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Posted in: Record high cesium level found in fish by Fukushima plant See in context

Ron BarnesMar. 18, 2013 - 08:18PM JST

Simple buy a giegercounter and take it shopping might get a supprise what else is contaminated.

Everything from everywhere including the people will beep. That's because nobody in the scientific community uses garbage like geiger counters for isotope measurement, since everything is radioactive above the "legal limit" from natural sources. You need a calibrated scintillator to measure the contamination levels that might be found in a store.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Record high cesium level found in fish by Fukushima plant See in context

herefornowMar. 18, 2013 - 07:54AM JST

I think 1,000 times the legal limit qualifies for a little more than "high".

That's only because you've taken a sample size of 1 when the population is well over 1 million. If you look at the actual sampling data, the geometric mean of the data actually shows the fish are well within legal limits in most parts of the world. Of course there are two exceptions that, while in themselves are concerning, do not actually represent the population that was sampled.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan faces higher fuel bill as nuclear shutdown enters 3rd year See in context

SquidBertMar. 18, 2013 - 10:50AM JST

I am saying that the 1.6% increase is temporary, renewable energy sources has already fully bridged shutdown of 8 NPP's and as renewables continues to grow it is a given that it can cover that 1.6% increase as well

That would mean you have completely ignored their drastically increased energy imports, both from nuclear powered France and fossil fuel sources from others. They refuse to include the CO2 costs from imported energy correctly because they don't buy the CO2. Germany's "huge" renewable energy (which is actually LESS than Japan's renewable energy, since Japan uses hydro whereas Germany doesn't) still hasn't offset just 8 reactors, two of which will likely be brought back online because the courts found the closures to be illegal, and the remaining 9 reactors still produce more power. The only thing that replaced nuclear so far is coal, which Germany mines itself with massive strip mining operations that are subsidized at a level that would make anti-nuclear activists question themselves http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5f1fa75e-047c-11e0-a99c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2Nr7bRQ2T.

Not to mention the 1.6% increase in CO2 isn't the only thing "renewables" have brought, the biggest issue for any manufacturing country, especially one like Japan that requires 99.99999999% uptime (for electronics manufacturing), is grid instability. http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/instability-in-power-grid-comes-at-high-cost-for-german-industry-a-850419.html . In 2010, one Toshiba plant in Japan lost power for just 70 milliseconds (less than it takes for you to blink) and caused a 20% decline in production for an entire quarter. The Japanese economy just can't take that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Review: Tech in Galaxy S 4 doesn't come together See in context

badsey, who the hell needs massive speakers when most places in Japan request manner mode? If you really need to have more people listen to your bad music or pointless youtube videos (a joke for those who are sarcasm challenged), you can buy pretty good speakers for under 5000 yen, and if you don't, you can just use whatever headphones you want (I prefer the sony NC series since they are very effective for the price, if a bit cheap on the build). It's the same solution to bad laptop speakers too, and much more neighbor friendly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan faces higher fuel bill as nuclear shutdown enters 3rd year See in context

Open MindedMar. 17, 2013 - 10:18PM JST

Easy choice: pay now for what you use (fossil fuel) or leave the bill to your children (nuclear fuel).

That would be false down to the core of why fossil fuels are bad. Fossil fuels will kill your children and their children through pollution and climate change.

And you can say the same about most:

Geothermal will cause earthquakes and other geologic instability (now) and poison the water with heavy metals (children)

Solar will cost you your job (now) and will pollute the environment and increase the chances of death due to economic hardships (children). Solar without nuclear or coal is worse, because then you have batteries to deal with, which either means lithium and all the toxins that come with that, or lead and all the poison that results in.

Gas is the only other one that might not have immediate issues, but it doesn't really change the end result of climate change, especially if there are methane leaks due to industrial accidents.

Wind isn't even possible in Japan at the levels needed to be profitable, so you would end up having massive costs now and your children would suffer the economic consequences.

Interestingly, during the 20 years nuclear was reasonably popular, advances in reprocessing and disposal made huge steps towards reasonable resolutions. With economic incentives for developing disposal techniques, most of the issues we have now might just become a thing of the past (in our children's lifetime). Most people forget that first commercial reactors are half the age of the first electric wind turbines!

-3 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Review: Tech in Galaxy S 4 doesn't come together See in context

BertieWoosterMar. 17, 2013 - 06:33PM JST

The Galaxy S4, according to one review I read doesn't have enough battery to last a day with moderate use.

