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Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 344

Where did anybody in this thread say that the entire fusion generation infrastructure was free, cheap or even moderately priced?

All anybody said was the cost of the frigging LITHIUM was insignificant. Then you come in and ask for people to back that up with numbers, because after all, it can't actually cost zero. Well, it's been spelled out for you: A year's worth of a typical household's electricity involves a few cents of lithium.

Now you change the subject and point out that whole fusion generation infrastructure could still be expensive, just like overpriced fission plants. Well, no shit.

But don't sit there with smug superiority, because that's not the silly question you asked in the first place. You asked *specifically* about the cost of the input material.

Comment Re:Doesn't work that way (Score 4, Insightful) 61

To put it another way, this whole line reminds me of the same thing with charity. You have a person with money who supports a charitable cause, and they give a lot of money to it, and someone responds, "..but you still have possessions X, Y, and Z! if you really supported the charity you'd donate more!". But it's a line of attack that the person donating to charity can never win: no matter how much they give, they can still be attacked for owning things, unless they donate to the point that they're homeless in the streets scrounging for food from trash cans.

If the argument was that Al Gore had a particularly high level of environmental impact relative to his wealth and other factors worthy of consideration (his job, where he lives, etc), then that would absolutely be grounds for charges of hypocrisy. But otherwise what you're really complaining about is wealth inequality, and doing the unwinnable argument, "If Person X really cared about Issue Y, then they'd give even more than they currently do!" - regardless of what that level of giving is.

Comment Re:Half assed... (Score 4, Insightful) 61

I think you're confused. They're not buying "carbon credits". They're literally putting money into the manufacture of wind turbines. More wind turbines will exist because of this. 285MW nameplate more. Wherein does the problem lie?

What's the point of them buying stakes on renewable energy companies if in the end their data centers and factories are still using unregulated coal power, usually in cities that desperately need to move away from those?

And what do you think that the additional produced turbines will do - lie around on a factory floor? They'll be installed and generating power on the grid. Who cares where?

And more to the point, you don't just get power from a single power plant. You're connected to a grid which moves power among numerous plants. In particular, on the Chinese grid there's a number of HVDC and HVAC lines that bring power from the sparsely populated interior (wind, hydro, etc) to the densely populated coast. Directly reducing the need for power generation infrastructure on the coast, even though the wind / hydro / etc hardware isn't located on the coast.

Comment Re: Your new president doesn't pay taxes (Score 4, Insightful) 61

And don't claim you didn't vote for Trump. The American ppl did.

Actually, the American people voted for Hillary. 65,4 million to 62,8 million.

If you disagree then you either don't believe in democracy

No, if you disagree, then you support facts. And, for that matter, if you support democracy (aka, the person who gets the most votes wins). The US is, however, not a democracy - at least when it comes to electing the president. Which is why Trump will be president.

Comment Re:Doesn't work that way (Score 1) 61

Are you under the impression that environmentalists think that everyone should stop flying, driving, heating and cooling their homes, etc? Yes, you may find some radicals that believe things like that, but that is not a mainstream position. The mainstream positions are that consumption efficiencies need to be improved and production impacts need to be reduced.

Now, if your argument is that you think that it's unfair that there's such an economic wealth disparity that some people like Al Gore own private planes while many Americans can't afford a car, that so much of the world's production (and thus environmental impact) goes toward servicing the wealthy and so little toward the poor and middle class, and you think that government officials need to be voting for policies to minimize wealth inequality rather than huge tax breaks for the wealthy that give them an even larger share of the total environmental impact on the planet, then I have only one thing to say to that: "Welcome to the Democratic Party!"

But if you're of the impression that the concept of environmentalism is the same thing as reducing income inequality (and thus consumption inequality), you're sadly mistaken. Mainstream environmentalism is built around across the board improvements - things that effect everyone, not just specific groups.

Comment "Second Covers" (Score 4, Interesting) 63

UFOs are often convenient cover for secret Re:Carl Saganflight tests.

That gives the government an incentive to encourage UFO nuts.

