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Everything posted by nkt

  1. It was easy. I used my middle-aged super-mind-powers. ;-)
  2. I've just read this thread with much mirth. Yes, the title/subject is bigoted. It really wasn't thought through. The topic of this debate should have been neutrally phrased. It is one of the cores of the scientific method - don't ask leading questions! From my experience of arguments, as a forum mod, from working in Big Aero, and from being one of two boys, the most common start of arguments, especially big and noisy ones, is that the two (or more) parties are arguing different things. As things get more frantic, it can be very funny to note how many people are arguing the same thing, fr
  3. I learned that the £500+ tool I have for a certain task is not yet as good as it will be once I've modified it some more. And I need more practise with it.
  4. Growing an artificial brain seems rather pointless to me. We already have millions of them spare and, in many cases, practically un-used. Plus, it really doesn't answer much. It's like growing a plant and making bread from the grain tells you nothing about how the DNA of the plant works. Moulding one out of silicon? Now that's more interesting. However, I'd suggest using something like an FPGA to model the neuron systems in hardware, if they are well understood. As such, perhaps a few hundred could be run in parallel on each FPGA, and then many PGAs could be interlinked to get parity with a
  5. And yet, this year, no AI did well enough to fool 30% of the Turing Test judges. So close, and yet so far...
  6. There isn't an option for "I really would like a landline, please!" I've got DSL over a phone(land)line, which is pretty much the norm in the UK. We use various VOIP systems to terminate calls here, but, VOIP is sub-optimal. Call quality gets affected, and calls get dropped, when people phone at the wrong time. Screensavers and password prompts mean missed calls occasionally, too. And at night? Well, you've got to have the PC on to get a phone call in, so it has to stay on, running up the power bills far more than a simple, easy to handle, instant to get to old fashioned landline phone. Th
  7. How I built a carbon bike frame at home (and a bamboo frame too) - Instructables - DIY, How To, ride, outdoors - Entry I just stumbled across this while browsing my Instructables comments. It is a step-by-step on how to build your own carbon fibre frame for a bike. Needless to say, if you are making the frame, you can make it in any shape you like. If you've not come across carbon fibre anywhere other than for decoration, get yourself to a high-end bike (bicycle) shop. The last three or four years have produced frames that weigh less than my safety boots, with *no* rider weight limit! Ther
  8. I'm amazed no-one picked up on the issues of Stage 1. A launch from Florida would seem to be unlikely.
  9. I'd not try a transformer ("Wall wart") yet! Measure the resistance of your electromagnet coils, and work out the current it will be required to supply first, or risk blowing it instantly. Use the same current figures to (roughly) determine the life of your batteries. I bet it will be pretty short, since the magnetism is proportional to the current, so the resistance of the coil is low, to get lots of current through it off a single cell. If you do the measurements, post them, I'd be interested.
  10. I had that thought, but I don't think it will work. Steering the rear wheels would require a large radius turning circle underneath, which would require a big heavy joint, and be a probable cause of failure, as well as destroying the drag-ability and hydrodynamics of the underside when the wheels are taken off. The original design has the front wheels steering and driven. This would allow for a very tight turning circle, but the drive, being direct would be very poor. The more typical design of the bicycle is probably the best for the frame. If the design is changed a bit, so the rear whee
  11. It's interesting trying to design something like this. It's a totally new idea from Turtle, and so it is a bit of a blank sheet of paper to start with. I've no formal design background - my degree is a specialist one in aspects of laser physics, and I've worked in aerospace for a big company with no brains and no wit, and I'm now doing stuff that is completely unrelated to either of those areas! However, I've been inventing and designing stuff since forever, and taking things apart to see how they (used to :hihi: ) work. And it's in my blood, my dad's been a Maker since before anyone inven
  12. Thanks for the encouragement. Today I was looking at a couple of pedalows, and trying to work out how those could be worked into the design! They are light, they float, and they have a drive underneath via the pedals. I had already though of the idea of driving the wheels with the vanes set like waterwheels on a paddle steamer, but I'd rather not rely on the battery for the drive of them, since that could be an issue, especially if they battery died, as they would then act like a (pair of) sea anchor! Driving them via a chain drive *or* the hub motors would be ideal. It would also allow
  13. Ah yes. Reminds me of the first thing I said when I heard a news report saying that in famine-struck Africa, an AK47 could be swapped for a chicken or $10. "But if you have the AK, then you simply take the chicken!" Ok, I'm not sure how to get the bit of paper onto the internet in the most effective manor. I write pretty small and messy, so I'll outline the main points here in text, and any questions I'll answer when asked. I designed this to be an all terrain vehicle. It won't be the best on any terrain, but it will get you there, and back, where anything but a hovercraft or one of those
  14. Hi Turtle, I'm still working on the "perfect" design. It won't be perfect, of course, and everyone will want different things from it. However, I've invented a few new ideas that will add to the design quite substantively. Currently all on paper downstairs. I shall finish up the sketches and post them up for everyone's (hopeful) delight and positive criticism, hopefully before the end of the Bank Holiday Monday (aka tomorrow).
