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Comment Re:alternative browsers, Opera? (Score 1) 113

I use opera, as it's my least hated browser. When I ditched FF due to Australis, the newest version of Opera was missing quite a few features. Still annoyed at the bookmarks handling, it's not good at all, can't export them to a file (for easy backups). Also, a few right click commands were missing, however I can't remember what they were now, I think it was opening a link in a new tab, but looks like it's there now.

Comment Re:Physics and economics don't care (Score 1) 179

Well, I probably shouldn't have spoken about incandescent bulbs (although the phoebus cartel does seem a little suspect), but I worked at a heating element manufacturer, and we made elements with no consideration to limiting life at all. As a result, we had elements in processes that were lasting well beyond 30 years. This couldn't be compared with competitors elements, who we were continually replacing. Heating elements essentially work in a very similar manner to an incandescent light bulb.

Then you consider planned obsolescence in many other devices. If you ever compare electric motors for domestic applications, to proper commercial applications (and I'm not talking about something with a label saying 'Heavy Duty'), you'll know what I mean, they're chalk and cheese between the two.

Comment Re:Physics and economics don't care (Score 1) 179

Economics only matter when they factor in planned obsolescence. The reality is, the cost to make the design that little bit better than the specifications call for, is usually not that big a factor because, invariably it's just a material cost. Yes there will be exceptions, but for a lot of electronic devices, like say an incandescent light bulb, well, they could make the filament better rated, but, if they did that, then light bulbs wouldn't have failed, and people wouldn't keep having to replace them.

Comment Re:And this would be a good deal for a partner how (Score 1) 111

There's a heap of manufacturers in China who are making no-name devices. I'm sure one of them would be more than happy to attach themselves to the Nokia name, as it would pull them out of the pit of insignificance, pretty much immediately.

As to your later part of your comment, Nokia really dropped the ball at the start of the smartphone era. They were in a great position, with some solid offerings for the time, but realistically had nothing to offer when the market moved to the 'slate' form factor. Nokia's first slate phone was about 4 years after they were introduced by competitors. Then couple that with some really dud offerings, plagued with hardware issues, by the time their lumia series was released, it was much too late. Their lumia phones, in terms of hardware, have been nothing short of excellent. Windows Phone, has been quite good, but for too long as well, it lacked basic functionality, meanwhile, the great features have gradually been dropped because they were too difficult to maintain, when integrated with the OS.

My gripe with the phone industry now is that flagship phones are going to absurd levels of specmanship. At some point, makers should realise that 1440p displays on a phone is just getting silly. I'd much prefer a ~720p display, for purposes of; it's good enough, and it should use less power, in terms of the display and processing requirements.

Submission + - NVIDIA Shakes Its Flowing Mane With Life-Like HairWorks 1.1 Demo->

MojoKid writes: Previously, you might not have thought much about a wig on a manikin, but checking out NVIDIA's latest tech demo, as a gamer or 3D graphics artists, hair can be pretty interesting. The video is of NVIDIA HairWorks 1.1, a simulation and rendering tool for creating lifelike hair and fur in video games. In the clip, NVIDIA shows off a Fabio-style hairdo with about 500,000 hairs that bounce and sway as the camera circles and forces move the hair. If this was a real wig, it might unseat one of the most boring videos ever. However, as an example of what modern 3D graphics can do with hair physics, it's pretty darn cool. Previous demos of HairWorks showed up to 22,000 strands of hair, making the jump to half a million much much more significant. The video was recorded with ShadowPlay on a GeForce GTX 980, which has some serious muscle, though it's not the most powerful card in NVIDIA's lineup. What's cooler than making life-like human hair? Putting flowing manes on vicious monsters, of course. Apparently, NVIDIA HairWorks simulation technology also plays a role in bringing more than a dozen creatures to life in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
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Submission + - Microsoft silently explains Windows 10's supported lifetime of the device->

An anonymous reader writes: When Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 would be offered as a free upgrade, the company also said that Windows 10 users will get free upgrades for the supported lifetime of the device. What Microsoft has failed to do at the time was to define what that "supported lifetime of the device" actually means. This has caused some confusion and not even MVPs seem to know what Microsoft is trying to say, even with Windows 10 launching in a matter of weeks.

However, a recently-published PowerPoint presentation from Microsoft sheds some light on the matter, revealing that Windows 10 users can expect to get free upgrades for two to four years, depending on "customer type" — yet another variable.

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Submission + - IBM doubles chip performance with 7-nano breakthrough->

An anonymous reader writes: IBM Research has announced a semiconductor chip breakthrough, introducing the world’s first 7-nanometer chip which will enable a 50% increase in processing speeds. The technology is the product of research carried out by IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and the State University of New York. The joint project has so far cost in the region of $3bn and hopes to establish a greater standard of superfast, compact processors and extend Moore’s law, signalling a steady progress in the computer industry over the next few years. IBM’s prototype processor cuts the size of the transistors housed inside the chip to measure just three times wider than a strand of human DNA.
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Submission + - IBM develops first 7nm chip ->

dcblogs writes: IBM says it has produced the world's first 7nm (nanometer) chip, arriving well ahead of competitors, thanks to advances in its chip technology. Chip makers are now producing 14nm processors, and the next big project for Intel and other chip makers has been the 10nm chip. IBM, in its announcement today, has upended the chip industry's development path. A 7nm chip will hold about four times as many transistors in the same area as a 14nm chip, which are now on the market. "For IBM to conquer 7nm without stopping at the 10nm that Intel is supposedly tackling, means that IBM has secured the future two steps out," said Richard Doherty, research director of Envisioneering. A big advance in creating the 7nm chip was the use of extreme ultraviolet lithography. Optical lithography, which is now used in building chips, has a wavelength of 193nm, but extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) has a wavelength of 13.5 nanometers, which carves much sharper patterns on silicon.
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Comment Replace post system (Score 1) 55

Not yet. They're going after the most complex problem now. What they could really look at is using large UAV's for air shipped goods in large quantities. The problem is again, reliability in making sure they don't crash and kill people on the ground.

The big advantage of using UAV's in flying is that the can exploit the efficiencies of balancing flight time, altitude and velocity while removing the human constraints. I'm not entirely sure what the optimum can be, but I'm hazarding a guess that flying higher and slower will require less energy to complete the trip. In ordinary piloted flying, well this creates the problem that the altitude means less oxygen, longer flying hours means additional crew for shift rotation which all preclude commercial flights from necessarily doing it. They might not even have to be planes, could very easily be solved with UAV blimps, although I think it's safe to assume that they still won't use hydrogen...

Comment Re:What happened to basic training standards? (Score 1) 86

In all my years of shooting training (non military, rather olympic rifle shooting and similar disciplines), there are women who do come in and do rather well, however most often it happens that way if there's someone to set everything up and all they have to do is put a round in and pull the trigger. Obviously there will be exceptions to this. Military trained shooters, at the ordinary level, are usually hopeless at disciplined target shooting. It's fair enough, they're two completely different things, but top notch marksmanship at the ordinary soldier level is not the criteria which good soldiers are measured by, therefore, it's not the only thing they spend time training. However, to relate this to the original topic, my shooting training largely revolves around a couple of things; namely steadiness of hold, and setting up the correct natural point of aim, so that your position aligns with your target as precisely as possible.

A large support won't necessarily train that into someone, what it may do is aid in the mechanics of sighting, which can be elusive for the beginner if they're lumped with all variables at once. However, in my experience, once that has been trained, and it's usually fairly quick, the supports get taken away and the next variables are added to mix everything together. For all intents and purposes, they don't need a robot to do this, they could just place a rifle on a rest and achieve the same thing.

Lastly, there is no definitively correct shooting posture. Everyone is physiologically different, and at elite level shooting, you'd be very hard pressed to find two shooters doing exactly the same thing. At the olympic level, the rifles are very customisable, and everyone adjusts things to suit themselves. This creates a difficult situation in a military context, where firearms are, by design, mass produced and simple in nature, in order to keep costs down and expedite manufacture if the need arises. As a result, they don't have the ability to adjust in many fashions to suit an individuals anatomy. Sometimes, this needs to be compensated for with a shooting technique that can be less than ideal in other circumstances.

Comment Making stuff (Score 4, Interesting) 266

Well, the things that I tend to do most often is make my own tools for fairly specific tasks. One of my greatest eureka moments was when I realised that I can 3D print my own tool to open a watch case. It took a few iterations (plastic after all is weak), but I finally hit on something that's reliable enough, and it won't scratch the watch case. This was all because I took it in some years ago for a battery change, and the person kind of made a mess of trying to open it, they bent a strap pin, put tears in the leather strap, and scratched the case back. Fortunately it was my cheap daily watch, but still, I got paranoid after that, and had no intention of going to that person again. Now, I save a few dollars by buying my own batteries, and they're good brand ones too, and use a plastic tool to open the watch. No chance of marking it.

The point isn't so much that 3D printing is awesome, but it's really great when you realise that with this tool (3D printer that is) I can do things which I previously would never do. I'd never consider making a tool before unless it could be made with sheet metal and a hammer and file, and in some ways, the tool I made is better than one I could buy.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings