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osOpinion: The Nuclear Penguin

“I have been serendipitously gathering analogies between the
world of IT and the world of science. It’s not surprising that
there should be many parallels, since technology is science at
work.”

“Most naturally-occurring uranium is isotope 238 but about 1% is
isotope 235. When U-235 is separated from U-238 it becomes
‘fissionable material,’ suitable for use in nuclear reactors or
bombs. But to have a self-sustaining nuclear reaction you need a
certain minimum mass of U-235, the so-called ‘critical mass.’ If
you have done your sums correctly, the final result will be a
large, radioactive crater.”

“Recently several journalists have said that the number of
Linux applications is rising exponentially and is approaching
‘critical mass.’ If that is the case, then it won’t be long before
Redmond disappears off the map.”


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