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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 00:06
  Subject:   American trophy, so big! Italian trophy, so small!
Public
  Tags:  humor, pretty pictures, reddit



American winner Danica Patrick of Andretti Green Racing, right, poses with her trophy on the podium as second place finisher Brazil's Helio Castroneves of Team Penske shows his smaller one on the podium after the Indy Japan 300 auto racing at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, northeast of Tokyo Sunday, April 20
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 11:09
  Subject:   Outsourcing to India becomes too expensive.
Public
  Music:Alanis Morissette - Ironic
  Tags:  reddit

OUTSOURCING TO INDIA may soon become a thing of the past for small to mid-sized technology firms, due to the increasing costs of rent, salaries and a looming end to the government’s tax holiday.

India’s technology, and especially software industry, has seen spectacular growth over the last few years, tripling in size to reach an astounding $52 billion. But it seems that the bubble may be about to burst.

The slowing US economy is having a big impact on India’s future as a market for outsourced business, with foreign firms tightening their belts as India’s currency strengthens, and operational costs soar, not to mention the fact that skilled manpower is becoming scarcer, and those available are demanding higher salaries. To add to tech companies’ concern, the government tax policy is also looking a bit uncertain.

Sankaran P. Raghunathan, president at the IT SME Association, an umbrella for 3,200 small to mid sized IT firms, told the WSJ's Marketwatch, "operating in India has become extremely difficult because of the government's fiscal policies."


http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/04/18/india-becoming-expensive-tech

Schadenfreude Job Security ensues.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 11:26
  Subject:   Test-firing the XCOR methane/LOX rocket engine - now with video.
Public
  Music:Kompressor - Do Not Play With Fire
  Tags:  digg, video



http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2803521197171124691&hl=en
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 11:41
  Subject:   China to France: Free Corsica!
Public
  Tags:  humor, politics, reddit



Maybe we can work out some kind of Tibet <-> Corsica swap thing? Give Corsica to China, give Tibet to France?
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 12:03
  Subject:   Western Digital = closet raptor sympathizers
Public
  Music:http://xkcd.com/155/
  Tags:  reddit

Western Digital has announced the Velociraptor ($300 retail), their latest and greatest in speedy storage. Connecting through 3GB/s SATA, the 300GB, 10,000RPM Velociraptor is actually a 2.5" hard drive with a massive "Icepack" heatsink that makes it large enough to fit in a 3.5" bay. Maximum PC already got their hands on a preproduction unit. So how fast was it? Real fast.

In fact, the Velociraptor bested the competition (Western Digital's old Raptor and the Samsung HD103UJ) in every test they threw at it. Plus it worked great in a RAID setup as well. So then Maximum PC decided to pull out an SSD to see what the Velociraptor could really do. Of course, the $300 Velociraptor was thwarted by the more affluent $1,950 Mtron Pro-series 64-gigabyte SSD.


http://gizmodo.com/382013/western-digital-velociraptor-is-new-fastest-hard-drive-ever
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 15:11
  Subject:   Not even Michael Moore likes Hillary.
Public
  Tags:  politics, reddit

Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.

Well, that sounded good last year, but over the past two months, the actions and words of Hillary Clinton have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting. I guess the debate last week was the final straw. I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple. Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does - AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!

This sleazy attempt to smear Obama was brilliantly explained the following night by Stephen Colbert. He pointed out that if Obama is supported by Ted Kennedy, who is Catholic, and the Catholic Church is led by a Pope who was in the Hitler Youth, that can mean only one thing: OBAMA LOVES HITLER!


http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=225

Jerimiah Wright-ing is the new Swift-Boating. I watched every conservative I know go into howling rages the second that tape was played. I find the idea that Obama "hates whitey" to be as ridiculous as it is transparently false. The guy had a white mother and grandmother - Do you seriously think he hates his own mom? Well evidently, yes, a lot of people believe that. So it will be used against Obama again. Bet on it.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 22:26
  Subject:   The Seminal gets stupid on third parties.
Public
  Music:Stranglers - No More Heroes
  Tags:  politics, reddit

Third-party candidates are the butt of jokes here in the United States, but Ross Perot's success in 1992 is nothing to laugh at. He received just under 20 million votes, nearly half Clinton's 44 million. And that 20 million would've been higher, perhaps considerably higher, if Perot hadn't sapped his own momentum by reconsidering his bid. Contrary to popular opinion, there is room for a 3rd, even a 4th, party in the United States. We just have to decide if we want to make room for it.

http://www.theseminal.com/2008/04/19/saturday-morning-open-thread-co-sen-and-the-viability-of-3rd-party-candidates/

I generally like The Seminal, and I read the site whenever I see a link to it come up on Reddit. The guy who runs it seems to have a fairly good correspondence with my own personal feelings on politics.

Which is why I can't believe he's spewing this ignorant bullshit. I can't believe that someone who lives here in the state of Colorado just as I do, who no doubt sat by and watched just as I did in 2006 when both parties in this state openly trashed and destroyed Amendment 36, the amendment that stood the best chance ever of prying open the door for third parties, can say stuff like this with a straight face.

"Decide if we want to make room for 3rd parties"?? Are you out of your frikkin' mind? WE ALREADY DECIDED THAT! And the conclusion was blindingly clear: there is no room for third parties in this state. None. And furthermore, you're better than this kind of self-deluding bullshit. Stop it. Stop thinking that the vast majority of people in Colorado (or, indeed, in the USA) want anything aside from bread and circuses. Quit being a delusional idiot. You are so much smarter than this.
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 23:00
  Subject:   The patent system is broken beyond belief? REALLY?
Public
  Tags:  slashdot

When you set up a system that rewards people for not actually innovating in the market (but just speculating on paper), then of course, you're going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that rewards those people to massive levels, well out of proportion with their contribution to any product, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. When you set up a system that gives people a full monopoly right that can be used to set up a toll booth on the natural path of innovation, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. When the cost of getting a patent is so much smaller than the potential payoff of suing others with it, then of course you're going to get more of that activity. The fact that Dudas is just noticing this now, while still pushing for changes that will make the problem worse is a real problem. Patents were only supposed to be used in special cases. The fact that they've become the norm, rather than the exception is a problem, and it doesn't seem like anyone is seriously looking into fixing that.

http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/04/21/1556213.shtml
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Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-21 23:24
  Subject:   Performance testing the iRAM SATA ramdisk.
Public
  Tags:  slashdot



http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2480

Been watching this for a while. It's a cheap (current prototypes $150, should be $50 after a while) PCI card that holds up to 4 gigs worth of old, slower DDR-200 and hooks up to a SATA connection. Yup, it's a hardware ramdisk.

Not nearly as cool as it sounds, unfortunately.Collapse )

I was planning to put one of these in my next machine, as fast swap. However, I recently decided that I'm not buying a new machine until the 4 gig RAM limit is resolved. Seriously, you brainless dorks in the PC OS industry have no excuse. I'm not that old and I can already remember this happening twice. Once going from 16 bit to 32 bit, and now from 32 to 64. Where are you morans going to figure this out? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ENOUGH RAM. Never has been, never will be. Quit designing OSes that assume there will never be more than X bits on the address bus. History has proven you wrong twice already. When are you idiots going to learn?
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