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Comment Re:The worst is yet to come (Score 1) 294

I think that there should be a law that every school must have an operating, maintained cloud chamber a high traffic area. Nothing beats the stupid out of people's heads better, I'd hope, than seeing for themselves just a very tiny fraction of the junk that's passing right through us all the time. With a little plaque that says: this stuff can actually harm you and give you cancer. As you'll see, your cellphone has no visible effect. Move on.

Comment Re:Garden cress (Score 1) 294

Never mind that when you do such experiments, you remove all unimportant factors. This means that you sure as heck shouldn't be using off-the-shelf equipment. You get a radio test set to generate a WiFi test pattern of some sort, run it through an amplifier, and dump it into a radio-tight environmentally controlled enclosure with the plants. You then vary the power over 5-6 orders of magnitude to see if it really matters. That'd be experimental method 101. And all of this stuff could be had reasonably off eBay, probably for under $1k shipped if you're willing to wait a couple of months. But you need to fucking know what you're doing. No, a bunch of 9th graders and their clueless teacher probably won't cut it.

Comment Re:"Just let them have this one" (Score 1) 294

The problem I often see with people is that their emotions tend to take over rational thinking. This behavior should be shunned and held in disdain, much like farting at the dinner table. Losing your child is a thoroughly devastating experience. Since we're human, we shouldn't act like dogs who hump at the street corner because they feel like it. Just because we feel like "doing something" after a loss of a child doesn't mean we are free to go full retard.

Comment Re:Wouldn't someone think of the children? (Score 1) 294

BULLSHIT. The frequency was chosen for effectiveness of generation (a very simple magnetron) and shielding, and for regulatory compliance - you don't want an oven that leaks in the frequencies that are useful for sensitive radio communications, for example. There are no sharp absorption peaks in water below 3THz. Over the range of 3THz down to 0.3GHz, the absorption decreases smoothly by two orders of magnitude. It'd downright boring. There is a slight dielectric loss peak (less than an order of magnitude's worth!) in pure water that is sharply dependent on temperature and thus is useless in heating scenarios. This is, again, only for pure water. If the water is bound, like it often is in the tissues, the frequency of this dielectric absorption peak goes down by orders of magnitude. So, let's stop with the myths.

Comment Re:There's a question about that at Skeptics (Score 1) 294

Cells have what is called a "Calcium gate" and that resonates depending on what signals it gets from the cell nucleus and this impacts what types of ionized molecules are let through

Protip: science fiction is, you know, fiction. Just because you've read it in a science fiction text doesn't make it real beyond those pages.

Comment Re:Only if there's an absorption band. (Score 1) 294

Are you a radio astronomer or something? Because yeah, what you say is true on astronomic scale, it's also true in gases, hey, we're no stars no gases, right?

Radio waves don't just get absorbed when passing by some matter, they have to be of the right energy.

For real-life complex organic matter, the "right energy" is not just a few absorption peaks, it's a rather broadband spectrum. It'd be rather cool if you could use some meat from your freezer as narrowband RF filters. Nature doesn't work that way.

Comment Re:Magstripe-and-PIN (Score 1) 213

You didn't seriously expect there to be a parallel decimal interface between the terminal and the chip on the card, did you? That stuff was en vogue in instrumentation in the 70s, when you could buy digital voltmeters of various kinds with parallel digital output, sometimes binary, sometimes BCD, sometimes even 1-of-10 decimal. Chip cards use a standardized serial protocol.

Comment Re:Time to ask the bank a new debit card and P (Score 1) 213

Information about debit cards are NOT shared with anyone outside of the issuing bank.

LOLWUT? Who cares about the cards, they are meaningless by themselves, the information about underlying accounts (whether credit, checking, etc.) is what counts, and it is most certainly shared! By changing the amount of average monthly balance on the checking account I can select what kind of spam I get via USPS. Seriously. The running joke around here is that if you keep the average above $10K, you are bougie since all your firestarter paper comes by mail!

Comment Re:New Suit (Score 2) 70

You would be surprised at how much changes in the vacuum environment in an orbit around a star. Suddenly the whole tether needs to be insulated, lest whatever working fluid you carry freezes in the shadow or boils in the sunlight. The insulation needs to survive flexing in those temperature extremes. Earthbound liquid ocean environment is quite thermally benign - it is all within the confines of liquid salty water. Almost none of the non-metallic materials used in this 100+ year old pre-SCUBA technology would withstand the environment of space for any usable length of time.

Comment Re:Maximum precision? (Score 1) 289

From your linked page:

Most current applications and databases have to use Binary Coded Decimal (BCD) to perform calculations with money

This is the problem. BCD is bad at cache utilization (it wastes 17% memory) and bad at utilizing the instruction set of the processor (unless the processor natively supports BCD). If you want to see how to do extended precision integer math, quite efficiently, using nothing more than platform-native ints and with no memory inefficiencies, look no further than this C implementation

Adding a decimal floating point datatype to the CPU may well bring no performance gains at all, since most CPUs are constrained by the memory bandwidth. Good code can do non-decimal extended precision arithmetic faster than the memory can keep up, so those IBM-peddled data types help with nothing.

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The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.