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Comment Had similar situation Dell410s + Condor; no cloud (Score 1) 264

I was in a similar situation setting up a research group. Wanted an expandable setup for a research group, that would meet approval of local IT sysadmins (some remote management opts, vendor support). Per 2.6K pounds a pop I got a Dell poweredge T410 server with 2 6-core CPUs and 24GB RAM. I'm never one to push a Dell (been purchasing IBM/HP for years) but this is a decent machine for a decent price. I tried various cloud solutions using virtual machines on Amazon and similar frameworks, but for the kind of work we do (frequent software updates, massive amounts of data that need to be stored locally and can't be transferred easily), those don't scale. We use Condor as a job submission engine. Not that we don't like SGE but with Oracle's plans ( one can never tell. PS: remind you friend to invest in a QNAP NAS or similar for backups / disaster recovery.

Comment Re:Misrepresentation? (Score 3, Interesting) 146

I think the fault is of the original reporter at the Register who either did not understand what is said (text comprehension) or decided to use a bit of journalistic 'slight of hand' to pazzazz his rather dull story. In any case it's clear the article contains no content supporting its title. And slashdot? I've been reading it on/off for 14 years and there's clearly an exponential decay (with us being just at the beginning of the drop; who know where this site will be in 10 years).

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."

Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

Comment Re:Facebook spam? (Score 1) 313

Dear Geoffrey, While I appreciate idealism as the other bloke, your argument leads to a rapid slippery slope. Following it would have lost the brits and americans espionage battles of the cold war. What you are saying is that by choosing a side and operating in a manner that helps that side -- in this case, the opposition forces in Iran, you are playing into the hands of the Iranian regime who will use it to argue that the rebellion is supported by Non-Iranians. You are basically saying that any opinion against the Iranian regime from an outsider source will serve to strengthen the Iranian regime. This is rather defeatist in my own ideological opinion which argues that people, of all nations, have the duty of taking a stand against oppression, and not allow cynical regimes to manipulate public opinion into thinking that doing so will weaken the opposition.

Comment Re:Stone Soup [and virtual machines] (Score 1) 608

Let me second that. I work in NeuroImaging at Uchicago, and since we were given cluster and TeraGrid access we got neuroimaging folks using R and SWIFT (Grid parallel workflow language), and High Energy Physics folks implementing their signal analysis methods on neuroimaging data. They used to say that physical distance (in yards) is a good prediction of collaboration potential in academic departments. These days, sharing a computer cluster seems to achieve a similar thing. But, if you are asking how you can contribute, try setting up your system to load virtual machines on each node -- If you can get that going you'll find many potential users that couldn't bother with adapting their code to the cluster, but would be glad to load an image and run a job in it.

Submission Scientists identify cognitive basis of l33tspeak

Oori writes: Researchers in Spain were curious enough to study how the cognitive system represents l33tspeak. In their work, R34D1NG W0RD5 W1TH NUMB3R5, Perea, Andoni,and Carreiras show that readers create regularized representations from words like M4T3R14L that are similar to those of the original word (MATERIAL). Conclusion: leet digits are coded as letters. Article can be accessed at
Abstract follows:
Letter identities and number identities are usually thought to imply different cortical mechanisms. Specifically, the left fusiform gyrus responds more to letters than to digits (T. A. Polk et al., 2002). However, a widely circulated statement on the internet illustrates that it is possible to use numbers (leet digits) as parts of words, 4ND TH3 R35ULT1NG S3NT3NC3 C4N B3 R34D W1TH0UT GR34T 3FF0RT. Two masked priming lexical decision experiments were conducted to determine whether leet digits produce (automatic) lexical activation. Results showed that words are identified substantially faster when they are preceded by a masked leet word (M4T3R14L-MATERIAL) than when they are preceded by a control condition with other letters or digits. In addition, there was only a negligible advantage of the identity condition over the related leet condition. This leet-priming effect is not specific to numbers: A prime in which leet digits are replaced by letter-like symbols (MTR!L-MATERIAL) facilitates word processing to the same degree as an identity prime. Therefore, the cognitive system regularizes the shape of the leet digits and letter-like symbols embedded in words with very little cost.

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