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Comment Re:The world... (Score 1) 236

Right on. The only thing is that analog is increasingly becoming integrated into SOCs which erodes the domain of a pure analog engineer (at least at the board level). There is still huge demand for system hardware engineers with a strong background in analog but also adept at scripting and dealing with digital systems and in fact, at my company in the bay we have tons of vacancies for analog system engineers. Our problem is in finding candidates with enough breadth and experience. Incidentally, if anyone is looking and fits the bill....

Comment More like split into 4 (Score 3, Interesting) 91

I think you mean Motorola is further splitting themselves up after having spun off its semiconductor components division as On Semi in 1999 and its semiconductor products division as Freescale (arguably the 'real' Motorola - inventor of the 68000 uP) in 2004. Motorola at this point is just an uninspired electronics company with little to no relevance in consumer handheld devices that also makes crummy radios and network products.

The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

Comment Re:Not my cup of tea (Score 1) 447

I agree that it doesn't make sense for the address bar to suggest slashdot because you type an 'o' but in my experience, the awesome bar does a pretty good job of getting out of the way once you type the first few characters of the url you actually want. For instance, as soon as I type 'ou' then it brings up Outlook so I can get to my work email. I hadn't even realized that they added this seldom useful 'feature' until this poll brought attention to it.

This bothers me way less than microsoft reinventing their entire UI to something less functional for no other reason than to be more lowest-common-denominator macintosh-like such as by getting rid of the 'up' folder navigation button and to get rid of menu bars entirely in favor of esoteric icons that are impossible to figure out by glance.

Thank god you can still get new machines with XP preloaded through Dell Small Business. I guess I will have to learn how to use Linux after that stops being the case.


Blizzcon 2009 Wrap-Up 297

Last year's Blizzcon was tremendously popular. So much so that their servers were unable to handle the strain of fans competing for 15,000 available tickets. This year, Blizzard was more prepared; they made an additional 5,000 tickets available and set up a queue so that the transaction servers weren't overwhelmed. CEO Mike Morhaime said during the keynote address that if you weren't able to get into the queue within 30 seconds of its opening, the tickets were sold out before your turn came. Tens of thousands more chose to order the pay-per-view coverage, demonstrating the extraordinary enthusiasm felt for Blizzard's games. Their presentations didn't disappoint. Read on for details on the status of StarCraft II, Diablo III, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and the new Battle.net. It's divided into sections by game in case you're only interested in one or two of them.

Comment Re:How do you give odds for that? (Score 1) 397


I didn't realize that Fermilab had supplied the component that failed and brought down the LHC until coming across this tidbit in wikipedia.
How convenient for Fermilab that they have found (bought?) themselves more time to beat LHC to the higgs punch.

Comment Kicad (Score 1) 250

There is a free open source alternative to Eagle called Kicad for schematic drawing and pcb layout. I have never tried it because I use DXdesigner at the office and my personal projects have not yet exceeded the capability of expresspcb.

I would probably go with eagle if I were setting up a new design shop because there is something to be said for having paid support people available to help when needed.

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle