17 posts • joined 18 Apr 2012
Wrist, meet slap
This from the NYT — the paper that could be renamed "Senior Officials Said...".
Naturally, Obama will say he's doing something for the sake of appearances.
Re: GCHQ are doing their job
When Hermann Goering formed the Gestapo in the early 1930s, he stated that "he who is of good-will has nothing to fear from the secret State police". He did not deny that mail was being opened, telephones tapped and "disaffected persons" being shadowed.
"It isn't necessary to ban fishing, because the risks to life are unmeasurably small."
I'm not sure you've been following this news story, but the water that is leaking from these storage tanks is emitting 100 millisieverts an hour. You're not going to convince many people to drink that or eat fish that were swimming in that water. Also, this is the fifth time these tanks have leaked since last year. There are many tanks on site with the same design, they don't know where the water is going to go in the future, and there is now discussion that the design itself is flawed. We have every reason to expect more leaks like this.
You don't seem to recognize that the market has already spoken. Over forty countries and regions outside of Japan have banned products from Fukushima, and they certainly won't start buying if Japan begins fishing there while radioactive water is still leaking into the ocean.
I suspect you are not aware of the history of industrial pollution in Japan, and the horrible track record that corporations have. I will certainly agree with you that we should be concerned about climate change, but towards that end maybe we should be thinking more seriously about conservation? To me, that seems a more plausible way forward than trolling with the "but if we used only renewables civilization would collapse!!" line.
"As usual, why don't we forget the OTHER costs you are not mentioning?"
This is indeed the problem. I am surprised at the breezy tone of this article, and the number of comments here that ignore this issue.
For example, the current cost to clean up Fukushima is projected at USD 112 billion. Thousands of people are still displaced and have not yet been compensated by the utility, TEPCO. Since the utility keeps fudging the extent of the problem, it is certain that the final clean up costs will be greater.
Before you sneer at the current release of radiation, keep in mind that there are trade partners that currently ban Japanese food products. Fourty-two countries and regions have imposed restrictions on food imports from Japan as a result of the nuclear accident (source: Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). This means: Japan cannot simply restart the fishing industry in Tohoku while radioactive water is leaking into the ocean, saying "it's nothing". The market isn't buying. This is a major loss of revenue, of course. Hong Kong is the actually one of the top destinations for Japanese food exports, and it has a ban on products from the prefectures affected by the Fukushima disaster.
There is currently a debate in Japan about whether the utility can even handle the clean up job. Dale Klein, Former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is now on the committee to monitor the clean up operation. Recently, he called them out in a public hearing, stating: "These actions indicate that you do not know what you’re doing, and that you do not have a plan, and you’re not doing all you can to protect the environment and the people."
This is not some green tree-hugger group getting hysterical. This is the head of the committee to monitor the current clean-up operation, a member of the nuclear village, part of an advisory body to TEPCO Board of Directors.
So, please, let's be realistic about the costs. The fact is, we don't know yet how costly the clean up at Fukushima will be. It will cost a lot, maybe even more. There are no simple solutions to this situation.
"We used to accidentally spy a little teensy bit more than we were supposed to, but the system of oversight marvelously kicked in to take care of that problem. So, now we're back to spying on all the stuff that we should be spying on, so don't worry your purdy lil' head about it."
Re: Yeah, good luck.
To actually build this proposal (which Musk is apparently "above" doing himself), the issue is neither a matter of engineering nor finance. It's a question of national will. Asia and Europe have already expressed this will. There is no real debate around HSR, except in the U.S.
Fundamentally, Americans have not decided whether they really want HSR or not. Of course, many people really do want it, but they get shouted down by an equally large contingent that doesn't want to spend any money on "socialist" projects like public transport.
Getting them out of their cars is like getting them to give up their guns — they just won't do it.
The rest of the world doesn't have these kinds of "collective identity" issues. If Hyperloop is in fact technologically and economically viable, then it'll be built elsewhere. Not in the US.
Yeah, good luck.
The sad fact is that the United States is no longer capable of even building a high-speed rail system, which has existing in other parts of the world for nearly fifty years now. It's not that people in California haven't been trying, either. There have been various plans for high-speed travel between S.F. and L.A. since the 1940s. The history is both entertaining and sobering.
Hyperloop is like saying you want to build a supercomputer when you can't even design a mobo with standard components.
So I will upvote your comment then :)
Glassholes will be getting plenty of one-fingered salutes, wherever they go.
This pinch-zoom cleverness could get them punched in the face real hard too.
Wonder what the EULA says about Glass breakage due to getting hit in the face.
(Still waiting for a Pirate Zeppelin to hoist Assange out of the Embassy in a Corsican-style escape.)
Still fingering the tsunami
So, TEPCO is starting to fess up to a catastrophic failure in their reactor designs and safety practices, but they are still acting like it all happened because of the tsunami, and they are still acting like this was some kind of freak event.
As @camnal points out, there are records of previous tsunami in the same region. In fact, one doesn't even have to go back to the Jogan-Sanriku quake in 869. There were major earthquakes in 1896 and 1933, and respective tsunami of over 38 and 28 meters in height. (For comparison, the 2011 tsunami measured up to 40 meters.)
More significantly, investigative journalism in Japan now suggests that the Fukushima plants were already crippled by the earthquake, and that even if the backup generators hadn't been knocked out by the tsunami, it probably would have been impossible to avoid the meltdowns.
The bottom line is that nobody knows yet how much it is going to cost to clean up this mess. The numbers are just spinning digits. The operator is facing bankruptcy, and if it gets nationalized the staggering costs just get passed to taxpayers.
With vast areas of land and sea in Tohoku contaminated with Cesium, tens of thousands of people displaced, most of them yet to be compensated, and decades of clean-up work to come, whatever economic advantage there was to nuclear power is now pretty much out the window in Japan.
Only getting 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night...
If college students are only getting 2 to 3 hours of sleep before the big deadline, that's generally when they start trawling the Internet for something to plagiarize...
Apple's opening play was to give a historical comparison of real products with real products. In response, Samsung waits until after the court deadline and then starts talking about their alternative history based upon design sketches -- ideas for products that never existed. Isn't that kind of a distraction from the issue?
This lawsuit is about the design of really-existing product X infringing on the design of really-existing product Y. It seems more than a bit sketchy that Samsung waited until after the deadline for evidence to be submitted and then starts talking about their alternative history of smartphone design.
Question: did Samsung's legal team *deliberately* wait until after the deadline to introduce this evidence, to (a) try and box in Apple's response and, if they got whacked by Judge Koh for this move, then they try to make her look partial to Apple? Think about this kind of move in a game of sports. Somebody kicks the ball after the bell and then says their kick was fantastic. Fair?
Second question: their "evidence" is a bunch of PowerPoint slides. How do we verify the age of a computer file? It's not too difficult to cook up some slides, change the file's creation date, and hey presto! you've got prior art.
"Imagine if AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart, Sony, Philips, Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Telstra in Australia demanded improvement ..."
Er, has anybody from the "Institute for Labour and Global Human Rights" visited a Wal-Mart lately?
Life imitates art?
"Attention, asteroid Pandora: we're coming for your natural resources..."
Re: Space 1999
Reading through this whole article, I was thinking of that series.