Michael Cain

Michael Cain

  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    The main reason that we need nanometre fabs is to feed the bloatware; I believe you have to be well down into nanometers in order to produce the chips that implement digital signal processing for mobile telephony and high-speed data...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    During the mid-1990s, Signaling System No. 7, an international standard signaling protocol used by telephone switches to set up calls, was on the list of technology which US companies could not provide to Russia. The giant US telecom company I...
  • Commented on Test Case
    If I were representing any of the corporate interests in this, I would argue that liability rests solely on the human who chose to downgrade the quality of the software and then operated the vehicle in a for-hire fashion that...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Watching from elsewhere in the Western Interconnect, it seems clear that Sacremento's plan for future electricity supply is to import quite a lot more from outside the state. It makes sense on a couple of levels: clean supply for California,...
  • Commented on Upcoming Appearances
    Do you ever make audio or video from your readings available online? It's unlikely that I'll be in a place where I could see one live, but am interested in hearing the author's take on how the story should sound....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Both of those things are located well outside of the Rocky Mountains rain shadow... I'm always curious that so few writers include anything like the North American Monsoon (NAM), which from time to time, dumps 25 cm or more of...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Re automatic vs manual transmissions in the US... it has become quite common to hear a manual transmission referred to as "the most effective of all anti-theft systems"....
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    ...where the actual voice call quality and capability is never reported. It is astounding what people will give up for mobility. At least in the US, most mobile phones and networks deliver quality that would have been rated "unacceptable" for...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Like this, do you mean? Exactly. The rail line coming out of the PWB and heading east across Nebraska carries more tonnage per year than any other rail route in the world....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Transportation of western PRB coal costs less per ton than eastern coal to power plants. Yep. The Scherer power plant in Georgia, largest coal-fired plant in the US, burns exclusively PRB coal. The coal cars travel approx 1,800 miles each...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Re assorted comments on eastern vs western coal production in the US... Currently, coal production is split about equally between eastern and western mines. 25 years ago the eastern mines held a much larger share. Restrictions on sulfur dioxide emissions...
  • Commented on Book day!
    May your personal matters be resolved with as little pain as possible. I'll keep reading the Laundry Files, but more to find out if you're leaving any room for regular humans to survive with any shreds of dignity....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    That three-blades-on-a-pivot design for windmills has had a shed load of work put into it, both empirical and theoretical. Another factor is where the wind resources are. Look at maps for wind resources at 20 meters above ground level versus...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    I suggested earlier this year that post-Mexican wall the Trump administration could conceivably go for a NAFTA where the NA was North Atlantic and meant the US, UK, and Canada, then a new NATO that included only the same three....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Trump is a bully: he has to be the winner, and his adversary the loser. True. On free trade with the UK post Brexit, I believe it is possible to convince him -- or for him to convince himself --...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Question out of ignorance here. My understanding is that Article 50 is only reversible by the other EU members, who have to vote unanimously to do that. Isn't all this "Brexit do over" talk moot now?...
  • Commented on The End of the British nuclear deterrent?
    Which takes us back to "maybe in China, probably in Russia, impossible in a democracy" territory. Allow me to introduce you to the Crow Butte in situ leaching mine in outstate Nebraska, USA. Operating since 1991 and looking to expand....
  • Commented on The End of the British nuclear deterrent?
    ...as a negotiation lever in search of a better trade deal with the UK... And here I was thinking that May's visit last month was to get a behind-the-scenes agreement in principle to a new NAFTA (North Atlantic Free Trade...
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    Re other states joining a CalExit... Look at where California gets its electricity, natural gas, and water, and the direction of the future plans for those. California needs to have pretty much everything from the western edge of the Great...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    You're right, however, that healthcare was definitely a horrible cave-in. He simply didn't have the votes. A couple of Senate Republicans made noises, but never cast a single vote to help Obama. And two very conservative Democratic Senators from solidly...
  • Commented on Playtime is over
    OGH, on a US Constitutional Convention: "And that's assuming a cross-faction consensus on what needs to be done can emerge that spans a sufficient range of positions that it can be made to stick." Personally, I expect the only change...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    I eventually figured out that it comes down to one question: "How many people do you think you have to consider to figure out what you're doing on Friday night?" If the answer is one -- yourself -- you're a...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Indeed, even without oil, Scotland is an energy exporter... How feasible are the proposals for Scotland to be the end point for an HVDC link from Iceland bringing in hydro and geothermal power?...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    My last full-time gig was as on the permanent non-partisan staff for a US state legislature. Once of the good things about the job was that some aspects of it required private discussions, so everyone in the group got a...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    I am plowing through -- and it has reached that point -- Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, in order this time. I have refrained from purchasing a copy of Nightmare Stacks yet because it would be a temptation....
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    There's a (long-delayed) project under construction to do just that called Tres Amigas Where Frank thinks that something like Tres Amigas would be used to export power from west to east, there's at least as good an argument that, given...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Any piece that's going to spin futures about the US electric grid has to start from this: "The US doesn't have one power grid, it has three. There are minimal transfers between the three. Each of the three has radically...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Out of curiosity, what happens if the European Commission, wanting to head off a future filled with non-binding referendums, says at some point this next week, "We consider that notice has been given, and plan on having the first meeting...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Changing legal positions requires laws or treaties, not re-interpretation. Shhh... Don't tell the Supreme Court over here that, they'll all have heart attacks and die. Although in that case, maybe better that you do tell them....
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    ...how to work for yourself... An extension of this. For a very long time, there are going to be a limited number of types of jobs, and need to fill those appropriately. The system has to deal with the need...
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