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Comment heat (Score 1) 397

While there may be no mass escaping from this device, it absolutely is consuming energy. Where does that go?

In most of the mundane pursuits we understand, it goes to producing heat. In physics, one fairly valid viewpoint is that heat is motion, in that a "hotter" result has more motion activity going on at the particle level.

One of the reasons that perpetual motion is impossible is that within a closed system, we can't make anything 100% efficient. Typically the lost percentage wanders off in some fairly easily identifiable thermal guise.

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all energy expended does useful work.

But that's not really the problem here. the problem is that motion in space, as we understand it, depends entirely on imparting momentum to something. The only way we have practically been able to do that is to send stuff out one end of a spacecraft, which causes, due to the equal and opposite rule of newtonian physics, the spacecraft to go in the opposite direction.

But it's not really about "where does the energy go." This thing is being sold as "doesn't send stuff out one end of spacecraft" and "imparts momentum." The physics folks are looking at that claim very dubiously, because so far, there's no generally accepted science that could account for such a thing.

If it turns out to be a real effect (and I'm not saying it will), then we're going to have some new science to learn.

Comment science fiction, fantasy, etc (Score 2) 397

...science fiction I read when I was young ... violates laws of physics big-time.

Then you were reading (very likely mislabeled) fantasy. The whole point of science fiction is to embed a story within the context of plausible science. Nothing wrong with fantasy, but it isn't, and never has been, science fiction.

Between the "speculative fiction" rendering down of that specific distinction, and the marketing-driven labeling of fantasy as science fiction, and the tendency of bookstores for decades to lump fantasy and science fiction together, your experience is the rule, rather than the exception.

But there's still science fiction being written. The trick is finding it.

Comment Re:Why should Ireland get the money? (Score 1) 526

Yeah, it's an odd situation where the British government are demanding companies pay tax in the UK but not supporting some of the international changes (not just in the EU) that would help achieve that.

On the flipside now that Corrupt Cunt Cameron has gone we might get some movement that meets the needs of the country and not his cronies.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 1) 221

That's fine, if the goal for the language is to whither. 10 years ago, I'd have recommended learning C and giving C++ a wide berth. I started new projects written in C. Now I'd recommend avoiding C for anything where there is another option. If a project is already written in C, I'd consider using C++ for new code and gradually migrating rest.

If the goal is to provide a good portable systems programming language then C is no longer succeeding.

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