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Comment Re:Holy Jebus (Score 2) 220 220

Also, maybe it's just because I've never worked in that industry before, maybe it's common practice in rocketry, but is anyone else impressed with the use of sound triangulation to figure out which part broke? I've never heard of that being done before.

*camperdave raises his hand.
I am impressed that they were able to do this. I imagine that this would be difficult under the best of circumstances, but inside a rocket during a launch? That's not the type of environment I would expect to hear anything apart from the roar of the engines. I'm picturing 3D renderings showing simulated sound waves, experts trying to line up similar sonic wave-fronts to compute timings, and lots of computer time.

Comment Re:The Fictional Radioactive Materials (Score 1) 242 242

As far as Jerome Lemelson and the barcode patent are concerned, all the supporting technology was in place

That's nice, but what you are endorsing is no different than domain name squatting.

You didn't read my comment properly, so let me reiterate:

Patents should be for well defined, actual inventions, not vague notions.

Comment Re:The Fictional Radioactive Materials (Score 1) 242 242

No. Rather the contrary. Patents should be for well defined, actual inventions, not vague notions.

As far as Jerome Lemelson and the barcode patent are concerned, all the supporting technology was in place. We had computers. We had devices that read instructions and data from paper tape. We had devices that could sense light levels. Maybe he did put two and two together. I don't know.

My point, though, is this: Since patents only last 20 years, there's no point in patenting something that is 30 years out. You can't make any money on it. But Boeing is taking out patents. So, the only conclusion is that Boeing has stumbled onto an idea that will make fusion engines a practical reality before the patent runs out.

Comment Re:The Fictional Radioactive Materials (Score 1) 242 242

In the 1950s, we weren't 20 years from practical barcode technology. We had computers running off of punched paper tape. Barcodes werre not much of a stretch. Practical nuclear fusion reactors are well over 20 years away, especially a type light enough to power an airplane.

Comment Re:The Fictional Radioactive Materials (Score 1) 242 242

Really this is what is wrong with the patent system. Now anyone developing engines using any kind of fusion is going to have a visit from Boeings lawyers over something they have done nothing to make work.

What's the point of filing now? Won't the patent expire long before we have a working engine?

... or maybe Boeing knows something about fusion engines that we don't.

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