Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Long time coming (Score 1) 117

Electric vehicles will greatly flatten the power demand curve of the grid.
Teslas only need a software patch to let them charge when the grid tells them to (in exchange for a big electricity discount).
Any new nuclear project starting today will come online some 10 years from now when Li Ion electricity storage will be quite cheap, just distribute Li Ion packs throughout the grid so they can charge at off peak hours and discharge at peak.
Any efforts of say no to nuclear isn't increasing solar/wind adoption, but rather helping coal and natural gas stay.
Nuclear reactors can do some load following. EDF in France does it. US reactors don't do it cause there are few enough reactors their job is to produce as much electricity as possible, all the time.
You can double nuclear in the USA and many other countries without creating problems for renewables.
Nuclear needs to replace the really bad baseload coal plants. Replacing them with natural gas isn't the best solution !

Comment Re:Long time coming (Score 1) 117

There is no Thorium reactor design available off the shelf today.
The closest we are to a Thorium fueled design is Thorium+Plutonium MOX fuel on existing/under construction LWR/BWR reactors. See Thor Energy and LightBridge.
The first molten salt reactors might not use Thorium at all. See Canada's Terrestrial Energy.
Every other MSR design is likely 10+ years away from a demonstration prototype, mostly due to US NRC regulatory insanity.
A proper Thorium reactor (MSR+Thorium fuel) isn't being aggressively pursued. We have far more Uranium than we know what to do with. We have lots of Plutonium in spent nuclear fuel, Plutonium already separated (reactor grade) and weapons grade plutonium awaiting disposal, oh and a few tons of U233 that is for Thorium what Plutonium is for U238.

Lets separate long term dreams to doing nuclear today/next year. Right now the only choice is PWR/BWR/AHWR (water as coolant).

Comment Re:Long time coming (Score 1) 117

They wanted a reactor 100% identical to the existing one at the same site, with the same controls, systems, everything. So the operations/maintenance people are the same.
So they ended up with a reactor with a mix of old analog systems and new digital (that has been installed in the new and the old reactors).

Comment Re:Hydogen is just a way to store energy (Score 1) 630

I think you got it completely wrong, either by ignorance or wilful distortion.
The expensive part of generating your own electricity is if you store it for later usage, by yourself.
Using the grid as your electrical battery is a gift. A huge gift.

And don't tell me you're forbidden from storing the energy you produced yourself. There's no such thing.
The battery packs cost far more than the solar panels to do that.

In the long run the issue will be the opposite. In order to get net metering, consumers will be required to have some form of self storage, in order to balance out peak load on the grid. If that happens after 2025, Li Ion (or better) storage will be cheap enough this will be affordable, and most solar panel investment will have paid off, or new panels will be ultra cheap.

Comment Re:daily mail reporting (Score 1) 555

Every vehicle that performs regen breaking have little break pad wear. So both pure EV and plugin EV generate very little particulates from break pad wear.
The argument about tires is like saying, we shouldn't drive at all, cause all tires pollute the environment.
The whole thing sounds like a huge heap of boloney, we should realize there is such things as scientists for hire that will say pretty much anything whoever pays them enough money tells them to say.

