Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

  Rad Decision

Tonight's online reading was Rad Decision, a novel about the events leading up to a nuclear accident in the US that didn't happen, but could have.

I found the the plot gripping, the situations utterly believable, the characters decent, the backstory quite plausible, and the denouement worth thinking about. Recomended.

I still think nuclear technology belongs in the mix of energy sources for the future.

I'm impressed with how far Nanosolar has come in the past few years, although I find it weird that they are concentrating on Germany rather than in places, like Central America and Mexico, that have boatloads of solar power.

I do appreciate the rush towards greener consumer technology, LED lighting in particular, seems to be getting better at a rapid rate. Earlier today I'd given up on getting any sheeva plugs this year, and went with an open-rd box, which promises about 1/3 the power consumption of a nearly equivalent PC. I also decided not to build out another quad core machine to replace my broken one.

Whether or not the open-rds could be used as a desktop and be as useful as an atom (the nearest competitor for the desktop) remains to be seen, but I intend to retire one of my computers in favor of it for use as the first iteration of Pocobelle 2, probably with added duties as a music server, and perhaps it - or the next Arm A9 based generation - will give intel a run for their money.

I read David Rowe's blog religeously. Here he talks about the power audit he did on his house and what he did to improve his negawatts. He also talks about what he did for his pool system to improve it, too.

I'm also big on geothermal power - I've been watching a Nicaraguan company, formerly known as Polaris Geothermal, now known as Ram Power complete a merger and obtain 150+ million in funding to bring up (at least) 70MW more geothermal power here. A terawatt is feasible, long term.

Nicaragua has enough geothermal energy in the ground to power 3 countries, if only they'd - or someone - would try, harder.

Through such slow, incremental change is the future made.

I'd had a really bad week last week. Nothing for me, personally, was really working, and I'd had some bad news about the Montavista merger that basically tore up some retirement plans entirely.

I took a cheap cab out halfway to Rivas, as I was too broke to get all the way to the frontier to renew my passport and return - and started walking south. I made it as far as the windmill project down that way, which has been under construction ever since I'd got here, with numerous hassles and delays.

The wind off the lake was blowing hard, and every last one of those enormous shiny white windmills was turning, and they'd finished running the power lines out - They were actually delivering power!

It was so beautiful that I sat down in front of the land, watched those windmills turn and turn, and cried. Maybe only another engineer can understand what it is like to struggle and fail and flail and fail again and then see something else that was actually working.

Shortly thereafter someone picked me up and took me to the border.

I made it home with 70 cordoba in my pocket, but my good friends at El Pozo let me run a tab, and all the friends I hadn't seen in a month showed up that night to visit.

So my life goes on, with a few moments like these to make it worthwhile to struggle on, and to keep trying. I keep saying to myself that the only way to win is to not play the game, but it's deeper than that, you need to invent new rules for the game. Better ones.

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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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