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* Posts by bonkers

128 posts • joined 13 Dec 2011

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My TIGHT PANTS made my HUGE iPHONE go all BENDY!

bonkers

Re: Spot on, ElReg.

The BBC note that apart from being easily bent, previous iphones also produced an unwanted "purple flare effect".

I thought it was only dogs that ended up looking like their owners.

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

bonkers

Re: Everything is an innuendo

Even innuendo is an innuendo, to an Italian.

How can I put this...? Innuendo?

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

bonkers

Re: ... so the same as the Electrolux Trilobite then...

Dyson Airblade hand-dryer

Sounds better in a Glaswegian accent

"how's the earbleed technology getting on"

seriously I've never heard anything quite as loud, especially in the high frequencies, its easy for the hands to operate as whistles well into the 10's of kHz. It sounds to me a lot more damaging than the live performance SPL limits.

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TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

bonkers

Re: Transmutations are already here.

you should bother to do the "math" - look at my post earlier, the "8MeV per Oxygen atom" sure does add up, its the cost in energy terms of breaking it back down into protons.

It's worse even than my first calcualtions - there are 16 nucleons in Oxygen, so its 128MeV per atom - and if you do break it down in to Hydrogen, what do you do with all the neutrons?

Somebody's dropped a minus sign....

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bonkers

Oxygen transmuting to Hydrogen

This is worse than filing the corners off 50p's to get 10p's.

The binding energy per nucleon in Oxygen is 8MeV, for Hydrogen it is zero.

So, per gram of oxygen, or of hydrogen, you need 8M x e x Ea = 7.68 x 10^11 Joules

- or about 200kWh per gram, in money terms (at 10p per unit) £21,000.

The economics are, take 200kG of water plus 4 billion quid and you have 200kg of Hydrogen to sell.

Simples.

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Five Totally Believable Things Car Makers Must Do To Thwart Hackers

bonkers

It's serious Jim...

I've had a fair bit to do with "infotainment" systems. The vehicle manufacturers don't really get hackability, even simple measures like reducing the attack surface are rejected in favour of functionality. One project demanded compatibility with over 60 varieties of photo/AV/container formats. Another response is simply "what can they do with it anyway", as though it would stop at mere annoyance. If there is a way to hack into the system there will be ways to monetise it, we just haven't seen them yet, though I could suggest ransomware, bogus service demands, premium phone services, contagion into connected smartphones, just as a kick-off.

As Charlie Cox would say, it's a nightmare in a bubble-car.

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F1 racing ace Michael Schumacher's medical records were pinched

bonkers

In other news...

The entire UK population's stolen "medical records" are being offered for sale.‬ The management team of the rebranded National Health and Information Service has confirmed the theft of files and warned that neither the purchase nor publication of the documents would provoke a criminal complaint or a lawsuit.

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

bonkers

Re: Hilarious

Ahh, the wonders of policy-based evidence.

We've seen the evidence now, let's guess what the incoming policy to support it might have been..??

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One EURO PATENT COURT ruling for all from 'early 2015'

bonkers

Nooooo !!

1) Herd all the European Patent Law into one stadium

2) Make it drink the cool-aid

3) Bring the EU and US systems "into line"

4) Increase the patent lifetime to 75 years

Makes 30 Trillion look like chickenshit.

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Tesla's TOP SECRET gigafactories: Lithium to power world's vehicles? Let's do the sums

bonkers
Happy

The commentard "bonkers"

Thanks you kindly for another authoritative piece.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

bonkers

Re: Great Article.

I love this stuff, long been interested in the weirdo elements, Europium, the Erbium family, working out what these powdery grey metals are actually "for" .

Where else would you read that Hafnium is a by-product of Zirconium production?

Question though - what' s the Lithium situation really? Here seems to be one we might run short of. Can we have an numerate update Tim?

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Chap rebuilds BBC Micro in JavaScript

bonkers

thanks for that - I wasn't aware of Beebem, sounds simpler for what I want.

Have you all seen the Java simulation of the 6502 core? - it really is "right down to the metal" - you can see the instructions being decoded on the metal lines.

http://www.visual6502.org/JSSim/

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

bonkers

why do DJ's use twitter?

so deaf people can hate them as well

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Cuffing darknet-dwelling cyberscum is tricky. We'll 'disrupt' crims instead, warns top cop

bonkers

Re: Edward Snowden?

