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Comment: Re:TSA waiting line will be interesting now (Score 1) 161

by necro81 (#47430209) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

No need to wait for Fourth of July any more. Once this technology is fully deployed in all airports by TSA you would be seeing this. . The large donut and the thick pillar are parts of the Van de Graff generator

No, they aren't. Those are pictures of Tesla coils. A Van de Graff generator is like an industrial version of rubbing a glass rod with a piece of wool - it works via electrostatics. A Tesla coil is a resonant transformer with a huge turns ratio - it works via magnetic induction.

Comment: Re:The TSA has a new toy.. (Score 1) 161

by necro81 (#47430195) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body
I'd be skeptical that sticking one hand on a Van DeGraff generator won't do anything for someone with a pacemaker. In order for things to get weird, you need some other part of the body grounded (e.g., the other hand touching earth ground), such that current passes through the person. Just building up a large electrostatic charge on the skin of someone isn't such a big deal, because a pacemaker (and, particularly, its electrodes) are contained within the body. If, as the article suggests, they turn this into a phone booth-like chamber, it should be pretty easy to ensure that the person inside is "floating", electrically, and unable to complete a circuit with their body.

A person with the prosthetic arm that uses surface EMGs to control it, however, would need to think twice!

Comment: Re:why new balls (Score 2) 144

Actually there was a lot of complaints about the one used in South Africa in 2010 because it was said to be "very unpredictable especially over a great distance", by many players. So maybe it doesn't apply to the Brazuca, and maybe the complaints are just anecdotal, but I wouldn't be so categorical about

Which only serves to further my point: by "innovating" when there was no particular need, Adidas created a f^%$ed up ball in 2010, which they then needed further innovation to fix. Pointless - but they sold a lot of balls. If FIFA had stuck with the traditional ball this whole time, that issue wouldn't have happened.

Comment: Re:why new balls (Score 2) 144

It looks like every world cup but perhaps a couple has had a different stitch pattern on the ball. Is there really that much need for innovation?

In a word: No. Even to discerning players, there's no practical gameplay difference between this ball and the typical hexagons-and-pentagons design. There is no need for innovation in order to improve the sport - the outcome of the World Cup matches probably would have been the same with a $30 ball. There is that kind of need, however, for Adidas to sell a whole shitload of super-cool-awesome-double-plusgood soccer balls every couple of years at inflated prices.

Comment: Re:Google (Score 4, Informative) 46

by necro81 (#47398377) Attached to: How the NEPTUNE Project Wired the Ocean

Google put one of these on the floor of the East coast, rather they are currently engaged in placing one along the east coast for (as I remember) off-shore wind power bus connections

Aside from both using the word "cable", there is nothing in common between these two projects. One is an undersea fiber optic cable whose primary purpose is scientific exploration, the other is a commercial venture for transporting bulk electrical power.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is another important difference: NEPTUNE is built and operating, whereas the Atlantic Wind Connection appears to have not made much headway, let alone built anything, in the past couple of years. They haven't so much as done a press release in the last eight months. The current goal is to build one section along the New Jersey shore. Estimated completion date: 2021.

Comment: Oddball (Score 2) 196

by necro81 (#47360277) Attached to: The lightbulb I've most recently acquired ...
The most recent bulb I replaced was the one in my oven. It had been burned out for years, but I decided to replace it when I was in there to replace a heating element. $4.50 for a tiny 40W bulb! I suppose a run-of-the-mill bulb isn't meant for use in a 500F environment, nor necessarily (in the U.S.) to be run from 2-phase power.

Yes, it was an incandescent - this is one situation where energy efficiency in lighting is a rather moot point. Bulbs in refrigerators, on the other hand...

Comment: Value (Score 1) 88

by necro81 (#47358959) Attached to: Winners of First Seized Silk Road Bitcoin Auction Remain Anonymous
If bitcoin was trading at something like $600 beforehand, why would anyone bidding $450 be surprised that they lost out? If these bitcoin boosters are so firm in their belief that bitcoin is as fungible as any other currency, shouldn't they have bid at something like the going rate?

Put differently, if the U.S. was auctioning off a briefcase filled with €100,000, and the exchange rate is presently €1 = $1.37, would anyone be surprised if a hedge fund bidding $1/€ lost out?

Comment: Re:CPR (Score 1) 83

by necro81 (#47313891) Attached to: What Happens If You Have a Heart Attack In Space?

The first chest compression might work a bit, but then you go flying across the room. The shock from hitting the bulkhead might provide another stimulation to the heart, but after that you'd probably just roll up into a ball or something and drift around a bit.

The Hollywood fairy tale of CPR, or a sudden thump to the chest, causing someone's heart to start beating again is just that - a fairy tale. Even today, with CPR knowledge relatively widespread, most people that have a heart attack (i.e., the heart actually stops beating) will die of it. The purpose of CPR is to keep the rest of you - principally your brain - properly oxygenated until definitive medical care (drugs, defibrillator, oxygen, stents, etc) can properly revive you. The notion that astronauts are going to perform CPR on one of their colleagues for several hours, through re-entry, and all the way to a hospital is laughable. Even if the astronaut survives, all that's left would be a turnip that can breathe.

Comment: Re:Kickstarter/Amazon still get their cut (Score 1) 448

by necro81 (#47306103) Attached to: $500k "Energy-Harvesting" Kickstarter Scam Unfolding Right Now

This is why there is zero oversight from Kickstarter/Amazon - they get their 20% cut if the projects gets funded

I gotta make some correction there - it's not a 20% cut. Kickstarter get 5%. Amazon get 3-5% depending on several factors. Granted, it's still a lot of money, and provides a powerful incentive for them to have as many projects funded as possible, but you're overstating it by 2x or more.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"