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10 reasons against nuclear power

Obsidian Wings: Strange Days, Open Thread

1. The upkeep costs for any nuclear power plant are very high. Also, those costs are all recurring, and they generally scale as poorly as hydrocarbon power (that is, the incremental costs tend to increase with generating capacity; there is no economy of scale). Specifically:

a. The bottom line is that nuclear power technology is very complex -- it's not as simple as putting some coal in a furnace and running a turbine. Everything is expensive.

b. Nuclear plants require highly-trained, specialized personnel and lots of oversight. We don't even have decent staff as it is; training more is a long-term cost borne by the public, and the demand is inelastic, so the marginal cost of getting more nuclear engineers actually increases over time. The higher premium you place on safety, the worse this problem becomes.

c. There are significant ongoing repair and maintenance costs -- nuclear power generation involves a lot of delicate equipment that's often operating in extreme conditions and with enormously restrictive failsafe requirements.

d. The fuel ain't free. Nuclear fuel is relatively cheaper and more accessible than coal or oil, but the cost to obtain it is non-trivial no matter what, and it's not even a single order of magnitude better than hydrocarbons in terms of cost-per-watt, even if you don't include all the secondary costs; see "wind" link in previous post.

e. There are many, many ancillary costs associated with nuclear fuel even aside from supply. Even if it were possible to simply "bury" nuclear waste without worrying about leakage polluting the groundwater -- which it's not -- you can't avoid the costs of security and transportation, neither of which is trivial.

(via)

When robots dance our electric dreams

grinding.be � Blog Archive � Sleep Waking - or how the robot overlords will act out our dreams for fun

Using recorded brainwave activity and eye movements during REM sleep to determine robot behaviors and head positions, “Sleep Waking” acts as a way to “play-back” dreams. Through this piece we hope to investigate one of the possible human-robot relationships.

February 15, 2008

Rogue DNS servers on the rise

Use of rogue DNS servers on rise - Yahoo! News

Mendacious machines controlled by hackers that reroute Internet traffic from infected computers to fraudulent Web sites are increasingly being used to launch attacks, according to a paper published this week by researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Google Inc.

The paper estimates roughly 68,000 servers on the Internet are returning malicious Domain Name System results, which means people with compromised computers are sometimes being directed to the wrong Web sites — and often have no idea.

The peer-reviewed paper, which offers one of the broadest measurements yet of the number of rogue DNS servers, was presented at the Internet Society's Network and Distributed System Security Symposium in San Diego.

Doomed spy satellite USA 193

Thanks, ** Aunt Liz! ** February 14, 2008 | SpaceWeather.com...

February 13, 2008

Comcast is proud to throttle your downloads

WaPo | Comcast Defends Role As Internet Traffic CopComcast said...

Jer's Novel Writer: My new favorite creative writing software

Jer's Software Hut: Downloads It's like Ulysses, but much cheaper....

February 09, 2008

Anachronology: Polaroid quits instant film

theage.com.au | Polaroid quits instant filmPolaroid Corp is dropping the...

February 05, 2008

Xbox mod

February 04, 2008

United States brings Baghdad freedom, sewage

Raw Story | Baghdad drowning in sewage: Iraqi officialBaghdad is...

Get your 8-bit on

NYT | A Console Plays the Classics, Like Old-School Sonic...

February 02, 2008

Iran has no Internet today

Apparently, three undersea cables have been cut in Asia. As...

January 30, 2008

Spectrum auction: failing

The FCC isn't getting high enough bids for the wireless...

January 29, 2008

Japanese Pollen Robots

Pollen Robots ::: Pink Tentacle

As hay fever season approaches, Tokyo-based weather forecasting company Weathernews, Inc. is deploying a 200-strong army of beady-eyed, ball-shaped robots nationwide to monitor the pollen situation.

The so-called “Pollen Robots,” which weigh 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) and measure 30 centimeters (1 ft) across, consist of a monitoring unit housed in a spherical styrofoam shell. A pair of eyes glow 5 different colors — white, blue, green, red and purple — to indicate the level of Japanese cedar and cypress pollen in the air.

Two hundred hay fever sufferers around the country have volunteered to hang the Pollen Robots outside their homes, where they will monitor the air and send minute-by-minute reports over the Internet to Weathernews headquarters in Tokyo. The data will be used to update the company’s online pollen map.

Airbus A380 Cockpit -- 360-degree view

That's a lot of buttons. Check out the joystick controls....