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+ - Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister->

Submitted by eldavojohn
eldavojohn (898314) writes "A turnover in the Greek government resulted from recent snap elections placing SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) in power — just shy of an outright majority by two seats. Atheist and youngest Prime Minister in Greek history since 1865 Alexis Tsipras has been appointed the new prime minister and begun taking immediate drastic steps against the recent austerity laws put in place by prior administrations. One such step has been to appoint Valve's economist Yanis Varoufakis to position of Finance Minister of Greece. For the past three years Varoufakis has been working at Steam to analyze and improve the Steam Market but now has the opportunity to improve one of the most troubled economies in the world."
Link to Original Source

+ - Bill Nye Botches Deflate-Gate Science 1

Submitted by spiedrazer
spiedrazer (555388) writes "It looks like America's favorite non-scientist science authority has weighed in on the physics of the NE Patriots Deflate-Gate "scandal", saying that to change the pressure in a football, you need to have a needle to either let air in our out. This, of course, completely ignores the Ideal Gas Law and the effect that changing temperature would have on the pressure of the gas within the ball. MIT did a "slightly" more scientific look at the physics here and found a pretty significant effect.

I didn't realize that Bill Nye had so little science background, but from his wikipedia page: "Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live!. The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy".[14] His other main recurring role on Almost Live! was as Speedwalker, a speedwalking Seattle superhero.""

Comment: Rumor: Fox Is Planning an X-Files Revival (Score 1) 448

by eldavojohn (#48904215) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?
In the news recently are rumors that Carter, Anderson and Duchovny will reunite for new X-Files episodes. Fox has sorta confirmed this.

I own all the DVDs, a couple years ago I rewatched them. I may come off as a rabid fan at times but the background music was atrociously horrid. Also the story arc plot became overly convoluted and impossible to explain at times. That said, one of the most convoluted characters (Krycek) was my favorite. Aside from several minor valid criticisms like that, I really think it's a great platform for modern storytelling.

I do have to ask myself, at times, if there is some level of insane conspiracy theory today that we owe at least in part to those people watching X-Files when younger. I have to admit that the 9/11 inside job truthers movement claims could have been ripped from the pages of an X-Files script.

My biggest concern, of course, is whether or not it could still be fresh. With recent high quality additions to television canon, we'd have to be prepared for Chris Carter coming back at us with a 90's angle when episodes like Home really aren't as shocking anymore. The bar has been raised (thankfully).

Right now, The X-Files is going to occupy a contextual place in television history like The Twilight Zone. A revival could very well tarnish that. On the other hand, I've never felt like I really received closure on the whole story arc ...

+ - Ask Slashdot: GPU of choice for OpenCL on Linux?

Submitted by Bram Stolk
Bram Stolk (24781) writes "So, I am running GNU/Linux on a modern Haswell CPU, with an old Radeon HD5xxx from 2009. I'm pretty happy with the open source Gallium driver for 3D acceleration.

But now I want to do some GPGPU development using OpenCL on this box, and the old GPU will no longer cut it. What do my fellow technophiles from slashdot recommend as a replacement GPU? Go nVidia, go AMD, or just use the integrated Intel GPU instead? Bonus points for open sourced solutions. Performance not really important, but OpenCL driver maturity is."

Comment: Re:Is FORTRAN still winning? Was Re:Poor Alan Kay (Score 1) 190

by macklin01 (#48895229) Attached to: Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

Repeatedly allocating and deallocating can give a huge performance hit, so I tend to do all my allocations before the main loop. Not entirely sure why the penalty is so big, but it seems to be - these are allocations of hundreds of MB or even a few GB, so the cost of operations done on the arrays should dwarf the cost of the allocation.

It's a hardware thing -- the memory bus and memory read/write speeds are still a limiting factors, particularly as CPU cores get faster and more efficient. In any code, memory operations (allocations, copies, and deallocations) are performance killers and best avoided wherever possible (e.g., pre-allocating memory as you are, using temp variables that don't get deallocated, overloading operator+= operations to avoid hidden allocation and copy operations, etc.) The general rule:

[Disk access] is much slower than [memory access] is much slower than [CPU operations] (esp. those in the cache)

FWIW, I'm writing big finite volume codes in C++ (preparing for an open source release), and we deal with these very same issues. Our biggest performance gains (outside of choosing stable algorithms without time step restrictions and using OpenMP) are from avoiding memory allocations and copies, working on vectors of variables rather than individual variables, overloading things like operator+= on std::vector, and using BLAS (particularly axpy). Also identifying any operations that can be pre-computed (like certain steps in Thomas solvers) is helpful. :-)

+ - Quantum Computing Without Qubits->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For more than 20 years, Ivan H. Deutsch has struggled to design the guts of a working quantum computer. He has not been alone. The quest to harness the computational might of quantum weirdness continues to occupy hundreds of researchers around the world. Why hasn’t there been more to show for their work? As physicists have known since quantum computing’s beginnings, the same characteristics that make quantum computing exponentially powerful also make it devilishly difficult to control. The quantum computing “nightmare” has always been that a quantum computer’s advantages in speed would be wiped out by the machine’s complexity.

Yet progress is arriving on two main fronts. First, researchers are developing unique quantum error-correction techniques that will help keep quantum processors up and running for the time needed to complete a calculation. Second, physicists are working with so-called analog quantum simulators — machines that can’t act like a general-purpose computer, but rather are designed to explore specific problems in quantum physics. A classical computer would have to run for thousands of years to compute the quantum equations of motion for just 100 atoms. A quantum simulator could do it in less than a second."

Link to Original Source

+ - Barrett Brown, formerly of Anonymous, sentenced to 63 months

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Barrett Brown, a journalist formerly linked to the hacking group Anonymous, was sentenced Thursday to over five years in prison, or a total of 63 months. Ahmed Ghappour, Brown's attorney, confirmed to Ars that Brown's 28 months already served will count toward the sentence. That leaves 34 months, or nearly three years, left for him to serve. In April 2014, Brown took a plea deal admitting guilt on three charges: “transmitting a threat in interstate commerce,” for interfering with the execution of a search warrant, and to being "accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer." Brown originally was indicted in Texas federal court in December 2012 on several counts, including accusations that he posted a link from one Internet relay chat channel, called #Anonops, to another channel under his control, called #ProjectPM. The link led to private data that had been hijacked from intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, or Statfor."

+ - The camera that changed the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "As the Hubble Space Telescope gets set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of opening its eyes to the Universe, it's important to realize that the first four years of operations were kind of a disaster. It wasn't until they corrected the flawed primary mirror and installed an upgraded camera — the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) — that the Universe truly came into focus. From 1993 to 2009, this workhorse camera literally changed our view of the Universe, and we're pushing even past those limits today."

+ - Sen. Sessions, calls STEM shortage a hoax, appt to head immigration->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The Senate's two top Republican critics of temporary worker immigration, specifically the H-1B and L-1 visas, now hold the two most important immigration posts in the Senate. They are Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who heads the Senate's Judiciary Committee, and his committee underling, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who was appointed by Grassley on Thursday to head the immigration subcommittee. Sessions was appointed one week after accusing the tech industry of perpetuating a "hoax" by claiming there is a shortage of qualified U.S. tech workers. "The tech industry's promotion of expanded temporary visas — such as the H-1B — and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor," wrote Sessions, in a memo he sent last week to fellow lawmakers. Sessions, late Thursday, issued a statement about his new role as immigration subcommittee chairman, and said the committee "will give voice to those whose voice has been shut out,” and that includes “the voice of the American IT workers who are being replaced with guest workers.""
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Comment: And? (Score 4, Interesting) 197

by NitsujTPU (#48858891) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

1) Clearly bad passwords will be the most popular. Some people will blow off security and will pick a bad password.
2) There are no data in the article regarding how frequently these passwords are used.
3) There is no representation of what these passwords are protecting. Maybe these are passwords to something harmless like accounts in some children's game. In which case, who cares?

+ - These Geeks Want to Fix the Drought 1

Submitted by bearhuntz
bearhuntz (3985253) writes "VC-backed WaterSmart is trying to fix the California drought by using data and shame.

“Research shows,” says Yolles, “that only one out of ten people are motivated to save money and only one out of ten are motivated to save the environment. But eight out of ten will do so to keep up with the Joneses.”

Original story: https://medium.com/backchannel..."

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