Category Archives: Tech

depression-image-jobs

The Sharing Economy of the 1930s

A commenter on Metafilter:

“The whole ‘sharing economy’ model has really excelled at giving a shiny coat of paint on old unappealing ideas. Renting rooms in your house, taking odd jobs, and driving people around in your car sound like stories that grandparents told of making ends meet in the Depression. Slap a Web 2.0 front end on it and it’s all brand new again.”

Full discussion http://www.metafilter.com/154552/Living-and-dying-on-Airbnb#6278136

Image from ImageBucket.

intel-amd

How Intel Killed AMD

From a commenter on Reddit:

“AMD had the Athlon 64 put ahead of everything Intel had available and they were making tons of money off its sales. But then, suddenly, sales went dry and benchmarks began to run better on Intel despite real world deltas being much smaller than synthetics reflected.

“Can you guess why? Because Intel paid PC manufacturers out of its own pocket for years to not buy AMD’s chips.

“Although they were faster, manufacturers went with the bribe because the amount they made from that outweighed the amount they get from happy customers buying their powerful computers. And thus, the industry began to stagnate a bit with CPUs not really moving forward as quickly. T

“They also attacked all existing AMD chips by sabotaging their compiler, making it intentionally run slower on all existing and future AMD chips. Not just temporarily, but permanently; all versions of software created with that version of the compiler will forever run worse on AMD chips, even in 2020 (and yes, some benchmark tools infected with it are still used today!).”

Further reading at https://np.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/3s5r4d/is_nvidia_sabotaging_performance_for_no_visual/cwukpuc

Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiQV7SFoZq4

Take Back the Beep

These messages are outrageous for two reasons. First, they waste your time. Good heavens: it’s 2009. WE KNOW WHAT TO DO AT THE BEEP.Do we really need to be told to hang up when we’re finished!? Would anyone, ever, want to “send a numeric page?” Who still carries a pager, for heaven’s sake? Or what about “leave a callback number?” We can SEE the callback number right on our phones!

via Personal Tech on NYTimes.com

DARPA Aircraft to Stay In-Flight for Five Years

(via Metafilter)

"The VULTURE Air Vehicle Program is an exploratory development program with the overall goal to develop and demonstrate the ability to deliver and maintain an airborne payload on station for an uninterrupted period exceeding 5 years using a heavier-than-air platform system … The government is not interested in approaches that use either radioactive energy sources or employs any form of buoyant flight for this application."

I wonder if Billy Dee Williams will be the mayor?

Chimera Twins: 2 Sperm, 1 Egg

Ron and I had it out a few weeks ago after a tense Nova special about twins if it was possible for 2 sperm to fertilize one egg (yes, we fight about Nova – sometimes I think the things we argue about are luxuries compared to what other couples argue over). Ron took it a step further to wonder if the mom was a skank if two different men could fertilize the same egg. I remain unconvinced since she’d have to be double-teaming pretty fast before the egg secretes the hormone that blocks all other sperm after fertilization. Or using some sort of batter blaster.

The journal Nature says the twins are identical on their mother’s side, but share only half their genes on their father’s side. They are the result of two sperm cells fertilising a single egg, which then divided to form two embryos – and each sperm contributed genes to each child.

And yes the only reason I know what chimera means is from Dungeons & Dragons. Don’t be smug, you only know it from X-Files.

Archimedes Was on the Verge of Discovering Calculus

An ancient text reveals:

The results were more revolutionary than anyone had expected. The researchers have discovered that Archimedes was working out principles that, centuries later, would form the heart of calculus and that he had a more sophisticated understanding of the concept of infinity than anyone had realized. Archimedes wrote his manuscript on a papyrus scroll 2,200 years ago. At an unknown later time, someone copied the text from papyrus to animal-skin parchment. Then, 700 years ago, a monk needed parchment for a new prayer book.