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Submission + - Hands-On with Nvidia's New Card-Size 'SuperComputer' (

szczys writes: Computer vision and machine learning have been tied to high-horsepower stationary machines. Nvidia's new credit-card-sized Jeston TX1 should bring a lot more processing power to embedded systems and is looking make these processor-heavy tasks portable. Brian Benchoff got his hands on one of the first review copies of the hardware and put it to the test. His take is that it's been designed to be driven very hard and lives up to they most of the hype Nvidia has been throwing around. It does currently require a carrier board but the connector can be source by experienced hardware designers and could be a viable choice for better autonomous systems.

Submission + - EPO threaten blogger with defamation lawsuit .. (

nickweller writes: The European Patent Office (EPO) has claimed that a post published by a blogger is defamatory and has threatened legal action.

The disputed post is called EPO: Aiding a racketeer and was published in October on the Techrights blog, run by Roy Schestowitz.

Comment Re:Private companies don't do exploration of front (Score 1) 325

And their colony failed. The Spanish, Portuguese, English and French colonies in the New World succeeded because the governments that ran those colonies backed them financially and militarily. At least in the case of the English, owners/shareholders of colonials often received economic monopolies, giving them substantial impetus to make colonies economically viable in fairly short order.

And even though colonies could obviously become self-sustaining in pretty short order, they still required a significant amount of protection from the colonial power, and the colonial powers served as the route to accessing markets.

The Vikings experiments in colonization as private endeavors were mixed successes at best, and ultimately only Iceland survived as a successful colonial enterprise by the early Modern era, with the North American and Greenland colonies failing (though the Greenland colony did manage to hang on for several centuries).

There are probably any number of reasons; less than hospitable sites for colonization that were vulnerable to climactic changes at the top, but also the more limited means of making such colonies economically viable. At least in the North American attempts, the native peoples may have played a roll as well. The Norse simply didn't have the resources at their disposal that the Colonial Powers could bring to bear when they started seizing the New World. The Norse were hardly better equipped than the Inuit and Native Americans they encountered, whereas the Spaniards, French and English had firearms and much larger numbers.

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 1) 161

But no one says it doesn't exist locally. Quite the opposite, everyone thinks it does. It's just fucking hard to see.

It's not that cosmologists aren't willing to look at GR, and certainly are, but no potential quantum theory of gravity suggests an alternative to dark matter. And considering we all know there is physics beyond the Standard Model, and the potential for currently only hypothetical or even unpredicted particles, the idea that we should just toss out one of the most successful scientific theories in history because we're confronted with what looks like a lot of extra mass seems absurd.

But I get it. There is a certain type of person, underachievers mainly, whose only contribution to any discussion is to find the gaps in our knowledge and then proclaim researchers in those fields retards. It's pathetic, and contributes absolutely nothing.

Comment Space-based Economy (Score 2) 325

In the very long run, probably. But I think there's probably a route to increasing space exploration and utilization by explicitly avoiding the cost of Earth-to-orbit transport costs. The plan I've seen that has some promise goes as follows:

1. Find some metal-rich and volatiles-rich asteroids and comets (not exactly rare in the Asteroid Belt). Tow these asteroids into a near-Earth orbit and begin extraction and smelting.
2. Set up manufacturing facilities in Earth orbit to build spacecraft and satellites.
2a. We could even "grow" plastics with bacteria or genetically-engineered plants.
3 ....
4. Profit!

In all seriousness, if you created a parallel space-based economy whose sole purpose is to make transporting anything but humans into space, then the whole question of how to make Earth-to-orbit transport cheaper ceases to be an issue. Obviously the startup costs and R&D for such a project are monumental, but in the long run, the rewards would be huge. The whole point of commercial spaceflight is to find a way to make it economically feasible, and this is about actually creating a space-based economy.

Submission + - Will you be able to run a modern desktop environment in 2016 without systemd?

yeupou writes: Early this year, David Edmundson from KDE, concluded that "In many cases [systemd] allows us to throw away large amounts of code whilst at the same time providing a better user experience. Adding it [systemd] as an optional extra defeats the main benefit". A perfectly sensible explanation. But, then, one might wonder to which point KDE would remain usable without systemd?

Recently, on one Devuan box, I noticed that KDE power management (Powerdevil) no longer supported suspend and hibernate. Since pm-utils was still there, for a while, I resorted to call pm-suspend directly, hoping it would get fixed at some point. But it did not. So I wrote a report myself. I was not expecting much. But neither was I expecting it to be immediately marked as RESOLVED and DOWNSTREAM, with a comment accusing the "Debian fork" I'm using to "ripe out" systemd without "coming with any of the supported solutions Plasma provides". I searched beforehand about the issue so I knew that the problem also occurred on some other Debian-based systems and that the bug seemed entirely tied to upower, an upstream software used by Powerdevil. So if anything, at least this bug should have been marked as UPSTREAM.

While no one dares (yet) to claim to write software only for systemd based operating system, it is obvious that it is now getting quite hard to get support otherwise. At the same time, bricks that worked for years without now just get ruined, since, as pointed out by Edmunson, adding systemd as "optional extra defeats its main benefit". So, is it likely that we'll still have in 2016 a modern desktop environment, without recent regressions, running without systemd?

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 2) 161

They're not manipulating anything. They are observing that there are numerous objects which appear to have a lot more mass than is visible. Unless you think there is something wrong with our Classical view of gravity, then the obvious answer is that there is a lot more matter out there than we can directly observe.

Fucking hell, there's nothing worse than some self-appointed anonymous poster on the Internet who is some fucking arrogant and stupid that he thinks he understands something better than the scientists. And why is it that such arrogant fucktards always end up on /, trying to make themselves look oh so smart.

Submission + - Why Are Engineers More Likely to Become Terrorists? 1 writes: Henry Farrel writes in the Washington Post that there's a group of people which appears to be highly prone to violent extremism — engineers — who are nine times more likely to be terrorists as you would expect by chance. In a forthcoming book, "Engineers of Jihad," published by Princeton University Press, Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog provide a new theory for why it is that engineers seem unusually prone to become involved in terrorist organizations. Gambetta and Hertog find strongly suggestive evidence that engineers are more likely to become terrorists because of the way that they think about the world. Survey data indicates that engineering faculty at universities are far more likely to be conservative than people with other degrees, and far more likely to be religious. They are seven times as likely to be both religious and conservative as social scientists. Gambetta and Hertog speculate that engineers combine these political predilections with a marked preference towards finding clearcut answers. This preference has affinities with the clear answer that radical Islamist groups propose for dealing with the complexities of modernity: Get rid of it.

Gambetta and Hertog suggest that this mindset combines with frustrated expectations in many Middle Eastern and North African countries, and among many migrant populations, where people with engineering backgrounds have difficulty in realizing their ambitions for good and socially valued jobs. This explains why there are relatively few radical Islamists with engineering backgrounds in Saudi Arabia (where they can easily find good employment) and why engineers were more prone to become left-wing radicals in Turkey and Iran.

Some people might argue that terrorist groups want to recruit engineers because engineers have valuable technical skills that might be helpful, such as in making bombs. This seems plausible – but it doesn’t seem to be true. Terrorist organizations don’t seem to recruit people because of their technical skills, but because they seem trustworthy and they don’t actually need many people with engineering skills. "Bomb-making and the technical stuff that is done in most groups is performed by very few people, so you don’t need, if you have a large group, 40 or 50 percent engineers," says Hertog. "You just need a few guys to put together the bombs. So the scale of the overrepresentation, especially in the larger groups is not easily explained."

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller