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Editorial
Interview: Carbon nanotubes the Nantero way
Editorial
Written by Gizmo   
Tuesday, 28 November 2006 14:04

Recently, we ran a story about Intel's research into carbon nanotube technology, and its application to semiconductor manufacturing. The take-home message from that story was that carbon nanotube tech looked promising, but was still quite a few years away from practicality, mainly due to issues with being able to repeatably produce reliable semiconducting nanotubes and integrate them into a standard silicon-based semiconductor manufacturing process..

Then I came across Nantero's web site.

Read more...
 
All your voting machines are belong to us
Editorial
Written by Gizmo   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006 09:32

Bruce Schneier has an interesting piece on Forbes regarding the 'black box' voting machines.  These are voting machines that tally a vote but produce no paper ballot or other physically verifiable record of the vote.  His article references literally dozens of other pieces regarding issues with voting machines, and is worth reading on that basis alone.  But he also references articles regarding issues with the fundamental flaws in the voting machines, ranging from the procedures used in the operation of the machines to the design of the hardware and software used with the machines.

Why am I bringing this up?  Several reasons, but the primary one being that our elected officials don't seem to be really interested in addressing the issue.

This is our VOTE!  This is how we decide who will lead us.  This is how we tell our elected officials what we want them to do.  When a security expert like Bruce Schneier (and he IS an expert; he designed the BlowFish and TwoFish encryption algorithms) tells us that there are fundamental problems, we might want to consider giving him an ear.  This man has forgotten more about security than most of us will ever know.

What's truly sad is that the people making the decisions on what equipment to purchase and use don't seem to care.  A good friend of mine was invited to participate in the selection process for the voting equipment to be used in Cherokee county Kansas.  He was asked to leave the selection board after he started asking too many pointed questions because they didn't want to 'get bogged down in technical issues'.

Folks, I don't care what country you live in; if you have the right to vote and your election process is looking at or implementing electronic voting machines, you NEED visibility into the ENTIRE PROCESS.  There are simply too many ways to cheat the process if you can't verify every step of it.

 
The begining of the end for the PC
Editorial
Written by Danrok   
Monday, 16 October 2006 16:14

Will we still have a PC sitting on a desk at home in the future? Let's say in 10 years time?

I think, probably not. The end of the PC home computer (and thankfully Windows along with it) has already begun.

The main factors which will kill off traditional desktop computers are already in place.

Read more...
 
Verizon imposes new DSL surcharge
Editorial
Written by Gizmo   
Tuesday, 22 August 2006 18:32

BusinessWeek is reporting that Verizon is getting ready to increase DSL prices to its customers; yes, I said INCREASE prices.  However, this is a 'stealth' increase.  The government last year (that would be your, yes YOUR representatives and senators, not just mine) voted to deregulate the telecommunications industry.  As a consequence, certain taxes that were hidden in your DSL bill are going away.  That's all well and good; I tend to be generally in favor of the government staying out of things.  Every time the government gets involved in something it becomes a bloody mess.  But guess what Verizon has decided to do?

Verizon is enacting a rate increase that is almost exactly equivalent to the amount that they are no longer paying the government in taxes.  Verizon is enacting this rate increase at almost exactly the same time that the tax is set to expire.  Sound a little convenient?

I thought so. 

However, because the increase in price coincides with the reduction in taxes, the consumer will see a net effect of NOTHING in their rates.  That's why I call it a 'stealth' increase, rates that should have dropped because of the tax reduction will end up remaining unchanged.

So, why should the customer care?  After all, it isn't affecting them, right?

Wrong.

If you don't start complaining, and right now, then what will happen is that instead of using that money to improve your services, Verizon will pocket that money.  It will go to CTOs, CEOs, and share-holders, people who neither know of nor care about you in any way, shape, or form, except as a source of income for them.

Now, don't get me wrong; I'm all for making an honest buck.  You do that by rendering a good product or service at an equitable price.  This, however, is so brazen that it smacks of open contemp; you are TOO STUPID to know better and even if you do, you are TOO LAZY to stop them, so their thinking goes.  And you know what?   If you let them get away with this:

THEY ARE RIGHT

If you are a Verizon customer, contact your Representatives and Senators .  Contact the Federal Communications Commission.  And contact Verizon.  Make sure that Verizon understands that the money they get from this had BETTER be going to improve services, or you want it back.

 
IBM Power 6 to break 4GHz!
Editorial
Written by Gizmo   
Thursday, 03 August 2006 14:34

The Enquirer has an article that points to a CNET interview with an exec at IBM , Ross Mauri.  In this article, Mr. Mauri mentions that the Power 6 chip (due in early- to mid-2007) will debut at somewhere between 4 and 5 GHz.  However, CNET has another interview with no less than the chief architect of the Power 6, Brad McCredie, which was published back in Febrary .  In THAT article, Mr. McCredie ALSO stated that the Power 6 would come out at somewhere between 4 and 5 GHz.  In addition, they expect to hit these performance levels while maintaining the same power envelope as they see for the Power 5 chip.

So, why is this significant?

Well, remember that AMD and IBM are research and development partners.  From what I understand, IBM is using a variant of the same socket 1207 interface that AMD is using for AM2.  The Power 6 core is due out in a time-frame slightly trailing the 65nM AMD chips, but still using 65nM tech.  We posted here that 65nM AMD chips had been spotted in Taiwan, and were hitting 2 GHz already, several months before release.  Add it all up, and it seems like there is a distinct possibility that IBM is going to use AMD to help iron the wrinkles out of their production process, and the 65nM chips might be some serious performers.

What do you think?  Am I taking some really good drugs?  Does Intel just completely own AMD until the end of time, or is AMD getting ready to strike back hard?  Tell me, in the forums!

 
Of industry, pricing, loss, and media interference
Editorial
Written by wild_andy_c   
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 01:00

Wild_andy_c comes out of the closet and gives us an overview of the realities of the motherboard manufacturing business specifically, the hardware business in general, and how cut-throat competition and the 'RMA Culture' have affected all of us.

Discuss this in the forums!  

Read more...
 
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