Post New Article

The humble mineral
that transformed the world

Original Article

Posted By: StormCnter, 11/16/2019 10:36:48 AM

From cities that never sleep to remote rural villages, one technology is changing how we live and work. From the smartphones in our pockets to the vast datacentres powering the internet, from electric scooters to hypersonic aircraft, pacemakers to weather-predicting supercomputers – inside every one of them, unseen and unsung, are tiny pieces of tech that make it all possible: semiconductors. These are the basic building blocks of modern computation. Semiconductor devices called transistors are the tiny electronic switches that run computations inside our computers. Scientists in the US built the first silicon transistor in 1947. Before that, the mechanics of computing had been performed by vacuum tubes,

Post Reply

Reply 1 - Posted by: mc squared 11/16/2019 11:07:01 AM (No. 236673)
Not a word about the Bell Laboratories which first discovered the properties of the silicon 'device'. And right here in New Jersey.
10 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Baskerville 11/16/2019 11:09:45 AM (No. 236675)
Years ago a precocious young friend wanted to write a science fiction story about the world having a silicon shortage. I had to remind him that silicon is one of the most abundant minerals on the Earth. We all had a good laugh.
3 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: DVC 11/16/2019 11:40:18 AM (No. 236697)
I thought the article would be about coal. THAT is a mineral which truly transformed the world. Sad that almost none of today's kids will not know the amazement of taking a sawed 1/2" diameter slab of germanium and touching it with a metal "whisker" on a post, connected to a coil of wire wrapped on an oatmeal cardboard tubular 'box', and run out to a wire hung to the clothesline, and then connecting a tiny earpiece and hearing RADIO. No batteries, just some pieces of stuff thumbtacked to a piece of wood. I thought of this because of the image of the lab transistor in the story, much like a '50s toy 'crystal' radio. Later models used a tiny 1/16" diameter glass diode to replace the chunk of germanium and the whisker, but were equally simple, child-built and amazing. And yes, silicon devices have changed many things. But looking at all the zombie children with their mind-sucking 'smart phones' makes me really wonder if it was a good thing.
8 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: EmilioCavaradosi 11/16/2019 11:41:37 AM (No. 236699)
mc squared—Yes, but that was Germanium. Silicon transistors arose later, in the 1950s. They are less heat sensitive than the original Germanium ones used by the Bell Labs team.
5 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Rumblehog 11/16/2019 12:52:00 PM (No. 236758)
The world doesn't deserve its Engineers. They've increased efficiencies, lowered costs, and improved societies in ways politicians can only dream of doing. Engineers should run things, as depicted in the great 1936 sci-fi movie, "The Shape of Things to Come," starring Raymond Massey, and based on the 1933 H.G. Wells book of the same name. (self disclosure - Engineer speaking!) "Only now, when attempts to shrink transistors any smaller are bumping up against the limits of physics, has the pace of miniaturisation slowed." Apparently not a true statement anymore. One semiconductor manufacturer recently announced a breakthrough that will allow "Moore's Law" to continue for them indefinitely. By the way, Moore is one Engineer who made good money from his efforts. His estimated worth is between 6 and 7 billion dollars. Good for him!
6 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: snakeoil 11/16/2019 1:48:28 PM (No. 236794)
Yes transistors have changed the world. But you couldn't carry cell phones or portable electronics without small reliable dc batteries. You have to have dc to bias the transistors. When I was young we used to laugh at Dick Tracy's wrist tv. Now everyone has one. And I used to have to stop at gas stations and get maps to find anything. Nowadays I just tell the GPS girl where I want to go. A hundred years from robots will do everything for us or we'll do everything for them. Wish I could be around to see it.
0 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: solalogos 11/16/2019 2:24:59 PM (No. 236820)
There are approximately 8.5 BILLION transistors in current iPhones. Integrated circuits are impressive.
0 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: MickTurn 11/17/2019 9:25:45 AM (No. 237358)
I've worked on equipment that had Vacuum Tubes...Yep I'm an Old F@rt!
0 people like this.

