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Odd Lots


  1. Tom R. says:

    ReRAM might make SSD’s a reality, but I am more interested in the memristor as a component in what might be called a “fuzzy” computer. A couple of decades ago Fuzzy Logic was the geek topic of the time, but most of the applications were on how to make trains or elevators run smoother. That was a problem that was pretty much solved long before by the PID servo controller. There is a large class of real world problems where some of the old Fuzzy Logic concepts did apply, but were very hard to implement in the technology available back then. I think the memristor may be a way to implement a computer that could address some of those kinds of problems.

    It also might make a cool idea in a Science Fiction story.

    1. Lee Hart says:

      Tom, fuzzy logic is a serious discipline, despite the funny name. It is a good “tool” for problems where you don’t have a known or stable mathematical model, so PID and other linear models don’t work well.

      Fuzzy logic isn’t “difficult” to implement on a conventional micro. Rather, it is sufficiently “different” that people familiar with conventional programming practices don’t understand it. A bit like teaching a carpenter to weld. 🙂

      Jeff, that’s a great collection of leaning towers. It also did my heart good to know that TV viewing is down.

      1. Tom R. says:

        Lee, I wasn’t trying to put Fuzzy Logic down, quite the contrary, back in the early to mid 90’s I had an application in a system that I think it would have been quite good at and would have loved to have had a go at it. Unfortunately, it was in a business system and not a control application and what I wanted to do was to use it for classifying things into the sets that they most likely should belong to. Also at that time COBOL and Big Iron was the order of the day at that place.

        Thanks for the comment and sorry I left the wrong impression.

  2. Paul says:

    Great post. On medical studies, I consider it a game anymore when hearing about a new one to try and guess at its problems. Disparate populations tend to have common traits among themselves that contribute to the test results, and I think often times are over looked. It’s a shame, because many of these studies sound promising on the surface.

    Regarding Cable TV, great articles. My Wife and I subscribe to just basic-basic (BASIC) cable, and that because it’s only an extra $2 on top of our cable internet. The only thing we watch on it are live local sports, and that rarely. Everything else is over netflix or amazon instant video, and even that just a few times a week max.

    Besides commercials, economics play a huge role – one month of cable went up to about $120 in our area vs. a season of a favorite show on Amazon for about $20. In this manner, we also never have the “there is nothing on TV” problem live programming seems to provide as well.

    The final but no less important reason for our diminished viewing is our kids. There is less content on TV that I’d consider appropriate (I’m turning into my grandparents), and quite honestly our kids have better things to do that sit in front of the TV. Half the time they do sit down to watch something, it’s an older Disney movie.

  3. Tom D. says:

    Kudos on the tablet. I have to go get a tissue, ’cause I’m drooling!

  4. Michael Brian Bentley says:

    Love all the (!)-HD-(!)-related ad copy for a 1280 x 800 device. Tablets aren’t usually left connected to the TV.

  5. Michael Brian Bentley says:

    Jeri currently works at Valve up here in the Seattle area. Valve is a game developer shop (there’s quite a few up here) that created a brilliant little game called Portal that caught everyone by surprise.

    1. Erbo says:

      Valve is also responsible for some “moderately” popular franchises called Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, and Left 4 Dead, the Steam content distribution network, and the Source engine that all its current games are based on. 🙂

      Many of their games are based on third-party add-ons and mods that they acquired, which is a good way to encourage the modding community. Portal was no exception, being based on Narbacular Drop by some students at DigiPen Institute of Technology (whom Valve hired).

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