Interesting, since nobody outside Samsung even has one of these phones. Post a link or it didn't happen (rule of the internet)

Interesting fact though, everyone with an icrap4-5 I know can't get more than 6 hours on their phones, while my android phone regularly does two days even with frequent checks of email and web.

1 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan faces higher fuel bill as nuclear shutdown enters 3rd year See in context

Ranger_Miffy2Mar. 17, 2013 - 07:21PM JST

Coal and fossil fuels are not sustainable, and neither is nuclear. Agreed?

Bio-fuels are equivalent to fossil fuels. And breeding cycle nuclear is about as sustainable as you can get, several hundred years of fuel with the current stock. By the time you run out of that you'll likely have far better energy sources than anything people are currently even thinking about. In the last two hundred years alone human kind has gone from burning sticks, vegetable oil, and animal fat to burning coal, petroleum, gas, and splitting the atom. Just imagine what we'll have by the time we run out of nuclear fuels.

AristomanMar. 17, 2013 - 07:25PM JST

Japan go Wind-Solar. Learn from Germany, Austria. You don't need stupid fossils as much as they say.

Germany still uses more nuclear energy than wind and solar combined. While daytime need has decreased somewhat, it still draws huge amounts of energy from nuclear plants in France. Germany is also the leader in Europe for coal power, where every TWh of energy produced every year does as much damage to the environment and people's health as fukushima is rated to have over the next 70 years. In fact, the reason why Germany uses so much coal is because of wind and solar!

-1 ( +5 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan faces higher fuel bill as nuclear shutdown enters 3rd year See in context

YubaruMar. 17, 2013 - 08:57AM JST

The higher fuel bills still would have occurred. Maybe not as high, but still there would have been raises in prices as costs have increased.

Not anywhere near as much actually, Japan's increased spending is one of the reasons the prices increased in the first place, and the lowered output and much lowered profits created the 10 yen difference we are seeing now. The costs in 2010, even with higher per yen cost for fuels, were around half of what they will be this year.

YongYangMar. 17, 2013 - 11:46AM JST

Stop perpetuating the MYTH. Nuclear is the MOST expensive energy ever concocted. Lost lands, clean up costs, subsides.

The expense of energy per TWh after including externalities goes like this (from highest to lowest): Coal, Oil, Solar, Gas, Wind, Nuclear, Hydro. The subsidies myth is often stated, without realizing that every form of energy gets massive subsidies, with fossil fuels having received much more, and most "nuclear" subsidies are actually for cleanup and fusion research (loans are larger, but those are paid back). As for cleanup costs, that's only because all other fuel sources don't state their cleanup costs. If you were to force fossil fuels to pay for cleanup, it would be in the hundreds of trillions over the last half century.

dr8kangas@gmail.comMar. 17, 2013 - 01:01PM JST

Why not just go 100% solar?

Economically, engineering, and environmentally unsound. You would need cover at least 7% of the arable land in Japan just to replace the remaining reactors, spend 100 trillion yen on panels, and consume 100% of all rechargeable battery production. Just the batteries alone would be an environmental nightmare, and that's before panel manufacturing and inverters.

Imports of liquefied natural gas, the main substitute for nuclear fuel, cost 6 trillion yen in 2012

And this leaves out that gas only accounts for half of the energy, and it was also the only one that went down in price.

The big five are forecasting a 50% increase in coal use in the year to March 31, 2014

This also means that the big five are planning a 50% increase in PM2.5. PM2.5 is capable of increasing cancer by almost 10% per 10microgram/m^3 increase. If people are worried about their children's health, they will ask these companies to replace coal with the original power source that replaced coal in the 80s.

1 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Huge wind farm turbine snaps near Kyoto See in context

IowanMar. 15, 2013 - 09:15PM JST

Trivia: Fire, though still rare, is more common than collapse

Define rare. If you mean rare compared to other energy sources, averaged over TWh produced, far from rare actually. Hell, they have higher incidence of fire than gas turbines, and those work by making fire!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Huge wind farm turbine snaps near Kyoto See in context

cabadajeMar. 15, 2013 - 08:56PM JST

You mean how we all noticed the 'massive winter blackouts' threatened over the lack of running NPPs? :)

You didn't notice?

Most people don't seem to understand that "setsuden" literally means planned blackout. Sure it's not a blackout caused by the grid failing, but a very localized form of blackout is still a blackout.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Samsung refreshes iPhone-challenging Galaxy line See in context

hkitagawaMar. 15, 2013 - 08:43PM JST

Why everybody buy Galaxy if Xperia has much more power?

