115 posts • joined 26 Jan 2010
I'm not sure where the link between positive void coefficient and weapons has been made..
TBH my best guess is that Mr. Pournelle is mistaken, having made the assumption that because it's a banned design, then it must have been for weapons.
Positive Void Coefficient means that when the coolant inside a reactor boils away (creating "voids" of steam), then the power output actually goes UP, because the coolant was also a neutron absorber, which regulates the speed of the reaction. It is fundamentally a Bad Thing To Do, whether you are making weapons OR power. It is one of the main reasons why the reaction at Chernobyl went out of control.
All modern reactors are specifically designed so that the coolant forms part of the neutron *moderator* rather than *absorber* - (a neutron moderator speeds up the reaction by slowing down neutrons without absorbing them, bringing them to the correct energy level where they are most likely to collide with a U235 atom and continue the chain reaction) - thus a loss of coolant in a modern reactor intrinsically results in a slowing down of the chain reaction. This is called a Negative Void Coefficient.
That's the reason Positive Void Coefficients are banned in the US. Nothing to do with weapons.
Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
El Reg really needs to quit with all these worthless clickb.. no nevermind forget it.
Mine's the leather trenchcoat with twice my weight in guns in the pockets..
Yes - I do still work in the nuclear industry - although in the public sector, so I don't have a 'commercial' interest as such.. I'm actually in robotics rather than nuclear power/physics itself - the robots which go inside the radioactive areas - "so You don't have to".
Olkiluoto, Flamanville etc as I'm sure you know are hugely over budget, but I think they will succeed.
As for fusion - it's a nice idea - but if you ask my personal opinion, I think if the money we have invested in fusion were to have been put into testing better fission reactor designs (MSRs for example) then we would be a LOT better off. Fusion is safer than fission for sure (if the safest thing is to stop producing power forthwith, at the smallest opportunity) but there is still "low level" waste, e.g. the gloves and overalls that workers have worn when they have been in an area which has undetectably, low but unprovably nonexistent contamination. That is because of the ridiculous state the legislation is in, and it is precisely WHY nuclear is so expensive. Imagine if the fossil fuel and chemical industries had the same limitations on emissions: Where every last atom of heavy metals, nanoparticles etc they pump out, must be accounted for. But since a mass spectrometer is a hell of a lot more expensive per atom detected than a Geiger counter, nobody bothers.
In all honesty, I think fission is a LOT safer than most people believe. Those posters above, for example, advocating the construction of more nuclear subs: What do you suppose happens when a nuclear sub gets hit by a torpedo? If the same amount of radioactive material were released by a civilian power plant, then there would be a nuclear incident with the scale and cost of Chernobyl. Everybody panics, people DIE due to the evacuation (not because of the radiation), and the planet suffers, because we now need more fossil fuels to replace all the nuclear plants we just closed on a knee-jerk.
As for a policy on declaration of interest? Well I could always have gone AC like yourself!
RE: "Too Cheap To Meter"
You're right that it doesn't work in the current political and regulatory climate - but there's nothing to say it COULDN'T happen. If, for example, we were allowed to build nuclear power stations underwater (like nuclear subs!) and put the waste at very, very deep parts of the sea (subduction zones perhaps?) then nuclear would certainly be "Too Cheap to Meter". But of course, humanity would rather choke to death than pay any thought to that bogeyman.. At least not until they are *actually* choking to death.
When the world gets so hot that people start to need air conditioning to survive, then you can bet there will be de-regulation of nuclear power. But of course that will be too late. Most of our species will be extinct, and most of civilisation will have collapsed.
What we need is Nuclear Power!
If people would come to their senses about nuclear power (that it is cleaner, 'greener', and safer than basically everything else) then we would hardly need meters, let alone 'smart' ones!
Yes I know nuclear is expensive - but is a lot more expensive than it needs to be - Nuclear companies are forced by law to keep emissions "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA) that is to say, they are forced to lower emissions even when there is absolutely no reason to. They set themselves stupid targets like 100GBq tritium per year (for scale, 1GBq tritium is found inside one of those glow-in-the-dark keyfobs - tritium is basically harmless) so when they find something unexpected and go over their arbitrary target, people think there has been a major incident when in fact there hasn't.
Nuclear installations are forced to go to ridiculous lengths (like quadruple-redundant dosimetry of personnel) to keep already insignificantly low doses of radiation even lower.
All this when there is no evidence at all to say that low doses of radiation are actually harmful - there are even some scientists that think low doses are beneficial ("hormesis" effect) and nobody has been able to prove them wrong.
Meanwhile coal, oil and biomass plants are belching out tonne after tonne of carcinogens, nanoparticles, even radiation (more than nuclear plants), and that's when they are operating NORMALLY!
