November 26th, 2007


Mythbusters fans: Video tour of M5!

Over at Disco I stumbled across a video tour of M5. Four parts: (Jamie has serious OCD, dudes!)

Sadly the quality ain't good, and they require JavaScript to work. :P Well, that's why NoScript has "Temporarily Enable xxxx".

I'd really love to see those robots under the stairs in action someday! I wonder if they'll ever do a similiar walkthrough of M7? Or put this one up on BitTorrent with better resolution and framerate...

New CT scanner makes full 3D models of the inside of YOU!

Entire organs, such as the heart and lungs, appear as if they exist outside the patient. Skeletons look uncannily real and fine structures such as networks of blood vessels can easily be seen. Because they are three-dimensional, the images can be rotated and viewed from different directions.

The new CT (computerised tomography) scanner from Philips takes large numbers of X-ray pictures and feeds them into a computer. Cross sections or "slices" through the part of the body being scanned are combined together to produce the final images. The machine uses technology that reduces the normal radiation dose to patients by up to 80 per cent.

You want the text filter method?

public static string 
RemoveSpecialCharsExceptQuoteAmpersandApostropheOpenBracketCloseBracketCommaHyphenFullStopCommaForwardSlash(string p_string)
    //34 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 44| 45 | 46 | 47
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    for(int i=0; i<p_string.Length; i++)

    return sb.ToString();

&quot;Not an angel&quot;


Before and after restoration

For a year starting in September 2005, right under the nose of the Panthéon's unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid "illegal restorers" set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building's famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.

"When we had finished the repairs, we had a big debate on whether we should let the Panthéon's officials know or not," said Lazar Klausmann, a spokesperson for the Untergunther. "We decided to tell them in the end so that they would know to wind the clock up so it would still work.,,2217067,00.html

When the Untergunther showed the restored clock, dumbass bureaucrats in the French Centre of National Monuments promptly threatened to sue them. (And fired the administrator of the building for... not knowing that someone had secretly fixed a clock, or something.) When the case came to court, the public prosecuter who had the bad luck to get assigned to the case called the charges "stupid", and the judge promptly threw the case out of court due to total lack of evidence that the UG had committed any crime. ;]
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Chuck Moore demos his SeaForth chips: 3x3mm, 24 core, 1 Ghz, peak power consumption 216 mW.

After lunch, Jurgen Krehnke, the Intellasys VP of marketing, gave a quick overview of the hardware they were, well, marketing. Each core executes instructions at a rate of 1 billion instructions per second (1 GIPS). There are 24 cores, so a maximum theoretical throughput of 24 GIPS is sustainable. But, this is only if each core is busy churning on stuff without any I/O with any of its peers, and thus, realistically speaking, produces no useful output. Therefore, in consideration of real-world applications, they actually market the product as having 18 GIPS performance, since at least a few cores will be waiting on data from either other cores or from external I/O sources. Note that external SDRAM is considered an I/O device - the cores are so fast, that it's able to bit-bang SDRAM's control signals at break-neck speed. The SeaForth chips are also cascadable - you can make a larger "meta-chip" by just placing chips adjacent to each other. This can occur in either the horizontal or vertical direction; Chuck later demonstrated this by showing a 3x3 matrix of chips on a small board, about the size of 1.5 iPhones.

Each core draws 9mW of power at full speed. With 24 cores, your maximum theoretical power draw is 216mW. However, again, real-world applications tends to put cores to sleep for at least 50% of the time, so actual, measured chip power seems to be 55mW. So, this is what they're actually marketing the chip at - 55mW of power draw.

Finally, the fireside chat with Chuck was given. One of the things he discussed was his desire to build a printed circuit board with a matrix of 10x10 (yes, 100) SeaForth chips on it. This would produce a board with 2400 cores, or the processing equivalent of 4.32x10^13 instructions per second. Look at this - I had to use scientific notation to express the processing power here. Precisely what kinds of applications would you run with this? Not many applications can be parallelized with such a large fan-out. Except one: neural networks, simulated annealing, and other evolutionary techniques. Chuck's pet project, since I remember first seeing videos of him on the Ultra Technology website, has always been vocal interfaces to computers. The writing is on the wall with this one. I think he's intending to devote his leisure efforts here towards voice processing via neural networks.