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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

Teancum Re:Cold fusion - a hot mess (343 comments)

Not all of them are unwilling to respond to such requests, but those who are willing to show everything that is going on usually don't make fantastic claims either. For them, it is just another interesting physics experiment that may show some additional insights as to how the universe is made. Anybody who tells you that it is anything else is likely a fraud or just wrapped up in conspiracy theories.

The only way they are going to go to a patent clerk is with a functioning device... and there is no point for a patent if it doesn't have net energy production or at least produces more neutrons than a Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor (which is used BTW for some medical therapy and research purposes where a neutron source is needed).

2 days ago
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Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers

Teancum Re:You sound old. (155 comments)

You forgot to tell all us whippersnappers to get the fuck off your lawn, grandpa!

No, that is what I tell the 6 digit UIDs to do.

3 days ago
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Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers

Teancum Re:Natalie Portman nude photos (155 comments)

Only when reading Slashdot on a Tesla Model S.

Yes, that is possible. So is watching porn videos...not that it would be distracting or anything for the driver.

3 days ago
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Tesla Teardown Reveals Driver-facing Electronics Built By iPhone 6 Suppliers

Teancum Re:(some) cars are gadgets now (155 comments)

But you can buy a 100 year old Baker Electric..... with original batteries that still work!

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

Teancum Re:TL;DR (343 comments)

The problem is all of the money that is thrown about with fusion, and the presumed idea that you can use it to figuratively print money with unlimited amounts of energy and (claimed) low capital costs. These are folks who think that the Mr. Fusion device in "Back to the Future" was real and not just some Hollywood prop.

There is a whole bunch of interesting things that could be investigated with cold fusion theories even if it wasn't producing commercially viable levels of energy. Unfortunately, that thirst for the money and inflating numbers or even simply making stuff up to justify their research seems to be the name of the game at the moment.

It is also driven into the hinterlands of science where peer review is discouraged and further taints the topic when total frauds can't be distinguished.

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

Teancum Re:Heavier than air flight is impossible (343 comments)

Not all cold fusion people hide from the neutrons. Some of them even claim detected neutrons, at least in small quantities. Those who are more practical about such issues, however, don't claim to have a commercially viable device and only assert it is a passing curiosity to play with perhaps an interesting physical phenomena to study and a place to sink huge amounts of money with almost nothing in return. Since physics journals won't even take papers on the topic any more, throwing money at the concept won't even produce PhDs as a by-product.

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

Teancum Re:Not the hydrogen -- it is everything else (343 comments)

The hope was to use airships as a viable carrier platform, something that was even experimented with on several occasions. The largest problem was recapturing the airplanes once they were launched though.

The rough weather was definitely a problem for the Akron-class airships, but it was something that could be solved if it was required. Larger airplanes, particularly following the development of jet engines, pretty much killed the need for such vehicles though. Using an airship for launching and recovering jet fighters was also way over the top, and the single propeller bi-planes that could be mounted on these airships were obsolete even before World War II started. Similarly, the jet airplanes were much more maneuverable and flexible than airships even for scouting missions, thus no actual need remained.

The crashes were also a problem, but there were crashes and numerous deaths with other forms of aviation, including sea-based carriers. If anything, the airships were safer, but there are now a dozen carriers used by the U.S. Navy and no airships because the carriers can perform multiple missions and the airships can do none of them. It really is that simple.

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

Teancum Re:Here are your odds (343 comments)

I wonder what the bet would be that there would be no stories about Cold Fusion on Slashdot in the year 2024?

Almost certain that somebody like Andreas Rossi is going to come out of the woodwork and come up with some other perpetual motion machine based upon "cold fusion" between now and then, likely even in the year 2024.

My hope is that somehow either ITAR, the Polywell, or something else finally is successful enough that practical fusion is possible. Unfortunately I'd be willing to offer the same deal of paying me $1 for a commercially viable fusion device if it doesn't exist and I'll pay you $10k if it does. I won't even bother with the "cold" part.... Lockheed-Martin not withstanding.

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

Teancum Re:Cold fusion - a hot mess (343 comments)

It isn't the first time that some scientific experiments were not always reproduced in independent experiments.

One particular early experiment in electricity showed how a magnetically charged needle would move when put in a field caused by a coiled wire and have that needle change orientation. You would think this is a no-brainer and even something taught in junior high schools today.