Below, you will find ...
Most Recent Articles posted by "StormCnter"
and
Most Active Articles (last 48 hours)
Most Recent Articles posted by StormCnter"
The School Shooting That Austin Forgot 8 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/19/2020 8:57:40 AM Post Reply
After years of counseling and prayer, John Ray decided he had finally developed the emotional fortitude to revisit the formative trauma of his youth. He started a private Facebook group, titled simply “Murchison/Mr. Grayson 40 Years Later,” and invited former classmates and teachers to join. Ray wasn’t entirely sure how his outreach would be received. He knew only that he couldn’t confront the past alone. For one thing, Ray barely remembered the details of that day—May 18, 1978—when a friend at his Austin junior high school walked into class and, in front of Ray and twenty other eighth graders, shot and killed their teacher, Wilbur “Rod” Grayson.
This 50-Car Barn Find Is Full of Your
Wildest American Muscle Car Dreams
12 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/17/2020 1:34:42 PM Post Reply
Cool barn finds can be one-in-a-million, so how does it feel to unearth dozens of collectible cars parked away for decades and ripe for the picking? To find out, just ask Matt Murray, a YouTuber who's helping to auction off 50 desirable slabs comprised of cold hard American steel in various states of condition and rarity. In 2018, avid car collector Larry Schroll passed away, leaving behind a treasure trove of keepsake automobiles that he had stashed away in a Pennsylvania barn. Schroll's family was overwhelmed by the sheer number of vehicles he had collected during his lifetime, the majority of which would now be eligible
Mnuchin To Request $850
Billion Coronavirus Stimulus
Package From Congress
12 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/17/2020 1:28:10 PM Post Reply
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is expected to request an $850 billion stimulus package to curb the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. Mnuchin met with Republican leaders via conference call Monday and headed to the Capitol to meet with Republican Senate leaders Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. Reports suggest the Republicans are considering combining the bill into the existing coronavirus spending bill passed by the House last week. The stimulus push comes as the coronavirus has put the stock market in freefall, entirely eliminating the gains made since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.
The Day the South
Nearly Won the Civil War
16 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/17/2020 1:16:04 PM Post Reply
It has become an accepted historical fact that the South could not have won the American Civil War. The North’s advantages in finance, population, railroads, manufacturing, technology, and naval assets, among others, are often cited as prohibitively decisive. Yes, the South had the advantage of fighting on the defensive, this with interior lines, but those two meager pluses appear dwarfed by the North’s overwhelming strategic advantages, hence defeat virtually a foregone conclusion. But if strategic advantage alone was always decisive in warfare, then names like Marathon, Cowpens, Rorke’s Drift, and Cannae would today be meaningless, and they are not. Indeed, there are times when the decided underdog wins in war,
Climate Activists Want to Mold
Biden Into the President They Need
9 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/16/2020 1:12:06 PM Post Reply
During Sunday night’s Democratic debate, Joe Biden did his best to convince voters he’d take the necessary steps to deal with climate change. He outlined the elements of his climate plan, promising to spend $1.7 trillion making the U.S. economy less destructive to the climate, ban new permits for oil and gas development on public lands and rally the world’s nations in an effort to protect the Amazon rainforest. “All well and good,” replied Bernie Sanders. “But nowhere near enough.” That describes the feelings of many climate activists these days towards Biden. If polls are correct that Biden will win Tuesday's primaries in a landslide, the former vice president
Former heavyweight champion
Leon Spinks is fighting for his life
10 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/16/2020 1:05:40 PM Post Reply
HENDERSON, Nev. — Leon Spinks has trouble swallowing these days, so his wife, Brenda, crushes the seven pills he takes every morning, dissolves them in water and loads them into a syringe. She injects the contents into the retired boxer’s feeding tube. In June, Spinks, 66, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent three rounds of chemotherapy but the cancer spread to his bones. In November, Brenda said, one of the doctors treating Spinks said he had a about two weeks to live.
