Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pic of the Day

SOFIA soars over the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains with its telescope door open during a test flight. Image: NASA/Jim Ross
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a 747 Jumbo jet modified to carry a reflecting telescope with an 8 foot diameter mirror. Being as the aircraft can operate at 45,000 feet, that gets them above most of the atmosphere, which should make viewing conditions very good. But you are in an airplane traveling at 500 MPH which is liable to make any kind of observation a little tricky.  We won't even think about problems with vibration.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Star Trek R Us

Language Translation Device

This ad popped up on YouTube and I my mind instantly drug up the universal translator from Star Trek. This isn't quite that advanced, I mean we don't have any aliens from other planets we can try it out on, but it apparently works with several human languages.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Far Side of the Moon

Chang'e 4 Lunar Landing In Detail

Mr. Manley does a good job here. But how is it that we know any of this at all? When we sent Apollo spacecraft to the moon 50 years ago, they were cutoff from communication when they went behind the moon. So how are we getting these pictures? We have sent probes around the moon and they have taken pictures, but they had to come back into view before they could transmit their images. This Chinese probe is on the moon, it isn't coming back into view, ever. Have the Chinese invented a new kind of super-quantum-licious communications technique that allows them to transmit through a thousand miles of rock? No, they sent another satellite, a communications relay, out to Lagrange point 2 which is out beyond the moon.

Queqiao relay satellite enters L2 orbit

Notice that this satellite doesn't just sit at the 'point', the 'point', after all, is unstable. Any slight disturbance from this location will cause the satellite to fall away from the 'point', never to return. Also sitting at the 'point' wouldn't do us any good, as the 'point' is directly opposite the Earth and so is blocked from radio communications by the moon. Instead the satellite goes into a halo orbit where it never actually crosses the point, instead it orbits the 'point'. The James Webb Space Telescope will be using a halo orbit when it eventually gets launched, which is expected in a couple of years.

Pic of the Day

Winter in Toronto, Canada

Friday, January 11, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019


One year Ethereum price history
It's been a while since I checked on my Ethereum holdings, so today I took a peak. The current price is roughly $125 per imaginary coin, down from the $300 it was just over a year ago. My 'wallet' has accumulated 0.18 of an Ether coin, which works out to $23. So not as good as originally forecasted, but it hasn't completely disappeared either, so I guess I will it ride.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Pic of the Day

930M Caterpiller Small Wheel Loader at the scene of the crime
This is what passes for excitement here in suburban Hillsboro. Two o'clock this morning a couple of people stole this wheel loader and used it to flatten an ATM. They then gathered up the cash and sped off into the night.