Let us not forget the inherent security flaws that were built-in to the said protocols to facilitate access for the g-men, like the NSA "random number generator" - Dual_EC_DRBG.

Nor the fact that compromised encryption has been the only sort allowed for many years, and it is only a matter of time before the exploits become known first to the crims, then to the public cryptology community. (look at SAT solvers..)

~The fundamental issue centres around what citizens are permitted to do, and thus the effort needed to police them, and thus the degree of compromise built into their privacy.

We are not allowed to interfere with the governments and corporations through any sort of meaningful protest, instead we must watch the globalisation of, for instance, medicine (astra-zeneca-smithkline-beecham-etc-etc), the unbelievable abuse that is PFI, and too much more.

Legitimate contempt and protest must be suppressed or big money gets upset.

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Shocking new low for SanDisk – 15nm flash chips rolling out its fabs

bonkers

Re: too far?

If you worry about whether these new devices will work or not, don't...

We are already some way beyond even remote feasibility - the last lot used "a handful" of electrons (reckoned to be about 80) on the floating gate capacitance to store information for 40 years.

The new ones count these electrons into tens and give you three bits of information per cell.

.. and I thought I was bonkers...

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

bonkers

I don't get it..

I'm wondering again how code gets written without bounds-checking, on "message length" parameters. It's not the first time is it?

Is the leaked data simply the junk that was in de-assigned memory? It looks kind of important stuff you might not want to write over - let alone send over the internet.

perhaps as a general rule, apart from the obvious bounds checking, one should clear all memory as it becomes (re-)assigned? - or better on de-assignment.

Perhaps generally these under-run or their over-run brethren should be detected and escalated as a general principle.

just suggesting, perhaps we could be a bit less crap at everything?

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Cisco kicks off $300k Internet of Things security competition

bonkers

Re: Give us your ideas, too

correction, a maximum of six winners shall be awarded a peanut, the rest of yours idea are all belong to us.

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SkyMapper turns up oldest star ever found

bonkers

Re: Timescale

Yes its a weird one this, I had to go and check the numbers - I was going to suggest that "time-of-flight" was where the other billions of years had gone, that's the normal answer to the very-old-stars-observed question.

Not in this case however, this star is only a few thousand light-years away, right next door on these billion light-year scales.

I wonder if it must be from an unusually sparse region of the universe that has not seen much if any star formation. Perhaps only relatively recently (in the last billion years) did this one have the mass to collapse into a star, accretion can be very slow if the primordial gas is thin enough. Is it a dinosaur born late?

The paper covers some more interesting theories, suggesting that all its neighbours must have self-immolated into black holes carrying all their iron etc with them - though normally even in the "full collapse" scenario a load of metals get spewed into space. The "gentle supernova" they propose sounds unlikely, even if it does then solve the Lithium problem.

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UK spooks STILL won't release Bletchley Park secrets 70 years on

bonkers
Happy

Re: That book is excellent...

thanks, I just ordered it on your recommendation.

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Dusty old supernova could reveal answer to life, the universe and EVERYTHING

bonkers

Re: A question for the astronomers

That's exactly what does happen, the "metallicity" of first-generation stars is zero - there are no elements heavier than Helium (astronomers consider oxygen and carbon to be metals).

The cinders from the first stars and a fresh supply of interstellar hydrogen make the second generation - and make more of them (there needs to be gain..) - and so on...

If you go several generations down this path then you get enough "metal"-rich junk to form planets etc.

I can see why the fundamentalists prefer their version of things... :-)

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Post-BT crypto guru Schneier gets new gig at startup

bonkers
Thumb Up

I'll second that.

Sounds a good idea to move on from BT, their adverts suck...

Thanks again for all your clarity and good lick with the new venture.

sorry, luck...

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Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking

bonkers

Re: re: that's when Betty is on most channels...

You're quite right, sorry.

Keith and Brenda it is.

FWIW, Charles and Diana were Brian and Cheryl.

Its funny how the nicknames fit them all much better...

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bonkers

Re: re: that's when Betty is on most channels...

Liz?

what's wrong with "Brenda" ?

Phil and Brenda are well known to readers of Private Eye?

