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Comments

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Carbon Nanotubes and Spongy Polymer Help Transistors Stretch

loose electron Re:Useless! (17 comments)

Nope - just make the chips small enough such they can sit on a flex circuit and tolerate the needed bend radius. I do this all the time with ultra small medical electronics. Or put the silicon someplace that does not have to bend. This is totally a no brainer.

about 8 months ago
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Carbon Nanotubes and Spongy Polymer Help Transistors Stretch

loose electron Useless! (17 comments)

Totally useless, you can build flexible and stretchable interconnects and displays, the transistors themselves have no real need to stretch.

about 8 months ago
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For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

loose electron Re:Used to design HDD's (270 comments)

Probably the power drive electronics. 10K spindle speed issues are a PITA in the reliability department.

about 9 months ago
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For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

loose electron Re:Used to design HDD's (270 comments)

So I don't know when you used to design HDD's but you are talking rubbish.

not talking 2.5 drives - also the dual port devices are just the electronics and not the actual HDA

historically 2.5 drives are not as cost effective as 3.5 due to the majority were built with 5V only electronics.

my information is a bit out of date, I got out of drives when I moved out of the bay area.

Rubbish?

Eh, WD and Seagate still hit me up to come drink the Koolaid but I am not going back to N CA

about 9 months ago
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For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

loose electron Re:Used to design HDD's (270 comments)

The test array systems had 128 drives per bay and 8 racks of that.

That was the US system, the high volume beatup happened in Singapore back then.

about 9 months ago
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For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

loose electron Used to design HDD's (270 comments)

No difference between enterprise and home HDD's that I know of.

As for what "hammering and heavy use " of a drive is?

The biggest killer of HDD's is something called the CSS test cycle.

CSS = Contact Start Stop where the drive is booted up, spun up, and then shut down repetitively.

Generally, a HDD sitting there spinning away is not what kill them off,
however turning them on-off-on-off a lot is the most abusive thing that you can do.

I still think WD makes the best quality out there, but that's just my opinion.

just my 0.02 worth...

about 9 months ago
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The Mile Markers of Moore's Law Are Meaningless

loose electron Re:How about optical interconnect? (156 comments)

Already been done between boards, for sure. Limitations of copper connections on PCB is at roughly 20GB/s - although there are arguments above or below that, that is what I have been able to get up to with some heroic measures.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(supercomputer)

Optical connections across boards has been done some but its generally not seriously explored due to the overhead associated with getting in-out of optical medium, people tend to just use copper and put more parallel paths in.

Optical inside the chips? Not there yet, something should emerge in quantum computers before we are all dead, right?

about a year ago
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Repurposed: Ground Circuit Board Waste Can Clean Up Toxic Metals

loose electron Costs more to do less = Dead at the start (33 comments)

From the article:

  Although the boards can become effective adsorbents, he says the method for making the materials may not be as energy efficient and cost effective as for other adsorbents, such as granular ferric hydroxide, because of all the processing steps needed to produce the treated powder.

Conclusion - its dead before its even starts.

about a year ago
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Supercomputers' Growing Resilience Problems

loose electron Re:Hardly A New Problem (112 comments)

Most MPP machines that I am familiar with have a system where the status and functionality of all nodes is checked as part of a supervisory routine and mapped out of the system. Bad Node? It goes on the list for somebody to go out and hot swap out the device. Processing load gets swapped to another machine.

Once the new device is in place that same routine brings that now functioning processor back into the system.

That sort of thing has existed for at least 10 years and probably longer.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Does Wireless Gear Degrade Over Time?

loose electron RF Power Amplifier Transistors less watts (615 comments)

Whats being described sounds common to the transmitter power.
Just guessing - but I would say that the RF power transistors in the PA
are slowly losing efficiency.

