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Comment Good news, bad news (Score 1) 114

The good news is that this thing uses an existing processor core, OpenSPARC T1 (SPARC V9), so there's plenty of software around for it. (Yes, it runs -- or I imagine it will soon -- Linux.)

The bad news is that this thing uses an existing processor core, instead of a more secure architecture (say, something segment based with tag bits, like the B6700 among others) which would render it much more resistant (dare I say immune?) to things like buffer overflows and such.

Comment Re:Linux - Gentoo based (Score 1) 580

Youngster. Yggdrasil, circa 1994.

Since then, various -- SuSE, Mandrake, Caldera, RedHat, Mint, OpenSuSE, not necessarily in that order. With the occasional Linux From Scratch and others just because. At one time, SuSE on PowerPC (also YellowDog) and on Sparc. Raspbian (what else?) on Raspberry Pi.

But mostly SuSE flavors at home. RedHat/CentOS at work.

BSD on the firewall.

Comment Re:Chalk one up for iOS (Score 2) 129

I think ALL of us jailbreakers and rooters should celebrate this. Now I might be able to push an adaway hostfile with 875K worth of junk hosts of malware, ads, adware, gambling and other cruft blocked. I cant believe I need to wait for a flaw like this to update the hosts file on the phone I own.

This weaponizing of opensource software to do things like make it impossible to edit /etc/hosts with malware blocks is unreal.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

You left out astronaut candidate, past president (among other offices) of two L5 chapters, participant in the Citizen's Advisory Council on National Space Policy, and author of a few papers appearing in AIAA publications, among other things.

Still, not bad web surfing for a guy who once helped animate the Genesis simulation sequence in "Wrath of Kahn". ;-)

(Oh, and more than "one-time" unless you mean that in a generic "once and future" sense. Just taking Analog, they've published me at least five times, but it has been a while. I've been focusing on a novel series.)


Comment Re:Moore's Law ended years ago, for many (Score 1) 133

Depending on the specific problem, with number-crunching big databases you may be running into the limits of Amdahl's Law, not Moore's.

If part of the algorithm is inherently serial (ie, can't be parallelized), then that's going to be the bottleneck no matter how many cores you throw at it (although faster memory and I/O may help). CPU clock speed has been stuck around 2-4 GHz for many years now, throwing more transistors at the problem isn't going to help much. What we need there is not more transistors but faster ones, which means moving away from silcon to e.g. GaAs or micro vacuum tubes or whatever. One 1-THz CPU will blow away 250 4-GHz CPUs (memory bandwidth permitting) because it gets around Amdahl's Law.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

Oh, well, if reddit users say it is so, then it must be true. [eye roll]

Argument from authority? Really?

The "east takes you up" phrasing is just a handy mnemonic for epicycles, which are a useful (in some cases) simplification of elliptical orbits (which is what a circular orbit becomes if perturbed). Fairly useless for accurate orbital modelling, or for (significantly) suborbital trajectories. (Both of which apply if you're trying to land a booster on a barge or parking lot.)

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

Oh really?

Explain highly elliptical (eg cometary) orbits then.

Orbit is a freefall where the horizontal* component of speed at apoapsis is sufficient to avoid hitting the source of gravity at or near periapsis. The first stage booster doesn't come anywhere near fast enough at its apogee.

*horizontal: i.e, perpendicular to a line drawn between the object and the center of gravity of the system.

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