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CMI Director Alex King Talks About Rare Earth Supplies (Video)

cheese_boy Can the mods update the summary? (27 comments)

"Dr. Ames and his coworkers" should be "Dr. King and his coworkers"

about 2 months ago

Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

cheese_boy Sometimes it's health related (253 comments)

A friend of mine had her eggs frozen because she was going to go through chemo.

She was married, one kid and diagnosed with breast cancer.
Before she started chemo, the doctors told them that there was a chance of infertility afterward.
So she had her eggs frozen (after fertilizing them - apparently they do better that way)
She had a masectomy and chemo.
And now she's had a 2nd kid. (I don't know if they used a frozen egg or not. I don't think there's a polite way to ask that question, and it doesn't matter)

My understanding is that this policy would have helped her pay for the procedures.
I think that a lot of other insurance coverage plans it wouldn't be covered. And instead the family would have to look at how to pay for it out of their pocket.

about 3 months ago

Errata Prompts Intel To Disable TSX In Haswell, Early Broadwell CPUs

cheese_boy Re:So how does one find out /apply "fix" with linu (131 comments)

Can anyone tell us a simple way to check?
Intel has on their website info on the processors.
For example, for yours (i7-4700mq) you would look at:


Or you can look for all products that were "formerly haswell":

how to apply the "disable the broken feature" fix - without installing windows

I would do some searches for updating BIOS from linux - ex:

Or doing a microcode update:

Until there is a chip for sale that really supports TSX I wouldn't expect anyone to be distributing software that uses it. So I wouldn't be too worried about it yet.

about 6 months ago

Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

cheese_boy Re:110 or 240v (260 comments)

Though, one thing I don't get about this challenge - they're using they want 2kVA output, but then demanding 50W/in^3 with a max size of 40in^3, meaning you have to provide 2000W.

What is it you don't get?
Requirements are >=50W/in^3 and &lt= 40in^3.
I would expect some of the entrants will exceed those requirements - doing more W/in^3 and/or less space.

about 6 months ago

Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

cheese_boy My name is Inigo Montoya (77 comments)

You killed my father, prepare to die.
Oh - wait, you've got 7 fingers and not 6?
Oh, OK then, nevermind.

about 6 months ago

New Type of Star Can Emerge From Inside Black Holes, Say Cosmologists

cheese_boy Beta solved the information paradox (193 comments)

Slashdot's Beta has proved that it is possible for information to be sucked in and never get out.

WTF is up with article titles that only the first 3 words are visible because of the huge font used?

Slashdot beta - the artificial blackhole created by Dice that Slashdot will be sucked into

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Convince an ISP To Bury Cable In Your Neighborhood?

cheese_boy Re:So... (324 comments)

Covenants are usually imposed by someone else, usually the local government, to allow the project to go forward. If they were easily changeable by the HOA it would be a bylaw not a covenant.

Covenants are usually created by the HOA - usually by the developer who is creating the homes and has 100% control of the HOA at it's beginning. If the local government wants to impose a restriction, they create ordinances.

To change covenants usually isn't "easy" - but it's doable. The problem is getting everyone to agree to the change. (or at least a lot of the people).
For example here's an article on doing it in CO: http://www.cohoalaw.com/your-governing-documents-should-your-covenants-be-amended.html

The difference between by-laws and covenants is that the bylaws are for the group of people - they specify how often meetings should be, how many people on the HOA board, etc. And those bylaws are often more easily modified.
Covenants are attached to the property and are just about what can be done with the properties (ex. no raising farm animals on the property, all utilities must be buried, etc)

As for the OP - I'd try a letter to the cable company from all the homeowners who are interested - give the cable company the names and addresses of the 15 properties who are planning to sign up, and most likely that'll get them to consider it.
If not - paying for it yourself seems like a good option...

1 year,8 days

AgriRover Brings Mars Rover Technology To the Farm

cheese_boy Re:Why livestock? (41 comments)

No-till doesn't mean RoundUp Ready seeds.
It's common to do no-till planting with same seeds that have been used before in modern tillage planting methods.
If using Roundup, the field is sprayed before planting, or before the seeds emerge from the ground (same as modern tillage method)
And postemergence other herbicides are used (ex. a broadleaf killing herbicide on corn fields)
Here's a list of "do's" for notill that came up in a very quick google search:

There are other studies looking at how no-till allows for use of fewer herbicides.

about a year ago

BMW Debuts First Electric Vehicle Made Primarily of Carbon Fiber

cheese_boy Re:What a POS (164 comments)

Are body shops going to be able to fix the composite panels?
Corvette body shops have been doing fixes for fiberglass panels for years. I would expect carbon fiber repairs to be very very similar. Possibly even using fiberglass cloth in non-visible areas to repair the carbon fiber. Sure fiberglass might be a little heavier, but no one's going to care about the extra 3 ounces when it's an extra pound of epoxy on that crack/hole. And if it's $50 cheaper, probably the body shop will take the cheaper method.

about a year ago

Intel Embraces Oil Immersion Cooling For Servers

cheese_boy Re:Not all oils are flammable (230 comments)

One example of non-flammable oil is Silicone Oil

You don't even have to go non-flammable - large transformers that you might see next to buildings have been using oil as a coolant and insulation for decades.

more than 2 years ago

TSMC To Spend $10B Building Factory for 450mm Wafers

cheese_boy Re:Larger wafers or larger lithographies/processes (104 comments)

I can understand if TSMC, or anyone else, were moving from 8" to 12" wafers.
This is going to 18" wafers. (~17.7 inch - close enough that I'd assume it'd be called "18 inch")
300mm wafer are sometimes called 12" wafers. And is what many/most use now.
If someone were moving from 8" to 12" (200mm to 300mm) it's not news at this point - they're years behind others in moving.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Skype Setup For Toddler's Room?

cheese_boy Disable the keyboard (302 comments)

get a program to disable the keyboard.
For example:

It won't solve problem of her hitting the power button - but depending on the model, you may be able to disable the functionality of the power button in a separate program.

