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An Interesting Week February 18, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Science, Toys, Video.
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People think nothing of importance happens during holiday weeks, but not so this week. A fellow going by the handle Mamaich over at xda-developers.com has produced a beta version of the jailbreak for running x86 Windows applications on Windows RT (ARM) tablets. He is releasing it to the wider world for others to improve upon his list of programs that run, which is pretty short at the moment:

These programs are tested to work:
– WinRar
– 3D Pinball "Space Cadet" from Windows 95. Known problem: no sound
– Heroes of Might and Magic 3 with 32-bit patch. HD mod is compatible too, see this video: http://youtu.be/3uzjV406nVs. Known problem: no music. And I’ll recommend to turn off all sounds to increase speed. [UPDATE: that’s fixed]
– "7zG.exe b" – a 7Zip benchmark. "b" here is a command line parameter.
– Lots of tiny simple prog[ram]s.

He offers hints for debugging programs users may wish to try.  Pop on over and have a look.

Me, I’m still looking for a nice, cheap 64-bit laptop suitable for Win7 or Ubuntu….very cheap.  Suggestions?

Next, that triumph that is the innovator’s second-best friend (after the 3D printer), LEGO.  Specifically, a LEGO implementation of the first machine to ever get programmability, the loom:

The programmability hasn’t been implemented yet; I’m sure it’s waiting for the next Agile sprint.

Finally, a little something from the future of energy storage: Ambri’s molten-metal battery has dazzling energy density at a high temperature.  It’s a pair of disparate metals with a salt solution between…but not active until heated to 500C.  Current models are sixteen inches across and look like this:

steel container

The plan is to make them for the military, and learn how to make’em cheap while selling to the customer who doesn’t care about cost all that much.  Thing is, these molten batteries are made of relatively cheap stuff (magnesium and antimony) and could last a very long time, indeed.  This technology could eventually be the battery backup for the entire power grid when wind and solar are much, much larger parts of the energy equation…which is a virtual certainty when the dead dinosaurs give out.

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