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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Doctor Memory Re:No, it isn't (961 comments)

Doesn't the same rule apply (only more so) for FWD? If your rear wheels start to slip and you step on the gas, you transition weight off the front wheels, while simultaneously increasing the torque on them, making it more likely they'll spin? Honest question, I've never really pushed a FWD car on a track before, partly because their handling is just counter-intuitive to me.

about a year ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Doctor Memory Re:Lack of stability control (961 comments)

I've always wondered if stability control does more harm than good. It can encourage people who know better to push cars harder in the belief that the electronics will save them from trouble.

This phenomenon was noticed when ABS began to become mainstream, too.

about a year ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Doctor Memory Re:I wasn't born yesterday (961 comments)

Some of us *still* drive them. Although I did break down and install a different head unit that I could connect my iPod to.

A lot of those technologies are just now (or recently) coming into their prime, though. I remember the early ABS systems felt like you were being dragged down a flight of stairs, and didn't seem to make a big difference in the snow. And at least one of the early traction control units made it almost impossible to start on snow-covered ice. (I've actually heard the same thing about the first-gen Prius, but not from a reliable source.) The current high-end systems are amazing, I just need to wait another five or six years until I can afford a 2013 5-series BMW or maybe an S4.

about a year ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Doctor Memory Re:Tale of two cars (961 comments)

Sounds like the Z could have used an alignment and possibly some tire balancing. Not saying it's better than a Caravelle (I've never driven one of those) but I have driven a 240Z to the far side of 100 and didn't feel it was inherently unstable. Loud, yes, but not unstable.

about a year ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

Doctor Memory Re:No, it isn't (961 comments)

The only reason most "other" cars don't exhibit this behavior as strongly is that they aren't setup (from the factory) with such a neutral balance - they're setup to understeer so strongly that the balance window you play in goes from "more understeer" to "less understeer" - not "understeer" to "oversteer".

LOL, the reason most other cars don't exhibit this behavior is because they don't have the engine *behind* the rear axle. Porsche has committed unnatural acts of engineering to make the 911 one of the best-handling cars of all time, but it's still a car that punishes drivers who don't understand vehicle dynamics.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Were You Taught About Computers In High School?

Doctor Memory Re:You couldn't learn all that in high school (632 comments)

The richer kids got themselves "electronic calculators" but the rest of us were using slide rules.

I lost count on how many time I burned my fingers while assembling the chips on breadboards on the many DIY "PC" kits I purchased (mail-order style) from ads that I got from "Popular Mechanics".

Uh, what? Your family couldn't afford a $50 calculator but you had "many" "DIY PC kits"? Like the $995 SOL-20, or a $400 "cheapie" like an MITS Altair or IMSAI 8080? Sorry, not buying the bullshit.

When I was in HS in the late '70s we had a teletype with an acoustic coupler modem that connected to a district computer center running an HP2000. I still have a printout of the BASIC code for the football and drag race programs we played with, but by the time I was a junior we had a TRS-80 model I at home so I pretty much gave up on the school's system. Taught myself BASIC, then saved my allowance to buy a Z-80 assembler (on cassette tape!) and learned that. Then I went to college and my first class was on punched cards. Kind of a letdown...

more than 2 years ago
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Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Doctor Memory Re:Way better off (524 comments)

Depends entirely on how long he owned the home. I bought a house in Portland (OR) and sold it two years later for a 5% profit. That was in 2003, before the bubble burst. I bought my current house from a couple who had bought it in 1974. They made over 400% profit on it (believe me, they certainly didn't spend any money updating anything...). It's pretty much only people who bought and sold in the last decade who took a beating. Friends of mine that bought places in the mid-90s are sitting pretty. I expect I'll sell my house for a loss when I sell it twenty years from now, but in the meantime it's cheaper than renting and I have a nice back yard.

more than 2 years ago
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The US Navy's Railgun Program

Doctor Memory Re:Is this news? (321 comments)

What chance in hell is one or two radar guided 20mm Gatling guns going to have against something at least twice as fast, several feet off the water, and performing high-G evasive maneuvers? Oh yea, and there's a dozen more 10 seconds behind the first one.

