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Comment: How ridiculous (Score 5, Informative) 394

by Ancient_Hacker (#47254895) Attached to: Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

Did anybody actually *think* before writing this article?

A cable box drawing "500 watts" would be cherry-red hot.

The rating of "500 watts" on the back is for cable boxes that have an accessory AC outlet, and the rating means that you can plug in a TV or whatnot rated at up to 500 watts. The cable box itself draws a whole lot less, like 15 watts, even less for the newer ones.

Comment: Funny gyrations... (Score 1) 262

by Ancient_Hacker (#46596345) Attached to: Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

So what happens if you come to a stop and then want to turn right? You have a flywheel spinning real good and you're trying to change its axis. Either it's going to twist and bust its bearings and do considerable mayhem, or your car is going to go around the turn on two wheels. Fun times!

Comment: It's all about the money (Score 1) 324

Economics. Burying is going to cost a lot. The ISPs would have to borrow money now to pay the diggers, and hope that they can recoup the cost in the long run. The up-front cost is like $2000 per city lot. The ISPs are unlikely to foot the bill, even though interest rates are at record lows.

Comment: Ridiculous (Score 1, Informative) 521

by Ancient_Hacker (#45797385) Attached to: Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

A semi-ridiculous idea.

It takes 200 million BTU equivalent of eletcricity to refine a ton of aluminum.

That's about the equivalent of 1,800 gallons of gasoline.

If using aluminum for the truck body ups the efficiency by 5 MPG, that would save 200 gallons for every 100,000 miles driven.

So you're still about 1,300 gallons in the hole.

A bad idea.

Comment: Sounds like purest balderdash (Score 1) 45

by Ancient_Hacker (#45704729) Attached to: Graphene-based Nanoantennas Could Allow WLANs of Nanodevices

The physics of antennas is pretty darn basic electrodynamics. You need a quarter to half a wavelength to make an efficient antenna. Scientists and engineers have tried for well over a century to overcome that limitation, with not much success. It's pretty basic-- if you want to set up an EM field, you need to be able to have charges separated by a goodly amount relative to the wavelength. The emitting material is irrelevant, in fact you need a really good conductor as you make the antenna shorter, as it's radiation resistance goes way down with length. Gaphene not only does not seem to have any advantage, it's high resistance is a big disadvantage. Sounds super highly fishy.

Comment: Really, really, really ridiculous. (Score 1) 176

Cmon, converting electric power to radio frequency AC is at best 80% efficient, and coupling it maybe 50% at best, and converting it back to DC 80% again. I get 32% best efficiency and those are for the most optimum situation. No way this will ever fly, economically. And since people are scared of their water meters e-field of a fraction of a watt, how are they going to feel about megawatts? Not gonna fly, or even crawl.

Comment: Don't (Score 0) 310

Don't even think of "helping".

I have tried doing just that, at least 3 times. It's never appreciated by mgmt. They either already know, or have been actively avoiding learning about these problems, or are unwilling to spend money on it. They will either frown, deny your facts, not follow up on your suggestions, or just plain fire you for not being a team player. Been there, tried to "help", got canned twice, now I don't squawk about the SQL injection issues, phishing, spam, etc, etc, etc.

Just start looking for another job, with luck, at a less clueless place.

Comment: Nope. (Score 1) 31

Here's a hint. Any time you see a press release from a company or University PR department, ignore it. It's usually much worse than no information at all.

In this case they MAY have figured out how to lay down a supercapacitor on the back side of a silicon chip. Big whoop. You're talking about a few Farads at a few volts at most. Not a lot of energy storage possible there, certainly not enough to run a cell phone for more than a few seconds.

Comment: Watch the tazing videos on YouTube (Score 1) 936

by Ancient_Hacker (#42273539) Attached to: New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Get a bit better perspective on this by watching the tazing videos on YouTube.

Basically, it seems, if you repeatedly refuse to follow a simple police command, like "get out of the vehicle" or "lay down on the ground", after 10 or 20 repetitions, the cops have the option of tazing you. Apparently this is SOP. The old-school way was to chicken choke or baton-choke you. You decide which is better.

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics

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