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Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Neil Boekend Re:Not gonna matter (266 comments)

Stop looking. I am big foot.


Intel Putting 3D Scanners In Consumer Tablets Next Year, Phones To Follow

Neil Boekend Re:Uses? (74 comments)

I would love an app that can tell me wich of the myrad of threads a pipe connection has. Is it NPT? Is it BSP-T? Is it metric?

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

Neil Boekend Re:Why Do You Accept This? (232 comments)

From my experience: fear usually inhibits creativity. Thus a FDD shop is probably not really innovative.
This may seem suitable for run of the mill work, even there I wouldn't advise FDD. All your good programmers are going to wise up and get a new job, in a company like Gazzonyx's.

about a week ago

Micron Releases 16nm-Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming

Neil Boekend Re:Lifetime at 16nm? (66 comments)

Any important data should be backed up.

about a week ago

I think next winter will be:

Neil Boekend Re:Statistics (147 comments)

I spend half the winter hoping that polar vortex would come our way. Our winter sucked. It was wet and not cold enough.

about a week ago

I think next winter will be:

Neil Boekend Re:European... (147 comments)

We'll just use Dutch gas.

about a week ago

Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

Neil Boekend Re:Spoiler (191 comments)

I remember the Tower of Babel, all 37 feet of it, which I suppose was impressive at the time. And when it fell, they howled divine wrath. But come on, dried dung can only be stacked so high.

- Castiel, in Supernatural

about a week ago

CERN Tests First Artificial Retina Capable of Looking For High Energy Particles

Neil Boekend Re:Summary (60 comments)

They give away Athlons for 10 bucks nowadays. If you could burn your custom asic into that, even if you wasted most of what used to be the Athlon; it would be fast as shit running your FPGA program natively. One you paid to lay it out, seems to me it might be cheap as shit to run a few thousand of them, and saturate the area with these detectors. Which feed already vastly condensed data that we would be capable of capturing.

That is just not how it works. You can't convert an athlon to a custom ASIC. The part that is the Athlon is the hardware.
To make a custom ASIC you need to make different hardware. That means making masks (cost a few million $), testing, making new masks, testing, running a batch, testing, testing testing.
With this batch size it isn't really interesting unless they need the additional speed ASICs bring.

about a week ago

CERN Tests First Artificial Retina Capable of Looking For High Energy Particles

Neil Boekend Re:Summary (60 comments)

FPGA's and CPUs are different enough that it is hard to compare the speed. For some tasks FPGA's are way faster, for most tasks CPU's are way faster.
Think of the FPGA as a hummer and the CPU as a Ferrari. Most driving is done on roads, where the Ferrari is faster. However, in rough country I would bet on the Hummer.

Take your final FPGA and burn chips from it (I know they do that). Run a hundred, and CERN might pay 20 grand a chip if they're good enough. I made that number up'; I don't have a clue, but that's where I'm going with my question.

Converting FPGA programming to chips means you need to invest millions to produce masks. You ain't gonna do that for a few hundred if you can avoid it.
Those chips are called ASICs. They are usually faster then the FPGA. And if you need many then they are cheaper.

about a week ago

Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery

Neil Boekend Re:Renewable (82 comments)

Assuming that list is accurate it is less than 8.3%.

about a week ago

Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

Neil Boekend Re:I'm sure this is just poor wording... (170 comments)

That the models predict an amount of lithium with narrow error bars.
It's a really neat prediction, it just happens not to agree with the measurements.

about two weeks ago

Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Neil Boekend Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Since the cars drive 11 mph according to TFS the bikes are the fast ones. They have to limit their speed to match the slow cars.
The pedestrians are even slower than the cars so the speed delta is bigger for bike-pedestrian accidents.
Besides, dunno about the US but here the sidewalks are often paved with 30x30 cm (1 footx1 foot) concrete tiles. Those are unsuitable for bikes because they are just not flat enough.

'Round here (NL) better bike paths do usually increase speed for cars, because a percentage of drivers start biking. Then there are less cars on the road and thus less congestion.

about two weeks ago

China's Island Factory

Neil Boekend Re:Environmental concerns... Anyone? (199 comments)

Thank you. At least there is one who reacts like I do.
Dump soil on coral reefs to make islands is evil. Especially for such a stupid reason.

about two weeks ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Neil Boekend Re:Do not want (296 comments)

Helium leaks slowly through a fully welded vessel. Really slowly.
If they use fully welded vessels the leak rate is around 10^-12 mbar*l/s. That means half the helium will be gone in approx 5 million years.

about two weeks ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Neil Boekend Re:containment (296 comments)

I really should have done the calculations before posting that. It takes almost 5 million years to lose half of the helium, assuming a proper weld.

Helium loss is no issue.

Calculations are in my reply to this post

about two weeks ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Neil Boekend Re:containment (296 comments)

Still, that is approximately what happens.
Partial pressure put simply:
Forget absolute pressure. What matters in leaks is the pressure of each gas individually.
There is 0.00052% of He in the atmosphere. Assuming 1 bar of absolute pressure this means there is a partial pressure of 0.0000052 bar of helium in the atmosphere.
If the drive is filled with 1 bar absolute pure helium the difference will be 1-0.0000052 = 0.9999948 bar. That is the pressure that is important. There is no way the helium will not leak out. There is no such thing as a closed system. The system will also leak air in but far less. The result is a vacuum in the drive. In the end that vacuum will be filled with air but that takes far slower.

Now how long will the loss of helium take?

A 3,5 inch drive is about 0.3l. I assume that half of that is filled with hardware so I assume 0.15l He. A properly welded system without any connectors is probably in the range of 10^-12 mbar*l/s He leak tight. If I assume the drive will work at 0.5 bar helium we can take 10^12*500 mbar *0.3l = 150 * 10^12 seconds.
A year has 3.15 * 10^6 seconds. That is almost 5 million years. Not really something to worry about.
Yes there is a leak. Yes the helium will escape. No it doesn't matter because it just takes extremely long.

With a bad weld the time would drop significantly. However, the detection is easy. Helium leak detectors are commonplace, to detect minute leaks in high purity systems.

Dimensions drive: Wikipedia.
Leak rate: I can get connectors to 10^-11 as standard items (Swagelok VCR full metal seal). Fully welded systems are probably better than that.

about two weeks ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Neil Boekend Re:containment (296 comments)

When the helium is gone the drive will be high vacuum. The drive should include a breakaway disk (with shrapnel filter) to prevent collapsing of the enclosure. The system should detect that break and slow down the drive to 5400 RPM to fail gracefully.
SMART should report the pressure inside the drive and the status of the breakaway disk.

Then you can get the data off while the drive is in degraded mode.

about two weeks ago

WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Neil Boekend Re:USA has it. (296 comments)

Those subterranean sources are being replenished by natural alpha emitting sources.
When those sources are gone the sun will have gone red giant, absorbing the earth. We should have enough helium by then.

about two weeks ago



Google privacy policy change

Neil Boekend Neil Boekend writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Neil Boekend (1854906) writes "Dear Google user,
We're getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that's a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.
We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012."

Link to Original Source


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