Maybe we'll resurrect the old Nike missle tech -- fire a supersonic missile into a flock of targets and detonate it. Doesn't take much damage at Mach 2+ to make something so unstable it'll tear itself apart.

Good point, though -- that's why the XB-70 was never developed: it's much cheaper to make missiles than bombers.

more than 2 years ago
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The US Navy's Railgun Program

Doctor Memory Re:Is this news? (321 comments)

Phalanx-type systems have been used to fire at waterborne targets that come within range, I don't think something fifteen feet off the deck is going to present much of a challenge.

more than 2 years ago
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BrewPi: Raspberry Pi and Arduino Powered Fermentation Chamber

Doctor Memory Re:From Utilitarian to Amusing to Delicious (96 comments)

take a few or so cups of the apple-juice and blend it with the sugar, bring it to a simmer, add the yeast, stir it vigorously, and pour it back into the original glass bottle

Wait, you're adding yeast to hot cider? When brewing beer, you have to get your wort temperature down below 80 before you add your yeast. Sounds like it's working for you, though, maybe champagne yeast is tougher stuff than regular brewer's yeast.

more than 2 years ago
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BrewPi: Raspberry Pi and Arduino Powered Fermentation Chamber

Doctor Memory Re:multiple control points (96 comments)

LOL. "Carefully boiled"? What's that, in an ASTM-certified 18/10 stainless steel reaction vessel with distilled water when the ambient air pressure is no more than 30.05 using a thermal introduction profile not to exceed 10deg/sec? I just dump two cups of tap water in a small saucepan, heat it to boiling, dump in my priming sugar, and stir until dissolved (takes about twenty seconds). Then I dump it into my (freshly-sanitized) bottling bucket, rack my beer onto it, give it a quick stir with a sanitized stainless spoon, then bottle. It's really pretty difficult to screw this stuff up.

Sure, you can agonize over how many volumes of CO2 the BJCP claims are "proper" for your beer's style, and what kind of fermentables will either compliment or at least not intrude on your beer's flavor, but that's optional. It's all beer in the end. Relax!

more than 2 years ago
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Thanks For Reading: 15 Years of News For Nerds

Doctor Memory Re:dayummm (229 comments)

Yup! ;)

more than 2 years ago
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My primary phone runs ...

Doctor Memory Re:Nothing. (400 comments)

What, you didn't have a bike?

more than 2 years ago
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Electric Airplane Ready For Production

Doctor Memory Re:Annuals (239 comments)

How did you figure that out? Are you a plane/clothes detective?

more than 2 years ago
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China Plans National, Unified CPU Architecture

Doctor Memory Re:What, exactly, could they do in silicon? (240 comments)

Exactly. It would be difficult to design an ISA with a back door, surely that would have to be an implementation-specific effort. Of course, if they government also required projects to use chips from "approved" suppliers then they could make this happen, but it probably wouldn't be an architecture-level artifact.

more than 2 years ago
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China Plans National, Unified CPU Architecture

Doctor Memory Re:lol creating something on their own? (240 comments)

Twenty years ago we were all using x86 CPUs, whereas today we're all using...what was it again? Something different, because we've advanced so much....right?

more than 2 years ago
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China Plans National, Unified CPU Architecture

Doctor Memory Re:You mean (240 comments)

Somebody's tinfoil hat is on just a little bit too tight.

Or maybe they forgot to wear it shiny side out!

Sorry, but the X-Files ended 10 years ago.

