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Submission + - The Intel 4004 Microprocessor Chip Turns 45 1

mcpublic writes: Today marks the 45th anniversary of the 4004, Intel’s first microprocessor chip, announced to the world in the November 15, 1971 issue of Electronic News . It seems that everyone (except Intel) loves to argue whether it was truly the “first microprocessor.” Ken Sherriff's recent article in IEEE Spectrum tells the more complicated story. But what’s indisputable is that the 4004 was the computer chip that started Intel’s pivot from a tiny semiconductor memory company to the personal computing giant we know today. Federico Faggin, an Italian immigrant who invented the self-aligned, silicon gate MOS transistor and buried contacts technology, joined Intel in 1970. He needed both his inventions to squeeze the 4004's roughly 2,300 transistors into a single 3x4mm silicon die. He later went on to design the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80 with Masatoshi Shima, a Japanese engineer with a “steel trap mind,” the once-unsung hero of the 4004 team.

Comment Re:one liner (Score 1) 497

Years back, a telephone switch company made a three-line change in some exception-handling code and pushed it without testing. Somewhat later the exception happened, was handled improperly, and the problem propagated from one switch to another, eventually taking down long-distance phone service for most of the East Coast. Ultimately put the company out of business.

Absolutely one of the hardest programming problems is in distributed real-time systems, making sure that errors are caught and damp out rather than propagating.

Comment law abiding (Score 2) 367

So the FBI wants people to cooperate with them, to use weak encryption so they can unlock data when they need to. OK. Who is going to do that? Let's say law-abiding people will cooperate. What compels criminals to cooperate? What compels non-Americans to cooperate? What prevents people from use their own additional encryption, like putting a 2nd lock on your door? What prevents people from obfuscating their data? Here's the key, see, it's a Rick Astley video.

Comment Re:doh! (Score 2, Informative) 528

Obama didn't release his birth certificate for one very good reason, he is very clever and Trump is very stupid.

The fact is that the Republicans will always invent some crazy idiotic 'scandal' that they obsess about and endlessly throw up smoke. The birther conspiracy was mind numbingly ridiculous. It would require someone to go back in time to plant the birth notice in the papers. Or for some group of conspirators to go to an enormous amount of trouble in order to make a particular black kid president.

So rather than release the birth certificate and let the Republicans invent a new scandal, Obama held onto it and let them obsess about a scandal nobody else thought made the slightest sense, knowing that he could knock their house of cards down any time he chose. Which of course he did a week before the Bin Laden raid which was guaranteed to end the story.

George W. Bush opened torture chambers across the world and collected photographs for a sick sexual thrill. Yet nobody ever talks about that. None of the people complaining about Hilary ever complained about GWB refusing to comply with Congressional investigation or the deletion of 5 million emails.

So here is what is going to happen. Trump is going to go down to the biggest defeat since Carter and he is going to drag the rest of his party down with him. And afterwards there is going to be a new civil rights act that prohibits Republican voter suppression tactics and the gerrymandering that give them a 5% advantage in elections. And by the time it is all done the Republican party will have two choices, either boot the racist conspiracy theorists and Trumpists out or face two decades in the wilderness.

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Comment Re:Why only east of the Mississippi? (Score 3, Informative) 101

Texas and California are two of the four states with the most "action-level" lead test results. Some Oklahoma cities have among the highest lead levels in the country.

The map shows cities in all of EPA regions 1-5, and none in regions 6-10. It seems likely that the Guardian staff simply started working their way through audit results, and stopped when they had enough material for a story.

Comment Re:I would expect that to be somewhere in China. (Score 4, Informative) 151

As I mentioned in another comment, out of date. 25 years ago the Brown Cloud was a real problem. Today, Denver doesn't even make the 25 worst cities in the country for overall air pollution. Having lived here while it happened, it's just absolutely amazing how much cleaner the air is now.

Comment Behind the times (Score 3, Informative) 151

The OP's observation is really behind the times.

I moved to the Denver area 28+ years ago. Since I got here, the state's population has gone from 3.3M to 5.5M, almost all in the Front Range urban corridor. Much of that growth has been driven by tech, it's just been quiet. The state is consistently in the top several for VC money spent. There's also a long history of Colorado companies reaching a certain size and then being acquired by the giant coastal firms.

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