I think there is a big case for relaxing the rules around nuclear power to make it less expensive, but it seems to be something of a taboo subject!
All of this irrational fear of radiation is just going to allow the fossil fuel barons, climate change denialists, and biomass bandits to destroy the planet.
Is it has a tendency to seep through *anything* - even solid steel / aluminum..
A balloon lasts a day or two - a foil one a week or two, while an 80 litre dewar flask of liquid helium will noticeably ebb away over the course of a few months. Granted this is primarily via the oil film seal around the stainless steel ball valve once it has been opened and closed again (rather than the metal itself, though that does happen), but I suspect the slightest knock/vibration could disturb the seal on a helium-filled hard drive, enough for the helium to gradually percolate through the seams of the case and up to the heavens - and your data soon follows it!
Actually if you ask me - the folded display will be the death of the roll-up display.
Because too many plebs will try to fold them!
"having all of a workgroup's valuable files in a central location — architectural models, feature films, automotive designs, whatever – can significantly reduce that aforementioned IT admin's anxiety."
I suspect the only admin whose anxiety is reduced will be the HR admin.
The "aformentioned IT admin" will be very anxious indeed, right before he ceases to be an IT admin @:
Maybe, just maybe, the "financial disaster" is caused more by "'Elf and Safety" parasites (and the hysterical individuals who they brainwash in the name of profit) than the disaster itself?
Other examples include Asbestos, Electricity, Whiplash and PPI.
The nuclear industry is especially vulnerable to these kinds of parasites, because nobody understands it, lots of people are scared of it, and nobody can see it except for the 'Elf & Safety brigade with their geiger counters and smear tests for whom it is highly profitable to inflate its risks.
Especially when you have concepts like ALARA - that is, the whole UK nuclear industry is LEGALLY BOUND to keeping radiation emissions "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (despite what the safe or background levels may be..) That gives a massive bonus to the ambulance chasers, because all they have to do is present some new (and very expensive) way to reduce exposure to a new, even more hilarious low.
I work for an experimental fusion facility, and the rules there are that any area where there is more than 1 Bq/cm^2 Tritium (beta emission, one measly electron per second) detected on any surface then that area must be designated as a controlled area that nobody is allowed to enter without a pile of paperwork and five days of brainw^H^H^H^H^H^Htraining courses. (To put that into perspective, a Tritium-filled luminescent keyring that you can buy in high street shops for £10 contains about 1 Giga-Bequerel of Tritium) Anyone who comes out of these areas then has to dispose of their overalls, mask, and three layers of gloves straight into the contaminated bin which then becomes.. Nuclear Waste!
Yes - most of that zillion tonnes of low-level nuclear waste that you hear about is just gloves and overalls that "might" be contaminated.
They had to evacuate the whole site at Sellafield recently, until they found the cause of their "radiation leak" - As I understand it someone dug a hole for some roadworks and released some radon from the granite bedrock. For your "financial disaster", Imagine how much that little incident must have cost. Then think about the Nuclear Decomissioning Authority as a whole, and how much money it must be plowing into parasite industries for no good reason..
In reality, there is far more cancer caused by the chemical and OMG Nanoparticles!! emissions from cars, than nuclear war never mind nuclear power, ever caused.
And if we could have nuclear power, maybe we could have enough of it to charge everyone's electric car!
By the way, anyone who mentions Chernobyl should be reminded of Bhopal.
>So current power generation digs something out of the ground and uses it to heat its surroundings. The heating might be local, but do enough of it for long enough, over large area of the planet and one has to ask if there is a better definition of "Global Warming". What we are doing is systematically overloading the planet's ability to dump excess heat. The other "bad" things simply add to the problem.
Given that total global solar heating is around 100 petawatts, and total global power generation is about 15 terawatts, that means power generation contributes around 0.015% of global heating.
I get that the climate is a sensitive balance, but I'd be very surprised if we could influence it by heating, in the absence of any gas emissions.
Solar power would be nice, if it didn't need so much resources to make the panels. And in many cases the land used would be better off growing crops (the same applies to all biofuels - you are effectively burning food)
This debate both amuses and depresses me. We have hippies (climate) versus hippies (anti-nuclear), with us scientists caught in the crossfire.
And the TLDR award for 2013 goes to.. btrower!
I keep reading your name as btrowel.. which is ironic since you always seem to be laying it on with one!
One word: Lawsuit.
No matter how good they are, the whole concept of the self-driving car is doomed in today's society.
The average person (apparently) makes about 1000 road journeys per year. Therefore, even if a self-driving car were "nine-nines" safe, i.e. 99.9999999% certain to get you from A to B without killing you, that's still one death per year per million customers as a result of product imperfections, each with the likelihood of a nasty lawsuit or even a corporate manslaughter charge.
