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Comment: Re:Things once thought impossible... (Score 2) 340

by mpoulton (#48173217) Attached to: The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

1. Powered Flight 2. Bending Light 3. Traveling Greater than 300mph 4. Transparent Aluminum 5. Artificial Diamonds

All of these "Feats" of human ingenuity were once thought to be impossible by the physics standards of the day.

Physics and our understanding of it, continues to evolve every moment we live.

To say the words "It Cannot Be Done" after seeing all we have done already... Is kind of foolish.

We will learn how to accomplish this feat, or one very similar that accomplishes the same goal, Eventually...

That, is the power of Consciousness My Friends.

All hail the thinking, reasoning, Problem Solving, Human Consciousness!

Hold up there, turbo. Transparent aluminum? Surely you're not serious. And don't post a link to something about aluminum oxide or other ceramics.

Comment: "Smart earrings" or "smart necklaces" too? (Score 1) 381

by mpoulton (#47439669) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?
No, I do not want a "smart watch" any more than I want any other "smart" jewelry. Purely functional timepieces are obsolete. If all you want is to know the time, your phone already solves that problem for you - hence the decrease in percentage of people wearing watches. A modern wristwatch is a piece of jewelry where its functionality (and the means of achieving it) are part of the beauty. "Smart watches" have enhanced functionality, but universally at the expense of beauty. The aesthetics are terrible, thus defeating the primary purpose of a watch these days.

Comment: Re:The actual Guides (Score 4, Informative) 286

by mpoulton (#47335187) Attached to: What To Do If Police Try To Search Your Phone Without a Warrant

Since the summary links you to a stupid news article and not the guides themselves, here is the ACLU Guide and EFF Guides here.

The EFF guide you linked has not been updated yet to reflect the Riley decision. Some of those answers need to be changed because they are incorrect now. The ACLU "Know Your Rights" manual does not appear to have been updated either, but it simply doesn't address the issue of cell phone searches incident to arrest at all.

Comment: Who is being taxed, exactly? (Score 1) 322

by mpoulton (#47189057) Attached to: Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them
Soooooo.... we tax ourselves to make China change? Because that's what's being proposed. Tariffs are passed straight through to the buyers of the products. We we're raising prices on imported goods, to change the behavior of the manufacturers, who will still take in the same revenue. As long as domestic manufacturing remains more expensive than the imports plus tariffs, we will still be buying the imported goods, just paying more for them and funneling the extra money back to the federal government.

Comment: Re:Gun nuts (Score 1) 1374

by mpoulton (#46892067) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

A weapon intended for target practice, sport, or self defense has absolutely no need for a flash suppressor. This type of "feature" is intended for covert use of the weapon, which I'd argue falls under what most would categorize as an assault weapon.

Aside from your apparent lack of knowledge about what different types of weapons and accessories are used for, your general premise is mostly correct. Flash suppressors are more useful in actual combat than in most other situations. That type of use is exactly what the Second Amendment explicitly protects. Target practice, sport, hunting, and defense from crime are merely secondary byproducts of having a "well regulated"* militia.

* "regulated" meant "equipped" at the time it was written - see DC v. Heller for a detailed analysis.

Comment: Silicone. Silicone. Silicone. (Score 5, Interesting) 62

by mpoulton (#46845683) Attached to: 3D Printer Lays Down Functioning Circuitry Alongside Thermoplastic
"the syringe-like printer head has used silver-filled silicon to create circuitry"

No, it didn't. That's SILICONE not silicon. I mean, come on. This is a technical article on a technical website. Can't we at least get basic chemistry right? Do you fill your car's gas tank with carbon? If there's one damn place on the internet where people can be expected to know enough about science to see the difference between a hard, shiny metallic element and a class of clear rubbery compounds that happen to contain that element, it should be here.

Comment: Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve... (Score 5, Informative) 227

by mpoulton (#46684533) Attached to: Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds
A Tesla S has an 85kWh battery. To charge that in 30 seconds requires 10,200,000 watts of power - approximately the full electrical service to a decent size skyscraper. That's 42,500 amps at 240V, the full maximum power available to over 212 modern homes and a totally impractical amount of current to handle with any reasonable electrical equipment. So while fast-charging batteries are great and a necessary step forward in technology, the universal adoption of electric cars will require not just upgrading our infrastructure, but a complete rethinking and redevelopment of the electrical grid using not-yet-imagined technologies.

Comment: Re:Teenagers will do stupid things? (Score 1) 387

by mpoulton (#46383389) Attached to: Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000
As a plaintiff's attorney (the one doing the suing of large companies), I often need confidentiality terms in settlement agreements for a variety of strategic reasons. It is not an abusive tactic used by large companies against individuals, it is a specifically bargained-for provision of a settlement contract which both attorneys negotiate. The last thing anyone needs is more legislation controlling what kinds of deals people are or are not allowed to make.

Comment: Easier now, but not new to ham radio guys (Score 4, Interesting) 69

The new single-chip radar solutions and FMCW radar modules are definitely much easier to use and more capable than what was available just a few years ago, but DIY radar is nothing new. Amateur radio operators have been playing with radar guns and door sensors for decades, and doing some pretty interesting things with them. I remember reading photocopies of articles from QST from the 1970's that explained how to hack door sensors to make speed detectors, as well as using them for long-distance voice and video transmission with parabolic reflectors. People have also been playing with marine radar, which is considerably more expensive but still affordable for a dedicated experimenter.

Comment: Judge Karas uses modern physics as an analogy (Score 3, Insightful) 54

From Judge Karas' opinion: "Thus, the output data generated by using Newton’s Second Law of Motion — force equals mass times acceleration, or “F=ma” — would be a series of uncopyrightable facts, even though the output is in some sense an estimation because Newton’s formula fails does not consider relativistic effects."

No wonder he made the right decision on this case.

Comment: Re:154dB is not fatal, or unusual (Score 2) 113

by mpoulton (#46136087) Attached to: Sound System Simulates the Roar of a Rocket Launch

Car audio competitors exceed 154dB all the time. That's not even close to the sound pressure levels achieved in world-class competitions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

That's 28.5dB louder than this testing facility, a factor of 707 times more power.

Decibels relative to what? Maybe not ambient...

Sound pressure level is measured relative to 1dB (duh), which is typically defined as 20uPa.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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