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Cambs prof scoops $3m Fundamental Physics prize

bonkers

error - don't publish

I'v e hit the send corrections button a few times but the comment box still looks like it will be a comment not a correction...

the failed physicist, Yuri Milner, is the one who set up the prize, not either of this years winners...

regds

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Super-stealth FLYING CAR prototype seen outside GOOGLE HQ

bonkers

redundancy

That's a plus point, the multiple motors can suffer failure much like a RAID drive. Obviously you would need to double-up (or more) the battery and control systems, but that doesn't add much cost, the batteries are still the same volume/power, just split across 3 or 4 supplies. Making it safe with 75% or even 66% of lift is reasonable. I'll bet they're Switched Reluctance motors, huge power and speed and only one moving part, a funny-shaped lump of iron. Absolute bastards to control though, as I'm finding out...

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RETRO-GASM: The Fuze electronics kit for the Raspberry Pi

bonkers
Happy

Re: Are you sure?

I don't know what aspect of H+S your audiologist was referring to, here are a couple of facts:

H+S understands all about safe voltages, the SELV (safety extra low voltage) specification allows voltages up to 70V absolute max to be put onto touchable connectors, this is known to be safe.

Supplying mains power adapters to members of the public requires that they are EC marked, which in turn requires they are tested against a proof voltage of several kV, they conform to EMC requirements, they don't overheat and (i think) they are fused or in some way protected against overdissipation.

PAT testing is used in addition to this if the parts are to be used at a given premises - a school or factory or office - and checks that each of the relevant type-approved items is not faulty.

I suspect it is this requirement that stops them offering you your power supply. If I were them I would ensure it uses a standard micro-USB then it can be your responsibility to source and use the adapter.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

bonkers

Re: I'm Curious

I don't get it, the FM band is a worldwide simple standard. They can't easily sell it off because it would still want to be used for sporting events etc. In any case the bandwidth is small, only 20MHz all-told, and the useability is not good, you are reckoned to be able to use 1/15th for big transmitters (i.e. national networks), the figure for little low-power users cannot easily get below 1/4 due to the 4-colour theorem.

So, in all, maybe 5MHz of bandwidth in any given place. Get Tim Worstall onto it, he will agree that there is no exploitable resource here.

The DAB bandwidth, on the other hand is 174MHz-239MHz, or 65MHz, over three times as much. We currently use just seven of the available 40 bands, in London, broadcasting about 80 stations. I can't see us ever needing much more than this, if you really can't get enough christian thrash metal genre, then get a computer, or a life.

So, they could sell the DAB band, or half of it, for more money, it doesn't need such a long antenna, half what the FM band needs, but I can't think of a use for the bandwidth, given that there is "white space" radio spectrum coming along that allows all users to use what they like within reason and license-free. There will be no market at all for odd bits and pieces of RF-bandwidth when this comes in.

Don't bash DAB, it is a really good system, its hugely efficient in BW terms, allowing a national network using only one frequency and greatly reduced megawatts, it just needs more time. Also, sure, really don't abolish FM, there is no need to and no benefit forthcoming from it.

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Atomic clocks come to your wrist

bonkers

Re: 'Cersium' eh?

Cersium? Cesium?

What's wrong with Caesium? - from the Latin word "caesius" meaning "sky blue"

Come on Reg, your a British site, and proud of it, adjacent vowels are not errors.

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WET SPOT found on MARS: NASA rover says 'high percentage'

bonkers

QMS

Me too,

mass-spectrometers no longer have a huge magnet and a curved vacuum path, look up "quadrupole mass spectrometer" - no that's not four of them, its a clever oscillating field where only the particles that are neither too heavy nor too light (for their charge) are the only ones that stay on the beam line. They're about the size of a KT66 thermionic valve (tube).

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UK investor throws £14.8m at firm that makes UNFORGEABLE 2-cent labels

bonkers

Re: Impossible to forge?

Thanks for the offer, I will say what I like about the "smartness" of bankers, didn't they just knock on the door asking for 1.4 Trillion?

We all know how easy it is for investors to buy into a bubble, it can even be good policy if you're out early.

