bitfriend6 t1_je2vf4l wrote


>Chief among them is red tape. From 1990 to 2020, the time required to construct new chip plants (called fabs) in the US soared by 38%. Clean Air Act permits can take 18 months. National Environmental Policy Act reviews take an average of four and a half years. A half dozen other federal laws may come into play, plus endless state and local variants. [...] Another challenge is that the US lacks the needed workforce for this industry, thanks partly to a broken immigration system. [...] A final concern is politics. Companies hoping for significant Chips Act funding must comply with an array of new government rules and pointed suggestions, meant to advantage labor unions, favored demographics, “empowered community partners” and the like.

Personal take: America can't build things anymore. America doesn't want to build things anymore. Americans don't want to build things anymore. Building things is a difficult, dirty, and usually demoralizing process of iterative failure until a usable design is chiseled out. Americans do not want factories, they do not want a huge industrial concern requiring a carefully negotiated social contract, and they don't want the engineers who might introduce scary things like workers' rights into our society. It is socially unacceptable to have a lowly machine tool or electrical engineering job, and it is unacceptable to build such facilities in America. The Northeast doesn't have enough land, the South doesn't have enough education, midwesterners are distrustful of electronics, and the west coast bans it on enviomental grounds. Asia doesn't have such concerns and just builds, they will win as a result.


bitfriend6 t1_je16hns wrote

In regards to Silicon Valley/San Francisco specifically it's due to the long commute times. 90 min commutes mean wasting 3 hours per day in traffic. This makes an 8 hour workday into a 11'er, 12 with a lunch break. Most people won't tolerate that unless the money is really good, which it increasingly isn't. This is caused by a supply problem, there's not enough transit and physical mobility in the region, and this problem will persist through the end of the decade.

We can talk about Office-or-not all day but the plain fact is, if the Office is completely divorced from your community and not involved in your personal life in any way then you have no commitment to it. Workers are isolated from their physical workspaces and even the products they create, to the point where they'd rather quit than subject themselves to such a dehumanizing, alien experience. Which follows as it's only human nature to want some amount of control over our daily routines.

To have a serious discussion about Office-ing, the Office and areas around it have to be desirable. If they aren't, it's over. The same problem vexes industrial workers who are just told to eat it, and largely do because they didn't finish college. These are also the people most likely to replace former Office jobs, presuming companies can't find a machine to do it better.


bitfriend6 t1_jdu17yn wrote

If Amazon reduces the amount of theaters by 1/3rd they can monopolize many markets and turn it into a mini theme park or a circus, which is what theaters were originally borne from. It's about money and control, as usual. And even if it doesn't work out, they get all this valuable real estate for other Amazon properties like warehouses, datacenters, clinics or schools.


bitfriend6 t1_jdplqtb wrote

Silicon Valley was founded upon a railroad that preformed the same social disruption in the 19th century, turning an otherwise quiet frontier state full of mexicans into a polluted industrial power plant capable of building nuclear weapons. It's not weird, it's capitalism, and the eighties are over. The growth era is over, and we can't expect these businesses to not abuse their power in the same way every other gigantic network has before them. The government needs to regulate them, if the Federal government is too paralyzed by the right than individual states can.

We literally did it with the railroads, and did it so hard where most Americans no longer consider railroads valuable or even important as we built a society utterly divorced from them. This has it's own social consequences, but demonstrates that it can be done if there is will to power.


bitfriend6 t1_jdk2m2a wrote

Journalists are no longer needed for daily beats or even industry reporting. A computer can do it, and much better - both from the reader's perspective (less politics) and from the publisher's (more politics, adjustable on an easy-to-use knob). There will still be journalism, but it'll be journalism that readers will want to pay for. This tends to either be long-form, technical works like a book (or perhaps part of a book, assembled into a digest) or investigative journalism. Both require skill and craft, which most journalists do not have.


bitfriend6 t1_jcsi72q wrote

Headline is extremely alarmist and clickbaity. Computers won't be able to program themselves for hard, difficult tasks that require actual thought processing. The tasks being automated are ones that are extremely rote or otherwise don't require much thought. Programming, at it's core, is a math problem and computers haven't automated math nor will. The past decade of web development has been extremely easy, extremely rote, and almost totally standardized (compared to scientific or industrial computing) anyway.


bitfriend6 t1_ja91oa2 wrote

This is just early adopter problems, prices will come down as SMRs become mass produced. The high cost reflects the actual cost of decarbonizing, which is much higher than most people give credit. You can't just buy your way to success with climate change, and all the cost overruns are what it actually takes to manufacture something new. The same goes for any other important capital project, like a railroad or a canal. These things aren't cheap, and people shouldn't pretend like the price they are offered is the actual price they'll pay. In return, this avoids all of the problems inherent with large PV and battery farms when they reach their end-of-life, a problem all nuclear reactors are uniquely required to account for that other power modes don't.

