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Comment Re:Cleanrooms are obsolete (Score 1) 42

The latter. Most process tools have their own positive-pressure air purification system with their own HEPA filters constantly purging at least the small bit of atmosphere in the tool that the wafers are exposed to in between the FOUP and the process chamber. After opening the tool for maintenance you simply allow some time for it to purge and then run your best particle-check test and if it comes out clean you figure it's good. The process chamber itself, whether it's a wet process or a thermal/plasma process, typically after opening that up you have a purge/coat/in-situ clean/flush/burn-in routine that you run before running production.

It's still important for the general fab atmosphere to be controlled for temperature, humidity, and chemical contaminants (chlorine etc).

Comment Re:Cleanrooms are obsolete (Score 1) 42

As we have been discussing, there is no such thing as 'clean'. It's a matter of 'how clean'. Anyone can put up some HEPA filters and say they have a 'clean room'.

What are the cleanliness standards for brain surgery? I would be surprised if it's very high. After all, you could line up a dozen modern transistors on top of a typical bacterium.

Comment Cleanrooms are obsolete (Score 4, Interesting) 42

Cleanrooms are pretty much dead technology. I work in one of the few large-scale 'real' cleanrooms left (100k+ square feet at class <10), which was built in the mid 90s.

200mm wafers were small enough for people to carry around and material handling robots were less advanced, so it made sense to make the entire fab into laminar-flow cleanroom and have people carry wafers around exposed to the air. This is obviously absurdly expensive, given the square footage of HEPA filters and sheer air-moving horsepower needed.

Now, a full lot of 300mm wafers is too heavy for a person to carry around all day, cleanliness standards are higher, and material handling robots are cheap enough to replace humans. The new fabs store all wafers in sealed plastic FOUPs which are robotically delivered to each process tool. Only the inside of the positively-pressurized process tools has to be truly clean. The big squirrel-cage VLF fans have been replaced by an array of axial fans covering the roof that can be individually tweaked and adjusted to optimize airflow and power.

Companies still pretend it's a cleanroom and force people to wear smocks out of habit, but most of them are only held to class 10,000 or so, which is cleaner than your living room but not clean enough to make wafers in, without the FOUPs.

Comment Re:No surprise there (Score 3, Insightful) 263

It's humorous that you encourage me to use my head, when you are so completely wrong. Since you don't believe me, I can only invite you to read up on cryptography and one-time pads, until you understand exactly why and how you are wrong. Afterward, please attempt to educate others so that the world wastes less time arguing over solved problems.

The reason one-time-pads cannot be broken is fairly non-intuitive, but it's worth understanding. You should understand that it is beyond pointless to even attempt to brute-force a one-time-pad transmission, because you know before you even begin wasting CPU cycles that you WILL find EVERY N-length message that can exist, and you will have no reason to favor any of them. That's why you don't even try. You jump right to trying known/broken ciphers, frequency analysis, looking for possible misapplications of the one-time-pad technique, or something else, because brute-forcing one-time-pad transmissions mathematically cannot work. It's not that it doesn't work, or that it's too hard, but it mathematically is beyond being possible for it to work.

Comment Re:No surprise there (Score 4, Informative) 263

No. You reveal that you do not understand one-time pads.

Given a ciphertext N characters long, there exists a one-time pad that will decrypt that ciphertext to ANY clear text message. So if you have an N-length bit of ciphertext (as it appears these chaps do) and you brute force it and decode an N-length string that 'looks' correct (e.g. "The fleet has launched") that's just great...the problem is that THAT clear text is equally likely to be the correct clear text as any other string of text that long, including all perfectly-structured sentences, with correct pronunciation, containing all languages...that long. And if they are salting and/or stuffing the clear text, you don't even have the length as a clue.

Comment Re:You misunderstand (Score 1) 138

Interesting post. This reiterates a principle of cryptography: how much do you need? For a sports results that will be publicly announced in 48 hours, encryption that takes a week to break might be plenty. For a trade secret that won't be of any use in a year, encryption that takes 5 years to break might be plenty. For a predator video stream, even minutes or hours might be vastly better than nothing.

Comment Re:Ugh (Score 5, Interesting) 195

According the the article I read in my dead-tree Wired issue, plus speculation, the new service is going to be fully encrypted, forcing all users to encrypt their uploads so that the upload service itself cannot see what the content on its severs is, and so they have total plausible deniability, with the added bonus that the government also can't find clear-text data on their servers to incriminate them with.

