* Posts by Mermaid Dick

14 posts • joined 31 Jan 2011

WD My Passport Studio 1TB external hard drive

Mermaid Dick
FAIL

USB 2.0?

Enough said.

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Engineers seek funds for world’s largest Tesla coil

Mermaid Dick
Thumb Up

Wardenclyffe #2

more than 100 years after Tesla's.

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Apple boots MacBook Air wannabes out of slim case fabs

Mermaid Dick
Thumb Down

In my experience with plastics those 3D printed forms become porous. With hydrophilic materials like Al or glass they will take absorb water into the structure. Spill a Coke on it and see for yourself. Porous Al will probably not be very resistant against corrosion either. And if you varnish it to close the pores, sooner or later the varnish will peel off.

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Man sues boss for 'condemning him to eternal damnation'

Mermaid Dick
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616

It's a Mazda from the 1970s. Don't ask me how I know.

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Future wars will be over water not fuel, warns Intel sage

Mermaid Dick
Coat

Medical diagnosis by computer

Most real diseases are easily to diagnose. Computer-generated diagnostics may seem to be a godsend to doctors. Unlike real doctors the computer program does not need to shy away from diagnosing hypochondria.

The trouble starts when the patient goes to a real doctor for a second opinion.

(Mine is the one with the DSM-IV in the pocket)

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Boffins invent miracle pill that counteracts effects of booze

Mermaid Dick
Pirate

Serial killer tool

Perfect for booze drinking competitions against real enemies.

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Trust me, I'm a computer: Watson takes on health care challenge

Mermaid Dick
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Blah

What's it for? Broken legs? Pneumonia? Rashes? Sore throat? Renal failure? No doubt doctors are stupid, but most of a diagnosis can be had from just asking the patient plus a few routine tests.

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Anti-PowerPoint Party vows end to death by slides

Mermaid Dick
Facepalm

A political party??

Chalk and blackboard are nice for small audiences. If someone in the audience is rude, I can always throw the sponge at him.

Flipover for 200+ people? I don't believe it. Not even in Switzerland.

Referendum next, I guess.

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BOFH: Ready for the Judgment Day

Mermaid Dick
Black Helicopters

Positive

Who would dare to give a negative? And who would need to? (It's a long time since I dared to participate in one of those 360 degrees surveys).

Nice piece. Loved it.

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Broadband leads to drug abuse, say US boffins

Mermaid Dick
Black Helicopters

You forget

that drug testing is a big business in itself. Screening kits for drugs of abuse are a rising market. Confirmation testing by mass spectrometry isn't bad either (the IT angle).

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Nokia floats out a collection of cool concepts

Mermaid Dick
Coat

Japanese politician's phone

"Election time"

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Latest boffinry: Feeding TNT to sheep

Mermaid Dick

Nitroreductases

It's simple biochemistry. Anaerobic bacteria can use NO2-residues as electron acceptors, transforming them into amines -NH2. Aerobic bacteria use oxygen for that purpose. Antibacterials like metronidazole (Flagyl) are reduced by a similar process and kill the bacteria in the process. I don't know whether TNT is antibacterial. Might be worth a try.

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Microsoft, Nokia, and MeeGo: Are they all doomed?

Mermaid Dick
FAIL

Flog the dead horses

but there will not be any running until the maggots have taken over.

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'Air laser' tech could sniff bombs, probe atmos from afar

Mermaid Dick
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Jamming

The obvious countermeasure against such a gadget - if it ever makes it out of the lab - would be to jam it with the real thing. If there is a detectable signal from a buried bomb, it would be easy to make a thin dilution of the same explosive in some suitable solvent and then drip it slowly from a car driving the same route.

This would overload the bomb detector with substance carrying the same signature as the hidden bomb. Detecting a low signal against a high and fluctuating background would be hard indeed. Then give all roads the same marking, whether there are bombs there or not. So there will be false alarms all the time.

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