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Comment: Re:magical scenario where (Score 1) 731

by drerwk (#46737883) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

So running a conductor through a changing magnetic field will no longer produce a charge?

No it won't. It will produce an electric field which can be used to push charges around, but will not produce a charge.

Putting two lead oxide plates in an acid batch will no longer cause a chemical reaction?

Nope - no electrochemical reaction. You need metals of differing electronegativity, like Pb and PbO2.

My goodness, I was unaware that a catastrophe large enough to cause an apocalyptic event would change the fundamental laws of physics.

You're right it won't, but you might want to brush up on what they are before the apocalypse.

You sound young.

...

Comment: Re:It's not trending. (Score 2) 371

by drerwk (#46696537) Attached to: Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco
Seriously? Never wondered what it would feel like to hit a baseball across the street and through a window? Never wondered what the sound would be like and not thinking beyond the cool sound of breaking glass tossed the ball up and let swing. And then in unexpected joy realized you hit it perfectly, to hear the glorious sound of that window break only to have your stomach sink to the depths realizing that you broke a damn window?

Comment: Prograph (Score 2) 207

by drerwk (#44841349) Attached to: Time For a Hobbyist Smartphone?
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prograph
I loved using this in the mid 90s. I was 5x to 10x productive. But there was no diff available, no way to do SCM, it was hard to come back to code I'd written 6 months before and refresh my memory of what it did. And it was next to impossible to collaborate will a team. I was forced to use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executable_UML using some horrible tools (Kennedy Carter iUML) in the 2005s - same exact problems.
Now iBuilder or what ever the I tool is in XCode is pretty nice. But building software that works, is maintainable, is extendible, and so on is a hard task - I don't think it is the lack of drag and drop tools.

Comment: Re:Depends on the energy source duh! (Score 5, Insightful) 775

by drerwk (#44167631) Attached to: Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All
http://www.theworld.org/2012/11/the-energy-costs-of-oil-production/ “Back in the 1920’s, oil was paying off at 100-to-1,” said Zencey. “It took one barrel of oil to extract, process, refine, ship and deliver 100 barrels of oil. That’s a phenomenal rate of return. If you work out the percentage, that’s a 10,000 percent rate of return.” But that’s not the rate of return today. Now, conventional oil production worldwide pays off at about a 20-to-1 ratio. And in Canada, where the oil comes from tar sands, it’s closer to 5-to-1. “Renewable energy sources are paying off at higher rates, 12-to-1, 15-to-1, 17-to-1. That tells you right there, hmmmm, the age of oil should be over.”

Comment: Re:Threat from r/c planes (Score 1) 233

by drerwk (#44132099) Attached to: RC Plane Attack 'Foiled,' Say German Authorities
The difference you are describing is the difference between detonate and deflagrate. Even in a pipe you are not turning black powder into a high explosive - it is still just burning not detonating. See http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~eroberts/courses/ww2/projects/firebombing/detonation-and-combustion.htm for some good info.

Comment: Re:Good to see intelligence rewarded for once. (Score 1) 241

by drerwk (#43805445) Attached to: Curiosity Rewarded: Florida Teen Heading to Space Camp, Not Jail

It's more complicated than that

"Unfortunately, what she did falls into our code of conduct," Leah Lauderdale, a spokeswoman for the district, tells Riptide. "It's grounds for immediate expulsion." More specifically, Wilmot's mini-explosion -- which came after she mixed "common household chemicals" in a plastic bottle -- violates Section 7.05 of the school's conduct code, Lauderdale says, which mandates expulsion for any "student in possession of a bomb (or) explosive device... while at a school (or) a school-sponsored activity... unless the material or device is being used as part of a legitimate school-related activity or science project conducted under the supervision of an instructor." ...Wilmot's principal ack

http://www.fedcoplaw.com/html/Federal%20Explosives%20and%20Bombing%20Laws.dwt.htm
Not obvious to me that what she had qualifies as either a bomb or explosive.

Comment: Re:Need to Be Careful (Score 1) 426

by drerwk (#43805085) Attached to: A Cold Look at Cold Fusion Claims: Why E-Cat Looks Like a Hoax
I looked at the top three Google links for Dr. Peter Hagelstein. Could not find anything other than he is still an associate prof at MIT - would think CF would get you tenure. Would you mind pointing me to some CF success? And I'll constrain that to the definition where success means repeatable.

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