Quote: "Apparently quite hard, the water that comes out of the tap at my house is disgusting, I always filter it, or drink bottled water."
We don't live in town so we're on tank water. It's crystal clear and delicious all the time
Quote: "I think google will remain while facebook will perish."
Indeed, I'd agree with that.
Quote: "Perhaps the internet will then be an interplanetary network rather than a global one."
The issue with that is that even at the speed of light it takes at least
3 minutes for a signal to get from Earth to Mars. My money's on some form of quantum physics finding a way to send signals to any place in the universe, instantly.
Incidentally, I expect to see artificial gravity (i.e. control over inertia) invented in my lifetime, and hope to see warp drives of some form based on quantum physics.
Quote: "My point? Get a surge protector!"
Speaking of which, we had a whole host of electrical things fried in our house a few weeks ago. We live on 20 acres, and have a few cows and things, so we have to have electric fences to keep them in. Obviously, three strands of galvanised wire running around most of our fencing acts like a massive
Normally when we see a lightning storm coming, we disconnect all sensitive appliances from the wall, even if they're surge protected, and we disconnect the wires that hook up the fence itself from the electric fence energiser. Now, a properly-installed fence energiser will have a lightning arrestor in the line between the fence and the energiser, which should
prevent lightning going backwards from the fence to the energiser. Our fence has an arrestor, but it's only a little one and was never rated for full lightning strikes.
This particular storm began in the middle of the night, so when we all woke up to sounds of thunder and heavy rain, it didn't occur to us to go around and disconnect everything. We forgot to disconnect the energiser.
At around breakfast time (~8am), we heard a truly enormous BANG
out in the paddock. Dad said he saw the flash. As would be expected with a direct lightning strike, everything in the house immediately switched off. About an hour later we saw Country Energy (or whatever they're called now) pull up in a neighbour's paddock, then proceed to use a long stick to poke at what we presumed to be a giant, resettable lightning protector. Shortly after, the power came back on.
Dad, who's doing Uni online, immediately reset the internet and began attempting to connect. It wasn't working, so he called me in (from out in the bus) to fix it. I poked around for ages but couldn't see why it was refusing to work. I traced ethernet cables until I realised the 8-port gigabit switch was dead. I ran and grabbed the identical one from my sisters' room and tried it... dead too.
Then Dad remembered that the strike had hit our electric fence, and I went to check the energiser. It was still connected (CRAP) and it wasn't going (oh GREAT). These mains fence energisers are REALLY expensive, especially the big ones we need for our fence.
To cut a long story a bit shorter, these are the items that are known to be fried (luckily our big TV and expensive sound system are not among them!):
- 2 x TP-Link 8-port gigabit switch
- 2 x Oricom cordless phones (one of which was a wireless-base-host model)
- 1 x Ethernet port on Dad's PC's motherboard
- 1 x Xbox 360 S Black 250GB
- 1 x Thunderbird Mains Fence Energiser
The list isn't as long as it could have been, but it's caused no end of trouble. The fence isn't energised now, so the cows keep getting out (although luckily we had a tiny little D-cell battery-powered energiser which seems to be discouraging them). We no longer have cordless phones so can't walk around whilst talking to people (which is not just a luxury, it's a practicality). We had to buy a gigabit PCI-e ethernet card (admittedly not expensive). Ours sisters have all sorts of trouble connecting to the network for multiplayer games because they're relying on an out-of-range wifi connection. And most annoying of all... the Xbox is dead, which means our DLNA client has been forced back to a truly crappy Sony BD player. It's plain frustrating trying to find the right video in the Blu-Ray's menu system, and then half the time it won't actually play the video.
However, every cloud has a silver lining, as they say. First, none of our many expensive PCs or laptops were killed (aside from the ethernet port on Dad's mobo). Second, we have INSURANCE! We've had home insurance for years but never once had to use it. We didn't even consider it until one of the guys at the local computer shop where we took the Xbox (we weren't 100% sure it was permanently dead - it was) suggested they could make a list of confirmed-dead parts for insurance purposes. Lightbulb! The third silver lining is that our energiser was on its way out. We'd had it for years, and the LED voltage display no longer functioned correctly, and we weren't convinced it was putting out the 10,000 volts it was supposed to be.
The NRMA was more than happy, it seems, to replace all our damaged equipment for us. We're just waiting for them to go over the list, and then for the computer shop to finish the report, and we should be on our way to getting out Xbox back! Finally!
Here's a big thing we learned from all this: Even top-of-the-line lightning-grade surge protectors will do nothing if the lightning comes from the other side. That is, it turns out houses have lightning arrestors on them to soak up the vast majority of the surge, so that the surge boards don't have so much work. If the energy bypasses that arrestor (by coming from an electric fence, say) the surge protectors do nothing; more than that, they become highly conductive inside.