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Comment A little dubious. (Score 3, Interesting) 230

I'm a little dubious, on general principles. Plus my optometrist just suggested this new "blue-blocker" option for my glasses, it stops blue-laser light dead, a very impressive demonstration, but it paradoxically doesn't remove any blue from what you're looking at. Must be a very fine-tuned filter that just blocks one wavelength of blue. He talked on and on about the effects of blue light on sleep. Quite a hard-sell. And they want $140 for that option. Sounds like blue snake-oil to me.

Comment Have they figured out how........ (Score 1) 128

Have they figured out how:

(1) To make a tube that sags just a few millimeters between pylons? Hint: A 1-inch thick steel tube sags several inches between those pylons.

(2) How to get people into space suits? Even the Air Force doesn't let pilots, even in wartime, sit in a plane at 70,000 feet without a space suit.

(3) How to get a common-carrier license, for a vehicle and tube without emergency exits?

Those are all pretty hard show-stoppers, and they seem to be working on everything but.

Comment How ridiculous (Score 5, Informative) 394

Did anybody actually *think* before writing this article?

A cable box drawing "500 watts" would be cherry-red hot.

The rating of "500 watts" on the back is for cable boxes that have an accessory AC outlet, and the rating means that you can plug in a TV or whatnot rated at up to 500 watts. The cable box itself draws a whole lot less, like 15 watts, even less for the newer ones.

Comment It's all about the money (Score 1) 324

Economics. Burying is going to cost a lot. The ISPs would have to borrow money now to pay the diggers, and hope that they can recoup the cost in the long run. The up-front cost is like $2000 per city lot. The ISPs are unlikely to foot the bill, even though interest rates are at record lows.

Comment Ridiculous (Score 1, Informative) 521

A semi-ridiculous idea.

It takes 200 million BTU equivalent of eletcricity to refine a ton of aluminum.

That's about the equivalent of 1,800 gallons of gasoline.

If using aluminum for the truck body ups the efficiency by 5 MPG, that would save 200 gallons for every 100,000 miles driven.

So you're still about 1,300 gallons in the hole.

A bad idea.

Comment Sounds like purest balderdash (Score 1) 45

The physics of antennas is pretty darn basic electrodynamics. You need a quarter to half a wavelength to make an efficient antenna. Scientists and engineers have tried for well over a century to overcome that limitation, with not much success. It's pretty basic-- if you want to set up an EM field, you need to be able to have charges separated by a goodly amount relative to the wavelength. The emitting material is irrelevant, in fact you need a really good conductor as you make the antenna shorter, as it's radiation resistance goes way down with length. Gaphene not only does not seem to have any advantage, it's high resistance is a big disadvantage. Sounds super highly fishy.

Comment Really, really, really ridiculous. (Score 1) 176

Cmon, converting electric power to radio frequency AC is at best 80% efficient, and coupling it maybe 50% at best, and converting it back to DC 80% again. I get 32% best efficiency and those are for the most optimum situation. No way this will ever fly, economically. And since people are scared of their water meters e-field of a fraction of a watt, how are they going to feel about megawatts? Not gonna fly, or even crawl.

Comment Don't (Score 0) 310

Don't even think of "helping".

I have tried doing just that, at least 3 times. It's never appreciated by mgmt. They either already know, or have been actively avoiding learning about these problems, or are unwilling to spend money on it. They will either frown, deny your facts, not follow up on your suggestions, or just plain fire you for not being a team player. Been there, tried to "help", got canned twice, now I don't squawk about the SQL injection issues, phishing, spam, etc, etc, etc.

Just start looking for another job, with luck, at a less clueless place.

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