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Slashback: Zoning, Linking, Fooling 170

Tonight Slashback brings you updates (below) on the video card ATi isn't really putting out, home-brewed electronic multi-room temperature control, NPR's linking policy, and more. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Fantasy Hardware League Regarding our post on the allegedly upcoming Radeon 8500 MAXX, reader eyelove yu writes: "This pic is fake, as many people have suspected. (on front page) quoted Rubeena Hussein of ATi as saying,'"We have no current intentions of making this or similar boards.'"

Soon we will be able to assemble an entire system created in Photoshop. Yay.

Or you could roll down the windows ... vt@home writes: "As a followup to the earlier story, here is a system that not only allows to monitor the temperature throughout the house and draw nice charts, but also does already have computer controlled vents and even allows to control the A/C unit. Basically, this is a do-it-yourself zoning system, for under $500. Of course, the source is GPLd ;)"

Next week, the sidewalks will practically be free for public use. juanfe writes: "It's not like they really had any power to enforce their previous one, but NPR modified their Terms of Use on June 27. Now, linkers do not have to submit a form asking for permission, but NPR "reserve the right to withdraw permission for any link". More commentary from others.

Nothing like hundreds of angry bloggers threatening to withhold membership contributions to their local station."

Raising a stink to the power of 10. Snarfangel writes "After seeing Yet Another Slashdot Article extolling the virtues of meretricious metrification ("Isn't it Time for Metric Time?"), I decided to fight back the only way I know how -- by subjecting an innocent website to the Slashdot effect: This site goes into great detail about the importance of being Ernst (or at least Max Karl Ernst Ludwig) Planck, especially his system of units that only depend the fundamental constants of the universe -- the speed of light, the gravitational constant, the Planck constant, and the charge of the electron. With appropriate scaling, you get a unified measurement system that is not only more logical than Le Systeme International d'Unites, but is also much better for calculating physics problems in your head.

After all, if we are going to go to all the effort to change our measurement system, why not use that same effort and get the system *right* the first time?"

On a different note, Colin LeMahieu writes "I noticed your post on metric time. I stumbled across this while looking for various computer timing related articles and found it pretty interesting. This might not be as popular as metric time, but it seems to make more sense. The whole system is based on time as a fraction of a day; it even has the scientific measurment on how to re-produce the time, as with any scientific measurement."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Zoning, Linking, Fooling

Comments Filter:
  • Of course (Score:5, Funny)

    by gusnz ( 455113 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:05PM (#3853449) Homepage
    We always knew that the existing measurement system was thicker than two short Plancks :).
    • So from now on, I'm working from 4_00 till F_00?? With lunch at A_00?

      I like the look of this - especially the conversion between hex seconds, minutes etc being just a matter of shifting the decimal point. Does this mean we have Smarch as a month? (:
  • Are you sure they used Photoshop to create that ATI image? Maybe it was the GIMP. ;)
  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:14PM (#3853478) Homepage
    Specifically, look at the screws on the heatsinks of each GPU. They're at exactly the same orientation on both. Someone copied the one on the left, shrunk it a bit for proportion, and copied it onto the card after rearranging the PCB a bit. Notice also the distortion in the upper surface of the heatsink, where it doesn't mesh very well with the voltage regulator behind/above it.
    • Yep. They did a damn credible job, though. It's pretty obvious that they were quite observant of what details would give it away. As a hardcore Photoshop user, I give this fake pic an A-. I think I found the images they merged together to make the fake pic.

      Check out this one: 75 00/r7500close.jpg

      and this one: im ages/radeon8500_boardshot.jpg

      And here is the final image: 83 Ci5cT_1_1_l.jpg

      What they basically did was they took the ass end of the 8500 card and stuck it on the end of the 7500 board. It's interesting that they did this because they had to invent part of the circuit board themselves in order to place the processors. (I imagine the [H] on the final image was meant to cover up an obvious error.)

      They did a relatively credible job, but they did make one crappy mistake. When ATI took the 'product photos', they did them at slightly different angles. The 'artist' who faked the dual GPU image did a respectable job of masking the perspective problem. But they would have done much better to cast a few lines to the point of convergence, then use the Photoshop 'distort' feature to line them up a little more accurately. That's why the processor to the right looks like it's not pushed in all the way.

      I'm impressed with the amount of work they had to do in order to cook up this image. It was considerably tougher than 'copy/paste'.
      • The [H] on the image is the HardOCP watermark thing that they place on any images on their site. So it wasn't there before they got it.. Other than that.. good post :-)
        • "The [H] on the image is the HardOCP watermark thing that they place on any images on their site."

          Doh!! I shoulda noticed that! hehe. *wasn't paying attention.

          If you're curious how I found those images: All I did was go to Google's image search and typed in 'ATI Radeon 8500'. Before long, I ran across product pics.

          That was a fun little project, took about 10 minutes. :)
      • Geez dude, how'd you find those images? Heh.

        A little masochistic, dontcha think?

        (Interesting read, though. :))
        • Masochistic? Masochistic is when you try to set up RedHat to do the day to day stuff that Windows makes easy. Heh

          All I did was type in 'ATI Radeon 8500' at Google's image search and flipped through the pages a bit. When I saw something that looked like a product shot, I grabbed it. The main clue that I had the right card was the cable running from the GPU fan to the card. It only took me about 10 minutes to do.
          • I have a feeling that the parent post here got modded down because he didn't sing the praises of Linux. Never mind that the focus of this guy's post was about the faked Dual GPU picture that was mentioned in this article. No no, he said RedHat was 'masochistic'.

            So what? If he found it hard to use, he's to get modded down for it? Yah, clever way to respond. Too bad whoever modded 'em down didn't have the balls to tell him why. Boy you really taught him a lesson: "Linux zealots are easy to tweak."

            All this over an opinion.
    • Dual processor graphics cards are nothing new.

      All in all that was a pretty good photoshopping, though.

      What made me wonder was the part about how they hadn't figured out the way in which the VIVO daughterboard would connect. If it's already in silicon, it's a little too late now :)
    • by CharlieG ( 34950 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @09:39PM (#3853774) Homepage
      That would be called "Timing" of the screws. In a lot of old finely made mechanical items (watches, guns) the screws ARE timed - the slots ALL line up exactly the same way. it was a craftsmanship thing

      That said, with todays CNC milling machines that have what is called "Rigid tapping", or if the threads are "thread milled", it happens all the time, the tap goes in the same way each time, so if the screws are all made the same, all the screw heads come out the same. Looks strange, but it does happen

    • I agree that the picture was faked, but I think it's important to note that just because the picture was faked doesn't mean it wasn't a leak. Companies put together draft pictures like this all the time for their sales efforts.

      Of course, I tend to believe ATI when they say it's all a hoax.
  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:18PM (#3853488) Journal

    What if fundamental constants of the universe turn out not to be constant []?

    My car gets 50 rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

  • by gusnz ( 455113 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:22PM (#3853506) Homepage
    ...and why this hasn't already happened.

    The meter, for instance, was originally defined as one ten-millionth of the distance between the north pole and the south pole. Although now the Earth has been measured more accurately so it's off by a bit, and it's now defined by the length light travels in a vacuum in a very short time.

    But really, why are we basing measurements on all these arbitrary values anyway? Like the Imperial system originated from the dimensions of some king's thumb or similar, pretty much every measurement ever devised and in common everyday use is derived from non-universal values, which have no practical upshot -- if we want to measure the Earth, we're going to include some decimal places anyway.

    Personally I think this, if adopted, would make scientific calculations a bit easier. It's annoying to have to remember several different conversion constants for gravity, charge, gas constant (8.314 or similar?), and so on. And perhaps without all the continual conversions, relationships between different physical principles might become more readily apparent...?

    But I guess the downside is that some calculations are always going to have funny conversion constants, especially in the non-Physics world (Avogadro's number in chemisty perhaps for instance?). So even though the metric system isn't perfect, it's the standard so we might as well use it (although this could be the web developer in me speaking). It would be too much change for too little benefit to rescale the entire number system -- convincing the general populace would be just about impossible, especially considering how much trouble some countries are still having adjusting to the metric system ;).
    • But really, why are we basing measurements on all these arbitrary values anyway?
      The standards are chosen so that they're easy to reproduce accurately. If you're doing ultra-high-precision work, using the Planck system wouldn't even be an option, because G, in particular, is known with very poor accuracy. BTW, c now has a defined value in the metric system, but they waited to do it until technology made it a better standard than the previous one. There's also talk of defining the kilogram in terms of a certain number of atoms of a certain isotope, but right now atom-counting is a less accurate standard than the famous platinum-iridium cylinders in Paris.

      Many physicists do use natural units (systems of units where certain constants equal 1) very often for certain types of calculations. If you're doing relativistic stuff, it's much easier to work with a system where c=1. If you're one of the hardy souls working on quantum gravity, then you do indeed use the Planck system, simply because it makes all the equations simpler. But there isn't any advantage to the Planck system unless you're doing research in quantum gravity.

    • Back in the seventies, I played around with a system where the principle fundemental constants were powers of 10, eg

      light speed = 1,000,000,000 ft/s
      elect const = 0.000 000 001 'F' / ft
      magnt const = 0.000 000 001 'H' / ft
      gravitation = 0.000 000 001 lb s^2 / ft^3

      Such a system is easy to set up, and produces practical sized units. The nifty thing about this is that one could convert pounds and coulombs with a foot ruler, since the size of the foot, pound, and charge unit directly is in proportion to time. So a mars-ruler laid up against an earth-ruler converts pounds etc. The replacement for Volts, Ohms Watts, and Amperes are not changed from planet to planet. The only trouble is that the thing's hard to set up for practical use.

      On the other hand, I did try to look for a 'better' system. I did manage to get eight constants working in a google-system. In essence, the process of dimensional analysis is to let things like L, M, T and I have numeric values, being powers of 10^100. The set I used after much study is L=1E1100, M=1E73300, T=1E100, Q=1E32200. So a kilowatt is 1E75203. One can then work with a wide range of units, eg tonne = E73303 becomes coherent.

      You can do the same thing with the fine structure constant, and an assortment of natural constants as well. Instead of powers of 10, you use powers of 137.0359895, or its square root. The relevant units are:

      L 1K1100 = 137.036 bohr radii
      M 1K73300 = 137.036^2 electron mass
      T 1K100 so that c = 1K137.036^3
      Q 1K32200 = 137.036 electron charge
      t 1 th so that m_e c^2 / k = 137^4

      These units refers to one boron-sized molecule at atmospheric pressue, ~ 10 K. Most of the numbers come out as they should: avagadro's number in this system is 10.3 (ie 137.036/1868).

      It still does won't be used in science because of the way scientists works. Something like "cgs units" or "atomic units" is of their name.
    • some calculations are always going to have funny conversion constants, especially in the non-Physics world (Avogadro's number in chemisty perhaps for instance?).

      Er... Avogadro's number is just defined in terms of grams (12g of carbon=1 mole, 1 mole=[Avogadro's number] atoms). If we switched units we would automatically get a new value, possibly a nice clean one. Or we could just change 1 mol=10^21 atoms.

      • It would just be a matter of figuring out how much 12g is in Planck mass. The definition of the mole is the number of atoms contained in precisely 12g of the most commonly occuring isotope of Carbon. (That number being about 6.022x10^23 atoms) As you can see, it wasn't picked arbitrarily, there really is a basis for that number.

        It would be easier said than done trying to find another element that had an integer for the atomic mass of it's most common isotope as well as containing 6.022x10^23 atoms, hence the definition of the mole would change.

        Not that there ever WILL be a change to this system of measurement, but if in some alternate dimension there was, I'm betting that they'd just use the Planck-mass that is the equivalent of 12g of carbon.

    • well, at least the metric system is internally consistent (unlike that other thing): 1 cm cubed of water weighs 1 gram and it takes 1 joule of energy to raise its temerature by 1 degree celcius. nice, huh.
      • 1 cm cubed of water weighs 1 gram and it takes 1 joule of energy to raise its temerature by 1 degree celcius.

        Actually, 1 cc of water weighs about 1/100 of a newton, and one calorie will raise the cc of water by 1 degree celcius (about 4.2 joules).
        • "Actually, 1 cc of water weighs about 1/100 of a newton, and one calorie will raise the cc of water by 1 degree celcius (about 4.2 joules)."

          newtons are a measure of force -^-2. or are you getting technical about weight vs mass? but I stand corrected about the 4.2 joules bit. that'll teach me to post on the basis of 15 year old memories of high school physics. : )
    • > If we want to measure the Earth, we're going to include some decimal places anyway.

      Not me. I reckon it's 1.00000 earthins (diameter), or 1.00000 earthons (circumference).

    • convincing the general populace would be just about impossible, especially considering how much trouble some countries are still having adjusting to the metric system ;)

      Yeah, but think of the potential for the geek & nerd subculture to further distance themselves from the real world by using units that no-one else has even heard of!

