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Comment Re: Even if practical technology was 10-20 years o (Score 1) 394

Maybe. My thought has always been that if fusion is close enough to get ballpark figures, we can build the necessary infrastructure and much of the housing in parallel with fusion development. Because the energy distribution will impose novel demands on the grid, it's going to require a major rethink on communications protocols, over-generation procedures, action plans on what to do if lines are taken out.

With fusion, especially, it's expensive at best to learn after the fact. Much better to get all the learning done in the decade until working fusion.

With all that in place, the ramp time until fusion is fully online at a sensible price will be greatly reduced.

Parallelize, don't serialize. Only shredded wheat should be cerealized.

Comment Re:Is he in the right? (Score 2) 1197

Gizmodo had an article a while back on this topic.

Is It OK to Shoot Down Your Neighbor's Drone?

Basically, under the law, the drone is the same as a full-fledged aircraft. Now, the other side of the equation is that you only own ~100 feet above your property. If it was flying higher, then it is legal.

If it was lower, then it's a different story. In any event, the most prudent course is to call the cops - anything else would just be an overkill, and even if you were in the right, it's just a pain.

You could probably still be subjected to civil suits and what not.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 2) 83

As a pilot, I cannot agree more. Some of the cockpit controls out there are downright obnoxious, especially for rotary wing.

I have a friend who is a Harrier jet pilot, and I have heard some horror stories on landing those on aircraft carriers.

Usually, we are told what *not* to do, and so unless explicitly forbidden (e.g., do not do X before this time), we will assume it will be alright. This is clearly an engineering and a documentation/training failure.

It's easy to blame the pilot, but if anything, he's a tragic victim of poor design.

Comment Re:Unregulated speech, must stop at all costs! (Score 1) 298

For me, "performance," is where the act meets the audience as much as where the act is carried-out...

Well, then. We should all adopt your definition of the term. There's a reason art is subjective - as long as the consumer and the producer agree that it's a performance, it doesn't matter what you or the dictionary call it.

I see a lot of people getting very passionate when they're probably not terribly knowledgeable about the situation.

Evidently, that includes you.

I don't know what the man's warrants are for, though given the culture surrounding rap and hip-hop I'm guessing that they're not for the same kinds of things that Edward Snowden is wanted for.

His warrants are for missing child support payments. And btw, that's the whole idea behind free speech -- all speech, good, bad, and ugly, is worth protecting.

You are now conflating freedom with intent and quality, which is a slippery slope.

Comment Re:Not sure whats more impressive... (Score 2) 150

He's a Thiel Fellow, and clearly, that model is working for kids like him who are super gifted for whom the current college education model would be absurd.

This 17-Year-Old Dropped Out Of High School For Peter Thiel And Built A Game-Changing New Kind Of Computer

Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

Comment That is the problem. (Score 1) 30

By trying to not say too much, the advisories are inherently vague and therefore can be interpreted as insignificant or a dire emergency depending on the day.

That's not useful to anyone.

Because the NSA and GCHQ have effectively eliminated all network security, thanks to their backdoors in things like Cisco devices, it should be automatically assumed that all the bad guys capable of exploiting the issue already have all the information they need and the bad guys not capable of exploiting the issue aren't an issue whether informed or not.

Advisories should therefore declare everything. Absolutely everything. And it should be made clear in those advisories that this is being done because the risks created by the backdoors exceed the risks created by the additional information.

The added information will aid in debugging, clearing up the issue faster and validating that no regressions have taken place.

Comment Lots of options (Score 2) 35

Now that they can extract pure silicon 28 with a simple linear accelerator (which should have been obvious), it should be possible to use much larger dies without running into imperfection problems. That doesn't keep to Moore's Law, admittedly, but it does mean you can halve the space that double the transistors would take, since you're eliminating a lot of packaging. Over the space of the motherboard, it would more than work out, especially if they moved to wafer-scale integration. Want to know how many cores they put onto a wafer using regular dies? Instead of chopping the wafer up, you throw on interconnects Transputer-style.