On top of that, 1% of the entire population every year are killed on the roads (730k in the UK, apparently), with a significant proportion i'm sure where the wrong person (or robot) gets the blame.
Even if the robot car were 100% perfect, humans are idiots, and there will be plenty of them ready to hurl themselves in front of the robot cars if there is even the remotest possibility of a big fat payout.
The nice thing about human-driven cars of course, is that there's a fleshy meat sack behind the wheel who assumes (nearly) all legal responsibility for its use.
Call me a cynical git, but I don't really see a way around it.
as putting solar panels on your ceiling to collect the 'wasted energy' from your energy-saving lightbulb!
As for "1.8V, enough for most gadgets", this reporter clearly hasn't heard of electric current. In particular, that old relation P=IV!
Wait, forget I said anything - I hear another clueless mug, er I mean EPSRC executive on his way!
They are storing THEIR data for the benefit of THEIR data-mining!
Nope. No extensions.. The last time I used it was on a University PC with Firefox installed as part of their standard build. Whenever I tried to use it for literature surveys and the like, it would crash after about half an hour of heavy use.
I wouldn't be surprised if the culprit was the Adobe PDF plugin (the kind of steaming pile that Adobe is)
But then again, why should ANY plugin or extension be able to crash the entire browser? Surely there are catch statements to prevent that sort of thing?
Firefox used to be a really good browser, but I'm really not sure what happened to make it what it is today: Frankly a pile of cack.
It's still miles better than IE of course, but it's a shame that I now have to choose between a browser that is probably tracking my every move (Chrome) and a browser that crashes all the time, eats all my memory, and just generally plain sucks (Firefox). Regrettably I choose the former.
It was around version 3 when things started getting bad. I can't entirely remember why. Then they changed the menus, broke all the extensions, and started doing silly version numbers and it was all downhill from there.
This dongle enumerates as what, a USB Network interface? Then you take the dongle and plug it into the meter?
Could be an interesting hack!
Btw, what happens if you run out of funds and the meter turns off. How do you put more funds in it then?
I thought that died in 1997!
Why the hell is ActiveX even allowed AT ALL in a modern iteration of Internet Exploder?
If anyone is unfortunate/lazy enough to need such an abomination they should have to confirm exactly which HTTPS certificates are allowed to run it, a bit like what Java is doing.
Maybe a certain black box has spewed out some blue smoke.
Those who are saying this device fakes negotiation to grab power are (probably) wrong.
I'd bet it just shorts the two data lines together so the device thinks its plugged into a dumb wall charger and draws the full whack.
I could even claim prior art on this one myself - I modified my n900's USB cable to include a simple switch between the two data lines to short them. Now I can plug it into a PC to charge at full speed (albeit completely flaunting the USB spec), with the added advantage that this also prevents the data lines from being used if I plug the cable into anything untrusted.
Has anyone managed to sign up for this yet?
I made an account, but when I try to get the free storage I get this:
Does not meet all the conditions for obtaining
Conditions for obtaining:
1 Log micro cloud phone 1.6 version
2 registered handsets are not involved in this activity
3 your QQ number is not involved in this activity
* If you are already logged in before the start of Mobile try to log in again after logging out
It would suggest they want me to install something on either an Android or iOS device.
Even if I had either of those, they can sod right off!
This seems to me like an effort to foil the mod-chippers.
Putting it all on a SoC with custom silicon could make it pretty much unhackable..
I'm sure a lot of managers at Microsoft would love it to be a black box filled with epoxy and only ethernet in one end and HDMI out the other, with a couple of antennas inside for controllers etc.
If it weren't for the small issues of cooling, and those pesky soldiers in their disconnected army bases kicking up a fuss about always-on connectivity, they'd probably have done that already!
Quite right. Basic Safe Surfing practice means you avoid the vast majority of malware. (I personally advise against antivirus software. It is more trouble than it's worth and tends to lull users into a false sense of security)
Or even just install the vboxaddons package, say, on your physical machine, and it'll probably think it's a virtual machine anyway!
In other news, cats discovered to dislike baths, the pope announces that he is in fact catholic.
Speaking of Eadon, Aspergers, and prejudices, perhaps Aaron Milne could put a word in with the editors?
Eadon's basically been banned and all his posts deleted because he didn't know when to shut up. (he has Aspergers)
I miss him, I actually do!
12m over 60 employees. That's a €100k _average_ salary taking into account the standard overheads formula..
Quite. It has to be a complete write-off, surely.
In fact it's probably been losing money hand over fist for 16 years and only just now they have decided to write it off??
Maybe Steve Ballmer's mother still uses it or something.
I hope it's not permanent though. El Reg just won't be the same without him.
