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Comment: Re:For the Nth time now! (Score 1) 532

by Gekke Eekhoorn (#34951662) Attached to: Electronics In Flight — Danger Or Distraction?

While I don't doubt your facts, they never get mentioned as a reason and they don't get acted upon either:
- People reading heavy books aren't told to stow them
- People sleeping aren't awoken so they pay attention
- People with glasses aren't told to hang on to them

Furthermore, I would think that people will notice when they're about to crash and assume suitable positions, including quickly hanging on to loose items.

The electronic interference story is no good and everybody knows it. Heck, I don't turn off my laptop/phone - I switch it to sleep mode. It's still active...

The deadly projectile story is a lot better but presumably a lightweight phone or ebook reader won't be all that deadly, and whether it's on or off won't make a difference.

Comment: Re:Why Can't It Just Act As Write-Back Cache? (Score 1) 67

by Gekke Eekhoorn (#32450094) Attached to: Hybrid Seagate Hard Drive Has Performance Issues

Wait, what? Oh I see - are you proposing to add a fully associative cache in front of the 4GB Flash memory to speed up cache lookups and thus lazily storing writes as well?

I thought you were caching the stored data in a cache. I must admit I kinda glossed over the "fully associative with write-back" bit :-)

I suppose that can work - SLC is great for caching writes on. However, it's a lot more work than simply copying hot reads onto the Flash and caching them there. What you're proposing means a lot of new work on the disk controller, whereas now they simply slapped a caching thing on top of what they had.

However, at http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/sum2003/cmsc311/Notes/Memory/fully.html they explain fully associative caches nicely and add that "The hardware for finding the right slot, then picking the slot if more than one choice is available is rather large, so fully associative caches are not used in practice".

I don't think it really matters how Seagate exactly decides to cache stuff - right now they do read-cache only and it would be nice if they did a write-cache as well. You can do that just fine without using fully associative caches for the addressing.

Doing caching right is just not a trivial thing, especially if you have to do it on a tiny embedded platform.

Comment: Re:Why Can't It Just Act As Write-Back Cache? (Score 1) 67

by Gekke Eekhoorn (#32429226) Attached to: Hybrid Seagate Hard Drive Has Performance Issues

Three reasons:
- RAM is expensive
- The OS can do it better than the disk (except at boot time)
- Doing it right is not trivial (complicated firmware is a bad thing)

If you want a disk cache with write-back, buy more memory for your system, that's what the OS does with it.

Power

UK Students Build Electric Car With 248-Mile Range 192

Posted by kdawson
from the helmets-and-goggles dept.
da_how writes "A group of students and graduates at Imperial College London have built an electric car with a massive range — 248+ miles on a charge at 'reasonable' highway speeds (60 mph). They did this by filling the car to the absolute max with as many lithium iron phosphate batteries as possible — 56 kWh — and designing a very efficient direct drive powertrain, about 90% batteries-to-wheels at highway speeds. The choice of vehicle is an interesting one: it's a converted Radical SR8 — a track racing car with a speed record on the Nurburgring. Not an obvious contender for an endurance vehicle (no windscreen either!) — but then they claim it's lightweight to start with, being constructed of steel space frame and glass fiber. Also, Radical is based in the UK and provided some help and sponsorship. The students plan to drive their 'SRZero' 15,000 miles down the Pan American Highway, beginning July 8 in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and ending up in Tierra Del Fuego three month later. That's about 60 charges."
Education

Students Show a Dramatic Drop In Empathy 659

Posted by kdawson
from the well-boo-hoo dept.
MotorMachineMercenar writes "Several news sources report that today's college students show a precipitous drop in empathy (here's MSNBC's take). The study of 14,000 students shows that students since the year 2000 had 40% less empathy than those 20 and 30 years before them. The article lays out a laundry list of culprits, from child-rearing practices and the self-help movement, to video games and social media, to a free-market economy and income inequality. There's also a link so you can test your very own level of narcissism. Let's hope the Slashdot crowd doesn't break the empathy counter on the downside."

Comment: Re:FTL information (Score 2, Informative) 236

by Gekke Eekhoorn (#30829492) Attached to: FTL Currents May Power Pulsar Beams

Read this: http://www.eskimo.com/~billb/miscon/elect.html

and then come back to educate other /.-ers. I'm a civil engineer and even I didn't know some of the stuff in there. Did you know that electrons flow through metal at a few cm/minute? I sure didn't, but after reading this text a lot of other stuff made a lot more sense to me.

Comment: Re:Pricey - no, it's VERY PRICEY (Score 2, Informative) 458

by Gekke Eekhoorn (#30829380) Attached to: 100% Free Software Compatible PC Launches

Please don't confuse American prices with European prices. €359 is very reasonable over here - you won't find a laptop for that price over here either. The laptop you describe would be €600 if you're willing to stand in line at 8AM.

Remember, we pay around 20% in sales tax.

Intel

+ - Intel's future processors

Submitted by madison
madison (666) writes "Researchers at Intel are working on ways to mask the intricate functionality of massive multicore chips to make it easier for computer makers and software developers to adapt to them, said Jerry Bautista, co-director of Intel's Tera-scale Computing Research Program. These multicore chips, he added, will also likely contain both x86 processing cores, as well as other types of cores. A 64-core chip, for instance, might contain 42 x86 cores, 18 accelerators and four embedded graphics cores.

In another development Intel has updated its Itanium roadmap to include a new chip dubbed "Kittson" which will follow the release of Poulson- which will be based on a new microarchitecture that provides higher levels of parallelism. "There will be four or more cores, multithreading enhancements, and we'll also introduce more instructions to take advantage of parallelism, especially in virtualization." said William Wu, regional marketing manager for server platforms at Intel Asia-Pacific."

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