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Goodnight and Farewell Mr Ritchie

October 13th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in cool science, webstuff

The Father of C language and UNIX has passed away.  Another great mind is gone from the field.

If you don’t know how important he really was, read this

Today, C remains the second most popular programming language in the world (or at least the language in which the second most lines of code have been written), and ushered in C++ and Java; while the pair’s work on Unix led to, among other things, Linus Torvalds’ Linux. The work has without a doubt made Ritchie one of the most important, if not under-recognized, engineers of the modern era.

If Steve Jobs had designed a car, Dennis Ritchie was the one who would have built the engine.

 

h/t to the blog that nobody reads

Happy Pi Day

March 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in cool science, webstuff

Something that will hopefully make you smile in the midst of all the tragedy.

And yes, I am copying everyone else.  I got nothing right now.

Cool News

December 30th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in cool science

Science has given us a lot of really cool stuff over the years; velcro, the microwave, led lights, and of course, the computer and internet (which has mostly been used for porn or online shopping).

Now though, science is set to give us even cooler stuff!!  Stuff like a computer chip that operates at 100Ghz by using a new substance called Graphene created by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both in the physics department at the University of Manchester, have received the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. 100Ghz!!!!

Perhaps one reason the prize was bestowed so soon after the work it recognizes is that materials scientists have already taken graphene from basic science experiments to prototypes of new devices. In one noteworthy example from this year, researchers at IBM made graphene transistor arrays that operate at 100 gigahertz—switching on and off 100 billion times each second, about 10 times as fast as the speediest silicon transistors (Graphene Transistors that Can Work at Blistering Speeds). Work at Samsung capitalized on graphene’s conductivity and flexibility to make flexible touch screens (Flexible Touch Screen Made with Printed Graphene).

Flexible touch screens!  Synthetic skin that can feel heat and cold! Thin display wristbands!  Could anyone have imagined all of this would exist twenty years ago?  Hell, I remember my very first computer, it was a tape deck attached to a TV and a keyboard.  Everything you would type would result in the response of “Command not recognized.”

We used to wait in class to see if someone made the mistake of leaving their punch cards unattended and then either just remove one from the stack of about 100 or, even worse, shuffle them like a deck of cards.  Now, I have in my pocket a computer more powerful than the ones used to send the Apollo missions up into space.  In fact, it could do all the computations for those missions while I use it to order a book from Amazon and check my email.

We live in interesting times, that is certain.

My Kind of Carbon Footprint

December 11th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted in Car Stuff, cool science, Support the Troops

A company called Carbon Motor Corporation has designed the first car that was designed specifically for police work and after reading about the features it has and seeing the photos, I would like to see it on every street in America YESTERDAY!  It is that freaking cool!

Flashing emergency lights are embedded in the E7′s frame, making the car aerodynamic and visible from all directions. The front seats are designed with extra space to accommodate a police officer’s utility belt.

The rear passenger compartment is completely sealed off from the cockpit. Molded plastic seats in back allow for easy cleaning and prevent prisoners from hiding contraband.

Two front-mounted cameras automatically scan license plates of nearby vehicles and alert police when they find a car flagged as stolen or involved in some other crime. According to developers, the car’s onboard equipment can also detect nuclear and biological threats.

Li said the car’s 300 bhp forced-induction 3.0-diesel engine will deliver 420 lb-ft of torque and propel the vehicle from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 155 mph.

He also said the E7′s engine, which can run on either ultra-low sulfur diesel or biodiesel, will have a combined fuel economy rating of 28 to 30 mpg — up to 40 percent more fuel efficient than conventional police cruisers.

The men and women who put on a uniform every day to protect the public deserve to have every tool that we can give them to make the job easier and safer for them.  It even has ballistic protection for the officer built into the doors and dash as well as a FLIR system (Forward Looking Infra Red) according to their website

This is one of the coolest cars to come out in a long time and I certainly hope this is just the beginning of a long and successful life for Carbon Motor Corporation.

As for the officers who will (hopefully) be driving this car in the near future – You lucky bastards  :D

Stealing is wrong – it can give you radiation poisoning

October 16th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted in cool science

Yep, Somali pirates that hijacked an Iranian ship got more than they bargained for.  Instead of a cargo of weapons they found a cargo of highly radioactive soil.

Why would Iran be shipping radioactive dirt through the Suez Canal?  Well, here’s one theory that makes a lot of sense:

[Russian sources claim she] was an enormous floating dirty bomb, intended to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel. The entire cargo of radioactive sand, obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore.

Given the large number of deaths from the questing Somali pirates, it should be obvious that when the contents of the ship’s locked cargo containers finally descended onto the land, the death toll would be enormous. This ship was nothing more nor less than the long-anticipated Iranian attack on Israel.

And this is the country that Obama said that he would meet without any pre-conditions, oh – except for the ones the Iranian’s want.

God help us if that idiot wins, because he will sure screw us over.

Hat tip: Dr. Sanity

The end is nigh!!

September 10th, 2008 | 4 Comments | Posted in cool science

In honor of the firing up of the Large Hadron Collider today I give you a musical tribute.

Of course, I have no doubt that everything will turn out fine even though there are some who are claiming that the experiment could create a black hole which will suck the earth to it’s doom, but it was too good an opportunity to pass up.