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Comment Re:Heat (Score 1) 237

But at least it's better to have heat build-up near a heat-sink

True, that it's a good thing that the CPU heatsink is nearby to cool the regulator, but having it on dye also means that the CPU is nearby which seems to be a bad thing from a system stability standpoint.

Something tells me the folks at Intel have carefully considered all this and that the extra capacity the CPU heatsink now needs to keep the CPU stable is preferable to having an on motherboard Vreg, which is relatively far away from the CPU and that they can't trust to be cooled properly.

Comment Re:Advantages? (Score 2) 49

Advantages over Unison:
~This is real time syncing initiated automatically on a file change. Unison syncs when you ask it to.
~Gracefully handles more than 2 devices. Unison was designed to keep files on 2 devices in sync. This is designed to keep files on N devices in sync. This also means you have N copies of your files for potentially better redundancy.
~Speed. Here a file you're missing may be transferred from multiple hosts. In the case where you have just 2 nodes in your network it reduces to Unison speed.
~Easier setup. With Unison you have to manage SSH keys for passwordless login & router port forwards. This works with no setup at all across the internet, through NATs and even to a machine behind a corporate firewall.
Disadvantages over Unison:
~Doesn't have the robust conflict resolution features.
~Unison is open source. We have no idea what unwanted things the bittorrent binary could be doing.

Comment nice try blanco nino (Score 5, Insightful) 439

PhD candidate doing my research in new materials for photovoltaics here.

I'm sick and tired of all this mis-reporting. These are NOT 86% efficient cells. If they were, (and they were inexpensive) it would be the greatest discovery in 50 years and it would have been all over every newspaper in the world 2 weeks ago when this paper was published.

They simply absorb 86% of light that hits them. When you say a cell is X% efficient without qualifying it, it's taken to mean power conversion efficiency [PCE] (optical power in/ electrical power out) That and dollars per watt are the numbers that really matter. Read the Nature Materials paper that drove this and you'll see that theory says this design could be up to 17% efficient. That compares unfavorably to mid to high-end commercial cells on the market today.

I'm not saying that this research is a worthless endeavor, maybe they can hit the maximum theoretically possible PCE and keep the cost down. That might have real-world impact.

The caltech news brief quotes Atwater (the PI for this research) as saying that the photons are not only absorbed, but they're also convertedto charge carriers (which is a good step). The problem he doesn't mention here is, these charge carriers loose all their energy (voltage) before they exit the cell. Solve that problem and we've got a winner.

The fundamental issue with nano-structured designs like this is the surface area of the P-N junctions in them. Large surface area means high dark current which means low voltage output. Low voltage output means low PCE. Unfortunately, nothing in this research solves that problem.


Caltech Makes Flexible, 86% Efficient Solar Arrays 439

strredwolf writes "Caltech has released a flexible solar array that converts 95% of single-wavelength incandescent light and 86% of all sunlight into electricity. Instead of being flat-panel, they stand thin silicon wires in a plastic substrate that scatters the light onto them. The total composition is 98% plastic, 2% wire — the amount of silicon used is 1/50th that of ordinary panels. So as soon as they can get these to market, solar could be very viable and cheap to produce." Update: 03/01 21:02 GMT by KD : Reader axelrosen points out evidence that the 80%+ efficiency figure is wrong. MIT's Tech Review, in covering the Caltech announcement, says that the new panel's efficiency is in the 15%-20% range — which is competitive with the current state of the art. And the Caltech panel should be far cheaper to manufacture.

National Geographic Getting Into Video Games 35

penguin_dance writes "The AP is reporting that National Geographic is getting into video games. National Geographic Games, a subset of the parent company, will 'work with game publishers to turn its material into games for PCs, consoles and handheld devices.' The first title is out for the PC and iPhone. It's a hidden-objects game called Herod's Lost Tomb, and is built around their program on King Herod and an article in the magazine. They also plan to publish and distribute games for the console market, including PS3 and Wii, and the handheld market as well. 'The games will be drawn from a broad range of content and themes across National Geographic's properties.' National Geographic: Africa will be out next month, from Sony. Other upcoming titles include Rain Forests and Greencity. Also available this month will be National Geographic: Panda for the Nintendo DS."

Bug In Android Passes Keystrokes To Root Shell 205

pasokon writes "ZDNet reports on an Android bug in T-Mobile G1s with early versions of the firmware: 'When the phone booted it started up a command shell as root and sent every keystroke you ever typed on the keyboard from then on to that shell. Thus every word you typed, in addition to going to the foreground application would be silently and invisibly interpreted as a command and executed with superuser privileges. ... open the keyboard tray on your G1, ignore anything you see on the screen, and type these 8 keystrokes: (enter)-r-e-b-o-o-t-(enter). Poof, your phone will reboot.'"

Submission + - Google forbids turn-by-turn nav apps on Andriod

l3iggs writes: Google's Andriod SDK License Agreement ( links to their Google Maps API Terms of Service ( which has the following words in it:

"...You may not use the Service with...real time route guidance (including without limitation, turn-by-turn route guidance and other routing that is enabled through the use of a sensor)..."

This seems to fly in the face of everything that Andriod stands for and everything that makes it worth while. How can they tout this as an open platform if they prohibit development of (in my opinion) the most useful applications?
By the way, I believe Apple has a similar clause in their iPhone SDK paperwork.

I'm sure the underlying reason for this restriction is patent related. How annoying.

Submission + - best text editor?

l3iggs writes: "What is the best text editor (for your favorite platform)?"

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray