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Comment: Re:This again? (Score 1) 480

by mikael (#49596823) Attached to: New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive

The system bounces microwaves inside a cone. When a photon hits the base of the cone, that pushes the vehicle forward as it bounces backwards. But the conical shape means that the next "bounce" of the photon will be distributed between a sideways movement and a small backwards movement. But because of the circular shape of the cone, the sideways movements cancel out. The forwards force is greater than the backwards force, so the final velocity is forwards.

Comment: Re:No big red button? (Score 1) 212

by mikael (#48647787) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Unfortunately for Airbus, it didn't quite work out when an airshow decided to have an aircraft do a low fly-pass in front of the crowds. The combination of low altitude, low speed with flaps and landing gear lowered made the AI think that the pilots wanted the plane to land. So the flight control system cut the engine power in preparation for landing.

Comment: Re:No big red button? (Score 1) 212

by mikael (#48646929) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

The problem is that blast furnaces aren't simply switched on and off, but have feedback software systems that adjusts fuel feeds, cooling systems and exhaust extraction to achieve the desired temperature while minimizing fuel consumption, cooling and pollution. Much the same way as electronic car ignition. The operating temperature would have to be ramped up and down slowly to avoid any damage through thermal stress.

It's the hardware overrides that would allow the cooling system to be reduced or switched off while the fuel feeds remain on.

Comment: Re:We're so far from that now! (Score 4, Interesting) 115

by mikael (#48606345) Attached to: The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

Back in those days, start of the art technology in CPU's were "restricted exports". The USA wanted to show that Communism didn't lead to as many advancements in technology as Capitalism, so they restricted exports on technology such as chip design software, CPU's and other chip logic (remember the A-team trying to block smugglers exporting flip-flop chips? It was that serious). This led to the Eastern European countries doing various work-arounds. They could get gray imports through third-party countries that weren't part of the Western trade block, and weren't part of the USSR either. Or they could set up fake companies in the host country that would export the technology.

Another strategy was to make their own logic chips. However, yields for complex logic such as CPU's, wasn't that good, so they ended up with CPU's with missing instructions. But that wasn't a problem, mathematician/software engineers figured out ways of emulating broken instructions using other instructions. If JMP was broken, then use CLR; BCC. Arithmetic operations like ADD could be replaced by NEG and SUB, and so on... So they ended up with an abstraction layer using assembler macros that provided a set of functioning instructions.

Comment: Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (Score 1) 156

by mikael (#48602717) Attached to: Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

In Norway, you can just go online to the bank website, use an authentication system based on a username, password and your mobile phone.
Then you just use the IBAN/SWIFT system to transfer the money to the account anywhere else in the world, and you can download your transaction history as a spreadsheet file.

Other banks in the UK require you to go into a branch, and have a clerk use a quill pen to fill out an entry in a giant leatherbound ledger book.

Comment: Re:Just let them test out! (Score 1) 307

by mikael (#48595583) Attached to: Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

It was the dot-com boom era. Established companies (bricks and mortar) were slow to catch onto the the internet presence, so there were thousands of startups which tried to fill that niche (Peapod who did online groceries, companies who get your bills redirected, so they could be opened and scanned in, so all you had to do was write the cheque to the utility company, and Amazon). The people that jumped into the CompSci courses at this time, were referred to as gold-diggers who were only interested in the money from knowing some HTML and scripting,

Comment: Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (Score 2) 122

by mikael (#48591379) Attached to: Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

From the job descriptions available now, a software developer, software engineer or senior software engineer will consult with clients and other engineers, write design specifications, write, design and implement unit tests using Microsoft or Google Test frameworks, do task breakdowns, provide accurate time estimates, implement software modules, provide code reviews, keep bug lists up to date, mentor software engineers through techniques such as pair or extreme programming, participate in Agile and Scrum meetings. Depending on the field of work, it's either going to be "Big Data" with R, Scala, Hadoop, Java, "Embedded Systems" with C, embedded C, assembler, IOS or Android; or "Desktop Systems" with C#, Java. In every case, they wil five years or more experience.

Comment: Re:Ehhh Meh (Score 1) 127

by mikael (#48407613) Attached to: US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

t I was trying to explain that there was a vast number of applications using classic supercomputer type technology, ranging from academic research down to multiplayer games. A modern game console now uses multiple cores, vector processors, vector chaining, kernels (if you consider vertex, fragment, geometry shaders as kernels), client-server communication to update players moves. Even geometry data is streamed across the network as some game MMORG worlds are so vast, all the data couldn't be stored on one disk drive. Then there are techniques of "sharding" games world so that the same geometry can be used, but with different groups of players.

Comment: Re:Ehhh Meh (Score 1) 127

by mikael (#48406547) Attached to: US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

Those numeric and simulation libraries were optimized in conjunnction with the Fortran compiler to take advantage of the hardware. The most obvious example; having fixed sized multi-dimensional arrays as global variables. For regular grids, the compiler can then decide which way to slice that data block up so that every processing node gets assigned a chunk of data. Since each function is not more than a few loop counters reading previous and current state for each grid cell, those get optimized into parallelised for-each calls. Once the scientists and engineers started writing and sharing numeric and simulation libraries and building on top of them, there isn't any need to change.

Reactor error - core dumped!