      I've previously played with fractions of the speed of light, as a way to liven up my bike riding (which I do mainly as a marginally non-boring form of exercise). This makes 12mph sound a lot more exciting: it works out to 17.9 nano-c, i.e. 17.9 billionths of the speed of light. Most electronic bike speedometers let you calibrate them to any units you like, so for a while I had my speedometer set to show my speed in these units. If you do this, it helps to already be familiar with kilometers, since 1 nano-c is fairly close to 1 kph (actually about 1.079 kph).

      I gave this up when I realized that it was going to take me forever to cover the four light years to Alpha Centauri...

    • ".. and it's now defined by the length light travels in a vacuum in a very short time.

      But really, why are we basing measurements on all these arbitrary values anyway?

      A metre is how far light moves in 1/299,792,458th of a second. This is because light travels at the speed of 299,792,458 metres a second. See?
    • [meter] now defined by the length light travels in a vacuum in a very short time.

      Yep. Any distance less than 1,860,000 miles (3*10^9 meters) is one meter.

  • I saw a picture of one on the web... honest! It looked just like a Pentium IV except there was no I!

    Just more proof that Slashdot doesn't really check their sources. :-)
    • i wonder if it will really be called the pentium V... we had:
      8086/8088/80186 (they were just sorting out names here)
      then not 586 but Pentium
      Pentium Pro (ignore this one)
      Pentium 2
      Pentium 3
      Pentium 4
      Based on the limited sample size, Intel appears to have an aversion to the number 5, my guess is the new processor will be called the 'pentium pentium', with the subsequent processor called the 'pentium pentium 2', all the way up until the 5th incantation of the 'pentium pentium' where the processor will be named the 'pentium pentium pentium', and so on (and yes, i do think they will still be making x86 based processors then)
      • Actually, they have an aversion to not owning the trademark on the name of the processors. AMD was selling "486"'s, so Intel tried to trademark (or use some legal to prohibit AMD or Cyrix from naming their product lines the same) "586". They pretty much got laughed as if I remember correctly, and had to come up with a trademarkable name. Hence the term "Pentium", notice how nobody else makes Pentiums, but everybody made 486's. That's why. If I remember right they tried to trademark MMX, and lost in court over that too.

        I'm not sure how they came up with the name 8086, probably from the 4004 to the 8080 to 8086, but the 8086 was named. It was a 16 bit bus. The 8088 was actually newer but had an 8 bit bus so it was named 8086. The 80186, it a 16bit bus and the next generation of the 16 bit bus. The Pentium Pro was is commonly refered to as the as 686 (probably because Intel developed it under that name). The Pentium Pro, P2, and P3 all used the same basic core. The P4 is a new core. A P5 IMHO should be dubed "Decium", as it is the 10th chip in the line x86 line.


      • The 8088 was a different processor from the 8086 and 80186.
        • as the 80186 was a different processor to the 8088 and 8086, repeat for 8086 vs the other two.

          but really, the 8088 was just an 8086 with an external 8 bit data path (like the 386SX to the 386DX), and the 80186 was just an 8086 with some extra on-chip io.

          It all depends on where you want to draw the line, that's where I chose to draw it. :p

    • I saw a picture of [a Pentium V processor] on the web

      For one thing, it's "Pentium 4" not "Pentium IV".

      For another, Pentium 5 would be abbreviated as "P5", which is one of the generic terms used to refer to 586-generation processors [] such as the original Pentium, AMD's K5, and whatever Cyrix had out at the time.

      Athlon and Pentium 4 are 786 processors []. Pentium 5 and the Hammer series will probably be considered 886's unless Intel tries to squeeze another chip out of its Pentium 4 core (the PIII was just a PII with SSE and a couple slight optimizations to the P6 core).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It doesn't matter how constant you think something is, it'll be disproven in 50 years anyway. Full (metric) speed ahead!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:34PM (#3853547)
    Number of Good Articles: 0
    Number of Trolls: infinity
    Number of Spelling Mistakes/Article: 2
    Number of First Posts: 1
    Number of Wasted Work Hours per Day: 8
    Number of Linux Zealots: 2418
    Number of Mac OS X Lovers: 10
    Number of Microsoft Believers: 1
    Number of Bible Commandments Worth Following: 3

    Being able to pay with your Microsoft Passport: priceless
  • by yakfacts ( 201409 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @08:36PM (#3853555)
    This time, the fake GPU card would have fooled me. There are a couple things that look wrong, but it was a good enough job that I would have been fooled had I not known it was a fake.

