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Comment: Re:Prototype (Score 2) 126 126

good question. If you have a laser strong enough to instantly ionize a patch of air between you and an exploding munition [we are talking milliseconds for the whole show here!] that itself must create a shock wave as the super-heated air expands more or less into what we would perceive as an explosion. I am hoping the Boeing Boeing engineers have some proof the cure is better than the disease, so to speak.
If you can shape the surface of the discontinuity in gas density by this method, you could cause a lensing effect that redirected the shock wave but you cannot get rid of energy by adding energy to it. If you manage to create an underpressure that coincides with the overpressure of the munition, that will happen at a certain point and will require an energy density on a par with the munition if you mean to protect by a cancellation of superimposed pressure waves. And watch out for your side lobes...the cancellation would be localized while elsewhere in the battle an addition would occur.

Comment: thinking back to how Microsoft gutted Netscape... (Score 1) 321 321

I find this news of Chromebook stealing Windows market share has a "they have this coming to them" feeling. So Google has the bucks and the talent to make an OS and practically give it away. Ha Ha. For them, pushing the penetration of Internet use to the lowest strata is all they need because its the clicks, not the OS licenses that make their revenue.
I feel like its karma, like the demise of MS is deserved because, in spite of Bill Gates earlier public dismissal of the Internet as fad, MS came back with a brutal, loss-leader give-away of IE just to defend itself from its own hubris [and inadvertently polluting their own OS with "back orifices"]. Google may cut the legs from under MS but primarily because they know where their bread is buttered and they work to expand that...not because they need to damage the business model of a competitor.

Microsoft has it coming.

Comment: Re:Ammoniacal (Score 1) 189 189

That is sad. Fear and ignorance have always held progress, or just plain "pleasure of finding things out" in check. But that kind of info-conservatism was one problem our supposed American freedoms banished, and we have claimed, to our enormous advantage in standard of living. What are we now? A country where fear and ignorance are institutional and pervasive. You can't go underground for your supplies either since that will clearly indicate to the bureaucracy that you had nefarious intent. *sigh*

Comment: ah, the good old days.... (Score 1) 189 189

I remember reading in the [now discontinued] "Amateur Scientist" column that used to publish in Scientific American, a guide to how one could build a medium power infrared CO2 laser. Nowadays, just buying the parts would have DHS knocking on your door[or maybe they don't bother with knocking?]

Comment: Re: Secure password vs keylogger. (Score 1) 174 174

i set my FB acct to require 2FA if its accessed from an "unfamiliar" device. Yes, I need to be carrying my phone to make that work but the two conditions, novel device and carrying cell phone DO correlate for me. I think it worth the cost of a txt message since I wind up with a record [also event notification emails] of any attempt to break in to my account

now if I just had any social life or was someone interesting enough to be spied upon, this would all be justified and useful.

Comment: Re:short story (Score 4, Interesting) 549 549

won't work if you drive a plastic car ['Vette, Saturn] but with metal bodywork your average care is already half way to being a Faraday cage. A concealed job of finishing that cage would be difficult but most openings just need a grounded hardware cloth covering of proper mesh [must study TFA to see what frequency is used].

Active jamming to cancel out the incoming waves is not likely due to the high frequency they probably use.

BTW, do they test this thing on Dick Cheney to see if it shuts down pacemakers?

Comment: never say never, it would seem (Score 1) 118 118

Comment: Re:Should be legal, with caveat (Score 1) 961 961

I agree with this position.
Allthough there are complexities in assessing ones state of health toward the end, the majority of them can be addressed with a clear DNR order and durable power of attorney granted to a trusted younger friend...with backup provisions. In an era of smaller families and highly mobile careers, many /. readers will eventually be dying alone, sorry, just a strong probability ladies and gentlemen.

My GF works in a nursing home, surrounded by a mix of abandoned, demented people and others dying but with loving visitors. She has insisted we establish enforcible living wills and "just shoot me" are to be spelled out beyond any bureaucrats ability to meddle in our last wishes.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.

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