An anonymous reader writes "Today the source code to the Rootbeer GPU Compiler was released as open source on github. This work allows for a developer to use almost any Java code on the GPU. It is free, open source and highly tested. Rootbeer is the most full featured translator to convert Java Bytecode to CUDA. It allows arbitrary graphs of objects to be serialized to the GPU and the GPU kernel to be written in Java." Rootbeer is the work of Syracuse University instructor Phil Pratt-Szeliga.
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An anonymous reader writes "As we (very gradually) move away from feudal, leader-based forms of governance to collaborative and open source governance, some interesting new issues arise. The biggest is usually user authentication: how can we avoid sock-puppets and spammers from overtaking the voting process? Enter the concept of the streetwiki, an ingenious system for having humans validate their physical neighbors. Bleeding-edge social organization meets ancient validation protocol."
SternisheFan snips this news from Tech Radar: "The Surface tablets that Microsoft will start selling on 26 October at Microsoft Stores (and in temporary 'holiday stores' in twelve US cities including New York) are only the first of a planned family of Windows devices and Surface 2.0 is already under development. Although Microsoft corporate communications chief Frank Shaw said recently that calling Surface 'our new family of PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows' was no more than 'literary licence' and that there was nothing more than the two tablets already announced, the Surface team is 'currently building the next generation' of 'devices that fully express the Windows vision' — according to more than a dozen job adverts posted on the Microsoft Careers site between June and August."
An anonymous reader writes "The Danish amateur rocket group Copenhagen Suborbitals are readying to test their Launch Escape System for the Tycho Deep Space capsule in the Baltic Sea east of the island Bornholm Sunday 12th August. Live coverage can be found at rocketfriends.org, livestream.com, Wired's Rocket Shop and raketvenner.dk. Live transmissions are expected from 8 am localtime (UTC+2). Live transmissions, audio commentary as well as VHF audio are expected to be available. The Tycho Deep Space is the intended capsule for a later planned suborbital shoot to the edge of Space led by Peter Madsen and Christian von Bengtson."
Reader SternisheFan links to a press release at UCLA, and excerpts from it another bit of Mars news: "For years, many scientists had thought that plate tectonics existed nowhere in our solar system but on Earth. Now, a UCLA scientist has discovered that the geological phenomenon, which involves the movement of huge crustal plates beneath a planet's surface, also exists on Mars. 'Mars is at a primitive stage of plate tectonics. It gives us a glimpse of how the early Earth may have looked and may help us understand how plate tectonics began on Earth,' said An Yin, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences and the sole author of the new research."
An anonymous reader writes "Last week at SIGGRAPH, Pixar Animation Studios announced OpenSubdiv, an open source implementation of the Renderman subdivision surface technology, thus releasing the patents to the long standing Pixar 'secret sauce.' In addition to the offline subdivision scheme, it also includes a GPU implementation. This video demonstrates a realtime deforming subdivision surface running at 50 FPS in Maya (though it is freely available to use anywhere). The source code is available on Pixar's GitHub account." Says the project's site: "OpenSubdiv is covered by the Microsoft Public License, and is free to use for commercial or non-commercial use. This is the same code that Pixar uses internally for animated film production."
An anonymous reader writes "Hugo Campos got an implanted cardiac defibrillator shortly after collapsing on a BART train platform. He wants access to the data wirelessly collected by the computer implanted in his body, but the manufacturer says No. It seems weird that a patient can't get access to data about his own heart. Hugo and several medical device engineers are responding to live Q/A on Sunday night on such topics via ACM MedCOMM webcast at ACM SIGCOMM."
New submitter damitr asks: "What is the most ergonomic position if you are working with a laptop or a desktop (with or without wireless keyboard and mouse) for long hours at stretch? Is bean bag for sitting with a laptop a good option? What is the best way to use a desktop without causing tennis elbow and backache/neck problems?"
First time accepted submitter ZombieBraintrust writes "Pumice, the lightweight stone used to smooth skin, is usually found in beauty salons, but on Thursday sailors from New Zealand's Royal Navy found nearly 10,000 square miles of the lava rock bobbing on the surface of the South Pacific Ocean."
redletterdave writes with this snippet from the IB Times: "Five days after NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars, the one-ton robot sent another postcard back to Earth, this one a 360-degree doozy. Curiosity's first panorama, albeit black-and-white, gives Earthlings a great high-quality glimpse at the surface on Mars, specifically within the 96-mile Gale Crater."
First time accepted submitter ahree writes "I'm starting up a restaurant with my wife and a few friends and, well, I'd like to support the OS community and hope that this is a way to do it. Simply put, we need to take care of bookkeeping, accounting & payroll and I'd rather not use QuickBooks. I've heard of some options that are open source (GnuCash), some that are cheaper & simpler (WaveAccounting), but I'm wondering what your experience with them (and others) has been like."
theodp writes "Perturbed by a GigaOm item which likened him to 'Darth Vader doing some charity work as he completes the Death Star,' Intellectual Ventures CEO Nathan Myhrvold talks about the goals of his 'Global Good' program and fires back at critics in an interview with GeekWire's Todd Bishop. The technology industry is a little too obsessed with 'sending little messages to each other and having fun on a social network' for Myhrvold, who hopes to tackle bigger problems like malaria, polio, and HIV with the help of funding from buddy Bill Gates. 'I don't mean to call Zynga out in a negative way,' says Myhrvold, 'but is Zynga doing God's work? Is Facebook doing God's work? Even setting aside what God's work means, I think it's pretty easy to say, those companies are doing wonderful things, but they are for-profit ventures. It's either tools or toys for the rich.' BTW, if you're ready to do God's work, IV's looking for a Vice President, Global Good."
CuteSteveJobs writes "Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has been forced to back down on her government's unpopular plan to force ISPs to store the web history and social networking of all Australians for two years. The plan has been deeply unpopular with the public, with hackers attacking the government's spy agency. Public servants at the spy agency promoting the scheme been scathing of the government, saying: 'These reforms are urgently needed to deal with a rapidly evolving security environment, but there isn't much appetite within the government for anything that attracts controversy,' but a document on the scheme released under the Freedom of Information Act had 90% of it redacted to prevent 'premature unnecessary debate.' Roxon hasn't dropped the unpopular scheme entirely, but only delayed it until after the next election."
Shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, Republican candidate Mitt Romney officially announced (via phone app) his selection of 42-year-old Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as running mate for the 2012 U.S. presidential race. Ryan's selection was announced by the Romney campaign to various media outlets earlier this morning. Ryan is considered popular among a wide range of Republican voters, being a budget hawk who favors less liberal laws concerning abortion. Ryan's lauded popularity among Tea Party voters is mixed; some reports describe him as a Tea Party favorite, others as a far-right imposter.
colinneagle writes with this excerpt from Network World: "The final build of Windows 8 has already leaked to torrent sites, which is giving the propellerheads a chance to dig through the code. One revelation will probably not sit well with enterprise customers: you can't bypass the don't-call-it-Metro UI. Normally, you have to boot Windows 8 and when the tiled desktop UI (formerly known as Metro) came up, you had to click on one of the boxes to launch Explorer. Prior builds of Windows 8 allowed the user to create a shortcut so you bypass Metro and go straight to the Explorer desktop. Rafael Rivera, co-author of the forthcoming Windows 8 Secrets, confirmed to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet that Microsoft does indeed block the boot bypass routine from prior builds. He also believes that Microsoft has blocked the ability for administrators to use Group Policy to allow users to bypass the tiled startup screen. There had been hope that Microsoft would at least relent and let corporate users have a bypass, if only for compatibility's sake."