Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/08/letters_0811/

Science is all rubbish, let's go live in caves

It could only be letters. Patent pending, of course

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Bootnotes, 8th November 2005 16:20 GMT

Letters The anti-software patent campaigners have long drawn a parallel between patenting software and patenting a story. Their plan was to use the notion as an exaggerated and hypothetical illustration of the nonsense of patenting software. But that hasn't stopped someone actually going out and trying to patent a plotline.

Yes, you read that right. If you missed the original story, click here and see how long it is before you check the calendar to make sure it isn't 1 April:

How about this for a patent:- A process of relaying a story having a timeline and a unique plot involving characters comprises: a son of a carpenter who performs some miracles and is then crucified. (Patent Pending)


if we're going as base as the 'underlying idea' then shouldn't the tale of rip van winkle be acceptable as evidence of prior art ?

or alternatively captain caveman perhaps.....


I want to be the first man to take out patent rights AND copyrights on myself!

Yes, you heard me, myself. Obviously, as one of "Gods" children I am as about as unique as any living being can be so I believe I have an answer to Identity Theft that can be easily prosecuted everywhere in the world (except China)

I would need to change US patent law to assure that the patent rights don't expire until I "pass on". Seventeen years isn't going to be enough. With cloning and DNA tests and every other damn government ID and passport looming in the future, what better way to prevent people from bothering you.

I can see it now, the Federal Government, Phone Company, Credit Agencies Etc, would all have to get my express written permission in order to create a list that used my copyrighted name and patented DNA. In fact so would the IRS!

I wonder what they'll do if I refuse them permission!?!

I hope this guy gets a patent on his story line test cuz whether he realizes it or not, that will open a fabulous can of worms and I would love the opportunity to spread them everywhere.


Not thinking much further into this guy's claims -- although their may be some technical relevance to it -- his idea is structurally very similar to Jennifer Garner's "13 Going on 30", whether he likes it or not. So much for not finding a "prior art" example. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".... Not that one may be precedent setting...

At least he gets attention for the attempt, huh?


So nobody's written a story involving amnesia? I'm sure I read one more than forty years ago (I'd never heard of anyone losing their memory before and accepted it for the story but reserved judgment as to whether it really happened).


It is a bad idea, like many other bad ideas that get undue attention today, the author is covered and protected by copyright law as it is and no sane author will defend this because it basically means an end to the freedom of writing. And it is inconceivable that this is what the original creators of copyright law had in mind.


ICSTIS, the body that regulates premium phone numbers, has noticed a hefty increase in the number of complaints about dodgy prize scams and other premium rate services, but says rogue dialler issues are down. Not surprising, you say:

You reported ICSTIS as saying: "By Autumn 2005 we had achieved a 99 per cent reduction in the enquiry and complaint levels linked to Internet dialler services. This was achieved through effective crisis management and partnership management with originating networks, Ofcom, DTI, trade bodies and others including the police," it said."

A 99% reduction is pretty impressive, but I suspect that much of that reduction came about because of the large uptake of broadband, not the efforts of ICSTIS. If you no longer have a modem then a rogue modem dialler is impotent. Now if only they could achieve that sort of reduction in the live scams.


Alan D.

Next, the Hydrino generator. Ultimate future power source or load of old tosh? Well, here are some of your thoughts:

"What on earth is keeping all the electrons in hydrogen atoms and ions sufficiently excited that they stay is their theoretically less stable 'orbit' in the ground state?"

Intelligent Design, of course.. :-)


Surely the hydrino is a form of Intelligent Hydrogen.

According to the new scientific paradigm, you only have to believe it to be true (except on April 1th, when it becomes a fact anyway due to intelligent intelligence).

Keep up the good work !


And a fan of Blacklight Power, the company backing the research, writes:

If you take the time to actually look and read, Randy answers this question and many other questions in his papers, on his webpage and in the book.

Electrons do prefer a lower energy state (closer to the nucleus). However, if you read the scientific papers, you will see that the odds of *atomic* hydrogen and a catalyst atom randomly colliding in our environment to create a hydrino are very low--hence one reason why we don't see them plentiful in nature on our planet... There are a number of other reasons as well (read for more info).

