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Comment: Re:Are you patenting software? (Score 2) 224

by SkOink (#48155219) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handling Patented IP In a Job Interview?

So you disagree with the patent system, but yet you have some software patents and you want to try to wield them to extract extra money from a potential employer.

It doesn't actually sound like you disagree with the patent system at all.

If you want to do the ethically right thing, don't buy yourself in any deeper. Don't bring them up to your employer, and don't try to charge them extra money when you write code for them that uses the math concepts that you've hoarded for yourself.

Comment: Re:Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 4, Informative) 93

by SkOink (#47919955) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

VxWorks?

VxWorks is a great product. It's also waaaayyy outside of the price range of a hobbyist developer. Getting up and running with the VxWorks suite of tools can easily cost 20k (USD), and the recurring license fees are pretty significant as well. I would also bet that auditing the VxWorks source code (or trying to get custom patches in) would cost significantly more.

Comment: Does Minix have much real-time capability? (Score 5, Insightful) 93

by SkOink (#47917939) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

As an embedded-systems guy, I'd _love_ to have a Unix-like where I could schedule events that were guaranteed-by-design to fire within some deadline of when they were scheduled. Then I could host my once-per-kHz hardware service routines on the same processor that was also running my device's web-server.

Minix's microkernel architecture seems like an ideal fit for that kind of use case. If there are any Minix devs reading this thread, how easy would it be for me to make a system like that using Minix?

Government

GCHQ and NSA Targeted World Leaders, Private German Companies 145

Posted by Soulskill
from the caught-with-your-hand-in-the-cookie-jar dept.
Advocatus Diaboli sends this news from Der Spiegel: "Documents show that Britain's GCHQ intelligence service infiltrated German Internet firms and America's NSA obtained a court order to spy on Germany and collected information about the chancellor in a special database. Is it time for the country to open a formal espionage investigation? ... A secret NSA document dealing with high-ranking targets has provided further indications that Merkel was a target. The document is a presentation from the NSA's Center for Content Extraction, whose multiple tasks include the automated analysis of all types of text data. The lists appear to contain 122 country leaders. Twelve names are listed as an example, including Merkel's."
Programming

Wolfram Language Demo Impresses 216

Posted by Soulskill
from the lingua-mathematica dept.
theodp writes "The devil will be in the details, but if you were stoked about last November's announcement of the Wolfram programming language, you'll be pleased to know that a just-released dry-but-insanely-great demo delivered by Stephen Wolfram does not disappoint. Even if you're not in love with the syntax or are a FOSS devotee, you'll find it hard not to be impressed by Wolfram's 4-line solution to a traveling salesman tour of the capitals of Western Europe, 6-line camera-capture-to-image-manipulation demo, or 2-line web crawling and data visualization example. And that's just for starters. So, start your Raspberry Pi engines, kids!"

Comment: Only under the right circumstances (Score 1) 192

by SkOink (#46204705) Attached to: Cops With Google Glass: Horrible Idea, Or Good One?

I would completely support Google Glass on police if (and only if) there are penalties to the participating police departments for 'accidentally' losing the footage or having a 'malfunction'. These two things both sem to happen at a shocking rate whenever a policeman is accused of misconduct.

Comment: Jefferson (Score 3, Interesting) 489

by SkOink (#45754761) Attached to: Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split

No comment on whether or not the state of Jefferson would ever be able to support itself without the rest of California, but Tim Draper didn't pull that particular state out of the ether. I have some parents that used to live up in North State, and the hill folk there love the idea of Jefferson.

They even have a website: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/

China

Multidrug Resistance Gene Released By Chinese Wastewater Treatment Plants 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-them-a-sporting-chance dept.
MTorrice writes "In recent years, increasing numbers of patients worldwide have contracted severe bacterial infections that are untreatable by most available antibiotics. Some of the gravest of these infections are caused by bacteria carrying genes that confer resistance to a broad class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, many of which are treatments of last resort. Now a research team reports that some wastewater treatment plants in China discharge one of these potent resistance genes into the environment. Environmental and public health experts worry that this discharge could promote the spread of resistance."

Comment: Water (Score 2) 92

by SkOink (#45598909) Attached to: NASA Will Send Seeds to the Moon In 2015

The moon is pretty dry. If if this is supposed to be some proof-of-concept for growing food in a lunar base/colony, don't they need to address the larger issue of where such a garden would get its water?

If we have to transport the water to the moon as well as all of the raw materials (dirt, plant nutrients), what possible savings could there be against just stocking a base with MREs?

Comment: re: I'm ready to replace Make (Score 1) 179

by SkOink (#45085519) Attached to: GNU Make 4.0 Released

I'm not sure what to use to replace Make though. I'm a Python guy so I would probably want Scons or something like that, but Ruby fans probably want Rake, Java fans probably want Ant, and in general I don't think there is any consensus on what might be the best replacement for Make

I went back and forth on different Pythonic build tools for awhile. Scons is pretty great if you're doing 'standard' sorts of builds, but I found it a little heavy for my tastes and really hard to customize to my tool flow (in FPGA land, there are all kinds of nonstandard vendor tools that all need to play together).

I've been using doit more and more over the past few months, and I'm continually impressed by the tool (aside from the goofy name). It works amazingly well for automating tricky/exotic build processes.

Check it out! http://pydoit.org/index.html/

Technology

Automatic Translation Without Dictionaries 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the baby-steps-to-the-universal-translator dept.
New submitter physicsphairy writes "Tomas Mikolov and others at Google have developed a simple means of translating between languages using a large corpus of sample texts. Rather than being defined by humans, words are characterized based on their relation to other words. For example, in any language, a word like 'cat' will have a particular relationship to words like 'small,' 'furry,' 'pet,' etc. The set of relationships of words in a language can be described as a vector space, and words from one language can be translated into words in another language by identifying the mapping between their two vector spaces. The technique works even for very dissimilar languages, and is presently being used to refine and identify mistakes in existing translation dictionaries."
Networking

Undiscovered Country of HFT: FPGA JIT Ethernet Packet Assembly 452

Posted by timothy
from the fifo-with-a-vengeance dept.
michaelmalak writes "In a technique that reminds me of the just-in-time torpedo engineering of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a company called Argon Design has "developed a high performance trading system" that puts an FPGA — and FPGA-based trading algorithms — right in the Ethernet switch. And it isn't just to cut down on switch/computer latency — they actually start assembling and sending out the start of an Ethernet packet simultaneously with receiving and decoding incoming price quotation Ethernet packets, and decide on the fly what to put in the outgoing buy/sell Ethernet packet. They call these techniques 'inline parsing' and 'pre-emption.'"

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