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Weekend tech reading: HAMR hard drives due in 2018, turning used car batteries into solar cells

By Matthew
Dec 27, 2015
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  1. Hard disk drives with HAMR technology set to arrive in 2018 While many client devices use solid-state storage technologies nowadays, hard disk drives (HDDs) are still used by hundreds of millions of people and across virtually all datacenters worldwide. Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology promises to increase capacities of HDDs significantly in the coming years. Unfortunately, mass production of actual hard drives featuring HAMR has been delayed for a number of times already and now... Anandtech

    Steam goes nuts, offers access to other people's accounts [updates] Steam faced something of a catastrophe this afternoon, giving players across the world access to some of the personal information in other people’s accounts. It’s not yet clear how this happened, but it’s a doozy. Call it the Steam Winter Fail. Various players across the world logged into their Steam clients today to find their homepage displaying Russian or another random language. Going to Steam’s website would also grant you access to a random user’s account. Kotaku

    Culture shock - Samsung's mobile woes rooted in hardware legacy Efforts to revive its once stellar smartphone fortunes may be doomed if Samsung Electronics cannot overcome its dominant engineering culture, according to serving and former executives and those who have dealt with the company. This culture, they say, has stymied many previous efforts to develop software and service platforms to support the smartphone business. In the past year several such services have closed down... Reuters

    Three things I wish I knew earlier about Machine Learning I’ve been working with Machine Learning models both in academic and industrial settings for a few years now. I’ve recently been watching the excellent Scalable ML from Mikio Braun, this is to learn some more about Scala and Spark. His video series talks about the practicalities of ‘big data’ and so made me think what I wish I knew earlier about Machine Learning. Peadarcoyle (also, Machines that learn like people)

    The Cubot H1 smartphone test: A month with 3-4 days of battery per charge The last time I fully road tested a smartphone, I was moving from a rather decrepit Samsung Galaxy S2 to the 'glorious' 6-inch HTC One max, at a time when my smartphone use case consisted of taking pictures and basic gaming. Two years on, and I'm upgrading again, because the One max has become frightfully slow and I now use my phone a lot for writing reviews on the road. AnandTech

    A Silicon Valley for drones, in North Dakota "California and New York want what we've got," said Shawn Muehler, a 30-year-old Fargo resident, gazing at a horizon of empty fields, silos, windbreak trees and hardly any people. A winged craft traces the air, mapping a field with pinpoint accuracy for his start-up, a dronesoftware company called Botlink. "They like drones, but they've got a steep learning curve ahead." The NY Times

    Moores law hits the roof Through the last 40 years we have seen the speed of computers growing exponentially. Today's computers have a clock frequency a thousand times higher than the first personal computers in the early 1980's. The amount of RAM memory on a computer has increased by a factor ten thousand, and the hard disk capacity has increased more than a hundred thousand times. Agner's CPU Blog

    Solar energy from discarded car batteries MIT researchers have developed a simple procedure for making a promising type of solar cell using lead recovered from discarded lead-acid car batteries -- a practice that could benefit both the environment and human health. As new lead-free car batteries come into use, old batteries would be sent to the solar industry rather than to landfills. MIT

    The greatest hits of Samy Kamkar, YouTube's favorite hacker In an age when hackers hire themselves out to organized crime schemes and sell secret intrusion techniques to spy agencies, Samy Kamkar takes a more fun-loving approach to dropping zero-day exploits: YouTube. Kamkar is the one-man production team and star of a video series he calls Applied Hacking, a YouTube channel that has grown into a tour-de-force display of the 30-year-old coder’s prolific digital mischief. Wired

    The trouble with online customer reviews Like a lot of people, Jared Andrews finds online customer reviews frustrating and often unhelpful. "There's usually someone who absolutely loves the product and someone else who absolutely hates it, which makes you wonder if the person who loves it is also the person selling it," said Andrews, a 34-year-old database administrator in Seattle. Bloomberg

