Michael Cain

Michael Cain

  • Commented on Oh, 2022!
    After the takeover of McD-D by Boeing, Boeing lost the plot completely -- largely because the board were taken over by McD-D directors who followed the McD-D Way, not the Boeing Way, and McD-D are primarily a defense contractor, not...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    Main rotor blades are big and move fast (tips approaching Mach 1), and show up on Doppler radars… One of the stories told by old timers in US Navy weapons procurement regards a radar-guided anti-aircraft gun. The gun operator held...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    It'll take another generation to work out how to breed tritium in sufficient quantities to run a reactor, and then maybe we get to a prototype designed to deliver base load. The prototype is called DEMO, the planned follow-on to...
  • Commented on Omicron
    Yeah, I got a pile of spaghetti Fortran from the Naval Postgraduate Institute in 1977. At the time, it was the fastest code in the world for solving linear network flow optimization problems. After benchmarking it on a set of...
  • Commented on Omicron
    Unlike Word, displays ALL formatting codes. Ah, the WP "Reveal Codes." I had a job once where I was responsible for hundreds of pages of reports that had to be updated each legislative session, all done in WP. I inherited...
  • Commented on PSA: Publishing supply chain shortages
    (A 747 may literally be worth less than the contents of its own cargo hold if it's full of new iPhones — 500 grams each in their packaging means 200,000 units per 100 tonnes, at an average $1000 retail each...
  • Commented on PSA: Publishing supply chain shortages
    I also buy fiction for those reasons. And also because I can control the formatting. I have just had too many books with odd fonts or spacing or such, and at least for fiction, want it formatted my way....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    I think the US had plans, at least, to build gas-cooled power reactors at one time. I don't know if any were ever actually built or operated though. Fort St. Vrain in Colorado was a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor that ran...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    Oh, also: when you're in a meeting and suggest tabling an issue, in the USA that means postponing it for later consideration. In the UK? It means the exact opposite -- it means the item is now on the table...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    You don't want to do that for real time control systems or phone calls... Long ago, when the Bell System in the US put up the first satellites for telephony, one of the rules for network design was that overseas...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Finland, or anywhere with a continental interior climate basically, warrants winter tyres for sure. And hills. I've lived in Colorado for 30-plus years, but down on the plains just east of the mountains. Front wheel drive and all-season radial tires...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    I have a Zoom meeting every couple of weeks. It's an outgrowth of a weekly brunch that got killed by Covid. I hardly ever speak because I can't get a word in edgewise trying to be polite and let the...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    Re the monovision thing... due to strabismus that wasn't treated soon enough when I was a child, my vision developed switching back and forth between eyes as necessary: bi-ocular rather than binocular vision. Also very heavily right-eye dominant, and the...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    FWIW, the term for the head of a board that I've heard in common use is "the chair", which sort of solves the problem. When I was on the staff for the budget committee of my state's legislature, we had...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    AIUI, it's "moscow Mitch" being an arsehole again - he could recall the senate, but if he leaves it until 21/1/2121, then it fucks over the first weeks of Biden's presidency. One of the Democratic leaders in the House has...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    Or possibly a better example, look at the British House of Commons: Much of the official process in Congress assumes that Representatives and Senators do not have office space other than their space in the chamber. Paper copies of tons...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    If we can get Sen Joe Mancin (democrat from deep red West Virginia) to go along, we can eliminate the filibuster. Joe Manchin is the darling of the East Coast media for "the Democrat we have to get." Over the...
  • Commented on Submarine coming through!
    Untested and speculative technologies are always superior to real ones because nobody has to actually make them work. You get to talk about all of the theoretical advantages without any of the messy real world issues intruding.... Thorium reactors are...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Of course what really established Amazon in the early years was their ability to avoid having to collect State taxes, which gave them an unfair advantage over traditional retailers... I started buying technical books from Amazon in the very early...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    I have enjoyed the diversion into threads. I first discovered just how many details there were as an aside while I was researching how engineers got from hand-cut wooden screws to Ramsden's 125 threads-per-inch screws for scientific and surveying instruments...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Pipe threads being the worst. We recently bought a new place (population has gone up 50% in 20 years, the old places are full). PEX and PVC, lots of glue....
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    The second is what I grew up with. Dad set type as a part-time job while he was in college. And the dad next door when I was a little older ran a Linotype for the local weekly newspaper. At...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    The governor of Arizona (a true R through and through) was part of a signing of the declaration of the vote results on a live stream when his phone rang with the ring tone he had bragged about a month...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    We've had working tokamaks since the late 1950s. What we don't have, including this Chinese one, is a tokamak that has reached breakeven (fusion power out equals electrical power in) let alone the 25:1 or more gain needed to make...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    When it's not cavalry (reconnaissance/screening against reconnaissance), air is artillery. (Sometimes counter-battery artillery.) Air does not like to acknowledge this. Neither does artillery. Against an opponent without air defense capability, a B-52 staying on station for hours and occasionally kicking...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    I notice that the UK exchanges multihectomegawatts of electrical power with France, Belgium, Ireland, Holland. Is Brexit likely to complicate such arrangements? I have read, but will certainly defer to people with more expertise, that much of the big trading...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    Wasn't it Napoleon who said that God generally fights on the side of the heavier artillery? In response to an immediately-dismissed general who said that it didn't matter that he couldn't have the artillery in place in time, God was...
  • Commented on So you say you want a revolution
    So don't get cancer in 2021, okay? Or presumably a bunch of other things that use radioactive materials for imaging. When my blood pressure got erratic enough the medical people wanted to look at a number of possibilities, the noninvasive...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    What's really needed is a transmission line backbone to interconnect the provinces. As I recall, Canada has three largely independent geographically separated synchronized AC grids. Two of them are tied to much larger US grids. So looking at a relatively...
  • Commented on Countdown to Crazy
    Also, can someone explain why the poor sunless western states doomed to wither under the overcast Siberian sky can't just build more fission reactors? Cooling water. Consider... The hardest part of building the last new thermal power plant in my...
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