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Comment Re:Wireless charging? NOT POSSIBLE. Breaks Phys la (Score 1) 136

Oops. You are right and I knew that, with a part of my brain that obviously went unused. But yes, already damning case even worse.

If they want to do something constructive, they could make their damn phones waterproof to 2m by default and make it use an inductive charger by default. Building a phone that not only dies if you get a single drop of water NEAR the charging port but then clicks over to void your warranty was evil from the beginning.


Comment Re:Wireless charging? NOT POSSIBLE. Breaks Phys la (Score 5, Informative) 136

t's really weird how people who know NOTHING about PHYSICS assume they can make decisions about technology.

I teach physics. In fact, I teach electrodynamics, off and on. Is it possible to charge a cell phone with wireless technology? Sure. All you need is a big enough tesla coil and a big enough loop and the ability to rectify broadband noise. If you are radiating a couple of hundred watts you can probably pull a watt out of it if you aren't too far away. Of course, you can also cook a hot dog if it isn't too far away.

Now let's consider 802.11 signals. The signal strength is limited to 1 watt by the FCC, but IEEE specs peg it at 23 to 24 dBm (200-250 mW). One whole watt is 30 dBm in decibels(milliwatt), and you can get an effective gain of 6 dBm (x4) or 4 watts with the antenna:

Most wireless receivers operate with signal power (coming into the receiver antenna) in the ballpark of -10 dBm to -100 dBm, where at the low end of that range one is likely down in the noise. That is (translating to power) 100 microwatts down to 10^{-13} watts (10^{-10} milliwatts). If one takes the average cell phone's surface area -- maybe 50 or 60 cm^2 -- and compare it to the radiating solid angle of a transmitter just 50 cm away, it is a very small fraction -- order of 50 to 50^2 or order of 1%. So if one starts with 200 mW and receive it with 100% efficiency around a half meter away, one would be lucky to get more than around 1 mW. USB cell phone wall chargers, OTOH, typically use 1 to 2 W, and still take hours to charge a discharged phone. We could anticipate charging times of order 1000 hours, then, at a mW trickle.

The one place and way this MIGHT work, then, is if one places the phone ON the 802.11 transmitter, just outside of the antenna, close enough that the phone subtends at least 1/10 of its radiation pattern. Assuming a 36 dBm antenna signal strength (4 W), picking up 0.4W, with maybe 0.1 to 0.2 W usable power input after accounting for RMS power and efficiencies, you would be to the point where one might be able to recharge a partially discharged phone in a day.

The big question is then, who would want to do this? A normal 23 dBm transmitter would take weeks to charge the phone even sitting on top of it, and the phone itself would be sucking up the signal you need for your devices to operate. It would still take all day to charge instead of a few hours. It would (probably) cost more than existing "charging pads" that do the same thing and charge your phone wirelessly through induction and an inverter. It would interfere with your 802.11 device and likely reduce its effectiveness at the purpose for which it was intended. It's like "hey, we can build an antenna so that if we put your phone in the microwave oven, it will recharge it really quickly, if we shield the phone and don't mind possibly ruining the microwave". Sure, but why would we, when wall-warts and a cable cost $15, when solar chargers that actually work and don't leach power from 802.11 devices cost less than $100, etc?

The one thing you will NOT be able to do is to recharge your phone from across the room, or keep your phone charged by just sitting in the same room as an 802.11 transmitter. You'd need a phased array of antennae a half-meter wide to get enough directional concentration across a room, and it would make your transmitter pretty much useless as an actual transmitter for 802.11 devices long before that. Even if you pulled ALL the power from a 23 dBm transmitter the numbers just don't make sense for this.

Comment Re:Knee-jerk Reaction (Score 1) 46

Microsoft Office is commercial software, if you're not paying them to keep the software up to date, then what are you paying for?

Open Source Office products, are generally gratis, and are patched in a more responsible manner. AND you have access yourself to patch it ... yourself, unlike ... Microsoft Office.

