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Comment Re: Babinet called, wants his principleback. (Score 1) 86

I think they must have skipped the chapter in their basic handbook of optics called Babinet's principle. Because they just re-invented Babinet focusing.

By the way, an insightful thing to ponder here is, what happens to the light rays that were aiming for the center? (yes you can use a ray-optic basis set and still have interferrence). Well they were not in the beam! In a plane wave basis set, you would say, well all the plane waves with that K-vector were missing. Thus it's really simple to figure out how to create a dark spot. Just take an axiconically focused beam. Delete all parts of the axicon which focus in the dark region and replace them with any part of the axicon that focuses outside the dark region. Bam. that's it.

Did this myself a decade ago when I wanted arrays of dark spots in focused light. Why would I want that? I was trying to get the same effect as self fillamentation. but without non-linear effects in the media. That way I could create long arrays of ionized spots in the air, and use this to direct lighting beams.

Recently the military created a lightning weapon based on this.

But axicons and babinets prininciple this has been known for centuries.

ray-optic basis set
plane wave basis set
plane waves with that K-vector
axiconically focused beam
parts of the axicon
self fillamentation
long arrays of ionized spots in the air

You're just spewing well formed techno-babble, aren't you? That would have sounded right at home coming out of Wesley Crusher's mouth back in the day.

Comment Re:Bingo. (Score 1) 509

The constitution is not a very plain language document. Consider the second amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Are gun owners required to be in the militia? Is the State free to draft gun owners?

And don't get me started on copyrights and patents.

Comment Re:Feds, pick one or the other! (Score 1) 258

Choice one: BitCoins are a legitimate currency and are recognized as such by the U.S. government. What he's doing isn't illegal unless they are.

If they are charging him, then they are admitting that BitCons are a legitimate currency. Bad for him, good for the rest of us?

Choice two: Physical BitCoins are novelties sort of like the commemorative coins minted by Franklin Mint. What he's doing isn't illegal unless what Franklin Mint does is illegal.

The Franklin mint may have already gone through all the necessary legal loopholes, since it was a functional mint at one point.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable enough. (Score 1) 230

The big risk of a diversion campaign like that is if the imaginary technology turns out to be real... then we've just inspired our enemies to perfect it, while we've wasted our time.

Like I said: "Common sense says no, but there's always a nagging little doubt in the back of the mind to drive the necessary paranoia."

Comment Re:We called them (Score 1) 225

Spring of 1994, I bought a new computer that came with a bootleg copy (full version) of DOOM. I soon bought copies of every edition I could lay hands on. From that bootleg they sold a dozen full retail games to me (including DOOM3, even tho I didn't like it enough to play it). Goes to show what being worth the money does for ya.

Comment Re:User interface design (Score 1) 180

I'm wondering why it's not a function of tire slip vs distance traveled. If your GPS says you traveled further than your tires rotated, you're on a slippery surface and need to change driving tactics. Notify once, not constantly. Or turn on a dash icon. (Or leave me the hell alone; I learned to drive under such conditions and I can figure it out myself, thanks very much.)

As to cold being a factor... ice at -40 is not slippery; it can be downright sticky.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable enough. (Score 1) 230

Did you ever wonder why we never hear about Seal Teams 1-5? Why do we only ever hear about Seal Team 6's exploits?

Turns out it's exactly the sort of thing you're talking about: a ploy to make the Soviets think the Americans had more going on than they did by skipping straight to 6.

Why not attribute the exploits to all "six" teams, rather than having a conspicuous gap from 1 to 5?

Comment Re:Seems reasonable enough. (Score 4, Interesting) 230

What if the entire MKULTRA project was a scam meant to cause the USSR to waste resources to close this imaginary weapons gap? A few "top secret" documents leaked here; a few rumours there; Common sense says no, but there's always a nagging little doubt in the back of the mind to drive the necessary paranoia. It's perfect.

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