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Comment: Re:There is evidence... but it's classified (Score 1) 528 528

by Ellis D. Tripp (#49977943) Attached to: The Town That Banned Wi-Fi

Microwave weapons rely on simple heating, just like a microwave oven. Thermal effects of high intensity RF fields are well known and widely applied.

These "EHS" nutjobs are claiming symptoms at signal levels FAR below those that cause thermal effects. There is no known mechanism for such weak RF fields to cause the symptoms claimed.

Comment: Re:That's bogus. Why should it cost more? (Score 1) 83 83

Cost =/= Retail Price

While fair labor conditions may only add minimally to the COST of production, the marketing department then decides that the retail PRICE of the product can be raised disproportionately to cash in on the cachet of an "ethical" product.

This doesn't make "ethical" a scam, it just points out that production costs are a tiny percentage of the selling price for most mass-produced consumer goods.


Obama Asks Congress To Renew 'Patriot Act' Snooping 389 389

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-makes-you-safer-because-reasons dept.
mi writes: President Obama has asked the Senate to renew key Patriot Act provisions before their expiration on May 31. This includes surveillance powers that let the government collect Americans' phone records. Obama said, "It's necessary to keep the American people safe and secure." The call came despite recent revelations that the FBI is unable to name a single terror case in which the snooping provisions were of much help. "Obama noted that the controversial bulk phone collections program, which was exposed by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, is reformed in the House bill, which does away with it over six months and instead gives phone companies the responsibility of maintaining phone records that the government can search." Obama criticized the Senate for not acting on that legislation, saying they have necessitated a renewal of the Patriot Act provisions.

Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 186 186

We aren't talking about millions of years timescale here. According to TFA, the last eruption was 33 years ago. This would make eruptions as much a part of the natural ebb and flow there as wildfires are in some areas.

No, this isn't a very "consoling fact", but it seems very anthropocentric to assume that nature is here to console you or any other human....

Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 2) 186 186

My point is that the characterization of a potential eruption as a "threat" to the ecosystem ignores the simple fact that the source of the "threat" is as natural a part of the ecosystem as the plants and animals that are being "threatened".

The species plants and animals that are living there have evolved in that place WITH the local geology. Periodic volcanic eruptions are an intrinsic PART of that particular ecosystem. The fact that the plants and animals are still there after untold numbers of past eruptions says something about how nature tends to shrug off these kinds of "threats".

It seems to me that using the word "threat" here is misplaced. This isn't something coming from outside this area to have a negative impact like your asteroid or some external pollution source. Yes, the eruption might very well change the biodiversity of the area in the short term. But such change itself is an intrinsic part of nature. It only seems to be considered as a bad thing by humans because some species of "cuddly animals" may be impacted.

Comment: Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 186 186

Definition per the Wiki:

An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system

The volcano would be one of the "nonliving components of the environment", which influences things around it (soil and air chemistry, microclimate, etc.), even in the periods between eruptions. Quite different to an inbound asteroid....

Comment: Atomic clocks don't rely on nuclear decay..... (Score 1) 403 403

Nuclear decay being a chaotic process and all.

So-called "atomic clocks" utilize the RF absorption of various isotopes, typically Cesium or Rubidium. Heated to a vapor in a sealed chamber, the vapor is excited by a microwave RF source, and at a highly specific frequency, the vapor absorbs the RF energy. This phenomenon is used as part of a feedback loop to keep an electronic oscillator disciplined to whatever frequency is desired.

Atomic clocks won't work without electrical power, and would be subject to all the same physical rust and breakdown as other electronic devices over the years.

Chemist who falls in acid will be tripping for weeks.