This also happens in the same state that used to house America's largest coal power plant, and is adjacent America's largest oil producing state. These people aren't hippies in the first place, and they aren't fiscal conservatives either.


bitfriend6 t1_ja90rjf wrote

Yes because "energy" in this context means "supply chain from Saudi Arabia and Russia, as controlled by 3 companies". It only takes one major war to wipe our global oil supply and Russia is doing that. Or Covid. Nuclear is resistant to these markets, especially now that Biden is having us refine our own Uranium instead of importing it from Russia. A high-cost, capital-intensive object is at least a known quantity versus Iran bombing Saudi oil terminals again, Russia opening a second front in Finland, or Venezuela invading Colombia. The international supply chain that delivers oil into our gas tanks is extremely fragile versus in-house nuclear development.


bitfriend6 t1_ja904l3 wrote

That is actually a problem 12 hours a day, when there isn't sun and wind farms tend to harm birds which is why they are banned in areas with strict enviomental laws, such as California. Altamont Pass still gets lawsuits despite being one of the US's most pioneering wind projects, and it has noticably hurt the bird population. Granted birds aren't people but they might as well be in the context of enviomental litigation.


bitfriend6 t1_ja8zuo5 wrote

We can't have diversity with just renewables and storage, because the large reservoirs and battery vats required for it won't be built or require so much material it invalidates whatever emissions savings went into it. Wind and solar are nice to have, but all of them exist with gas as baseload power and gas can only be replaced by nuclear or coal. Since we're theoretically banning coal, this leaves nuclear as a required element.

China has already discovered this with their new next-gen coal plant construction program. PV-onlyism won't work. And really, why should we constrain ourselves that way anyway?


bitfriend6 t1_ja26w1q wrote

There's more to PVs than just the panel itself. It's also the manufacturing and nighttime electricity storage. This is non-marginal when PV manufacturing is dirtier and riskier than combustion engineering, because boilers don't require special acids to be made. At least not on a simple level. The larger supply chain needs to be addressed, regardless of how much wishful thinking currently happens most PVs are still made in China and most are made in appalling, dirty conditions that actively contribute to global warming & thus represent an external climate cost to PVs as even the best PVs don't last more than 25 years. Gen 1 PVs are already hitting their end-of-life and most are being landfilled in Asia, contributing to the global microplastics problem.

This doesn't discredit PVs as a technology, but it does discredit neoliberal capitalism as a means to deliver it. We need to stop importing energy, including manufactured energy devices such as PVs and electronics in general.


bitfriend6 t1_j9l6dqj wrote

Gross. Mercedes owners want an Apple screen not this gross non-Apple pleb stuff. Let's be honest, if Mercedes made Daimlernet as their exclusive, $100/mo paid communications platform with verified checkmarks they'd get a lot of buyers. Daimlernet would also be useful for Freightliner (a Mercedes product) as a built-in ELD, smog and weight compliance device. A lot of trucking companies would by a Daimlernet radio relay mesh network for guaranteed communication to trucks, and Mercedes could leverage this to bootstrap self-driving vehicles.

Instead we got flossing, angry birds and livestreamed porn.


bitfriend6 t1_j9fzkpm wrote

America's tech companies are largely responsible for the shift to China and asset stripping of American industries, especially hardware manufacturing. The sooner the government cuts them off by cutting off their access to external suppliers, the better we'll all be even if it means more expensive iphones. Imagine a world where people pay to repair their phones instead of trashing them every 18 months.


bitfriend6 t1_j9fzer6 wrote

They actually are that dumb and they'll continue being dumb until the CCP nationalizes their property, makes an alternative competing product, and begins selling it at Walmart. Only then will western companies respond and it'll be way too late. Americans will either be upset at the decreased amount of cheap offbrand TVs or be upset when certain products, like pre-DTV TVs, are discontinued. Especially for automobiles and smartphones, US firms cannot meaningfully leave without seriously harming themselves. GM cannot survive without China and China leverages this. GM would sooner attempt to sell badge engineered Chinese market vehicles to Americans then stop China from stealing their trade secrets, and Americans will be told to accept it as the price of living in a globalized world.


bitfriend6 t1_j9cx30r wrote

I wouldn't be so sure. Most people already have credit cards on file with Facebook or have a Facebook wallet (or equivalent). So long as Zuck only bills them under $1/mo, few will argue about a 79¢ charge on their monthly statement. This would closely mirror pre-internet newspaper subscriptions, which Facebook basically is for most of the population anyway.


bitfriend6 t1_j9cwv0c wrote

Yes and this is good for the world. By moving back to a paid subscriber model, websites and forums will closely resemble the magazines they were generated from. This will give smaller ones the ability to exist independent of Facebook, as they can just charge a lower price than Facebook and finance content moderation/curation.


bitfriend6 t1_j661qgq wrote

Pollution will continue leaking into groundwater, causing nasty birth defects and paranoia that prevents local municipalities from successfully reproducing. They will die off and nature will reclaim them. Despite this, people will continue whining about how scary nuclear waste is even as they're drinking plastic sludge made from rejected oil deemed unfit to be burned as fuel.


bitfriend6 t1_j5ditn5 wrote

>your never hear about the US submarine/carrier fleet having these problems.

