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Comment: This is nothing new (Score 4, Informative) 89

by blue_moon_ro (#32560220) Attached to: Can Transistors Be Made To Work When They're Off?
This is nothing new, this behavior of the CMOS transistors in the subthreshold region of operation has been known for years. I actually wrote a paper 5 years ago on a circuit using transistors in the subthreshold mode of operation. As always, there are trade-offs, and the main one is that the frequency of operation is a lot lower than if the transistor would have worked in the normal region. The main advantages of running the transistors in this operating region are low power and the fact that the current vs. voltage law changes from the quadratic law in the regular operating region, to exponential here, i.e. I ~= e^[n(VGS-VT)/kT] (see Sedra&Smith's or any other reference electronics book). So don't dream of your next low power processor using this technology. This is more suited for analog applications (one of the first ones that I remember is current multipliers and low-power current-mode analog circuits) and this is how these guys at IMEC seem to be actually using it.

Comment: ALICE (Score 1) 799

by blue_moon_ro (#30566444) Attached to: How To Teach a 12-Year-Old To Program?
How about Alice (http://www.alice.org)? Form their site: "It is an 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience." From what I've seen, it is specifically targeted at kids.
Software

+ - Ask Slashdot: Good Lightweight Freenix Desktops

Submitted by that this is not und
that this is not und (1026860) writes "My main 'freenix' desktop system is an aging Dell Optiplex GX1 with a P3-450 and 768 M of memory running NetBSD. This used to be a dynamite system in it's day. When I first started experimenting with Linux, my main system was a 486-33 and we all were snapping up used 386-anything systems (386sx-16 comes to mind) to hang more Linux out on our personal networks at home.

A P3-450 should still be a useful system, and I make plenty of good use of it. But I've done so by remaining fairly agnostic in the 'Desktop wars' that go on in the land of software bloat: I don't run a KDE or Gnome-based desktop, I have a years-old well tweaked .fvwm2rc file and use FVWM.

There are limitations in using this for a Window Manager, but none that really impede my use. I run Sylpheed for email, use the Xfe file browser, and (of course) Mozilla SeaMonkey for my main portal to the 'Web.' I don't really do 'K' anything and consider GTK to be a bunch of useful widgets, not something to base my world around.

There are a bunch of Window Managers in the NetBSD packages collection that I haven't tried. I thought it would be an interesting discussion to discuss the alternative classic 'X Window System' window managers (as opposed to the all-and-mighty 'Big Two' Desktop Environments.) Is there any cool stuff being done with Motif, now that it's free? What are the best window managers out there in 2007?"
Privacy

+ - Disney asks visitors to give them the finger

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "My sister recently returned from Disney World with her family and told me about a ticket ID system now in place that requires adults to have their fingerprints scanned to enter any park in addition to presenting their tickets. My sister, who's normally very "go with the flow" was very surprised and concerned about this practice asking me, the family geek, about the possible implications. What do you think?"

Comment: Re: Tech to tech is a different talk (Score 1) 223

by blue_moon_ro (#19514627) Attached to: PC Call Centers Garner Lowest Satisfaction Score
Yes, these companies have skilled employees, but that is because those are *industrial* printers and terminals for AS/400 systems which are not exactly end-user stuff and cost pretty much. This means: 1. you pay a higher price which incorporates better support 2. usually the client is also a tech, not a clueless Joe SixPack and is a lot easier to do a tech to tech talk.
Privacy

+ - IBM loses tapes with former employees' data->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I was an intern with IBM ten years ago and just today received a letter informing me that tapes containing my and other former employees' data (including social security numbers) were lost on February 23, 2007 while being transported by a vendor. IBM is offering free membership with the ID TheftSmart Enhanced Identity Theft Restoration and Continuous Credit Monitoring program from Kroll Inc for one year for everyone affected. It just goes to show that no matter how long it's been, your personal information in someone else's hands is never safe.

The full text of the letter can be found here."

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