(Tim Minchin - Ready For This, ca. 2:05 - 3:48)
And no, these are not statements made by someone who doesn't know how to use a computer.
For one, people don't perceive email as something that can easily be snooped, and if they do they'll think it's something like a chance encounter as if it's a regular piece of mail where you have to be at a certain point at a certain time to be able to snatch the mail, plus have to have a reasonable idea what you're looking for as a mail thief.
Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, it's a f'ing drag to use. It's not easy to install. It's not easy to set up, and it's far from user friendly on a day to day basis.
Besides the fact that email encryption isn't commonplace, as long as you aren't sending you pin number or medical data on a regular basis (daily), why bother to be honest. You'll get a stamp as "that weird guy" if you start about PGP etc, and that'll last. If you want to send it securely, just wrap it in an encrypted container, like a ZIP or RAR file and phone them the password.
Granted I get that this kid probably didn't exceed the energy output needed to make this plausible, <snip>
Nuclear energy generation isn't something "magical" or especially difficult per sé. What makes it difficult, is the containment you need to prevent radiation from escaping and measures put in place to prevent the reaction from going out of control (something you also need by the way for conventional power sources) and I seriously doubt that he got hold of such pure radioactive materials that a runaway reaction was any danger. Anyway, all you do for the rest is replacing the heat source of burning wood, coal, oil or anything chemical / mechanical with a radioactive source of heat. The rest of the system, whether that be a peltier pad, stirling engine or steam turbine is pretty much the same.
Now, about that "free energy" you mentioned... As I said, there's no such thing. There's only usable/functional/however-you-wanna-name-it energy, i.e. where you gain more energy from the reaction than you expel to mine and collect the materials and to start and monitor the reaction. Wood is an easy example of that. Takes relatively little energy to chop down a tree, and you gain a lot when you burn it in a fireplace.
How stuff works - gas burning refridgerator
Also, stranded wires are generally to prevent metal fatigue, and due to the fact that the individual strands aren't insulated, act as a lower capacity solid core conductor as there are holes inbetween the individual strands if you look at it from a cross-section. As long as you're not flexing the cable too much during or after installation, there's absolutely no need to use the much more expensive stranded wire.
Neither the skin-effect or the proximity effect are any real issue here. Heat is much more important to take care of. e.g. add a fused plug to prevent overcurrents in the wire, and test how hot a wire gets with all that upholstery, because with enough insulation you could overheat a wire even on only one-tenth of its current rating. When in doubt, install the cables in a tube or hose or anything, and force air through it. Just a tiny bit of moving air will make a lot of difference.
Starting now, if you would like to maintain your free Dyn account, you must log into your account once a month. Failure to do so will result in expiration and loss of your hostname. This activity helps us eliminate hostnames that are no longer needed and/or dormant. Note that an update client will not suffice for this monthly login.
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Dyn.com used to be a company that "played nice" for these kinds of things, and it still is a company that has a lot of nice features for corporations that can pay the fees, but they are definitely sliding in the home user aspect. Granted, $10 per year isn't that much, but still...
Are there any decent alternatives out there?"
I'd kill for a nicely sized 3.5" android phone like the HTC Rhyme, but then with the innards of a current smartphone, e.g. "high" resolution screen (minimally apple's 960x640), dual- or quad-core snapdragon, good battery life (minimally 2 days high usage), and bonus if it's a core android system, so nexus style, rootable, no proprietary stuff nor bloatware. Extra props if it has that water-proofing those new sony phones have.
I don't really care about phones being 7.5mm thin, I don't mind having a few millimeters extra if that means I actually have a battery worth its salt, because realistically you don't really notice those two millimeters extra during usage. It's just a bragging thing between producers really. It's not like phones nowadays are the refrigerator models of ye olden days.
If anything like that is thrown on the market, I'd buy it. Got a SGS2 now, but it's just a bit too large for my taste, and I doubt I'm the only one that thinks this.
I really wonder why the producers don't offer real choice, instead of having 200 small and underpowered devices, and 10 oversized and nicely powered devices.