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Comments

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'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

u19925 why cars as the first application (165 comments)

the first application of such devices would be more like a solar cell, power plant, backup generator etc. Putting a new device in car can take decades, but putting in these can be done much more quickly as the number of approvals needed is far few. Whenever, someone uses "car" where it is not justified, I know the innovation is most likely worthless showoff or it is decades away from practical use. Yes, one day all cars will run on fusion power. Thanks.

2 days ago
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CERN Wants a New Particle Collider Three Times Larger Than the LHC

u19925 SSC resurrected (238 comments)

Didn't we almost had it? See Superconducting Super Collider This was proposed in 1983 and cancelled in 1992 after spending 2 billion USD.

about 2 months ago
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Fusion Reactor Breaks Even

u19925 Three things missing... (429 comments)

There are still three things missing:
1. Scientists are only counting the laser energy absorbed by the fuel. Not all of the laser energy is absorbed by the fuel.
2. Lasers are not 100% efficient. They take lot more energy than they give out.
3. The generated energy is in the form of heat. Converting it to electrical is not there.

Overall, the efficiency is still less than 1%. Far away from anything usable.

about 6 months ago
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Did Apple Make a Mistake By Releasing Two New iPhones?

u19925 faster upgrades (348 comments)

The iPhone-C is a low end device with older hardware. Which means it will become obsolete faster and owners will upgrade in shorter time than iPhone-S owners will. Also, the price difference is not all that high (550 vs 650 USD for iphoneC and iphoneS). Assuming it is $50 cheaper to make iPhone, Apple will recover that in quicker upgrade cycle. Also, it allows Apple to sell iPhone to users who would have gone most likely to Android. In fact, this is the best thing Apple could have done. Apple's recent fall of stock price is because the investors believes that it should have introduced an even lower end device which they didn't. So imaging what would have happened without iPhone-C?

about 7 months ago
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Oracle Sues Companies It Says Provide Solaris OS Support In Illegal Manner

u19925 Re:Slowaris Delenda Est (154 comments)

Replace Oracle with Apple or Microsoft and Solaris with Windows. Does MS give free OS upgrade for lifetime on your hardware? What if thirdparty tells you that it is licensed to provide you new versions of OS on your old PC? Oracle is going after those. Each customer gets certain upgrade free and then they have to either buy paid support which include free upgrade or have to pay to get upgrade. I am almost sure, the people in charge of Rimini street were in TomorrowNow which was found guilty of copyright infringement of Oracle software, so I won't call them totally clean.

about 9 months ago
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Collision Between Water and Energy Is Underway, and Worsening

u19925 Some math about water usage by power plant? (189 comments)

The study referenced in article says, "And in Texas, regulators denied developers of a proposed 1,320-megawatt coal plant a permit to with draw 8.3 billion gallons". Since USA has about 1100 GW of installed capacity (including hydro), this approximately translates into 7.5 trillion gallons or about 20 billion gallons a day. According to ucsusa, the total withdrawal by power plants is 200 billion gallons a day. So it looks like the old power plants are the main culprits.

about 9 months ago
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Sony, Microsoft Squabble Over Console Features, But the Real Opponent Is Apple

u19925 dedicated gaming consoles is a niche market (315 comments)

Just like PCs became faster and replaced Unix workstations at many places, the low end devices are becoming faster and are threatening the dedicated gaming consoles. Mostly all you need is a good quality controller and you can fairly use high end PC to replace your gaming console. Newer Wi-Fi standards are becoming faster by the day (to easily connect controller to PC) and also virtual controllers like Kinect can easily be ported to PC, so that shouldn't be a bottleneck. The game publishers will be more than willing to support open (relatively speaking) platforms as they don't have to invest huge amount upfront and don't have to pay per game commission to console makers. As of now, I am not planning to upgrade my gaming console. I will wait and watch whether it is worth or not.

about 10 months ago
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Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

u19925 Re:Your Textbooks: Now Printed in China (648 comments)

This is already the case. During my grad studies, only 20% of foreign editions were identical. The rest had either wrong page numbers or different questions (sometimes very similar questions with just a different set of numbers).

1 year,30 days
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Supreme Court Upholds First Sale Doctrine

u19925 costco vs omega (648 comments)

This means this is overturned as well.
Big win for Costco and Costco members.

1 year,30 days
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Entangled Particles Break Classical Law of Thermodynamics, Say Physicists

u19925 The extra information is not free (222 comments)

You have to know in advance that the particles are entangled. That extra bit of information is needed. Thus when you measure one particle, you do get that extra bit of information about the other particle. So the information about the other particle is not free but is the direct result of the apriori information about entanglement.

about a year and a half ago
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Cost of Pre-Screening All YouTube Content: US$37 Billion

u19925 Limited preemptive screening (345 comments)

Although pre-screening is not economically feasible, limited pre-emptive screening might be. If the view count exceeds 100, it should screen. Besides, the post summary says "72 hours of content every min". This is irrelevant, when you only do first few seconds of screening of each video. A more important measure would be number of videos a min. Also, if a video is uploaded by user with a nice record, then only a small sample of those users' video should be screened. Further automated analysis can analyze the quality of video. If the quality is poor, its effect on reducing sale of actual video is minor and can be removed as well. I don't have any statistics, but based on my viewing habits, this can eliminate need to screen > 98% of videos and the cost can fall to less than 1B. Still large, but not significantly lower.

about 2 years ago
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'Inexact' Chips Save Power By Fudging the Math

u19925 Intel patent expired (325 comments)

Intel developed inexact math calculation technology in 1995 for Pentium. Now that the patent has expired, everyone wants to copy it.

about 2 years ago
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The Mathematics of Obesity

u19925 You need just one equation (655 comments)

Frankly, you need just one equation which is known for quite long time: Obesity is inversely proportional to fraction of income spent on food. America has this fraction very low compared to most nations (even richer nations where people spent more money on less but more expensive food items). In many poor countries, this ratio is greater than 40%. In America, it is less than 10%.

about 2 years ago
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HPV Vaccine Recommended For Boys

u19925 Why so much sensationalization? (569 comments)

"The disease is sexually transmitted, endemic in the sexually active, can cause genital warts in both men and women, and is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of women globally each year."

