I get my news from Slashdot and powersauce bars.
Hmmm.. Deng Xiaoping died.
Coffee futures are down, supplies are up.
This is just another warmist scare story.
The last time CO2 levels were at 400ppm was a very long time ago, way before neanderthals, at the time of homo erectus. Maybe it's not unreasonable to worry.
I also puttered around with FOCAL a bit.
I was trying to program in FOCAL at a dumb terminal hanging off a PDP mini when I was an undergraduate. Suddenly my screen had muchísimo scrolling text and the other people there had nada. Oops!
Smartphones are toys which we will eventually get bored of.
I disagree. In the first two weeks of April I've tracked 125 miles (200km) of cycling, running, and walking. I've used the calendar a few times to tell me where the next meeting is. I've read some pages from an ebook while traveling by train. I've taken 16 photos. I've even received four phone calls in that time. I could carry around specialized devices for all these functions, but it's much easier to carry a smartphone.
I don't think we'll get bored, and if something even more amazing comes along, then great!
Jules Verne's work is awsome. I'm reading it now and learning french. And for you who are also learning, there are some good free audio books out there, e.g. http://www.litteratureaudio.com/
Also librivox.org has some good French content. "Ezwa" has a great reading voice and does many of the chapters in this book - http://librivox.org/le-tour-du-monde-en-quatre-vingts-jours-by-jules-verne/
The "British billion = 10^12" went out of use in the 1970's. The Brits use the same billion=10^9 as everyone else.
No a billion is still 10^12. That has never changed. But because Americans usually get it wrong, the British now uses the American billion when speaking about money, but the real billion when speaking about everything else. Of course billions are rarely used for anything other than money.
I think you are a little out of date:
The Economist Pocket Style Book recommended 10^9 for "billion" back in 1986.
maybe her site is popular because is has a good vibe, sells good/fun products and has good support for everything.
Many Slashdotters seem to underestimate the importance of support and community. There are posts that criticize the CPU or memory of Arduino and Pi, but what you're getting with these is a lot of help with doing things. For me it's great using an Arduino/Pi combination just to get a nice graph of light level and temperature in my apartment when I'm traveling.
When I get some more stuff working I'll be able to sing "1, 2, 3, 4, 5.. sensors working overtime" <g>.
To get good information on Europa, you really need a lander. You might not even need to drill - organics may flow up from the ocean and get frozen in the crust. But a lander is necessary to get actual samples. In fact, if they send that Curiosity clone they're planning to Europa instead of Mars again, it might get much more interesting results!
There may be some fun 10 meter long ice blades ("penitentes") on the surface of Europa that would be amazing to see close up (though maybe not so great to land on). Dr Hobley: "We are expecting a band around the equator where it is spiky."
Why just 400Gbps if they figure they need 1Tbps by the year after next?
It's down to what is possible in the next few years. 100G was originally implemented as 4 lanes of 25Gbit/s, which was challenging on the electronics side. There is also now a cheaper technology with 10 lanes of 10Gbit/s. To get further you need both more parallelism and higher speed serialization-deserialization. However, increasing either of these numbers comes with a cost. 400G looks possible with 16 lanes of 25Gbit/s, but an increase to 25 x 40Gbit/s would be very difficult indeed. Here's a link to a NANOG presentation - http://www.nanog.org/meetings/nanog52/abstracts.php?pt=MTc2MSZuYW5vZzUy&nm=nanog52
The immediate rollback from 0.8 proves that all it requires is the large mining pools to reach a decision behind closed doors, and they'll implement whatever modified protocol they desire.
If most of the power lies with the active miners, then perhaps there will be a temptation to change the protocol to increase the production rate. The people sitting on huge stacks of previously mined bitcoins don't seem to be have much control over the current mining/validation.