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Comment Maybe (Score 3, Interesting) 120

I wasn't sure if I'd read 'em. I know a friend/colleague (who I regard highly) who has - and I think he thinks highly of them. But he also has terrible taste in movies.

A quick google search landed me at http://broiler.astrometry.net/...

I have not read it.

I've been coding professionally for 25-30 years, depending on how you count. I studied CS in college. I've read a few outstanding books on the subject since then.

I don't have the patience for these, and I suspect I'm not going to miss out on much.

On the other hand, I long ago came to the conclusion that I'm really not interested in low level code. Give me a nice high level language with nice high level functions and features and I'm a happy coder. That's not to say that I don't understand O notation or the costs behind the complexity - but it is to say that I know when to use a drill and when to use a power saw - but I don't want to build either of 'em.

Maybe you're into the nitty gritty. Or maybe you like bad movies.

Check your local tech library and see if you can check out a copy. Or ebay 'em for $20-40/volume. Or if the pdf strikes your fancy, maybe take the plunge.

Comment If you want to write a book, just do it (Score 2) 120

Sure, yeah, you could take a few weekend courses and bang out some stuff and possibly even find a job paying decent money.

But if you want to move up in the world you need to turn your hack and slash techniques into a refined art.

The kind of crap commodity programmers write is the stuff that skilled developers get paid a lot of money cleaning up or just re-implementing.

It the difference between dime store trashy romance novels and real actual novels. The different between the the Divergent movies and Hunger Games.

If you're content being a direct to DVD wholesaler of crap sure, just get to work.

If you want to work in the big leagues on important things, you need to be open to learning some things and respect the craft.

Comment Re:Do people actually know rough performance? (Score 1) 154

Amp hours is established to be suitably huge, but it depends on voltage.

Let's assume our 6g battery (which will be about 2 cm^3) produces 1 Volt. That means it produces 170 microAmps, and since it lasts for thousands of years, gives about 16,000 Amp hours.

But we already know these batteries last a long time. The question is whether they're light enough to do something with. Suppose I want to run a processor in a satellite. Do the number of amp hours matter?

Comment Re:Will it stand? (Score 1) 154

Contract law isn't absolute. the idea that it is is one of those oversimplifications that we're taught when we first learn about these things.

This sort of clause was already probably unenforceable. The law makes this explicit. Unfair contracts have been a problem for some time and the law makes sure that such contracts are void. This is how contract law works. This is how any law works!

Comment Re:Do people actually know rough performance? (Score 2) 154

Answering my own question - digitaltrends gives us some information.

A diamond beta-battery containing 1g of C14 will deliver 15J per day, and will continue to produce this level of output for 5,730 years

So that's 170 microWatts per gram or 6 grams per milliwatt. That's actually a usable level of power even when talking such small power cells. Still not sure what a good application might be for this technology.

Comment Do people actually know rough performance? (Score 2) 154

It sounds like we're looking at expensive components, and other posts suggests picoamps. But what sized battery would we need to get that to something usable?

Do these have a potential use in satellites or are they too heavy? How about pacemakers? Or is the radiation shielding inadequate?

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