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+ - Universe's dark ages may not be invisible after all

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: The Universe had two periods where light was abundant, separated by the cosmic dark ages. The first came at the moment of the hot Big Bang, as the Universe was flooded with (among the matter, antimatter and everything else imaginable) a sea of high-energy photons, including a large amount of visible light. As the Universe expanded and cooled, eventually the cosmic microwave background was emitted, leaving behind the barely visible, cooling photons. It took between 50 and 100 million years for the first stars to turn on, so in between these two epochs of the Universe being flooded with light, we had the dark ages. Yet the dark ages may not be totally invisible, as the forbidden spin-flip-transition of hydrogen may illuminate this time period after all.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile OS/2 and Xenix existed (Score 1) 373

by TheRaven64 (#49761245) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

enough ram to run without swap file thrashing. Price was high as well

These two are related. OS/2 needed 16MB of RAM to be useable back when I had a 386 that couldn't take more than 5MB (1MB soldered onto the board, 4x1MB matched SIMMs). Windows NT had the same problem - NT4 needed 32MB as an absolute minimum when Windows 95 could happily run in 16 and unhappily run in 8 (and allegedly run in 4MB, but I tried that once and it really wasn't a good idea). The advantage that Windows NT had was that it used pretty much the same APIs as Windows 95 (except DirectX, until later), so the kinds of users who were willing to pay the extra costs could still run the same programs as the ones that weren't.

Comment: Re:For me it's Windows NT 3.1 (Score 1) 373

by TheRaven64 (#49761223) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
I never ran 3.0 on a 386 to try that. On Windows 3.1 it wouldn't work, because the OS required either (286) protected mode or (386) enhanced mode. Running 3.0 on a 386, the DOS prompt would use VM86 mode (yes, x86 has had virtualisation support for a long time, but only for 16-bit programs). Windows 3.0 could run in real mode, so would work inside VM86 mode. In real mode, it didn't have access to VM86 mode (no nested virtualisation), so probably couldn't start again.

Comment: Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 373

by TheRaven64 (#49760671) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
And Windows 3.1 lost real mode support. You could run Windows 3.0 on an 8086 with an EGA screen and 640KB of RAM (I did - the machine originally shipped with GEM). I think 3.1 still have 286 protected mode support, but didn't work very well unless you ran it in 386 enhanced mode. It was a bit sad that the version of Windows that required an MMU didn't use it to implement memory protection...

Comment: Re:*shrug* (Score 1) 373

by TheRaven64 (#49760611) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

Sort of. The desire not to cannibalise sales was a key factor in the design of the PC, but these were also features that IBM didn't think would be missed.

IBM knew what multitasking was for: it was to allow multiple users to use the same computer with administrator-controled priorities. Protected memory was for the same things. Why would you need these on a computer that was intended for a single user to use? A single user can obviously only run one program at a time (they only have one set of eyes and hands) and you can save a lot in hardware (and software) if you remove the ability to do more. And, of course, then no one will start buying the cheap PCs and hooking them up to a load of terminals rather than buying a minicomputer or mainframe.

Comment: Re: *shrug* (Score 1) 373

by TheRaven64 (#49760579) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0
My father's company got their first Windows 3.0 install because they bought a diagram tool (Meta Design, I think), that came with a free copy. The company that made it had decided that bundling a copy of Windows 3.0 was cheaper than writing (or licensing) a graphical toolkit for DOS and an associated set of printer drivers. I don't know if they were the only company to do this, but after a year or so they stopped bundling Windows and just expected their customers to either have a copy already or go and buy one.
Open Source

Ask Slashdot: Can SaaS Be Both Open Source and Economically Viable? 46

Posted by timothy
from the no-that-is-impossible dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The CTO behind Lucidchart, an online diagramming app, recently cited the open source rbush project as an invaluable tool for helping implement an "in-memory spatial index" that "increased spatial search performance by a factor of over 1,000 for large documents." My question is this: what risks does a SaaS company like Lucidchart face in making most of their own code public, like Google's recent move with Chrome for Android, and what benefits might be gained by doing so? Wouldn't sharing the code just generate more users and interest? Even if competitors did copy it, they'd always be a step behind the latest developments.