Comment Re: It's pretty simple (Score 1) 272

Two hours

From start to finish, my dishwasher is under 4 hours (not 2 above). We don't run it during the day. I am not sure how that saves energy/money, running for so long, but that is the theory. The dishwasher I grew up with, did a whole load in under an hour.

The biggest difference between the one I grew up with, and the modern ones is that lack of etching on glasses caused by high pressure jets with food washing that was the result from the ancient dishwasher.

Its so bad, that often I do dishes by hand, because it takes too damn long in the dishwasher. I am sure that is "Energy Star" compliant.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 2) 272

companies put an agreed-on label on their products, they have an incentive to check unreasonable-sounding claims from their competitors as do consumer groups

I have NO problem with this. None. Zip. Zero.

What is NOT needed, is government program to do so. Consumer Reports does a great service, and is way more effective than government would be doing the exact same job. AND they aren't influenced by donations to political campaigns. The problem I have is "Government MUST do it, because nobody else will" mentality.

Comment Re: It's pretty simple (Score 1) 272

General Welfare is nebulous at best. It is used to describe just about anything someone wants, from Energy Star to just about every social welfare program that has become an Entitlement. Not sure how "Promote" becomes "Entitled" in perpetuity.

The odd thing is, we can't even begin to end programs that have long since served their purposes. Energy Star was great idea, but no longer has any meaning. As I pointed out, it has done nothing to curtail the greater energy sucking Vampires (LED clocks) that are plugged into every outlet of my house. Because my toaster needs a clock.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 0) 272

Except that this program actually got companies "in line"

Got "in line" with what? It is just another label people ignore.

The thing of it is, that energy efficiency doesn't matter once you bought the thing that has its "Energy Star " sticker on it. Nobody calculates that the Fridge you bought 20 years ago is actually costing you money, because its energy usage is twice as much as what is available now. The new "Energy Star" stickered Fridge is twice as efficient as your "Energy Star" stickered Fridge in your kitchen. Most people think they are the same sticker, meaning the same thing "energy efficient" and relative efficiency is nothing but "fancy math stuff"

And "Energy Star" has done nothing to reduce the vampire energy loss due to everything having a damn clock in it, and the blue LED lightbulb, slowly sucking power unknown and unseen because, like the waste in federal spending, it is so small as to simply be an "rounding error".

So, I reject the idea that it is "in line" with anything actually useful, like forcing people to get rid of their 2nd (3rd) Fridge sitting in the Garage, from 30 years ago, which still has the "This unit costs $20 year to operate" Energy Star Sticker still on it. Even though it is more like $20 / month now, 30 years later.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 1) 272

I would feel fine, if you could specified exactly what you want to cut. But unlike what you're protesting (you are) isn't actually something defined constitutionally as a function of Federal Government, Defense spending actually is one of the items specifically mentioned ...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity ...

Not that it matters to people anymore.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score -1, Troll) 272

The Energy Star program costs almost nothing. There are zero government employees actually testing products.

Then, almost by definition, it is worthless. Does nothing, cost nothing and yet people are whining about it disappearing. Do you see the problem yet? Do you even begin to realize that the whole thing is a sham / scam feel good "But the evil _______ are cutting this valuable program!" anytime someone wants to remove it?

And there are thousands such programs with little more than nothing useful, but we can't cut them without some bleeding heart trotting out some anecdotal case.

Comment Re:Define Absolutely Necessary (Score 1) 272

Please define absolutely necessary.

Those proposing regulations should be able to explain what is "absolutely necessary" about their regulations, and let people decide for themselves. What we don't need are self important people telling us what is absolutely necessary just to regulate something.

I am really sure that most regulations and such start out with the best of intentions. But what I do know is that every time an edge case comes along, those regulations get expanded, to the point of ridiculousness. After all, we have to shut down that kids lemonade stand because it violates some health code somewhere.

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