Sunday, October 23, 2011

I fixed Forbes!

On October 2nd after many months of being really annoyed with's mobile version I sent them the following letter under the title "please fix your mobile site"

Your mobile site is completely inadequate and needs a major revamp. Please fix the following bugs:

It is impossible to send someone a link to a story on the mobile site. If you copy the url at the top of the page it sends the reciepient to the main forbes mobile page.

The back button does not work. On every other website in the world I hit the same button on my iphone to go back. On your site I must scroll to the top and hit your special button. This is annoying, let me use the normal back button.

Often I can only read the first page of an article. Then at the bottom there are words for pages 2,3, and so on. However these are just words, not hyperlinks. So there is no way to get to page 2.

There is no way to read user comments nor add my own comments on the mobile site. This feature needs added.

I am automatically redirected to the mobile site and there is no way to return to the full site. If you had a decent mobile site I would not need this feature, but the fact of the matter is the full site is less buggy than the mobile site. Let me access it without having to resort to a google cache!

Then today I went to and for the first time in at least a year wasn't redirected to the mobile site! Coincidence? Maybe. As I made quite clear their mobile site was among the worst in the industry, someone else must have noticed. Still, I prefer to think my letter saved Forbes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kelvin Water Dropper video

It was easier to upload a video of my Kelvin Water Dropper than it was to get a picture on here. I haven't watched the videos off of by phone so I am unsure if formatting worked.

Another Video

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kelvin Water Dropper

I managed to build a fairly impressive Kelvin Water Dropper. It throws approximately 1cm sparks which I would guess means that it is producing 10-20kV.

The materials were dead simple: Two large pans, two fruit cans with the top and bottom removed, six baby food jars, scotch tape, two straws, two alligator clips and a milk jug.

I was hoping to upload a picture but my computer has died and my phone is refusing to upload. It follows the typical design though, the baby food jars insulate the two big pans. The fruit cans are held in place/insulated with scotch tape. When you pour water in the milk jug it pours out two straws. Then it falls through the fruit cans which are positioned right where the stream of water separates into drops. Finally it lands in one of the large pans. I position the pans so that they are close enough for a spark to go between them.

I found that it only works perfectly about half the time. The rest of the time it just won't spark. This can be solved by rubbing a pvc pipe with a sweater. Then I hold the pipe up to one of the cans right after starting it. Every time I have done this it has worked perfectly.