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Comment: Re:To all who say it's not two-dimensional (Score 1) 137

by maird (#46942103) Attached to: First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials
Indeed, most drawings I can think of can be reproduced by moving the drawing device using only two directional references regardless of how thick the material placed on the paper is. Therefore, the drawing is two dimensional in a real sense even though it is simultaneously three dimensional in terms of deposit of crayon, pencil, chalk, ink, etc.

Comment: Re:A few atoms thick (Score 1) 137

by maird (#46942083) Attached to: First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials
Correction: I used transistor in places I meant to use atom: None of the materials the transistor is made of is a few atoms thick. Read the story more carefully. There was never a claim that the transistor was 2D, only that each of the materials the transistor used multiple layers of was 2D. Well, even an atom is thick but it is also true that in each layer of the materials used in the transistor the position of any atom with respect to any other atom only requires two dimensions to describe it (right a couple of atoms and forward a couple of atoms, no third direction required for each material used).

Comment: Re:A few atoms thick (Score 1) 137

by maird (#46942071) Attached to: First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials
None of the materials the transistor is made of is a few atoms thick. Read the story more carefully. There was never a claim that the transistor was 2D, only that each of the materials the transistor used multiple layers of was 2D. Well, even an atom is thick but it is also true that in each layer of the materials used in the transistor the position of any transistor with respect to any other transistor only requires two dimensions to describe it (right a couple, forward a couple, no third direction).

Comment: Re:Two-Dimensional My Ass... (Score 1) 137

by maird (#46942033) Attached to: First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials
I wondered about that one for a bit but no-one said the transistors were 2D, only that the materials the transistors were made were two dimensional. The transistors themselves consist of layers of these materials, each one atom thick giving the transistor itself three-dimensions: "First Transistors Made Entirely of 2-D Materials". Underscore materials not transistors. Every atom in each layer can be referenced by it's position relative to any other position in the layer using only two dimensions (left a couple, forward a couple but never up or down any atoms in that layer regardless of up or down being relevant in the multi-layer transistor itself). There are no transistors made of only one material so it was already implicit in the headline that the transistors had three dimensions due to the need to use multiple layers in each one.

Comment: Re:Actually it's both. (Score 4, Informative) 360

Lots of mistakes there. In the experiment you are referring to, the whole thing was NOT "positioned under water". In fact, the mercury siphon and both beakers of mercury were positioned in a larger container exposed to the air. The siphon tube has an extra pipe exposing the top of the bend to the air as well. The outer container that contains the siphon is "slowly filled with water". Since the two beakers that make up the siphon containers both contain mercury the siphon tube is then filled with mercury from the lower beaker before the higher one because of the weight of the water appearing on the lower one first. The extra tube at the bend in the siphon prevents any compression of the air in it. With properly selected heights of the two beakers of mercury the siphon pipe can fill from the lower one first, over the bend and into the higher one and the mercury will flow "upwards" due to the weight of the water only being present on the lower mercury. However, as soon as the weight of the water is present over both containers of mercury then the flow will reverse and go "downhill".

Comment: Re:Flight recorder (Score 1) 491

by maird (#46570843) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

Well, I stand by the fact that the ones you refer to didn't work in the MH370 case and a new generation of doppler science on Inmarsat data was required instead to reach an accepted location of the crash as being a more likely indicator that ELTs of that kind are not deployed on the MH370 airframe rather than a very good reason for passenger/crew families to sue Boeing and/or Honeywell. I never said such devices don't exist, the answer to your question "Isn't there supposed to be several salt-water activated beacons that are automatically released upon a crash?" is no. Quoting wikipedia for example:

"Most general aviation aircraft in the U.S. are required to carry an ELT, depending upon the type or location of operation, while scheduled flights by scheduled air carriers are not. However, in commercial aircraft, a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder must contain an Underwater locator beacon."

As far as I know from two respected broadcast news sources' stories (quoting government search organizations among sources) that automatic water activated ultrasound locators were being sought with urgency in the days following the MH370 crash due to their limited power life but that the problem was it was not worth searching other than in the region of the locator due to the low output power of the locator. A functioning floating VHF/UHF or even HF ELT would have been located with precision by satellite within no more than hours of the crash with half the world's ham radio operators contributing references from ground as well. It would not have been at the location of the crash when discovered if it was floating and would not have stayed where it was when located anyway. An underwater RF transmitter of the same type at the depth of ocean floor in this case would not have moved but would not be receivable other than in a small region around the crash, which is the reason ultrasonic ones are used underwater and why submarine external communications systems are not HF, VHF or UHF. I'm listening to a BBC World Service story right now where they are saying the new "rough" crash site is the size of Portugal and there's no knowledge of whether the "ultrasound" locator being sought is on a flat surface or down a sea-floor canyon.

I also heard a magazine style story using the Air France 447 crash as a frequent example and quoting US government aviation safety sources describing an intended design goal of ultrasound locators and the recorders themselves being to not leave the scene of the crash and that anything of interest leaving that location would be sought after based on best available knowledge of forces capable of moving them (tides for example). The reverse being intended if the debris is found away from the crash site. A floating radio ELT could not serve the same purpose and any on-board that did float could not be expected to go in the same direction as all survivors anyway so would have a lower than 100% effectiveness anyway. The only news discussion I've heard of ELT type locators is of the form where the reporter makes scathing comments about how outdated the system being sought is and how we must be able to do better with satellites and GPS for example and the interviewee points out that's not the problem, deploying such systems on all the world's existing civil aircraft makes it prohibitive to be considered an official safety system. In that case, I assume the Honeywell ELT system used by Boeing, for example, is a commercial locator that no airlines are required to deploy but can choose to buy.

