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Lessons From the Fiasco

iotaborg Re:Alternatives? (501 comments)

There is a paper application supposedly, from what I've heard on the radio. There are people whose job it is to help those who are less knowledgeable sign up for the health care.

about a year ago

US Nuclear Weapons Lab Discovers How To Suppress the Casimir Force

iotaborg Does not help contact surfaces (112 comments)

Took a look at the article; their conclusion is that a significant reduction of the Casimir force can be achieved using metal gratings, at relatively large separation distances (> 200 nm). Unfortunately this does not solve the problem of high nano-scale adhesion in MEMS devices, because that implies the state is in contact (which is ~1 nm separation, depending on how you define how the atoms of different surfaces "touch" each other). At these small contact distances, the adhesion forces do not reduce with the grating approach. However, using the gratings can slightly reduce the risk of a MEMS component from collapsing when at larger distances from an opposing surface. Essentially, the approach can a device that should not touch an opposing surface, but will not help a device that needs to touch an opposing surface (i.e. a MEMS RF Switch).

about a year ago

Looking Beyond Corn and Sugarcane For Cost-Effective Biofuels

iotaborg Re:Nature's solar panel (242 comments)

Actually it isn't that terrible on cloudy/rainy days. We have a solar panel installed on our house in the pacific northwest of the US, which is 100% cloud/rain in the winter months. Energy generated is 100-300 kWh per month in the winter, 500-700 kWh per month in the sunny summers. Obviously nothing in the nights. Excess production in the summer pays for the shortfall in the winter (paid by utility company), so it works out.

about a year ago

Google's Engineers Are Well Paid, Not Just Well Fed

iotaborg Re:$128,000? (342 comments)

What kind of housing did you have in OH compared to what you have in SF? I find it hard to believe you can get away with equal housing without the dramatic salary increase. Just looking up a 2 bedroom houses on zillow, it's $4k/mo in SF, $1k/mo in OH. You'd need $36k more in SF just to have the same quality house, which is more like $55k pre-tax, which lines up with the 117% estimate from a $50k salary. Mortgage on a 3 bedroom house would be similar.

about 2 years ago

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

iotaborg Re:I know next to nothing about wafer fabs, but... (104 comments)

Also I should add, a fab is a considerable investment, they create chips for more than one process generation. Thus when it's time to update the fab to a newer process generation, all the tools are essentially ancient. For example, Intel has older 65 nm fabs running (obviously not producing i7s but for other items such as system controllers).

more than 2 years ago

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

iotaborg Re:I know next to nothing about wafer fabs, but... (104 comments)

Because all of the tools improve over time. The next generation plasma etching system will provide cleaner, more consistent etches. The next generation metal deposition systems deposit more quickly and more uniformly. As we move process generations, the tolerances and requirements on all these other processes also increases, and better processing is required to support a smaller process and result in good yields.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Granted Patent For Slide To Unlock

iotaborg Easy to get around if you actually read the patent (622 comments)

If anyone actually read the patent, one could see that infringing on the patent can easily be resolved (say on an Android device) by simply not showing the unlocking animation, or implementing it in a very different way. Apple is not patenting the swipe to unlock feature by itself... it seems to me more like a look & feel thing over strictly functionality, so it isn't nearly as serious as people are making it out to be. But still if this was done before in the exact way Apple has done it, then it should be invalidated.

more than 2 years ago

Intel and AMD May Both Delay Next-Generation CPUs

iotaborg Re:Ya right (193 comments)

Ivy bridge does include Intel's solutions to ARM offerings in the lower power areas, which they need to come out with as soon as possible. The reasons for the delays may be more than just AMD.

about 3 years ago

Ergonomic Mechanical-Switch Keyboard?

iotaborg Re:Sadly M$ (310 comments)

I've had my Nat keyboard 4000 for 4 years now, and it's been holding up quite well (nothing wrong with the padding). It's not as responsive as a buckling spring keyboard, but still isn't that bad.

more than 3 years ago

Barnes and Noble Bookstore Chain Put In Play

iotaborg Re:We live in a multimedia word (414 comments)

You hit the nail on the head, at least for me. I didn't read a book I actually liked until I was 12 or so, but that was far too late to get me really into books. I only read a book or two a year at my current rate.

more than 4 years ago

The Curious Case of SSD Performance In OS X

iotaborg Re:OS X has nothing to do with it (205 comments)

FWIW, I've been using an Intel X-25M 160 GB SSD on my Mac Pro for over half a year, and my read/write speeds are essentially unchanged from when I got it... this is using xbench to check.

more than 4 years ago

A Close Look At Apple's A4 Chip

iotaborg Re:Short version for the non-experts among us (245 comments)

Actually the A4 does have quite a few optimizations done to it, by Intrinsity (which Apple bought); this allowed the standard Cortex core's performance to be boosted considerably. I believe Intrinsity worked with Samsung to create the processors (since Samsung actually has the fabs), and Samsung has a license to use Intrinsity's proprietary optimizations to the core. And now that Apple bought Intrinsity, they too are using the optimized version of the cortex (again, made by Samsung).

more than 4 years ago

Young Men Who Smoke Have Lower IQs

iotaborg Re:Duh (561 comments)

Of course you enjoy it, that's why it's so damn addictive. You have to enjoy it, otherwise how is the Tobacco company going to make money off of you?

more than 4 years ago

Will Smith In For Independence Day 2 & 3

iotaborg Re:Crap (464 comments)

Speaking of which, Will Smith was initially asked to play Neo in the Matrix, but declined (and did Wild Wild West instead). I think the world would be a very different place if that happened...

more than 4 years ago

Collaborative Software For Pair Programming?

iotaborg Re:How about gobby? (302 comments)

I use gobby a lot at work for collaboratively editing latex documents with my co-authors. I particularly like that it is cross-platform, so I can be using linux and they can be using windows, no problem.

It just doesn't have an undo feature, which is frustrating! And some weird bugs occasionally.

more than 5 years ago

The 100 Degree Data Center

iotaborg Re:Were nerds here... use the f'ing metric system (472 comments)

Well to be fair, 0 F was supposed to be the freezing temperature of water when fully saturated with salt (I believe), though it turned out to be less than 0 F later. 100 F was supposed to be body temperature, which of course isn't quite right.

I like Farenheit because of the finer divisions per integer and the 0-100 intuition, but moreso because I grew up with it. Oh well.

Lets switch to metric time while we're at it, what's this 24/60 crap?

more than 5 years ago

What to Fight Over After Megapixels?

iotaborg Re:Maybe not. (596 comments)

If we're talking about price, keep in mind that the cost of a 22 MP is about the same as a 12 MP sensor of the same size, given the same fabrication process. It's the area of silicon used that matters, which is why DSLRs with their larger sensors are more expensive (and of course, larger sensor = higher SNR = good). I really hope companies will start pushing point & shoots to have bigger sensors/photosites, thus starting a sensor size race, which would actually be beneficial.

more than 5 years ago

How to Turn Your PC into a Mac

iotaborg Re:What about the other way around? (492 comments)

Yes because computers shipped with Vista come with an XP cd, right? Hell, many don't even come with a Vista DVD.

more than 6 years ago


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