Because they got too close to something! You notice how you almost never see re-runs? It's because they don't want to encourage skeptical thinking! We of the Society to Win Intellectual Freedom Through Keeping Ideas Circulating Knowledgeably (S.W.I.F.T.K.I.C.K.) are currently waging a war of intensity against the networks to get these shows back on the air!

more than 2 years ago
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China Plans National, Unified CPU Architecture

Doctor Memory Re:my question is (240 comments)

once they realize the sheer cost involved in supporting all the legacy applications that now won't work on another arch (but that the country runs on), they will either use an x86 derivative

"legacy apps"? Like what? WoW? SWTOR? Or are we talking things like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Face it, there are no "killer apps" anymore -- and if there are any niche areas that don't have open-source or otherwise freely-available software, I'm sure they can code up their own solutions. Which will likely start by reverse-engineering the current best-of-breed solutions and porting them (or at least their algorithms) to their new architecture.

Frankly, I'm hoping that without all the entrenched legacy apps to support, they'll be able to come up with a superior architecture that won't be doomed to failure because it's not x86 compatible.

more than 2 years ago
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When I drive, I place my hands at ...

Doctor Memory Re:Alternative Answer... (380 comments)

Seriously we force people to wear seat belts inside of engineered crumple zoned steel cages yet we'll let any idiot tool around on a motorcycle.

Sometimes natural selection isn't selective enough...

more than 2 years ago
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When I drive, I place my hands at ...

Doctor Memory Re:Alternative Answer... (380 comments)

Yeah, kinda. Problem is, you can only control approximately when the transmission shifts. There's still a second (or two) delay. You also can't go flying into a corner in 4th, stick it in 2nd and stand on the brakes with the clutch in, then roll off the brakes and clutch while mashing the throttle for a proper exit.

For the record, my wife's Dodge only has P-R-N-D; you can push the shift lever left or right to manually change gears, but then there's no way to return to automatic mode without shifting into neutral and back into drive. However, that's the only example I've seen, and I hope it doesn't catch on.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Intel open-sources multicore programming toolkit

Doctor Memory Doctor Memory writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Doctor Memory (6336) writes "Intel has recently open-sourced their previously closed-source TBB 2.0 (Thread Building Blocks) C++ library. The library provides parallel algorithm templates for "task-based parallelism", emphasizing logical tasks instead of physical threads. The web site (osstbb.intel.com) hosts an FAQ, a forum link, and a download page to get the latest version of the source. Licensed under GPLv2, Intel will continue to sell a commercial version of the library which will include engineering support. There's a more in-depth overview over at Ars Technica."
Link to Original Source
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Doctor Memory Doctor Memory writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Doctor Memory (6336) writes "Sun Microsystems has been picked to supply the University of Texas' Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) with an advanced supercomputer system. The new system, based on Opteron processors from AMD, will ultimately comprise 13,000 4-core Opteron chips, 100TB of memory, and 1.7PB of disk storage. Performance is estimated to be in the 400 TFLOP range, well beyond the 280 TFLOPS of the current speed champion, IBM's BlueGene/L. TACC hopes to have a base version of the system up by June of next year.

Sun's current most powerful supercomputer, the TSUBAME Grid Cluster at Japan's Global Scientific Information and Computing Center, is currently at #7 on the Top 500 list with 38 TFLOPS."
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Doctor Memory Doctor Memory writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Doctor Memory (6336) writes "According to this story in The Register, IBM and AMD have signed an agreement for IBM to use AMD's Torrenza Innovation Socket for their upcoming POWER 7 processor. Using this socket means that IBM will be able to use the same motherboard for both their Opteron and POWER-based servers, which will mean significant cost savings.

The Torrenza socket design should make it possible for system manufacturers to create thirty-two-socket systems, with each socket capable of holding a four-core chip, in the 2007-2008 time frame.

Sun Microsystems is also rumored to be discussing a similar arrangement with AMD for their UltraSPARC and UltraSPARC T1 chips."
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Doctor Memory Doctor Memory writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Doctor Memory (6336) writes "El Reg is reporting that Sun has finally come clean and admitted that they have killed the UltraSPARC IIIi+ chip. According to John Fowler, Sun's server chief, "We canceled it last fiscal year to focus on the ramp (up) of UltraSparc IV+, Niagara and Niagara 2". Sun has had great success with its new Niagara line, and with it's line of AMD-based systems."

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