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Comment: Re:This has even been on Slashdot before (Score 2) 227 227

Older than that perhaps.

Some ~20 years ago we visited the Tidbinbilla tracking station near Canberra, Australia. At that time they had a small snack-bar outside and not too far from the main entrance. Black Cat comes to mind as the name of the snack-bar but it was a long time ago! The snack bar had the usual foods and a customer-use microwave oven for warming them.

Before using the oven I glanced inside, looking particularly at the roof of the oven. I was not at all surprised to see the oven roof was rusted out and had a gaping hole the size of my palm where there should have been a perforated grating as an RF shield. I knew that oven well - We had one exactly like it and it too had also rusted out in the roof and been repaired under warranty.

The absurdity of a largely unshielded 650 watt microwave source operating in close proximity to super sensitive space tracking equipment was not lost on me and as soon as we returned home to Melbourne I telephoned the site and finally spoke to someone technical that realised the gravity of the situation. They never called me back, which was disappointing, but I can guess the Sharp oven hit the garbage pile the same day.

For the benefit of those that seek more detail, the oven was a Sharp model R8320 microwave/convection oven and was a popular model of the period. The cooking cavity was stainless steel except for the roof. Why that was made of mild steel is anyone's guess but it must have cost Sharp a pretty penny to replace those cavities

Perytons are just bursts, this oven could have caused minutes long tracking equipment wipe-outs.
 

Comment: Missing theory (Score 1) 80 80

But there are many roads to explore and many ways to seek out room temperature superconductivity.

As with many other discoveries, the stubborn and dedicated researcher will sooner or later find the answer.

We should never be cutting back on research. It is definitely a situation where more is always better than less.

Comment: Re:Easy fix would be... (Score 1) 453 453

An easy solution would be to simply accept it as inevitable. As this impending Pharma disaster is going to equally affect people at every level of society we might as well look on it as the world-wide population control that we had to have. Karma on steroids if you like. It really is about time we had a clean sweep...

Comment: Re:Like this is new? (Score 1) 116 116

Me? I am buying into companies that specialize in mouth hygiene products of all types. It is a near certainty that all future diplomacy and major corporate policy will be discussed in close head to-head meetings in the centre of huge rooms in order to prevent espionage. Bad breath will be a career-ending certainty... Note that head-to-head is exactly the way that head-lice are transmitted to others so expect to be able identify major decision-makers either by their constant head scratching or by their permanently shaved heads.

Comment: Re:Let's all just agree (Score 1) 101 101

That given the size of many apartment blocks these days there is the nagging thought that it might be kinder to everyone concerned to just not look for these massively destructive objects until we have an absolutely foolproof way of deflecting them sufficiently to provide a significant engineering challenge for future generations. I sweep dirt under the mat too!

Comment: Re:Er, obstruction...? (Score 1) 259 259

Although cute, this 'idea' is irrelevant. Even if you made the case that you weren't contravening the letter of the request, you could still be charged with obstruction of justice, should your behaviour alter the conduct of the subject(s) under scrutiny.

Fight fire with fire. Set an industry cut-off date to blackball all specialists, technicians and contractors working in these agencies from future employment in the wider commercial IT world. This will quickly remove many thousands of specialists from the surveillance field and eventually bleed it dry. The same technique will work equally well in all countries that have abusive governments...

Comment: Re:We knew this. (Score 1) 205 205

"I see this getting far worse, not better. Much much worse." There has not been much discussion about DNA databases lately. To think that these would not get into the hands of various government authorities is to believe in the tooth fairy. From government to Insurance companies is a short trip on the old boys network and then the fun starts for Joe Citizen...

Comment: 'The Robert Oppenheimer manouvre'. (Score 1) 70 70

First they 'investigate' you with all your colleagues. Then they reduce your security clearance. Next is work on lots of committees that actually do nothing. Finally they farm you out to a huge government contractor with a big title and nothing of any consequence to do. If you don't get the message then, they are quite prepared to dig up Senator Joseph McCarthy to look into your political allegiances. Resistance is futile!

Comment: Re:But which places are... (Score 1) 119 119

I think we should upset the u.s.a. If the whole world stopped using capital letters when referring to the u.s.a. - the u.s. - uncle sam etcetera, then the fools who are allowing the united states to bob and curtsy and pass legislation to the entertainment industry and other powerful lobbies may just get the idea that the rest of the world is kicking back.

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer

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