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Comment Solar Neutrinos First (Score 4, Informative) 110

StartsWithABang must think Forbes is a popular science magazine.

Well it would be nice if he got his science right then. The first astrophysical neutrinos detected came from the sun and were detected by the Homestake Experiment in the late 1960s for which a Nobel Prize was awarded. Those from SN1987a were the first neutrinos detected from a source outside the solar system.

Comment Neutron Detection (Score 1) 312

One of the notorious characteristics of supposed cold fusion is that it does not produce neutrons.

Actually I understood that the way they "detected" that a nuclear reaction was taking place was by the production of neutrons. Indeed without neutrons how can you possibly say that fusion has occurred because then all you have is an unexplained heat gain which could be due to one of any number of things.

Neutron detection is hard to get right at these low energies and I understood that this was the explanation why so many people were fooled into thinking that fusion had occurred. This was certainly the reason behind the originally wrong discovery claim.

Comment Security Implications (Score 2) 312

As for military involvement in (let's say it) cold fusion, that does not exactly inspire confidence.

I completely agree that there is absolutely nothing of substance in any of the so-called evidence of LENR/cold fusion presented so-far. However I actually don't think it is a bad idea for the military to be involved in checking out the claims because the security implications are enormous. Any fusion reaction will produce neutrons and if these are moderated and then incident on uranium you can produce plutonium. This is essentially how a fast breeder reactor works.

Plutonium can be chemically separated from uranium for more easily than separating two isotopes of uranium. So having the military know that cold fusion is impossible is a good thing otherwise they might take terrorists claiming to have used cold fusion to build a nuclear device seriously.

Comment Re:High vs Low (Score 1) 312

(And for those of you who think LENR is a myth: )

So if I link to a pdf of some slides claiming an observation of flying pigs does that mean that pigs can fly? Show me a peer reviewed article in a _respected_ journal and I'll be interested.

The trouble with LENR is we can see it work,

If that were the case then we would have a working way to extract energy from it by now. The problem is that only some, "special" people can see it work and nobody else can. The most likely explanation for this is that those "special" people are not doing their experiment correctly especially since there has been a long history of this in this field.

Comment Flawed argument and Environment (Score 1) 267

This slowdown in economic activity causes a recession...until once again their price goes up

If you were talking about a normal 'fiat' currency then yes I would agree. However if you have an absolutely fixed supply of currency then deflation is not an abnormal condition but the steady state. In such a condition I'm not sure that your argument holds because there is no point in holding off for when prices start to rise because they will not, at least not be any significant amount.

Even if you are right and steady-state deflation encourages people to hold off on purchases until they really need something perhaps this is not a bad thing. Reducing consumption is a good thing to do given the limited resources of the planet. As for the stability of the economy look at the UK recessions. The US is a relatively new country which had a rapidly developing and changing economy over the period you give also the measure used changes with different periods in the article you linked. If you look at the UK list then, except for the great depression, there is no real difference in the depth of the recessions but there may be some indication that there were fewer, but longer, recessions before 1931 when the UK came off the gold standard. So I don't see the evidence to support your assertions.

Comment That depends... (Score 1) 832

Free speech means that you are free to say whatever you want. But it does not place any entity, private or public, under any obligation to offer you a platform.

That depends where you are. In Europe if you offer a public service to people then generally you are not allowed to refuse service for a variety of reasons one of which is usually the political views you hold. Unfortunately though most European countries ban certain times of speech outright.

What we need is a hybrid system: the American rules on what we are allowed to say and the European rules to protect our ability to say where others can hear it if they choose to.

Comment THz != GHz (Score 3, Insightful) 80

That's great but Google are using gigahertz frequencies, not terahertz frequencies. There is a three order of magnitude difference. This roughly the same as the difference between visible light and extreme UV/X-rays and there is clearly a huge difference in how these two types of radiation interact with the body.

Comment Possible, not probable (Score 1) 96

But hey, it's only probable that it'll also give you "leukemia, lymphoma, and other stem, blood, and bone marrow cancers", so let's totally play it down.

Actually it is only possible, not probable, and as such from a carcinogenic point of view is technically less dangerous than bacon which the WHO classes as "probably carcinogenic". As far as the summary is concerned it is more a case of "let's just mention this slight possibility of cancer and not mention any other of the apparently proven and very serious effects of the gas". If this summary had been written about the dangers of guns it would have probably only have discussed the possibility of lead poisoning.

Comment Don't Worry (Score 4, Interesting) 96

Apparently one of the gases is "probably not carcinogenic" and the other is only classed as a "possible human carcinogen" so really the title should read "Desktop 3D Printers Shown to Emit Gases some of which might be hazardous". Not to mention that if the safe exposure level is 50g/m^3 that's almost 5% by weight of air so either someone messed up the units or one of the gases emitted are safer than carbon dioxide and nobody suggests that we ban candles.

Comment Re:Speed of Light (Score 1) 235

While that could explain why sunrise reaches two points of the globe at different times, it fails when considering the timing of sunset for the same two points.

Not at all. You see where the sun rises will have a longer day because it will take longer for the sunset to reach them. As the disc rotates the point where the sunrises will change through out the year which is how you get seasons. Provided that you don't do anything silly like actually think about any of the details then it works just fine. As an added bonus it also means that somewhere like Canada that has a large seasonal variation in temperature must be very close to the edge so anyone who believes in a flat earth should definitely stay a long way away from Canada just to be safe because the edge is not marked on any map.

Comment 9kA Wireless Transmission? (Score 2) 169

LHC.....No wireless.

The magnets in the LHC require a ~9,000 amp current and the ability to dump it somewhere fast in the event of a quench. Care to explain how you plan to do that wirelessly? It's also worth pointing out that the part of the accelerator complex they are recabling was built in 1954, 13 years before Fermilab existed and 17 years before the first wireless packet network.

Comment Bad Idea (Score 2) 169

Since the cables have been bombarded by high energy particles,....

...they are now likely to be slightly activated and so radioactive. I'd not want cables which have been in a high intensity environment like the injectors in my house. While much of the activity is short lived because it involves light elements (we used to have to wait about an hour after beam before we could go anywhere near the upper end of a fixed target experiment I used to work on in the north area of CERN) copper is a heavier element and so likely to have longer lived activity.

Comment Speed of Light (Score 2) 235

Having said that, I would be really interested in their explanation of how it can be noon in Hawaii at the same time as it's the middle of the night in Paris. That's got to be a good one.

Simple it's the incredibly slow speed of light. That way when the sun rises over the rim it takes hours for the dawn to reach the hub. Of course now you have to add all us physicists to the conspiracy theory.

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