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+ - Rossi's E-Cat is Back: Independent Researchers Test Cold Fusion Device 32 Days

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "The E-Cat (or "Energy Catalyzer") is an alleged cold fusion device that produces heat from a low-energy nuclear reaction where nickel and hydrogen fuse into copper. Previous reports have tended to suggest the technology is a hoax, and the inventor Andrea Rossi's reluctance to share details of the device haven't helped the situation. ExtremeTech now reports "six (reputable) researchers from Italy and Sweden" have "observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, “far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume.”... "The researchers, analyzing the fuel before and after the 32-day burn, note that there is an isotope shift from a “natural” mix of Nickel-58/Nickel-60 to almost entirely Nickel-62 — a reaction that, the researchers say, cannot occur without nuclear reactions (i.e. fusion)." The paper (PDF) linked in the article concludes that the E-cat is "a device giving heat energy compatible with nuclear transformations, but it operates at low energy and gives neither nuclear radioactive waste nor emits radiation. From basic general knowledge in nuclear physics this should not be possible. Nevertheless we have to relate to the fact that the experimental results from our test show heat production beyond chemical burning, and that the E-Cat fuel undergoes nuclear transformations. It is certainly most unsatisfying that these results so far have no convincing theoretical explanation, but the experimental results cannot be dismissed or ignored just because of lack of theoretical understanding. Moreover, the E-Cat results are too conspicuous not to be followed up in detail. In addition, if proven sustainable in further tests the E-Cat invention has a large potential to become an important energy source.""

Comment: Re:Never forget (Score 1) 726

by WheezyJoe (#48114157) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

No, children, the trolls were not here first. Some of us remember that human beings inhabited the Internet before the Eternal September.

Thank you. Usenet, for example was a welcome, tolerant, even useful place. You could reasonably trust someone on to send you what you expected after receiving your check. I suppose in those days, if anyone ever posted something bad, their sysadmin would receive an e-mail and the would-be troller would have his account suspended... and that would be that. Internet was a privilege, and short of getting a job in computers or defense, graduation meant leaving it forever.

Fuck. The Eternal September was 21 years ago. Kids have grown up big enough to legally drink since then, never knowing a net that was free of Nigerian Prince scams or murder by Craig's List. Whose on my lawn? Get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:It's a classic... (Score 1) 304

by WheezyJoe (#48094339) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

Funny thing is, I always found the gaps between the keys problematic. If your fingers weren't right on the keys, you'd slip through or press two.

My favorite keyboard was the one that came with the IBM 6150 (aka, the IBM PC-RT). Soft keys but with great tactile feel, and completely programmable so you could easily swap the CTRL and CAPS LOCK keys. It was IBM's take on a silent keyboard but will all their (then) quality thrown in.

Got some serious WPM out of it, but I hold no hope for getting one working today :-\

Comment: Re:We don't know the details (Score 2) 742

by WheezyJoe (#48084919) Attached to: Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Plausible. From my own experience, patience and restraint on the order of The Mahatma is required to get problems fixed over the phone with Comcast (and, as it turns out, an increasing number of other companies, too).

My advice is to get a friend (or paid representative) to call on your behalf, someone not emotionally involved and who won't blow his stack (and, consequently, say something stupid, like where you work) after being told many things that are obviously, frustratingly wrong.

Comment: Re:Skipping a version number (Score 1) 644

by WheezyJoe (#48029131) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Microsoft has never respected numbers much.
Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, NT 3.1, NT 3.5, NT 3.51, Windows 95, NT 4, Windows 98, Win2000, Windows ME, WinXP, Windows 7, Windows 8.... you see? all over the place.
What they DO tend to respect is focus groups, and they maybe determined that 10 is sexier than 9, perhaps to imply more distance from (pfft) 8
(or steal from spotlight from OS X)?

Comment: Re:Start menu usage dropped in lieu of what? (Score 1) 269

by WheezyJoe (#48028773) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

Simply because a data-recorder didn't show the Start menu was used very often (in win 8 testing, I presume) does not mean that people don't rely upon it when the need arises.
Or maybe dropping it was just a bone-headed effort to force users to use the Metro start page.

Comment: Re:power consumption? (Score 1) 208

by WheezyJoe (#47897395) Attached to: Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

I'm still using an old Core2Duo (2.53 running at 3.8). It *only* has 4GB, but I put in and SSD and an ATI 6770 a couple years ago. Does everything I need, the only things it has problems running are recent games, not a reason to upgrade in my case. Many components got upgraded from machines found in the trash.

I applaud you, sir. An evening of tech dumpster-diving with a friend of mine some time back was a real eye-opening experience, particularly where we found some office or government building chucking mass quantities of "older" equipment. Tons of working, capable silicon, heading for landfills, when a lot of it maybe a year ago would have been tempting on newegg. There was a time when the latest OS or application release would make your hardware seem terrible, prompting you to pine for an upgrade, but not any longer, with the narrow exception of cutting-edge games, or professional apps for which you should get your employer to pay for anyway.

What you miss out on with older hardware is size and power-consumption. If performance is not your goal, then with modern gear you have the opportunity to build a silent, fanless system and/or an entire PC that fits in a 5" square box. It surprises me that this remains a niche market for do-it-your-selfers or small shops online. It would be worth it to me to pay a few bucks for a noiseless rig that fits on my desk. But as long as my older rigs are running fine, no worries.