Because it's only reported in like 3 magazines. The new Columbia Class is 50% over budget and it's budget could instead pay for free housing for all Americans for 10 years, college education for all prisoners, or a mars shot. Despite this it's approved because there's no debate regarding it, only like ~21 people want to dismantle the Navy's nuclear program and they are all fringe Republicans (and Bernie Sanders). For a more direct comparison: Republicans killed the X-33 when it was over budget, for the competing Lockheed product the F-35 which was also running over budget. We stopped hearing about that after Obama took office when it became uncool to criticize the military.

>Is there something majorly different about designing a really small reactor vs a much larger one?

yes because the supply chain doesn't exist, and what suppliers do exist are setup for more lenient military standards concerning fuel density and hazard level. Even then, it's the sort of huge government contractor that is impossible to easily monitor, there's no transparency, and all the workers are Unionized. It's big fat and slow compared to coal, gas or solar panels which are readily importable.


bitfriend6 t1_j1n12m8 wrote

You can't meaningfully call yourself a "tech" reporter and not know how to set up your own website. Mastodon is that but with the same technology behind bittorrent (in a very rudimentary way) and I'd hope these "tech" people at least know how to use bittorrent. The people looking for a narrative about Mastodon is exactly why tech reporting is so bad now, there is no narrative. It's technology. If you can't understand something and thus can't fit it into a larger ideology then why are you even reporting on it? It speaks to the immense ignorance large publishers have fostered within their own ranks which is why modern news media is so low quality.

I agree with the author of this article, just to be clear. It's shocking how much of the current "tech" media doesn't know anything about technology, science or math - just pop culture and social networking which is human journalism.


bitfriend6 t1_iyedwv0 wrote

Maybe in the UK and Europe. Here in the US, California at least, there's more hydrogen filling stations being built and more hydrogen vehicles being sold. There is massive industrial investment by railroads, oil companies, and their suppliers to adapt existing LPG infrastructure to hydrogen, and the state government is going so far to build it's own hydrogen refinery to supply itself with hydrogen fuel. All truck and heavy equipment manufacturers are planning some amount of hydrogen compatibility, as it's a cheap way of upgrading their existing Li-Ion battery vehicles debuting over the next two years. There is a clear growth pattern across 2025-2030 for this and it's how the state gov't expects to phase out diesel combustion entirely.

Just using a cursory Google Search, Socal Gas is working with Ford for a 2-ton Hydrogen Cell truck that will slot into Ford's existing 2-ton BEV truck design. Such vehicles have a ready buyer to major utility fleets such as Socal Gas itself, PG&E, and Comcast who are all required by the state to adopt Zero-Emission Vehicles. A comparable effort is happening in Sacramento vis-a-vis repowering diesel GP38s with H2 Cells.


bitfriend6 t1_iya6y2i wrote

American prison slaves had to actually commit a crime to go to jail, and had to be convicted by a jury and have the ability to appeal. The military did not go door to door separating them from their families and putting them into a forced labor camp because of their religion. Excusing it because they also got to learn how to work a mill, just like the English made the Irish do, is an incredibly disgusting thing to say and defends genocide. Hitler's SS also taught jewish women how to make gunpowder at Auschwitz, are you going to defend that as well?


bitfriend6 t1_iya5hi9 wrote

Solar panels are not exclusively made in China nor require slave labor to use, an attack on the solar industry is not an attack on the technology in the same way criticism of TEPCO's handling of Fukishima is not an attack on nuclear energy as a whole. I expect my solar panels to be made by people who want to make them in dignified, tolerable working conditions. Anything less is an assault on democracy and liberal society.


bitfriend6 t1_iy54g5d wrote

Not at a reasonable price, arrivable at a reasonable time (20+ days shipping from China) and no guarantee of it getting through customs. More importantly, no guarantee that any American wireless company or ISP will service the phone. You could drop a standalone SIM into it, but the industry is sunsetting standalone SIMs and companies who still provide them will not give you a good rate versus a phone with a built-in eSIM. There is still a chance the phone company will disconnect the phone upon learning that it violates sanctions, as a self-protection measure.

The only way to actually use banned Chinese devices is over wifi or the regular web where access can be hidden or obscured. You can't hide on the phone network.


bitfriend6 t1_iy3o58n wrote

Australia would be stupid to continue banning nuclear power when Australia has the world's largest supply of Uranium. Canada's modest nuclear program gave them their entirely domestic CANDU reactor which, while not as efficient as American designs, has less proliferation concerns which makes it more popular worldwide. It also has it's entire supply chain within Canada.