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Comment: That can't possibly be accurate. (Score 1) 279

According to Wikipedia 0.075 ton/year is produced of monocrystalline silicon for use in integrated circuits.

That can't possibly be accurate. Here's a paper reporting that total consumption of fully-refined silicon for chip manufacture in 1988 was 750 metric tons. I don't think increasing process efficiencies would have reduced that figure by four orders of magnitude since then...

Comment: Material cost is largely irrelevant (Score 3, Insightful) 279

The cost of the raw materials is completely dwarfed by the cost of processing. Even a very large chip (2 cm x 2cm by .5mm thick) masses less than a gram. It's also likely that these high-performance III-V chips will be built on a cheaper substrate, meaning the thickness of the expensive stuff will be much, much smaller.

Comment: That's how today's voice recognition WORKS. (Score 5, Insightful) 309

Competent natural-language voice recognition is still too hard for a handheld or embedded device. So, these devices digitize your voice (OMG recording!), ship it off to a server farm for interpretation, and receive the results. Because voice recognition is still a challenge, it's usually farmed out to one of a few firms (Nuance comes to mind) that do this as a third-party service. These firms can "retain" that information in the sense that it trains their voice-recognition algorithms, but they probably aren't building a huge dossier of your private conversations.

I'd certainly like to know if Samsung retains the voice information it collects. I'd even more urgently like to know if they sell it to other "third parties" besides whoever's doing the voice recognition. The initial panic I'm seeing around this looks ill-informed, but Samsung definitely has to get out in front of it. If they can't -- if they can't provide a simple, clear explanation of what they are and aren't doing -- it's going to cost them.

Comment: Well, to be fair... (Score 2) 87

by jeffb (2.718) (#48975525) Attached to: Novel Fluorinated Compounds Discovered In Firefighters' Blood

It's property and lives, and, yes, facing risks on our behalf is pretty much what we ask firefighters to do every single day.

That's not to say, of course, that we should make them guinea pigs for inadequately tested compounds, or stooges for suppliers trying to cut corners on cost and safety.

Comment: That should be hard to overlook. (Score 1) 170

by jeffb (2.718) (#48973325) Attached to: Study Predicts 9% Drop In Salaries of New CS Grads This Year

If that were driving a large part of the change, it should only take a moment's work with the raw statistics to tease it out. I'd say "since they don't say that, it's probably not what's happening" -- but that would be making some possibly-unjustified assumptions about the motives of those publishing these results.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.