When you bag your trash and bring it out to the curb for pick-up eternal storage in a landfill somewhere you normally think it's just that: eternal. But there's no reason to think that the landfills of today will be inviolate in the future. They're absolutely jam packed full of useful rare metals and materials. I think eventually garbage mining will be a common practice.
In Vernor Vinge's "Rainbow's End" they have this book scanning machine that just shreds the books then scans all the sheds super fast as they fly by and reassembled computationally the documents (like how DNA is read). Sometimes I worry about a future where this is possible with garbage and garbage mining is happening. Not only would a garbage mining company be able to sell the materials but the vast amounts of detailed very personal information stored discretely in each person or family's bag would also be invaluable. There would be economic motives to automate information retrevial from landfill garbage mining.
Depending on how far in the future this happens it could either be a privacy nightmare or a cultural treasure.
I'm almost finished with Linda Nagata's two books extending the "Deception Well" / "nanotech succession" series. "Memory" and "Edges". Both are far future books where humanity is mostly either evolved into not humanity or dead and hiding like mice from the rest of the galaxy. The characters are mostly contemporary humans. The tech is never explained in any detail but it's consistent. In fact for not having any tech detail, ever, these books have interesting tech driven plots. It's magic nanotech goo everywhere but the magic goo is still constrained by physics somewhat. 8/10. Worth reading if you read the deception well series but if you haven't yet the tech will seem even more hand-wavey and unsupported.
I've been looking at a lot of microwave oven magnetrons lately. One thing that vexed me was why they all seem to have a hole in the cap on their output. Initially this predisposes you to think that it's an aperture of a waveguide. But the wavelength of of 2.4 GHz in air is way to large for the size of the 'waveguide'. For a 'waveguide' that small it'd only support about 15 GHz wavelength as the lowest frequency and support up to some ~20 GHz before high end cut-off.
It's actually a monopole antenna with a dielectric standoff. The fatter the monopole the greater the bandwidth generally, and the larger the better heat tolerance, and the lower the e-field gradients. So it makes sense to use a fat cylinder for the monopole. But what doesn't make sense is that there's a hole in the end of it. In all of them.
After reading a few patents I think I know why. Originally the vacuum evacuation tube comes out of the top of the magnetron. It's normally closed off but it's still under the antenna cap. If the antenna has a hole in it then the magnetron can be tested somewhat normally while still being hooked up to the vacuum pump. That's my guess. I can't think of any other reason for it beyond letting hot air out of the cavity beneath the antenna.
I ended up emailing a number of people who seemed to be authorities or at least very knowledgable on commercial oven magnetron operation. The consensus of *all* of them was that the hole in the cap really didn't matter and it was just there to cover the sharp edges of the sealed evacuation tube. But few really seemed to know why they all have little holes on the end. Until today (a week since I started digging) when two people confirmed that the holes *are* just for mechanical assembly.
There is no electrical reason for the hole: the antenna with such a hole behaves exactly the same way as without a hole. The cap serves for defining/unifying the magnetron radiating structure shape and protection from the sharp edges of the sealed evacuation tube end.
I am not a magnetron technology specialist but the hole must have some prosaic technological reason, such as air vent when the cap is pressed onto the magnetron. In mass production, this may be a very snappy operation.
Magnetrons are certainly not tested in any electric way while being hooked up to the vacuum pump. A "magnetron" is then just a bare bulb without electric connections, without magnets, without the cap alone.
- Vladimir Bilik
<_abc_> The hole in the top of tha probe on an oven magnetron serves as assembly help. There's an equivalent hole on almost all anode contact caps on tubes, sometimes it is smaller and soldered closed. http://danyk.cz/gu81_en.html Different style, same idea, the little tab is spot welded to the wire coming out of the glas
This paper documents how sticking (literally) some extra magnets on the top magnet of a microwave magnetron gets rid of most of the noise around the carrier. Unlike other methods of running a magnetron in a low noise mode this way requires no invasive modifications and you can still run the cathode heater to get full power output. This is at all relevant because there exists a way to use a household magnetron as an amplifier (ref pdf).
There are two ways in the literature to use a microwaven oven magnetron as a reflection amplifier (w/circulator). Both of them modulate the anode current, which is to say, the rate at which electrons travel from the cathode to the node in the coaxial cavity surrounded by resonating cells.
The first and easiest way to do this is to change the magnetic field projecting down vertically through the cavities. An additional electromagnet coil is added to contribute (or subtract) from the the permanent magnets. The current in this coil is controlled by a phase locked loop. But the current through the coil can't be changed rapidly so this kind of amplifier can't be used with phase modulation schemes.
The second and most expensive is to change the actual HV bias current directly by using a switched IGBT HV supply with complex control circuitry. It also uses a PLL but allows for much faster phase modulation.
Both types of set are pretty high noise when there's a lot of cathode heater current supplied (ie, high power). But if the magnetron is started with just a bit of heater power then the heater is turned off the magnetron continues to operate at a much lower noise level and with much less random phase jitter. But this can now be solved by having extra bias field on the top magnet.
Both types require extensive filtering of the AC-DC conversion power supply.
Characterization and Optimization of the Magnetron Directional Amplifier_ Thesis_ Mike Hatfield_ 1999 - this is by far the best and most authoritive document on using magnetrons as reflection amplifiers.
I've recently been trying to upgrade my tor setup and that means version 3 addresses using curve25519 56 char hashes. As of right now there are no GPU implementations for mining. That means CPU mining and it's really slow. Maxing out an i5 3570k it would take about 2 weeks (on average) to brute force a superkuh* prefix. But I don't want to only do that for two weeks so I'm throwing it on my fanless 5w Celeron N3150 which I *can* let run for as long as I want quitely. With it's hash rate it should take about 2 months. But it's random and could take much more or less.
There are some alternative cryptocoins out there that use the same curve25519 algorithm which have opencl GPU implementations but who knows (not me) how one would adapt the opencl bits for tor v3 addresses. https://github.com/PlasmaPower/nano-vanity. The real vanity here is thinking I can poke at this crap and get it to work. I can't. I'll just have to wait the 2+ months.
Update! It only took 5 days. Lucky me. superkuhf6grlngvhaelkgaem6i4phmzd7rekeguphwbplhk3fanpjqd.onion here I come.