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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Sqr(twg) Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (340 comments)

The most likely answer to this riddle is that all of the so called researchers are complicit.

Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

The researchers did make a measurement that reveals the hidden circuit. They just didn't realize it themselves. (They measured currents in order to estimate heat loss in the cables.) Details here.

2 days ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Sqr(twg) Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (340 comments)

The latest report on Rossi's device actually contains clear evidence that the experimental set-up has been tampered with. On page 14 it says:

  "Measurements performed during the dummy run with the PCE and ammeter clamps allowed us to measure an average current, for each of the three C_1 cables, of I_1 = 19.7A, and, for each C_2 cable, a current of I_1/2 = I_2 = 9.85 A."

Here, I_1 and I_2 are the line and phase currents of a set of delta-connected resistive load inside the "reactor". The ratio between these currents should therefore be sqrt(3) (approximately 1.73). Since the measured ratio is 2, the curcuit diagram cannot correspond to reality. The reactor probably contains two separate sets of star-connected resistors instead. By feeding current to the second set out of phase with the first, like I suggested in a previous slashdot comment, the current clamps are fooled into giving a too low measurement.

This document (in Swedish) explains it all in detail.

The fact that these measurements were performed and reported also implies that the authors of the report were not part of the fraud. Rossi simply fooled them all.

2 days ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Sqr(twg) Re:He tried patenting it... (972 comments)

Of course the wiring diagram doesn't show any doubled cables. My point is that one of the cables might contain two conductors without the authors being aware of it.

There is no logical explanation for the six cables going into the "reactor". Three cables would be enough for a star configuration. If you add the requirement that the resistors must be connected in a delta configuration, then four cables would be enough.

The only reason I can think of for the extra cables is that they are part of a hidden circuit.

3 days ago
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Tiny Wireless Device Offers Tor Anonymity

Sqr(twg) Re:I wonder how much we can trust it (68 comments)

The three-letter agencies don't need to insert a backdoor. All they need to do is operate a bunch of Tor exit nodes.

As soon as you use Tor for everyday activities you are effectively not anonymous anymore.

Example: You set up the WiFi router and start doing your secret stuff. The bad guys have no idea who's behind the connection.
Then the jogging app on your iPhone connects over the same Tor tunnel. It opens an unencrypted connection to a "share my run" server, and now the bad guys know your email address, weight, and the GPS coordinates of the route you ran this morning. They don't even have to tap your or the server's connection. They get the information directly from their own exit node. (I.e. easier than if you had not been running Tor. Anyone can do this. Not just the three-letter agencies.)

Want anonymity? Install the Tor Browser. Then only use it for the anonymous stuff. Never visit any of the sites you ordinarily frequent.

about a week ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Sqr(twg) Re:He tried patenting it... (972 comments)

Here's how I think it was done:

Looking at Figure 4 in the report, we see that input power (current) was measured independently in two places. PCE 830 A meaures current going in to the control system, and PCE 830 B measures current going from the control system to the E-Cat. (Thease mesurements are in agreement, and both show less than 1 kW going in while other measurements show more than 2 kW of heat being generated.)

The placements both PCE 830 units are strange. PCE 830 A doesn't sit directly on the 380 V input from the lab, but instead sits between the control system and a "switch" (dentoted "SW"). Similarly, PCE 830 B doesn't sit directly on the three cables going into the E-Cat. Instead it sits between the control system and "connection boxes" (denoted "C").

Anybody who has used a current clamp knows that you must measure around a single conductor. If you measure around two conductors you get the sum, which can be zero even when a large amount of power is tranferred through the cable. So if any of the wires going from the control system to the "switch" contains two conductors instead of just one, then it is possible to feed current through without it regestering on PCE 830 A. Similarly, if any of the cables going from the control system to a "connection box" contains two conductors, it is possible to send power through without it registering on PCE 830 B. (The cables that come after the connection boxes would be much harder to fake, because they connect to high-temperature Inconel conductors at the end.)