8 core chip at 1.6gh not more powerful than a very similar chip running just 4 cores at 1.5? I know this article is seriously lacking in content, but at least try looking at reputable sites before saying that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: AKB48 raises Y1.3 bil for Tohoku as of March 12 See in context

Really, only 1.3? Considering they make north of 16 billion yen in revenues that year (and at least that is pure profit), you would be expecting quite a bit more (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57371627-1/otaku-band-akb48-morphs-into-$200m-business/). The guys up top are a greedy bunch.

Question remains though, why is it news now considering it's been a year since the information was released? (http://www.tokyograph.com/news/akb48-charity-efforts-have-raised-1-25-billion-yen-in-donations/)

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Posted in: Huge wind farm turbine snaps near Kyoto See in context

tajMar. 15, 2013 - 04:49PM JST

Hmmm. I wonder if this is an extremely rare occurance or if it's been known to happen from time to time in other countries with lots of windfarms.

Check youtube, plenty of instances of turbine failure, including explosive dis-assembly. Unlike many other forms of energy production, you really don't have much control over the stresses put on the device during normal operations. With proper design and location, you can minimize the effects,

smithinjapanMar. 15, 2013 - 07:09PM JST

It was meant to last 17 years and lasted about 12, so if they suspect it succumbed to steel fatigue that would mean the steel structure was faulty to begin with, unless there was some extreme situation we don't know about.

Or it could be that the engineers that designed it were lied to about the wind conditions in the area. The turbine could have been an improper fit for the location and that would certainly decrease the life expectancy. It would certainly be a good idea to remeasure everything to make sure it's not systemic .

Johannes WeberMar. 15, 2013 - 07:55PM JST

When the steel column snaps this is similar to some failure of some exterior part of any other large industrial facility

How many facilities have a 50m tall freestanding tube that collapses? I can assure you that 50m freestanding on anything but a wind turbine would not see this type of failure unless it was made of steel drums stacked on top of each other.

Furthermore, 12 years is quite an old age in a branch of technology evolving this fast as wind turbines are.

The last evolution in windmills was a half century ago. Sure the motors and head assembly change, as do blade profiles, but the columns are pretty much unchanged from the 60s and 70s. Not to mention that they have been around since the 1880s, so if that isn't slow enough change than you might as well as watch molasses in the winter.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Samsung refreshes iPhone-challenging Galaxy line See in context

melonbarmonsterMar. 15, 2013 - 02:05PM JST

The fact Samsung sells everywhere in the world except Japan says more about Japan than Samsung.

Samsung has been selling phones in Japan for a long time, and the Galaxy series in Japan since three years ago. The Note II is surprisingly popular, as was the Galaxy Tab 10

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Posted in: Samsung refreshes iPhone-challenging Galaxy line See in context

2020hindsightsMar. 15, 2013 - 12:49PM JST

Samsung: Plastic

Apple: Aluminum

Small fall ontop of a steel ball:

Samsung: Bounces

Apple: Clunk-tang (now you see a big dent)

Aluminum is the cheapest but possibly most widely used metal around, and there's a thousand types of plastics from cheap chinese toy quality to run it over with a fully loaded 18 wheeler and watch it be fine lego type enpla. Saying one is better than the other without discussing the pros and cons to each, in the method they would be used, is a clear showing of irrational hatred brought about by ignorance.

When it comes to taking a fall and not destroying the screen, plastic is the way to go.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Samsung refreshes iPhone-challenging Galaxy line See in context

issa1Mar. 15, 2013 - 11:57AM JST

I don't understand why people still buy third-rate sansumg goods. ... APPLE uses high quality materials,

Well, lets see who makes the ipod/ipad parts:

Processor: Samsung

Memory: Samsung

Storage: Toshiba/Samsung (same factory)

Display: Sharp, Samsung, LG

You can't say crapple uses good parts while Samsung uses low quality ones if both products use a significant number of the same parts, and the remainder is built by the same company.

Fact of the matter is that Samsung has legitimately good phones with good parts, and the S4 is just another step in improving their brand. Perhaps it wasn't the biggest step up from the SIII, but it is nevertheless a good step in the right direction.

theResidentMar. 15, 2013 - 12:21PM JST

Nothing wrong with the iphone4

Well, unless you don't use the phone as a phone, the entire antenna problem was nowhere near nothing, especially considering the other phones on the market (including galaxy s/sII) had no such issues.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Posted in: Abe says nuclear plants need tighter anti-terrorism measures See in context

sincerely999Mar. 14, 2013 - 10:16PM JST

Which will win? The reinforced concrete walls versus a missile attack?It is a crucial problem.