Comment Re:Err - no. (Score 1) 162

Because you just don't get it (TM).
Tesla could be profitable if it wanted to. But they choose to grow faster and do it right (TM) rather than do it profitably.
But, here's the kicker.
Once Q1 2016 financials are published, we'll see increasing revenues, and the end of Model X tooling/ramp-up expenditures. Meanwhile, Model X revenues begin to skyrocket. You do know that Model S/Model X generate about 20% positive cash flow, do you ? What happens is that 20% cash flow goes into R&D/tooling.
So what happens when MS+MX yearly revenues break through US$ 10 bi / year. That means US$ 2 bi / year in cash to invest.
Plus, I expect Model 3 reservations to break through half a million easily and very likely get to over a full million pre-orders. That's a one billion USD interest free loan to Tesla.
So it looks like Tesla should be able to in total invest some US$ 5-6 billion in Model 3 design, tooling and rampup, including moneys already invested without borrowing. Of course Tesla still needs cash to complete the giga factory, to do Tesla Energy tooling/rampup, and for the Y model. But if you understand how companies work, if Tesla needs to increase its debt by up to US$ 2 billion, the market will probably see that as a positive aspect rather than negative (its INVESTMENT money, not a cash burning money pit). It you can't understand that, then you really should shut up, as you have proven you know nothing about business. You can't compare Tesla's financials with Ford, GM or Fiat, those are established companies. Tesla is still somewhere between startup and steady state company. Tesla's revenue will eventually break US$ 25 billion / yr, and continue to grow to at least US$ 50 billion / yr on the conservative side (one million units / yr at US$ 60k average price, mostly M3, but some 20% MS+MX which sells for average US$ 100k each). At US$ 50 bi / yr, Tesla will easily pay off all of its debt, fund continuing growth and pay a dividend.

Comment Re:Err - no. (Score 1) 162

  Tesla stated before taking pre orders delivery is scheduled for late 2017. That's about 20 months away. I don't see how you can say Tesla can't begin to deliver in 20 months, as it already has a handful of prototypes right now (they gave test drives, you know it, doesn't you ?)
  A for Tesla doesn't have enough money, that's another BS argument. Tesla is loosing money overall because its funding for Model 3 R&D with revenues from MS/MX deliveries. For the last reported quarter (Q4 2015) MX deliveries were still inconsequential. But Q1 2016 MX deliveries have skyrocketed, and by years end more than half of deliveries will be MX, substantially increasing revenues.
  I fully expect by the time Model 3 deliveries start, there will be one million reservations. That's a US$ 1 billion interest free loan to Tesla, courtesy of its future customers. By end of Sat, 4/2/16, reservations were closing at 276k (in just three days). Half a million reservations are already a SURE thing in my book, with a very high probability of a full million reservations.
    Tesla doesn't have the obligation to deliver all of those reservations in 6 months or in a year. It might very well take them 2 years or more, which might make the whole cycle self funding (once the first 50000 units are delivered, Tesla gets paid, which funds the next 100k units and so on).
    You should take a look at this:

Comment Re: Record is over a petabit per second (Score 1) 57

Its NEVER single fiber. Its always two strand (two fibers) one TX, one RX. DWDM requires one fiber for each lane.
Anyhow, nobody lays optical cables with 2 strands for long range networks.
Its always 12-288 strand cable. And 12 stand is being really cheap. 36 strand is a more common low end.
So a 36 stand cable allows for 18 DWDM systems, 1 Tbps each, or 18Tbps of bandwidth on a low end cable.
This is another case of state of the art (regardless of cost) advancing, which someday will trickle down to real world optical links on land networks first, then years later onto oceanic cables (which require very long distances between active regenerations).

Comment GWh vs GW ! (Score 1) 285

GW capacity doesn't matter.
We need to compare how many GWh each energy source will contribute.
A 1.1GW nuclear reactor means 95% availability long term, 98+% in the first 10 years.
A 5GW solar farm would be required to produce the same total energy.
At the same time, nuclear+solar is an interesting combo. Solar is reliable in its unreliability (aka we can forecast when it will produce).

Again, we'll see the same old solar+wind cheerleaders that don't understand how the grid works, and why we're not ready even for 1/3 solar+wind.
I'm pro solar, as long as we understand the limitations and respect them.
The cheerleaders on the other hand, don't even understand the limitations, so there's zero respect for them.
Hopefully in another 10 years battery grid scale battery storage will be here, and we'll be able to store excess solar production in the summer and excess wind production in the winter, and whenever wind falls short, baseload sources (nuclear or gas) will run at 100% through the night to make up for the shortfall.

Comment Re:Musk be a good idea (Score 1) 313

The fundamental problem with traditional car markers and BEVs is dealerships don't want to sell them. Dealers get most of their money from maintenance. BEVs require very little maintenance.
I'm yet to see a real solution to this conundrum.
Walk into a Nissan dealership and ask for the lowest emissions car they have to offer, I doubt they will point you to the LEAF. Walk into a GM/Nissan dealership and ask for a LEAF/Volt and odds are they will tell you all kinds of reasons not to buy the LEAF/Volt.

