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Processors and the Limits of Physics

earthforce_1 Unconventional architectures and quantum computing (168 comments)

I see increasing emphasis in the future on unconventional architectures to solve certain problems

and a little further into the future, single molecule switches and gates.

We have a ways to go, but at some point we are going to have to say bye-bye to the conventional transistor.

about a month ago

New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist

earthforce_1 We have yet to find a star with this spectrum (119 comments)

And we have been studying stellar spectra for a century now. The must be much rarer than 1 in 10,000 or we would have already found one. They must be exceedingly rare.

about 2 months ago

How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

earthforce_1 Ideal technology for high radiation/space (183 comments)

This looks like the ideal technology for electronics that have to work in extremes of temperatures or high radiation environments. I'm surprised the military and aerospace industries aren't jumping all over this.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Stop a Debt Collection Scam From Targeting You?

earthforce_1 Re:Leave the call open (497 comments)

Works just as well if you hand the phone to a toddler. They love to chat.

about 10 months ago

Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March

earthforce_1 Re:Because of the Limited Lifespan? (202 comments)

Funny you should mention that. I have a Panasonic Viera 50" circa 2006 that is still running fine, except for a faint burn-in from the cable box we used to have. The first 60" 3D Samsung LED I bought downstairs to replace my 70" projection set that died, (Sony said they had discontinued parts for it) came out of the box with a one pixel black line across the screen, and had to be replaced. (So far, the replacement model is working fine)

about a year ago

USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document

earthforce_1 Re:old, really old, news (586 comments)

Some of the arming crews decided to speed things up by plugging in the pigtails that controlled the missiles early, so they could launch aircraft faster. That was one major mistake. The grounding plug that prevented a premature firing was also either removed early, or fell off. Both were not supposed to happen until just before launch. And the use of ancient bombs with noticeably deteriorating explosives (which made them both unstable and more powerful) greatly magnified the disaster. Finally, only some of the crew were trained fire fighters and most of them (along with a lot of their equipment) were taken out when the first bomb went off.

Fortunately both the A-bomb broken arrow and the Forrestal fire resulted in major changes intended to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring. Tragically it took 134 lives in the later case, and very nearly an awful lot more with the near nuclear detonation.

about a year ago

USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document

earthforce_1 Re:old, really old, news (586 comments)

> the "switch could easily be shorted by an electrical jolt", without specifying where such a jolt would come from, or ever actually seeing the switch in question.

That was exactly what started the fire on the USS Forrestal that killed 134 sailors and crippled a front line carrier, nearly sinking it. An electrical surge when switching an aircraft over to internal power launched a rocket, striking another aircraft, puncturing and igniting it's fuel tank.


about a year ago

Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?

earthforce_1 I can't believe that live could have evolved... (1293 comments)

But a story about a 600 year old man and his sons building a boat with bronze age technology to hold every life form on the planet with sufficient genetic diversity to prevent inbreeding with a year of supplies, collecting them from every remote corner of the planet, and returning them all to their native habitat afterwards (which somehow wasn't destroyed by the flood) makes perfect sense. From polar bears to penguins, koalas and kangaroos to the Inaccessible Island rail, a flightless bird. Over 8000 species of ants alone. Don't forget the fresh water tanks for any aquatic life that wouldn't survive when salt water flooded their habitat. Returning all those fresh water life forms back to their home lakes and ponds all over the world afterwards must have been some trouble....

Honestly, I have an easier time believing a bearded man in a red suit comes down a billion chimneys on Christmas eve delivering toys.

about a year ago

Samsung Caught Boosting Galaxy S4 Benchmarks

earthforce_1 I've seen this before (234 comments)

I remember old articles where ATI and Nvidia were both caught out gaming benchmarks, in one case by embedding particular benchmark game strings in their driver, and short cutting a few algorithms to boost their score.

about a year ago

New for 2013: An In-Depth Analysis of Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey

earthforce_1 Re:Good luck with that (164 comments)

What blew me away is how real it was, (space is dead silent, the only thing astronauts hear is their own breathing) so real that that the flat screen PDAs were actually used in the Apple/Samsung case to demonstrate prior art. They also enhanced realism by using real products (GE-Whirlpool, IBM, Pan-AM) that were household names at the time.

Pick up a copy of the book and read the description of the "news pad" device they were using, keeping in mind it was written in the late 1960s. You could dial an electronic code for iany newspaper in the world, which had headlines that would update every few minutes on a tablet like device. Sound somewhat familiar? When have you ever seen a 40 year old movie nail technology that accurately? I look at a lot of old movies and find even their near future predictions quite laughable.

