Thursday, December 8, 2011

Does Anyone Care?

     Well this week a bunch of people who control a bunch of countries are meeting in Durban, South Africa.  The main piece of Canadian news seems to be that Canada is not going to sign on to the update of the Kyoto    Accord. 
      First of all,  why would it even matter if we did sign up?  We did not even attempt to comply with it the first time.  We really like being a prosperous country and producing a huge amount of petrochemicals.  Any agreement without enforcement is unlikely to get results.  Canada is one of the few countries which could actually benefit from global warming.  Longer growing seasons,  opening of the north west passage for shipping, and selling all of that lovely tar sand oil. 
     Second of all, does anyone even care anymore? I think not.  People are so used to seeing climate predictions that have lovely little graphs with pretty colors.   An alarm that goes off for years quickly fades into the background noise of life.  The more graphs I see the more excited I get.  Apocalypse is exciting. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Racetrack Memory

What is racetrack memory?  It is basically a series of magnetic areas,  corresponding to bits,  strung along a wire (carbon nanotubes are great).  It is faster than flash memory, but much slower than ram.  It has the potential to store a huge amount of data in a very small amount of 2D space,  since the wires can be crammed close together and will drop down into the third dimension.  IBM is working on this and has made some great recent developments (this year).