Kentucky police guard coronavirus
patient who wouldn’t self-quarantine
16 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/16/2020 1:02:20 PM Post Reply
A Kentucky coronavirus patient has been placed under police guard after refusing to stay under quarantine, the state’s governor has revealed. The unidentified 53-year-old man from Nelson County recently tested positive at the University of Louisville, but left against medical advice — and also refused to self-isolate at home, Gov. Andy Beshear said at a press conference. A local judge declared a state of emergency in order to invoke a little-known statute that allows him to force a “self-isolation or quarantine,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s
race for reelection has faced Smollett
criticism, opponent with deeper pockets
6 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/16/2020 12:54:02 PM Post Reply
She has made the rounds at some of Chicago’s historic churches, asking congregants for their votes. She’s hosted nearly a dozen campaign rallies in Cook County, attended conversations with families directly affected by gun violence and tapped her allies to both endorse and publicly advocate for her — moves that would be considered typical for someone seeking reelection. Nevertheless, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s bid for a second term as the county’s top prosecutor has been atypical. While officeholders seeking reelection usually enjoy the advantages of incumbency —
Best films to watch on TV
today, tonight – and this week
8 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/16/2020 7:20:07 AM Post Reply
With the abundance of rival streaming services on the market these days, it can be easy to forget that one of the cheapest ways to watch movies is through good old-fashioned terrestrial television. As ever, this week brings a great selection of flicks, and with fears over coronavirus continuing to mount watching films in the comfort of your own home might be more common than ever. Take a look at our top picks of what to look out for over the coming days.
The 100 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now 18 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/15/2020 2:43:03 PM Post Reply
With thousands of movies to choose from, and a navigation system and algorithm that don’t always make the right choice easy to find, it can be difficult to know what to watch on Netflix. That’s why we’re here, breaking down the 100 best movies on the service at this minute, with regular updates for titles that have been removed and when new ones are added. We’ve done the hard work, so now the only thing you have to do is sit back and, uh, watch all 100 movies. (And if you’re more of a TV person, check out the 50 best TV shows on Netflix.)
The Prepping Industry Wasn’t
Prepared for the Coronavirus
7 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/13/2020 10:33:21 AM Post Reply
“It’s been crazy, crazy, crazy,” David Sanders says. “Unprecedented.” Unprecedented, crazy events happen to be Sanders’ specialty. He runs an online disaster preparedness shop called Doomsday Prep, which sells a wide assortment of worst-case-scenario gear, from two-way radios, nunchucks, and knives to a “urban bug out bag” filled with medical supplies and food. Although the store’s mission is readying people for emergencies, it’s in a surprise dilemma right now. “Our supply chain and available inventory is in flux due to Covid-19,” a banner on its homepage reads. Some products are backordered until the summer.
How artificial kidneys and miniaturized
dialysis could save millions of lives
3 replies
Posted by StormCnter 3/13/2020 9:19:51 AM Post Reply
From the start, Mat Risher swore that dialysis wouldn’t upend his life. He had been working at a software company, conducting research on a car-racing simulator, when kidney damage from lupus forced him to start the blood-filtering treatments three times a week. Five years have slipped by, and the sessions have sapped his resolve. The 33-year-old now works part-time. On good days, he enjoys trying out new recipes. On bad days, his lupus flares up and the strain of incessant dialysis leaves him drained. “The times in between [dialysis days], I have no social life, no dating life,” says Risher, who lives just outside Seattle, Washington.
Most Active Articles (last 48 hours)
Target Stores’ Chrissy Teigen To First
Lady Melania Trump: “F*** You”
75 replies
Posted by DCGIRL 3/19/2020 8:34:18 AM Post Reply

