Thursday, March 30, 2023

Short Takes – 3-30-23

New wind, solar are cheaper than costs to operate all but one US coal plant. article. Pull quote: “One of the key points when comparing coal and renewables, she said, is that coal plants need to pay for fuel, which includes paying to transport it. The fact that solar and wind plants don’t need to pay for fuel gives them an edge in terms of not only having lower costs but also having more predictable costs as plant operators look ahead to decades of operation.”

The Graveyard of Command Posts. (Military Review) article. Pull quote: “Specifically, command posts are targeted because they have become easily targetable. Contemporary tented command posts—with their radio frequency emitting antennas, dozens of generators and vehicles, and extensive support requirements—are easily targetable to even the untrained eye. During large-scale combat operations, these command posts can be easily seen by an ever-expanding array of sensors and just as easily struck by complementary effects throughout the depth and breadth of the battlefield. For anything as ostentatious as a modern command post, no true sanctuary exists.”

ISRO Conducts 'Extremely Challenging' Controlled Re-Entry Experiment of Aged MT-1 Satellite. article. A little geeky. Pull quote: “Furthermore, the on-board constraints of the aged satellite, where several systems had lost redundancy and showed degraded performance, and maintaining sub-systems under harsher environmental conditions at much lower than originally designed orbital altitude added to the operational complexities, it said.”

Train carrying ethanol derails, forcing evacuations in Minnesota. article. Pull quote: “Lawmakers have started to punt around ideas for rail safety reforms in response to the events [recent high-profile derailments], but a compromise on a package still proves elusive.”

GOP downplays importance of budget with debt ceiling looming. article. GOP troubles brewing. Pull quote: ““The budget — that thing is aspirational. Like, nobody ever sticks to the budget. What matters is the appropriations process,” said Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).”

GigaGalactic Rockets: Revolutionizing Space Travel and Making the Galaxy Accessible. corporate website. Pulling your leg quote: “Welcome to GigaGalactic Rockets! We are an innovative space exploration company that is dedicated to revolutionizing space travel and making the galaxy accessible to everyone. Our commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation, combined with a healthy dose of humor, positions GigaGalactic Rockets as the leading name in space exploration and interstellar hitchhiking.”

Enforcement of Cybersecurity Regulations: Part 2. article. Third-party assessments. Pull quote: “Many have offered suggestions to improve the integrity of third-party monitoring. Law professor Lesley McAllister, who wrote the study for the Administrative Conference on third-party enforcement, emphasized that the government must actively oversee any third-party verification system, starting with creating and running a process to select and approve the third-party auditors. Moreover, she warned that, in the absence of objective standards, the risk of unreliability and inconsistency in the determinations of third parties becomes higher—a point especially relevant in the context of cybersecurity performance-based regulation where there may be no measurable standards.”

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