Cold Electricity?

On a mail list the other day, somebody posted links to cold electricity videos on Youtube.

Part 1:

The one mail list reply was funny:

> Part 1:

“believe it of not”

(misspelling from the video)

Wow, RF works differently than DC!

Exactly, read the description of the lab where the experiments are carried out.

Dr. Ronald Stiffler
Laboratory & Environment
Our lab is located in a bioresearch facility build in the mid-nineties. The lab was not constructed with RF or sensitive electronics work in mind, it therefore has no RF shielding or integral grounding bus bars. The lab is located in close proximity to a 50kw AM transmitter operating on a frequency of 1520kHz. Additionally there are high RF levels from an FM radio station in range of 98mHz.

Gee I wonder if the large amount of ambient RF energy at the lab has anything to do with cold electricity. While it is interesting to capture and use the energy from RF transmissions (e.g. crystal radio, RFID tag) it isn’t going to power your house without exceeding safe exposure limits.

Some more links for your entertainment, “cold electricity” – Google Search

A real test of super speaker cables, maybe not

I read in Swift that one of the outrageously expensive sets of speaker wires where going to submit to a real test. There is no rocket science involved in determining if a person can hear a difference between audio products. The ABX Double Blind Comparator System isn’t exactly new technology and when used in a properly controlled test yields excellent results. The problem is that most manufacturers don’t seem to want to do good tests , instead they depend on reviewers and not necessarily applicable technical measurements.

The next week I read about more developments in the process and it was looking like the people making the claim for the big money cable where backing out. However the next section of Swift gave me hope this would go forward. Randi had done something I hadn’t seen before, he changed the wording of his challenge rules to address the complaints of the reviewer, Michael Fremer.

To those readers who are unfamiliar with the JREF challenge here’s a few important points about it. People often make claims for things that have no plausible scientific explanation. The JREF has put up 1 million dollars US as a prize for any person who has made such a claim, has gotten the claim publicly known via the media and can demonstrate the affect to the JREF. The claimant doesn’t have to explain how anything works all they have to do is show that it works. Both the claimant and the JREF have to agree ahead of time on a test that demonstrates the claim. If the claimant passes the agreed upon test the JREF hands over the prize.

For the claims made by this audio reviewer this should be a very simple and straight forward test. The claim is that the reviewer can reliably tell the difference between the ultra-expensive Pear speaker wire and normally priced speaker wire. A simple controlled double blind listening test will be all that is needed to decide the matter. So if the reviewer and manufacturer are truly sincere about their extraordinary claim they will now go ahead and start discussing a simple test.

Sadly this post, BLAKE WITHDRAWS, has just gone up at the JREF. The manufacturer is pulling out before even hammering out a simple test procedure. This says to me that the manufacturer isn’t all that certain of their claim.

Some more reading about audio cables:
The Truth About Cables – AxiomAudio
Interconnect and speaker cable whitepaper
Speaker Cables from Blue Jeans Cable

From Audioholics Home Theater Reviews and News:
Un-Sound Advice About Cables
Top Ten Signs an Audio Cable Vendor is Selling You Snake Oil
AudioQuest Responds to Top 10 Snake Oil Article
Thiel Audio Interview on Cables
Cable Distortion and Dielectric Biasing Debunked
Skin Effect Relevance in Speaker Cables
Speaker Cable Face Off 1
Speaker Cable Reviews – Faceoff 2
Speaker Cable Faceoff 3

Why we need net neutrality

Two posts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) appear to confirm what many have suspected.

EFF tests agree with AP: Comcast is forging packets to interfere with user traffic

Comcast keeps telling its users that the problems they’re seeing are not its fault. It’s time for Comcast to come clean about what it’s doing and take its users’ reports seriously.

Comcast is also Jamming Gnutella (and Lotus Notes?)

When an ISP starts arbitrarily zapping some of the protocols that its customers use, they instantly endanger the cascade of innovation that the Internet has enabled. Before this kind of traffic jamming, anybody — huge businesses, small start-ups, college students and children in their bedrooms — could build new, innovative protocols on top of the Internet’s TCP/IP platform.

If this type of conduct is allowed to continue, many innovators will have to get active assistance from an ISP in order to have their protocols allowed through the ISP’s web of spoofing and forgery. Technologies like BitTorrent and Joost, which are used to distribute licensed movies and are in direct competition with Comcast’s cable TV services, will be at Comcast’s mercy.

It should also be remembered that in many parts of the United States, Comcast is a duopoly or even a monopoly provider of broadband Internet access. Competition might offer some protection against packet-forging ISPs, but under current market conditions, we can’t depend on it.

The last paragraph is the big problem here, with most citizens having little or no choice in ISP’s I think we need Network neutrality in the United States. If we ever get to a point in the US where most citizens have three or more choices in provider then it won’t matter if one or even two ISP’s are interfering with their customers usage.