Comment: Easy Lesson Here: Don't Piss Off The Judge (Score 5, Informative) 465

by WheezyJoe (#47731897) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

Ars Technica has more on the story, and links to actual news sites covering the mess. And as many insightful Slashdot commentators have surmised, there's more to the story than a lousy cam-rip of a lousy movie.

Copyright silliness may have led to him being caught, but Danks got his 33 months all by himself.

Danks was arrested only six days after he'd uploaded the video, and two days later he wrote on Facebook, "Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures."

Danks had also sold DVD copies of the movie for £1.50 each. He said his total profit from the scheme was about £1,000.

To who? Who buys these things? Why would anyone spend money and time to suffer through a cam-rip?
how much of this was earned after he was arrested?

The prosecuting and defending attorneys both seemed to agree that Danks' motive for the piracy of Fast and Furious 6 was “Street Cred.” His defense attorney told the court, "He has no substantial assets of any sort, and his financial gain has been extremely limited, but he was obviously aware that it was a popular film that would be of interest."

The judge was particularly harsh on Danks because of his cavalier attitude."This was bold, arrogant, and cocksure offending,” he said to Danks, as Sky News reports.

+ - Training Materials Leaked from Comcast

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Ars Technica and the Verge report how leaked training manuals from Comcast show how selling services is a required part of the job, even for employees doing tech support. The so-called "the 4S training material" explicitly states that 20 percent of a call center employee’s rating for a given call is dependent on effectively selling the customer new Comcast services.
"There are pages of materials on 'probing' customers to ferret out upsell opportunities, as well as on batting aside customer objections to being told they need to buy something. 'We can certainly look at other options, but you would lose which you mentioned was important to you,' the guide suggests clumsily saying to an angry customer who doesn’t want to buy any more Comcast services."
Images of the leaked documents are posted on the Verge, making for fun reading."

Comment: Re:Apple problem. (Score 1) 188

by WheezyJoe (#47698565) Attached to: Microsoft's Windows 8 App Store Is Full of Scamware

Google, unlike Apple, doesn't actually force you to go through its "stupid "store"". And Microsoft doesn't force you either, at least on its non-RT, non-phone versions of its Windows OS.

Well, if you're going to bring up non-phone versions, then Apple doesn't force (Mac) users to go through its store either.

Comment: Re:Cue Hypocrisy (Score 1) 327

The Patent Office, in an effort to modernize and attract more talent (you know, accept less salary for your engineering/science degree by working for the government instead of the private sector) implemented a plan to permit people to work from home, and from there to work remotely from the city the Office itself is located at, any city you want (within the 48 contiguous states). This was a natural outgrowth of an earlier (and successful) effort to eliminate paper at the office and work entirely electronically.

The actual source material for the Post article appears to show growing pains that one can reasonably expect from permitting thousands of employees to do their work from home, hundreds or even thousands of miles from the Office (if they qualify). Whereas the Post article seems written intentionally to inflame the reader (for what... maybe to sell more advertising? build cred for the writer?), the source material shows no wide-spread fraud, just your typical employees finding that, with the freedom to work at home, it's real easy to put your work off until deadline and then cram, or not put in the hours you would if you had a supervisor looking into your cubicle each morning. Same shit the private sector has been dealing with for years.

From what I can tell from the source, the management of the PTO is on it, and has been on it at least since the report came out in 2012. The only difference is that, because this is government, it's public and everyone can arm-chair quarterback their asses (probably as they themselves goof off at their terminals at work or from inside their momma's basement), whereas if a private company were going through this, it would be an internal matter and none of your damned business.

The Patent Office performs a function that is crucial; not even the Koch brothers would deny that. Shitting on the whole lot of them because a couple of employees can't handle the freedom of telework is unfair and dishonest, particularly coming from people taking suspiciously long lunch hours to write comments on slashdot :-|

Comment: Re:You Don't Know The Half Of It (Score 1) 327

As a reviewer for USPTO, I can tell you...

Just in case anyone is confused from the fact that this was modded "interesting" (as opposed to"funny" or "troll"), it is most assuredly bullshit. The AC is not "a reviewer for USPTO".

Key flaws: there is no such thing is a patent "reviewer" (they are called examiners, and a real patent examiner would never call him or herself otherwise).

AC also wrote about "approve approve approve reject approve". Patent examiners do not "approve" anything... they "allow" applications or pass applications to "allowance". Again, an actual examiner, after all the training they go through, would not make this mistake.

One more, "A major compounding factor is the fact that if you reject an application, it's likely to come back and be noticed, but if you approve an application, no one notices." Bullshit, the opposite is true. An application has to go through multiple reviews before it goes to patent, whereas rejecting an application only needs approval from a supervisor (if the Examiner does not him or herself have signature authority).

Just out to set the record straight for the /. community. If you thought AC's rant was funny/sarcastic (e.g., "Those vague descriptions and those wonky diagrams with little to no coherent explanation are intentional"), then chuckle chuckle; but if you read that stuff and bought it, you've been had by an Anonymous Coward.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990