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+ - Leader of $45 million hack/heist murdered

Submitted by boddhisatva
boddhisatva (774894) writes "The men who did it were armed with an M-16 and a Smith and Wesson 9mm, both standard US military issue. They killed him with a single shot. They shot both of the other two men in the leg with a single shot each, presumably to deter any immediate action on their part. The police said it was crime related but the attackers left $100,000 behind in the room. What criminal would do that? Would a hit man leave two guys alive?

In the case described by Clifford Stoll in the "The Cuckoo's Egg", one of the hackers working with the KGB was found in a forest where he had been covered with gasoline and set on fire. It was ruled a suicide. Now if I were to kill myself, I think setting myself on fire would be way down on the list of methods to consider.

Is it possible that someone leading a hack crew on a job that endangers national security or economic stability may be used as a "don't do this" message to others?"

+ - Xeon Phi software stack available but no Xeon Phi

Submitted by boddhisatva
boddhisatva (774894) writes "The stack has gone golden but like the proverbial atheist in the grave, you're all dressed up with nowhere to go. You can't get one of the 54-core Xeon Phi cards. I have a Kepler 104 card to work with but I see that the Nvidia Tesla K20 card (with 2500 cores) is also hard to come by. But that's because they're shipping pre-orders like mad, 20,000 cards to the Oak Ridge National Lab alone I believe. My friends are selling their Intel shares. Bob Dylan said "It doesn't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" and Ray Kurzweiler said that technology is accelerating at an exponential rate. Apple is considering switching their computers to ARM-based systems. Oracle, who currently uses Intel, is developing a new processor with Fujitsu. Remember Research In Motion? Well, a road crew just painted a line over them. The Red Queen in Alice In Wonderland said: "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" Given that the Xeon Phi cores are P54C Pentium based, albeit a super-charged version, Intel may be the tortoise in this race. There is only one announced commercial machine that will be using these. Nvidia has been in the top 10 supers and in university labs for years. The Kepler 110 relies far less on the CPU and can communicate directly with other 110s locally or on other nodes. How long before the CPU is superfluous?"

+ - Are SSDs Snake Oil?

Submitted by
boddhisatva writes "SSDs are being touted everywhere. Entire systems are being sold that use nothing but SSDs. Their performance varies and their MTTF is shorter than a disk drive. I use an Intel 32 GB X25E as a read cache for my disk array which does seem to improve performance there but my 80 GB X25M boot drive is worthless. Who cares if it boots 15 seconds faster — even 30? I don't boot that often anyway. You have to look carefully at the SSD characteristics and at your intended use: the work load. If you're not doing a lot of large reads, an SSD can be a waste of money. So your laptop boots like lightning — you were probably get some caffeine at the time anyway. As read caches, I see great potential using SSDs, otherwise I remain dubious."

If you can't understand it, it is intuitively obvious.