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Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel 165

angrytuna writes "The Economist is running a story about a group of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology in Chemnitz, Germany, who've found a way to use an EMP device to shape and punch holes through steel. The process enjoys advantages over both lasers, which take more time to bore the hole (0.2 vs. 1.4 seconds), and by metal presses, which can leave burrs that must be removed by hand."

Comment Re:rule of the code (Score 2, Informative) 249

I agree that many low-level programming methods aren't that necessary anyhow, but there is one big point where the compiler cannot help much, and that is data layout. Big hits come from all levels of cache misses, and it's good for the programmer to be aware of this and benchmark the memory access patterns and try to make them good (predictable, linear, clumping frequently used data, etc). Also on some hardwares, the Load-Hit-Stores are something to be aware as well. A reasonable thing to do, when optimizing something, is to fiddle with the code a bit and see what generates the best assembly. This usually is a good compromise (you still stay at a higher level and got portable code with some gained performance on at least one platform). Now still compilers aren't a magic wand everywhere, especially when going to deeply embededded or specialized hardware. One example is SPU programming. Since SPUs read&write everything from/to 16-aligned addresses, current GCC compiler lots of "align ptr, load, rotate, calculate, rotate, combine, store" sequences. If you want good SPU performance, going into ASM is indeed viable something. Though most of the times, staying at intrinsic functions gives you an adequate compromise. But since SPUs are basically fast DSPs, many of the tasks that are ran by them are in nature quite repetitive with short amount of work per item and millions of items (like doing vertex transforms, simulating some post processing effect, mixing audio etc). But a good programmer always benchmarks first, checks the compiler output etc before hitting the deck with raw assembly.

Comment Re:Tag line from the theatrical trialer: (Score 4, Informative) 319

Actually there IS a need to install the CDs, as not all TBC content came with the patches (I suspect mainly the Outland regions). Don't know how it is in the US, but it's like this in the europe. It is true it will re-run a few patches after installing though.

And yes, you can play the non-TBC regions with a normal unupgraded client even if you have activated TBC.

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