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Comment Re:Contradictory Explanations (Score 1) 266

Well, that explains it - the little characters on the y-axis labels are 'h', not 'k', so I think you are reading it as three orders of magnitude too large

Doh! I know exactly what happened. That part was small and blurry, and in my initial scan over the graph, before I sorted out what the graph wa showing, it looked like "kp". A corner of my brain thought WTF is "kp", and I kept scanning elsewhere for information. I saw the speeds across the bottom and the thrusts on the left and I recognized the shape of the graph, then saw the HP vs MPH title at the top. I realized the different color lines had to be different engine inputs and I glanced back at that top-right box to confirm it.... that it was listing different HP engine inputs.... and that "k" from "kp" was still lingering in my brain. chuckle. So the blurry "h" was read twice, once as "k" and once as "h". The 250khp to 500khp power figures did strike me as unreasonably large, but I wasn't going to doubt the graph and my attention was absorbed on other issues. Sso without further consideration I just mentally filed it away as presumptively plausible values for a top end (?military?) engine.

the airflow through the propeller is slowed down... in this view the rotor is acting as a turbine, though a very unusual one in which the power is delivered through its thrust bearing, not by torquing the shaft.

Ohhhh noooooo! You didn't...... cry cry cry. LoL.
I follow your reasoning, and it is a kinda cool point, but oh jezus I wish you didn't make that analogy. The prop is NOT spinning as a turbine, and I know that you know that it's not spinning as a turbine, but someone is going to read what you wrote and think that one or both of us said it's a turbine. Newbies already have a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that the prop is a fan. Any whiff of describing it as a turbine feeds badly into the exact "contradictory explanations" that set off alarm bells for you.

[the math/science] It's still at high-school level

I wish. You and I went to significantly above average highschools. The majority of U.S. highschool graduates only have one year of science, and it's generally something very generic like "Earth science" or something. It's only in the last few years that most highschools have moved to a two year science requirement, and even then, what percentage are going to include force-energy physics? I think the most common is a year of Bio, and even there most schools avoid or actively deny Evolution in that class :/

with regard to the exam question explanation. It says, correctly, that their formula implies that a totally inefficient device (alpha = 0) would travel at the wind speed.

What happened there is an entirely arbitrary and semi-self-contradictory cornercase crawling out of the simplifying assumptions. They started with a model of an ideal (frictionless) cart, and then to model a "real" cart they lumped together all losses... including rolling friction.... into one term alpha. They then set alpha to total energy loss... and they were still modeling that alpha on an ideal frictionless cart. They also silently and arbitrarily assumed wind drag *wasn't* zero, despite the opposite parallel assumption of zero rolling resistance. chuckle.

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Comment Re:DCS network should be totally isolated (Score 1) 284

In related news, an oil refinery did not explode today. Police and rescue workers report recovering zero dead bodies thus far from the fully intact structure. It is feared that the final death toll may rise as high as zero. We have no reporters live on the scene, so stay tuned for more breaking coverage as it doesn't happen.

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Comment Re:No longer "on a computer". (Score 1, Insightful) 84

Most of this appears to already appears to happen on my android phone (NFC payment via Google Wallet). So apparently something you can already do is now novel if you do it "on an iPhone"?

When you say "most of this", are you going by the Slashdot summary, or the claims of the patent application? Because the former is going to be about as accurate a summary of the invention as you'd expect.

Comment Invasive (Score 1) 768

The submitter is either an ass, or he's playing a game provoking people to generate additional arguments for the 5th Amendment, perhaps specifically looking to combat the "give us your password or we'll lock you up" crap.

The submission is to full of fail to bother addressing it all, such as complaining that protections for the innocent sometimes make it harder to convict the guilty. Whaaaaaah! Whaaaaah! Whine!

But there's another fundamental reason that no one seems to have mentioned. The government requires a court ordered search warrant before they can intrusively violate the sanctity of your home. But there is something far more sacrosanct than one's home... one's very MIND. I can't think of anything more intrusive than the government wanting to invade your mind to carry out a "search" of your thoughts. There is nothing more sacrosanct than one's mind. Government agents showing up with guns and locking yuo in handcuffs, and screaming at you "Hand over your THOUGHTS and MEMORIES, or we will imprison you by force, if you resist giving us your thoughts and memories we are authorized to use lethal force if necessary to haul you off and imprison you."

if the government grants you immunity, then your answers cannot incriminate you, but since nothing you say will incriminate you, the government can then force you to answer the question or go to jail for contempt of court. (There is actually no literal "right to remain silent"; it's a "right against self-incrimination". So take away the possibility of self-incrimination, and you have to talk.) This is a controversial exception

Yeah. That's bullshit. The government wants to seize, invade, and search your mind, and the government promises not to imprison you if you comply. FUCK THAT.

And if you decline to comply, the government declares it's going to imprison you... and if you resist they can and will use any and all force, up to and including lethal force, to carry out that imprisonment.

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Comment Re:This system is highly illogical. (Score 2) 84

The idea of patenting an idea, material or process in this day and age makes no sense to me. All these things are built on 10.000 generations of improving upon others inventions, and the changes are incremental. What hubris to claim an idea or process as your own?

35 USC 101: Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

If you come up with a super-efficient battery, the fact that "batteries" have been known for centuries doesn't mean that you can't get a patent - you get a patent on your improvement and it doesn't cover the original, old battery.

Comment Re:First to file vs first to invent (Score 1) 84

The patent process has recently changed from "first to invent" to "first to file". What is means is people who can demonstrate they already have invented it and been using it could not be sued. But you should have enough documentation to prove it. Also only the original invention gets this protection, not any enhancements. Others, even if they are aware of the invention being already deployed and in use, even if it is really obvious and non-novel do not get any protection by the claims of prior-art. They need to go to the courts and prove it is obvious and non-novel. But also if it has been in the market for one year, it is prior art, even if the original inventor did not file and some one else files for it after one year. And in software patents, if the feature is in the shipping code/product, even if there is no way for the user to access it, the feature is considered a released product and the one year clock starts ticking. We are adviced to use very strict #ifdef "patent_pending" #endif to protect all the special codes from getting into production builds.

Caveat: This is the engineers understanding of the patent process as explained by the legal department. I won't bet even two cents on it being right.

It's not... The change from first-to-invent to first-to-file only comes up when two people independent file for a patent application on the exact same invention. Previously, there would be a process called an Interference, kind of like a mini-trial, to determine which one of them truly conceived of the idea first. They tended to be around $100k in costs, per side, and take signifiant amounts of time, and one person ended up with nothing. With first-to-file, it's now just whichever one of them filed first wins.

This may seem like a huge change, but there were, on average, 20 interference proceedings per year. 20. Out of more than half a million patent applications.

Comment Re:Hopelessly partisan summary (Score 1) 768

When a political scandal hits, partisan hacks appear to try and obfuscate the issue. This "article" is an example...
When the administration is found to be unlawfully wiretapping every citizen... well, suddenly we see hacks pop up and say "well, you really didn't need that right anyways, right?".

This is why the homeschooler nuts need to be banned, and we need to do more to ensure toddlers aren't eating lead paint chips.
Because seriously, when you can't make it from one to ten without confusing four and five, one or the other is at fault.

It'd be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Ummm.... yeah. That.

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