So as long as she is just mashing keys, not popping keys off the keyboard, that should solve your problem.

If you really want a separate machine, so you can read a recipe for dinner on your laptop (or whatever) while she interacts with grandma/grandpa, there have been other suggestions that look like good options.

more than 2 years ago

Hidden Cores On Phenom CPUs Can Be Unlocked

cheese_boy Re:No, not so much (251 comments)

You don't seem to realize how the economics of this really works out. Nobody will set up a production run before hand and say "this line only needs to produce 3 usable cores". Nobody will do this because no fabrication process has 100 % yield... in fact, most cutting-edge runs have far less.

I don't think you realize how this works out in practice.

In practice there are multiple stages to testing.
And a part may be down-binned for numerous reasons.
1> Frequency - ie. some part of the chip doesn't function at the freq./voltage specified.
2> Power - ie. the part would function but it would consume more power than spec.
3> Functional - ie. some portion just doesn't work (ex. part of the cache is so messed up that the repairing mechanisms can't compensate, and have to disable that section of cache completely, so a part that has patterns for a 8M cache is used as a 4M cache. Or maybe one core doesn't have it's branch prediction operate properly or maybe one opcode doesn't give the right result in a certain corner-case, so one core is disabled.)
4> Supply/demand - ie. the actual yield is higher than the actual demand at the top bins, so parts have to be down-binned to meet the demand in the lower bins. This may mean that certain lots of parts - or parts with certain characteristics get run through a test program that automatically jumps to a lower bin if there is already more than enough supply at the top bins. (Testing is expensive, and if you can shorten test time by an average of 10% because on 30% of the parts shipped you shortened the test time by 30% it's a multi-million dollar benefit.)

If the parts get downbinned in an earlier stage of testing (because there are normally multiple stages) normally that portion that's disabled won't be tested at the later stages. For example, if you test at the wafer level, and determine that you need to downbin some parts because they're almost certainly going to consume too much power, you only test those parts at the lower frequency/core-count once they're in packages. Then Joe Q Hacker gets the part and re-enables a disabled core - he doesn't know how much that part was tested. It is quite possible that the core he re-enabled wasn't tested as thoroughly as the ones that were enabled when he got it. Since he's got a liquid cooled setup though, he doesn't have issues with the power dissipation - but maybe there was some other latent issue that was never even encountered.

Or maybe it gets disabled when it's socketted in a Credence Sapphire ATE (Automated Test Equipment) but the next stage is a more PC-like environment, and at that stage it already has a core disabled, so the 4th core doesn't get the full testing in that PC-like environment.

In your example you didn't put what the demand was - if the demand is 10% four-core, and 90% two-core, it makes sense that you meet demand by skipping over the four-core testing 3/4 of the time, and jump right to the 2-core testing. It'll save time, and that means it saves money because maybe you can get by with 8 ATE platforms instead of 10. And the code to implement that took maybe a month of engineering effort to implement and test (spread across 2-5 people), which is much much cheaper than even 1 ATE.

Without knowing the actual test-flow AMD uses and the yields, (neither of which will be revealed to the public) it's impossible to know how likely a core that was sold disabled is actually good, and how thoroughly that (disabled) core was tested before it was shipped out to customers.

more than 4 years ago

AMD's Triple-Core Phenom X3 Processor Launched

cheese_boy Re:AMD does NOT want 3x cores to be too popular (234 comments)

Places like Marshall's and Kohl's have conditioned customers to expect slightly-flawed merchandise and deep discounts,

That is somewhat accurate for Marshall's but not for Kohl's. (Marshall's uses over-stocked / past-season merchandise - not so much flawed things)
Kohl's is pretty much a normal department store. They have decent prices, but nothing I would call 'deep discounts'. And they don't have 'slightly flawed merchandise' as a mainstay of their store. For those not familiar with Kohl's, it is trying to fit somewhere between higher end department stores (Macy's, Nordstrom, etc.) and Target/Walmart.

I think outlet malls are really where people expect deep discounts on slightly flawed merchandise.

there's not a terribly good reason for anyone to buy one.

If they price it between dual-core and quad-core, it will be marketable IMO.

Personally, I would sell them at dual-core prices and get rid of the whole lot pronto.
Sell them at dual-core prices, and you will get orders for them instead of for dual-core.
This business isn't a retail shop where you can say "if it's not on the floor we don't have it - sorry"
Dell/IBM/HP/whoever orders thousands of these months in advance.
Why would their purchasers order dual-cores if they can get better specs for the same price?
So now AMD has to use fab capacity for quad-core chips instead of dual-core chips. And that would create significant increase in their costs.

I would expect that AMD has someone looking at models of demand vs price points and what their yields are and making a pricing decision that they think makes them the most money. That might be high enough that they wind up with a little extra supply of 3core rejects than just don't get sold. Or it might be low enough that they have to make some perfectly good 4-core into 3-core. (I'd bet on the latter - they'll probably have only a little demand for quad-core, and they expect more demand for 3core - but the natural production is probably the reverse of that.)

more than 6 years ago


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