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GNC-2007-07-13 #284

Posted by geeknews at 3:19 AM on July 13, 2007

I get on the soapbox over Verizon and the FCC along with getting you up to date on the latest online radio information.

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Show Notes:
iPhone Apps
Recording Skype
Prince CD Giveaway
Hydrogen at Scale
Nuclear License
Court Decline Internet Radio Appeal
RIAA Make XM Pay
Microsoft to buy Facebook
Online Radio Saved
People Copy DVDs Not
Quicktime Upgrade
Verizon Condemns FCC
Lapworks
Lawn Chair Balloonist
Shuttle Rolls to Pad
Sony Sues Rootkit Developer
TP Article
Zillow
More Sprint
Media Rights Technologies Idiots
Skype Nokia N800
Hawaii Telescope
Secret iPhone Codes
Gelato

One Comment

  1. From Rod Adams at 6:32 am on July 18, 2007

    Todd:

    As you know, I am a long time listener. I think you bring an interesting and necessary perspective to the tech world – that of a long time geek who actually uses various kinds of technology in his day to day living. I know from your background and listening to the show that you understand aviation technology, space, and computers.

    I think you got it way wrong, however, when you bought into the hype surrounding the GAO “sting” operation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The materials that the GAO was able to order are such low level sources that the NRC technical experts do not think that they need much oversight. I know from long, personal, profession experience that the NRC is a demanding, technically competent regulator. They demand strict compliance with all of their regulations and are quite careful about ensuring that those regulations are extremely (I believe the real word is excessively) conservative. If they are not worried about the impact of allowing people to purchase a product, you can be pretty sure that it is based on excellent technical understanding.

    IMHO, the GAO was on a political mission to embarrass the NRC and give people the impression that it was not competent. There are plenty of people in the world that have a real bias against all things radioactive, especially nuclear power. They will do everything in their power to slow the development of new nuclear power plants – often because those plants represent a huge threat to their continued ability to sell coal, oil and natural gas. Making people distrust the NRC is one way to slow the needed growth of the industry.

    I hope as a geek who understands the structure of hydrogen atoms, you will seek to take a little time to obtain a better understanding of atomic energy in general and the effects of low level radiation in particular. There is no need for concern when it comes to the risk of a terrorist attack using a “dirty bomb” made from industrial devices that contain exceedingly small amounts of Americium or Cesium.

    In fact, the whole concept of a “dirty bomb” only works if you have an excessive fear of radiation. There is essentially no way to build a device where the danger from the radioactive material is greater than the danger from the heat and blast of the explosion. That statement is even true when it comes to almost all nuclear weapons, with the possible exception of enhanced “neutron” bombs.

    If you want some advice about how to respond to a “dirty bomb” threat, you can find it at http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2007/07/dirty-bomb-advice.html .

    Like you and I, the person providing the advice learned his trade as a sailor – so you have to trust the man. :-)

    Best regards,
    Rod Adams
    Editor, Atomic Insights