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Comment Re:Booby trap time (Score 1) 402

Good idea!

Now, let's try to implement it... I suggest to start with Lenovo laptops, and we only need to outsource USB dongle and exploding battery production somewhere, I suggest China, they have experience mass-producing thing!

Wait! All your matching parts (laptop, dongle, battery) are made where? In... China? ;-)

Paul B.

Comment There is an X11 server written in Java... (Score 1) 150

... I think made by Citrix, and it "runs" in your browser, but I would not really recommend it to anyone. Total steaming POS...

The maskhouse we deal with uses(d) that for customers to verify that the layers are what they expect. The program they run on the other end is something from Apollo workstations era, window manager in that session was TWM (we are talking now, a decade into 21st centiry! :) ), and it was slower than when I first tried running X over dial-up modem in 90s, without compression... ;-)

So, I am not having high hopes about useability of X11-over-HTTP, but who knows...

Vim demo was impressive through!

Paul B.

Comment Re:Yes, and they seem to re-invent wafer thinning. (Score 1) 10

Sorry, the paper that you are referring to was not posted by me, but by another person in this thread -- and no, I could not read it either.

I do know (from my previous life ;-) ) that, I think, 6" III/V wafers were routinely thinned to 1 or 2 mils (25-50 um), yes, those were not 8-12", but then they were not exactly mass-produced either, and, needing backside vias and backside metal they *had* to be that thin.

And yes, I am skeptical about the yields of that "cracking" process myself, even without invoking reusing the remainder of the wafer for actual fab again, just wanted to point out that thin enough substrate will, indeed, bend, not break (at first! :) )!

Paul B.

Comment Yes, and they seem to re-invent wafer thinning... (Score 3, Interesting) 10

Yes, 1-3 mil thinned wafers feel like a piece of plastic, easily flapping around (though, I would not want to literally bend them at 90 or 180 degrees at small radius and expect them to still work). If you ever had a chance to handle a thin microscope cover slip (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_slip), you would know how it feels, especially if you imagine that it is 4-8 inches in diameter -- pretty flexible, monocrystalline, or not.

And, a (seemingly much more reliable) version of the process has been around for years, involves [polishing the backside of the wafer, instead of trying to "slice" through Si with a wire. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafer_backgrinding . By the way, after your wafer is polished down to couple of mil thickness, you can etch vias through it and deposit backside metal, to serve as a groundplane -- not a big deal for CMOS, but pretty big for high-power low-layer-count RF GaAs/InP chips.

Paul B.

Comment Re:How does something escape a black hole? (Score 1) 74

It was emitted before, not after cloud was absorbed into the black hole...

My favourite lines from TFA:

So maybe saying this was a belch is a bit misleading, since you do that after you eat something. This is more like your food screaming loudly and incoherently and flailing around while you’re actually eating it. Is that better?

Paul B.

Comment Re:Does not 802.11 a (wireless) Ethernet... (Score 1) 140

Well, first word in Subject should have been "Is"... Sorry, edited from something else... ;(

MAC, as in, "Media Access Control" address, or Ethernet address, which every Ethernet card, wired or wireless, has. To quote Wikipedia on IEEE 802.11, "Current 802.11 standards define "frame" types for use in transmission of data as well as management and control of wireless links. Frames are divided into very specific and standardized sections. Each frame consists of a MAC header...".

So, I was totally confused by the last line of the summary, one possible interpretation of that is that "MAC-based comm." is somehow lower-level that full-fledged 802.11, but how would that shave off almost 2 sec of latency is a bit puzzling...

Paul B.

Comment Well, in Soviet Russia... (Score 5, Interesting) 481

... we, university students (personal experience), but also, I've heard more seniour people in "intellectual" line of employment were forced in the Fall to go help our collectivized farmers pick up potatoes and do some other harvest-related work. (Kartoshka! ;-) )...

I do not know if, given my current line work, I would enjoy assembling high-tech stuff more than that (and would definitely learn more from it), but, overall, I, personally, did not mind at all, it was an excuse to live outside the control of our parents (for those of us who did not go to school in another city/lived in dorm which was less common than in this country), get as drunk as our farmer hosts, shmooze with girls, etc. ;-) As to actual work -- my buddies and myself self-organized to proclaim that we are going to do actual "hard" work, loading bags of potato on trucks, while the rest do "easy" part, pick and load the bags... Of course it would take much more actual time to fill a bag than to throw it into the truck, the rest we spent hanging out and baking potatoes!

Somehow I think that efficiency necessary to assemble iPhones would preclude those Chinese kids to have any good times though, but do not think that it was/is not common in "Communist" countries.

(And, no, we did not get paid, unless you could a bag of potatos which you might or might not sneak back home at the end).

Paul B.

Comment Why only two candidates? Or, why this late? (Score 0) 86

I actually went to see "the tool" and it looks like Twitter is giving us the same old two choices (non-choices, in my opinion, but that is evident from my .signature ;-) ).

It would be much more interesting if it were launched a bit earlier in the season, or, at least, include all candidates remaining, including third parties.

At least Google Trends can give us a bit more interesting picture, e.g., this one: http://www.google.com/trends/?q=mitt+romney,+barack+obama,+ron+paul,+gary+johnson&ctab=0&geo=us&geor=all&date=ytd&sort=0

Paul B.

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