Here's a fun science experiment: finely powder some rust and then blow it over the magstripe on your credit card and you can see the zeroes and ones encoded on it by the stripes where the magnetic forces attract the ferrous particles. For a bonus, Anaglyph tried this out on a woo-woo product called a Shoo!Tag, which is supposed to use "a three dimensional or trivector signature imprinted onto the magnetic field of a three field magnetic memory card to create a protective barrier from pests." No evidence of a "trivector signature" was in found.
Amazing! The fine particles clearly delineate the data on the card! What we're seeing here tells us lots about how a credit card works. First of all, you will notice that Gilbert's card has three horizontal magnetic bands. This is the standard for all swipe cards. In most cases, information is recorded on one, or sometimes two of these bands. The two outside bands are called high density tracks and contain data at 210 bits per inch. If you know anything about computers, you will realise that the term 'high density' here is relative: 210 bits per inch, by modern data standards, is pretty damn lousy. To give you some idea, one of these tracks can carry about 79 x 6bit alphanumeric characters. Your credit card would typically have, on track 1, your name, your card number and an expiry date. That's it. Not much.
Another Science Experiment
Repeating the word “fuck” actually can reduce your experience of pain, according to a new study by Keele University researchers. The psychologists ran an experiment in which subjects underwent a cold pressor test, a common method to pain threshold and tolerance by immersing your hand in freezing cold water for a minute. (See above video […]
Floating out of your body and looking down on it. The story of your life flashing by before your eyes. Seeing a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. These are just two of the most common experiences that people report after a near-death experience (NDE). For some people, NDEs are a transformative […]
I enjoy the fun science stunts on ScienceBob’s YouTube Channel.
It doesn’t do you much good to come up with a brilliant concept that you can’t translate into a working real-world prototype. Whether you’re thinking about building a home, a mechanical tool or a toy, that’s where the magic of computer-aided design and drafting software like AutoCAD comes into play. The longtime leader in the […]
Memorial Day has always been the traditional start to the summer season — and there’s never been a summer with more people more ready to get out and enjoy life outside their home than this one. Of course, food will be a big part (if not the centerpiece) of all of our summer celebrations, so […]
Six months ago, you probably never expected that you’d have to be making decisions about the performance and fashionability of a face covering as a major new staple of your casual wardrobe…but here we are. As things now stand, it seems likely that face coverings as a means of social distancing will remain a part […]