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Comment: The authors don't trust their own invention (Score 3, Funny) 204

by Laxator2 (#45120837) Attached to: Billion Year Storage Media

The authors describe a medium that will hold information for 1million to 1 billion years, yet they publish their results on PAPER!
Either they don't trust their own material will last as long as good old paper or they expect irrelevance to do its work faster than wear and tear.
Otherwise, they would publish a "tungsten encapsulated by silicon nitride", not a "paper".

Comment: Ransomware was tried before (Score 5, Interesting) 478

by Laxator2 (#41880657) Attached to: Will Microsoft Dis-Kinect Freeloading TV Viewers?

I remember that some years ago, somebody came up with another brilliant idea: Have the TV sets locked on to a particular channel when the ads are shown, and ignore anything the user does with the remote control. Return control to the user only after the ads are finished.
  And to top it off, the new "feature" included an "upgraded" service, where the user will pay extra to have the channel lock removed. Patented ransomware.

What they did not take into account, is that people who were unknowingly buying such a thing were going to return them to the store in droves, declaring the units defective.

This move simply smacks of desperation from M$ after their blah launch of Win8 and the Surface tablet (plus the obligatory Apple and Google tablet launches around the same time)

Comment: Re:They fight for survival (Score 1) 304

by Laxator2 (#32252388) Attached to: Matter-Antimatter Bias Seen In Fermilab Collisions
Actually, there is a very important application of a by-product of a circular particle accelerator: very high-quality X-rays. They are a pain for the particle physicists, but a blessing for the condensed-matter and biophysics people. At Cornell they use these X-rays to study a lot of crystalized proteins. Another reason to keep the funding going.

Comment: Re:They fight for survival (Score 3, Interesting) 304

by Laxator2 (#32250302) Attached to: Matter-Antimatter Bias Seen In Fermilab Collisions
Honestly, I don't know much about what happened at CERN before LHC, I only remember that they had LEP, which was an electron-positron collider, while the Tevatron is proton-anti-proton. The "scooping" of experiments happens all the time, for example Cornell's collider was the main place to study B mesons for about 20 years, before SLAC built the BaBar machine that accumulated in one year as much data as the Cornell machine has accumulated in 20 years. Luckily, the people at Cornell were able to move to K mesons (which contain strange quarks rather than bottom quarks) in a different energy range and do precision measurements. This way they kept the funding going. As for the next collider, the US Congress has canceled SSC back in 1993 and there is little chance such a project (40TeV, as opposed to LHC's 14TeV) will ever get built in US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_Super_Collider

Comment: They fight for survival (Score 5, Interesting) 304

by Laxator2 (#32249930) Attached to: Matter-Antimatter Bias Seen In Fermilab Collisions
The Tevatron is so thoroughly outclassed by the LHC that they have to take advantage of every opportunity to make a press release and show that they are still relevant. Once the LHC starts producing science data there will be impossible to justify funding for the Tevatron. The whole of Fermi Lab. (which uses about half the science money given by the D.O.E.) will be in danger of being closed, so they are fighting for survival. During the Bush administration they had to get private funding to avoid lay-offs. http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/good-news-or-less-bad-news-for-american-science/

Comment: Makes sense if they use renewables (Score 3, Informative) 160

by Laxator2 (#30696346) Attached to: Google Applies To Become Energy Marketer
I worked in the energy market, specifically in electricity (not as a trader). First, Enron pretty much invented the market for electricity ("power trading"), it was the (mis)management that sunk the company. The problem with renewables, and wind in particular, is the unpredictability. You can end up with a lot of power delivered to you and you may end up paying somebody to get rid of it, as you cannot consume it all. So if Google wants to buy wind power for its own consumption, it makes all the sense in the world to enter the market and trade as well.

Comment: AMD was smart to take the money _now_ (Score 2, Informative) 165

by Laxator2 (#30072976) Attached to: Intel and AMD Settle Antitrust, Patent Lawsuits
The European Commission has set an example by fining Intel 1.45B. No US court was likely to award much more than that. AMD can make much better use of the cash now, rather than a few years down the line. And Intel can do without being continuously accused of cheating. Rest assured that the agreement has included quite a few provisions regarding dirty play in the future, but don't expect those to be made public.

The biggest difference between time and space is that you can't reuse time. -- Merrick Furst

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