Surely you don't need buckets of ice to cool ALS, right?
Regular Schottky, yes... or AS, or FAST... but ALS? Advanced Low-power Schottky?
Let's take a look. I wanted to use a '181 for comparison, 'cause I know those used to get toasty, but it seems they were never made in ALS.
So, consider the humble '86 quad XOR.
74S86: 50mA typical, 75mA maximum, at 5.5V. Yipe!
74ALS86: 3.9mA typical, 5.9mA maximum, at 5.5V. Runs cooler by better'n an order of magnitude. No ice bucket required.
Wait, what? It's some other meaning of ALS? And it's one of those Do Something campaigns whereby people attempt to cure a disease by doing something entirely unrelated to it, to encourage other people to donate money to some organization with a well-paid board of directors? And you think my interpretation is wacky?
Next thing you know, the Navy will be having a barbershop-quartet-a-thon in support of its Advanced Littoral Schooner.
A couple of days ago, I was skimming an article about an experiment intended to determine whether the Universe is merely a hologram, and tried to conjure up "What you mean, merely a hologram?" in, of course, Arnold J. Rimmer's voice.
Somehow, though, the voice I came up with was Sheldon Cooper.
Apparently there hasn't been a Red Dwarf crossover episode of The Big Bang Theory, though Sheldon has a complete set of Red Dwarf on DVD.
This must not stand!
Try this on for size: a sort of reverse-Back To Reality.
We need Wil Wheaton, obviously. In his Wesley-with-a-beard guise, he slips the regulars a dose of an experimental telepathy drug, causing a group hallucination*. As they'd just (finally) binge-watched Sheldon's complete set of Red Dwarf, or at least some portion thereof**, they find themselves in an all-new episode....
Sheldon must be Rimmer; he's a perfect match. This makes Leonard Lister.
Howard has to be the Cat, given how hard he tries.
This leaves Raj as Kryten. Can you imagine Raj being Kryten? The personality, the selective mutism: he'll do.
Penny must be Kochanski - the original version, not the parallel-universe one nor Rachael. This fits perfectly with Leonard being Lister.
I'll leave the story-within-a-story to your imagination. What, you think I'll do everything for you?
* Alternatively, they could be tired and slightly drunk, and under the influence of one of his infamous suggestions that such a drug exists.
** Actually, they should only have watched the first few seasons. Mustn't get far enough along to meet New Kochanski, or it gets confusing.
Product concept: Helicopter Parent. It's a quadrotor that follows your daughter around and keeps an eye on her.
With the optional shotgun attachment, it becomes the Chaperone Drone. (Maybe also a pheromone sniffer unit?)
For positive tracking, the subject should be wearing a transponder. Maybe in a locking collar.
No need to build the actual product, just some props for the promotional vid. Basically, a couple of quadrotors, one with a pan/tilt camera mount, plus a toy shotgun (lightweight plastic) and an adapter to hold it in the camera mount.
Cast... need the kid (maybe two, ages 15 and 18), Mom (perky helicopter-parent type), several leering boys (maybe one group of high-school seniors and one of college sophomores), and of course the Voice-Over.
Location: has to look like a school. Also has to be a place where something that looks like an armed drone won't trigger a total freak-out.
If you're out and about, and every so often check your smartphone to see what WiFi networks might be in range, you'll occasionally see an unsecured access point with a name that sounds remarkably like a wireless printer.
Obviously, What The World Needs Now is a smartphone app that, when the phone isn't connected to WiFi, looks for unsecured, default-printer-named access points, figures out approximately what model of printer it's looking at, and sends a print job.
Y'know those QR codes that are displayed everywhere these days? The square arrays of funny dots? Yeah, those.
Certain special codes will give your smartphone heartburn, or even a virus, if you photograph them.
And, here's something cute. Look up the EUrion Constellation. Modern document-handling equipment has government-mandated pattern-recognition features to prevent copying any document containing that pattern.
