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Comment Re:So, the gist of it is... (Score 1) 233

Protesting is not a crime, even if it's a hobby or a job.

Affray or rioting is a different matter and professional protesters not only stay well away from that but won't associate with anyone suspected of being involved.

I've seen protesters truss up vandals and hand them over to the cops. It all depends on the level of tolerance and how well organised the violent sorts are, but the best advice I've ever seen given is "if people start that shit, don't hang around to watch"

Comment Re:Smart Grid as a solution for DER challenge (Score 1) 133

"the European buffering capacity of the network"

AKA "The very large French nuclear reactor fleet in the country next door (which happens to be France)", which has some load-following ability.

"Renewables" in northern europe have the potential to replace all current carbon emitting sources - if the entire european countryside is carpetted in turbines and glazed with solar panels, at a cost several tens of times higher than the carbon-emitting sources (and the fuel) they replace.

Eliminating OTHER sources of carbon (heating, transportation, industrial processes) will require an increase in electrical generation by a factor of _AT LEAST_ 6 if not more. The only way forward is massive investment into nuclear sources and nuclear research. We _need_ LFTR technology and we need it deployed at least 10 years ago. The ironic thing is that LFTR's inherent ability to load-follow without penalty means that whilst it's an ideal backing source for "renewables" the overall lower cost of operation (an removal of the need to subsidise, as LTFRs are carbon-neutral) means that the deployed renewables fleet would become white elephants overnight.

When you factor in the requirements for increased energy availability in developing countries, the need for nuclear sources is clear. Even in equatorial areas the investment required to ramp up production of "renewable" energy dwarfs the cost of a few nuclear plants (conventional or LFTR) and without low-cost reliable energy, we cannot continue to both pull people out of poverty AND reduce the population (well-off people have fewer kids. Making people better off is the only _proven_ way of curbing population growth. Wars, Famine and Malthus effects have _all_ resulted in population bounces which more than made up the losses within 2 generations.)

Those nuclear plants are likely to be chinese, and the LFTR plants will almost definitely be chinese - they're the biggest player in R&D into making LFTRs viable. It'll be interesting to see how fast chinese industry hoovers up both Thorium and "nuclear waste" to feed their plants in the next 20 years.

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1) 133

The reason I suggest solar heat panels is because they're cheap to manufacture and maintain, making the 5-10% potential heating costs saving worthwhile aiming for.

If you wanted to get really whizzy you could store solar heat in the ground in summer and extract in winter but that's a massive complexity boost with long payoff period. On the other hand schools tend to have large open fields where the pipework for such systems can be laid relatively easily and deeply.

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1) 133

"Solar power has almost zero downsides."

Apart from the massive amounts of nasty environmental waste being produced in China (where most come from) that's threatening the potable water of a few tens of millions of people downstream.

Hydroflouric acid in particular is something you don't want in your waterways.

In northern latitudes, you'd be better off thinking about solar heat panels and suchlike to offset your energy costs, but solar PV is generally a waste of space unless you're off-grid and away-from-grid (in many cases the cost of solar is a lot more than the cost of a grid connection), or using it for low energy-density applications (I'm pretty sure that even those solar-panel equipped streetlights will need topups in winter months if used in the UK)

Comment Re: How to Google? (Score 1) 228

Plenty of large software companies have done it, some have been american and some have been _very_ large. I'm aware of a couple of cases where a superinjunction was sought (and granted) - a superinjunction means that you can't even drop hints that there's a court case.

Personal opinion: Given the exploits are in use by greyhats (spy agencies), then blackhats probably have them anyway and rapid disclosure is the prudent path so that whitehats can man the barricades.

MS and others used to be notorious for not fixing bugs in a timely manner.

Comment Re:Now we know why models underestimated sea ice l (Score 1) 279

There's also a lot of methane being tossed into warmer arctic waters, which keeps them churned up and harder to freeze.

If there continue to be warm water incursions from the Atlantic there's a very real risk of a clathrate slump offshore from Siberia (the Laptev Sea methane venting is showing no sign of abating) and if that happens then apart from the tsunami damage the longer-term effects are likely to be nasty. Dissolved oceanic methane levels are already problematic and there's a strong possibility of an anoxic event already being underway.

Comment Re:Ukraine to the rescue (Score 1) 170

Antonov will happily build them if someone orders enough to justify starting the line - but it's kinda hard to run a factory when there's a civil war going on just down the road

The current problem is that the Progress turbofan engines on them aren't very efficient (or particularly reliable, despite being made modular for easy repairs) and that coupled with needing a crew of 4-8 means that the planes have higher operating cost per tonne/km than haulers want to pay.

Couple that with legendary Russian "built like a brick shithouse" engineering - which is great for flying into unimproved runways, but again makes the economics not so hot and the hassles of flying a type which isn't homogenous and more large operators won't go there.

Antonov has been looking at re-engining and redoing the avionics on the things since the mid 2000s but aviation has long lead-times everywhere. In the meantime the existing fleet of AN124s is working so hard the airframes are wearing out, so something's got to give soon (either they give up, or they start building more).

The interesting thing is that China's looking at license-building the AN224 with progress engines attached.

Comment Re:The drone operator got off light (Score 1) 358

"Most kids I see still ride their bikes down the sidewalks with impunity and no one flips their shit because they are paying attention and not going too fast."

And the last four words of that statement is why it's tolerated - also small kids on bikes tend not to be quiet, so you get plenty of warning they're coming.

Whilst you might think the cyclist vs toddler incident is rare, there are regular postings in the UK of cyclists being filmed riding at 20+ miles per hour on busy footpaths whilst they _usually_ get away with it, there are a couple of deaths every year caused by high speed cyclists on the footpath and a lot more injury crashes besides, so no - it's not particularly rare.

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