Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Submission Hewlett-Packard Is Working On A Revolutionary Computer and OS

jones_supa writes: Hewlett-Packard is planning to take an extremely ambitious step toward giving a refresh to the architecture of a traditional computer and its operating system. The company's research division is working to create a computer which HP calls The Machine. A key idea is that HP's design shall use memristors for both temporary and long-term data storage. There would also be other novel features such as using optical fiber instead of copper wiring for data buses. Next summer the team aims to complete an operating system designed for The Machine, called Linux++, bundled with emulation tools to run existing applications. Linux++ is intended to ultimately be replaced by an operating system called Carbon, which is designed from scratch for The Machine. The chief architect of the project is Kirk Bresniker and a working prototype of The Machine is expected to be ready by 2016.

Comment Re:My god, it's full of troll. (Score 2, Insightful) 244

I couldn't agree more. In my previous job, I had a colleague who wanted to convert me from SVN to Bazaar (

He told me "it was very simple to use, you only have to..." and then started drawing a very complicated diagram on my whiteboard.

Personally, I thought it was complete overkill for the two-man project we were working on.

Comment Re:Hahahahahaha (Score 5, Interesting) 350

No one is saying that device drives will magically start working flawlessly because their source code is open, although it will make it easier to track down bugs (see Linus Torvalds' quote about the number of eyeballs).

The main point, however, is that now Linux distributions can ship these drives out of the box, so wireless devices will work straight away. Until now the biggest (and dare I say only?) problem I've had with installing Linux on a laptop is finding and installing the right drivers for wireless network cards.

Submission American admissions to U.S. grad schools falls->

quantumstream writes: "Admissions to U.S. grad schools are increasingly going to international students according to the latest data published by the Council of Graduate Schools [warning: PDF file]. Despite a 9% increase from both American and international applicants, admissions for international applicants increased by 3% compared to a 1% decline for U.S. applicants. Major increases were noted from China (16%) and Turkey (10%), while admissions for South Korean and Indian applicants fell. Interesting, these increases were not exclusive to the natural sciences and engineering, but included the humanities (1%) and business schools (8%). As these trends continue, one wonders what effects these changes will have on the next generation of U.S. knowledge workers and the immigration debate in Congress."
Link to Original Source

Submission The Mainframe: Dead Or Alive?->

FlorianMueller writes: When the EU Commission launched its antitrust investigation against IBM last week, some were wondering whether there would still be mainframes around when the case is settled. But not so fast: eWEEK Europe just conducted a poll on mainframe spendings, and 30% of the respondents even plan to increase their mainframe capacities. At a recent presentation of the new mainframe generation, an IBM executive boldly said: "Western civilization runs on this system." So does IBM, owing 25% of its revenues and more than 40% of its total profits to the mainframe business. Mainframe software is a $24.5 billion market, twice as big as the Linux market. 200-300 billion lines of legacy code (much of it in COBOL) are still in use. So it's not just Microsoft and patent activists who take an interest in this.
Link to Original Source

Submission Microsoft's new F# programming language-> 3

Gary W. Longsine writes: The Register has a fascinating (or nearly incomprehensible, depending on your tolerance for multiple simultaneous sweeping generalizations and caffeine level) article about F#, Microsoft's new programming language, apparently inspired by Objective Caml. Is there room for F# in the crowded field of programming languages?
Link to Original Source

Submission Debate: Is traditional Operations obsolete now?->

Lord Straxus writes: There's a debate going on over at InfoQ right now which revolves around the role of Operations in modern software development teams, whether traditional Operations teams have been obsoleted by the cloud and developers doing ops tasks, or whether there's still a place for all those DBAs and sysadmins. Choice quotes include:

- "to put it bluntly, when my app is deployed in a cloud, who needs Ops?"
- "it seems as if folks expect systems in the cloud to manage themselves, which is a mistake"
- "Extrapolating that logic, I would contend the development team should be doing the company accounting because software developers are good with numbers"
- "Most ops people are not developers, cannot read code and would not be able to track down a problem whose root cause was buried within the application layer"
- "Why is Ops penalized for missing an SLA target if the failure was not related to faulty infrastructure or processes, but failing code?"
- "change is bad for operations, while software development *is* change"
- "I have been in operations for over 30 years and you will never hear me advocate the elimination of operations. However, I think as industry operations needs to clean up and man up"
- "'Ops > Dev' is the common case in enterprises where operations puts a hold on everything developers do out of fear & risk control. 'Dev > Ops' is a pipe dream where developers are the new operators"
- "In short, and this may be painful for some to hear, many aspects of operations are being automated through programming and are less necessary. That's not to say there is no need for dedicated operations positions, but that they are changing their nature to higher level tasks"

Seems like a pretty good discussion is going on!