However, the list of failed products with "amateur crypto" technology is most alarming, look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_decryption for starters. Then have a look at MiFare, Megamos, all of the audio and video copyright protection schemes, the entire antivirus/PC security nightmare - then tell me that we're probably wrong to dismiss this latest breakthrough in analogue security.

,

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bonkers

Re: Impossible to forge?

Totally agree Phil, no need even to buy a worker, the authorisation can be simply monitored, decoded and replicated. Without Crypto i don't think there is any chance - even with, it is vulnerable because there is "one big secret" that is buried in every tag and every reader.

Good luck to 'em, if they're putting their money into technology that mere commentards know will be broken, I hope there's more to it than this.

BTW, have you all seen how clever holograms are these days - with a "reader film" that you view the hologram through, and see some secret text/image. Keeping this updated with new datestamped reader films is a simpler system.

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Dopey dope-growing dope smoked out by own dope dope-growing vid

bonkers
Happy

Re: Please stop with the "Growing plants" thing

Opium isn't a plant.

Opium is an opiate derived from a plant.

Opium is the natural dried resin collected much like natural rubber from slicing the seed-heads of papaver somiferens.

The principal opiate in it is morphine. Opium is not an opiate, it contains opiates.

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Ha ha, Osborne, these Gov 2.0 web wranglers have wiped out UK debt

bonkers

really?

I'm no expert I have to say, but I'm pretty sure we read the intended font most of the time. There seem to be many ways to achieve this - with of course a fall-back to a substitute font if needed. there is much more detail here: http://blog.themeforest.net/tutorials/how-to-achieve-cross-browser-font-face-support/

The browser chooses the intended font, unless it can't. - Not really "it's" choice then, is it?

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Hooker in Dudley man's car 'just helping to buy tomatoes'

bonkers
Thumb Up

consenting adults in private

Absolutely, why should the state be concerned unless there are overriding public risk issues.

,

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Boffins: Dolphins call each other NAMES. Not RUDE ones!

bonkers
Coat

to see if the named fish responded?

The dolphin is not a fish.

It's an insect.

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Mobe SIM crypto hijack threatens millions: Here's HOW IT WORKS

bonkers
Trollface

don't feed the bumpkins

Numpty - you're reading the article aloud to Mr A.C. Moron, nowhere did it mention access to hardware, nor any discussion of the benefits in living in shacks or cities.

On topic, the malformed SMS forces the SIM into a clever known-plaintext attack which only needs one rainbow table.- length equal to the DES56 signature, I think its a lot less than 2^^56 which would be beyond rainbow tables at 10^^17 entries. Does anyone know the signature length?

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The facts on Trident 'cuts': What the Lib Dems want is disarmament

bonkers
Mushroom

CND twitbook liberals masquerading as loyal commentards

Much as I appreciate Lewis's regular articles on hopeless decisions and moronic waste within the MOD, it's a bit naughty to get the retaliation in first regarding commentard backlash. I thought we didn't go in for 'ad hominem' arguments, web2.0 indeed...?

Much of what is discussed here is not really vote-winner politics, the Murdochs and Daily Mails seem to be able to define what that is, I prefer informed rational argument.

On that note, what would we actually do if someone lets off a nuke? Do we respond with Trident? Ever? Really? - I suspect the paperwork alone would kill us.

I say lets put the cold war behind us, big nukes got us through it but it was at a level of risk we should now be able to avoid. The thought of spending 25 billion on Trident scares me, we'd have nothing left to give the bankers, a much closer and more malevolent threat than rogue states.

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What's an enterprise SSD sale?

bonkers

They have expertise and market share, to ignore them as a player would distort the picture.

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Modern-day Frankenstein invents CURE for BEHEADING

bonkers

Blackadder had a word on this...

Queenie: Oh come now Lady Farrow, crying isn't going to help your husband now.

Nursie: No! Ointment! That's what you need when your head's been cut off! That's what I gave your sister Mary when they done her. "There, there" I said, "you'll soon grow a new one.

Queenie: Shut up Nursie

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'The Apprentice' is a load of old codswallop, says biz prof

bonkers

Re: How would the professor know though?

well put. Its an outrage that Sugar puts himself forward as some sort of computer guru, his philosophy always was simply beating the shit out of suppliers - for most of them it was their last deal. His affordable PC breakthrough was a fire sale of ill-conceived non-compatible PC things.