Comment Re:We need to look at cutting full time to 32 hour (Score 1) 607

You do understand that will just massively increase labour costs, giving further incentives to outsourcing...
32 hours/wk is a gift. Keep it.

The issue people can't see is productivity will keep increasing, eventually leading to a massive unemployed force.
Massive social programs are indeed inevitable, but that will only work when all countries have them, otherwise a lot of labour will jump to the countries where they don't have to pay for that.

Its the big problem with the democrat / republican polarization. Both sides have some merits, but until they can see the whole picture by accepting both sides valid points, the disfunctionality will just continue, hurting the US economy.

Comment Re:Accuracy ???? (Score 1) 350

Wrong. While GPS is very useful for long range strikes. Nuclear weapons are the least dependent on GPS, as they have substantial blast radius.
Its conventional long range weapons that need GPS the most.
Some attack weapons like tomahawk has systems that recognize landmarks and update its positioning accordingly. But ballistic weapons different.
Radar guided weapons also different.

GPS is a FORCE MULTIPLIER. Not having GPS or some similar alternative means your force lost its multiplying edge. Doesn't mean you must give up and go home, but it will be less effective in many subtle ways for us civilians, but very much in the mind of captains of the ships on both sides. One side having GPS/equivalent vs the other side not having IS significant.

Comment Re:Accuracy ???? (Score 1) 350

Long distance targeting usually involves relaying target coordinates between sensor platforms like a destroyer and its chopper, a carrier strike group and awacs radar aircraft. Coordinate grids are used.

The less accurate is your determination of where you are in the grid, the less accurate is your targeting.
Launching a sea attack against a target 50nm away usually involves telling the harpoon/whatever what bearing to fly at and how long until homing radar goes active. You want to delay activating the homing radar as long as possible to avoid alerting your enemy.
So if your coordinates might be 10nm off vs 0.1nm off you might be forced to set your weapon to go active too soon, allowing your energy to shoot it down.
Modern sea-to-sea battles involve swarm of weapons, cause your typical high tech enemy has the means to shoot at least a few incoming missiles down.

So unless you're fighting within gun range, and alone, having something ideally that gives you accurate positioning within .1nm is very important, with many shades of gray all the way to dozens of nm errors.

Its not by chance that GPS is a FORCE MULTIPLIER. Having no GPS means your force looses effectiveness.

Comment Re:Accuracy ???? (Score 1) 350

Wrong. Civilian GPS is single frequency.
Military GPS is dual frequency L1/L2 P(Y) signals.
Civilian GPS use a hack called semi codeless to do iono corrections without a second civilian signal.
L2C is still not even IOC status. It should take another decade until there are a normal 30 operational L2C sats.
The other advantage of two full military GPS bands is if one is jammed and the other isn't (unlikely but possible), then you can still get a fix in the 10 meter range.

Just because intentional degradation of L1 C/A is gone doesn't make it all the same.

Tomahawk range is hundreds of nm.
Perhaps you're talking about harpoon and other sea attack weapons, if I recall harpoon top range is 55nm, beyond line of sight for a radar fix.

Modern sea war needs accuracy in the 0.1nm range. 10nm is a very degraded mode fighting.

But continuous enhancements to INS should allow for a whole week without GPS while maintaining a 1 nm error.

Comment Accuracy ???? (Score 1) 350

Military GPS accuracy = 0.001 nm (a few yards).
Inertial accuracy = 0.1 nm / hour degradation
Celestial navigation accuracy = hundred nm
So unless GPS is gone for days, inertial is still better
That's a result of USA getting rid of LORAN which before GPS was the primary update source for inertial systems, and after GPS was fully operational switched to backup.
Celestial navigation is pretty much strictly a means to getting to the nearest port. Very limited usage for combat operations.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek