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Score one for the good guys. A Los Angeles court has ruled that file-sharing technologies, like VCRs, have substantial uses which do not infringe copyrights, and are therefore legal. Since other courts have held the opposite, this is by no means over, but it's a small step in the right direction.
(Link by way of Metafilter)
While we're on the subject, I read Lawrence Lessig's book, The Future of Ideas, on my trip. (Previously discussed here.) It's excellent, and will probably go in the Bookstore as soon as I have time. Lessig explains in thorough but readable detail what a legal "commons" is, why a commons of ideas is important, and how both real and intellectual property rights have always balanced individual and societal interests.
I'll put together a more detailed article on the MRS Meeting once I have a chance to digest my notes a little bit. This is just a few quick impressions....
Interface issues are a very big deal for both copper lines and low-k interconnects. The interface helps control electromigration in copper. In dielectrics, surface effects have a very big impact on mechanical behavior.
Integrating low-k dielectrics other than FSG is extremely difficult. People are still arguing about what the failure mechanisms even are, much less what to do about them.
The sessions devoted to flexible electronics and organic electronics were very well attended. I didn't see enough to really evaluate the science, but the amount of effort suggests that real progress is likely in the next few years.
SiGe/strained Si is also getting a lot of attention. There's a lot of debate about the best way to get a high quality silicon device surface with a predictable amount of lattice strain.
More highlights are at the MRS site, too. They do a good job; definitely worth a look.
Through the 90K barrier. 1200 words in the last few days, 90,435 since January 1.
You know, technology does no good at all unless you actually use it. I spent half an hour this afternoon sitting in a hotel lobby waiting for my lunch meeting to show up. Meanwhile, a block away, the person I was waiting for was sitting in a different hotel lobby waiting for me to show up. We'd crossed signals about the meeting location. Worse, even though we both had cell phones with us, neither of us had the other person's cell number. OOPS!
I'm traveling, so updates are likely to be sporadic over the next few days. I'm still writing, though. 4050 words since April 16, for a total of 89,235 since January 1.
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