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Comment: Economic risk (Score 1, Flamebait) 138

by Michael Woodhams (#47717771) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

Some new game changing battery/supercapacitor breakthrough might be just around the corner. If so, all that investment in the battery megafactory could get wiped out. Ditto with investing in lithium mining.

So the megafactory might be still happily minting money 25 years from now, or it might be nearly worthless 5 years from now. Presumably this means we'll be paying a risk premium on lithium and lithium batteries. It seems to me that it would be smart for Tesla to be investing in the very technologies that might disrupt their factory, as an insurance policy. That way, if the fortune you've invested in the factory evaporates, hopefully you'll have a new replacement fortune due to having a stake in the new technology. However, this strategy requires that you have the funds for this speculative investment, and has you encouraging the very research which will ruin your factory investment. (Also, maybe you won't have invested in the right places and won't have a stake in the new technology.) In the case of Tesla, they are major consumers as well as (soon to be) major manufacturers of batteries, so there is an additional up-side to investing in the hypothetical tech breakthrough.

Is lithium mining expanding fast enough to feed this factory when it comes online?

Comment: Re:how are cops like bank executives? (Score 4, Interesting) 227

From TFA:

“Now we’re going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5 million and get rich, we don’t care,” Lt. Dennis Ferber said, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

It appears the police followed exactly your logic. However if that statement is substantiated, Ferber's boss would be seriously derelict in their duty if they didn't fire him for this. He's publicly stated that he doesn't care about knowingly causing a multi-million dollar liability for his employer. IANAL, but I expect that should these cops not get punished and pull a similar stunt again, the city would open themselves up for greater punitive damages, as they'd let employees with a known track record of rights abuse continue working where they were likely to abuse again.

It would be good to see criminal proceedings, but I doubt it will happen.

Comment: Re:Not gonna happen (Score 2) 111

Most metals are not ferromagnetic, and so are not held in place by magnets. I'm pretty sure neither indium nor gallium are ferromagnetic.

As they are good conductors, metals do develop eddy currents in a changing magnetic field, which heats them. (Try dropping a magnet through a narrow aluminium tube. The energy loss due to eddy currents will slow its fall considerably.) If you had this liquid metal inside you, having an MRI scan might be a really bad idea - I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the bits of you in contact with the metal could get cooked. This would be a considerable drawback in a cancer treatment. It would be no different than having metal inside you for other reasons - e.g. titanium pins used in surgery. Does anyone know how those react to MRI?

Comment: Big lump of dead cells (Score 1) 111

Aside from the risks of what happens to the liquid metal after it's done its job, you also end up with a big lump of dead cells inside the body, which can't be good. On the other hand, presumably successful radiation therapy has the same result, and the result doesn't have to be 'good', it just has to be 'better than having a tumor'. Would someone with actual medical knowledge care to comment?

Comment: Re:A little behind the times (Score 1) 315

by Michael Woodhams (#47628401) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

I agree. The theory can be rubbished in very simple terms: The inventors assume no new physics, and conclude their device will violate conservation of momentum. All the 'input' physics conserves momentum. Therefore their analysis is wrong.

If I give you a list of numbers which are all even and ask you to add them up, and you give me a sum which is odd, I know you've messed up. I don't need to check the details of your adding and point to exactly where you went wrong. This situation is analogous.

So if the device *does* work (which I very much doubt) it will be pure wild coincidence, not due to any cleverness on the part of the inventors.

(Note: these comments are based on the description of the EmDrive in New Scientist some years ago. I am unfamiliar with the Cannae Drive, so I don't know if it has the same theoretical flaw. If it *does* end up working, I will revoke my vow to never again subscribe to New Scientist.)

Comment: Slashver-ganda? (Score 2) 402

by Guppy06 (#47593833) Attached to: The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Not even a week ago: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Hamas can't even power their social media campaign (i.e. their lifeblood) continuously, but we're supposed to believe they can coordinate rocket fire over the same internet while also deploying Aperture science into their tunnels?

And this from an unnamed IDF contractor talking to a media outlet that has quite literally called for the genocide of Palestinians?

Good job, guys.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller