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Friday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 13-May-2016  14:38:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Western Digital now officially own SanDisk. For a cool $19 billion, Western Digital now gets to call SanDisk (and their sizeable share of the SSD market) their wholly owned subsidiary. Although SanDisk might be best known for flash memory cards and USB sticks, the company has been expanding into enterprise notebook hard drives and also builds OEM memory components for Apple and Nvidia. Bonus trivia: Back in 2014, SanDisk founder Dr. Eli Harari was honored by President Obama for "revolutionizing the flash storage industry."

The legal battle between Oracle and Google has entered round two. The upcoming trial is the second time Oracle has faced off in court with Google over copyrights and the Android mobile operating system. Oracle sued in 2010, saying that by using declaring code in 37 Java APIs, Google broke copyright law. After an initial trial that concluded in 2012, US District Judge William Alsup ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted at all. However, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overruled him. Now a second trial is beginning, and Google's only defense against a copyright infringement claim is a "fair use" argument. More info about the case here.

I haven't quite got my head around it yet, but this article claims that the limiting factor for semiconductor scaling will be thermal management. Some in the industry are beginning to wake up to the problem. A paper by IBM and the University of Virginia states, “While increasing parallelism rather than frequency is a more power-friendly approach to performance growth, the stricter requirement from chip power still forces processor vendors to keep the chip power at a constant thermal design power (TDP) in order to hold down cooling cost.”

Google have open sourced a new natural language parsing technology, naturally calling it Parsey McParseface. Combining machine learning and search techniques, Parsey McParseface is 94 percent accurate, according to Google. It also leans on SyntaxNet’s neural-network framework for analyzing the linguistic structure of a sentence or statement, which parses the functional role of each word in a sentence. If you’re confused, here’s the short version: Parsey and SyntaxNet are basically like five year old humans who are learning the nuances of language.

NASA have announced the discovery of lots more planets. NASA's Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets – the single largest finding of planets to date. “This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler,” said Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth.”

With an election on the cards it's time for me to start avoiding possibly-political stories again, but this one makes a very good point about the NBN: “We didn’t have this sort of squabbling when it came to the Snowy Mountains Scheme or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. These projects, like the NBN, were long term investments in the country’s future and were rightly seen as such. Once construction began everyone acknowledged that they were much-needed, just like fast, ubiquitous broadband is today.”

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.