atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1039: Most important electronic breakthrough in decades, IMHO.

Memristors.

They're not as simple to build as the classic three passive devices--resistor, capacitor, and inductor--but properly implemented apparently they can put hard drive data densities into silicon...and it even looks as if it could be nonvolatile. Imagine a single IC that stores a terabit on a single square centimeter. That's 128 gigabytes on a single chip. And if it's nonvolatile? Bye-bye hard drives. (The article doesn't say whether or not the technology is nonvolatile, but it compares it to FLASH RAM, so who knows? From the description of how the thing operates, it sounds to me as if it won't change state unless you apply a current--hence, nonvolatile if the power is off.)

Extremely dense and low-power to boot...gimme!

Low-cost laptops are all the rage these days. Why spend $2100 to buy a machine for e-mail, surfing, and IRC? Heck, a $300 Eee PC will do 90% of the tasks most users want from a laptop. You won't be playing the latest and greatest games on the thing--or running Vista Ultimate--but if all you want to do is AIM, surf, e-mail, and word processing, why pay thousands when a $300-$500 cheapie will do? That way, if it gets destroyed or stolen, you don't have to spend thousands on its replacement; and when the thing goes obsolete in a couple of years it won't have depreciated as much in value.

Accounting error can hurt the Al Franken campaign. It may be an error, but candidates--particularly those who advocate "taxing the rich"--have to keep all their ducks in a row when it comes to paying taxes.

Beware of this link to the AP web site. It makes Firefox hang, at least on my machine. But Nebraska Attorney General refuses to give public money to illegal aliens for lawsuits. That's right:
Anne Hobbs was angry. The head of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission had just learned of a Hispanic couple who said their landlord asked for their driver's licenses — but didn't ask the same of non-Hispanic tenants.

Hobbs said it sounded like the couple were "treated differently than everybody else because of national origin," and sent the case to the state's top prosecutor, hoping he would sue on their behalf under fair housing laws.

When Attorney General Jon Bruning received the case, he was angry, too — for a different reason than Hobbs.

"I'm not going to use taxpayer dollars to file lawsuits for illegal aliens," said Bruning after learning the couple was in the U.S. illegally. "You're not going to get a free lawyer" from his office, he said, "if you're not a citizen of this country."
And of course they pick an image of this guy pointing his finger and looking angry, the standard picture used of any Republican since papers have been able to print photos.

I'm glad this guy is making this kind of stand. For crying out loud, why do American citizens have to foot the legal and medical bills for every Tom, Dick, and Juan who manages the mean feat of walking across an unsecured border? Why is the American taxpayer expected to subsidize people who broke the law by entering the country?

Via Still Stacy we find Global Warming Insanity. Cool. (So to speak.)

I desperately want these seats for my '86 Fiero. I have always loved the Recaro seats with that color scheme, ever since I first started reading car-nut pr0n car magazines in the early 1980s. A little bit of cleaning and they'd be freaking awesome. Unfortunately I don't want to buy the car that they come with.

A 35-year-old car without an engine or transmission, a stripped interior--what little interior upholstery that's present is horrifying--Godawful paint (clean and shiny, but OH GOD THE STUPID, IT BURNS), a trashed wiring harness, some minor rust issues...and it's sitting at $1,625 reserve not met?

"Every angle induces another 'Oh my God' reaction, every feature seems like some unholy caricature of a kitsch utopia." Yep.

Regardless of how old the thing is, and how low the mileage, it's not worth as much as the seller seems to think it's worth. The thing's a basket case.

And while we're at it, what the F is the point of slapping "turbo" emblems all over a car which is not turbocharged? (Not likely to be turbocharged?)

The buyer obviously has the same sort of mindset as those morons who own Fieros which have two wheels in the grave yet insist that they're worth thousands because "they're rare". NO THEY AREN'T. My '86 Fiero has a great deal of potential, but I'm not stupid enough to think that it's worth more than about $100 as it sits right now even if I did throw in all the spares and stuff I have for it--and with just the stuff I have on hand now at least that car could be coaxed into some sort of operable configuration, though it would run like crap, burn oil, and not move very far under its own power.

"It only has 20k on it!" What difference does that make? It hasn't got a drivetrain. You can rebuild a suspension for a few hundred dollars; the fact that the car has 20k on it is a complete nonissue unless it's a complete and operable car. THEN it is worth serious money. Otherwise? Wise up, dumbass: you're selling a hulk, and the fact that it's virtually rust-free does not change the fact that it's a "virtually rust-free" hulk.