That said, I do find his judgement good, he sees through most or all of the cuntestants pretty easily.

As others bemoan, something with the germ of an original idea and some real progression would be so much better than all the vapid marketing bollocks.

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Apple threatens ANOTHER Samsung patent lawsuit

bonkers
Thumb Up

Re: Another one?

"legal beagles" - what a fantastic strapline.

For those that don't have a tradition of fox hunting - the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable according to Oscar Wilde, beagles are the repulsive pack dogs that live in compounds eating the discarded carcasses of stillborn farm animals.

Once in a while, when their masters decide, they get to tear a real live functioning animal to shreds.

Not much like patent lawyers then...

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The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype

bonkers
Unhappy

Re: interlacing

Downvoted twice - any reason?

I can't see why, its a balanced presentation of the case for and against interlacing. Interlacing is an easy existing method of increasing framerate at the expense of "specmanship" resolution, but there are issues with exactly what information it holds that make it difficult to know how best to upscale or interpolate the video.

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bonkers
Thumb Up

interlacing

The article makes a good case for higher framerates and I agree totally. However we already have a solution that will halve the pixel count and double the framerate - its our old friend interlacing - a 1080i (note i not p) screen is what we need, within the existing frameworks, then move to higher non-interlaced framerates.

Interlacing is a really good method, only if the frames are shot at 48/50/60fps, like with a video camera - its rubbish if the source is 24fps film since the second field is simply delivered late. Interlacing with say 2 x 540 line (1080i) conveniently bridges the dilemna of motion and detail since on static shots its indistinguishable from 1080p.

It is justifiably unpopular in the codec world because you don't know if the two fields are part of a single exposed image or if they are two exposures, there is no easy way to benefit from the second field - shot at a different time - when trying to convert from i to p. . Also converting 1080p to 1080i looks blurry and is a waste of time since the temporal information is missing.

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Charlie Miller to tell Vegas punters how to hack your car

bonkers
Boffin

read on

The OBD~II connector is a good starting point to probe the in-car system, that bit of it that you are attacking, directly. There are several papers that document how to move such an attack onto a corrupted music file, and then on to a fully wireless exploit through inevitable flaws in Bluetooth stacks. The killer is that once you can send CAN packets around you can entirely reprogram most things in the car - assuming you can get through the "hobbyist" grade security.

Try googling and reading the document titled: cars-usenixsec2011.pdf

"We modified a WMA audio file such that, when burned onto a CD, plays perfectly on a PC but sends arbitrary CAN packets of our choosing when played by our car’s media player".

They went on from there to a number of wireless attacks, the time-to-break depends on a number of factors, mentioned in the paper and hey, not a single hammer was used in the whole exercise.

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BT boss QUITS telecoms giant for front-bench gov job

bonkers
Thumb Down

Re: Unelected

Absolutely, loathsome scum the lot of them.

Are we going to get carpet-bombed with shite advertising concepts for trade and investment now?

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Going under the knife? Avoid Fridays. Trust us, we asked a doctor

bonkers
Happy

black wednesday

Fridays are bad but death rates rise 6% in one day on Black Wednesday - in June, when the new crop of junior doctors are unleashed. Still, you can't moan too much, it is free after all.

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COLD FUSION is BACK with 'anomalous heat' claim

bonkers
Thumb Up

Re: Reputations...

Why did you get downvoted for well-researched unbiased input?

Its easy to say that these people are idiots, they clearly aren't - though it is possible they have been duped.

I'm rather hoping they haven't.

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bonkers
Thumb Up

Re: Sure..

Thanks for that - glad to hear its in use now, took a while though didn't it?

Where's all the cheap Titanium then? Surely anything is better than the existing Ti process. I shall look it up,

thanks again.

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bonkers

Re: Has anyone actually read the paper?

> Nonsense. There's nothing like enough energy there to rule out chemical processes.

have a look at my earlier comment and calculations. The energy density in the reaction vessel is beyond Hydrogen.

It cannot be chemical but it might be electrical with a sneak wire.

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bonkers
Unhappy

Re: "It's presumably converting its mass into energy."

small addendum, sorry... the chamber volume was 20mm bore, so my worst case figure is now 263 MJ/L

Still 1.8 times better than the best though.

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