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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - 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."

+ - Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug or a Feature?->

Submitted by sarahnaomi
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "SimCity players have discussed a variety of creative strategies for their virtual homelessness problem. They’ve suggested waiting for natural disasters like tornadoes to blow the vagrants away, bulldozing parks where they congregate, or creating such a woefully insufficient city infrastructure that the homeless would leave on their own.

You can read all of these proposed final solutions in Matteo Bittanti's How to Get Rid of Homelessness, "a 600-page epic split in two volumes documenting the so-called 'homeless scandal' that affected 2013's SimCity." Bittanti collected, selected, and transcribed thousands of these messages exchanged by players on publisher Electronic Arts' official forums, Reddit, and the largest online SimCity community Simtropolis, who experienced and then tried to "eradicate" the phenomenon of homelessness that "plagued" SimCity."

Link to Original Source

+ - Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Siddhesh Poyarekar from Red Hat has taken a professional look into mathematical functions found in Glibc (the GNU C library). He has been able to provide an 8-times performance improvement to slowest path of pow() function. Other transcendentals got similar improvements since the fixes were mostly in the generic multiple precision code. These improvements already went into glibc-2.18 upstream. Siddhesh believes that a lot of the low hanging fruit has now been picked, but that this is definitely not the end of the road for improvements in the multiple precision performance. There are other more complicated improvements, like the limitation of worst case precision for exp() and log() functions, based on the results of the paper Worst Cases for Correct Rounding of the Elementary Functions in Double Precision. One needs to prove that those results apply to the Glibc multiple precision bits."

+ - Experimenting With Motivational Passwords

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "At Mauricio Estrella's workplace, the Microsoft Exchange server is configured to ask thousands of employees around the planet to change their passwords every 30 days. Mauricio often approached the situation with an angry grandpa voice in his head: "The damn password has expired." This input field with a pulsating cursor, waiting for him to type a password that he will have to re-enter for the next 30 days. Many times during the day. Then a lightbulb went on inside his head: "I'm gonna use a password to change my life." His passwords became little motivational snippets, every one being a condensed phrase for a goal or dream. He set his first motivational password to be Save4trip@thailand. Guess where he went 3 months later. Mauricio kept doing this and found the method to work surprisingly consistently for various goals, which he lists in his blog post. To summarize, this might be one way to make your passwords a bit more fun and to remind about good habits. Just for added security he recommends scrambling the passwords a bit more than in his examples."

+ - Workaholism in America Is Hurting the Economy->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Work/life balance is a constant problem in the tech industry. Even though experienced and mature engineers have been vocal in fighting it, every new generation buys into the American cultural identity of excessive work being a virtue. Each generation suffers for it, and the economy does, too. This article backs up that wisdom with hard numbers: "The 40-hour workweek is mostly a thing of the past. Ninety-four percent of professional workers put in 50 or more hours, and nearly half work 65 or above. All workers have managed to cut down on our time on the job by 112 hours over the last 40 years, but we’re far behind other countries: The French cut down by 491 hours, the Dutch by 425, and Canadians by 215 in the same time period. ... This overwork shows up in our sleep. Out of five developed peers, four other countries sleep more than us. That has again worsened over the years. In 1942, more than 80 percent of Americans slept seven hours a night or more. Today, 40 percent sleep six hours or less. A lack of sleep makes us poorer workers: People who sleep less than seven hours a night have a much harder time concentrating and getting work done.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Programming on a Piano Keyboard->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Here's a fun project: engineer Yuriy Guts built a Visual Studio extension that lets people program using MIDI instruments. You can write code letter by letter on a piano keyboard. Granted, it's not terribly efficient, but it's at least artistic — you can compose music that is also a valid computer program. Somewhat more usefully, it also allows you to turn a simple MIDI input device, like a trigger pad into a set of buttons that will run tests, push/pull code, or other automatable tasks. The extension is open source and open to contributions."
Link to Original Source

+ - Age discrimination in the tech industry

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes " Tech industry job ads: Older workers need not apply

It’s a widely accepted reality within the technology industry that youth rules. But at least part of the extreme age imbalance can be traced back to advertisements for open positions that government regulators say may illegally discriminate against older applicants. Many tech companies post openings exclusively for new or recent college graduates, a pool of candidates that is overwhelmingly in its early twenties. ...