Unfortunately this experiment was done by researchers who had their labs and lecture rooms oriented so the field was oriented north and south and didn't deflect the needle yet in other places it would work... simply because they weren't taking into consideration the Earth's magnetic field and that the direction of the experiment was thus an important factor.

I could give other examples, but sometimes experiments can't be repeated simply because not all of the variables have been addressed either by the original researcher or by the subsequent follow up experiments.

I could cite examples of Muon-catalyzed fusion (something that has ample experimental evidence) where some of the principles of "cold fusion" can indeed take place. Palladium crystals are also very famous for their absorption of Hydrogen atoms.

Based upon some physical experiments I've seen myself, there seems to be some actual fusion activity taking place in these crystals that could be called "cold fusion", at least in terms of detecting neutrons and some possible secondary detections of that activity. Those who think it could provide a practical source of power on the other hand are folks that I personally think are full of BS and just hyping things up for their own funding. You can even build a more practical "hot fusion" reactor that fits on your desk for a modest amount of money to produce even more verifiable reactions by simply building a Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor, but I digress on that point. The main issue isn't if cold-fusion takes place (it does), but those who claim to have found a way to make it practical for power production.

You can have extremely local high density pressures where it is presumed that somehow two or more Hydrogen atoms are confined in a crystal matrix of multiple other atoms to create a state where fusion has a measurable probability of occurring. That at least is the theory behind how it works. The trick is to be able to open that door into that little pocket, just a few atoms at a time, and then close it up again to make the fusion take place. It could be Buckyballs, Palladium, or some other substance but it is some pretty wicked nanoengineering in order to get this to work. This is also why it is hard to replicate or even to make in the first place.

The problem with major physics journals is that so many frauds and perhaps just misguided fans have submitted papers that they simply don't have time to sift through them to find any real science on the topic any more.... other than perhaps minor tweaks of existing papers that were around before the Pons & Fleishman fiasco.

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Teancum Re:One word: (348 comments)

If Barack Obama was to give a Kennedy-like speech (or rather if he had at the beginning of his first term) that he wanted to commit American industry and energy into establishing a colony on Mars as well as spend some significant political capital towards the endeavor....

I might agree with your assertion that he deserved the award.

The sad fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has put space policy concerns as dead last unless he wants to get the vote of Florida, Texas (especially the Austin area where there is Democratic support), and perhaps Alabama, California, and Washington state due to the huge infrastructure of aerospace industries. This can be demonstrated by the fact that Charles Bolden was very nearly the last major cabinet or deputy secretary level appointment made in his administration and relegates any discussion about space policy strictly upon the chief science adviser of his administration. Even when the Democratic Party controlled the House, the chair of the space subcommittee, Gabrielle Giffords, opposed any initiative coming from the White House (in other words, she didn't fear any sort of political consequences from opposing the president even when he was of the same party).

The only reason why commercial crew and some changes have happened at all is simply because it isn't Bush. In other words, current policy is mostly "If the Bush administration did something, we'll do the opposite".

I get your tongue in cheek response here, and I wish it was so simple. I also wish that Obama cared about this initiative to send people to Mars or elsewhere, but in reality it is just political posturing for some pictures and then to be ignored in the end. I seriously doubt any future historian will even say that Obama did anything about space colonization at all.

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Teancum Re:One word: (348 comments)

Aren't you supposed to earn awards before you receive them?

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Teancum Re:Satellites were Once Considered Crazy (348 comments)

The interesting thing about Sergei Korolev is that he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Siberian gulag prior to his rehabilitation in becoming the "Chief Designer" of one of the Soviet Union's rocket design bureaus. His life story is something that I find very interesting and something to even admire in terms of the adversity he went through on his life's path to designing the N1 Soviet moon rocket.

Werner Von Braun, on the other hand, was an SS officer who employed slave labor to build his projects in Nazi Germany. I'm not really sure that is anything morally equivalent to even Korolev, much less Elon Musk. The Saturn V rocket was certainly a piece of impressive engineering for its own merits, and Von Braun's management skills in terms of running the Huntsville, Alabama engineering teams is also very impressive and something that I think Elon Musk could certainly learn from as well. None the less, there is some pretty awful baggage that came with Von Braun that if it wasn't for his role in establishing the American ICBM program would have likely put him in prison for a life sentence like did happen to other SS officers of his rank that were engaged in lesser war crimes.

