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Comment: Re:It won't work - sure about that? (Score 1, Interesting) 368

by ridgecritter (#45883745) Attached to: Australian Team Working On Engines Without Piston Rings

I wouldn't dismiss this right away.

If the physical features on the piston provide resistance to gas flow along the piston/cylinder annulus similar to that provided by piston rings, they wouldn't need a close-fitting piston - therefore no expansion coefficient headaches. It may also be that the hydrodynamics tend to center the piston in the cylinder, which would reduce contact events and scuffing wear.

You could probably get a feasibility go/no check with a few weeks' worth of modeling. The resonance interactions in the piston grooves when the combustion pressure front reaches them would be very interesting to see.

Comment: any tax consequences of seizure? (Score 2) 462

If my laptop or other device is seized at the border (and not returned), do I get to claim this as a casualty loss during the tax year? What about any machine-locked software on the laptop that I would have to repurchase? If my e-device is returned and acts funny, can I deduct the cost of a forensic exam to look for dropped-in malware? Gotta be a way to monetize this idiocy in my favor.

Comment: Re:Let Me Get This Straight (Score 1) 204

by ridgecritter (#45693511) Attached to: Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

I believe what's meant by "sovereign" here is "sovereign immunity", by which the US government (including the NSA as a Federal entity) is immune from lawsuits unless it consents to be sued.

YMMV under the Federal Tort Claims Act and/or the Tucker Act, but basically, the NSA enjoys the Federal government's umbrella immunity from suit which, under limited circumstances, may be rebutted or overcome.

Comment: Re:Capitalism Democracy? (Score 1) 204

by ridgecritter (#45693487) Attached to: Investor Lawsuit Blames NSA For $12B Loss In IBM Value

"The court that issues these decisions (FISC) is not the court that decides what is Constitutional..."

Yes, but since "The court's judges are appointed solely by the Supreme Court Chief Justice without confirmation or oversight by the U.S. Congress."(*), the court that *does* determine constitutionality isn't exactly unbiased towards FISC.

I don't know of another circumstance in which a court's judges are appointed by a single judge of the only court that could review the appointees' decisions. As well as those appointments being made with no oversight whatever.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Court

Comment: Re:Slight change in title, if I may (Score 5, Insightful) 326

by ridgecritter (#45629857) Attached to: Nobody Builds Reactors For Fun Anymore

Completely agree. As a child, I learned a good deal about chemistry and explosives through DIY activities. Those childhood lessons (nobody got hurt) have gotten me some good jobs at major aerospace companies and at a space startup. A kid doing today what I did back when would be instantly jailed and put on the terr'ist list forever. Hell, I fear what would happen if DHS were to find my oxy/acetylene welding set in my home shop. Our increasingly Draconian restrictions are fencing off ever more sources of inspiration and creativity.

Comment: Re:Gallium = Sticky (Score 3, Informative) 115

by ridgecritter (#45620771) Attached to: First Images of a Heart Injected With Liquid Metal

It is that. I've seen it stick to Teflon and graphite components. It coats glass and silicon wafers with a nice mirror surface.

Lowest melting nontoxic liquid metal I've heard of is Galinstan, a eutectic alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, melts around -19C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galinstan

Comment: Re:Power abhors a vacuum. (Score 2) 182

by ridgecritter (#45184535) Attached to: Building an Opt-In Society

Yeah. One wonders what dreams these people have that are being blocked by the government.

Mr. Musk is doing good work in establishing commercial access to space and giving us a new choice in cars. SpaceX has a $1+Billion ISS supply contract from NASA (Government), and Tesla accepted and paid back a roughly half-billion dollar loan *from the government* that was extremely helpful in establishing the company's manufacturing operations. Seems to me that in Mr. Musk's case, the government has been a facilitator of his dreams.

I'm less familiar with Messrs. Thiel and Page's histories, but it would not surprise me to learn that government made a direct contribution to each of their businesses at some point along the way. It certainly contributed indirectly through providing infrastructure like commercial laws and the courts to enforce them, facilitating an educated and healthy population from which they could recruit workers, and on and on.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

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