The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit (porsupah) wrote,
The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit
porsupah

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The nanoscale octopus

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
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