So my guess is that the "control system" contains two separate units. One works exactly as advertised. The other is powered using an extra conductor in one of the cables to the "switch". Its ouput corrent is similarly hidden using extra conductors in the wires coning to the connection boxes.

This second unit is designed to only output power under specific circumstances. (Which is why Rossi himself was controling the experiment.) For example, I found it strange that the temperature of the "dummy" reactor was always much lower than the temperature of the "working" reactor. Maybe that is the trigger.

about a week ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Sqr(twg) Re:He tried patenting it... (972 comments)

NONE of those explain the change in isotope species described in the article.

As I recall, an earlier version of the device also produced nickel, but in the naturally occuring isotope mix. The fact that it didn't proudce the correct isotope was the main objection that the Swedish researchers had then. Now it suddenly produces Ni62, so apparently, this guy has not only discovered one, but two different cold fusion reactions...

At this point, the test for fraud is to determine if the calculated energy released is congruent with the change in the mass energy potential of the sample before and after the experiment.

That change in mass is far too small to measure. The random part of the change in mass due to sublimation (atoms leaving the surface when the device is hot) is much larger than the change in mass-energy.

about a week ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Sqr(twg) Re:What happens to that heat? (423 comments)

I did not chose the years. This was a quick copy-paste from Wikipedia. I suppose they picked the intervals so that the number of observations in each bin would be about 20, which implies a standard deviation uncertainty of about 4.5 hurricanes in each interval.

But since you didn't like that table, here's one just for you:

1851–1900 13 0.26
1901–1950 29 0.58
1951–2000 46 0.92

(Each of the above intervals is 50 years, not 49. I haven't found any statistics on the correlation between being a climate change skeptic and being unable to do simple math, but I'm sure it would be interesting.)

Now, if you really wanted to raise a valid objection, you would point out that weather satellites did not exist until the 1960:s, and that the number of severe hurricanes might have been underestimated prior to that.

about two weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Sqr(twg) Re:What happens to that heat? (423 comments)

Also, these so-called "scientists" claim that there will be "winter" a few months from now, but the weather today is actually warmer than it was yesterday, so I'm scratching my head...

about two weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Sqr(twg) Re:What happens to that heat? (423 comments)

And just around the same time we've had a recent minimum of severe hurricanes.

By which you mean that we had no category five hurricane last year? That's just a consequence of the fact that there is less than one per year on average, and the number must be integer. (If you do the count per decade, then 2000-2009 had the highest number (8) of category five hurricanes in recorded history, but this number is still too small to draw any statistically significant conclusions from.)

There is more information in the data on category four hurricanes. I found this table of category 4 hurricane statistics on wikipedia

Period Number Number per year
1851–1900 13 0.26
1901–1950 29 0.58
1951–1975 22 0.88
1976–2000 24 0.96
2001–2012 19 1.6

about two weeks ago
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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Sqr(twg) Re:What happens to that heat? (423 comments)

Evaporation increases exponentially with temperature, so even with a lot of extra heat going into the oceans, the change in surface temperature will not be that large. Since water vapor is lighter than air, the extra evaporation will also increase air circulation above the sea, cooling it even further.

So, don't expect to notice any difference in tempearture when you go swiming. The only change that you might notice is melting polar caps, and a massive increase in tropical hurricanes.
 

about two weeks ago
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FCC To Rule On "Paid Prioritization" Deals By Internet Service Providers

Sqr(twg) Re:So. (126 comments)

"Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" (i.e. Network Neutrality) has 283,467 comments.

And here's the reason for that.

about three weeks ago
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World's Smallest 3G Module Will Connect Everything To the Internet

Sqr(twg) Re:Fuck them sideways with a rusty chainsaw! (118 comments)

There will always be an insurance group for the privacy-concious and the really bad drivers.

This is one of the uses of tracking technology that I'd actually agree with, if it is opt in, and it is very clear what information you are giving up, and how much you are getting paid for it.

