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Comment Re:Don't RTFA (Score 2) 263

The real problem with "proposed principles" is the same as the "Do not track". It assumes that the players will follow the rules. They won't. They will take whatever extra is given, and otherwise only follow their own rules, which are based on what gives the most profit.
This will only make it easier for unscrupulous advertisers, as they now have published guidelines for what to defeat.

Comment Re:Mozilla can't even block popups (Score 2) 263

You keep putting 'CLOUD' features in when the basic privacy/speed/control principles that underlined Firefox are being weakened. pocket lists? sync? Unwanted features that were available as addons now get forced in the browser?

Sync was great, back in the original Netscape implementation. You could sync to your own web server, configured with whatever security you wanted. No sending your bookmarks and passwords to someone else.
The sync functionality broke around Firefox 3 or so, and later it got removed instead of fixed. And then someone reinvented the wheel, but this time square.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 57

Given the options, I take the "factor" to mean "reason to be concerned over my own".

I think whoever wrote this poll didn't understand the words "biggest" and "factor". Before seeing the options, I was thinking RSA Inc and similar commercial factors, but the poll options made no sense in that context.
I then thought he or she meant "most likely driver", but the poll options still made no sense. If that were the case, I'd have expected to see fear of governments or corporations as options.
Perhaps he or she meant biggest pitfall?

I don't know. It's English as She is Spoke.

Comment Includes CPO Cars as well (Score 1) 70

Two years ago I bought a Certified Pre-Owned BMW from a dealer. It's basically a used car of a supposed "higher quality" from a dealer. Turned out that even though they do some sort of 5million point inspection, they forgot to clear the mp3 collection uploaded into the car's entertainment system, didn't clear the stored phonebook, nor the 10 recent phone numbers.

Comment Re:People are idiots. (Score 2) 358

+1 Unintentionally Informative

This is probably true, to some degree. 4chan attracts the outliers or long tails of the bell curve, i.e. the misfits who don't fit in, from both sides of the curve. This also includes some quite intelligent people.

But a perhaps a more interesting question is where did the wisdom go, and that certainly is not 4chan.

Comment Perhaps he's making flakes of Rydberg matter? (Score 1) 186

The secret sauce seems to be ultra-dense deuterium, "D(0)" whatever that means. Looking through the author's other papers, it looks like he's claiming to have made metallic hydrogen, which would be a Nobel Prize right there.

If he can demonstrate this, then fine ... he's a super genius.

Perhaps he's making flakes of Rydberg matter, floating in a near-vacuum.

(If I understand it correctly) this is matter where the individual atoms have been NEARLY ionized, by pumping an electron up to ALMOST, but not quite, the energy needed to free it from the atom, leaving an ion. (You can do this with a laser tuned to the energy difference between the ground state, or the state the electron WAS originally in, and the state you want it in.) If you get the electron into one of the high, flat, circular orbitals, it looks almost like a classic Bohr atom (earth/moon style orbit), and the state lasts for several hours.

Atoms in such a state associate into dense hexagonal clusters. (19-atom clusters are easy and heavily studied, and clusters of up to 91 atoms are reported.) The electrons bond the atoms by delocalizing, forming a metallic, hexagonal grid, similar to a tiny flake of graphite sheet. You can't make them very big. (There's some issue with the speed of light screwing up the bonding stability when the flakes get too big.) But you can make a lot of them, creating a "dusty plasma".

So hitting gas with the right laser pulse could end up with lots of flakes of this stuff, with deuterons held in tight (dense!) and well-defined flat hexagonal arrays by a chicken-wire of delocalized electrons, with zero (or tiny) net charge, floating around in a near vacuum and suitable for all sorts of manipulation. (Like slamming them into each other, for instance.)

Now how this interacts with substituting muons for electrons (something analogous to an impurity in a semiconductor crystal?), missing or extra electrons (ditto?), occasional oddball nuclei (again ditto?), or perhaps how it might generate muons when tickled by appropriate laser pulses, all look like good open questions for active research.

The point is that it's pretty easy to get these long-lived, self-organized, high-density, stable regular geometry, crystal flakes of graphite-like deuterium floating in a near vacuum, where you can poke at them, without any pesky condensed matter to get in the way.

Easy as in maybe you can do it on a desktop with diode lasers, producing "maker" level nuclear physics experiments. B-)

Comment Re:Some facts... (Score 1) 685

In most places I have worked, if anyone needed training and didn't pick up stuff by themselves, they weren't useful and didn't last long. No matter what gender.

Mentoring, yes. Training, no. Unless you're a line worker, training does more harm than good, turning people into stunted robotniks.

