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Comment: Re:If you tax the rich, they'll leave (Score 3, Insightful) 255

Basketball tickets are a luxury. If you buy them, it's because you chose to give Ballmer money. I can't help you with that.

Thats right, we can choose not to buy basketball tickets (and I'm already in that camp), but we can't choose not to subsidize Balmers purchase of the team because a set of, long since gone, politicians wrote that nice little loophole into our tax code for us. The way I do the math, those assholes transferred about $10 from my pocket into Blamers pocket with just this one transaction. I had no say in the matter. I had no interest in the stupid basketball team (or the sport for that matter), and yet here I am subsidizing it...

I want to know: What humanitarian need did my $10 fill? In what way is the world a better place than it would have been if Balmer had to cough up the price without my subsidy? I could fully support the idea if my money had gone towards curing cancer, or helping dying children, or something equally righteous, but how is supporting Basketball, a sport that is fully capable of paying its own way, helping better humanity? How is this anything other than yet another way in which those with the power and the money are stealing from the rest of us?

Comment: Re:This seems the obvious solution (Score 1) 199

by geoskd (#48233975) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

Hmmm... do you have a better solution?

I finally concluded that submerging the entire system was impracticable. Ultimately, I concluded that something that just circulated the liquid against the CPU itself in a closed loop would be better. This is in fact what most modern liquid coolers do.

I looked at a number of fluids including Flourinert, but concluded they were just not really reasonable. Almost all liquids get more viscous as they get colder, which makes pumping them more difficult, and requires special pumps. Many of them are susceptible to contamination which changes there behavior. I've always suspected that the mineral oil became corrosive due to contamination, but I had moved on before I could test anything.

Comment: Re:This seems the obvious solution (Score 4, Informative) 199

by geoskd (#48231433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

Another idea which I like even better is to immerse the whole machine in mineral oil.

This is actually not that good of an idea. I ran a mineral oil rig back when I was in school, and the mineral oil dissolves the dielectric used in the "can" style capacitors used on almost all electronics. Over the space of about 3 years, the oil will destroy the exposed caps, and the machine will become flaky and ultimately stop working altogether. Also of note, the oil permeates and partially dissolves most silicone caulk and the plastics used for hot glue. Ultimately, its pretty nasty stuff in spite of appearing to be relatively inert.

Comment: Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (Score 2) 350

by geoskd (#48175735) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

If he finds someone that is willing to invest in his project, let it happen, and when the cold fusion device turns out to be a scam, let them report it to the police and trow him back in jail where he belongs. The best way to deal with a bluff is to call it, not argue about it.

The problem is that people like this undermine the public trust in science. That is a huge problem because it opens the door to allow an entire other set of charlatans into the picture. These other people gain traction only because the name of science has been tarnished as the provider of truth. Once this other group of people have the public ear, they start pushing all kinds of counter productive BS like creationism and other idiot dogma

Our governments need to assign science and all its keywords as trademarks to a standards body and give them full right to enforce. This will help to put an end to all of those deceitful commercials that begin with "scientifically proven to xxx". Joe Sixpack doesn't even understand how they're being lied to, or even that they are, and that failure to understand is in no small part due to the behavior of people like Rossi and his associates.

Comment: Re:Cold fusion - a hot mess (Score 2) 350

by geoskd (#48174065) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Pressure is equivalent to temperature, one begets the other. Since all cases of observable fusion requires high pressure, explain to me how you are going to get the pressure without the temperature? Are you going to crazy glue the atoms together?

PV=nRT only means anything in regards to thermodynamics. Thermodynamics is a statistical description of the behavior of large quantities of matter. All fusion physics is about the individual behavior of the elementary particles involved. Pressure and temperature are ways to achieve the desired proximity of the nuclei, but they are not the only ways.

Comment: Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (Score 5, Insightful) 350

by geoskd (#48173971) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Only after you've isolated all the contributing factors involved so you can replicate them. So long as there are unknown factors influencing the outcome positive results will appear to happen at random. So long as verifiable transmutation is occasionally occurring *something* is clearly happening, the challenge is to figure out what is different between the experiments that work and the ones that don't. And from what I've heard it seems that certain sub-microscopic imperfections in the host material are likely at least one of the necessary preconditions. And those are damnably hard to replicate intentionally.

The most likely answer is that Rossi is cheating by feeding power into the machine in such a way as to feed more power in than is being reported by the instruments. If you follow some of the links in the attached article, you'll find a wonderful description of how to fool power metering equipment. The researchers could have easily ruled this out using a little subterfuge of their own. Had they built their own custom outlet with a hidden set of power meters placed on the upstream side of the plug, they could have guaranteed an accurate reading, and would have been able to compare that with the "official" reading. A significant mismatch would have proven willful deception on Rossi's part (thus proving the entire thing to be fraud). A match in readings would have verified experimentally that they were not being swindled in this particular respect. It would have been a simple way to gain further insight into Rossis device while allowing him the latitude to believe he is strictly controlling the experiment. (Give him every opportunity to cheat and think he will get away with it, while secretly checking up on his actions).

Sadly, The most likely answer to this riddle is that all of the so called researchers are complicit. They seem to get together regularly and try to figure out ways to make the "experiments" seem more valid while still allowing them to be gamed.

Space

Hawking Radiation Mimicked In the Lab 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-bob dept.
Annanag writes *Nothing* escapes a black hole, right? Except 40 years ago Stephen Hawking threw a spanner in the works by suggesting that, courtesy of quantum mechanics, some light particles can actually break free of a black hole's massive pull. Then you have the tantalizing question of whether information can also escape, encoded in that so-called 'Hawking radiation'. The only problem being that no one has ever been able to detect Hawking radiation being emitted from a black hole. BUT a physicist has now come closer than ever before to creating an imitation of a black hole event horizon in the lab, opening up a potential avenue for investigating Hawking radiation and exploring how quantum mechanics and general relativity might be brought together.

Comment: Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 5, Interesting) 986

The reason he didn't describe how it works is almost certainly because IT DOESN'T WORK.

Funny but FTFA:

The researchers observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, or âoefar more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume.â

That pretty much puts an end to the "doesnt work" crap. As they stated, if it is a hoax, the guy has developed a device that can store and regurgitate energy with a far greater energy density than gasoline. If all it is, is a battery, then by itself it would be worth almost as much as cold fusion, as it can store and produce 600+ horsepower for an hour (1.5MW hours). Thats enough to move a typical passenger vehicle 300+ miles on a power supply the size of a stick of dynamite. If the guy had created a device, of any kind, that can do this, then he has no reason to try to swindle investors in a cold fusion scam, he going to be Elon Musks new best friend for life.

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405

just pick something with steady demand and limited supply.

every advance in technology raises the bar such that a larger percentage of the population is simply incapable of being trained to perform *any* needed labor function. Right now, the bar excludes a very small # (maybe 1% of the population). What happens when trucks drive themselves? Thats 3 million people who will go from earning ~40k / year to earning less than 20k per year. What happens when planes can fly themselves? What happens when being able to program a computer is a "base" skillset, that you cant be employed if you cant at least do that? I know a large number of people who will never be intelligent enough to handle tasks that require the same level of abilities as programming. What do we do with them? Darwin them off?

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405

by geoskd (#48088865) Attached to: One In Three Jobs Will Be Taken By Software Or Robots By 2025, Says Gartner

Sure, eventually we might not need plumbers, or welders, or A/C repairmen, or someone t give a sponge bath, but by then we'll have the luxury to carry 20%, likely 80%, of the population with need of their labor to provide for us all - work will be a matter of psychological health, not productivity eventually. But I won't live to see it; that's not this generation's problem to solve.

We already carry close to 20% of the population, when you count forced early retirement, underemployed and chronic unemployment. The tea party plays on this very "welfare state" concept to draw in working class Americans. How will that play out as the unemployment numbers increase? Capitalism will not / can not tolerate unemployment in large amounts. It causes the value of labor to asymptotically approach zero due to the law of supply and demand.

Comment: Re:Yes yes yes (Score 2) 405

The end of mindless menial labor is a good thing.

Only if our economic systems are capable of handling that set of circumstances. What should the roughly 20% of people who are below 85 IQ do to survive? They simply will never be able to handle jobs requiring more than simple manual labor, so when those jobs are gone, how do they earn a living? Welfare? Charity? They starve to death?

I could almost even live with any of those options as long as it was on the table for general public discussion and debate. As it stands now, the politicians treat it like social security: a third rail of politics...

Comment: Re:Clearly not... (Score 2) 481

by geoskd (#48067859) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Would you initaite interspecies contact with a species that wonders whether you go with white wine or red? Would you invade a world where the inhabitants are as likely to reach for a jar of brown sauce as a weapon?

It'll be pretty obvious when any other species on this planet becomes advanced enough to be accepted as intelligent enough to warrant the same protections as society affords to humans. That species will be making their own tools. I can teach a cat to open a door. Beyond it being cute, it really doesn't require that much intelligence...

Comment: Re:People (Score 1) 481

by geoskd (#48067829) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

The latter is what provides the ethical argument for treating anything that we can consider "near" human as human for various purposes such as whether to eat them. If we're so considerate of ourselves that cannibalism is usually considered a grievous crime, then maybe we should be a bit more considerate of animals that approach us in intellect.

We don't eat people because of the implied threat from society. Society places value on human life, and works to prevent cannibalism as such. If the animals organized such that there was a threat of meaningful consequences of eating animals, then we would stop eating animals. As long as the animals are not smart enough to organize their own defense, then I'll be damned if I'm going to stop eating them, much less defend them from others.

Never trust a computer you can't repair yourself.

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