DonL

DonL

  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE, Part 2
    Skippers Canyon road is amazingly scenic and that link is worth looking at just for the photos. That website also lists Hart's Pass in the US Rockies. I've been there, and yup, wouldn't do that one on a rainy day....
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    the maker of influenza vaccines releasing a lethal flu that is prevented by their vaccine "The Windup Girl", Paolo Bacigalupi, 2009. (Hugo, Nebula, etc) At one point a representative of powerful company boasts that he's been inoculated against diseases that...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    What I teach in my students is that the definition of a disorder that qualifies for medication is that someone has found a medication that alleviates some of the symptoms. There was a joke, years ago, about how the makers...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    I assemble my own computers because it's not that hard & I get almost twice the bang for my buck from what I could get buying pre-built computers. I used to do that, but lately I put all the iffy...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    the Cosmo should be a reasonably nifty Linux-adjacent pocket computer and smartphone An alternative to a mini-laptop is to use some screenful device (like your phone) and add a pocketable Bluetoothed keyboard. I recommend this keyboard. (Well, I think that's...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    Regulation tends to happen only after problems kill a sufficient number of people *and* cause sufficient economic losses. Look at aerospace and medical. Look at food. It took a lot of effort to get food regulations in place. Look at...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    the typical commenter here is middle-aged-to-elderly, male, white, somewhere on the ASD spectrum, has a STEM background, and doesn't have children—or has adult children but no/limited contact with teenagers or children today. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov: but I am a...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    Since Linux has been around since roughly 1991, I think you're implicitly suggesting that word processing was a done deal some time in the late 1980s. Carnegie Mellon had FrameMaker running on workstations, somewhere around 1990. A few years later...
  • Commented on Tentative hypothesis
    Come on now, Word runs perfectly fine on Linux. I spent a bunch of my last employer's time, containerizing our stuff so it ran on a Kubernetes cluster. And one of the takeaways is that many brand loyalties were becoming...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    no amount of handwavium will create several gigawatts of potential energy in a container that isn't of the order of 350 million cubic meters elevated 400m above the generating turbines. Which is where batteries start to look convenient: they're what,...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Pumped storage costs about $250 million per GWh and will last a lot longer as it's mostly concrete and holes in the ground, not age-limited electrochemical batteries I've seen many claims (eg Bloomberg) that batteries are now cheaper than that...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    InfiniBand had regular meetings where vendors did that, and the first few were a complete shambles And then there was the "TCP/IP Bakeoff" meeting, in the late 70's. They got networking to the point where every box in the room...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    The problem with *any* form of highly available concentrated energy is that the failure modes tend towards "very suddenly available". Doesn't matter whether you have concrete blocks stacked up, a train going down a hill, a dam full of water,...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    airlines always blame the pilots No need to slight the airlines or journalists for doing this. If you read "Normal Accidents", by Perrow, you'll notice that all the huge mishaps he discusses were followed by accident investigations. You know, panels...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    2/3rds of all new businesses in the US go out of business in the first year they exist, presumably because of no business plan, Luck matters more than a business plan. As witness Google, who abandoned their original plan, and...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    And navigation has never really been a problem, since after all GPS was designed to work with 70s microprocessors If the target's military know your drone is coming, GPS will be jammed, or even worse, spoofed. And if the vehicle...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Not quite so "home-brewed" drones I suspect --- proibably put together from Iranian kits-of-parts. And since this is a science-fictional group ... yes, this was "predicted" in SF. The Moon Goddess And the Son Donald Kingsbury Baen Books, 1987 A...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Flow Batteries Iv'e been hearing they are coming "Real Soon Now" for the past 10 years at least - are they like fusion power, then? If so, it's a pity, because they seem as though they should be a really-good-enough...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Let's ignore the detail that solar power prevents the land from being used for agriculture or wildlife, though it's not minor, but is pretty obvious. Obvious, but wrong. To re-post # 1195: There have been a bunch of articles lately...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    I'd forgotten them ( The DH Twin-Otter ) YES! Or a very slightly larger 4-engined version? Definitely the way to go. Actually, it's the "Land_Rover" approach to aviation - isn't it? I suspect the design's longevity is because it's exactly...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Or you can use things for accumulating energy, of which realistically only hydro-accumulation is an option nowadays. Bloomberg New Energy Finance seems feel otherwise. They are predicting terawatts of batteries, long term. Not that I agree with them. They see...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    when wind power shares space with farming the amount of land it occupies is the diameters of the towers plus a meter or less of weeds. There have been a bunch of articles lately about solar sharing space with farming,...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Looking at the global picture, the Antonov An-2 is a far better choice. Only went out of mass production in 2001, over 18,000 produced, and there's a modern all-composite/turboprop powered upgrade in development, the TVS-2DT. I vote for the De...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    Or one can go the way of the Pike's Peak Cog Railway or funiculars like http://www.brooklineconnection.com/history/Facts/Inclines.html...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    we don't, as a species, know how to manage the necessary level of complexity in a robust ongoing way. Engineers don't know how, either. The classic book, still worth reading after 20 years, is Normal Accidents by Charles Perrow. I...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    People who assume that using special metal and plastic frame instead of pile of planks and rocks is a tribute to stylish design - obviously did not receive engineering education beyond college level. He was referring to one module, not...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE
    What might be interesting would be use of solar/renewable farms to produce methane via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis or hydrogen via electrolysis—then store the gas and burn it through diesels or turbogenerators during periods of darkness/no wind. Probably easier to engineer on...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    You can certainly dial them up and down easily, you just can't do it on a calm night for example. More precisely, you can dial them down, by dumping generated electricity. "Up" only exists in the sense of ceasing to...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    I didn't read the link last the point they say wind and solar aren't despatchable. ... wind and solar are highly despatchable. I expect the next bit will be explaining how coal and nuclear (which aren't despatchable at all) are...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    "A fully interconnected US would still need a full two days of storage" https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/8/9/20767886/renewable-energy-storage-cost-electricity quotes Jessika Trancik of MIT (her actual article seems to be paywalled at Joule). She looked at stored-energy amounts vs "availability factor" using 20 years of...
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