A lot of the cold-war-era "conspiracy theories" sound like "second cover" stories. That's a psychological technique for diverting investigation into some large-enough-to-be-worth-the-effort secret project. Works like this:

Plant TWO cover stories. The first is plausible but misdirection. The second is fruitcake-nuts (but ideally has aspects that look attractively like actual artifacts of the project being hidden). Somebody investigating what is going on first hits the first cover. If he accepts it, fine. If he notices it doesn't quite fit and digs deeper, he finds the obviously screwy second cover. Oops? Now what?

The tendency of the more rational is to reject it - but bounce back to the first cover and give up there. The less well-hinged may report the second cover (much to the glee of the security people). Few are going to keep digging past both to discover some approximation of what's really going on - and if they DO get there and talk about it in public, if they happen to have said anything related to the second cover story (or even if the HAVEN'T), they can be debunked by painting them as having accepted the self-evidently tinfoil-hat-grade second cover story and propagating a variant of it.

The "conspiracy theories are always wrong and insane" meme is very convenient for this as well (as it is for any actual conspirators B-) )

Comment Re:Carl SaganUFOs are often convenient cover for s (Score 1) 63

UFOs are often convenient cover for secret flight tests.

Wasn't there a not too long ago release of government info-or-whatever about the Roswell incident?

Story was that one of the things they were testing there was the reentry mechanism for the upcoming (and still very cold-war-secret-military-tech) mercury launches, by lifting various model reentry vehicles to the edge of the atmosphere using weather balloons and dropping them . Not all that good a model of the heating, but a great way to check whether it would end up flying heat-shield-first until it was at low-atmosphere terminal velocity and time for the 'chutes.

Video showed a mercury capsule heat-shield, with retro-pack still attached, upside-down on sawhorses-or-the-like in a hanger. Looked very much like the canonical flying-saucer artwork of the era, and the picture was given as an explanation for the story of a passerby seeing what looked like a flying saucer in a hanger.

Comment Re:To be clear for those not familiar with concept (Score 1) 344

Do you mean thermal efficiency? I pegged it at somewhat less than 50%, like most power plants:

$ units
You have: 1g / (7 g/mol / avogadro ) * 17.5 MeV
You want: kWh
        * 67003.703

Since a typical household electricity use is about 9000 kWh/year, at 35% efficiency, that would be several years worth.

If you mean transmutation efficiency, it doesn't matter. You keep recycling the lithium until it converts. As I pointed out, the overall cost of that process could be high, but the cost of the raw lithium is insignificant.

Comment Re:Independent contractor? (Score 1) 125

Having worked as an independent contractor before. I still needed to follow the rules of my customer.

Do you? Employees generally have all kinds of rules, most of which don't make any sense unless you're an actual employee. So what specific rules am I required to follow and which ones do I not follow? Unless it's spelled out specifically, it sounds like I'm the one interpreting which rules I have to follow. Everything else is just an assumption on their part.

I've never had an contract employer make me read the handbook and sign the paper that says I read it.

Of course all of this is just a mere formality. Unless you're an asshole, "following the rules" is, 99% of the time, a question of basic social skills.

Comment Re:Since this wasn't a line item in the budget ... (Score 2) 125

1. Build up civil forfeiture slush fund using otherwise line-item budget methods, i.e. old-fashioned police state tactics

2. Use non-budget line-item slush fund to bribe airport employees

3. Collect more civil forfeiture funds

4. Go to step 2

You now have a perpetual motion machine of slush fund generation with zero budget oversight.

Comment Re:Bug discovered, 4 days later, patch released. (Score 1) 56

The real story here, is that 4 days after the vulnerability was made known to the devs, a patch was released.

Why? If no bad guys have found it the difference between four days or and three months is of little difference. If the bad guys have found it (or worse yet, planted it) the difference between five years and four days and five years and three months is also of little difference. Not the kind of casual bad guys that deal with cryptolockers and botnets and identity theft, if they found it you'd probably see it in the wild and exposed. But targeted attacks for industrial espionage and such could probably use it in narrow attacks for a long time before being spotted.

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