3 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Teancum Re:Just impractical (348 comments)

SpaceX and the MCT is at least trying. They claim to be able to send the entire U.S. Senate at once to Mars for permanent relocation. Just convince them that Princess Podkayne of Barsoom is real, and they may even have a reason to go!

3 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Teancum Re:Fusion or fission? (564 comments)

How is that any different than NASA spending $20 billion on developing the Orion and SLS system for putting astronauts into space when SpaceX is able to launch those astronauts @ $20 million per seat?

I could name other good examples, but seeing the federal government spend billions of dollars on redundant and otherwise useless projects is hardly new. The bullet train to nowhere being built in California is another similar project.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Teancum Re:Other things they said couldn't be done... (564 comments)

Now you understand why the karma system was created for Slashdot and other user-driven moderation systems were created like on Reddit or even the "likes" of Facebook. This is hardly the first time complaints about how to regulate trolls has been brought forward, and I have yet to find a reasonable solution to the matter.

Slashdot, at least in the past when Rob Malda and his companions were running the show, at least tried to be respectful and tweak the system when it broke to try and encourage the smart geeks to step forward and post. That obviously couldn't last forever, but it was a major effort, not to mention that Slashdot was relatively obscure and treated as a sort of sweet nugget when you discovered it.

I could say the same thing about Usenet (I used to post there as well) before spambots destroyed it. What also kept Usenet under control was the active enforcement of the non-commercial nature of the internet at the time (not that some people didn't try to push boundaries from time to time). Once the internet went full on commercial, it lost a whole lot of the exclusive geek nature that used to be there as well.... not to mention the invasion by Compuserve and America On-Line that represent the kind of ordinary folks you are complaining about.

5 days ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Teancum Re:So confused (376 comments)

Other than the parts and pieces of chemical weapons factories were found in Iraq. It obviously wasn't in place in active production, but why does that matter?

This BTW is the argument that went in circles a little over a decade ago, where sadly there were a great many people in denial that there were any kind of chemical stockpiles much less factories making this stuff in Iraq. I do remember the discussions, including here on Slashdot, that rehashed this same argument over and over again... even to the point some moderators modded my comments down when I pointed out just as you have that Iraq had pre-existing stockpiles.

This wasn't nearly so obvious in the heat of that very public discussion, with considerable misinformation going on sort of like you were suggesting that Iraq was going to nuke New York City if we didn't invade... although that was never claimed by Bush or for that matter Hillary Clinton when she cast her vote to support the invasion of Iraq. That particular vote in Congress is one that IMHO was done by members of congress who were very well informed not just by intelligence agencies but also by their constituents in terms of what the sentiment was from their states & districts when those votes were cast. Anybody claiming ignorance or that they were fooled when that vote was cast is just being stupid and trying to rewrite their own history.

5 days ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

Teancum Re:Two global problems solved in my lifetime! (564 comments)

What is your solution? Genocide? I presume that you are not going to be the ones "selected for elimination" for "the final solution".

The arrogance of those who go nuts with regards to overpopulation just make me want to puke and try to remove them from the gene pool first as obviously they are the ones who are by far a danger to humanity than what they are preaching about. As long as they are on the margins spouting off nonsense I don't care, but I do care when they get into positions of political power and start to implement their ideas.

Besides, a population crash (a massive drop in human populations) is really a much larger concern right now and something facing both North America and Europe in a huge way.

As for water resources, it is incredibly silly to say that there is any shortage at all for a planet that has so much of it that it is seen as a blue twinkle when seen at a distance due to its abundance. Pure potable water is a bit harder to get, but that is called logistics and allocation of energy resources alone. The Earth can support a population a thousand times what currently exists... perhaps more.

5 days ago
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Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

Teancum Re:So confused (376 comments)

The problem is that chemical weapons are treated as if they were nuclear weapons in terms of diplomatic maneuverings and consequences... or at least were considered as such. In other words, if a country decides to openly use chemical weapons on American soldiers, it is considered "justified" to go ahead and use nuclear weapons in retaliation.

Yes, this is screwed up and seems silly, but it was the chemical weapons that the Bush administration was talking about elsenwhen, not the nuclear or biological weapons.

Iraq also had a nuclear bomb program in the 1980's, but that one got bombed out of existence by Israel when Iraq tried to build a breeder reactor. There certainly wasn't anybody who was serious about finding nuclear weapons in Iraq in the early 2000's decade. The question at hand was with regards to how large and widespread their chemical weapons inventory might be.

5 days ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Teancum Re:More feminist bullshit (716 comments)

I will agree that weev is acting like an asshat and targeting women. I don't think you can make any further generalizations beyond that or try to group him with any specific group unless they are calling themselves the "he-man woman hater's club" (something that came from the Little Rascals movie serials in the 1930's... and even that group was tongue in cheek as they had a girl as a member).

Some guys target women, some women target men, or some jerks simply target "marks" or something else that is weak in their view.

about two weeks ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

Teancum Re:More feminist bullshit (716 comments)

This isn't a gender specific issue though. It is a cyber-bullying issue where both law enforcement and ISPs need to be serious about stamping out this behavior and setting forth explicit policies about harassment and engaging in not just banning those individuals but reaching out with handcuffs and letting them know there are consequences to on-line behavior. Where needed, laws may even need to be enacted because this stuff is getting out of hand.

One group I will acknowledge is at least trying to do the right thing is the Wikimedia Foundation, where explicit policies are in place along with active involvement of the WMF legal counsel to turn over evidence to law enforcement of the country where somebody does this kind of serious death threat. It has happened on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects over the years, and while I have not faced such a threat I would take seriously, I have seen it done on behalf of others.

Facebook on the other hand is a steaming pile of manure and doesn't care what happens to its users. I could name other groups but it is an issue that can and should be addressed in a larger forum.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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'World of Warcraft' candidate for Maine State Senate wins election

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 2 years ago

Teancum writes "Colleen Lachowicz, candidate for the State Senate District 25 of Maine, won the election yesterday against her opponent Thomas Martin. This race was notable in part because her World of Warcraft character that was mentioned earlier on Slashdot, where the Maine Republican Party turned her game playing into a significant issue. It is also notable that she was able to raise a total of $6,300 in campaign contributions from gamers who came to her defense in her successful campaign. The Maine GOP even tried to block these contributions where Lachowicz was cleared of any wrong doing and the investigation was dropped."
Link to Original Source
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Italian Wikipedia Shuts Down for the Day

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 3 years ago

Teancum writes "After a lengthy discussion within the Italian language edition of Wikipedia, the volunteers decided to shut down the Italian language edition of Wikipedia for a day with a protest message addressing a new law passed in Italy which the editors of Wikipedia perceive as being harmful to their participation in the collaborative on-line project. The Wikimedia Foundation (the organization who runs the server farms supporting Wikipedia) issued a statement in support of this action."
Link to Original Source
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RKK Energia confirms private trip to the Moon

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Teancum writes "RKK Energia, the prime contractor for the Russian space program and the company who builds the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, recently confirmed negotiations are underway with space tourism company Space Adventures for a privately financed crewed flight around the Moon. While the offer and purchase of at least one seat has been discussed earlier, this is the first time Energia has confirmed the negotiations and has gone into at least some details in terms of what they are expecting to have happen with this flight and the approximate timeframe for when this flight would take place... sometime in 2016 or 2017."
Link to Original Source
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Congress dumps James Webb Space Telescope

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Teancum writes "On the list of items on the upcoming federal budget for 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives has announced they are going to cancel the continued development of the James Webb Space Telescope. While this debate is certainly still very much a preliminary draft, the road ahead for this project is now very much uncertain. In this time of budget cuts, it seems unlikely that this project is going to survive at this time. It certainly will be an uphill battle for fans of this telescope if they want to keep it alive."
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ARCA's Helen 2 rocket launch successful

Teancum Teancum writes  |  about 4 years ago

Teancum writes "ARCA (Asociaia Român pentru Cosmonautic i Aeronautic or the Romanian Cosmonautics and Aeronautics Association) announced today the successful launch of their Helen 2 rocket on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010. In the official press release they detail how the rocket was launched on a balloon that went to 14 km and then after being fired from that altitude achieved an altitude of 40 km. The parachute system failed to deploy on the payload capsule and instead dropped into the Black Sea where search efforts to find the capsule were abandoned. Payload recovery was not a primary objective of this test. It is also notable that this is the first flight test for a vehicle being made by a Google Lunar X-Prize team and this vehicle series is eventually intended to deliver a payload to the surface of the Moon for that prize competition."
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Haliburton Patents Patent Trolling

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Teancum writes "In an interesting twist on the patent process, Halliburton (yes, the company famous for the contracts in Iraq) has attempted to patent the process of patent trolling. With a flow chart that seems to read like some of the long standing gags here on slashdot about how to a profit from various technology schemes, this apparently is an attempt to try and get the patent system to turn on itself."
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NOAA Requires License for Photos of the Earth

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Teancum writes "In an interesting show of the level of regulations private spacecraft designers have to go through, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has demanded that American participants of the Google Lunar X Prize obtain a license if their spacecraft are "capable of actively or passively sensing the Earth's surface, including bodies of water, from space by making use of the properties of the electromagnetic waves emitted, reflected, or diffracted by the sensed objects". What prompted NOAA to ask for this license came from a visit by the XPrize staff to the NOAA offices in Maryland. What is going to happen when "space tourists" bring their private cameras along for the ride?"
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RFP for NASA-based MMORPG

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Teancum writes "I'm sure that a large number of Slashdot regulars are familiar with the U.S. Army's MMORPG America's Army. It turns out that NASA has submitted a Request for Proposals for what would be a NASA-themed MMORPG of its own. So would you ever want to write your own video game and get paid for it? The deadline for the RfP is February 15th, so get your word processors busy with a proposal of your own. The specific objective of this request is as follows:

"A NASA-based MMO built on a game engine that includes powerful physics capabilities could support accurate in-game experimentation and research. It should simulate real NASA engineering and science missions in a medium that is comfortable and familiar to the majority of students in the United States today. A NASA-based MMO could provide opportunities for students to investigate STEM career paths while participating in engaging game-play. Through a NASA-based MMO, students will gain insight into a wide range of exciting career opportunities and be encouraged to make educational choices that lead them into STEM fields of study and eventually the STEM careers needed to fulfill NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. Learning Technologies is seeking input on how to accomplish those goals."
If there is anybody suited for developing a game like this, I can't imagine a better group than the slashdot crowd to try and come up with some outstanding proposals, and have the technical expertise to pull this off. This certainly doesn't deserve to get thrown onto the traditional dust heap of educational proposals for a half-baked game that nobody will actually play."

Link to Original Source
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Expanded Role of Iridium Satellite Constellation

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Teancum writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting about an expanded role for the next generation of satellites in the telecommunication satellite constellation: Earth observation and weather data. The Group on Earth Observation is offering to partner in this endeavor, some of whose members will be paying for this new "service" of the Iridium network. There will be as many as "70 separate sensors on Iridium satellites, designed to measure everything from temperature changes in the atmosphere to changes in radiation and ozone levels to wave heights and ocean levels." This is a far cry from when there was some concerns about whether there would even be an Iridium constellation and the bankruptcy of the former company that operated this group of satellites. This appears to be a way to add an additional revenue stream to an already profitable company operating with most of its assets in space."
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Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Teancum writes "SpaceX Corporation and Elon Musk have succesfully launched the Falcon I rocket from Kwajalein Atoll today at about 6:00 PM PDT. While there were a few glitches including a launch abort at T+ 0:10 and a few other issues typical to all launches, the rocket was successful in launching and succesfully fired the second stage as well. This is in follow up to yesterday's abort that was due to a glitch moving from ground telemetry link switching over to radio links."

Journals

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Whatever Happened to the Linux DVD-Video Effort?

Teancum Teancum writes  |  more than 10 years ago This is a rejected article submisson, and I'll throw it here simply because I think this is a valid question. There were some very substantial efforts in the past to try and put DVD-Video onto Linux and other Open Source operating systems. While there were clearly some legal issues that the groups needed to deal with, it seems as though these groups have disappeared not with a bang, but with a whimper, and quitely disappeared. While this is true of several post dot-com websites, it seems as though this source of several major stories is not even mirrored, except on The Internet Wayback Machine. Another related website, The Open DVD Group also appears to be off-line. Even more bizzare is that the Open DVD discussion list has turned into all but a spam list. Some of the effort has been redirected with groups like Ogg Theora, that can't explain the total absense from any of the at times very heated discussions on numerous mailing lists and websites that sprang up, particularly during the whole deCSS fiasco. Is this a result of lawyers being successful at driving efforts like this underground or is this simply a case of a topic that ran its course and a general abandonment of this concept by the open source community in general?

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