  15. I'm still not convinced that we need Branes to explain anything. I can follow the Big Bang theory from the period of rapid inflation through to the observed universe today, and I have a simple and straightforward theory that explains matter clumping, which relies on nothing more than common sense and special relativity. As regards the idiots who teach creationist theory as fact, I read that a recent report found that this was down to a lot of the teachers not having a solid science background, and so not teaching *any* origin theory as they didn't want to get in to such tricky areas when the
  16. Oh, well, if you've a deep cycle one, you will be far better off. Of course, I should have realised you had done your research! I've got to get one. I've just got a split-charge relay for my van, and I've tracked down a good 1000W inverter so now it's just the deep cycle battery to find, then to install it, and have mains power wherever I drive. This would be very useful sometimes, as I'm a locksmith and on those odd occasions where I need mains power, I really need mains power! A (12V) spotwelder might also be handy for some of the big industrial jobs. Back to the cart, there are definite
  17. InfiniteNow, skant chance of that! Who was it who said that the photon sees the masses as infinite? That's clearly wrong, or they wouldn't be able to affect the movement of particles. (Think about it: even a massive force onto an infinite mass could cause no acceleration, as acceleration is force into a mass. (F=ma))
  18. Wow, what a neat thread! The inverter won't cope with that much power for long (the cooker ring), as the battery will sag rather a lot at that rate of discharge. Also, things like coils and elements have a huge in-rush current, which often trips the inverters over-current protection. As regards the wheels, bigger is better. Harder is also better. Soft wheels lose energy as you are dragging them around, as you have to deform the rubber. You are also asking for trouble if you get a puncture. Personally, I'd go for something with cartwheel sized wheels, as these have a much lower rolling resi
  19. ^- What Reaper said. Also, photons cannot see the masses they hit as being infinite, otherwise they would not impart acceleration to them. At macroscopic levels this photon pressure is not noticable, but it has an effect on spacecraft over long times in zero gravity, where few forces are acting. It has a very big effect at nano- and below scales. Think of how a photon is absorbed. That energy kicks the electron about, and hence we have the logical thought that you cannot take a picture to tell where something really small is, because it won't be there afterwards.
  20. The problem with capitalism is that it ensures that everything dies, and everything gets fished to extinction. Imagine cod gets up to £500 a kilo. Will it stop the fishermen? Not a chance! Because the higher price ensures that people will still fish it! As long as people are prepared to pay money for it, then it ensures the fish will be wiped out. See Rare Tuna - Food & Dining (washingtonian.com) for an example of this - those Bluefin aren't going to last long. There is another one I read in New Scientist recently, where there is a fleet of boats that sail out *every day* to fish for a
  21. Whoa! I'd be very careful, putting such dangerous terrorist aiding documents onto the intarwebs. :) They might read them and destroy the earth. Or homeland insecurity might see it, and then you'd be in even more trouble! :( (Seriously, the above is a joke. Just like homesec.) My favourite method is the charge destroyer. Simply build a charge destroyer, and destroy all the (say) electrons. Watch from a distance as the earth flies apart under the force of the electrostatic repulsion. :eek2:
  22. Exactly. Whilst the status quo might well kill off every last man, women and (unlikely) cockroach on the ball of rock, it will certainly leave the ball almost entirely unaffected. And, of course, a few degrees of global warming, or cooling a few degrees, will leave to little of real effect for most of us. Sure, millions might die, but then millions die every year, and the totals, so far, have dropped most years, rather than increased.
  23. Nukes won't cut the mustard... Every nuke on the planet put together would just about equal the power of a major storm! There is, of course, a huge difference between each of making the earth un-liveable on for humans, killing all life, and actually destroying the ball of rock itself.
  24. nkt

    The feel of blood

    InfiniteNow, I have to disagree with your statement that being able to kill aggressors isn't useful. It is, in fact, the conrnerstone of society, even polite society. The lawmen have, eventually, the power to take life. Whether they take it literally, with a blow or shot, or metaphorically, by leaving a man to rot in jail for 50 years, or even metaphysically, where they use character assassination to damn even the dead. And this is what we base our entire way of life upon. At the end, when words have failed, pushing has turned to shoving, and lines have formed, society must be prepared to
  25. I agree that this doesn't make any attempt to split cause from effect. Taxi drivers in London (presumably those who don't use a GPS yet) have an enlarged area in the brain, which is believed to relate to mapping and spatial orientation. However, it is not clear that the driving to a specific location requested all day did this, or whether those with larger mapping ability areas are the people who were more likely to pass "The Knowledge" in order to get a black cab license. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knowledge#The_Knowledge has a fair bit about it, and says so it is, in my opinion, v
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