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Comment: LINPACK/LAPACK/Netlib (Score 2) 314

by Arathon (#37527420) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Successful Software From Academia?
right up front: I know about this only because I work for these guys, but...

there's a whole host of Linear Algebra-related software written for high performance computing environments that is attributable largely to various teams of academics throughout the past 30 or so years. It is my understanding that these libraries get used by most anyone doing high-performance computing.

http://www.netlib.org/lapack/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAPACK

Comment: SmugMug (Score 1) 680

by Arathon (#34948830) Attached to: How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?
$40/year, unlimited storage, unlimited uploads, will keep things private, and unlimited traffic for the photos you want to share. They use Amazon's S3 server system, which is the platinum standard in digital archival safety. Plus, they're cooler than Flickr. The only way this doesn't work is if your internet connection isn't pretty decent. Then, keeping up with the uploads could become a pain.
Idle

Halo Elite Cosplay Puts Others To Shame 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the using-your-time-wisely dept.
AndrewGOO9 writes "Pete Mander, a special effects artist from Ontario, Canada seems like he might have either had way too much time on his hands or just really enjoys Halo. Either way, this is one of those costumes that makes all of the cosplayers at a con feel like their best efforts just weren't quite up to par."

Comment: Re:Just what we need (Score 1) 1100

by Arathon (#29208233) Attached to: Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?
Millions of scientists? Really? This is one of my least favorite arguments for anything scientific, ever. Let's all please face the truth that the vast, vast majority of scientific theories (even those which have been firmly established for centuries) have only ever been verified by numbers of scientists in the thousands, if not hundreds. Most science, while still good science, isn't something just anyone can verify. And it is not remotely true that millions of scientists have somehow verified the current theories of global warming.

Comment: Re:Another kdawson special... (Score 1) 756

by Arathon (#29194749) Attached to: Behind the 4GB Memory Limit In 32-Bit Windows
Having actually RTFA (I know, I know -- "what?!?"), I felt like it was a pretty fair assessment of the situation. Particularly, I felt like the emphasis was on the disingenuousness of Microsoft's claims that 32-bit systems could not support >4GB of memory (not on the possibilities of illegality). Further, your analogy is faulty in multiple ways, because Ford advertises the car as having a rev-limiter and speed-limiter, and advertises these things as being safety features. Microsoft, so far as I can tell, is not being upfront about its market segmentation, and is attempting to hide behind a wall of misinformation about 32-bit systems.

I've seen plenty of pointless Microsoft-bashing articles here at Slashdot. This doesn't seem like one of them. I'm not ashamed to say that I learned a lot from it, and that I wasn't previously aware of the details surrounding PAE (things I never would have discovered unless they were highlighted on a tech-news digest site like Slashdot, since I don't regularly peruse websites dealing with Windows-specific kernel research).
PC Games (Games)

Left 4 Dead 2 Announced For November 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-need-a-zombie-topic-icon dept.
hansamurai writes "Left 4 Dead 2 has been announced at E3, and a trailer for the game has surfaced. It will be released November 17, 2009, just a year after the first game. Gameplay changes include a new focus on melee weapons, especially the iconic anti-zombie weapon, the chainsaw. The cast of characters is brand new, but the plot appears to take place during the same zombie outbreak." The game is being developed for the PC and Xbox 360, and Valve says it will make use of a new version of their AI engine, which has the ability to "procedurally change weather effects, world objects, and pathways in addition to tailoring the enemy population, effects, and sounds to match the players' performance." Rock, Paper, Shotgun got the chance to do a hands-on preview, providing details about the gameplay and confirming that "it's a coherent new imagining of the game, this time bigger, smarter, and far more elaborate. Oh, and gloriously more gory."
Programming

+ - Humor in code: unprofessional or not? 2

Submitted by DrVomact
DrVomact (726065) writes "Do you ever inject humor into the comments of your code or—heaven forfend—into the code itself? I recently had a "code review" of a Perl automation program I had written for my department. The salient criticism that emerged was that there was "sarcasm" in my comments, and that this was unprofessional. In retrospect, it was not surprising that the criticisms concentrated on my comments, as no one else in this group does much programming (the PHB claims to have "been a coder" once upon a time...I think he wrote COBOL on punch cards); nevertheless I was dumbstruck. What kind of world is it where you aren't allowed the occasional funny comment in your code? Do we have to be serious all the time? I asked a programmer in the "R & D" group of this paleolithically conservative company I work for, and he responded with a complete unsolicited psychoanalysis: he advised that I should develop a "professional personality" that was different from my real one I use at home. I was shocked—nay, mystified: where do you learn how to do that?

But let's concentrate on the smaller, more manageable issue: is humor in comments truly verboten? Am I the only one who makes the occasional light remark, or even a self-deprecating reminder to "Change this, you idiot...what were you thinking"? I've resolved to take the humor issue to a jury of my peers: to wit, the esteemed denizens of Slashdot.

I received an annotated copy of my code from my PHB, pointing out all my lapses into "unprofessionalism." Here are a few of the lines from my program that were deemed "unprofessional", along with my comments, and meta comments). I cannot actually guarantee that there is any genuinely funny stuff here, only that my completely humorless PHB suspected that it might be tainted. (Sorry about the lack of indenting...couldn't figure out how to make Slashdot's subset of HTML do that.)

BEGIN {
if ($^O eq 'MSWin32') {
use Win32::Console;
Win32::Console::Free( );
}
}

Weirdly, nobody thought this was at all funny or objectionable.

# Set the directory if we got lucky
This was in a set of nested conditional tests that tried to find a file, no matter what crazy place the person running the program had stuck it. I fail to see this as sarcasm...I call it "cheerful optimism".

# Fix nasty problem where...
Comment in code that fixes crazy stuff in input files. Apparently, the word "nasty" is nasty.

$sysreturn = $proc->wait; # This gets exit code of process (it's already gone, so it's not really going to wait)
The parenthetical comment was marked as objectionable. You got me; I thought this was a potentially confusing line of code, and that the comment helped.

} else { # For all others, we just need to recover the original declarations that got eaten by the XSLTs
The word "eaten" was deemed unprofessional, sarcastic, or something.

my $status = shift @_; # 1 means the error causes certain death, undef or 0 means it's a warning (user gets to try again), 2 means it's a "notification"
Describes possible values passed to an error handler; "certain death" was deemed objectionable. Perhaps it was construed as a threat?

my %args = @_; # Stuff arguments into a hash, so we can look them up one at a time
"stuff" is an offensive word, apparently. All instances of "stuff" were marked as offensive. Good thing I didn't use "slurp", or "suck", huh?

if($name ne "subsection") { # We want the minor stuff included with first subsect file
To my great consternation, "stuff" is objectionable both as a verb and a noun! I think maybe PHB was using search-and-replace for his code analysis, though.

$button_text="Bummer!"; # It's NOT OK, man!
This one caused the most outrage. It's actually part of the code, unlike the other cases—it's the text of a button in a fatal error dialog. I completely hate when an application notifies me of a fatal error and asks me to click a button labeled "OK"—as if asking for my approval for having screwed up. Like my comment says...it's not OK. PHB wanted "OK", but I finally changed it to "Exit".

So, I ask you, my peers of Slashdot, to pass judgment on me: am I hopelessly unprofessional? Or have I discovered the real reason why so many programmers don't comment their code?"
Bug

+ - Ubuntu's Laptop Killing Bug Fixed->

Submitted by
jeevesbond
jeevesbond writes "Back in October of 2007 Slashdot reported on a bug that would dramatically shorten the life of laptops using Ubuntu. Ubuntu users will be glad to know that a fix has finally been released for Ubuntu versions: 9.04, 8.10 and 8.04 (LTS). However, as this fix is not yet in the update repositories, anyone wishing to test it should follow these instructions for enabling the 'proposed' repository. Report your results on the original bug report. Happy testing!"
Link to Original Source
PlayStation (Games)

+ - Sony cuts prices on PS3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Sony has announced price cuts on the high-end model, and also is introducing a new low-end model in the US($399). The new model has lost the ability to play PlayStation 2 games, a decision based on the "extensive" lineup of PlayStation 3 games. The 80GB model, which retains backward compatibility, will now retail for $499."

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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