+ - Can SaaS be open source AND economically viable?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The CTO behind Lucidchart, an online diagramming app, recently cited the rbush open source project as an invaluable tool for helping implement an "in-memory spatial index" that "increased spatial search performance by a factor of over 1,000 for large documents." My question is this: what risks does a SaaS company like Lucidchart face in making most of their own code public, like Google's recent move with Chrome for Android, and what benefits might be gained by doing so? Wouldn't sharing the code just generate more users and interest? Even if competitors did copy it, they'd always be a step behind the latest developments.
Link to Original Source

+ - Researchers devise a system that looks secure (but is it easy to use?).->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The article in readwrite says that a team of British and American researchers have developed a hacker resistant process for online voting (http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~mdr/research/papers/pdf/15-Du-Vote.pdf) called Du-Vote. It uses a credit card sized device that helps to divide the security sensitive tasks between your computer and the device in a way that neither your computer nor the device learns how you voted. If a hacker managed to control the computer and the Du-Vote token, he still can't change the votes without being detected.
Link to Original Source

Comment: The European Welfare State is Unsustainable (Score 0) 358

Since the UK wisely kept its own currency, disruptions from a "Brexit" would be relatively minimal. It's far more likely that will see Greece exit the Euro, because they absolutely refuse to stop spending money they don't have. (Note that despite talk of "austerity," not once since the European debt crisis started has Greek cut government outlays to match receipts.) To Greece (and to a lesser extent the other PIIGS), the welfare state benefits have become more sacred than the capitalist system underwriting them.

The problem with the modern welfare state is that eventually you run out of people to stick with the tab. It both discourages work and generates declining demographics, a dynamic that is unsustainable in the long run.

Well, Greece is starting to reach the long run. They can't afford their own welfare state, but it's become so entrenched that politicians refuse to significately pare it back even on the brink of national bankruptcy.

The UK, like Germany, has a strong enough economy to avoid this fate for quite a while, but it too will get there eventually...

+ - Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation Packs Thunderbolt 2, Quadro, IGZO2 Panel->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Dell recently revamped their M3800 model to better entice graphic designers, engineers, and other high-end users who often work in the field, with a true mobile workstation that's both sufficiently equipped to handle professional grade workloads and is thin and light to boot. Dell claims the M3800 is the "world's thinnest and lightest 15-inch mobile workstation" and at 4.15 pounds, it could very well be. In addition, ISV tools certifications matter for workstation types, so the M3800 gets its pixel pushing muscle from an NVIDIA Quadro K1100M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Other notable specs include an Intel Core i7-4712HQ quad-core processor, 16GB of DDR3L memory, and a 256GB mSATA SSD. One of the new additions to the M3800 is a Thunderbolt 2 port with transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps that allows for the simultaneous viewing/editing and backing up of raw 4K video. Finally, the M3800 is equipped with a 3840x2160 native resolution IGZO2 display, which equates to a 60 percent increase in pixel density over a current gen MacBook Pro with Retina display. Performance-wise, the M3800 holds up pretty strong with standard productivity workloads, though as you can image it excels more-so in graphics rendering throughput.
Link to Original Source

+ - New 'deep learning' technique enables robot to complete various tasks

Submitted by jan_jes
jan_jes writes: UC Berkeley researchers turned to a new branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which they have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. Tasks such as "putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more" without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. The challenge of putting robots into real-life settings, like homes or offices, is that those environments are constantly changing. The robot must be able to perceive and adapt to its surroundings. This latest developments will be presented on Thursday, May 28, in Seattle at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

+ - TPP Fast Track Passes (Key Vote) in the Senate, Moves on to the House 2

Submitted by onproton
onproton writes: The Senate voted yesterday to reauthorize the controversial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expidites, or ‘Fast Tracks,’ the passage of trade agreements through Congress. If also approved by the House, it will grant the authority to decide and negotiate the terms of agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the executive branch, significantly limiting congressional involvement and leaving little room for debate. Proponents of the bill, namely the USTR, claim that Fast Tracking the TPP is critical to successfully negotiating its terms internationally, and will "ensure that Congress, stakeholders and the public are closely involved before, during and after the conclusion of trade agreement negotiations.” Though in reality, it does not introduce significant changes in the transparency or reporting requirements that are currently in place, which have allowed the negotiations of this deal to be held in secret since 2009. With concerns being raised about the deal's impacts on everything from intellectual property rights to government sovereignty, it is surprising to many that Congress would abdicate their role in determining the specifics of agreements that may have far reaching implications for their constituents.

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