    There was a fake post here in 2000 where somebody took an Adaptec 2940 card and tweaked it a bit, then claimed it was a Russian-surplus vector-based supercomputer-on-PCI card. Ignoring the fact that the fake graphic was obvious (you could still see the Adaptec logo and QC stickers on the card), I could not believe people would fall for a "cray on a chip" from Russian surplus. While Russia is a fine country with a great history, they are not known for their high-tech electronics. This is the same country that was still uses tube computers and radios in the mid-1990s, and used to buy new pinball machines just so they could pull the 68000 CPUs. If the Russians had any infrastructure to develop such a bleeding-edge device, the certainly would not be selling it. I posted my feelings then and got flamed for it.

    But I could fall for the ATI card. ATI has a history of Dual-GPU cards. I strongly disagree with the poster who said "dual is not as good"; depending on how it is done, it can be much better. Don't use Windows NT as your baseline for multiprocessor applications. Design an application (in this case, a driver) that expects to see certain CPUs in certain places and hardware that automagically divides the load. There are good ways to do this if you ALWAYS know what sort of hardware resources you will have. Systems that don't (standard Windoze or Linux applications) will suffer greatly as they try to adapt on-the-fly.

    • Do you have a link/biblio-reference to the info about the Russians buying the pinball machines?

      One of my favorite Russian-CS-is-screwed is the story about the metric chips... This Byte article [] alludes to the original story... In short, the Russians stole western-technology and produced knock-off copies using "the metric inch" -- except when their poor-quality copied failed, they couldn't use real (stolen?) chips to repair their machines.

    • I don't know about "consumer" electronics in Russia, but one of the reasons they used tube technology in their military equipment was because it wasn't as susceptible to electromagnetic pulse damage during a nuclear strike. An EMP will destroy any unshielded semiconductor device. But if you are using tubes, and you know the strike is coming, you can just power your systems off. Since a vacuum tube only "conducts" when running at high voltage, this prevents the EMP from propagating throughout the entire circuit, thereby improving the chances of surviving the EMP.

      At least this is what I have heard from a Russian physicist.

      • That's true, but it is also because they could not design radiation-hardened chips. Other countries did.

        Also, the sophistication of a vacuum-tube computer is limited by the size, heat, power consumption and failure rate of the components.

        You can't do a supercomputer in tubes. Not with present tube technology.
  • doesn't the word metric come from meter? or is it the other way around?
    surely the correct term is 'decimal' and not 'metric' time.
    • In fact, "metric measurement" is redundant, unless you're measuring systems of measurement.

      The words "meter" and "metric" are both derived from Greek by way of Latin and French.
    • by alienmole ( 15522 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @09:40PM (#3853778)
      doesn't the word metric come from meter? or is it the other way around?

      Neither, really, although it's true that the "metric system" is based on the meter as one of the fundamental units of measure. But both words ultimately derive from the Greek word "metron", meaning "measure". That's why the little dials that measure your electricity usage, for example, are also called "meters", and why software developers use the term "metrics" to refer to measurable aspects of their systems.

      surely the correct term is 'decimal' and not 'metric' time.

      "Metric time" is presumably meant to imply that the system of time in question would properly belong to the metric system of units. But you'd be correct in assuming there's nothing intrinsic about "metric time" that relates it to the "metric system", other than that both systems rely heavily on powers of 10.

  • by ke4roh ( 590577 )
    My favorite argument for the U.S. measurement system was the utility of the units - measurements of practical lengths based on things we have handy (like feet), practical volumes (like gallons (think "buckets")), and so on.

    Take a look at the Planck units - oddly enough, they work out to be particularly meaningful (equivalencies here are approximate see the write-up [] for specifics):

    • new meter ("finger") = 1.616 cm
    • pace = 100 new meters = 5.3 feet
    • new mile = 1000 paces = U.S. mile
    • gallon = (U.S. gallon + British gallon) / 2
    • new gram = 3/4 oz (mass)
    • new minute = .9 minutes
    and so on. Now the U.S. can skip over metric and go straight to Planck units. Brilliant!

    186,000 miles per second - it's not just a good idea, it's the law!

  • by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly@ix . n e t c o m . com> on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @09:23PM (#3853692)
    It is possible, if you don't want deep linking, to just redirect to the homepage if the "referrer" isn't a site of yours.

    It's not rocket science. I have seen people protect linked javascript code that way, why not "deep" pages? That way they don't have to write a usage policy to cover their wishes, it is a technical solution.

  • here is the link to the picture of the fake radeon

    FAKE! []
    • The upper left and lower right screws actually do NOT quite match. And what about the fan power connector? That looks pretty durn real. The silk-screening around it looks pretty clean too.
      I'm no photoshop guru (I prefer Gimp :).
    • "After all, if *we* are going to go to all the effort to change our measurement system, why not use that same effort and get the system *right* the first time?"
    Most of the world doesn't need to change to the metric system, most of the world already uses it. You're playing catch-up.
    • If you comprehend what he's saying, metric users need to change too, so you would *also* be changing to the right system for the *first* time.

  • Arbitrary Units (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord Bitman ( 95493 )
    I'm all for starting with universal constants, but the fact remains that no matter what you start with, the units you use will remain arbitrary. Unless we want to divide time by exactly a "Planck interval of time", we're going to be scaling it. So maybe a Planck unit of time is a universal constant , but if we still use "Planck Minutes", "Planck Hours", etc, it is still arbitrary. The problem is "to the power of ten" is _not_ a universal standard. In fact our entire base-ten system is just as arbitrary as our day/24 system.
    So a day isnt a universal constant. So what? Saying that we divide it by 24 is no more or less arbitrary than saying that a Planck minute is 10% shorter than a 'regular' minute. Why not multiply the Planck unit by 11 instead of 10? Wouldnt that just about clear up the 10%? [yes, I know, ~11.111, so sue me. The point is that the two are just as arbitrary]
    I wasnt going to say anything, but then I took a glance at the Hex-Clock page, which actually suggested that 16 divisions were somehow less arbitrary than 24 divisions. Is there somebody out there who actually believes this?
    I, personally, like the idea of using universal constants as the basis for some time scales. But to suggest that this somehow makes the way we talk about time non-arbitrary, that seems far-fetched.
    • On the other extreme, you could go for a base-120 system like this.

      second = 20 thirds (day = 120^3 thirds)
      metre = 40.8 inches (so g = 1 in/th/th)
      kilogram = 68 ounces (so 1 cu in water = 1 oz)
      kelvin = 17424 seconds, so 100dC = 121*120^s sec

      In this system

      1 ozf = 1 oz in/th^2
      1 'cal' = 1 oz in^2 / th^2

      g = 1 in/th/th = 9.80392156 m/s
      d = 1 oz/cu in = 998.784 kg/m3
      j = 1 erg/oz t = 4186.8512 J/kg K

      The thermal, gravitational and absolute systems coinside, and the units are much better than the CGS: 1 W = 14.14944 power units. 1 KW = 0.9826 * 120^2 power units.

    • Sure. Adopting either replacement system (metric or "new metric" Planck) is changing the measurement system to match our base-10 number system. At least Planck-based "new metric" units do the job more consistently than SI units.

      And even if we went with powers-of-two on the grounds that it's less arbitrary since the universe has lot of polarity/duality to it, scaling the units to something useful for humans is arbitrary, too.
  • by frank249 ( 100528 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @10:20PM (#3853933)
    I wonder why someone went to all the trouble to fake the photo and leak phony specs? It could have been part of a plan to manipulate ATI's stock price. Look at the hourly stock price chart [] for ATI today. ATI (ATY on TSE) opened this morning at $10.70cdn and by 10:30 am was down slightly to $10.60. The story came out on slashdot at 10:30 and within an hour had risen to its daily high of $11.08 but then closed down .23 at $10.52. Not a big spike but someone could have made money on this.
  • Just a quick tipoff for the fake pic of the Maxx.

    A. Notice that the screws on both heatsinks are in the EXACT same position.

    B. Note that the fans are in the EXACT same position on BOTH fans !

    C. Note that the light and shadows displayed on both fans are exactly the same (minus one or two blurred out tiny reflections), even though each fan is in a different position on the card and different distances from the light source/camera !!

    Just my 2 cents !!

    P.S. notice the dark blurry line running from the bottom of the card to the top of the card to the left of the farthest heatsink....tsk tsk that the BEST you fakes can do ?!
  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @11:09PM (#3854140)
    Do I have to let everyone come sit in my living room when it's hot outside?

    -- Terry
    • This got modded as a troll?!?! sheesh it was a joke, lighten up a bit. No wonder open source people somtimes all get tarred with the Zealot lable. If your gonna take somthing so serious that that you can't laught it or yourself from time to time then you need to just leave it for a while and regain your sense of perspective. +3 funny would be more apropriate. Mycroft
  • In "A Deepness in the Sky" Vernor Vinge uses seconds throughout the novel. If he wants to refer to a little over a quarter hour it's one kilosecond, a megasecond comes to about eleven and a half days, an Earth year is about 31.5 megaseconds... I found it actually quite easy to convert in my head by the end of the novel.
    • I really liked this system too, especially for a space-faring culture which has no need for marking time as integer fractions of the rotation of an arbitrary blue-green planet. Seems to me that it'll make a whole lot of sense to use something like this when we get permanent off-planet colonies. (Especially Martian colonies, where a day is close enough to an Earth day for the residents to live by the Martian light/dark cycle, but just enough off to bollox calendars between there and mother Earth.)

      Of course, my favorite part about this system is Vinge's description of when the calendar began...

      Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth's moon. But if you looked at it still more closely... the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind's first computer operating systems.

      "Beginning of the epoch" indeed!

  • somehow it just doesn't sound all that cool if i brag that my new car can go 1.85*10^(-7)c - that is, if i had a new car...
  • On the subject of time measurements, here is a link [] to avocacy of the 28 hour day. I for one am all for it!
  • While a system that would depend on "the fundamental constants of the universe" is a great idea, I do not think most people on the street care to do physics problems in their head.

    Rather, they will be concerned with something that regulates their behavior as greatly as the rotation of the Earth. Not fixing the time to the cycle of a day would confuse most people. Imagine having to go to work at a different time every day of the year.

    This second time system also has a problem. While it looks very interesting, it is base 16. The entire argument was proposed over finding a base 10 system of time. Adding a base 16 time system to the metric system would be a step toward returning the metric system to something like the English Imperial System. Such a system would only be good for computers since it works no nicely with binary numbers. But if that is to be done with time, why not recreate the entire metric system for computers and base it on 16 and not 10?

    However, when arbitrarily choosing a time system to replace the current one, the choice should probably be something made for people. Base 10 works well for those of use without physics degrees or wetware interfaces, and it fits into the original scheme of the metric system.

  • My friend Charlie did something like this at, a geekhouse in Santa Cruz. Or at least, that's what used to be at that domain, I haven't looked recently.

    IIRC it was heat-only ... this is santa cruz we're talking about, not the gobi, or texas. (Of course, since texas is underwater right now, that's sort of silly sounding.) Anyway if any thermostat wanted heat, they all got heat, and any thermostat that wanted heat opened its own vent. More to the point, there's no server in this system, just some simple gates and some digital thermostats, and a little tiny bit of custom logic. Really, you can do the whole thing with relays, you don't even need ICs. You could probably steal every single part you needed from pick and pull if you looted some cars of their environmental systems and various relays.

    Remember, the paranormal hamster says, "Hardware solutions to software problems."

  • Water (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PMuse ( 320639 )
    With reference to water at Earth surface conditions,

    1 centimeter^3 = 1 milliliter = 1 gram = 1 degree celsius = 1 calorie

    Physics is nice, but life at the surface of this planet involves one heck of a lot of practical problems involving water.

    Furthermore, a measurement system based on fundamental constants is not all that helpful for solving problems at the human scale. As a portion of all math problems solved by all humans everywhere, those involving c, G, etc. are a pretty small subset. Viva Newtonian mechanics!

    Now, a system that reconciled pi and e with integer values would be helpful. Unfortunately, no such system can exist. "I have discovered a truly remarkable proof but this margin is too small to contain it".

    (7361 ,tamreF ed erreiP)
  • by g_bit ( 253703 )
    Dear NPR,

    Your terms of use state "We reserve the right to withdraw permission for any link.". Unfortunately, you have no right to withdraw or grant permission to link to your website, as there is no law stating that permission is required to link to another entity's website.

    Furthermore, it states "By using the NPR Web sites, you agree to be bound by these terms of use.". This statement also has no power because a user of the website is not aware of the terms of use upon entering the website. Even if users were made to be aware of your terms of service before entering your site, the legal weight of the terms is still quite dubious.

    Thank you,

    A User

Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business