Jay

Jay

  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    The energy of the arrow is the integral of the draw force over the length of the draw. If the bow is an ideal spring, which is not a terrible assumption for simpler bows, then not much energy is stored...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Now I want to see Legolas fire a Lego-laser....
  • Commented on Default Option
    Personally, I've never considered a job as punitive. Not all jobs are punitive, but some sure are. Heck, one of my bosses could make drinking in a bar after work into an ordeal. The secret is to insist that people...
  • Commented on Default Option
    The likelihood of German-led military action against Greece in the foreseeable future is zero. Did somebody suggest a tremendously unwise military adventure with no possible good outcomes? This looks like a job for Uncle Sam! Seriously, I think military intervention...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Here in the States, there's usually one bin for recyclables. It's fairly common for the recyclables to end up in the landfill with the ordinary trash, just because dealing with them separately is a pain....
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Hint: where do you think members of the establishment come from? Could it be that if you don't pitch in you are perpetually doomed to be an outsider? And that it's actually easier to become part of the scene than...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The problems with heroin are almost entirely not to do with it per se, but with the War On Some Drugs which means that street users end up with horribly adulterated versions. It's those impurities that kill people. It's not...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Actually, the goods that remain scarce aren't only positional goods. At least in the U.S., luxuries are often cheap but necessities like housing and medical care can be insanely expensive. Mostly it seems to be mandatory quality improvements that do...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    My comment was more snarky than serious. For a while, my country considered cryptography to be legally equivalent to military munitions, and illegal for unauthorized sale to foreigners. You may have noticed the complete lack of cryptography outside U.S. borders...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    I think London's video cameras already have that covered....
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    I always thought "Money" was first devised in pre-classical Greece - approx 750 BCE? You may be right, but the Chinese seem to have developed the concept independently. In their version, some early coins were token representations of common barter...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    I thin amckinstry has a point, in that there is a potential for controllers of big data to form a new power center in society, in much the way that the commercial classes rose to share power with the previously...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    This reminds me of the time W said we were going to send men to Mars. People who knew better said, "no, we're really not", and the issue quietly died. In this case, it's the credit card companies who will...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    In most batteries, the anode and cathode materials are solids. The electrolyte carries ions (typically lithium) from one to the other, but it's at a more or less steady state. Replacing the electrolyte doesn't recharge the battery; replacing the anode...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    About an hour of flight time, but probably about two or three hours of waiting for an opening on the runway, flight to where it's needed, waiting for an opening to land, making sure the airframe was ready to go...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    When an aircraft is delayed from takeoff, it's usually because the plane has mechanical trouble. Containerizing the passengers would only make sense if there were spare engine-wing assemblies on hand, so that a nonfunctional assembly could be replaced with a...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    I'd also be really interested to see cycling/recharging data on aluminum batteries. I'd be amazed if they didn't lose serious capacity after only a few charges....
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Lithium ions are light and relatively low-charge, which makes them fast diffusers in a lot of situations where magnesium ions or aluminum ions would tend to get "stuck" (i.e. get immobilized by unwanted side reactions). Zinc is just plain heavy....
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    So you've got liquid hydrogen running under the skin of the aircraft, millimeters from air being pressurized and heated by the forward motion of the airframe. Some high-voltage systems add the occasional spark. I'm not loving this plan....
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    The Lockheed Skunk Works tried to develop a hydrogen-powered spy plane in the 1980s. The project was abandoned as too risky, and their risk tolerance was far greater than commercial air transport. Hydrogen forms a wide range of explosive mixtures...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    3D printers that I've used, which were not hobbyist models, have surface irregularity at about the half-mm level. The reflective properties are a lot like knitted fabric. A skeletal framework and a few rolls of aluminized Mylar film would make...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I think what you're looking at is the difference between oral traditions, which take well to trickery, and movies, which take well to choreographed action. It's the difference between the Thrymskvitha, in which Thor dresses up as a bride to...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    There may be some interest from specialized parties in printing miniature 3D labyrinths, sealed but with internal structure, suitable for containing Minotaur-class exonomes....
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Maybe, but I'd be surprised if a 3D printed game piece cost much less than a complete, mass-produced game....
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    print the mould itself You should really only try this with low-melting fusible alloys. Anyone who pours molten lead into an ABS printed mould is about to get a chemistry lesson. what would be printed in the laundryverse I'm thinking...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Because the mass produced version costs at least two orders of magnitude less, is available quicker (from the purchaser's standpoint), and has higher quality parts. 3D printers are only a reasonable solution for custom parts; if you can get by...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Seconded. I used to have (well, have access to) a mini-CNC mill with a rotary stage (so it could double as a lathe when needed). I've also used 3D printing for prototypes. In my experience, the milling machine was a...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    Around here Tactical Teds pretty much are the public. People watch movies and TV and think that's how real gunfights work. Back when I lived near DC, I remember hearing shots fired from maybe a block away. Five shots over...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    Replace "51% of the electorate" with "the 1%" and you might have a workable theory, though. I remember in Apocalypse Codex that Johnny Prince refers to somebody's equipment as very "Tactical Ted", which seemed like a nice phrase for the...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Very possible, especially if the future's centers of power evolve from corporations....
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