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Comment But will it really work? (Score 1) 537

I work at an EMI laboratory with four shielded rooms. I can tell you that it is *extremely* difficult to effectively shield an enclosure from radio waves, especially in the gigahertz range (where cell phone frequencies lie). FM radio signals, with much larger wavelengths (and thus far easier to block), can penetrate the room if we get a small crack in one corner. Also, any wires that penetrate the walls can carry the signals via conduction - think power lines, cable TV, POTS phone lines, etc. This is a noble effort, but the chances of it being highly effective are low.

Comment Correction: Longwave, not Shortwave (Score 1) 291

WWVB operates on a frequency of 60 kHz in the longwave band. Its primary purpose is to provide a digital radio signal for clock synchronization. Its sister stations WWV (in Colorado) and WWVH (in Hawaii) operate on 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz in the shortwave band, and serve primarily as frequency standards, and to provide time and other information in audio format.

Comment Most bizarre musical infringement? (Score 1) 386

A formidable contender for the title of "most bizarre case of musical infringement" has got to be the case brought by the John Cage Trust against Mike Batt for the latter's "A One Minute Silence", ostensibly an infringement of Cage's " 4'33" " (consisting of 4 minutes 33 seconds of silence). The suit was settled out-of-court for a six-figure sum (edition.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/23/uk.silence)

Comment Utopia? (Score 1) 233

I was (and remain) a huge fan of ST:TOS. That said, i fail to see the series as depicting a utopia. Despite the international (and outernational) cast, the setting is one of typical European-style exploration/colonization, with armed crews aboard heavily armed ships imposing their will on those subjects who's culture is deemed to be inferior (on numerous occasions, Kirk acted against the Prime Directive that purportedly protected against this). Hostility (typically promulgated by nefarious aliens, but also arising from unintended actions, primitive Vulcan rights, etc.) is depicted far more often than peaceful coexistence (presumably to advance compelling story lines).

Admittedly, the series lacked the dystopian elements that disturbingly have predominated in science fiction movies for the past 50 years (have always wondered about that - presumably ushered in by the cold-war nuclear era?)...

Comment Notable achievement, but hardly revolutionary (Score 2, Interesting) 51

With all due respect to the accomplishment, recall that transcontinental telegraphs had been operating for over half a century prior to this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Telegraph), and the transcontinental telephone was strictly a wealthy person's luxury at the time, with a 3-minute call costing USD $20.70 at the time (worth something on the order of USD $400 in today's currency)...

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