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+ - Google Patents Staple of '70s Mainframe Computing 2

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "'The lack of interest, the disdain for history is what makes computing not-quite-a-field,' Alan Kay once lamented. And so it should come as no surprise that the USPTO granted Google a patent Tuesday for the Automatic Deletion of Temporary Files, perhaps unaware that the search giant's claimed invention is essentially a somewhat kludgy variation on file expiration processing, a staple of circa-1970 IBM mainframe computing and subsequent disk management software. From Google's 2013 patent: 'A path name for a file system directory can be "C:temp\12-1-1999\" to indicate that files contained within the file system directory will expire on Dec. 1, 1999.' From Judith Rattenbury's 1971 Introduction to the IBM 360 computer and OS/JCL : 'EXPDT=70365 With this expiration date specified, the data set will not be scratched or overwritten without special operator action until the 365th day of 1970.' Hey, things are new if you've never seen them before!"

Comment: Depends on cell configuration and BMS (Score 2) 362

by smishra (#39135175) Attached to: Why Tesla Cars Aren't Bricked By Failing Batteries
The extent of work required upon the failure of a single cell depends on configuration of the cells and the Battery Management System. (BMS).

If Tesla is using 8000 cells, it is probably putting something like 6-12 cells in parallel packs, and then wiring up each of these packs of cells in series. The parallel cell packs provide the current capacity while the packs in series provide the high voltage required to operate the motors.

If an individual cell in a pack goes bad by having a degraded capacity, the capacity of the pack is degraded. However the pack can keep on operating.

If an individual cell in the pack goes bad by having a dead short a potentially catastrophic failure could occur as current from other cells in the pack flows through the shorted cell. There are probably fuses in the pack to prevent this.

The reaction of the BMS to such events will determine whether the car is dead in water or keeps on operating.

There are, of course, many more failure modes - the wiring harness of the cells could be bad, a bolt could come loose, the BMS electronics could fail and any of them could possibly cause the pack to go dead, till repairs are carried out. The engineers who designed this probably err on the side of safety, shutting everything down to prevent catastrophic failure..

Image

Govt To Bomb Guam With Frozen Mice To Kill Snakes 229

Posted by samzenpus
from the rodent-rain dept.
rhettb writes "In a spectacularly creative effort to rid Guam of the brown tree snake, an invasive species which has ravaged local wildlife and angered local residents, the US Department of Agriculture is planning to 'bomb' the island's rainforests with dead frozen mice laced with acetaminophen. While it might not seem difficult to purge an island of snakes, the snake's habit of dwelling high in the rainforest canopy has so far thwarted efforts to rid the island of the pest. Eradicating the snake is a priority because it triggers more than 100 power outages a year at a cost of $1-4 million and has driven at least 6 local bird species to extinction."
Graphics

Wolfenstein Gets Ray Traced 184

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-framen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After showcasing Quake Wars: Ray Traced a few years ago, Intel is now showing their latest graphics research project using Wolfenstein game content. The new and cool special effects are actually displayed on a laptop using a cloud-based gaming approach with servers that have an Intel Knights Ferry card (many-core) inside. Their blog post has a video and screenshots."
Image

Man Takes Up Internal Farming 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the cardiovascular-farming dept.
RockDoctor writes "'A Massachusetts man who was rushed to hospital with a collapsed lung came home with an unusual diagnosis: a pea plant was growing in his lung.' Just that summary should tell you enough to work out most of the rest of the details, but it does raise a number of questions unaddressed by the article: How did the pea roots deal with the patient's immune system? What would have happened if the situation had continued un-treated? I bet the guy has a career awaiting him in PR for a pea-growing company."
Social Networks

"David After Dentist" Made $150k For Family 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-this-real-life? dept.
It turns out recording your drugged child pays pretty well. 7-year-old David DeVore became an overnight sensation when his father posted a video of his ramblings after dental surgery. To date that video has made the DeVore family around $150,000. Most of the money came from YouTube, but the family has made $50k from licensing and merchandise. From the article: "The one seemingly minor decision to make the video available all over the Internet set off a whirlwind of changes for the DeVore family. Within just four days, 'David After Dentist' received 3 million views on YouTube and the younger David quickly became an Internet celebrity. His father quit his job in residential real estate (did we mention they live in Florida?), and the family started selling T-shirts featuring cartoon drawings of their son post-dental surgery."
Security