This might also allow you and your trusted friends to upload anything you want, and megaupload/your ISP/the government cannot then bust you for copyright infringement or whatever, for the practical reason that they don't know what the data is. Of course this is possible now with current technology, but a cloud storage service with a good user interface with this feature 'built-in' and mandatory might be what it takes to get ordinary people to encrypt their content. Imagine Dropbox with mandatory encryption. True cypherpunks would argue that everything should have always been like this anyway.

Of course, Big Content doesn't roll over for such technicalities so I expect this to simply spawn more anti-cryptography laws.

Comment Re:recipie for disaster (Score 1) 391

Where I grew up in the Midwest, (late 90s - early 00's), it was standard practice to yank out the ABS fuse from the fuse block during winter time. The rationale? Wanting the goddam brakes to work. Even ABS true believers eventually converted after a few episodes of, you know, the goddam brakes not working.

I understand that it's all different now, that modern vehicles have reached a state of technological advancement, that vehicle engineers design all-knowing algorithms that transcend physics itself. So I've heard.

Comment Re:This will come down to commerce (Score 4, Insightful) 543

Sure, at first, some people may notice that there used to be thrift stores. For a while. Some old geezers will say "I remember back in my day when you could just buy things, and then sell them--for cash!--and it was nobody's business but yours". But eventually, it will just be normal. Thrift stores will just be added to the list of businesses that aren't allowed to exist, and so they don't exist. And since they don't exist, nobody will care about getting the law overturned, because they will perceive no demand.

After all, who can say how many stores are currently NOT in existence due to over-regulation? Can you even begin to say what businesses are ALREADY not in existence, due to laws? How many picobreweries, tobacconists, brothels, non-health-department-licensed restaurants, non-licensed physicians and dentists? How many cheap delivery services are NOT in existence due to the Post Office monopoly on first class mail? How many people WOULD be growing MJ in their backyard if it was legal? Exactly how many cab drivers WOULD there be in Dallas if they weren't effectively regulated out of existence so as not to compete with light rail projects?

It's easy to say "this law is harmful because if we pass it, a valuable sector of the economy will disappear and thousands of jobs will be lost". It's harder to convince people to see the jobs and the economic sectors that aren't even there, that were never started, or that used to be there.

Out of sight, out of mind. People don't miss what they don't have, and once the regulated sectors of the economy dry up, people don't even see the regulations as unreasonable anymore. If all the thrift stores disappear, it will just be another of a thousand cuts to our economy, and then people will sit back decades later and wonder why the economy sucks and blame the other party for it.

Comment Re:Transmission? (Score 2) 331

This is only approximately true. Real-life electric motors have a maximum no-load speed... notice how your dremel doesn't keep spinning faster and faster up to an infinite speed? Bearing drag, eddy losses and wind resistance on the moving parts limit the torque at high speeds. This is especially true for brushed-type forklift motors commonly used for cheap conversions...they don't have a terribly wide powerband. Better brushless motors do, but even certain iterations of the Tesla cars have used multi-speed 2-speed transmissions.

Comment Re:Printing Money (Score 0, Flamebait) 632

Sure. You SAY it's not illegal. How confident are you in that? Are you willing to go to jail to get the opportunity to prove it?

Gun control law is illogical, inconsistent, and subject to huge penalties and stigmas (do you want 'arrested on weapons charges, 2012' on your resume, even if you are cleared?).

Our favorite chaps at the ATF technology branch, do not argue, do not hold to notions of 'common sense' or 'mens rea' and they have absolutely no sense of humor. They have reversed themselves several times, officially declared things like shoelaces and pot scrubbers to legally be machine guns, and do not shy away whatsoever from upholding the full absurdity of the law as they see it. Even if this makerbot guy claims to be doing something legal, what happens when he accidentally breaks the law? All it takes is a typo, slightly different interpretation, or few milimeters of material in the wrong place to put you in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. People have gone to jail because their gun malfunctioned (wiki:David Olofson), had their wives and dogs shot for allegedly cutting slightly too much off of a gun barrel (wiki:Randy Weaver).

There's a reason companys like eBay and craigslist shy away from allowing even very obviously legal items--even gun accesories like holsters--to be traded on their sites--our lords at the ATF have no sense of humor.

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

I disagree with the 'stable' part. What is the basis for making that claim? Are representative governments really more stable than autocratic ones?

Democracy is the idea that a million men are smarter or more fit to rule than one man. Autocracy is the opposite claim. My personal take is that nobody is fit to rule anybody, and the only legitimate government is a completely consensual one, which is basically not a government at all, but a voluntary cooperative. I guess that makes me an anarchist, or something.

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