Links for 18th June 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Saudi files for ‘killer’ tracking chip patent

    "The patent application – entitled “Implantation of electronic chips in the human body for the purposes of determining its geographical location” – was filed on October 30, 2007, but was only published until last week, or 18 months after submission as required by German law, she said.

    “In recent times the number of people sought by security forces has increased,” the Jeddah-based inventor wrote in his summary.

    The tiny electronic device, dubbed the “Killer Chip” by Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger, would be suited for tracking fugitives from justice, terrorists, illegal immigrants, criminals, political opponents, defectors, domestic help, and Saudi Arabians who don’t return home from pilgrimages." Nasty. Removing those safely will be a nice little blackmarket industry.

    Tagged with: technologypoliticssecurityhardwarearphidsatellitetrackingremotekillerimplantpatent

  2. Smaller reactor design for fusion may work in a "pinch"

    "A reversed field pinch works in a similar way to a tokamak, augmenting the magnetic field to take advantage of the way a current affects a plasma. However, because of the way it operates, the external magnetic field needed for an RFP is an order of magnitude smaller than the tokamak and the total ambient magnetic field is mostly the result of the current flowing through the plasma. These factors would allow the reactor to be much smaller than a tokamak."

    Tagged with: physicsenergyfusionpowersciencereversed-field-pinch

  3. Sun’s Strange Lull Explained

    "Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the next solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to only two years for the previous solar cycle, they explained today at an American Astronomical Society press conference in Boulder, Colorado.

    The jet stream is now, finally, reaching the critical latitude, heralding a return of solar activity in the months and years ahead.

    "It is exciting to see," Hill said, "that just as this sluggish stream reaches the usual active latitude of 22 degrees, a year late, we finally begin to see new groups of sunspots emerging.""

    Tagged with: sunsun-spotssolarcycleastrophysics

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