    In the age of Amazon, used bookstores are making an unlikely comeback Early next month, Pablo Sierra is opening a used bookstore in Northwest Washington -- an unlikely bet in the digital age made even more inconceivable, given that his only experience with books is reading them. "I guess it is pretty crazy," Sierra said, echoing an observation shared by some of his friends. The Washington Post

    Raspberry Pi vs SPARCstation 20: Fight! A couple weeks back, I tweeted the following: Turns out a Raspberry Pi now is about 6× as fast as a SPARCstation 20 was 20 years ago. And a Pi 2 is more like 15× as fast. I was a little low in my numbers, too -- they’re more like 7× and 16× to 41× as fast -- since I was going from memory! Here’s how I came up with that. Eschatology

    Comcast now offering 1Gbps speeds across DOCSIS 3.1 Making good on its promise in January to offer 1Gbps speeds across its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network in 2015, Comcast has announced that it has installed the world's first commercial Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.1 modem for a customer in Philadelphia. ZDNet

    How to trick a neural network into thinking a panda is a vulture When I go to Google Photos and search my photos for ‘skyline’, it finds me this picture of the New York skyline I took in August, without me having labelled it! When I search for ‘cathedral’, Google’s neural networks find me pictures of cathedrals & churches I’ve seen. It seems magical. Recurse

    Retro-tech: 2015 was an astounding year for one cassette tape factory Cassette tapes, like vinyl albums, are making a comeback. While CDs and digital media still reign supreme, according to a 2015 mid-year Nielsen report, the largest operational cassette factory in the US reports an impressive increase in demand. Ars Technica

    5 AWS mistakes you should avoid Since this year I'm working as an AWS Cloud Consultant where I see a lot of small to medium sized AWS deployments. Most of them are typical web applications. I want to share with you the 5 most common mistakes that you better avoid: Cloudonaut

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  2. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    I wouldn't count on computers being too fast. I just worked on my brother's windows 10 laptop christmas present, and altho it has fast boot, when it doesn't it's like molasses for an 8 gig quad core machine. Windows itself, stupidly, is simply single threaded, processers are a max of 3 ghz (no overclocking a laptop, his 2.5 ghz), and windows 10 has 3 oses in it, widows for pc, windows phone, and since it handles android apps has essentially the android os too. I don't see the logic, nor many windows phones for all that bother. And I wouldn't count on comcast being too fast either. In this building, they promise 10 meg download and give 2 meg.
     
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,559   +598

    Used book stores are HUGE in the Pacific NW. There's a chain called Half Price Books that started in Seattle and now is in a dozen different states. Every time I go into one of their stores (which was yesterday coincidentally), they're packed with patrons.

    Although I have an e-reader, I'd say only one out of ten books I read are on that device. I still prefer having a book in my hand.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  4. noel24

    noel24 TS Maniac Posts: 304   +154

    The Moore's Law article is so 2010. The Law is actually dead since Sandy. 5-10% increase a year. And the biggest problem is actually software being sloppier. No matter what you upgrade, it's the Firefox/Chrome/Opera getting fatter and slower every version, so the performance increase getting gutted.
     
  5. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Moore's "Law" does not concern itself with performance increases. The "Law" is the correlation between the number of transistors (and hence density) and relative cost per IC. As such, it is dependent upon process node cadence. With 10nm slipping, Moore's "Law" stretches out from around 2 years to 2.5 years, but it isn't dead - yet.
    If you are taking performance as a comparative point you need to factor in either CPU only ( -E/-EN/-EP/-EX) and allow for increased core count over the generations, or CPU+IGP performance for consumer parts. Mainstream CPUs have tended to become more incremental performance wise as the GPU portion has taken more transistors, die space, and power budget. If the mainstream parts are your measurement criteria, then Sandy needs to be the start point - not the end - since Sandy Bridge introduced on-die graphics as far as Intel is concerned. With the GPU portion of the package now accounting for more than half the area/transistor count, comparing architectures solely on CPU workload is a flawed exercise.
     
    Matthew likes this.
  6. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,163   +197

    It is AMD's fault. had it been competitive enough, intel would have been forced to develop new cpu in accordance with Moore's law.
     

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