Archive for May, 2012

Classic Newspapers – Iranian Hostages Released – January 21, 1981

Several pages have just been added to the classic newspapers at HotMeatloaf.com. The date was Jan. 21, 1981 and the Iranian hostages were released as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President. Six full pages from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat are available. Hard to believe that it has been more than 30 years since that day.

Read about the hostages HERE

Explore everything at HotMeatloaf.com HERE

Inexact CPU Makes Errors With Increased Efficiency

Rice University announced work on a computer chip that is intentionally not 100% accurate, that gains efficiency through these errors. Although, I can imagine some applications where this may be acceptable, but it seems to be a bad idea, in general.

Researchers have unveiled an “inexact” computer chip that challenges the industry’s 50-year pursuit of accuracy. The design improves power and resource efficiency by allowing for occasional errors. Prototypes unveiled this week at the ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers in Cagliari, Italy, are at least 15 times more efficient than today’s technology.

The concept is deceptively simple: Slash power use by allowing processing components — like hardware for adding and multiplying numbers — to make a few mistakes. By cleverly managing the probability of errors and limiting which calculations produce errors, the designers have found they can simultaneously cut energy demands and dramatically boost performance. One example of the inexact design approach is “pruning,” or trimming away some of the rarely used portions of digital circuits on a microchip. Another innovation, “confined voltage scaling,” trades some performance gains by taking advantage of improvements in processing speed to further cut power demands. In their initial simulated tests in 2011, the researchers showed that pruning some sections of traditionally designed microchips could boost performance in three ways: The pruned chips were twice as fast, used half as much energy and were half the size. In the new study, the team delved deeper and implemented their ideas in the processing elements on a prototype silicon chip. “In the latest tests, we showed that pruning could cut energy demands 3.5 times with chips that deviated from the correct value by an average of 0.25 percent,” said study co-author Avinash Lingamneni, a Rice graduate student. “When we factored in size and speed gains, these chips were 7.5 times more efficient than regular chips. Chips that got wrong answers with a larger deviation of about 8 percent were up to 15 times more efficient.”

Continue reading HERE

 

What Happened To Pluto? [video]

Another Set of Very Old Baseball Photos

BuzzFeed presents another collection of baseball themed photographs from 100 years ago.

See the photos HERE

Previous set HERE

10 Tech Myths That Waste Your Time

Lifehacker published a list of ten technology practices that are useless , or just wrong. The article had some good advice, but I question a few of them;

9. Lossless Music Sounds Better than MP3 – Many people, especially younger people, with more acute hearing, can hear the degradation of music caused by compression (IMHO).

4. You Should Fully Discharge Your Laptop Battery Every Time – The jury is still out on this one, different manufacturers have different recommendations.

1. [Insert Tweak Here] Will Speed Up Your Computer – At first, this tip seems reasonable, but it finishes with ‘With proper care, you should never need to do a clean install of Windows again.’ I find this last bit of advice to be wrong. Most people are not conscientious enough with pc maintenance and so they usually will benefit greatly from an occasional reinstall  (every 1 or 2 years) of Windows.

Read the entire article HERE and see if you agree with their advice.


Super Slippery Coating For Food Bottles

MIT has developed a food save coating intended for such things as bottles of condiments which supports the old adage that it is indeed ‘all about the little things’. Ketchup or mayo that doesn’t stick to the inside of the bottle, is not a game changer, but it is an idea that appeals to almost everyone. I wonder if this product will ever see production.

LiquiGlide, a “super slippery” coating made up of nontoxic materials that can be applied to all sorts of food packaging–though ketchup and mayonnaise bottles might just be the substance’s first targets. Condiments may sound like a narrow focus for a group of MIT engineers, but not when you consider the impact it could have on food waste and the packaging industry. “It’s funny: Everyone is always like, ‘Why bottles? What’s the big deal?’ But then you tell them the market for bottles–just the sauces alone is a $17 billion market,” Smith says. “And if all those bottles had our coating, we estimate that we could save about one million tons of food from being thrown out every year.”

Continue reading HERE and see it in action

 

The First Prank Phone Call – 1884!

NetworkWorld presented this little nugget –

Unless it turns out that Alexander Graham Bell didn’t really want to see Watson – that he was just goofing on the guy – then the first documented prank phone call would appear to have occurred about eight years after that famous 1876 exchange … and at the expense of an undertaker in Providence, R.I.

Read more HERE

 

 


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