# Posts by mspletz

8 posts • joined 29 Oct 2009

### Fukushima: Situation improving all the time

#### Actually, it's all in your definitions

This has cropped up before, though I've been looking at so many various sites I don't recall which one mentioned it, so I can't provide a link.

Apparently, 'external' power, in this context, is 'power not coming from the reactor itself'. So, both the *off-site* feeds from the power grid, and the *ON-site* power from the diesel generators are both considered 'external' power.

Don't know if it's true or not, but if it is, it still isn't as confusing to the average reader as radioactivity versus radiation.

### Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

#### buoyancy too

The other reason they use the platinum iridium alloy is it is also very dense. The smaller the volume, the smaller the error introduced during measuring from it's buoyancy (i.e., the amount of air it displaces). It may not seem like much, but when you're worried about fractions of a microgram, it becomes important. If you still doubt it, consider the complications of weighing (in air) the standard kilogram if it was defined as a the mass of certain volume of helium...

#### meters and liters and Kilos, oh my!

> the measurement should be a gramme, not 1000 grammes

The choice is somewhat arbitrary; just because gram doesn't have a prefix doesn't mean it is the basis for the unit. After all, a liter isn't really a base unit either, being a volume of 1 /1000 of a cubic meter... What determines the basis for the set is really just convenience.

There are two basic SI 'sets' of units, the MKS set (meter, kilogram and second) and CGS (centimeter, gram and second). The MKS set is the most common, as it is a good set for 'ordinary' things such as cars, factories,etc. The CGS set is preferred typically by the nuclear boffins, as the smaller unit set aligns more closely with the smaller scales involved.

### Jumbo-jet laser cannon tested against missile

#### Poster child for idiot paranoiacs

Not sure if you're a troll or an idiot, but what the hey, it's a slow day. I'll bite.

Missiles in 'boost phase', and 747's both operate in the AIR, not space. No smoke machine required.

I'm pretty sure your scribbling was done with crayons, apparently on your drool bib, not an envelope.

As for the scattering problem: when you're firing multi-kilowatts of energy, it doesn't take much scattering to make the beam detectable. (As opposed to visible; they appear to be using IR cameras). As to why it doesn't get wider and/or disperse: two reasons. One you might understand (I'll use little words to try and help) they are waaay up in the air. So, not much air to scatter the beam.

### Pig plague alert: Avoid missionary position

#### Hamthrax?

That's the funniest thing I've heard in quite some time! Thank you!

### California votes in HD TV power pruning law

#### Annual power costs

"So I'm pulling 30W while everything's "turned off", which is a chunk, don't you think?"

My rule of thumb is it costs about \$1 a year per watt (assuming the device is on all the time).

Just to double check my math though:

There are roughly 9000 hours in a year (8766), times 30 watts is 270 kilowatt-hours.

Not sure what your electricity costs are, but mine are about \$0.10 per KWH, for \$27 a year in 'standby costs'.

So, for a quick assessment, a buck per year per watt.

Rather amazing it costs less for me to buy a 1TB drive than it does to run the NAS it's in!

### Facebook status bolsters alibi in armed robbery case

#### You all are missing it!

But ignore all that. Did you read the end of the article?

"a burglar logged onto Facebook during the ransacking of a Pennsylvania home"

What? WHAT? How do I change font size for a bigger "WHAT?" Sweet screaming monkeys! Read that again!

"a burglar logged onto Facebook during the ransacking of a Pennsylvania home"

Who among us could possibly, possibly even envision the blistering stupidity it would take to break into a house, and when robbing them blind, LOG ONTO FACEBOOK? And then, apparently, LEAVE THE BLOODY MACHINE BEHIND!

I mean really, not even the BOFH's lusers are that dumb! Well, okay, the boss is. But my God, think about how many standard deviations on the ol' IQ bell curve you'd have to drill down through before you ran into the likes of that.

### Sony recalls 69,000 AC adaptors

#### Why do I envision

a BOFH shopping spree coming up?