Graphene is troublesome, yes, but there's lots of places you need regular conductors. If you replace copper interconnects and the gold links to the pins, you should be able to reduce the heat generated and therefore increase the speed you can run the chips. Graphene might also help with 3D chip technology, as you're going to be generating less heat between the layers. That would let you double the number of transistors per unit area occupied, even if not per unit area utilized.

Gallium Arsenide is still an option. If you can sort pure isotopes then it may be possible to overcome many of the limitations that have existed so far on the technology. It has been nasty to utilize, due to pollution, but we're well into the age where you can just convert the pollution into plasma and again separate out what's in it. It might be a little expensive, but the cost of cleanup will always be more and you can sell the results from the separation. It's much harder to sell polluted mud.

In the end, because people want compute power rather than a specific transistor count, Processor-in-Memory is always an option, simply move logic into RAM and avoid having to perform those functions by going through support chips, a bus and all the layers of a CPU in order to get carried out. DDR4 is nice and all that, but main memory is still a slow part of the system and the caches on the CPU are easily flooded due to code always expanding to the space available. There is also far too much work going on in managing memory. The current Linux memory manager is probably one of the best around. Take that and all the memory support chips, put it on an oversized ASIC and give it some cache. The POWER8 processor has 96 megabytes of L3 cache. I hate odd amounts and the memory logic won't be nearly as complex as the POWER8's, so let's increase it to 128 megabytes. Since the cache will be running at close to the speed of the CPU, exhaustion and stalling won't be nearly so common.

Actually, the best thing would be for the IMF (since it's not doing anything useful with its money) to buy millions of POWER8 and MIPS64 processors, offering them for free to geeks individually on on daughter boards that can be plugged in as expansion cards. At worst, it would make life very interesting.

Comment Re:Big endowment (Score 1) 348

But this comes down to your personal values.

I think that Harvard attracts some of the the world's best and the brightest, especially in the sciences. While MIT has engineering and applied science departments, Harvard has pretty robust physical sciences and life sciences departments, and is trying to grow its engineering schools.

To me, this is a good thing. And I am of the belief that the problems of humanity are going to be solved through science. As much as I would like to think that global warming could be addressed through policy, a technical solution that can cool down the planet would be much preferable (and realistic). Similarly, imagine cheap and easily available food sources, simple water purifiers, cures for AIDS and cancer, space flight and so on.

The truth is, investing in the future of science and engineering at one of the world's top schools is one of the best investments one can ever make.

If anything, Paulson should be lauded -- he is not throwing his money away at non-profits with fat bureaucratic administrations to address short-term solutions. He is investing in the future. The majority of the money will go towards equipment, paying faculty, and graduate students. How is this not a fantastic thing?

Comment Re:Wrong Math ? (Score 1) 100

Yeah, I think their math is off as well. My wife and I have the camera that they seem to have used (a Canon 70D - you can see it in some of their "Making Of" shots) and it shoots full-res RAW files in the 25MB to 35MB range. Even if you turn on RAW+JPEG mode, that's at most ~40MB/image. So I'm not clear on how they ended up with that much data unless it's, like, 20 shots per location and 70,000 locations? But then why say 70,000 images?

Comment Re:471 million? You may want to think about that. (Score 2) 247

471 million potatos is a lot of potatos.
471 million .2mm bits of plastic is enough to cover in plastic all of the living rooms in California.
Wait - no - one living room. Or about a dinner-plates worth a day.

Every day. That's the difference.

Even assuming that it's a dinner plate sized amount of pollution, over two decades, you are looking at 7300 dinner plates. Only, broken into little chunks, easily consumed by aquatic life and smothering plants, clogging pipes etc.

Term, holidays, term, holidays, till we leave school, and then work, work, work till we die. -- C.S. Lewis

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