Plus it's not really fair to permaban him simply for not recognising when we have had enough of him:
http://smart-aspergers.blogspot.co.uk/ Recognise that guy?
Every last post of his seems to have been deleted:
Is he banned? Wtf did he do?
I know everyone loved to hate him, but he wasn't THAT bad. I quite liked him really, he made me laugh.
you will not go to space today.
Wtf.. You've done the same for "Your Topics" in the sidebar. Why?
Needlessly adding clicks to a user interface is a waste of my time.
Why have icons been moved to a tab in the post comment box?
I am very unhappy and wish to express my discontent. ----------------------------------------------->
If you want to be a human rights activist, then get out of Russia. Those kind of people are not welcome here!
(plus since you told us everything you know - we made sure of that - you are of no further use to us)
Is there some villain going round assassinating ancient computer science geniuses or what?
It was only two days ago that James Martin turned up dead off of Bermuda.
Watch it! They'll start doing people for "Incitement to commit copyright infringement" next!
Personally, I think the best thing Nokia could do is resurrect their brilliant Debian-based phone OS Maemo.
There's still a huge community surrounding the n900, despite it being nearly 4 years old. It'd be brilliant if Nokia could take that and put it on a modern phone (a Huawei one, perhaps, if Nokia haven't got the cash to be making their own phones anymore)
Despite its age, the n900 is still the most powerful (in terms of things you can make it do) phone I have ever known. (mobile SSH terminal complete with agent, port and X11 forwarding, anyone?)
Absolute brilliance by Nokia, but it was exactly what the trojan horse Elop was (successfully) deployed to assassinate.
I was going to say you could yank the HDD out of your old machine and put it in the new one and it won't notice the difference
But this being Windows, it'd probably BSOD because the SATA chipset had changed, or you'd lose all your software licenses because the CPU serial number had changed.
This is one of the of the many reasons I avoid Windows when I can.
Does that set a precedent for RAMBUS to start patent-trolling everyone else now?
I remember when they had a product. It was expensive, slow, and got extremely hot.
I guess they decided that if they can't innovate, they'd better get under the bridge and wait for some billy-goats.
Of BBC TV presenting fame?
If they insist on making a touch optimised version, then they should make it ONLY for multitouch phones. My n900 works much better on desktop sites with its old-style resistive touchscreen (the touch resolution actually comes somewhere near the screen resolution, unlike with Jesus Phones etc)
Or better yet, just implement the "mobile-optimised" bit in jQuery or the like, so we can turn it off. Saves the cost of parallel maintenance of two sites, and avoids the problem of "special versions" being forgotten about too.
To be honest the best thing would be to just ditch mobile sites altogether.
Usually the full version works perfectly fine (even on my mum's ancient Nokia symbian phone), except for some sites where it is impossible to view the full site unless you hack your user-agent string, because otherwise you keep getting redirected to the borked mobile site.
It'll look even more like a chimney after someone mistakes it for a waste-paper basket!
You will still (probably) get spied on if you use Amazon's MySQL service (as opposed to one of the proprietary databases)
Whereas if you run your own instance of Oracle or SQL Server, you'd notice pretty quickly if it started opening connections to the NSA.
Granted there could plausibly be as-yet-unused backdoors in the proprietary databases, but IN THIS ARTICLE, EADON, It's about who hosts it, not what's hosted.
Good one. >_<
> They also drew a prism wrong.
To me it looks oddly like the Zune icon!
Don't say things like that! Poor Eadon will be offended!
Actually Mr. Framelhammer, a child could quite happily understand SPI. :)
Master wiggles both clock and data (Master Out Slave In) in sync,
Slave wiggles data (Master In Slave Out) in sync with master's clock.
That's it. Simple.
USB on the other hand is one of those design-by-committee standards that only a <a href="http://www.fourwalledcubicle.com/LUFA.php">genius</a> understands completely, but the rest of us, including children, can quite happily take a well-written library like LUFA to make any USB device we like.
I certainly wouldn't like to have km123 as a teacher - he'd be one of those horrendous old IT teachers who has the class learning how to make a form in Microsoft Excess 97 (despite it being 2013), when we'd all rather be writing games in python.
It's teachers like that who are the reason why Britain has fallen so far behind in computer science in recent years.
Enlighten us km123. Who does make Atmel chips? My goggles are broken after trying to read your post from Mars.
I don't use Adblock when browsing the Reg, but I do use NotScripts (ie NoScript for Chrome).
Conveniently, these ads are unobtrusive and I don't mind seeing them or even clicking on them once in a while.
However, as soon as I add doubleclick.net to my temporary whitelist whilst browsing the Reg, I am bombarded with flash ads, background-filling ads, foreground-interupting ads, ads with fscking sound, which insult my eyes and ears and I immediately revoke my temporary whitelist.