That was solved ages ago:


The reinforced concrete wall will survive any aircraft or shoulder launched missile without a scratch, you need large surface to surface missiles like a tomahawk to even stand a chance of breaching the walls, and that would mean that a leaking reactor is the least of your worries (means china decided to invade Japan, which would likely result in millions of casualties long before the first case of cancer would be expected). You can be afraid all you want, but it's currently pointed at the wrong thing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Panel says there was no cover-up at Fukushima nuclear plant See in context

The equipment — called an isolation condenser, which can function without electricity — is at the center of a major controversy,

False, the IC requires electrical power to operate the valves, and that power was lost as a result of the tsunami. While the IC is passive in that steam drives it, it only operates in an emergency, and was thus not armed when the tsunami struck. In fact, the reactors at fukushima cooled too quickly at first, causing engineers to turn off most cooling so that fuel damage could be avoided (according to some nuclear engineering academics). After that, they couldn't get the systems back up, some due to power failure and others due to flood damage. The main controversy surrounds whether or not they should have at least checked all systems and enabled them before the tsunami. The chance of terminal damage to IC unit is slim, the chance of that damage being related to the explosion a bit higher, and chance of flood related power failure much higher.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Posted in: Panel says there was no cover-up at Fukushima nuclear plant See in context

smithinjapanMar. 14, 2013 - 06:18PM JST

No kidding! Hounding the innocent companies like TEPCO for the truth! How dare they!

No need to hound anyone. There are proper, legal channels for doing just that. They could meet with the shareholders of the company to discuss releasing information. They could talk to their prefectural representative, and if the representative doesn't comply, they can just vote in a new person. They could fund academic research into it, or convince newspapers to investigate. All hounding does is split people into small but vocal groups, despite the fact that many would be glad to support moderate ones.

WilliBMar. 14, 2013 - 03:16PM JST

Does not matter what the panel finds, the conspiracy theorists will cling to their diabolic conspiracy beliefs.

Even I'm a bit skeptical for this result, that absolutely nothing turned up would be odd, considering there's so many inconsequential things like who's car they took batteries from and how many flashlights they had that were probably skewed one way or the other. Perhaps calling it a coverup would be a bit extreme, but perhaps saying "known irregularities in documentation were found, but no malicious fabrication was present" would have been a bit better.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Posted in: American gets 3 years for sexually assaulting Irish student See in context

JuddermanMar. 14, 2013 - 04:14PM JST

Hinds is not being tried as an adult.

He's already been tried as an adult in the court of Japanese media though, poor kid has his rights trampled before he even gets a shot in court. I wonder how that affects the lay judge system.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Posted in: Intellectual property a hurdle in Pacific trade talks See in context

“Already, many Asia-based nations have made progress on strengthening the rights of intellectual property creators, but more work needs to be done,” he said.

More RIAA/MPAA lies I see. The sad fact is that creators get practically no protections from RIAA/MPAA mafia thugs who steal things with impunity. Just look at the Viacom attempt to steal Christopher Knight's political campaign video! They violated his rights twice, first by mass copyright infringement, then by trying to usurp his exclusive copyright.

Patents are slightly different though, as those have technical purposes. However, those too are abused by patent trolls.

In general, IP should be left out of the discussion until laws that aren't a result of mafia lobbying are in place, and those laws protect the actual creators rather than companies that profit off of the creators.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: TPP deal will require hard bargains See in context

CanadianJapanMar. 14, 2013 - 02:36PM JST

Access to Japan's farm markets with a lot of potential for exporting rice

Not sure about that one because of the long grain/ short grain issue. Exports of wheat and soy as well as dairy and meat? Yes, they can stand to gain quite a bit there. And likewise, Japan gains by giving their children access to good sources of calcium and protein that aren't contaminated with heavy metals like mercury.

Now where's my 5kg of U.S rice for 500 yen? (Japanese produced 5kg of rice goes for 2000 yen)

Not in the US for sure! Short grain rice goes for $20 for a 5kg bag, and most long grain that is cheap comes from India!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe says nuclear plants need tighter anti-terrorism measures See in context

marcelitoMar. 14, 2013 - 01:50PM JST

Precisely - thank you for re enforcing my point. No target worth striking here? The bad guys will go look in another neighbourhood.