Comment E-fields foul chromosome segregation. (Score 2) 34

Some recently approved cancer treatments (particularly: for inoperaable brain cancer) are basedt on a recent discovery:
  - The electric fields from changing magnetic fields interfere with chromosome segregation during mitosis.
  - The affected cells generalluy do one of two things:
        - Complete the division with missorted chromosomes - then both offspring cells commit suicide.
      - Give up on cell division - then the new diploid cell commits suicide.
Cells not undergoing mitosis keep perking along just fine. (Perhaps this is why large-range electric fields aren't present in cells except during division: Electrical effects occur across membranes or in very close range between molecules - because the use of the fields in the chromosome segregation mechanism means any newly-evolving "feature" that involved long-range E-fields would kill the cell partway to evolving it.

This is great for brain cancer treatment: Essentially nothing is splitting except the cancer cells. Maybe you lose some nerve stem cells and have slightly lower brain plasticity over the coming decades - but that's a heck of a lot better than dying in agony and gradually-increasing dimentia over 6 months to a year.

But start poking at brains with this in the long term - especially brains of people under 21 or so, when the brains are still doing substantial interconnection and cell division - and you might start seeing some nasty damage.

Comment Re:On the Internet no one knows you are a dog... (Score 1) 685

People are turned away. Anyone saying that "code is the only thing that matters" is completely wrong. If that were the case, why do we have conferences? Why do we have communities?

I don't go to conferences. I don't know of any "communities". I contribute code, and rarely has any code been turned away. No-one has ever asked me any personal questions like gender, age or ethnicity. People don't know, and yet they accept my code.

Same with a couple of apps I maintain - I don't give a flying fuck whether you are a 60 year old hairy dyke or a 13 year old boy from Minnesota, and I have no interest in finding out. It's irrelevant. If the code passes sanity checks and improves something, and you accept the license, in it goes. Whether you have a dick or not doesn't matter, as long as you're not being one. I probably won't know unless you go out of your way to tell me, and if you do, you've just wasted some of my time.

Comment Re:Missing piece of a puzzle? (Score 3, Interesting) 186

Looked it up:

They replace an electron in a hydrogen atom/molecule - but are heavy so the resulting muonic atom/molecule is much smaller, allowing the nuclei to come within fusion distance.

H2 (D-D, D-T) molecule.

The fusion kicks the muon off and it repeats the process. [...] The problem has always been that it takes a lot of energy to make a muon and it has a tiny lifetime - long enough to do maybe four fusions before it decays.

Actually the muon lasts a couple microseconds which is a LONG time at molecular and nuclear speeds. But in addition to decaying it has maybe a 1/2% to 1% chance of sticking to the helium and getting lost until it times out. So it only catalyzes maybe 100 to 200 reactions. You need somewhat more than 300 to break even for the energy used to create it in an accelerator (maybe times a factor of about 2.5 to make up for the accelerator efficiency).

Comment Missing piece of a puzzle? (Score 4, Informative) 186

I followed the link to the original paper. It's a bit sketchy. But on a skim I don't get quite as much of a "what did he do" as the author of that piece did.

What it looks to me like he did is:
  - Made some "ultra dense" duterium - apparently by the same method as F&P: Using electricity to force it into palladium by electrolysis, with the solid palladium holding it at high density and in particular orientations.
  - Hit it with a laser.
  - Got muons out - with energies above those that could be explained by the laser excitation, and apparently with energy totalling substantially more than spent on the laser and the electrolysis drive power.

Now if this is real, and can be repeated and engineered:

1) High-energy charged particles, at well-defined energies, emerging from a well-defined location, and with adequate lifetimes to last through a few microseconds of the process, can easily have most of their kinetic energy collected as electricity by pretty trivial equipment.

2) Muons catalyze fusion - at room temperature (or even liquid hydrogen temperature). They replace an electron in a hydrogen atom/molecule - but are heavy so the resulting muonic atom/molecule is much smaller, allowing the nuclei to come within fusion distance. The fusion kicks the muon off and it repeats the process. This has been known for decades: Just point a muon beam at some hydrogen and watch the fun.

The problem has always been that it takes a lot of energy to make a muon and it has a tiny lifetime - long enough to do maybe four fusions before it decays. So muon-catalyzed fusion (using accelerators to make muons) would never approach breakeven. If this guy has figured out how to make muons in a simple cell, with the energy to make the muon coming from a fusion reaction, it could change the game big-time.

Also: If muons manufactured by such a process were a step in the very sporadic, looked-like-fusion, effects seen by the people trying to do cold fusion, it could explain why the effects were sporadic - and understanding the process might lead to being able to produce it reliably and consistently.

So maybe this is just another will-o-the-wisp. Or maybe it's something that could lead to substantial repeatable interesting physics. Or maybe it could lead to real energy-producing reactors on a less-than-tokamak scale.

And just maybe it's a missing piece of a real room-temperature fusion process that led to the cold-fusion flap and might become practical. Wouldn't that be nice?

Regardless, this just got published within the last month or so. If it's real it should be pretty easy to reproduce, and from there not too hard to figure out. So let's see what happens. Maybe nothing, maybe little, just the off chance of another roller-coaster ride. B-)

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"