Well, not so long after 9/11, the brand-new Department of Homeland Security started pushing such things for digital cameras. There are patterns that newer digital cameras will simply refuse to photograph, and you'll think you somehow flubbed pressing the shutter button; there are also patterns that cause the camera to go out of focus, or that cause the camera's internal firmware to blur a region around the pattern.
So, for example, if you want to be anonymous... all you need to do is to get one of the special QR codes tattooed on your forehead. Since all surveillance systems outside of a few top-security government installations are built on commercial technology, the cameras will edit you out.
Actual government agents have such tattoos done in special infrared ink, not visible to the human eye (it's also woven into their clothing in various places). If you look at one of them through, e.g., night-vision goggles, though, you'll see the pattern. And, if you find the right tattoo artist, and know the right handshake, you too can have an invisible anti-surveillance tattoo.
Thing about random numbers is, they don't necessarily look random. Ask a true random-number generator for a 4-digit random number, and 0000 is just as likely as any other.
But 0000 isn't a random-looking number. 3586 is a random-looking number.
So, to generate random-looking decimal numbers... for starters, the first digit can't be zero. It just can't. Or maybe it could be zero, but with a low probability. Then, repeated digits are bad. So:
Start with 10 bins, representing digits 0 through 9. Bin 0 gets maybe a 2% probability, and 1 though 9 get 10.889% each. For each digit in the result, pull a digit out of a bin according to current probabilities, then take some of the probability from that bin and distribute it evenly among the others.
This should result in numbers that look nicely random, despite being considerably less random than really random numbers.
Has someone already done this? I dunno. I haven't done my homework. I'm just being random, or at least random-looking.
It's fashionable in some circles to put short mystic inscriptions on things, preferably in some South- or Southeast-Asian language with a squiggly alphabet - Sanskrit, Thai, Khmer, one of those.
It's not like the people buying the knick-knacks, bumper stickers, and whatnot actually read any of those languages anyway.
With this in mind, here's an ancient blessing of the Mystic East:
Not bad, eh? 'Course, I just cut'n' pasted that from Wikipedia. It should really be written with a brush, or a calligraphy pen, being artistically sloppy 'cause words of power aren't so powerful when neatly rendered by a soulless computer.
Then it needs a good story, and an explanation of what it means. A nice story and a nice explanation, of course; no connection to reality is required.
Then, print those bumper stickers, T-shirts, mugs, and so on, and rake in the cash!
Opening premise: an alien spaceship is on the way, and they didn't call ahead. Their intentions are presumably inimical (else they would have sent radio signals first), and we have only 33 years to respond!
Apparently the aliens' motivations will be revealed later in the book, and will be plausible for their level of technology and the trouble and expense involved in launching such a mission.
But meanwhile, what can I think of?
Well, obviously, they could have discovered that their sun was getting all wibbly-wobbly, and their solar system would soon become uninhabitable. Having decades to respond, they have time for more than "toss some random baby in a tiny probe and send him off to Earth", and embark on a Strangelovian project of packing their top politicians, mad scientists, and supermodels into an interstellar life-pod. (Shades of the Golgafrincham "B" Ark!)
Or - and this was inspired by one of the homophone errors that got past the proofreader of this book - it could be some corporation sending a vast shipload of its assets out-system to avoid home-system taxes.
No? So how about this one: their total civilizational debt has grown to the point where it makes sense to send a hugely expensive expedition across the expanses of space to peddle their government bonds here.
What about: they departed around... oh, never mind. 1937. I was going to suggest that they were pissed off when I Love Lucy went off the air. Or My Favorite Martian. What popular radio show was cancelled in 1916? (Gotta allow 20 years for the next episode to fail to reach them, and a year for them to build and launch their invasion fleet.)
They're finally getting around to checking on their colony here, left during their long-ago Age of Exploration?
(I understand there are space battles yet to come, so none of the explanations I'm coming up with really fit. Whatever. It's fun coming up with them.)