Posts Tagged ‘technology’

A blogger I have come to respect, The Curtal Friar, got us into a pickle by coming up with a pretty darned good composite offensive name for a video game that should be made (and would be if I were king) along the lines of Tea Party Zombies Must Die (but in stark contrast to the philosophy implied by TPZMD).

You want to hear what he helped spawn?  Of course you do!  And if you can come up with something – some niggling little tweak- that makes the title of the fictitious game sizzle more than it already does then you will be a winner and your name will be read by literal tens of people.

Twilight Of The Undocumented Cheesing Gay Afro-Chinese Chainsaw-Wielding Diaper-Wearing Midget-Mafia-Zombie-Mime Stuttering Tea Party Apocalypse Priests From Tijuana

That gives me shivers right up to the point where my brain swells and shuts down.  No, I’m sure the title doesn’t make complete sense, but I’m not one to judge after looking at it and having so many brain-swellings today.

Update:  Speaking of “Twilight” – the source of the inspiration for the beginning of the above title – there really is too much importance put on that shite.  How does nature say “Lock her up forever and lose the damn keyThis is how.


In the “We’ve Got New Stoopid Technology” category…

The fuel cell inside PowerTrekk is a completely passive system. Without fans or pumps, the fuel cell silently converts hydrogen into electricity via its Proton Exchange Membrane.

The chemistry process is safe, controllable and eco-friendly, and the only bi-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor. To operate, hydrogen must be supplied to the fuel cell, and the fuel cell must be exposed to the open air.

The fuel cell charger is electronic waste and will be part of an industry program for recycling. The fuel pack is part of an industry program for reusing its materials and is made of coated can materials which prevent corrosion and leakage of chemicals.

Oooh, only a little water vapor!  Wow!  And, uh… where are you getting the hydrogen?  Oh, only a little water vapor and coal-originated carbon dioxide from the process to break down water into oxygen and hydrogen.  Oh, and only a little water vapor, carbon dioxide, and mercury from the coal burning process.

Wait.  You say there are multiple sources of hydrogen?  Really?

Since the hydrogen fuel can be supplied from several alternative sources, the system is “flexifuel”.

Ok.  Name them.  Tell me what they are.

Still waiting.

Ok, I read through their site to the point where I got really bored and I still get hung up on this part:

The chemistry process is safe and eco-friendly, and the only by-product from the fuel cell is a little water vapor.

I’m sure that hydrogen-to-electrons is safe and friendly.  I totally buy that.  Really, I do.   But I don’t believe that you’re getting a free lunch in getting that hydrogen, and I don’t believe that if you close the loop and account for where all that golden-chewy-nougaty-goodness absolutely pure energy came from, that all you spin off is a little water vapor.

But fine… if what we’re really talking about is a cool portable power source, like batteries, then that is totally cool, and in fact they are mega-super-cool.  I even think they’re pretty damned neat.  But please don’t spin it to make it sound like you are cheap-and-clean zero-point-energy-mavericks and the eco-paladins of the world.

I’m not saying the power packs are comparable to the CFL in any way/shape/form.  But the simple “don’t think so hard, trust us, apples and chihuahuas can be compared one-to-one” kind of ridiculousness is similar.  You don’t get to say “Hey, CFL’s are great because they use less wattage” when the total KWH from cradle to grave is much worse.  How we all got screwed by CFL’s.

Lighting expert Lucy Martin told the Daily Express, which is crusading for a referendum to pull Britain out of the EU: “The carbon footprint of manufacturing, distribution and disposal of a compact fluorescent bulb is far greater than the energy usage of a standard bulb.”

Really?  You don’t say…


Keeping in mind that every technology is spun and nothing is free, this is kind of cool – transparent solar panels.


If we’re going to keep coming back to energy, let’s go over to SOYLENT GREEN’s and look at the state of retrograde warming, shall we?   (pretty sure it was safe for work as of ten minutes ago)


Deus Ex update:  If it were not for the boss fights it would be the best FPS, finally knocking the original Deus Ex out of the #1 spot after more than a decade.  But it has them so it didn’t.  Bummage.

Guns don't kill people. Compromised robots with guns kill people.