They would be looking at another place anyway. It's much easier to steal a few tubes of radio-medicine grade Cs137 or Co60 and blow it up in a stadium or train station. Much more panic from that, and very likely far more casualties. What's more frightening, a few mSv/yr and no immediate deaths in some low density area, or a few mSv/hr and dozens of deaths in downtown Tokyo? Terrorists always strike the easiest target with the most effectiveness. That's why aum picked the subways instead of the yamanote line, and why any successful future attacks will also be on people rather than buildings. The only people that will go after utilities in developed counties are militaries, since only they get any significant benefit.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: TPP deal will require hard bargains See in context

A surprisingly well balanced discussion on the possible needs of each country. I like Reuters. Wish they had explained more about the pharmaceuticals impact (Japan pretty much bans a lot of US drugs, including safe and effective ones like Tylenol) and financial sector (again, Japan has some crazy rules which keep a lot of the multinationals small and shrinking, with Citibank and HSBC being the largest, and HSBC recently dropped their consumer banking). Perhaps others here have information to add in regards to those two points?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: Tsunami-hit town concerned over shark protection pact See in context

Sato said. “But I am worried the CITES debate may trigger a price collapse for shark fins.”

For the price to collapse, it has to be a bubble now. If anything, reducing the number of legal options should increase the price of the fins, unless there's more to this story than just fishermen fining sharks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: American gets 3 years for sexually assaulting Irish student See in context

nyunt_shweMar. 14, 2013 - 12:25PM JST

Of course, Japan has duty to protect American citizens from any harm. This case, if even happen in one of the States in America could have awarded death sentence was now very lightly sentenced only funny 3 years for rape and murder by faithful judges of Japan.

If this was the US, he would have been read his rights, had an attorney present at all times, released on bail with conditions met, protected against long term detention without being charged, been tried by a jury, and had a fair trial that would have given him a much longer sentence if the evidence proved his crime. Japan did not protect these two, and in fact likely violated their human rights due to archaic and arbitrary laws and application of those laws. If barbaric practices like forced confessions and indefinite detainment are Japan's valor and courage, I would be glad to see them lost.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed See in context

25psotMar. 14, 2013 - 05:30AM JST

This deposits may last only 0.1 of the century so better not use them now and keep it as spear tire in case of fuel emergencies caused by some unpredictable world events

That's just in that one place, there's another five times that elsewhere in Japanese waters and nearby, and 80x that around the world. And of course, you forget that they still have contracts with other countries for gas shipments, so that bed could last much longer time wise, perhaps 20-30 years. Still doesn't make it the amazing energy source the Japanese media is touting it as.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: American gets 3 years for sexually assaulting Irish student See in context

Hinds was 19 and a minor under Japanese law when he was arrested, but is being tried in an adult court.

That's interesting, considering the guy's name shouldn't have even been released as a minor. Sounds like a massive failure of civil rights and downright xenophobic judgement to try him as an adult. That isn't to say that the kid shouldn't be punished for aiding in rape, but the law is quite clear on how minors are to be treated, as well as the fact that not a single minor who commits a crime is known as anything but "shounen a".

In addition, the ministry of justice adds "However, it is also ruled that detained juveniles over 14 years of age shall be treated differently from adult counterparts, taking into consideration juvenile-specific mentality. " http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/human/child/report2/definition.html. This is a clear violation of this kid's rights, both of right not to be named and right to not be tried as a full adult, and the only possible reasoning behind this is that they consider non-Japanese children to have no rights.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Posted in: Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed See in context

Open MindedMar. 14, 2013 - 12:08AM JST

the point is to use energy efficiently.

Didn't argue that. Just argued that even that wouldn't do enough to convince Japan to stop fossil fuels exploitation, especially this method that has not yet been tested. That and that a bad heat pump wouldn't be better than a good a/c unit, especially when you take into account the energy cost of getting to the ground source. Most places would benefit from better engineering, but the change over is just too slow and gains too small to help in this situation. It's a worthy long-term goal though.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan extracts 'fire ice' gas from seabed See in context

Open MindedMar. 13, 2013 - 10:37PM JST

heat pumps or using cold/warm water are energy efficient means. A heat pump for instance gives you 3-4 time energy output vs. input

Refridgerators/ AC units are just as efficient actually(Energy Star rating requires 2.4). So what's the actual point?

And actually, a good heat pump should be in the 6+ range, and even a minimally effective ground source heat pump should be 4+.

But even if you were to put ground source heat pumps in every home and business, it still wouldn't do much against the need for gas and oil.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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