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330095 Posts in 13528 Topics by 2179 Members
Latest Member: Lian_Kazairl
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2926  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 18, 2011, 02:40:45 PM
Don't panic.
2927  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: March 17, 2011, 05:39:55 PM
Anyone try this game on hard?  I thought the first two Ar Tonelico games were much too easy so I thought I would give this one a go on hard.  Got completely slaughtered in the first fight.  You know, the stupid tutorial thing against Mute when you don't even have a revytail yet.  To quantity how badly I got slaughtered, let's bring out some numbers.  On normal Mute does ~10 of damage to you per hit and you're doing ~30 to her per hit.  On hard she's doing ~50 to you per hit and you're doing ~2.  Yes, 2.  That isn't hard, that's broken.  Since you have so few options in combat at this point I don't see how that fight is even winnable.  This isn't enough of an action game to make dodging around and slowly chipping away at your enemy's HP even possible.

Needless to say I restarted on normal.
2928  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dead Island (yes, it's a rpg) on: March 17, 2011, 03:28:16 PM
Better version of the Dead Island trailer.

Seriously, though, the trailer is apparently nothing like the gameplay, so in that sense it's a really bad trailer.
2929  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 16, 2011, 08:14:32 PM
Thorium (and breeder reactors in general) certainly has a lot of potential, but I think there is still a fair amount of research that needs to be done before we can start building reactors like that.  On the other hand there are existing designs that are much safer than what we're using that we could be building today.  For example there is the ESBWR, AP-1000, or a pebble bed reactor.
2930  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 16, 2011, 07:47:47 PM
To be fair, there are a large number of plants around the world (including 23 right here in the US) using the exact same design as Fukushima.  And while the ultimate cause of these problems was the earthquake and tsunami, the proximate cause was the loss of both off-site and on-site power.  There are many other potential things that could do that besides an earthquake and tsunami.  I hate to get all post-9/11 on this topic, but a terrorist attack would be one possibility.

The cooling systems actually do have a third backup in the form of batteries, but they only last for around 4-8 hours.  The idea is that should be long enough to either restore primary or backup power, though with the level of destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that obviously didn't happen.  Still, active intervention is required.

My point is that there absolutely are things we can learn from this incident to improve the safety of nuclear power plants, and it would be naive to ignore it.  I am certainly not advocating abandoning nuclear power.  In fact what I would really like to see is us building new nuclear power plants with passive safety systems that would be immune to this type of incident.  Given the knee-jerk anti-nuclear political environment, however, that is a tough sell.

There also seem to be issues with how the spent fuel is stored at Fukushima, but that is a whole different problem.
2931  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 16, 2011, 03:25:13 PM
Nuclear energy is scary because of what is happening there. I don't care if "newer plants can avoid this", because we're talking about old plants that are still in operation and just prior to this quake received the go-ahead to continue operating for another 40 years.

The reality is, there is no way to prevent meltdowns and harmful levels of radiation escaping in the case of an emergency.

This discussion is a tangent, but don't pretend you didn't start it.  I was responding directly to what you said.

Actually, if you think about it the whole anti-nuclear attitude is a major part of the reason we have so many old plants.  We can't build new ones, but we still need electricity so we continue to operate older, less-safe designs past their originally intended life spans.  Brilliant.
2932  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 16, 2011, 02:38:21 AM
The reality is, there is no way to prevent meltdowns and harmful levels of radiation escaping in the case of an emergency.

That really isn't true.  Obviously it's a concern here, but the Fukushima reactor is 40 years old (and based on an even older design).  There are more modern designs with passive safety systems in which this sort of scenario would be impossible.  Look up ESBWRs or pebble bed reactors.

Quote
It also produces harmful waste that will probably never be safely disposed of in the remainder of humanity's lifetime.

If only we were smart enough to invest in breeder reactors that burn their own waste as additional fuel.  Sadly they are politically unpopular for stupid reasons.

Truth be told, compared to (chemically) burning things nuclear energy is still very much in its infancy.  There are many things we can still do to improve the technology, however this requires actually investing in nuclear energy which is something people don't seem to want to do.

Did you know that for all 104 nuclear power plants currently operating in the US construction began in 1974 or earlier?  There have been various upgrades over the years, but there is only so much you can do.  We really need to start building some actual new power plants.
2933  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Radiant Historia on: March 15, 2011, 09:39:54 PM
For all the people that missed it at launch, Atlus apparently announced that there will be a reprint.

That's good news.  I know a couple people I need to recommend this game to, but prices and availability have already gotten ridiculous.
2934  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ar tonelico 3 coming to the PS3 January 2010 on: March 15, 2011, 09:37:42 PM
I preordered from NISA's store and they actually shipped quite early.  I would have gotten it yesterday, in fact, but I accidentally used my old address.  Oops.  Fortunately I have forwarding set up with the post office so I think it will get worked out, but its arrival has been delayed because of it.
2935  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: PSone Classics PSN rpgs on: March 15, 2011, 08:53:48 PM
We need Thousand Arms ;)
2936  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: Homefront on: March 15, 2011, 03:13:49 PM
There was never anything I saw or read about this game that made me think it wouldn't be terrible...
2937  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 15, 2011, 01:59:02 AM
Clearing up nuclear questions (msnbc).

A reasonable well-written summary of the current situation at Fukushima from the mainstream media?  Who'd a thunk it?
2938  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 14, 2011, 10:00:05 PM
Sorry I posted it a few times earlier in the thread - it's from their live blog.

Ah, immunity to sarcasm...
2939  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dragon Age 2 on: March 14, 2011, 04:13:34 PM
It sort of boggles my mind that an OS could need that much memory.  Of course, I run Linux with a minimalist windowmanager ('cause that's the way I like it).
2940  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: 8.9 (9.0?) Earthquake hits Japan. on: March 14, 2011, 12:46:57 PM
Scientific American has a very nice article explaining the situation at the Fukushima plant.  There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there so it's worth a read.
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