However Randy postulates hydrinos are the major form of dark matter and also that exothermic hydrino reactions explain the excess, unexplained heat on the sun (beyond what just fusion and other conventional physics calculates out and predicts)... There are many other things Randy's theory does nicely which Quantum mechanics does not -- such as closed form equations to diatomic molecular calculations.

He also has had samples of simple chemical compounds available for chemical characterization by interested labs which repeatedly show a previously unseen and unexplained upfield hydrogen shift in the NMR spectra -- which can be explained with hydrino theory.

Just because you can find a bunch of close minded scientists right now who poo-poo the theory (and haven't given it a serious look, or read) doesn't mean they are right in dismissing the theory. I believe Randy and Blacklight Power has stumbled onto something valid and significant. And until someone puts a better theory forward to explain the data, I'm not about to dismiss it.

Randy derives his results using sound physics and math -- he doesn't hand wave them, contrary to what articles like this imply (at least to the masses). Randy is now exciting a number of classical physicists with the ability to calculate atomic scale phenomena accurately, when previously this was solely the domain of quantum physicists.

Remember, the fathers of QM themselves felt that classical physics would ultimately be able to explain atomic scale phenomena. Randy has apparently acheived this...

Take a look at the classical physics approach of deriving some of the diatomic calculations in his following paper vs. the flawed, problematic, physically inconsistent approach of QM:




I will now wait to refuel my mini-van until the full scope of this has been assimilated by the energy markets and I can get 39 cent a gallon gas. I am also divesting all my vastly meager wealth into water companies stock.

Adopt an Iceberg!!

Now all we need is to have someone invent the urinary purifier so that we can just plug our members in to the power supply to refuel our electric powered vehicles.

Sorry Ladies - you'll have to pay for the optional female refueling feature.


A good thought this next one:

As I finished reading your article a weird thought popped into my head. If hydrinos really *do* exist, how do you convert them back to plain old hydrogen atoms?

Truly frightening if this is a one-way process.


So you put water in, split it into it's components, use a catalyst to make the magical hydrino, and (presumably) combust the hydrogen with oxygen to make water to put back into the machine....

....so with a big enough battery, you could generate enough power from a drop of water to boil an ocean. Right.


Want to read more letters? Go to page 2...

So we'll move from intelligently designed hydrogen, to intelligently designed science classes and their associated lawsuits:

I note with interest that, even when the Roman Catholic Church itself stresses the importance of science, the bible-thumpers do not relent.

Is that integrism, or what ?

They are right about one thing though, if ever Intelligent Design is indeed proven (read : we find that God does irrefutably exist), then we will have one of the greatest paradigm shifts in human history.

I'm just not entirely sure that the people who have forgotten about "Thou Shalt Not Kill" will be the best placed in the new order that will undoubtedly arise. After all, there were quite a few bible-thumpers who agreed with the war in Iraq. I don't think that will go off so well if ID is proven to exist.


"It" can't be /that/ intelligent if we can see the joins ... probably a glitch in the Matrix ...

Regards, Mike

This week the European Space Agency said the Greenland icesheet is thickening in the island's interior:

"If the Greenland ice sheet were to melt entirely, it would raise global sea levels by seven metres. The addition of such a large quantity of fresh water to the oceans would also disrupt familiar ocean currents, such as the gulf stream, which could have a huge knock on effect on weather systems."

Probably floating the Weddel Ice Sheet in the process and causing it to break free. Which would then cause the Antarctic glaciers behind it to slide into the sea too, raising sea levels even further ...

I think it's this bit of Antarctica, but I gather it's about a quarter of the continent and it has lost and gained its ice cover several times within recorded geological history.

If a quarter of the Antarctic ice sheet ends up in the sea ... OUCH!

Cheers, Wol

A little misleading on the measurement side: (but good info nonetheless)

The sensor can time this journey down to the nanosecond, ESA says, meaning that the instrument is accurate to within two centimetres.

a nanosecond equates to 30 centimetres for radar, not two centimetres. It is more likely that the sensor measures to sub-nanoseconds, which is not too difficult to do these days.