Could not find any burn in data for GaAs power transistors, but its a possibility.

about 2 years ago
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Nanomaterial May Allow Devices to Rewire Themselves

loose electron Re:Old news (61 comments)

Yeah, reconfigurable electronics exists in many forms.
Whats unique and different here?
Can't see anything without some specifics of what they got.
Reclaims of reconfigurable analog circuits?
Analog circuits and systems tend to be niche and dedicated
(RF front ends, power systems, ADC & DAC's)
and the reconfigurables tend to be in the digital core of the system.
But then isn't that what we got SW for?

more than 2 years ago
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Power Grid Change May Disrupt Clocks

loose electron Not too many analog or power people here I see. (439 comments)

This is no big deal. What they are talking about here is the additive cycles in a day and not worrying about the compensation process for that.

Some basics:

Anything connected to the 60Hz power is at 60HZ, You can not connect a 61Hz generator to the grid.
In addition, when you connect a generator to the grid, you have to adjust its phase, as you bring it on line.
If the phase angle does not line up you get you get into a "tug of war" between multiple generation sources and that doesn't work.

The sine wave coming out of one generator has to line up with the other sine waves from the other sine waves from the other generators.

60 cycles/sec X 60 sec/min X 60 mins/hour X 24 hours/day = 5.184E6 cycle/day

  What the article is talking about is the adjustment of the generating stations on the grid so that at the end of the day you get that exact number of cycles across the grid, not one more not one less. It is "really close" without tweaking but not exact.

It costs money to do those tweaks, to get the numbers on the money. That tweak right now really doesn't serve much purpose anymore.

Noting exciting, or interesting here, this is not Y2K nonsense, move along...

more than 3 years ago
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A Closer Look At Immersion Cooling For the Data Center

loose electron Re:It certainly looks cool... (213 comments)

"most cheap consumer shit monitors the speed of at least the CPU fan and tends to freak out if a fan that is supposed to be there is either absent or performing substantially below expected speed"

Got it backwards - Since the Pentium 1, there has been thermal monitor diodes inside the CPU to monitor the silicon temperature. Fan speed was dialed up-down as a function of the temperature.

Cooling using fluid has been around for many years, This is so 1985.

Immersion of HDD? Thats a quick crash and burn. Except for specialty devices they are open to acquire external same air pressure, thru a sub-micron filter, yes! HDD are not the primary source of heat in a computer however.

more than 3 years ago
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Hard Disk Sector Consolidates Amid Uncertain Future

loose electron Re:Death of the HDD - not yet.... (237 comments)

I hope you are joking.

The 1GB drive was "the hot new thing" in 1993.
And that was a full size 3.5 " platter desktop HDD
2000X increase in storage density in 20 years.

If you are serious, then I can sugggest a course or two
at either UCSD's CMRR or Santa Clara University's magentic recording research programs.

more than 3 years ago
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Hard Disk Sector Consolidates Amid Uncertain Future

loose electron Re:Death of the HDD - not yet.... (237 comments)

"Seriously, how much "design" goes into a technology that has been around for 30+ years. You take a platter, mount it on a spindle, spin it, send the data through the same IO standard that has been around for 10 years. What f*cking design is involved? Hard drives ARE obsolete, they do not become obsolete after 3 - 6 months of design. If I open a hard drive in 2011, it looks exactly the same as one in 1990."

LOL! If I open up a microprocessor from 1985 it looks a lot like a microprocessor from 2011!
Funny thing, one works with a 20MHz clock and the other one works with a 2.5GHz clock. Do you want me to itemize all the other differences as well?

Lets see the list is huge, heres some reading for you:
http://www.disktrend.com/pdf/portrpkg.pdf
Thats from the perspective of the box, not what goes on inside of it.

Recording head technology:
http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/classes/cmps129/Winter03/papers/grochowski-trends.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_read-and-write_head

Vertical recording:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpendicular_recording

Read channel technology:
http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4169625/Hard-disk-drive-read-channels--a-must-for-perpendicular-recording

The list of things in servo mechanisms, ECC methods, magnetic media, read channels, spindle controls, embedded servo methods, read/write heads, plated recording media, Viterbi detection vs peak detection, signal processing, PRML channels, etc, etc are huge.

more than 3 years ago
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Hard Disk Sector Consolidates Amid Uncertain Future

loose electron Re:Death of the HDD - not yet.... (237 comments)

Well, I would say that you are not in semiconductors or magnetic storage.
A minor correction - the HDD is the fastest mechanical part of the computer.
====> mechanical========

Thing is - a SSD is limited by semiconductor density and the physics thereof.
FYI
-- the transistor right now sits at 13 atoms of silicon in length
-- the transistor right now has gate oxide thicknesses of 4 molecules of oxide

Shrinking transistors using fractional atoms and molecules are not going to happen.

Consequently, without some breakthrus in transistor technology getting higher densities
is going to not make great leaps. Some incremental improvements are still happening, but
until that breakthru happens, you are not going to have any miracles.

If somebody saw a new way to make storage reliable, fast, and cheap, they would be all over it.
If you come up with a SSD that can beat the HDD in volume/speed/cost/reliability you can get very rich very quick.

more than 3 years ago
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Hard Disk Sector Consolidates Amid Uncertain Future

loose electron Death of the HDD - not yet.... (237 comments)

The HDD death has been predicted a few too many times...

Its still the cheapest storage with easy access out there.

Consolidation is not only expected, but somewhat necessary.
I spent 15 years in the HDD industry, and some things to understand:

- It takes roughly 70 people and 6-9 months to design and develop a new disk drive.
- product lifetime has been as short as 2 months and as long as 1 year.
- typical product lifetime is 3-6 months.
- A company needs to have multiple design teams doing multiple product designs phased for phased product releases.
If the product is late, its already obolete, and will not sell.
If the product is slightly behind the times, it will not sell.

Because of the above NRE expenses are huge, so margins or volumes have got to be huge, to make any money.
Margins went to nothing many years back, so the volumes need to be huge. Thus fewer players are the results of all that.

Because of the above, dozens of companies that used to make disk drives are now long gone.

All of that said, the "death of the HDD has been greatly exaggerated"
- its cheap, high volume storage, and all in all "fairly" reliable.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Solar System is Dented, Not Round

loose electron loose electron writes  |  more than 6 years ago

loose electron writes "As reported in CNN and AP: "When viewed from the rest of the galaxy, the edge of our solar system appears slightly dented as if a giant hand is pushing one edge of it inward, far-traveling NASA probes reveal.
New data suggests our solar system is not as symmetrical as astronomers have long assumed.

Information from Earth's first space probes to hit the thick edge of the solar system — called the heliosheath where the solar wind slows abruptly — paint a picture that is not the simple circle that astronomers long thought, according to several studies published Thursday in the journal Nature."

Just goes to show you, nothing's perfect! Will anyone grab onto the "giant hand is pushing" statement and wrap religion, sex, or politics around it?"

Link to Original Source
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Missing White House Email During Start of Iraq War

loose electron loose electron writes  |  more than 6 years ago

loose electron writes "As reported in CNN — The White House claims that they have "lost" a large amount of email records from the time period when they were trying to get the war in Iraq started.

The watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had sued under FOIA. The group expressed disappointment in the ruling and said it is appealing the decision.

"The Bush administration is using the legal system to prevent the American people from discovering the truth about the millions of missing White House e-mails," said Melanie Sloan, the organization's executive director.

In January, the White House said it cannot rule out that it may have lost certain e-mails. The possibly lost e-mails are from a period in which the United States decided to go to war with Iraq, White House officials leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame and the Justice Department started a criminal investigation into who leaked the information.

This reminds me of Nixon and the Watergate tapes. Any IT person interested in helping them restore all this information from the tape backups?"

Link to Original Source

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