged as a bank and not as an industrial concern. That may have just been financial news clickbait but I think it was in an era where they were selling off long term industrial businesses and focusing a lot on GE Capital.

Comment Lunar junk (Score 1) 59

If these kinds of projects become more common, is there a risk that desirable landing zones on the moon will become junkyards of project flights and expired landers and rovers?

I'm guessing not, since the moon is about Asia's size in terms of surface area. But maybe due to all kinds of reasons some zone on the moon is easier to hit or more desirable to land on, actually making it something of a problem.

Comment Re:How does this compare to 3d-xpoint stuff? (Score 1) 145

It's funny, but I could have sworn I read Intel actually demoing the technology at a media event, that it was already production ready and that it was beating NAND in all the significant measures, density, speed and durability.

The chatter was that it was *so* good that it was being considered as potential augmentation for RAM, allowing for huge RAM cuts in lower end devices since swapping to it would be largely indistinguishable from actual memory access on low end systems. Marginally believable as I have two SSD Skylake laptops running Win 10 with only 8 GB RAM and I've never gotten the itch to jack up RAM amounts because even generic SATA SSD makes paging transparent enough.

Or it was the next fast tier in enterprise storage, which, IMHO, has to be dreading the rise of cheap 3D-NAND largely obsoleting their tiering sales pitches and forcing primary flash storage down in price. I'm sometimes of the opinion that the latest hyperconverged trends have nothing to do with platform vendors aiming at SAN vendors but hardware vendors looking to boost profits by overselling compute by repackaging it as hybrid compute + storage.

I think the other oft-mentioned thing was that 3D Xpoint was actually going to debut in some kind of ultrabook design in Q1 or Q2 of 2017, so it wasn't necessarily going to be a technology dribbled out at high margins to enterprise markets before reaching pro-/consumer levels -- ie, someone had decided that it was all-around good enough that they could just gut the existing NAND market at once. Maybe that's just led to wishful thinking on my part, the idea that there really was a next big thing available universally and able disrupt the entire storage market.

Submission + - Imagine A World In Which Nothing Gets Thrown Away (huffingtonpost.com)

mdsolar writes: There’s an idea for a world without trash.

Items are not just recycled, but created with the intention of making new things out of them after they are used. Imagine if every pair of Levi’s jeans were manufactured with fibers made to be pulled apart and repurposed into a new pair of jeans after the old ones are cast off. The cycle repeats itself endlessly, meaning old jeans become new jeans, rather than being chucked into a landfill.

This is the promise of the “circular economy,” a metaphorical description of a world where nothing ever needs to be discarded because goods are designed with materials that can be constantly remade into something else. It’s important to note that the concept is pretty theoretical at this point. There are companies that are working on making their operations more circular — even big ones like Walmart — but no one yet can claim to have a business free of waste.

Proponents call our current production model the “linear model,” meaning goods are manufactured with the intention of being thrown away at the end of their useful life. Not only does most of what we buy on a daily basis end up getting tossed out, but all the materials used to make and package our stuff get discarded, too. Think about the plastic packaging — just the packaging — of the products sold in most stores.

If things keep going this way, by 2025 the ocean will contain a ton of plastic for every three tons of fish, according to a report on rethinking plastics by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a circular economy-focused think tank. By 2050, the ocean could have more plastic than fish, by weight.

TFA misses that the theory has been worked out pretty well. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...

Submission + - Security breaches rise at UK nuclear sites (heraldscotland.com)

mdsolar writes: THE police force charged with guarding UK nuclear power plants has admitted to a substantial increase in the number of breaches of security last year.

There were 21 separate incidents involving stolen or lost smart phones and identity cards, up from 13 the previous year.

In one case a Blackberry was taken in a “domestic burglary”, and in another a SIM card was “accidently thrown in disposal chute at home address.” Emails containing sensitive information, including an armoury access code and personal data, were sent in breach of security protocols.

“Terrorists must be delighted with this catalogue of cock-ups,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

“It seems you just have to follow some nuclear police around for a while and they'll drop their pass in a car park, leave a work phone on the train or accidentally send secret info through Google mail. It would be laughable if it wasn’t about the safety of some of the most dangerous sites in the UK.”

The revelations uncovered by the Sunday Herald have been condemned as well as prompting alarm from campaigners and politicians. They point out that there have recently been concerns about Chinese state companies stealing nuclear industry secrets.

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