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Comment Massively Unpopular (Score 5, Interesting) 43

During the TPP fast track debate I looked at comments about it in the New York Times. The comments were massively, almost unanimously, against the treaty. I asked myself "Well liberals are against it, who is for it?" Off I went to the National Review Online to see the conservatives' opinion. Well the comments there were unanimously against the treaty too.

I wonder who is for it. Why did Congress pass the fast track? I leave the answer as an exercise for the reader.

Comment Don't forget the Carrington Event! (Score 3, Informative) 182

In 1859 the world was hit by an EMP from a massive solar flare, called the Carrington Event. From a comment by Sampenny in the original article.

The Carrington event was a direct hit of a solar-generated EMP, and it destroyed some portion of the very primitive electronics of the time: the telegraph that connected batteries through a coding key to an electrical line stretching across the country-side. The electrostatic disturbances lasted more than a day, and the most obvious effects were the aurora borealis shining around the world. A few years ago the earth missed an equivalent event by just a couple of days of orbit, only now our entire society depends on electronics that fries when subjected to the kind of EM fields that will enter our grids when such as event does occur

More recently in March 1989 we had a geomagnetic storm which caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It was repaired in 9 hours, but a more massive widespread storm could take months.

Comment Trisops did this in the 70's at low cost. (Score 3, Informative) 144

From the paper

Large FRCs are produced in C-2 by collision merging of two CTs.3,13 Figure 5 shows the evolution of the excluded flux radius obtained from a magnetic probe array in the -pinch formation and central sections. Time is measured from the instant of field reversal in the -pinches, and distance is relative to the system midplane. Multi-gigawatt pulsed-power modules drive the -pinches, briefly reversing the magnetic field to 0.5kG, then raising it forward to 0.4kG, with field-reversal occurring by t5s. The two CTs so formed then accelerate out of their respective -pinches at supersonic speeds, vz250km/s, and collide at the system mid-plane at about t30s

Check out Trisops

Disclosure. I am one of the authors of the paper referred to in the article.

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

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

1: No code table for op: ++post