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Comment Re:Good Idea (Score 1) 127

I've been using CScope in Emacs for about a year (in fact, I added the entry to ascope.el on that wiki page you linked to), and I've recently switched to Semantic from CEDET and GNU Global.

Sadly, the Emacs Code Browser (ECB) linked to from the CEDET page seems to be broken for recent versions of Emacs and CEDET and unmaintained.

While I dislike Eclipse for bloat and difficult extensibility, I have yet to decide whether Emacs has caught up with it for code browsing.

Comment Strong Magnets! (but only transient) (Score 1) 166

I used to work next to the french Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses (Powerful Magnetic Field National Laboratory) and was lucky enough to visit it once during the yearly Science Day (why don't we have this in the US?).

They claimed they had the second most powerful magnets in the world, IIRC behind the Fermilab, at about 32T (again, IIRC). Note that this is a sustained magnetic field, not transient as the OP's record. (still, hitting 100T without destroying the magnet is one hell of a feat! Now if only we could find a source of power to sustain such a field...).

32T is extremely high, more powerful than any natural magnetic field on Earth (according to WP, the Earth's field is about 25uT at the equator to 65uT at the poles). The most powerful permanent magnets (rare-earth) can achieve a little under 1T, and good luck getting that magnet off a piece of steel. 32T is achieved only in a space about the size of 2 coke-cans at the center of a large cylindrical apparatus that is the concentric electromagnets. But even at such a strength, the fields we make are dwarfed by stellar and interstellar magnetic fields, that have been calculated to reach hundreds or thousands of Teslas.

Fun facts: they run the magnets at night, when power is significantly cheaper. They have big banks of capacitors and batteries for spare surge power. The (classical) electromagnets aren't built by spooling wire on a tube, because wire isn't thick enough the sustain the kind of current that goes through. Instead they take a thick copper tube that they slice in a spiral and insert an isolator in the spacing.

Their most powerful magnets were formed of a core superconducting electromagnet surrounded by standard electromagnets. The cost of superconducting materials is what prevent them from making more powerful stuff.

But despite all that, I'm still not sure what kind of experiments require such powerful magnetic fields. Such awesome engineering, so few applications...

Comment News isn't the soldering, but the OSS libraries (Score 4, Interesting) 240

The fact that they won't deliver in kit isn't news*, it's more interesting to know that they have HW-accelerated versions of MPEG4 and H.264 (and only those), and that all these libraries are closed source.

Furthermore, claims that they have the fastest mobile GPU are fluff: we only have the subjective word of someone who worked on it, not a neutral 3rd party, and it'll be caught up by someone else soon anyhow.

Finally, I'm going to advance that any complaints about the nvidia binary driver are going to be small fry compared to Broadcom's drivers.

*it's just not possible to hand-solder BGA packages. At best you'd need a reflow oven, and *that's* still tricky with the sizes involved here.

Comment Simtec "Entropy Key" also does quantum RNG (Score 4, Interesting) 326

A while back, the Simtec Entropy Key was making the rounds among Debian Devs, and claims to be exploiting quantum effects in the P-N junctions to be a true RNG.

They seem serious and I tend to trust paranoid Debian developers' opinions, but ultimately I don't have enough knowledge myself to make a confident judgment call. I'd be curious about more opinions.

Games

Minecraft Is Finished 272

SharkLaser writes "Minecraft, the most widely known and best selling indie game in the history, is now finished. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted yesterday that Minecraft has gone gold and will be released at the end of the week at the first Minecon, a gathering of Minecraft fans. So far over 4 million people have bought the game, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue. Minecraft has also had a rapid modding community around the game, developing gems like the Millenaire mod, Builders and Tornadoes. Minecraft also brought back the interest in voxel based engines, introducing games like Ace of Spades (build, make tunnels, capture the flag FPS) and Voxatron [note: you might want to turn down your volume for this video]. It also opened up many ways for new indie developers, as Minecraft showed development can be funded solely by making something new and giving out early access to the game for those who are interested in the project. The upcoming Steam-like IndieCity-platform will also employ similar feature where, in addition to normal indie game store, players can look at unfinished projects and choose to support their development."
Government

DOJ Drops FOIA Rule To Permit Lying 151

schwit1 writes "The Department of Justice has canceled a controversial revision to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) rules that opponents said would have allowed federal agencies to lie about the existence of records. In a letter to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on Thursday, the DOJ wrote that the proposed rule 'falls short' of its commitment to transparency, and it 'will not include that provision when the Department issues final regulations.' The concern now is that the DOJ has been lying for some time and this rule was an attempt to provide cover for past denials concerning the existence of documents."

Comment Other things Slashdotters would agree with (Score 1) 2247

"Cuts of this scale will also be accomplished by a Paul Presidency abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels."
Source, his campaign website

I'll scream bloody murder for abolishing the Dept of Education and Energy, but I can see where Ron Paul-supporters are coming from.

Censorship

French Court Orders ISP To Block Police Misconduct Website 178

Freddybear writes "A French court has ordered ISPs to block access to Copwatch Nord Paris I-D-F, a website designed to allow civilians to post videos of alleged police misconduct. French police unions applauded the decision. Jean-Claude Delage, secretary general of the APN, said that '[t]he judges have analyzed the situation perfectly—this site being a threat to the integrity of the police — and made the right decision.'"

Comment Still more interesting than Facebook (Score 1) 519

As others have commented, Facebook probably has less than 40% active users. But that's not what keeps me on G+.

I use it as a sort of augmented twitter, Following a bunch of science bloggers I find interesting (Shared Circle). It started out as a small list from Maggie Koerth-Baker, the science blogger at BoingBoing, and slowly accumulated more people through recommendations (network effect!).

Nowadays, Facebook is for the silly friends' stuff, but G+ is slowly turning into a major science news source populated by authors I respect.

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