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Comment Re:Wake me up when they stop using 28nm (Score 2) 76

What is the likelihood that, in three years' time, they have made any significant innovations on the hardware front whatsoever, aside from stacking memory modules on top of one another?

To me this looks like an attempt to continue to milk yesterday's fabrication processes and throw in a few minor bones (like improved VCE, new API support) while not really improving in areas that count, like power efficiency, performance per compute core, cost per compute core, and overall performance per dollar.

They explicitly mentioned 50% more perf-per-watt with respect to the R9-290X. In the end, if you get the performance you want and a reasonable power consumption, what do you care if it's made in 28nm or 22nm or whatever? Process technology is only relevant if it enables these targets.

Comment Lipid formulations of cancer drugs exist (Score 3, Informative) 39

Lipid formulations of cancer drugs already exist, notably liposomal doxorubicin. Usually these result in better intracellular delivery and less toxicity. The problem is that making stable lipid formulations is quite hard and the resulting product quite expensive. If this, apparently simple, method can create liposomal carboplatin (or whatever other drug), it could allow cheaper and more diverse liposomal anti-cancer drugs. That would be nice. Especially carboplatiin (and cisplatin) are extremely important for many, many different chemotherapy protocols.

Comment Re:Almost impossible (Score 1) 324

Ebanking often depends on two-factor authentication. Furthermore, this is exactly the kind of situation that would rapidly generate enormous publicity. Do you think that people losing thousands or millions are not going to notice? A firmware trojan in that situation would be very short-lived. Everything is possible, of course, but I would be more inclined to think industrial espionage or three-letter agencies, where this kind of "weapon" is likely to be used with discretion and over a long time.

Comment Almost impossible (Score 1) 324

Firmware is usually not signed. Furthermore, I am not even sure that most drives support reading the firmware. Overwriting with a "fresh" firmware might also be impossible, since I assume it happens through vendor extensions of said firmware. A malicious version could be able to thus protect itself.

In the end, such an elaborate scheme is probably directed towards very high value targets. I don't think this is the kind of trojan that runs out in the wild. I could be mistaken, though.

Like you, I do wish it becomes more secure in the future. If anyone has a list of vulnerable targets (brands, models etc), I would be interested to know.

Comment BitDefender renewal (Score 1) 467

I would just like to mention a rather dubious automatic yearly renewal I got with BitDefender. Although I normally wouldn't mind being given a reminder, in that case I only discovered the item in my VISA card statement. Annoyingly, they didn't even apply the discount that was running at their website at that moment, so I was charged something like $89 for a product that was selling $49 or so.

Anyway, be sure to check this if you are running or planning on buying BitDefender.

Comment Fundamentally not secure (Score 2) 186

I had the same thoughts when I tried installing CM on an old Android device. In the end, the platform was never meant to be secure or really open to user scrutiny. I suppose with a considerable amount of effort you could achieve some sense of security by inspecting all major components, but if you are inclined to invest a considerable amount of effort, then you probably want much better security and are looking at the wrong place. Phones/tablets are fundamentally insecure, and this is probably by design.

Comment Re:Quarterly forecast (Score 2) 153

I don't really think that is true. Just read Science and Nature on a regular basis. Lots and lots of new insights and discoveries by mostly US centers. It can and should be better - we're on a Red Queen type journey and much of our problems can be solved either by dropping us back into the Bronze age or moving forward understanding our world and how to live in it. Standing around staring at the scenery isn't going to get society very far.

Although I don't doubt for a second that US centers produce first-tier research, I am also inclined to believe that publishing in Nature is far easier when you come from a big US center. So, it is, in a way, a self-sustaining situation. Friends who have been to famous US centers (Dana-Farber, NIH, MIT), find it far more difficult to publish when they come back to Europe, and that is even after having established connections around the world.

With respect to TFA, I would just like to add two parallel phenomena that possibly contribute to the apparent "lack" of funding for young scientistis:
- Research is becoming exorbitantly expensive, therefore grants are more likely to be big and only distributed to the people at the top. Funding twenty young researchers with 100k is unfortunately much less productive than funding a big consortium with 2M because the barrier of entry (equipment, regulatory overhead etc) is very high.
- The PhD "inflation" means that today a scientist is considered senior/lab head after one and maybe two post-docs. It used to be that after the PhD someone would get a tenure-track job and the associated funds. Today this step occurs at a later age. Naturally, researchers under 35 are seen as "beginners" while a hollywood star or athlete is seen as a veteran at age 35. Such is life for the modern scientist...

Comment Time to buy vinyl? (Score 3, Insightful) 169

This economy baffles me. I rent a house, lease a car, subscribe to a Adobe software, pay-per-view TV, stream music, and play online-DRM games and god knows what else. The day I stop having income, I don't own a thing. I am not by any means going back to the age of carrying chunks of gold on my person, but I get the impression property is quickly being replaced by service in too many aspects of our living. Although practical and convenient, this can only amplify the financial insecurity of the middle/lower classes.

Well, if the shit hits the fan, I can always listen to my vinyl collection.

Comment Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

I'd generally agree about the quality of the speaker, but even in pure mathematical terms a piano is a very complex instrument with hundreds of moving parts and multiple configurations (pedals, chords etc). In fact you can connect most electric pianos to a hifi of your choice, but I don't think it's enough. I would try this, but I don't have a high-end speaker handy ;-)

Comment Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 3, Insightful) 433

If it were that simple, we could also completely emulate any instrument like a piano or a violin. Electric pianos can do wonders (I own one) but they can't copy the real thing (which I also own). The point is that a turntable is, in that sense, a complex transformation, like an instrument. You may like it or hate it, but it isn't that simple to emulate.

That being said,I'm sure people have mentioned the simple pleasure of actually owning stuff (instead of a virtual license to some bits on some server). Vinyl has that.

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 1) 242

There was some sort of sexual adventure between a male bot and a woman, but the story, although situated in the Foundation "universe", does not take place in the Foundation series itself. Actually, the story takes place in the distant past, before the appearance of the Foundation.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin