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Comment: the presentation is BS (Score 5, Interesting) 56

by serbanp (#49334013) Attached to: Stanford Breakthrough Could Make Better Chips Cheaper

The article follows the youtube presentation and the summary is, for once, accurate (i.e. does not introduce new errors).

The trouble is that the presentation is utter BS. The GaAs devices are NEVER made out of a solid GaAs wafer; the process starts with a plain silicon wafer, on which GaAs is grown epitaxially. The secret sauce is, and always has been, how to minimize the defect density at the Si/GaAs interface.

Such a wafer is more expensive than the plain Si one, but not 1000x more! Oh, and every purchaser would kill to get $5 8" wafers...

Since the Stanford guys are no dummies, I guess that the announcement was deliberately made to sound ridiculous. For what purpose? Time will tell.

+ - Apple Hiring Automotive Experts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A report at the Financial Times (paywalled) says Apple is on an aggressive hiring push to pick up automotive experts. Recent rumors suggest Apple is putting together a transportation research lab, and nobody outside the company is quite sure why. It's obviously unlikely that they'd like to build a car themselves, but quite possible they see a big space for Apple technology within motor vehicles, much as Google seems to. They already have CarPlay, and it will doubtless grow, but we still don't have anything approaching a dominant platform for car software. Whatever they're working on, it looks like the competition for more robust computer technology in cars is heating up."
Link to Original Source

+ - David Carr dies after moderating event with Edward Snowden & Glenn Greenwald->

Submitted by McGruber
McGruber (1417641) writes "David Carr, the New York Times media columnist who overcame numerous battles with addiction to become one of the nation’s most recognizable and respected journalists, died on Thursday after collapsing in the newsroom, the New York Times announced on Thursday evening. He was 58.

On Thursday evening, Carr moderated "Citizenfour — New York Times Talk at The New School" [] a panel conversation that included Edward Snowden, filmmaker Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald to discuss last year’s National Security Agency surveillance revelations. Afterward, he collapsed at his office around 9 p.m., NY Times spokesman Eileen Murphy said."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: sorry, all my laptop batteries are dead (Score 1) 143

by serbanp (#48541561) Attached to: Using Discarded Laptop Batteries To Power Lights

You can't do that with a laptop battery pack. It would mess up the gas gauge counter (which, depending on the pack's firmware, could or could be not a recoverable event) and also could damage the cell-sensing circuits (during the initial assembly, there is a precise order in which the cells are connected to the pcb).

Only 1S packs could be replaced this way, but these don't use the standard 18650 units and are not found in laptops.

Comment: Re:Red Queen (Score 1) 117

by serbanp (#48464669) Attached to: How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

Silly, the overhead administering it is very, very low. Much lower than the private retirement funds.

Are you really arguing against a system that helped old people live a little more decently? There is no denying that SS provided (and probably still does) a great social service.

If you're lucky, you will get old too and it's very likely you'll see it differently from now.

Comment: Re:Red Queen (Score 3, Interesting) 117

by serbanp (#48455607) Attached to: How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

Sorry Bill, but this time you seem to be off mark. As a percentage of the federal budget, "Defense" is some 17.7%, to which I would add the DHS and NSA, for a grand total of about 20%. That's not spare change.

When compared to the efficient way the other two agencies that command a large portion of the US budget (Health and SS) are run, it's hard to justify spending so much money on an endeavor so wasteful.

In the end, the US military adventures in the last few decades have put the country in a tough place. Some of the actions have been unjust and for that the US is loathed by quite a few, some other created the impression of the US being the World Cop, therefore many expect it to act at a finger snap (e.g. in Syria and I still remember the debacle over *not* intervening in Rwanda). In the long run, this is a losing situation, no matter how many resources are thrown at it.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"