Archive | 8 December 2010

Molecule Sized Processor?


Now this news has my inner geek excited:

A*STAR’s IMRE and 10 EU research organisations are working together to build what is essentially a single molecule processor chip. As a comparison, a thousand of such molecular chips could fit into one of today’s microchips, the core device that determines computational speed. The ambitious project, termed Atomic Scale and Single Molecule Logic Gate Technologies (ATMOL), will establish a new process for making a complete molecular chip. This means that computing power can be increased significantly but take up only a small fraction of the space that is required by today’s standards.

The fabrication process involves the use of three unique ultra high vacuum (UHV) atomic scale interconnection machines which build the chip atom-by-atom. These machines physically move atoms into place one at a time at cryogenic temperatures. One of these machines is located in A*STAR’s IMRE.

As the one-and-only Instapundit says, faster, please!

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Texas Rep Pushes Back Against FCC Attempt To Regulate News


TheHill.com:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.

Barton was reacting to a proposal made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who in a speech suggested that broadcasters be subject to a new “public values test” every four years.

“I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume,” Barton wrote Monday in a letter to Copps.

With the availability of satellite radio and TV (I have XM in my car), along with digital compression capabilities, it seems that a large part of the reason the FCC was formed really doesn’t exist any more. Simply put, if Sirius/XM can put hundreds of radio channels on a satellite signal, and Dish and DirecTV can do the same thing with TV channels, do we really need a government entity telling broadcasters what they have to broadcast? It made sense when technology only allowed a few channels that were picked up by rabbit ear, but today? Not so much.

Senate Impeaches Clinton-Appointed Judge


AP via Google:

The Senate on Wednesday convicted U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of Louisiana on four articles of impeachment, making him just the eighth federal judge in history to be removed by Congress.

Porteous, who sat before senators in the well of the chamber as they voted separately on each count, declined to comment as he left the chamber. Attorney Daniel Schwartz said, “We’re obviously disappointed with the result.”

House prosecutors laid out a damaging case against Porteous, 63, a New Orleans native who was a state judge before winning appointment to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The prosecutors said gambling and drinking problems led him to begin accepting cash and other favors from attorneys and bail bondsmen with business before his court.

He also was accused of lying to Congress during his judicial confirmation and filing for bankruptcy under a false name.

The Senate voted unanimously to convict on the first article involving cash from attorneys, and with strong majorities on the other three. They also approved a motion barring him from holding future federal office.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who managed the case, said the bipartisan process worked as intended and “should be reassuring to every American.”

“There are times this place is pretty dysfunctional,” she said, “but … I think the responsibility was handled just as the founders would have wanted us to handle it.”

Many of the facts in the case weren’t disputed. Porteous’ lead attorney, Jonathan Turley, acknowledged that the judge made mistakes but argued that they were mostly personal failings that didn’t meet the “high crimes and misdemeanor” standard for impeachment. Turley also argued that many of the practices — such as accepting favors and expensive meals — were common in the Louisiana legal community.

But House prosecutors said the evidence showed a decades-long pattern of corruption. They told senators that allowing Porteous to remain on the bench would erode public confidence in the courts and make a mockery of the federal judiciary.

Accepting cash from attorneys and bail bondsmen is common in the Louisiana legal community? Sounds to me like someone needs to clean that sewer out!

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