February 25th, 2003

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Speed of light? How passe...

Physicists at Oxford University have completed the first full tests of a controversial new device that could rewrite the laws of physics.

They are developing a completely new type of solid-state light source called the Polarization Synchrotron. The machine is based on the controversial theory of displacement current, which has no inertial mass and therefore may be moved faster than the speed of light.

The Polarisation Synchrotron could theoretically allow us to send faster-than-light transmissions beyond the solar system, provide secure telecommunications without encryption, improve the technology available for semiconductor processing, enable radio transmissions of far greater distance ( diminishing at 1/distance, as opposed to 1/distance squared), provide a vastly tunable (infrared to ultraviolet), intense light source, and allow for ground-based light sources based on the same principles as a pulsar.

Initial tests took place on the rooftop of Oxford's physics department, and the results indicated that electromagnetic signal decay did take place more slowly than expected, although not quite in line with predictions. Further experiments will be carried out over the next few months at a local airfield, where the team will be able to analyze the results from a greater distance.

It appears that Maxwell's Equations - the fundamental equations which govern elecromagnetism - might be due for a rewrite once all the dust settles...
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Microsoft thinks it has gotten a clue. hahaha...

There's an MSNBC article on Three Degrees, a new Microsoft chat-oriented product aimed for the "NextGen" (hey kiddies, don't you *love* being treated like a faceless demographic? I know I do...)

Three Degrees is loaded with "features" that enable others to do really annoying things on your computer, like change the volume, play cheesy music, and "wink" at you, which is a special flavor of overblown emoticon hell.

The theory behind Three Degrees actually reminds me of womanonfire's Wirefire, except that it's evil, ugly, hard to extend independently yourself, and utterly bloody useless... yes, there is a need for socially-oriented apps, but sometimes you can just tell when it's done wrong. You need to develop a lifestyle around your products, and frankly, I don't see it happening with Three Degree's current implementation.

Hey... d'ya need an operating system to go with that?