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Root of Maths Genius Sought 251

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the army-of-cloned-math-nerds-not-very-terrifying dept.
ananyo writes "He founded two genetic-sequencing companies and sold them for hundreds of millions of dollars. He helped to sequence the genomes of a Neanderthal man and James Watson, who co-discovered DNA's double helix. Now, entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg has set his sights on another milestone: finding the genes that underlie mathematical genius. Rothberg and physicist Max Tegmark, who is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have enrolled about 400 mathematicians and theoretical physicists from top-ranked US universities in a study dubbed 'Project Einstein'. They plan to sequence the participants' genomes using the Ion Torrent machine that Rothberg developed. Critics say that the sizes of these studies are too small to yield meaningful results for such complex traits. But Rothberg is pushing ahead. 'I'm not at all concerned about the critics,' he says, adding that he does not think such rare genetic traits could be useful in selecting for smarter babies. Some mathematicians, however, argue that maths aptitude is not born so much as made. 'I feel that the notion of "talent" may be overrated,' says Michael Hutchings, a mathematician also at Berkeley."

Comment: Re:Just in time! (Score 5, Interesting) 165

by TheBrez (#38657810) Attached to: Comcast DNSSEC Goes Live
Simple. The technical people at Comcast are highly skilled intelligent people. They aren't senior level techs at one of the largest ISPs in the world by being idiots. The legal department on the other hand is staffed by money-sucking weasels (like all legal departments are) who are supporting stupidity in legislation without bothering to talk to their highly skilled technical people about whether this braindead legislation is even technically POSSIBLE to implement. The technical people no doubt KNOW that SOPA is impossible with DNSSEC. Hence they're encouraging everyone to move to DNSSEC as quickly as possible, so in the event that Congress screws up and passes this abortion of a bill at the behest of the large content providers and intellectual property bandits, they'll find out that it doesn't work on large portions of the Internet, thus pissing off their constituents even more, and causing a large shift in political goodwill towards their opponents.

Has anybody suggested asking the current political candidates their views on SOPA? If you live in the US, and your Congressperson is listed as a Co-sponsor of the bill, or listed as an opponent of the bill, have you contacted them to voice your opinion? Votes are all that matters to politicians. A few hundred calls/emails to their office telling them that this is a flawed bill, and it WILL result in your vote going to their opponent can quickly change their minds on what matters to them.
That's the current list of SOPA co-sponsors.

Comment: (Score 1) 647

by TheBrez (#38449154) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Like To Read? Pick up a wide variety of classic literature for free. Or visit your local public library and ask the librarians there to help you find the section which fits your interests. Historical non-fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, or technology/military based fiction are prevalent out there. You'd probably get more recommendations if you had said what genres you wanted to read. Things like Terry Pratchett, Tom Clancy, Dale Brown or biographies of famous people are usually my choices for reading on a trip. The one advantage of picking them up in dead-tree format is you can read them while you're sitting for an hour waiting to taxi, when MP3 players and iPad/Kindles aren't allowed to be on. The downside to that is they're heavier to carry around with you.

Comment: Some resources for learning (Score 1) 480

by TheBrez (#36041072) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Becoming a Network Administrator?
Document everything you can.
Backup configs, make sure you save them frequently when things are working.
Get a good network management/monitoring package which uses SNMP to monitor the equipment.
Take as many classes and training sessions as you can.
Purchase vendor support for equipment. Cisco TAC is invaluable when the excrement hits the oscillating device. When the network is down, and the boss comes into the server room to ask when it's back up, it's much more comforting to hear that the vendor is helping you investigate the issue than to hear you have no idea what the problem is or when it might be fixed.
Build a lab to test/learn new protocols/ways of doing things. Have a couple servers in there, as well as the same type or smaller versions within the same family. If you're running Cisco 3945 routers in production, a lab with 1720s running 10 year old code doesn't help you troubleshoot production issues or test code upgrades.
A good podcast which covers CCNA/CCNP level topics with examples:
How to backup your devices:
Netdisco, good tool for network discovery and host tracking
Join and read network mailing lists. NANOG, Cisco-NSP, Juniper-NSP are a good place to start. to subscribe to several of those.
Beyond that, good luck. Speaking as someone who has been doing systems/network administration for close to 15 years, you will learn something new every day. If you don't, you're not trying hard enough.

Comment: Possible Cisco option he was referring to (Score 1) 268

by TheBrez (#30774596) Attached to: Powerful Linux ISP Router Distribution? AKA known as the Cisco WT2700 Wireless system. Which was end-of-lifed almost 3.5 years ago, so I wouldn't see why anybody would be putting in one of these systems anymore.

Inside Factory China 135

Posted by kdawson
from the making-it dept.
blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."

The Best Gaming PC Money Can Buy 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-we-post-this-every-few-months dept.
SlappingOysters writes "Gameplayer has gone live with their best PC hardware configurations for Q1 2009. They've broken it into three tiers depending on the investor's budget. And while the prices are regional, it is comparative across the globe. The site has also detailed the 10 Hottest PC Games of 2009 to unveil the software on the horizon which may seduce gamers into an upgrade."

Setting a Learning Curve In MMOs 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the approach-rat-kill-rat-loot-rat dept.
Ten Ton Hammer has an article looking at the learning curves of modern MMOs. Many of the more popular games, such as World of Warcraft, go to great lengths to make learning the game easy for new players. Others, such as EVE Online, have had success with a less forgiving introduction. But to what extent do the most fundamental game mechanics limit the more complex end-game play? "The current trend in MMOG's appears to be make the game so easy and interest-grabbing right out of the gate that even a person with the attention span of a monkey chewing on a flyswatter will be able to keep up and get into the swing of things. Depth of game mechanics is still possible with a system like this, but it needs to be introduced not only clearly, but later in the game, after a player has played enough to be hooked and is willing to put in some extra time to learn about the more intricate game mechanics available to them."

Streaming Video Service Coming To the Wii 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-wii-stream-jokes dept.
Gamasutra reports that Nintendo is partnering with a company called Dentsu to "distribute original streaming video programming via the Wii, with a 2009 launch confirmed in Japan, and an eye towards a later Western launch." According to a press statement, some of the videos will be free, and some will cost money. This will help to answer concerns that the Wii was lagging behind the other major consoles in video content.

Is the Gaming PC Dead? 417

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-way-dude-check-out-my-$8000-alienware dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Rahul Sood, HP's CTO of gaming, argues that the days of a market that wants PCs running three $500 GPUs is history; he argues that it's really a tough or impossible sell. '... let's face it, high-end hardware has delivered diminishing returns in terms of value. This is why you don't see ridiculous offerings like Quad SLI and 2-kilowatt power supplies coming from our company.' But don't the ideas of customization and market pricing for components tend to undercut that? Is the gaming PC dead?"

Thieves Take the Cake 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-eat-it dept.
Two very hungry German couriers ate a fruit cake destined for a German newspaper and in its place mailed a box of credit card data. The data including names, addresses and card transactions ended up at the Frankfurter Rundschau daily. The mix-up triggered an alarm, and police advised credit card customers with Landesbank Berlin to check their accounts for inconsistencies. Fruitcake must be different in Germany for people to want to use it as something other than a paperweight.

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the who-wants-to-drink-from-the-firehose dept.
Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito