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Comment: Re:When I was a kid... (Score 1) 470

by kaspar_silas (#44058475) Attached to: 2 Men Accused of Trying To Make X-Ray Weapon
some CRTs went higher than that. However even with no shielding the dose rate would be too low to be a weapon. Admittedly you might not want to sit in front of it for years..

The clue being the heat. In the X-ray range 1% of the electron beam is converted to X-rays the rest to heat. This is why X-ray tubes are either on for short periods, water cooled or have massive metal anodes.

Comment: Re:A conspiracy... (Score 1) 470

by kaspar_silas (#44058449) Attached to: 2 Men Accused of Trying To Make X-Ray Weapon
Just a bit more than a typical microwave oven. You oven can go to about say 300 degrees celsius equivalent to about 0.05 eV.

To ionize oxygen or hydrogen (13.6 eV) by heating well that's going to take about 158,000 degrees. The long and the short of it being that ionization by heating is not easy.

Comment: Re:Wayback Machine Relevance? (Score 1) 401

by kaspar_silas (#41980491) Attached to: Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal
I also notice the list of representatives include folk from Npower, BP, CBI and the US Embassy. Not exactly the standard sources of hardcore left wingers. Still best to gloss over these folk as focusing on them may not fit in with the promotion of FUD.

Clearly a generally pro science network supporting the scientific consensus is an important tale that absolutely warrants such a massively informed debate.

Comment: Can't you just change the plant's (Score 1) 287

by kaspar_silas (#41221083) Attached to: Nuclear Powered LEDs For Space Farming
I would imagine it would be far far easier to breed (or use GM techniques) to make a crop plant that can deal with what is effectively a super short season than to attempt to light up the night. You could even store some of the daytime heat and smooth the "seasonal" temp transitions using a high heat capacity plastic mixed into the soil.

Given tundra based trees survive months with no usable light due to thick snow cover and natural summer annuals often only get light for growth for a few weeks a year this doesn't seem the biggest issue with moon farming.

Comment: The robot will eventually become unbeatable (Score 1) 97

by kaspar_silas (#41067715) Attached to: Stanford's Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack
The main advantage of computer driven cars is that they learn faster than humans. A human is at a massive learning disadvantage as he can't exactly replicate his actions, recall his sensory input perfectly, vary aspects of his driving without affecting other aspects nor make changes that are smaller than his biologically imposed resolution limit. The computer can learn more from every previous race and try more things in the search for lower lap times. After sufficient versions/updates (and assuming a sporting governing body doesn't implement blocking rules) the AI's ability will exceed the upper limit imposed by the biology of the driver.

I can't see any other way this could possible work out.

Comment: Re:More exciting? (Score 1) 97

by kaspar_silas (#41067593) Attached to: Stanford's Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack
So you think that lethal accidents are caused by a minority of very bad drivers. Very bad as in not mere speeding or not paying attention as almost everyone does occasionally. That would be interesting if true. Do you have any stats. or links to back that up?

I would (perhaps naively) have assumed that most types of non trivial road accidents have a chance of lethality. So I wouldn't expect those involved in lethal accidents to have a significantly different ability distribution to normal accidents.

Comment: Re:More exciting? (Score 3, Insightful) 97

by kaspar_silas (#41067089) Attached to: Stanford's Self Driving Car Tops 120mph On Racetrack
Damn straight, why worry about the safety of yourself or others when you can be having fun.

For Americans death by car accident is about a 1 in 100 lifetime chance not massive but hardly minuscule. If you could say half that is that not a reasonable thing to do.

Thou of course everyone is an above average driver so the odds don't apply to them.

Comment: Can't go to higher energies (Score 1) 32

by kaspar_silas (#40333553) Attached to: X-ray Generator Fits In the Palm of Your Hand
I once mentioned shielding to a X-ray laser physicist who was talking about his high energy X-ray laser. "Aren't you worried about shielding?". The reply "O no our X-rays don't go that far in air."

That's when I realized that laser physicists have a slightly different interpretation of high-energy than most radiation physicists. I only consider high energy X-rays those at 100 keV+.

Sort of killing the buzz here but if you read the paper and maybe look at figure 2B you will see why this technique (high-harmonic generation) cannot be extended to be usable at higher keV beam without the laws of physics changing. At the current higher end their efficiency has fell to what 0.01% and falling fast.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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