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Not all databases are for business (Score 1) 444

I didn't (want to) say that all RDBMS won't cut it. The only point I wanted to make was that while I can see the point of the author that solutions like Cassandra are a bit overrated for most business applications, for other applications domains they are becoming a viable solution.

Comment No all databases are for business (Score 1) 444

I think the author of TFA is missing something: not all databases / datastores are developed for businesses to keep track of their inventories. These days, many scientific disciplines, such as bioinformatics, rely heavily on databases as well.

The latest experimental techniques produce so much data such that "old-fashioned" RDBMSs just don't cut it anymore. So, for certain application domains, NoSQL seems to be at the moment the way forward. I'm afraid the author can wish all the he wants but NoSQL is gonna be around for a while. Until something better comes up, that is.

GNU is Not Unix

Submission Can Free Software Save us from Social Networks?-> 1

Glyn Moody writes: Here's a problem for free software: most social networks are built using it, yet through their constant monitoring of users they do little to promote freedom. Eben Moglen, General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation for 13 years, and the legal brains behind several versions of the GNU GPL, thinks that the free software world needs to fix this with a major new hardware+software project. "The most attractive hardware is the ultra-small, ARM-based, plug it into the wall, wall-wart server. An object can be sold to people at a very low one-time price, and brought home and plugged into an electrical outlet and plugged into a wall jack for the Ethernet, and you're done. It comes up, it gets configured through your Web browser on whatever machine you want to have in the apartment with it, and it goes and fetches all your social networking data from all the social networking applications, closing all your accounts. It backs itself up in an encrypted way to your friends' plugs, so that everybody is secure in the way that would be best for them, by having their friends holding the secure version of their data." Could such a plan work, or is it simply too late to get people to give up their Facebook accounts, even for something that gives them more freedom?
Link to Original Source

Submission Can "Page's Law" be Broken? 1

theodp writes: "Speaking at the Google I/O Developer Conference, Sergey Brin described Google's efforts to defeat "Page's Law," the tendency of software to get twice as slow every 18 months. 'Fortunately, the hardware folks offset that,' Brin joked. 'We would like to break Page's Law and have our software become increasingly fast on the same hardware.' Page, of course, refers to Google co-founder Larry Page, last seen delivering a nice from-the-heart commencement address at Michigan that's worth a watch (or read)."

Comment Re:99% of the answers are going to be Eclipse (Score 5, Insightful) 1055

I don't think the parent's point about handling 10k lines of code has to do with with ability to load these files into memory but rather about managing the complexity of such projects. When a program becomes this big, it becomes harder to keep track of all the names of variables, the argument types of subroutines etc. IDEs like Netbeans or Eclipse have autocompletion functionality that make your life as a developer at lot easier.

It's possible of course that Emacs or vi provide similar functionality but the main point is that you need some type of IDE when managing a large, complex development project.


The Perils of Pointless Innovation In Games 260

Negative Gamer is running a story discussing the need felt by the major game developers to create the next huge blockbuster, which often leads to innovation and change for their own sake rather than simply focusing on what makes a game fun. Quoting: "There seems to be this invisible pressure to create something that is highly 'intuitive' and incorporates the highest level of innovation that we have ever seen. The problem is that the newest ideas put into games are either gimmicky, terrible in execution, or blatantly ripping off another title. On the other hand there are series that feel the need to completely revamp a game that played perfectly fine before into something completely new that falls flat on its face. ... There's a critical problem with popular, mainstream video games that isn't as large with other mediums; they are expensive to make and require a lot of time and effort put in to create something masterful. With that, games must take cautious paths. I fully understand the risks, but adding unneeded material to certain games is not justifiable."

Strange Glitches In Games 282

Parz writes "Even the best of game developers can leave a big dirty glitch buried within its products that can turn a gameplay experience on its head (sometimes literally). Gameplayer has trawled through the web to locate video footage of some of the more amazing and hilarious examples of glitches in games. It acts as an interesting insight into the bugs that some games — especially today — ship with. What interesting bugs have you encountered?"

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.