Any celebrity saying this to Michelle Obama would have lost their corporate sponsorships immediately. Target store representative Chrissy Teigen went off on a foul-mouthed rant against First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday, calling her a “wifebot” and culminating in a filthy “f___ you”.  Teigen, who is married to popular musician John Legend, has a kitchen product line at Target called, the Cravings by Chrissy Teigen collection. Teigen’s rant against Melania Trump:

‘Why Is It A Racial Slur?’: Things Get Testy
When Martha MacCallum Challenges Symone
Sanders On ‘Chinese Coronavirus’
41 replies
Posted by ladydawgfan 3/19/2020 1:05:24 AM Post Reply
Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum challenged Symone Sanders after the senior Biden campaign adviser called the term “Chinese coronavirus” a “racial slur” on Wednesday’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum." [Video] Responding to a question from MacCallum about whether former Vice President Joe Biden and others should say “this is a moment to get behind our president” despite their disagreements and “give credit where credit is due,” Sanders criticized the Trump administration both on the number of tests delivered so far and on President Donald Trump’s usage of the term “Chinese virus.” “Some of what he said today was good, but the reality is he also stood at the podium
Asian-Americans feel targeted with
'Chinese virus' label
32 replies
Posted by voxpopuli 3/19/2020 8:09:11 PM Post Reply
Recent descriptions of the novel coronavirus have led to complaints of discrimination in the Twin Cities directed at the Asian-American community. The complaints of racial discrimination were influenced in part by President Donald Trump after he started referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” according to Bo Thao-Urabe. (snip) ... (Keith Ellison) has received at least four complaints of discrimination, including a local Asian woman who said she received a threatening note.
Barack Obama Shares Timetable Predicting
Social Distancing Until Late May
32 replies
Posted by ladydawgfan 3/19/2020 5:39:10 AM Post Reply
Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday warned Americans they would likely be stuck in their homes until late May. “[H]ere’s a sober but useful primer on what we should expect in the coming months,” Obama wrote on Twitter, sharing a New York Times opinion article from medical professionals Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Susan Ellenberg, and Michael Levy. The article predicts that a return to “normal” American activity would take months, not weeks. “That timeline suggests that your kids are not going back to school on April 1,” they wrote. “Nor are you returning to the office or catching a movie anytime soon. Plan for social distancing at least until mid-or late May,
Rashida Tlaib Backpedals After Sharing
David Hogg’s ‘F**k a National Day of
Prayer’ Message
32 replies
Posted by ladydawgfan 3/19/2020 5:31:45 AM Post Reply
Rasida Tlaib backpedaled after sharing a post by Parkland survivor and anti-gun activist David Hogg dismissing President Trump’s National Day of Prayer announcement over the coronavirus crisis. Last weekend, President Trump declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer, saying: “It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.” [tweet] "No matter where you may be,” Trump continued, “I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”
Senator Kelly Loeffler dumped $3.1m in
stock and Senate Intel chairman Richard
Burr sold $1.5m while getting classified
briefings on coronavirus before market
plunged—then she invested in firm that*
31 replies
Posted by Ribicon 3/20/2020 12:30:07 AM Post Reply
A Georgia senator has become the second lawmaker to have reportedly dumped millions in stock just weeks before the coronavirus pandemic as she was getting coronavirus warnings. According to The Daily Beast, Sen Kelly Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, reportedly sold $3.1million in stock with the first sale in the company Resideo Technologies worth between $50,001 and $100,000 on January 24. That same day Loeffler's committee, the Senate Health Committee hosted a private, all senators briefing with administration officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director and Anthony Fauci.
Dark Money Progressive Groups Spending
Millions to Politicize Coronavirus, Spread Fear
31 replies
Posted by Imright 3/19/2020 12:07:25 AM Post Reply
Millions of Americans across the country are, day by day, adjusting their lives to better cope with the economic, social, and political impacts caused by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, as a dark money network simultaneously works overtime to further politicize the festering crisis.A Democrat-aligned Super PAC announced on Tuesday that it will spend $5 million on negative ads targeting President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.“The campaign from Pacronym — a political action committee affiliated with the nonprofit group Acronym — represents the first major pivot to coronavirus-related advertising fewer than 250 days from the election,” the Washington Post reported
Huge! Results from Breaking Chloroquine
Study Show 100% Cure Rate for Patients
Infected with the Coronavirus
26 replies
Posted by Imright 3/19/2020 11:14:08 AM Post Reply
On Monday Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced that the first trial vaccine for the coronavirus is now being tested. The trial taking place in Seattle, which has been a hotbed for COVID-19. The test includes 45 people age 18-55 and they are receiving two injections, one at zero days, one at 28 days. The individuals will then be followed for one year. The trial results is still months away. On Monday night Laura Ingraham reported that a new study revealed the anti-viral medication chloroquine is successful in fighting the coronavirus.
How Long Will Americans
Tolerate Corona-Madness?
26 replies
Posted by BeatleJeff 3/19/2020 10:08:17 AM Post Reply

A usually level-headed Christian conservative lashed out on Facebook, scolding everyone they thought was not taking the coronavirus seriously enough. Fake news media has successfully infected many with irrational fear.  (Snip)  CDC data confirms that the martial-law-light mandates steamrolling across America are disproportionate to the threat of the virus.

California Gov. Newsom issues order
for entire state to stay at home due to
coronavirus
24 replies
Posted by MindMadeUp 3/20/2020 12:45:05 AM Post Reply
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an order for all 40 million Californians to stay at home Thursday night due to the coronavirus outbreak. “This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time,” Newsom said in a news conference. “We will look back at these decisions as pivotal. The directive goes into effect Thursday evening. Those found violating the law could be fined up to $1,000.
Chris Cuomo blasts Trump for saying 'Chinese
virus': 'It could have come from anywhere'
23 replies
Posted by ladydawgfan 3/20/2020 2:48:59 AM Post Reply
CNN commentator Chris Cuomo admonished President Trump for repeatedly calling the coronavirus "the Chinese virus." “Calling it the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus or the Kung Flu. Listen, you may think it's clever, but it's hurting,” Cuomo said on his nightly show on Wednesday. “The idea, ‘Well, it did come from China.’ Then why doesn't Fauci and other top health officials, why don’t they call it that? You know why? Because it could have come from anywhere.” The virus, which has sparked a global pandemic, is believed to have originated in an animal market in Wuhan, China. Trump has said he uses the phrase "Chinese virus" for accuracy purposes.
House Lawyers for Adam Schiff
Assert Privilege over Schiff Subpoenas
of Impeachment Phone Records
23 replies
Posted by Toledo 3/19/2020 1:41:13 PM Post Reply

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss the lawsuit against them for the controversial impeachment-related subpoenas for phone records, including those of Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer. Schiff and the Committee are being represented by the Office of General Counsel for the House of Representatives. The phone records led to the publication of the private phone records of Giuliani, Congressman Devon Nunes, journalist John Solomon, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, attorney Victoria Toensing, and other American citizens.

Post New Article