“In our view, it’s illegal,” Raymond Peeler, senior attorney advisor at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces workplace discrimination laws said about the use of “new grad” and “recent grad” in job notices. “We think it deters older applicants from applying.”

Am I the only one who thinks that much of the quality control and failed projects in the tech industry can be attributed to age discrimination?"

+ - NIgerian born UK TV repairman sentenced 16 months prison for 91% reuse-> 1

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "The Guardian uses a stock photo of obvious electronic junk in its coverage of the sentencing of Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics. But film of the actual containers showed fairly uniform, sorted televisions which typically work for 20 years. In 2013, the Basel Convention Secretariat released findings on a two-year study of the seized sea containers containing the alleged "e-waste", including Benson's in Nigeria, and found 91% working and repaired product. The study, covered in Slashdot last February, declared the shipments legal, and further reported that they were more likely to work than new product sent to Africa (which may be shelf returns from bad lots, part of the reason Africans prefer used TVs from nations with strong warranty laws).

Director of regulated industry Harvey Bradshaw of the UK tells the Guardian: "This sentence is a landmark ruling because it's the first time anyone has been sent to prison for illegal waste exports." But 5 separate university research projects question what the crime was, and whether prohibition in trade is really the best way to reduce the percentage of bad product (less than 100% waste). Admittedly, I have been following this case from the beginning and interviewed both Benson and the Basel Secretariat Executive Director, and am shocked that the UK judge went ahead with the sentencing following the publication of the E-Waste Assessment Study last year. http://retroworks.blogspot.com... But what do Nerds at Slashdot think about the campaign to arrest African geeks who pay 10 times the value of scrap for used products replaced in rich nations?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Scientists Measure Magnetic Interaction Between Two Bound Electrons

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a paper published in Nature , scientists report successfully measuring the magnetic interaction of two bound electrons of two different strontium (Sr) ions. The two ions were suspended in a quadrupole ion trap (a.k.a. a Paul trap), and the effects of ambient magnetic noise were mitigated by 'restricting the spin evolution [of the electrons] to a decoherence-free subspace that is immune to collective magnetic field noise.' The scientists measured the magnetic interaction of the two electrons as a function of distance and found that the force acting between the two was inversely dependant on the cubed distance between the electrons, consistent with Newton's inverse-cube law."

+ - Cambridge Says There's No Connection Between Heart Disease and Fat->

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "Cambridge has finally finished a series of eighty studies involving half a million people and the conclusion they've reached is that saturated fats have little or no connection to heart disease. The study also says that "good" fats (vegetable fats mostly) do not lower the risk of a heart attack either. This new study is turning heads and confusing the hell out of diet enthusiasts who have constantly been obsessed over reducing their fat intake (admittedly just to stay wafer thin). Hasn't fat ALWAYS been the reason for heart failure? Well, apparently not."
Link to Original Source

+ - "Turing Test Passed" was just a load of hype?

Submitted by beaker_72
beaker_72 (1845996) writes "On Sunday we saw a story on /. alerting us to the news that the Turing Test had finally been passed: http://developers.slashdot.org.... The same story was picked up by most of the mainstream media and reported all over the place over the weekend and yesterday. However, today we see an article in TechDirt telling us that in fact the original press release was just a load of hype from someone who has previous in the area: https://www.techdirt.com/artic... So who's right? Have researchers at a well established university managed to beat this test for the first time, or should we believe TechDirt who have pointed out some aspects of the story which, if true, are pretty damning?"

+ - Chimps Best Humans at Game Theory->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Chimps are also better than humans in simple contests based on game theory—a form of mathematics that deals with figuring out the best strategy when faced with a competitive situation. In the study, chimpanzees at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in Japan played a hide-and-seek computer game. Undergraduate students and West African villagers also competed separately; no speaking was allowed. Both human and ape gamesters sat facing away from each other; their job was to predict their opponent’s move. Chimpanzee winners were rewarded with apple cubes, while humans were given money. Game theorists have determined that there’s a limit to how often the game can be won—even if both players are making the best possible strategic moves. That limit is called the Nash equilibrium. The chimpanzees trumped the humans. They learned the game faster than their human counterparts and performed in line with the Nash equilibrium—hitting the theoretical benchmark. Chimpanzees, the researchers say, may be particularly good at the game because of their excellent short-term memories and talents for pattern recognition and rapid visual assessment. In the wild, the apes are also highly competitive, vying for dominance. Humans, on the other hand, are more cooperative."
Link to Original Source

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