(c = 3x10^8 m/s = 30cm/ns) or google "3e8 m/s to cm/ns".


We'll have to take your word for that Derek (and the several other readers who wrote in along similar lines). Calculators are awfully hard to work when you only have vulture claws, so we were inclined to go with the numbers on the European Space Agency site.

Greenland's ice sheets getting thicker but melting at the edges? Just goes to show *noone* knows what is happening to the climate, what is driving climate change, or even if climate change really exists.

With results like this its entirely possible ocean levels will drop rather than rise over the next century, as thickening continental ice sheets more than compensate for losses elsewhere.

If climate change fanatics cant even get changes in ocean levels right, maybe its time to call time on the whole debate and let real scientists get on with their investigations, so we can really know what action, if any, needs to be taken.


Er, calm down Eric. No-one said that there was a net gain in ice cover, and we're not sure the European Space Agency qualify as climate change fanatics...

Psychologists reckon just looking at beer can make a person all tetchy. You wondered more about the methodology of psychologists:

The conclusion from those experiments doesn't make sense, at least to me. Surely those more likely to accept a level of aggression to be the norm would be the ones less likely to recognise it. Hence those who do recognise it must be in an alcohol induced relaxed state!

I'll punch anyone who disagrees :c)


Interesting take on the results of this study. Now, I haven't read the study myself, but from the information presented, it looks like someone, somewhere down the chain may have misinterpreted something.

I got the impression that the conclusion should have been that "Looking at pictures of alcohol (or weapons) make you more sensitive to aggression.", not necessarily more aggressive yourself.


Both of these experiments appear to be measuring participants' association between images of alcohol and violence, not whether those images make the participants themselves aggressive.

In the first case, juxtaposing images of alcohol with the stories of conflict hints to the participants that the characters may have consumed the alcoholic beverages shown; the result reveals a presumption on the part of the participants that an intoxicated protagonist is more likely to be acting aggressively (perhaps because a sober person would have better judgment and only enter a conflict if it was essential or very well justified?).

The second experiment is simple word-association: it shows people associate alcoholic pictures with violent words. Again this does not indicate whether or not the participants have become more aggressive during the experiment, and the reasons for such association may be somewhat indirect - for example one notices the aggressive tendances of drunk "yobs" far more when one is sober. Therefore a tea-totaller may associate alcohol with aggressiveness more strongly than one who likes a tipple every now and again.

Personally, I'm less aggressive when drunk than when sober, and this example of drawing the wrong conclusions from an experiment has made me mad. Grrr. I need a drink to calm myself down.

Cheers, John

And finally, the vibrating Cadillac:

It's amazing the lengths car companies will go to in order to allow unsafe drivers to remain on the road. Even if the cars companies do universally adopt the system, what about other road users who don't have space for such complicated electronics? I can already see the uproar as the number of cries of "Sorry Mate, I Didn't See You!" skyrockets as car drivers mow down swathes of motorcyclists without bothering to even look, safe in the knowledge their car will do their thinking for them.



You wrote about a Cadillac: > One of these warnings is a vibration of the driver's right leg

Is this by any chance provided by an irritatingly yappy small dog trying to hump it? If so, it could be a bit of a traffic hazard in its own right.


As usual car manufacturers totally forget that roads are also used by pedestrians, pedal bikes and motorcycles, which are not laden with electronics (except maybe the pedestrian with the mandatory iPod).

Speaking of motocycles, one may wonder what trick they will play to attract the attention of Harley owners, since they naturally produce all kinds of vibrations.


A car with built-in vibrators? Are they talking new technology or the birth of the Flynt mobile? Tactile feedback indeed.


Lester Haines, introduces the notion of a vibrating alert as an anti-crash mechanism for Cadilacs. Is the vibration going to be different from that used in my mobile phone. How will I know when I'm being sent a text or about to commit highway carnage?

Lets hope it doesn't use bluetooth and get confused with Lester's bluetooth vibrator.



And that's all she wrote. We'll be back with another slice of your brains on Friday.