Another thing I find interesting and somewhat sad about the movie, (released during the heyday of Apollo) is they fully expected there to be large scale manned bases on the moon by 2001 and at least a few examples of computers exhibiting true human like artificial intelligence. Someone jumping in from that time would be very disappointed at how little we have truly progressed in these areas.

about a year ago

New for 2013: An In-Depth Analysis of Kubrick's 2001: a Space Odyssey

earthforce_1 Re:'medium is the..." (164 comments)

What always amazing me is how incredibly cool looking but uncomfortable those '60s furniture were. Bean bag chairs and cool looking seats that give you back pain after an hour or so.

about a year ago

Blue Coat Denies Its Devices Helping Syrian Gov't

earthforce_1 Re:IBM sold equipment to the nazis (73 comments)

Hitler kept a picture of Henry Ford on his desk; and it wasn't because he liked his cars.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Dumps Partner For Fake Support Call Scam

earthforce_1 Re:about freaking time! (212 comments)

You should have said windows 3.1, or windows for workgroups. Just to see what the hell they would do.

more than 2 years ago

FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

earthforce_1 Re:yes yes (481 comments)

Maybe it was sort of like the Enterprise shuttlecraft or captain's yacht? The mothership could have stayed safely in orbit.

more than 3 years ago

Vatican Warns That Internet Promotes Satanism

earthforce_1 They are afraid of an educated populance (585 comments)

They can't control the flow of information and keep the people in check through ignorance like they used to. Much harder to cover up church scandals like pedophile priests with the internet available to a wide population.

more than 3 years ago

First Pictures of Chinese Stealth Fighter

earthforce_1 Re:Mig 25 Foxbat may be a better comparison ... (613 comments)

One flew across the Sinai during one of the Arab/Israeli wars at mach 3+ and really freaked the west out. As it turned out, the engines would burn out if run for an extended time beyond Mach 2.5, and after being flown at Mach 3 the airframe was toast. (The plane in question never flew again)

Think of it as a single use SR-71.

more than 3 years ago



Canada to join the surveilance state club

earthforce_1 earthforce_1 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

earthforce_1 writes "Under a newly proposed bill, police will be given new powers to eavesdrop on Internet based communication. All ISPs will be forced to "upgrade" their systems to allow law enforcement to tap in, and obtain information about users and their digital conversations, under the proposed legislation, with the usual excuses. "Terrorist groups, pornographers and pedophile networks, illegal traffickers in weapons, drugs and human beings, money launderers and cyber criminals, Internet and telemarketing fraudsters all use technology to develop activities, perpetrate crimes and avoid detection," the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said in a November 2008 position paper supporting a new law. Federal Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddard recently warned that forcing ISPs to surrender information "is a serious step forward toward mass surveillance" that violates the rights of Canadians."

RIAA friendly lawyers stacking the deck at the DOJ

earthforce_1 earthforce_1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

earthforce_1 writes "Under Obama/Biden's watch, while everybody is distracted with the economy, an RIAA dream team is being assembled to head the Department of Justice. Expect more single mothers, dead people and babies to be sued in the future. It seems an ill wind blows out of Washington."
Link to Original Source

Howard Knopf uninvited from Can. copyright poforum

earthforce_1 earthforce_1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

earthforce_1 writes "The vested interests of restrictive copyright are stacking the deck in Canada. The Public Policy Forum Symposium on intellectual property reform has bowed to pressure from certain interests and dis-invited noted copyright scholar Howard Knopf. The public policy forum's stated mandate: ".. is to strive for excellence in government — to serve as a neutral, independent forum for open dialogue on public policy, and to encourage reform in public sector management." Yet the forum has been completely stacked by those advocating restrictive copyright laws. For some reason, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, and former head of the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Association have been invited — apparently they are perceived to have a more neutral view of what Canadian copyright laws should be? More information available here. Boing-Boing and Micael Geist have both picked up the story on their blog:"
Link to Original Source

earthforce_1 earthforce_1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

earthforce_1 writes "It looks like the founders at have received and complied with a takedown notice regarding the HD-DVD master keys, and blocking accounts of some users attempting to repost the keys. Subscribers have revolted en-masse and have reposted the keys in at least a dozen story threads and thousands of comments in countless ways. They also modded up all stories about the censored keys until at one point, every single front page story was about the HD-DVD keys! Until the original story was taken down, it was modded up over 15,000 times, an all time record.

This has been a totally unprecedented subscriber revolt against the website moderators, and at least one story thread suggests one of the founders had taken promotional money from the HD-DVD consortium."



Installed Mozilla on XP machine

earthforce_1 earthforce_1 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

After the AOL/MS deal, I decided once and for all to install Mozilla as the primary browser on my XP machine. I never realized how much I missed some of the features of Netscape! (I already have it running on my home server.) After I unpack at work, I think I will install it on my office machine too. This might raise the odd eyebrow, but then again I already stand out a a bit of an oddity for using Xemacs under windows as my primary editor.

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