Stand-Alone Antivirus Software? 159

Posted by timothy
from the lonely-job dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I work for a company that repairs specialty devices that have an embedded Mini-ATX motherboard without a CD-ROM drive and run Windows XP Home. And while the USB flash drives we insert into them have a physical write-protect tab, we still encounter a (rather annoying) display dialog from malware/viruses to remove the write-protect so the malware can infect the flash drive. We don't remove the write-protect, obviously, but would like to offer our customers the option of removing the malware/virus without having to install any software. We would rather not install/uninstall antivirus software even for one-time use, due to various licensing issues, nor do we want to connect to the Internet to use web-based online scanners. Is there any stand-alone anti-virus/anti-malware software for Windows that can be run directly from the write-protected flash drive itself?"
Graphics

Nintendo 3DS GPU Revealed 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the powered-by-sunshine-and-bubblegum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The GPU for the Nintendo 3DS has just been revealed, and it's not made by Nvidia, ATI, or even Imagination Technologies. Instead, Nintendo has signed up Japanese startup Digital Media Professionals (DMP) in a deal that sees the company's PICA200 chip churning out the 3-D visuals. For the first time in Nintendo's history, the 3DS will feature a GPU with programmable shaders, rather than a fixed-function pipeline, meaning the 3DS is more graphically versatile than the Wii. Among the PICA200's features are 2x anti-aliasing, per-pixel lighting, subdivision primitives, and soft shadows. As well as featuring DMP's own 'Maestro' extensions, the PICA200 also fully supports OpenGL ES 1.1. The architecture supports four programmable vertex units and up to four pixel pipelines."
Medicine

What US Health Care Needs 584

Posted by kdawson
from the velluvial-matrix dept.
Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."
Handhelds

New Handheld Computer Is 100% Open Source 195

Posted by kdawson
from the small-wonder dept.
metasonix writes "While the rest of the industry has been babbling on about the iPad and imitations thereof, Qi Hardware is actually shipping a product that is completely open source and copyleft. Linux News reviews the Ben NanoNote (product page), a handheld computer apparently containing no proprietary technology. It uses a 366 MHz MIPS processor, 32MB RAM, 2 GB flash, a 320x240-pixel color display, and a Qwerty keyboard. No network is built in, though it is said to accept SD-card Wi-Fi or USB Ethernet adapters. Included is a very simple Linux OS based on the OpenWrt distro installed in Linksys routers, with Busybox GUI. It's apparently intended primarily for hardware and software hackers, not as a general-audience handheld. The price is right, though: $99."
Crime

Ukrainian Arrested In India For TJX Data Theft 40

Posted by kdawson
from the long-long-arm dept.
ComputerWorld reports "A Ukrainian national has been arrested in India in connection with the most notorious hacking incident in US history." "Sergey Valeryevich Storchark was one of 11 men charged in August 2008 with hacking into nine US retailers and selling tens of millions of credit card numbers. He was arrested in India earlier this week, according to a spokesman with India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In a statement, the CBI said they'd arrested Storchark in New Delhi on the night of May 8, as he deplaned from a flight from Goa, for layover before a flight to Turkey. US authorities had asked for his extradition via diplomatic channels. ... 'His extradition and prosecution would have been very unlikely had he reached his final destination of Ukraine,' the CBI said."
Image

New Speed Cameras Catch You From Space 351

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-place-to-run-or-speed dept.
A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The "Speedspike" system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: "Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled 'number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.' It also referred to the system's 'low cost' and ease of installation." I can't wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.
Earth

An Animal That Lives Without Oxygen 166

Posted by timothy
from the besides-me dept.
Julie188 writes "Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above."
Programming

Simpler "Hello World" Demonstrated In C 582

Posted by kdawson
from the non-obfuscated dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wondering where all that bloat comes from, causing even the classic 'Hello world' to weigh in at 11 KB? An MIT programmer decided to make a Linux C program so simple, she could explain every byte of the assembly. She found that gcc was including libc even when you don't ask for it. The blog shows how to compile a much simpler 'Hello world,' using no libraries at all. This takes me back to the days of programming bare-metal on DOS!"

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