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Comment: Re:Create a $140 billion business out of nothing? (Score 4, Insightful) 358

by sphealey (#48946563) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

- - - - - That's not creating a new business out of nothing, nor is it being particularly visionary. It's a natural improvement on an existing market segment. - - - - -

One has to be careful about trusting accounts written later, whether written by the winners or the losers. But multiple sources have reported that the response to the introductory demo of the iPhone at the highest levels of both Nokia and Blackberry was "that's impossible - they must be faking it". Nokia and Ericsson at least did a reality reset within a year and tried to get back in the game, but Blackberry only realized the iPhone was for real 18 months ago - say early 2014, 7 years after the iPhone was introduced.

I'd call that creating, or recreating, a new segment.


Comment: They're Ignorant of the Alga6 Photobioreactor (Score 1) 211

by Baldrson (#48940135) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Algasol's photobioreactor technology requires less than 1/10th the land of other biofuel technologies and, in fact, it requires no land at all, preferring to be located on saline water. The largest photobioreactor, the 250m^2 Alga6, sells for $3,375 retail. When the numbers are all run, Alga6 biocrude is competitive with $40/bbl oil -- and that includes all costs including the cost of insuring the photobioreactors against hail, the power cost of centrifugal separation, the power to drive the wave mixing when natural wind is too low, etc. Right now the market emphasis is on algal biomass for fish feed, simply because the signal to noise level in the biofuels industry is so low that (combined with recent declines in crude price) no one can be bothered to sit down and do the arithmetic for Alga6 biocrude.

Comment: Re:Not surprising.-- Universal Service Fee (Score 1, Flamebait) 94

by mc6809e (#48917879) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

If this was a Libertarian Paradise, you probably would pay $500 dollars a month for landline service while someone in a densely populated urban area would pay $5 a month.

Why would that be so bad?

People that want rural living should pay for rural living and should not force urbanites to subsidize their quiet, peaceful life on the farm away from the noise of the city.

The US government has spent the past 50+ years using subsidies and regulations encourage people to get out of the cities.

What has it accomplished except to gut cities and spread asphalt everywhere?

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 3, Interesting) 488

by mc6809e (#48899691) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I have to agree, but it's too bad in some ways, IMO.

I used to get so much joy programming the metal or tinkering with the assembly that came out of the compiler.

Doing that is still possible, but it doesn't pay the bills.

The dream of abstraction is a bit of a nightmare for those that like to get into the guts of the machine.

GPU programming is another example, though Mantle allows the programmer to get a bit closer to the hardware.

Comment: Re:Some people say it's too pricy. (Score 1) 114

by mc6809e (#48881609) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

But I'd take this in a heartbeat over an AMD counterpart. The maxwell chips are leagues ahead of anything AMD's got.

WIth one exception: the R9 280x when used for DP floating point compute.

For about $250 you can get an R9 280x that in one second will do one trillion double precision floating point operations. That's about 10x faster than the Maxwell cards.

With such a card AMD should have had the scientist/engineer space for GPGPU locked up by now.

But, you know, they're AMD, so...

Comment: Re:Awesome, I shall buy one in a year (Score 4, Informative) 114

by mc6809e (#48880859) Attached to: NVIDIA Launches New Midrange Maxwell-Based GeForce GTX 960 Graphics Card

Personally I love the GTX 750. It gives the biggest bang-for-the-buck and running at about 55 watts max or so it usually doesn't require a larger power supply. It can run completely off motherboard power going to a 16-lane 75 watt PCIe slot.

It's the perfect card for rescuing old systems from obsolescence, IMO.

The only trouble you might have is finding a single-slot-wide card if your system doesn't have room for a double slot card, though in my case I found a double-slot card that I could modify to fit in a single-slot of an old Core 2 Duo E8500 system.

And heat doesn't seem to be a problem at all, even with the mod I did. The low power of the card means less heat. Even if heat becomes a problem, the card is capable of slowly clocking itself down, though I've never seen that yet, even running Furmark.

Comment: reflects political environment, more like it (Score 1) 145

by SuperBanana (#48878997) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Could Move

It's more that the clock reflects the current global political climate.

Ie when Pakistan and India, both nuclear powers, are duking it out, the clock goes closer to midnight.

I strongly suspect that the announcement is due to strong rhetoric from russian leadership - I believe recently either Putin or one of his lackeys declared that they could "raze" the US. There's also been increasingly aggressive "patrols" by Russian bombers along the US and Europe, the recent sub incident in Sweden, and of course the invasion of Ukraine.

Comment: Re:Yep it is a scam (Score 1) 666

by mc6809e (#48872909) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sub freezing temperatures aren't necessary.

In the UK, for example, for every one degree drop in temperature below 18C, deaths in the UK go up 1.5%. The risk of heart attack and stroke seem to increase with dropping temperatures.

And in the USA, the mortality rate is highest in January.

Vietnam shows a similar pattern.

+ - Holder's end to federal property seizure greatly exaggerated

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A few days ago there was a /. story titled Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture. A close look at Eric Holder’s announcement on Friday that he was ending the use of federal law to seize private property turns out to be greatly exaggerated.

Holder’s order applies only to “adoption,” which happens when a state or local agency seizes property on its own and then asks the Justice Department to pursue forfeiture under federal law. “Over the last six years,” the DOJ says in the press release announcing Holder’s new policy, “adoptions accounted for roughly three percent of the value of forfeitures in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program.” By comparison, the program’s reports to Congress indicate that “equitable sharing” payments to state and local agencies accounted for about 22 percent of total deposits during those six years. That means adoptions, which the DOJ says represented about 3 percent of deposits, accounted for less than 14 percent of equitable sharing. In other words, something like 86 percent of the loot that state and local law enforcement agencies receive through federal forfeitures will be unaffected by Holder’s new policy.

The story also notes how the press, especially the Washington Post which led with this story, teamed up with Holder to overstate the impact Holder’s order would have."

+ - Interior of burnt Herculaneum scroll read for first time 1

Submitted by Solandri
Solandri (704621) writes "When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it destroyed a library of classical works in Herculaneum. The papyrus scrolls weren't incinerated, but were instead carbonized by the hot gases. The resulting black carbon cylinders have mostly withstood attempts to read their contents since their discovery. Earlier attempts to unfurl the scrolls yielded some readable material, but were judged too destructive. Researchers decided to wait for newer technology to be invented that could read the scrolls without unrolling them.

Now, a team led by Dr Vito Mocella from the National Research Council's Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM) in Naples, Italy has managed to read individual letters inside one of the scrolls. Using a form of x-ray phase contrast tomography, they were able to ascertain the height difference (about 0.1mm) between the ink of the letters and the papyrus fibers which they sat upon. Due to the fibrous nature of the papyrus and the carbon-based ink, regular spectral and chemical analysis had thus far been unable to distinguish the ink from the paper. Further complicating the work, the scrolls are not in neat cylinders, but squashed and ruffled as the hot gases vaporized water in the papyrus and distorted the paper.

Full paper in Nature Communications (paywalled)."

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen