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Comment New Planet (Score 2) 990

Ask yourself this. If tomorrow we (meaning "humanity") were to go colonize another earth-like planet someplace, and set up a bunch of settlements dotted all around the planet according to the local resource availability etc, do you think we'd also have a universal time reference that we'd all use all over this new planet? We'd probably align it to some natural cycle - for instance, the day as defined by an axial revolution determining sunlight/night-time distribution. Would this just be an initial convenience or would it persist past the colonization period for the rest of the time the planet is occupied?

Comment Re:Clear now: A common open CAD data structure nee (Score 1) 77

Agreed, Draftsight is very good and the closest you'll come to an Autocad clone. I've found a few minor bugs but it's more than made up for that by being free.

Autocad itself is a yawn. It's not getting better. Also, the vast army of middlemen you have to wade past to even buy a copy is depressing. There's something about the while experience that is pre-Internet, or like AutoDesk is in some alternative universe where the internet got made proprietary and stuck like sand in glue.

Comment Re:It's not a cost cutting thing (Score 1) 627

Also, this is a transition machine. I'll wager it's the last MBP update where SSD isn't standard. They are testing the waters with Thunderbolt. Personally I think you'd be crazy to buy this without the SSD option. Adding your own is cheaper, but may be a problem with TRIM under 10.7 unless Apple change the fact that 10.7 will only support TRIM in the drives they install - which is a crap decision.

Comment Re:Can You Still Make a "Penis Panini" With Them (Score 1) 627

You are dead right. The paste is way worse than the copper cooler or the copper block glued to the back to the CPU (which is actually mounted upside down inside it's little module). The paste is there because, owing to dust and other crap, if it wasn't there you'd have air voids between the CPU block and the cooler, and that's even worse. Ideally the past is about 50um thick, enough to envelope any crud.

Comment Re:Can You Still Make a "Penis Panini" With Them (Score 1) 627

My 2010 Mac Mini happily sits at 82-82degC CPU doing video conversion for hours on end. No problems. Not a video card issue so can't compare to what you're doing. I don't really have anything to get the video card excited. The 2010 MBA is just superb thermally - not a problem at all. Fan kicks in watching (some) flash video or when I'm running CAE software on a windows VM, or video skype (just about the worst offender out there). My old 2006 C2D iMac never had a thermal problem, and it got thoroughly flogged. I've build numerous PCs from off-the-shelf components and getting the thermal design, at reasonable sound levels, is the hardest part of it and it's really hard. Apple get points for their thermal design, in my opinion.

Comment Re:No DVD (Score 1) 192

No, they want you to get content from an iTunes server, either your local one or something in the cloud. But there is absolutely nothing to stop you putting any video you want to in your own iTunes library (I am not a lawyer, but there may be some copyright issues in some jurisdictions).

I'll be happy to see the end of plastic disks.

Comment Re:finding a good material is not the problem (Score 1) 169

I think it's because hole mobility in silicon isn't dreadful that p-channel devices are used. You don't actually need them to make logic. The Cray supercomputer was done with GaAs MESFETs, for instance. Logic is GaAs FETs is very fast, with depletion mode and enhancement mode devices working pretty well together to make any sort of gate you want. But off-state leakage limits gate density to much much less than can be achieved with silicon (it's not a lithographic limit - 20nm style gates are possible in GaAs too, it's just that there's no economic justification in spending the money required to do it). It's leaskge that kills you as you go higher density circuit, and SiOx (and the high-k substitutes at small feature size like hafnium oxide etc) that makes silicon compelling.

Comment Re:finding a good material is not the problem (Score 2) 169

Sing it, brother! I work in compound semiconductor designing RF chips. I know a lot of silicon guys and very few of them have any clue what makes silicon a damn useful semiconductor (namely, it's oxide). I can't think of another semiconductor that has anything like as nice an oxide as silicon, easy to grow, very effective insulator with decent breakdown. If any of the compound semiconductors had anything like as good a native oxide, there would be no silicon industry (silicon otherwise mediocre electron mobility and band-gap, though ok thermals).

Comment Re:Your definition of movie may vary... (Score 1, Informative) 207

For what it's worth, which isn't much, Denton was involved in the greatest piece of television in the history of the world, but it was in 1988 and mostly he's be farting through his mouth ever since.

I refer of course to the Great Lubricated Goat Episode of Blah Blah Blah. It shall not be forgotten. I thought at the time, "Finally, television is going to be good", but it was not to be.



Comment Re:No, it's iTunes. The UI is the biggest problem. (Score 1) 390

I agree whole-heartedly. I don't see what's wrong with the interface to iTunes. You're dealing with a moderately complicated data base of stuff, all sorts of stuff. There's always a tension between simplicity and functionality and iTunes gets it pretty much right as far as I can see.

Also, contra much whinging in ./land, iTunes on windows 7 works fine. I have not had any problems with it at all. I run it on mac and windows, and while the windows version doesn't look windows-like, that's not an issue (I wish all windows software looked mac-like).

Now if there was a linux version, Apple would rise inestimably in my opinion...

Comment Re:...And one generation behind on HTML5 (Score 1) 341

What chrome needs is the the thing I like about firefox the most - mandating font usage. With firefox, I can tick a settings box and all pages will be rendered with the fonts I choose, not the often shitty fonts some web designer hack wants me to use. It is possible to get chrome to do this but it requires dicking around with style sheets and it's also not 100% effective (ditto for safari). While only firfox has this feature it will be my #1 browser.

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