Tokamak Fusion Reactors

Today we got one step closer to cutting our dependence on oil. The JAEA got their Tokamak fusion reactor to double the plasma output of the previous record, posted two years ago. The previous record was 16.5 seconds, and the JAEA managed 28.6 seconds. When we reach 400 seconds we should be able to create an extremely safe, prolonged nuclear fusion reaction that can be used to generate electricity. Previously it was thought that this wasn’t going to be possible for another 25 years, but if the plasma generation benchmark doubles every two years, then this should only be 8 years down the road…

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2247

IEEE CommsDesign

Just ran across this site (or re-ran across it, can’t remember) and found it to be extremely good. GREAT site for technical articles related to the communications industry, much like my beloved Light Reading but without the reader feedback.

You need to be getting the AnandTech RSS Newsfeed…

If you are an RSS user, you really should be subscribed to the AnandTech Newsfeed… consistently interesting topics. Not a firehose of information like other RSS news sources. Highly recommended.

http://www.anandtech.com/rss/newsfeed.aspx

Also, if you are not an Opera user, you should be. I am a dyed in the wool Opera convert/evangelist (thanks Chris). Nothing touches it.

http://www.opera.com/home.dml

Memory and BF2

Check out this quote from an AnandTech article I was just reading:

“Unless you spend a lot of money on your RAM, you can’t get 1GB DDR DIMMs with the same low latencies as 512MB DIMMs. However, dual cores, multitasking, and the latest graphical manifestos in the gaming world can all benefit from more RAM rather than just faster RAM. Personally, I’ll take the 3-5% lower frame rates with up to 33% faster load times in games like Battlefield 2. I can’t see the difference between 60 FPS and 63 FPS, but I can certainly tell the difference between 38 seconds and 63 seconds. (Yes, those are the actual load times for BF2 comparing 2GB to 1GB of RAM.)”

With the group of guys that I play with, that 25 second differential equals about two captured flags. Usually I’m finishing up the capture of the second flag when they spawn into the game. Starting a round two flags in the hole is hard to recover from. When I moved up from1G to 2G, the difference was startling. Start up times were much quicker, and even more importantly, in-game lag almost disappeared entirely. There’s nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a round doing something critical, and having your game start to stutter from network lag. I’m still not sure why having 2G of memory so greatly impacts in-game lag – which is supposed to be caused by network issues or server issues…

So 2G is definitely the way to go… I don’t recommend any less than 1G to people these days. Going forward, I’m going to have to recommend 2G to anyone that’s building their machine for gaming.

Finally…

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to ditching my old site that was being served out an old 400MHz Dell in my loft closet. DNS2Go wanted a zillion dollars to renew my license with them, and for the same $ I could ditch it and buy a hosted site. A quiet upstairs is a tantalizing prospect indeed. My kids probably won’t be able to sleep without the hum of the server in the closet – it’s been running for longer than 2/3’s of them have been alive.

So NOW… I have no excuse. Installing WordPress was easy – now I’ve got to write stuff. Potential contributors on this site will be my wife Jennifer, my brother Chris, my sister in law Sue… I figure if I let enough people post, new content is bound to crop up at least once a month.

Time to finish up the theme building, and see how the new space looks…