Zorro

Zorro

  • Commented on Generation Z
    Are you sure that poverty has been decreasing? Yes, the World Bank says that poverty (defined as living on less than $1.25/day) decreased from 1.908 billion in 1990 to 1.215 billion in 2010 (source: http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/home/). However, during that time, there's...
  • Commented on Heartbleed note
    The only media attention that 'goto FAIL' got was a handful of 'lol apple' stories on tech news sites, with comment threads making 'goto considered harmful' jokes and criticizing brace style. Why is heartbleed getting mainstream media attention, when it's...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    The first PV cells were made in the 1950s, not long after the first small nuclear generating stations came on line. There have been no real efficiency improvements in PV technology per se in the past thirty or forty years,...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Argh, one last correction: module time in the field ranged from 19 to 23 years. Not 30 years. All signs still point to median module remaining useful for far more than 20 years....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Instead of my garbled half-rememberings please refer to this study on PV module life: A large variety of modules from different manufacturers, re-examined after 30 years at the European Solar Test Installation: http://pvevolutionlabs.com/pdf/JRC.pdf More than 70% of modules exhibited 0.5%...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I don't think that the next generation of PV panels will be cheaper than already-built coal and gas plants in the UK. Of course this is true of the next nuclear reactors to be built also. It seems like a...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I have a love-frustration relationship with nuclear power. It's not dependent on the weather, it's scaleable, it can directly replace coal, and all evidence to date is that even including accidents it's going to do less damage to human health...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Correction: I did not add the export tariff to large PV system rates. Current UK all-in PV tariff is actually £113.80 for large systems rather than £66.10 as I wrote. Given the historical pattern of tariff degression I would be...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I have hopes that the Western world can (re-)discover how to build nuclear power plants at reasonable cost and with predictable less-than-a-decade schedules. The 4 AP1000 reactors under construction in the USA seem to be moving forward OK, so far....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Hydroelectric dams generally have modestly-good capacity factors, e.g. ~40% for the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest in the USA. This is more valuable than a wind farm with the same annual capacity factor because the hydro system produces on demand:...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    We don't really know if something would be better than lithium batteries on price until it's available to buy. The purified lithium carbonate that goes into making a battery is only a tiny fraction of the battery cost, maybe 1-2%....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    They'd benefit more from some serious research, but no one really wants to put money into it because there's a bunch of chemistries and it's very hard to predict which one will win. (Lithium won't; lithium is inherently rare, and...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I think that lithium ion batteries are already Good Enough for mass market electric vehicles on every metric save price. They have enough energy density, enough power density, long enough lifetime to displace liquid fuels from most automobiles. Battery pack...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Incidentally, the electric car thing? Posit that a mid-range car with a 100hp gas engine is putting out 70kW at peak power, or maybe 20-45kW when cruising, and has a gas tank able to take it 300 miles, or about...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    That approach works well when resources are plentiful. Sadly, unchecked human populations tend to double every 25 years or so, which means we're never all that far from not having enough food for everyone. World population was 3.2 billion in...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    More to the point, a mathematical researcher with a good track record claims to have formalized a proof of the second incompleteness theorem (turned it into a machine-verifiable form) last year: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~lp15/Pages/G%C3%B6del-slides.pdf http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~lp15/Pages/G%C3%B6del-ar.pdf The first incompleteness theorem has been formalized...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Isn't there a very well-funded drive against any sort of augmentation & life-extension going on in the USA? Backed (what a surprise/not) by just about every form of god-botherer & the ultra-right. I don't think so, at least not any...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    In Moore's Law, there's good reason to believe that integrated circuits, the way we currently build computers, can keep getting smaller and faster for another decade or two, but probably not for another 40 years. Ray Kurzweil points out that...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Well, if that were true, China and India would have massively more impact on the planet than the US. The fallacy is that population has little or nothing to do with consumption footprint. The US is the classic example of...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    --If an economy is run by consumer demand, depriving consumers of the way to make money will kill the economy. Ergo, automation will stop when it starts hurting sales. --Lots of unemployed or underemployed young people is the classic recipe...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    I think pro-bitcoin and anti-bitcoin sentiments predicated on the idea that it will destroy governments by tax starvation are mistaken. The government doesn't need to track down your crypto-identity and unmask your transactions to get you for tax evasion, just...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    Any good low-energy high-tech future stories out there? Where 'good' has as a necessary condition it's not a grim meat hook future (No Paolo Bacigalupi, please.) Even woo woo drug-centric eco-hippy stories are preferable to that. I think Ken MacLeod's...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    Note that low employment is an unstable situation. There are at least three historical solutions for it: --Revolution followed by forced de-automation --Population flight following the jobs --Revolution to a fascist regime, followed by rapid expansion, followed by major war....
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    The hand-sewn couture market (which still exists) will be joined by the not-as-high-end machine-sewn-by-real-people somewhat-more-durable market in the middle end. But it won't be a mass employer. I think even this is a bit over-optimistic about future prospects for employment...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    Any mention of John Searle makes my hackles rise. His Chinese Room is ridiculously misleading. He describes it as a look-up table going from input to output. Not possible: there are over 20,000 different symbols in written chinese, so by...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    The people betting on main battle tanks in the MBT vs. self driving jeep swarm showdown seem to be assuming an equilibrium where MBTs have every sensor, software, and computing advantage of the jeep (and then some), plus much better...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Maybe movie-plot threats about hacking vehicles keep coming up because it's hard to find geopolitical implications otherwise, but... really? Cars are not only going to be remote-vulnerable but have enough shared vulnerabilities to take over multiple percent of the vehicle...
  • Commented on Time tourism: some reaction shots
    Coming back to molecular modeling, there was a time they said the only atom the Schrödinger equations etc. were solved for was the hydrogen one, no idea if that's still true, but AFAIK molecular modelling solutions still contain a hefty...
  • Commented on The latest news
    You're probably not going to be able to maintain electronic privacy by heroics if you're explicitly targeted by the NSA and trying to use network connected computers. That's no reason for the rest of us to preemptively surrender. Make it...
  • Commented on The latest news
    A few years ago there was a crazy allegation that the FBI paid for vulnerabilities to be inserted in the OpenBSD project's IPSEC implementation. Today I'm thinking that it may not be so crazy, and that it might not have...
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