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Comment: I assume they protected the sensors against EMP (Score 1) 163

by InterGuru (#48219885) Attached to: British Army Looking For Gamers For Their Smart-Tanks

As a recent article in IEEE Spectrum discusses, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons, such as those depicted in the movie Oceans Eleven, have become more capable. They can wipe out electronics with no visible signature. EMPs might be deployed either as portable weapons, dropped from a plane or fixed booby traps

Comment: It's more complicated. (Score 1) 478

by InterGuru (#47969153) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

I'm 72 with slowed capacity. I have had similar thoughts. Even if you agree with the idea, implementation is tricky. Let's say I stop all life lengthening treatments at 75. Well, I take warfarin blood thinner to prevent clots from forming on my mechanical heart valve. These clots could break off to give me a heart attack or stroke. Clearly this is a life lengthening treatment. Should I stop taking it? If I stop and a clot develops there is a chance the the ensuing heart attack or stroke could leave me deeply crippled, either mentally or physically, but very alive -- to spend my last decade(s) in bed.

In biology there are no sharp lines. When does a child become an adult? 16? 18? 21? 25? All of these ages could do. In the same way, Emanuel, if he does not change his mind -- as most people I know do, will have great difficulty making these decisions except in extreme cases.

Comment: You cant make much writing Science Fiction (Score 1) 180

by InterGuru (#47721081) Attached to: The 2014 Hugo Awards

Sad thing. After Paolo Bacigalupi won all the awards below he discovered that you make much writing SF, and now writes Young Adult novels

The Windup Girl is a biopunk science fiction novel, written by Paolo Bacigalupi and published by Night Shade Books on September 1, 2009. The novel was named as the ninth best fiction book of 2009 by TIME magazine,[1] and as the best science fiction book of the year in the Reference and User Services Association's 2010 Reading List.[2] This book is a 2010 Nebula Award[3] and a 2010 Hugo Award winner (tied with The City & the City by China Miéville for the Hugo Award), both for best novel.[4] This book also won the 2010 Compton Crook Award and the 2010 Locus Award for best first novel.

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It's a great book, one of the best I have read for years. Its plusible dystopian take on the near future still haunts me.

Comment: Re:This was tried 35 years ago (Score 1) 280

Do I understand correctly that you have worked on that project? If so, could you comment on what the people on LPP Fusion are doing? Is is feasible / safe / sustainable?

Is it safe? I see no safety problems beyond those normally found in laboratories or industrial projects that use high energy densities.

Is it feasible? Who knows? That what science experiments are designed to find out.

Is it sustainable? I assume you are asking is it affordable. I suspect that it could be supported for less cost than the toilet paper used at ITER.

Comment: This was tried 35 years ago (Score 5, Informative) 280

This was tried as the Trisops Project 35 years ago but lost funding because all of the fusion energy project's focus was on the Tokamak.

Trisops was an experimental machine for the study of magnetic confinement of plasmas with the ultimate goal of producing fusion power. The configuration was a variation of a compact toroid, a toroidal (doughnut-shaped) structure of plasma and magnetic fields with no coils penetrating the center. It lost funding in its original form in 1978.
The configuration was produced by combining two individual toroids produced by two conical pinch guns, located at either end of a length of Pyrex pipe with a constant magnetic guide field. The toroidal currents in the toroids were in opposite directions, so that they repelled each other. After coming to an equilibrium, they were adiabatically compressed by increasing the external field.

Disclosure: I was an author on the paper and of the referenced Wikipedia article;

Comment: Re:ambitious? (Score 3, Informative) 330

by InterGuru (#46322721) Attached to: Japanese Firm Proposes Microwave-Linked Solar Plant On the Moon

The article did not say oil would run out, just affordable oil.

Here is a summary

The problem is not peak oil, but peak affordable oil.
We are already there, the big oil companies have cut back exploration because the cannot make money even at $100/barrel.
High oil prices choke off growth in our economy
With little or no growth, we cannot pay our debts.
As in 2008, unpayable debt will crack our financial system
As not in 2008, the central banks have shot most of their “arrows” and have few left in their quiver.
With a broken financial system, we will have the social chaos that was barely avoided in 2008

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson