Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, July 29, 2011
“the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality,”
former Iran President Hashemi Rafsanjani
It is Wednesday morning and Niven and Barnes are coming, so this will mostly be a placeholder; but we have important announcements. My partners are waiting so I must go.
Microsoft’s new ‘privacy’ policy.
“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to”, for example, “protect their customers” or “enforce the terms governing the use of the services”.
It seems pretty clear that people who harbor controversial views should probably give Windows 10 a pass. Else the Social Justice Warriors who’re rife in large corporations like Microsoft will report them to the relevant authorities for public shaming and attitude adjustment.
And of course, there’s no risk that this information would ever be compromised by, say, hackers and sold to the highest bidder. None whatsoever.
How comfortable are you now writing your new novel manuscript on Windows 10, sir?
Not very, but fortunately I don’t have anything on Windows 10 machines that isn’t open. It is disturbing. All your thoughts are belong to me…
(clip from UK Telegraph story)
…this week Martin Tajmar, a professor and chair for Space Systems at Dresden University of Technology in Germany also showed that it produces thrust.
The drive is capable of producing thrust several thousand times greater than a standard photon rocket and could get to Mars within 70 days or Pluto within 18 months. A trip to Alpha Centauri, which would take tens of thousands of years to reach right now, could be reached in just 100 years.
“Our test campaign cannot confirm or refute the claims of the EM Drive but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far,” said Prof Tajmar in an interview.
“Nevertheless, we do observe thrust close to the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena.”
The point that I haven’t seen reported on, is that this is a first iteration of the design. A proof of concept. Think of the meager capabilities of the first working gasoline engine, and then compare that to the engine under the hood of your car… or the diesel engines that power heavy construction equipment. Compare the Wright Flyer to a Boeing 787.
There is tremendous opportunity for improvement here. We may be standing on the verge of a change so fundamental, as to be difficult to fully comprehend.
This is from a less volatile source than previous stories were, but we still don’t know that “It works.” Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Obviously this would be a game changer if it’s real. We can hope. If real it’s the key to the solar system.
EM drive yet again
Yet another article about the EM drive.
This time, they’re basically saying they’ve thought really hard about what side effects might be causing false results, but after eliminating those effects they still see thrust being generated. The final speculation is that there is an unknown interaction with subatomic particles that constantly transfer state from matter to energy and back again.
So basically we have a drive that relies on the aether, but this time its a practical and measurable effect of a theory about mass-energy equivalency that we didn’t really think was useful except or visible except on the event horizon of a black hole (Hawking radiation). At least that’s what it sounds like they’re talking about, from the perspective of someone who read some of Hawking’s easier books 20 yrs. ago. Still, wouldn’t that be neat, creating an energy or propulsion source out of hawking radiation without needing a captive black hole, and all you need is a bit of electricity to make it work?
I agree that if you reject relativity and embrace an aether theory, Newtonian mechanics can be saved; all the crucial experiments against aether I know of can be explained by the local aether field being entailed by planetary mass and a finite speed of propagation of gravity (probably but not absolutely necessarily the speed of light, which might in fact vary with local gravity field strength); even with variable speed of light the equations appear to be simpler than relativity tensors. If the EM drive actually produces thrust it is the most important physics discovery of the 21st – and likely of the 20th centuries. But that is still a big if. We have reason to do more confirming experiments now; and if there really is thrust, the results are profound – so profound that we cannot assume that thrust without more evidence. Apparently the next tests are not prohibitively expensive.
Petr Beckmann would not have been astonished by the EM drive; Robert Forward would have been, but not overwhelmed. But it is not the Relativity universe any longer, and much of what is studied in advanced theoretical physics would be proved wrong.
But we are still entitled to doubts about the thrust.
Make no mistake: if the EM works, the world changes.
Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later
Almost everyone who opposes the deal President Obama has struck with Iran hotly contests his relentless insistence that the only alternative to it is war. No, they claim, there is another alternative, and that is “a better deal.”
To which Mr. Obama responds that Iran would never agree to the terms his critics imagine could be imposed. These terms would include the toughening rather than the lifting of sanctions; “anytime, anywhere” nuclear-plant inspections instead of the easily evaded ones to which he has agreed; the elimination rather than the freezing of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure; and the corresponding elimination of the “sunset” clause that leaves Iran free after 10 years to build as many nuclear weapons as it wishes.
Since I too consider Mr. Obama’s deal a calamity, I would be happy to add my voice to the critical chorus. Indeed, I agree wholeheartedly with the critics that, far from “cutting off any pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon,” as he claims, the deal actually offers Tehran not one but two paths to acquiring the bomb. Iran can either cheat or simply wait for the sunset clause to kick in, while proceeding more or less legally to prepare for that glorious day. <snip>
It is all worth reading; and the logic is powerful. Mr. Obama assuages Israeli dismay with the irrelevant coming release of Pollard. There is nothing about the rationality of irrationality.
Lion Murderer Walt Palmer Has Done More For Conservation Than You Have.
[Warning: ‘adult language’.]
What you call adult language I would call childish, but it is certainly needlessly scatological; that is mostly in the comments, of course.
I don’t type well any longer, so I am conserving that energy for fiction this week; but this presents the free trade argument for animal preservation fairly well.
I have never been much of a large animal hunter, but in WWII I certainly supplemented the family meat pot with rabbits unfortunate enough to encounter me and my gazehound Spitz dog. Farms had enough butter, eggs, milk, and cheese, but meat was scarce because we needed the butter, eggs, milk, and cheese… The arguments against a free market in endangered animals are generally emotional; the results have universally been an increase in the number of endangered individuals. Tearing the ivory keys off old pianos does little to preserve living elephants, although hunting them down benefits the bureaucrats who are paid to do it. It may be an unpleasant thought, but a free market in Ivory would likely result in more elephants, and more mercenaries paid to guard them. It would also generate quite disturbing stories, many true, and a lot of adult language. The issues are seldom discussed rationally; hence the scatology.
This was priceless
Pretty good, check it out about 40 seconds in
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.