The answer to your question was "no" with regard to MH370 and you've done nothing to show otherwise and quoted no sources of your own in response to several of mine. There were no RF ELT's on-board or required to be on-board MH370 and they would only be partially effective anyway. It contains one or two ultrasonic locators designed to have stayed at the crash site with the flight recorders and they cannot be discovered outside of a limited distance from them hence the need to know the crash site.

Comment: Re:Flight recorder (Score 1) 491

by maird (#46569005) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370
NPR and the BBC in the first week following the disappearance but here's some BBC magazining of it: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-... Besides, plainly if you were correct they would have to have completely failed for the search to have taken three weeks. Also, if they were "released" on a salt-water crash then if they floated they would not remain at the location of the crash even though the recorders would unless the beacons didn't float and if they didn't float they would be exactly what I described anyway.

Comment: Re:Flight recorder (Score 1) 491

by maird (#46566757) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370
As far as I understand it, no. As I understand it there is a similar mechanism for activating very low signal strength ultrasound devices on the recorders that are for precision location within a rough location of a final site. IOW, you need the rough location before you stand a chance of finding them. They are also limited life (approximately 30 days if I remember it).

Comment: Re:Flight recorder (Score 1) 491

by maird (#46566653) Attached to: How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370
RTFA. The latest claim is not that the apparent debris indicates anything at all. Instead, Inmarsat computed what they believe must be the rough final location from radio data regardless of the apparent debris and it predicts an inevitable crash in a location that would leave the apparent debris being observed now as a hardly surprising status.

Comment: Re:"As addictive as drugs" (Score 1) 285

by maird (#45147727) Attached to: No, Oreos Aren't As Addictive As Cocaine

Somewhere there was a comment about being addicted to food. As in, you can't be. Well, yes, you can, in the pure dependence meaning of the term, too. If you don't eat food you suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms. Death can be a final symptom. And you can be addicted to foods in the common language meaning of addiction. Mmmm, I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. I have a strong urge to eat it...

In which case water is even more addictive than even food (the mean number of person-days water is taken is bound to be higher than the mean number of person-days food is taken). Better still, food is not only addictive, it is the most overdosed on substance in the world with food pusher's selling as much as multiple daily overdoses to anyone who can afford a fix.

Comment: Re:Explain Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (Score 1) 205

by maird (#44790041) Attached to: Intel Rejects Supporting Ubuntu's XMir
I suspect the major reason for the Windows behavior is that the driver gets polled for the version it was intended for at install or load time and Windows says no to further operation if it is less than some value. As a result, modifying the driver to do no more than say it is for a higher version is enough for it to suddenly work with what is really unmodified code. Perhaps with minor changes but we're not talking about the way it can be in linux where the whole interface to the class of hardware is changed enough that the driver has to have some re-write (not a massive amount usually). But then, which one is the friendlier OS behavior? Saying no to a perhaps working driver in order to promote development claiming to support your shiny new OS version or saying to driver vendors that the OS has changed and modified drivers are needed to support these named changes? Which you are welcome to grep the kernel for all instances of and fix yourself if you please. It might be promoted as a problem on linux but I think I agree, the linux behavior is much friendlier to developers and users.

Comment: Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (Score 2) 205

by maird (#44789973) Attached to: Intel Rejects Supporting Ubuntu's XMir

But most manufacturers don't WANT to provide sources to their drivers

As someone who works on linux bug fixing for, among others, the hardware partners of a linux distro vendor I sense that changing day by day. Some never will publish but as a result those they compete with will generally have a lower per-developer cost of development leading to a higher rate of bug fixes alone for the vendors who do publish. Not publishing made sense when the PC was the only platform that mattered but I'm impressed by the number of x86/x86-64 build bugs I see for things being called point of sale systems. They are probably PC based but they are built in a way that means they'll never run Windows and there will be more of them in the end so the hardware with published source is probably a better choice for those manufacturers. I'm sure one of Intel's plans is to support them as hard as it can afford to. Those that follow the lead will probably do quite well. It's ironic that standardization of hardware was intended to make things cheap to mass-produce then we have mass-produced standard hardware interfaces that make incorporating a large variety of unique devices relatively easy and the cheapness comes from mass-produced software where standard libraries make the effort to handle each unique device very low cost and with just one third party developer interested in contributing to the final effort part of the cost for the hardware vendor is off-loaded. They only have to maintain control over what's accepted as code intended for their hardware.

Comment: Re:only way to get it fixed (Score 1) 404

by maird (#43909195) Attached to: Google Security Expert Finds, Publicly Discloses Windows Kernel Bug
Way to miss the point. No-one said the patches fix bugs discovered yesterday or anything about the fix duration. What they said was that the Fedora patches are released when ready, not when a scheduled event is available to include them in. IOW, if an identical bug is discovered the same day in both platforms and both R&D groups work on a fix and coincidentally both complete their fix the same day and it is two weeks to the Windows patch Tuesday the Fedora users will get the patch two weeks before the Windows users.

Comment: Re:Emulate (Score 1) 233

by maird (#42958977) Attached to: Full Review of the Color TI-84 Plus
The bunch of equations that are thrown at the students are essay questions. Just because it says solve for X doesn't mean you are expected to give no more than the value of X. It usually means you are expected to show how X is obtained via your working (i.e. your essay in mathematical syntax). When I did math exams just giving the numerical value of the final answer to a question was usually marked incorrect since there was no evidence it was any different from a lucky guess.

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