Let us look at the figures at wiki. 4800 women died in US of cervical cancer. 70% of these are caused by HPV and the vaccines are 90% effective. It means that if everyone is vaccinated, it will prevent about 3000 deaths. Remember CDC is recommending for US men and women and has no effect on global deaths which is around 250k/yr of which 70% are due to HPV, which is about 175k. That figure does not qualify as "hundreds of thousands".

Also, with the cost ranging in the region of $100-200 and effectiveness of 4-6 years, this is one of the most expensive preventive medicines ever.

more than 2 years ago
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Google Allows Carriers To Ban Tethering Apps

u19925 Android as an open platform is a myth (328 comments)

Android only uses Linux based kernel. How does it make it open. You can't update anything on your Android phone without the permission from carrier/manufacturer/google. Google hasn't released latest Andrioid source code, not that it would help user in any way. You can't use gps on Android phone without giving google all your location information. The truth is, apart from the fact that you can download uncertified app on google android, you can't do anything more that what you can do on competing platform. I don't think this makes it any more open than other offerings.

more than 2 years ago
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Tom Tom Sells GPS Info To Dutch Cops

u19925 Re:There's no difference. (204 comments)

Why do you need real time info for traffic safety?

more than 2 years ago
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Tom Tom Sells GPS Info To Dutch Cops

u19925 Lame excuse - improving traffic safety (204 comments)

If the purpose is to improve traffic safety, then TomTom does not need to provide real time data. They can provide one week delayed data. I don't think TomTom folks are that stupid not to know that the real time feed would allow cops to put speed trap. If a lawsuit is filed and internal emails are obtained, it would reveal the truth (but only if is done soon enough before they destroy the emails).

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Faces Class-Action Suit For In-App Purchases

u19925 not bad parenting (283 comments)

Lots of people are blaming parents. I wonder how many of them are actually parent. I download different sets of programs for my two kids who share the same iPod touch. One of them is 3 years old. Once you give your ipod to the kids, there are no controls to restrict what they can or cannot do. Here are few things Apple can do, but it is not doing:

-- Separate password for downloading free stuff: Why do I have to give my password tied to my credit card to download free stuff? I can give that password when doing in game purchases if I want to.
-- Password restriction on apps: Apple provides restrictions on pre-insalled apps such as youtube. But not for downloaded apps.
-- Disable in-game purchases: No, you can't do that
-- 15 minute window to purchase all you want without password: Fixed only recently.

iPhone has few more issues:
-- 3G restrictions: Once due to a bug in iphone, my wifi stopped working. After rebooting, it started working. I didn't care at that time. However, next day I got an SMS from ATT that I had exceeded my data limit and they have already charged me extra for this.
-- No way to block specific SMS offender: I used to get too many junk SMS and there was no way to block. Once you get it, you have to pay even if you don't read.

I love my iPhone but I have to accept that it requires great care to avoid extra charges. I don't think alternatives are much better either.

about 3 years ago
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World's Most Powerful Optical Microscope

u19925 theoretical limit (163 comments)

The summary says, "This is beyond the theoretical limit of optical microscopy". Which theoretical limit? The only theoretical limit that I know is diffraction limit (angular resolution is about wavelength/lens_diameter or lambda/D). But that only applies for objects far off (distance much larger than D^2/lambda. so it is quite accurate for telescopes). There is no direct theoretical limit for microscopes. The semiconductor manufacturing uses near field photolithography for ages where they routinely create features smaller than the diffraction limit.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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P != NP may finally be proven

u19925 u19925 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

u19925 (613350) writes "If the paper submitted by Vinay Deolalikar turns out to be right, then finally one of the most important theorem of computer science and mathematics is proved. This is one of the Clay Mathematics Institute's seven Millennium Prize problems so the author may be rewarded well for his effort."
Link to Original Source
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All your passwordsRus

u19925 u19925 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

u19925 (613350) writes "If this story at c|net is true, then all your passwords are gone. The authors claim that they can recover your keystrokes from 65 feet away by listening to electromagnetic waves. How would you protect against such attacks? Even if you can prevent this in your home by setting a shielded environment, how would you prevent your next door office mate from listening to your keyboards? That means that if you are a senior executive member in your company, a junior staff in a cubicle knows your bank passwords! A hacker can even take a laptop in bank and monitor every keystroke of bank staff. The only consolation here is that if lots of people are typing together, it may be hard to decode. Very soon, we will see a class of "secure keyboards" surfacing in the market."
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Missing element in electric circuits

u19925 u19925 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

u19925 (613350) writes "Engineers at HP have discovered a new element of electric circuit which was predicted in 1971. Most people are familiar with resistors, inductors and capacitors which are three basic passive circuit elements. Using complex mathematics, Leon Chua in 1971 predicted the existence of fourth element which he named memritsor. Until recently, not many people knew how to make one. Senior Fellow R. Stanley Williams at HP has not only shown how to make one but also explains how it can be used in nano-circuitry in this article (Information Week"
Link to Original Source

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