* * *

On the anime front, today I watched:

Da Capo 7-8
Koharu Biyori OVA 2
Clannad 5-6
O!MG! (season 2) 5-6
Hayate no Gotoku 5-6
Chocotto Sister 7-8


Clannad is well into the now cry story arc. There are plenty of moments in this arc which are funny and entertaining in other ways, so it really isn't as dreary as some people have led the rest of us to believe. I like it, so far.

O!MG! is doing quite nicely, and I'm enjoying it more than Steven did. Being an old-school otaku (from the 1990s!) I cut my anime teeth with the O!MG! OVA series and the slow trickle of monthly comics from Dark Horse--so I'm used to all this.

Da Capo continues to be good without being excellent. I'm not dreading watching it because the story seems lighthearted and fun, but ep 8 was a "recap" episode for no apparent reason. (Do you really need a recap after 7 eps? In a 26-ep series?)

Hayate no Gotoku and Chocotto Sister are a lot of fun. HnG breaks the fourth wall all the time and is full of anime homages. (Such as the bust of InuYasha outside Nagisa's room.) Every time I hear the narrator I keep expecting Chiyo-chan's father to appear--the voice is done by the same actor, Norio Wakamoto. He's got an impressive CV but in HnG he uses the same voice he used for Chiyo-chan's father in Azumanga Daioh.

Chocotto Sister continues to be a fun series, too. All the characters are likable and it's a pretty nice story. Anyone who liked Maison Ikkoku is likely to like this series.

Koharu Biyori is trickling out, and just today ep 3 was seeded--I don't know how long I waited for ep 2 after ep 1, but ep 2 was seeded yesterday. This series is heavy on fan service, and otherwise it's basically cotton candy for the otaku.

* * *

This I watched after the ep of Smallville that I taped because I was too tired to stay awake for it.

Thursday's episode was ham-handed. I don't know if it's been that way all along or if it was just that episode, but it's #2 on my "all-time worst" list of eps of that series. (The #1 ep is the episode where Lana, Chloe, and Lois are all possessed by the spirits of witches from the medieval era--the "Witches of Smallville" ep, as I call it. God, that was horrid.)

I marvel at the skill of professional actors. Erica Durance (Lois Lane) somehow managed to make this turd of a line work:

Lara: "Are you Lois Lane?"
Lois: "That's what it says on my Pulitzer."

...blech. Of course, I have no idea how many takes they did of that line before they got one that didn't sound like it came from the 1950s. And the whole episode was full of stinkers like that.

This ep was basically "It's a Wonderful Smallville" anyway--Jor El uses Advanced Kryptonian Technology (TM) to show Clark what Earth would be like if he didn't exist--and I can see only one reason why they did this: because it would have cost too much to set the episode on Krypton, where Clark could battle it out with Brainiac to save his own life. The sets and costumes would have cost too much--particularly since the reusability of that stuff would be limited at best--so instead they gave us this claptrap and set the climactic scene in a "distressed" "Fortress of Solitude" set. *sigh*

I understand, at least as an interested layman, the economics of making a TV series. Really I do. But sometimes they unfortunately get in the way of making really good shows.

BTW, a couple eps ago Lex got the mystical key which will allow him to control "the Traveler"...and it dropped off the face of the planet. At least until the last ep of the season, I'd wager. Of course it didn't come with an instruction manual, so he has to figure out how to use it. Still, it'd be nice if they showed us a little bit of his attempts at understanding the thing.

* * *

Finally, I've got to remember to set the VCR to record Sarah Jane, Doctor Who, and Battlestar Galactica tonight. I hope the weather cooperates this week.

UPDATE: I remembered the favorite line from Clannad I heard today.

Fuuko has been giving hand-carved wooden stars to everyone and she gives one to each of the Fujibayashi twins. Okazaki says something which prompts Kyou Fujibayashi to peg him in the forehead with her star.

Ryou, her sister: You shouldn't throw something you've been given.
Kyou, to Fuuko: I'm sorry! It's just that it looked like it had a good damage bonus, so my body just moved by itself.
Ed: BWAAA HA HA HA "It looked like it had a good damage bonus!"
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