(The only problem is that most people have already given up all of their privacy whith their smartphones auto-posting everything they do to myspacebook, so they will accept this too cheaply. Wich means that it won't be worth it to anyone who values his privacy a tiny bit.)

about three weeks ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Sqr(twg) Re:Really? (517 comments)

That would require spending 5-10 times as much money on batteries to support the solar cells as you spent on the cells themselves.

In most places it would be cheaper to pump water up into a dam somewhere and then use a turbine to recover the electricity when needed, but that would also at least triple the cost of electricity.

The currently cheapest solution (where there's not enough hydro-power) is to have fossil fuel plants running as "spinning reserve". And that's the way it's going to be until prices of fossil fuels tipple, or we tax them to achieve that effect.

about three weeks ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Sqr(twg) Re:Really? (517 comments)

The difference being that nobody needed buggy whips anymore. People here in Germany still need electricity at night.

Because of the way the law is written, solar cell owners are allowed to use the grid as a battery. Their electricity consumption/production is not billed instantly but averaged, so that someone with enough excess solar power during the day doesn't have to pay anything for grid power during the night.

The coal, gas and nuclear plants have to vary their production to take up the slack when wind and solar go down, which is expensive, and it becomes more expensive the more renewables there are. At some points it becomes unprofitable to build, and this is where we are now.

about three weeks ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Sqr(twg) Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

OK.

Your assertion that it is "slightly more likely that a firearm will be used for defense rather than for committing a crime" is still wrong. Probably by a factor 10 or so.

about a month ago
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High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

Sqr(twg) Re:Great one more fail (600 comments)

I don't know how you arrived at that figure. The number that I find in the report that you link to is 47 140 valid defensive uses per year. (235 700 in 5 years.)

The number of times a firearm is used in commiting a crime is not in that report. What I could find was:
Number of murders involving a fierarm, according to the FBI: about 12 000 per year
Number of robberies involving a fierarm, according to the FBI: about 170 000 per year
I didn't bother looking up the numbers for things like manslaughter and aggrevated assault, but I'm sure it's a lot.

about a month ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

Sqr(twg) Re:Temptation (542 comments)

I think you misunderstood me. When I said "the people" I did not mean the Ugandan people. I have nothing against the the Ugandan people, (nor Christians or any other demographic).

By "people" I meant "persons" i.e. the relatively few individuals (American and British as well as Ugandan) who actively advocated for a death penalty for homosexuality for the stated reason that it says so in their Bible.

Yes, the vast majority of Christians condemn these extremists just as the vast majority of Muslims condemn theirs, but the "my team is better than theirs because look what they did" argument does not hold. All large population groups have the same fraction of assholes.

about a month and a half ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

Sqr(twg) Re:Temptation (542 comments)

The law is still there. The fact that it was ruled invalid by the court does not make the people who fought to put it in place (some of whom were American) any less despicable.

My point, though, is that there are unevolved people of every religious (and non-religious) orientation. Saying that one religion is more evolved than another just because the worst of the fundamentalists have less political power is a non sequitur.

about a month and a half ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

Sqr(twg) Re:Temptation (542 comments)

Yeah. Christians (in Uganda) only have death penalty for homosexuality. That is soo much more evolved.

about a month and a half ago
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Point-and-Shoot: TrackingPoint's New Linux-Controlled AR-15s

Sqr(twg) Re:Now do that with an AA-12 (219 comments)

will be the new level of warfare.

Yes, and not in a good way.

It used to be the case that you needed experienced, diciplined soldiers to make snipers. If you tried to fight a proxy war by arming insurgents the way the U.S. armed the Mujahideen (al Quaeda), or the way Russia is arming Ukranian separatists, then you got a pretty inefficient force that could only win by war of attrition.

These new weapons will make it much easier for anyone with money (like the IS) to recruit people out of the slums and quickly turn them into effective fighting units.

Also it will increase the efficiency of child soliders, and therfore lead to more recruitment.

about 2 months ago

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