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From The Dude:

An archeological team, digging in Washington DC, has uncovered 10,000 year old bones and fossil remains of what is believed to be the first Politician.

Nice catch, Dude!


Somebody, and I don’t want to name names but it was Laconic Pup, thought the two titles were equivalent.

Here’s the original advert.

Here is the interpretation or rather, what the average soldier or engineer sees…


But since when has anyone listened to the CBO?  I’ve posted it here in case the CBO’s site “goes down unexpectedly”.  Emphasis in bold and red is mine.

Federal Debt and the Risk of a Fiscal Crisis

July 27, 2010

Economic and Budget Issue Brief


Over the past few years, U.S. government debt held by the public has grown rapidly—to the point that, compared with the total output of the economy, it is now higher than it has ever been except during the period around World War II. The recent increase in debt has been the result of three sets of factors: an imbalance between federal revenues and spending that predates the recession and the recent turmoil in financial markets, sharply lower revenues and elevated spending that derive directly from those economic conditions, and the costs of various federal policies implemented in response to the conditions.

Further increases in federal debt relative to the nation’s output (gross domestic product, or GDP) almost certainly lie ahead if current policies remain in place. The aging of the population and rising costs for health care will push federal spending, measured as a percentage of GDP, well above the levels experienced in recent decades. Unless policymakers restrain the growth of spending, increase revenues significantly as a share of GDP, or adopt some combination of those two approaches, growing budget deficits will cause debt to rise to unsupportable levels.

Although deficits during or shortly after a recession generally hasten economic recovery, persistent deficits and continually mounting debt would have several negative economic consequences for the United States. Some of those consequences would arise gradually: A growing portion of people’s savings would go to purchase government debt rather than toward investments in productive capital goods such as factories and computers; that “crowding out” of investment would lead to lower output and incomes than would otherwise occur. In addition, if the payment of interest on the extra debt was financed by imposing higher marginal tax rates, those rates would discourage work and saving and further reduce output. Rising interest costs might also force reductions in spending on important government programs. Moreover, rising debt would increasingly restrict the ability of policymakers to use fiscal policy to respond to unexpected challenges, such as economic downturns or international crises.

Beyond those gradual consequences, a growing level of federal debt would also increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget, and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates. It is possible that interest rates would rise gradually as investors’ confidence declined, giving legislators advance warning of the worsening situation and sufficient time to make policy choices that could avert a crisis. But as other countries’ experiences show, it is also possible that investors would lose confidence abruptly and interest rates on government debt would rise sharply. The exact point at which such a crisis might occur for the United States is unknown, in part because the ratio of federal debt to GDP is climbing into unfamiliar territory and in part because the risk of a crisis is influenced by a number of other factors, including the government’s long-term budget outlook, its near-term borrowing needs, and the health of the economy. When fiscal crises do occur, they often happen during an economic downturn, which amplifies the difficulties of adjusting fiscal policy in response.

If the United States encountered a fiscal crisis, the abrupt rise in interest rates would reflect investors’ fears that the government would renege on the terms of its existing debt or that it would increase the supply of money to finance its activities or pay creditors and thereby boost inflation. To restore investors’ confidence, policymakers would probably need to enact spending cuts or tax increases more drastic and painful than those that would have been necessary had the adjustments come sooner.

Entire document here (link).

07-27_Debt_FiscalCrisis_Brief (download it from this blog).

#  FogSensor Realistic Camera .dat file.close
#  Date: 072710
#  Time: 11:10pm-ish
#  Based on the VISHAY BPV10NF Silicon PIN Photodiode
#  G. Ritter & J. Trenkle – Michigan Aerospace Corporation
# Matrix describes a 2.5mm radius dome with an aperture defined at 5mm dia
# sensor element is 0.78mm^2 or .883mm on a side (square).  The sensor
# occurs 4.4mm after the 1st surface vertex, so 1.9mm after the aperture stop.
# n(pin) was calculated using the 20 degree half angle (70 degree incidence)
# arriving at the aperture stop and refracting to opposite sensor element edge
# = sin(radians(70))/sin(radians(32.86)) = 1.732
# 0.000 0.000 1.732 0.005
# #########################################################
# radius    sep     n   aperture
0.0025 0.0025 1.732 0.005
0.000 0.000 0.000 0.005

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