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Comment Re:Maybe the silliest consequence? (Score 1) 121

Lasers and light are indeed made from electromagnetic fields, and do radiate away from the transmission medium (the fiber). This effect is called evanescent wave coupling.

One fiber with photons travelling through it placed next to an empty fiber will generate photonic energy in the empty fiber that matches the phase/frequency/modulation of the original signal. The length of the section of the fibers next to each other determines the percentage of energy transferred. This is how optical couplers/splitters work. See here for more info on this process.


The $54 Million Laptop 502

Stanislav_J writes "It happens to the best of us: you drop off your laptop at the local branch of some Super Mega Electronics McStore, go to pick it up, and they can't find it. Lost, gone, kaput — probably sucked into a black hole and now breeding with lost airline luggage. It would make any of us mad, but Raelyn Campbell of Washington, D.C. isn't just mad — she's $54 million mad. That's how much she is asking from Best Buy in a lawsuit that seeks 'fair compensation for replacement of the $1,100 computer and extended warranty, plus expenses related to identity theft protection.' Best Buy claims that Ms. Campbell was offered and collected $1,110.35 as well as a $500 gift card for her inconvenience. (I guess that extra 35 cents wasn't enough to sway her.) Her blog claims that Geek Squad employees spent three months telling her different stories about where her laptop might be before finally acknowledging that it had been lost. For those who follow economic trends, this means that a laptop's worth is roughly equivalent to that of a pair of pants."

Disney Takes Another Stab at the House of the Future 277

Disney has announced that they are going to take another stab at showing us the "House of the Future". The 5000-square-foot house will appear normal from the outside but will house gadgets like lights and thermostats that automatically adjust when someone enters the room and countertops that can identify food placed on it and suggest recipes. "Millions of Disneyland visitors lined up a half-century ago to catch a glimpse of the future: a home teeming with mind-blowing gadgets such as handsfree phones, wall-sized televisions, plastic chairs, and electric razors and toothbrushes. [...] The $15 million home is a collaboration of The Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., software maker LifeWare and homebuilder Taylor Morrison. Visitors will experience the look of tomorrow by watching Disney actors playing a family of four preparing for a trip to China."

Writers Strike Officially Over 499

CNN is reporting that the 100-day Hollywood writers walkout is now officially over. The new contract managed to snag two of the three major points the Writers Guild was looking for. The writers will now have "jurisdiction" for content created especially for new media (Internet, cell phones, etc) and will get paid for the reuse of content on new media when the studios get paid. "Leslie Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp., told The Associated Press, 'At the end of the day, everybody won. It was a fair deal and one that the companies can live with, and it recognizes the large contribution that writers have made to the industry. [...] It's unclear how soon new episodes of scripted programs will start appearing, because production won't begin until scripts are completed, the AP reported. It will take at least four weeks for producers to get the first post-strike episodes of comedies back on the air; dramas will take six to eight weeks, the AP said.'"

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