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Comment: Re:MacBook Pros (Score 2, Interesting) 102

by Belisar (#31079424) Attached to: NVIDIA Shows Off "Optimus" Switchable Graphics For Notebooks

The new thing seems to be that you can actually switch between the onboard and 'real' GPU on the fly and fast while everything is running.

The previous laptops with switchable graphics, such as my Sony Vaio which had a Geforce and an Intel chips, did have to at least reboot the graphics system (on OS X) or reboot the whole computer (Windows) in order to go to the power saving mode.

In my experience, I usually was too lazy / didn't want to close my work and kept using the good GPU all the time. The only times I'd work up the enthusiasm to actually switch over was before a flight or something where I'd know I'd not need the power.

Comment: Re:Article Has No Meat. (Score 1) 165

by Belisar (#30787980) Attached to: Using EMP To Punch Holes In Steel

Are you sure?

An atmosphere is defined as roughly the pressure exerted by one kilogram of mass in Earth gravity on one cm^2. The article claims the area is also around one cm^2 large, so that means the mass would be about 3500 kg. A 2010 VW Golf weighs about 1,451kg, so this would actually be less than 3 cars.

Comment: Re:More than just graphics (Score 1) 175

by Belisar (#29602227) Attached to: Nvidia Discloses Details On Next-gen Fermi GPU

Actually, GPUs started out doing all rendering in fixed point arithmetic, i.e. the equivalent to integers. That worked fine for rasterizing and shading for quite a while.

Then, they started doing limited-precision floating point support (with some 16-bit 'half' floats and other non-standard-conforming weirdness). Only later did they actually go on to support full IEEE floats. The current (as in, can buy them now) generation added IEEE double for both manufacturers, but of course performance is about an eighth or so of single precision.

Comment: Re:Well, it works awesome if your problem is parel (Score 2, Interesting) 134

by Belisar (#28007707) Attached to: Five Nvidia CUDA-Enabled Apps Tested

I assume that's what the parent meant.

As an addendum, the newest CUDA 2.2 (with chip of the newest generation, i.e. GT200) actually has support for reading directly from (page-locked) host memory inside of GPU kernels... something I believe ATI cards have allowed for a while.

GNU is Not Unix

+ - iD and Valve violating GPL

Submitted by frooge
frooge (1006611) writes "With the recent release of iD's catalog on Steam, it appears DOSBox is being used to run the old DOS games for greater compatibility. According to a post on the Halflife2.net forums, however, this distribution does not contain a copy of the GPL license that DOSBox is distributed under, which violates the license. According to the DOSBox developers, they were not notified that it was being used for this release."
Linux Business

Dell To Linux Users — Not So Fast 356

Posted by kdawson
from the still-with-the-Windows-tax? dept.
PetManimal writes to tell us that after all the hubbub over Dell's note about manufacturing Linux-friendly Dells and choosing distros, the company is now telling users not to expect factory-installed Linux laptops and desktops anytime soon. According to the article, Dell says that lining up certification, support, and training will 'take a lot of work.' "The company said today that the note was just about certifying the hardware for being ready to work with Novell SUSE Linux, not an announcement that the computers would be loaded and sold with the operating system in the near future..."
Enlightenment

+ - Definitive answer to Fermi's Paradox

Submitted by
fiveniner
fiveniner writes "I have written my definitive answer to Fermi's paradox, which I think is pretty more accurate and fun than the one shown one month ago in slashdot (http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/ 19/1515205) I really belive no one can argument on it. Here it goes: (link to my post: http://logforbuggymind.blogspot.com/2007/02/my-own -response-to-fermis-paradox.html ) So today I came with my own response to Fermi's paradox: As the technology and science knowledge of extraterrestrial civilizations advance, they feel eager to conquer the rest of the universe, but at some point in that way to the universe, they advance in science enough to know how does their brain work, and they realize that being eager to conquer the world is an impulse originated by their desire of power, which ultimately only gives pleasure because some neurotransmitters activate when "power" is achieved. So before they can even go and conquer the universe, they discover a drug which gives that same pleasure, but without conquering the universe, just eating a pill, so then they eat the pill, and dont want to conquer anything, because they are happy, and after that, they discover that disappearing is not such a bad option, so they decide to just disappear, so that's why there's no evidence of extraterrestrial life, it's better to have drugs and disappear. That's the ULTIMATE ANSWER to Life, the Universe and Everything thanks and best regards... (I love karma) elias"
The Almighty Buck

+ - Dow Jones Plunge Fueled by Overwhelmed Computers

Submitted by
cloudscout
cloudscout writes "The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 400 points today. While there were various valid financial reasons for such a decline, some of the blame is being placed on computer systems that couldn't keep up with the abnormally high volume at the New York Stock Exchange and the resulting tremor as they switched over to a backup system. In other words, Dow Jones got Slashdotted."

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