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Via jovino, this BART driver's view of passing through the transbay tunnel caught my geeky interest. ('Course, on the trains in Kuala Lumpur, you can see a comparable - but not subterranean - view yourself at any time, as it's a driverless system. Longest such in the world, as I recall)

Two pics by sockscatt, entries for Koinup's current SL photography competition; "Giving thanks to the sun" and "Moab Twilight drop".

I'm quite interested in what Apple's motivations might be in the company's recent acquisition of PA Semi, a CPU design house. They're based in IBM's POWER architectures, with a view to energy-efficient PowerPC (something of a close relative of POWER, born of the original AIM - Apple, IBM, Motorola - alliance) compatibles. Apparently, PA Semi were once in the running to be a processor supplier for Apple, but Intel won out; not such a surprise, perhaps, given their offerings were fairly thin on the ground, and comparatively unproven, not to mention the competitive benefits of offering Intel - just drop Parallels or VMware on, and you can have any other OS as well, their windows sharing the same desktop as OS X's, everything running at full native speed. Still, $278m would suggest they're after more than the people involved (and there's definitely some top-tier talent involved, including ex-DEC Alpha people, and the guy who oversaw Apple's transition from 68k to PPC) - if it were only talent they're after, it'd be far cheaper just to go headhunting. ARM-based SoC design? Possible, but I'd have thought they'd be wasted on something of that scale. A PPC competitor to ARM, maybe? Freescale's focus is more traditional embedded applications, and IBM's perfectly happy turning out millions of console and server processors - and superb as ARM's architecture is, they're also not very interested in the high performance end (1GHz+), which seems to be the way the iPhone will head. This would seem to be confirmed by reports that the negotiations were handled on the Apple side by His Steveness and Anthony Fadell, SVP of the iPod Division.

"A goods train in southern France has been attacked by robbers who made off with cushions bearing the Playboy logo."

s30e2 "Fires of Pompeii" - excellent. And I even approached it with caution, not generally being given to historical episodes, but the quality of the supporting cast shone through, coupled to a script that caught a fine balance between levity and tragedy. (Why, yes, I am a little behind with the show =:)

s30s3 "Planet of the Ood" - mixed, but good overall. I'd been interested to see what might come of learning more of the Ood, but hadn't quite expected what was revealed. Whilst the middle of the episode flagged somewhat as it turned into a gunfest, the ending was quite wonderful.

@whee! Just hooked up the radio eval board to the CPU eval board (which in turn hooks to a peripheral chip's eval board, and that to one component on our actual device) - and the two parts of the puzzle are talking to each other! The hacked up creation's transmitting over a 2.4GHz link (courtesy of a single chip that handles everything from serial data I/O to pushing out the final RF signal) to one of our devices, which is receiving and decoding the data stream. It's quite magical, seeing the logic analyzer traces showing the various bit clocks, SPI data streams, chip selects, and interrupt assertions all meshing so perfectly, all acting in a sequential flow, meshed in nanosecond perfection.

And a few weeks ago, I hadn't even heard of SPI. =:D The coworker deserves a great deal of the credit, but still, I think we make a good team. ^_^

And what better note to collapse conclude with than an ode to a cup of brown joy, as discovered by sphelx? =:9
It's relieving to know I'm not the only one with a strange obsession with rail transit ^^

Our own dear LRT is nowhere as impressive as the BART or pretty much any other light-rail system, but we do love it so. And speaking of which if you're interested, a driver's view of the entire trip from north to south, sped up, can be viewed here
Arg! I'll have to try remembering to watch that another time - YouTube's being dead slow for me at the moment. =:P How many lines does the system consist of? There's no shortage of simpler ones, after all - it's just places like London and Sydney that love showing off their spaghetti maps. ^_^ (Made all the more fun, as I discovered a few weeks ago, when you hit them on a weekend or other time they feel they can get away with maintenance, resulting in the station you want to reach, normally a couple stops away, being unreachable by the direct route. And that won't be apparent unless you take the time to check the service noticeboard.. after all, actually displaying that kind of info on the "next trains" message boards on the platforms would be making things easy!)

One thing to love about Sydney's setup is just how intermodal it is - not just trains and buses, but ferries too. And there's a catamaran route, too. ^_^ Now, if they only had a funicular too.. =:D (Actually, they almost could, given the gradient of the hill that's home to Taronga Park Zoo, a fine place to visit red pandas, and where my camcorder's battery decided to spare the ego of one of them, giving out immediately before he fell off a low branch =:)

Edmonton's LRT is just one line... it starts in Clareview, which is a huge suburb area north-east of the city core, and then it runs south, hitting the football and hockey stadiums along the way, then goes under ground where it runs through downtown, then across the river to the university campus. Although it's currently being extended further south. It's kinda useless for moving around downtown, since our downtown core is so tiny it's much easier just to walk everywhere, but for shuttling people to work and back or to school and back, it's invaluable.

However plans are being made to create a couple of lines that would branch off the main one... one is supposed to provide train access to Grant MacEwan and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, the two other main post-secondary places in Edmonton, because buses to those areas are often so packed that some students can't use them! The other would run west to the West Edmonton Mall, which would be awesome, but that one's still up in the air.