mindblowingscience:

'Phase-Changing' Materials Can Make Computers 1000 Times Faster

How many times have you been sitting at your computer for what seems like hours waiting for it to load or boot up? Well, new “phase-changing” materials designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, can make your computer 1,000 times faster, as well as smaller and more eco-friendly, a new study describes.
Current computer models use silicon, but by replacing it with phase-change materials (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states, it could transform the speed of your computer.
"As demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities," lead study author Stephen Elliott added in a statement.
Specifically, PCMs can switch between a crystalline, conducting phase and a glassy and insulating phase in just billionths of a second.
These materials, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy.
These days, most experts increase a computer’s power by reducing to size of the devices in order to expand the number of logic devices that they contain. However, this method’s full potential is quickly being exhausted. Currently, the smallest logic and memory devices based on silicon are about 20 nanometers in size - approximately 4000 times thinner than a human hair. But PCMs overcome silicon’s limitations since they have been shown to function down to about two nanometers.
Also, an alternative for increasing processing speed without raising the number of logic devices is to increase the number of calculations that each device can perform, something that is possible with PCMs.
Eventually, the researchers say, they want to achieve faster PCM switching times - which is already at a mere 10 nanoseconds - to create computers that “are not just faster, but also much ‘greener,’” Elliott said.

mindblowingscience:

'Phase-Changing' Materials Can Make Computers 1000 Times Faster

How many times have you been sitting at your computer for what seems like hours waiting for it to load or boot up? Well, new “phase-changing” materials designed by researchers from the University of Cambridge, can make your computer 1,000 times faster, as well as smaller and more eco-friendly, a new study describes.

Current computer models use silicon, but by replacing it with phase-change materials (PCMs), which are capable of reversibly switching between two structural phases with different electrical states, it could transform the speed of your computer.

"As demand for faster computers continues to increase, we are rapidly reaching the limits of silicon’s capabilities," lead study author Stephen Elliott added in a statement.

Specifically, PCMs can switch between a crystalline, conducting phase and a glassy and insulating phase in just billionths of a second.

These materials, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could eventually enable processing speeds between 500 and 1,000 times faster than the current average laptop computer, while using less energy.

These days, most experts increase a computer’s power by reducing to size of the devices in order to expand the number of logic devices that they contain. However, this method’s full potential is quickly being exhausted. Currently, the smallest logic and memory devices based on silicon are about 20 nanometers in size - approximately 4000 times thinner than a human hair. But PCMs overcome silicon’s limitations since they have been shown to function down to about two nanometers.

Also, an alternative for increasing processing speed without raising the number of logic devices is to increase the number of calculations that each device can perform, something that is possible with PCMs.

Eventually, the researchers say, they want to achieve faster PCM switching times - which is already at a mere 10 nanoseconds - to create computers that “are not just faster, but also much ‘greener,’” Elliott said.

(via we-are-star-stuff)

micdotcom:

Here are the books you should read next, based on your favorite classics 

To help with the book hunt, we sorted through the new releases of 2014 to find the worthy contenders that have something in common with your old favorites. That beloved comfort read might be the path to your next great find.

See the rest

(via popculturebrain)

Code may flirt with illegibility, but it must finally cohere logically or it will not work; the language of art can fracture grammar and syntax, can fail to transmit meaning but still cause emotion, and therefore successfully produce rasa.

Author and programmer Vikram Chandra. His new book, “The Geek Sublime: the Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty,” explores the aesthetics of code-writing. (via newyorker)

(Source: newyorker.com, via newyorker)

america-wakiewakie:

WET: White Entertainment Television | Abagond Wordpress

White Entertainment Television (WET) is the television station that is always watched but never seen. It is the white counterpart to Black Entertainment Television (BET), an American television channel aimed at blacks.

White Americans say stuff like:

How come there’s a BET but not a White Entertainment Television? How is that fair?

You have BET. If we had WET, we’d be racists.

This is called being blind to white privilege. Or maybe just being blind.

It is called being so used to how society favours whites that you do not even notice it and think of it as “normal” and “fair”.

So fair that any change from it, like BET, Black History Month or affirmative action, is seen as unfair and reverse racist.

Peggy McIntosh, in her famous essay on white privilege, listed the WET thing as #6:

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

On American television:

  • Blacks have BET, TV One and few others.
  • Whites have ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Lifetime, HBO, Showtime, TNT, TBS, National Geographic, The History Channel, TV Land, Hallmark, Disney, Food Network, SOAPnet, Playboy, Nickelodeon, Sprout, MTV, VH1, Syfy, GAC, Spike, FX, USA, CMT, Bravo, NFL, TMC, E!, Cartoon Network, Cinemax and on and on and on.

American television is whiter than America. If it were a matter of “simple demographics”, as many claim, then out of a hundred stations (most people get way more), 12 would be black, more or less, 16 Latino, 5 Asian and 1 Native. It is nowhere near that.

BET is, in effect, a crappy UHF station for blacks, for those old enough to remember UHF (channels above 13 in the days before cable, which mainly showed reruns and old movies). Crappy because it does not currently even have news shows or children shows, much less cooking shows, game shows, travel shows and so on. There is no black CNN (news), black PBS (education and culture) or black HBO (serious drama).

BET is even white-owned!

White American television is white in three ways:

  1. It is by and for white people. Blacks are, at best, an afterthought. That is why black characters tend to be few, have short life expectancies and lack love lives. They are not the “target demographic”.
  2. It stereotypes blacks and other people of colour. Worse than lack of representation is misrepresentation. American television pictures blacks as
    • self-destructive,
    • dirty,
    • lazy,
    • unintelligent,
    • criminal,
    • violent and
    • ugly.

    We know that by asking people in the Taiwanese countryside, where knowledge of Black Americans comes mainly from American television shows. Even BET has been guilty of stereotyping blacks.

  3. It is so white that issues of race rarely come up. As if White Americans live in Sweden or the Middle Ages or something.

The first one is pretty much innocent, but the other two push racism:internalized racism in blacks and externalized racism in everyone else, even people in Taiwan.

(via afternoonsnoozebutton)

The most recent example of how stark the differences can be between a filtered feed and an unfiltered one was the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and how that showed up so dramatically on Twitter but was barely present for most users of Facebook. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci noted, that kind of filtering has social consequences — and journalism professor Emily Bell pointed out that doing this makes Facebook and Twitter into information gatekeepers in much the same way newspapers used to be.

latimes:

latimespast:

"There must have been 50,000 marchers" in the 1937 Labor Day parade in downtown Los Angeles, according to Secretary J. W. Buzzell of Central Labor Council.
For years, major parades were held in downtown L.A. to mark the holiday. See some of them here, and read more about 1937’s celebration.
Photo: Los Angeles Times archive / UCLA

On this Labor Day, columnist Jim Newton gives an assessment of L.A.’s economic outlook. 

latimes:

latimespast:

"There must have been 50,000 marchers" in the 1937 Labor Day parade in downtown Los Angeles, according to Secretary J. W. Buzzell of Central Labor Council.

For years, major parades were held in downtown L.A. to mark the holiday. See some of them here, and read more about 1937’s celebration.

Photo: Los Angeles Times archive / UCLA

On this Labor Day, columnist Jim Newton gives an assessment of L.A.’s economic outlook

whoneedsfeminism:

"I need feminism because periods and childbirth should not be considered illnesses."

Yes! This!

whoneedsfeminism:

"I need feminism because periods and childbirth should not be considered illnesses."

Yes! This!

notenoughtosurvive:

unamusedsloth:

Nude Portraits series by photographer Trevor Christensen

This is my new favorite thing

(via von-drunkaton)

oupacademic:

(via Which everyday English words came from Arabic? | OxfordWords blog)

Neat!