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Comment Re:SKYWARN does that. (Score 2, Informative) 402

I participate in SKYWARN as a licensed HAM operator and we are careful to not call ourselves chasers. We are trained spotters. We have gone through training to SPOT super cells and the classic warning signs of tornadoes. And yes, we are what trigger tornado watches and warnings through a direct line of communication with the NWS.

Comment Chicago trading experience as a Sys Admin (Score 2, Interesting) 624

I was a Sys Admin for a day trading company in Chicago.

We had a 100mb serial line direct to all of the major markets that we traded in. We also traded the European markets. Trades were taking upwards of 300ms to complete. So, we spent $25mil USD to build a data center in Germany. We could then use Citrix to remote into this data center and trade, We still had traders that would scream for us when a trade took >100ms on the local markets. And we came running and scoured network logs trying to find the bottleneck.

We replicated all traffic to certain ports on the Cisco and had Wireshark running constantly, even after hours. Every millisecond counted. And seeing that the owner of the company personally made $3mil profit every quarter, it seemed to be working.


BOINC Exceeds 2 Petaflop/s Barrier 114

Myrrh writes "Though an official announcement has not yet been made, it would appear that the BOINC project as a whole has exceeded two petaflop/s performance. The top page features this legend: '24-hour average: 2,793.53 TeraFLOPS.' According to last month's Top500 list of supercomputers, BOINC's performance is now beating that of the fastest supercomputer, RoadRunner, by more than a factor of two (with the caveat that BOINC has not been benchmarked on Linpack)."
PC Games (Games)

Experimental Video Game Evolves Its Own Content 167

Ken Stanley writes "Just as interest in user-generated content in video games is heating up, a team of researchers at the University of Central Florida has released an experimental multiplayer game in which content items compete with each other in an evolutionary arms race to satisfy the players. As a result, particle system-based weapons, which are the evolving class of content, continually invent their own new behaviors based on what users liked in the past. Does the resulting experience in this game, called Galactic Arms Race, suggest that evolutionary algorithms may be the key to automated content generation in future multiplayer gaming and MMOs?"

Linux Patch Clears the Air For Use of Microsoft's FAT Filesystem 272

Ars Technica is reporting that a new kernel patch may provide a workaround to allow use of Microsoft's FAT file system on Linux without paying licensing fees. "Andrew Tridgell, one of the lead developers behind the Samba project, published a patch last week that will alter the behavior of the Linux FAT implementation so that it will not generate both short and long filenames. In situations where the total filename fits within the 11-character limit, the filesystem will generate only a short name. When the filename exceeds that length, it will only generate a long name and will populate the short name value with 11 invalid characters so that it is ignored by the operating system."

NASA Sticking To Imperial Units For Shuttle Replacement 901

JerryQ sends in a story at New Scientist about the criticism NASA is taking for deciding to use Imperial units in the development of the Constellation program, their project to replace the space shuttle. "The sticking point is that Ares is a shuttle-derived design — it uses solid rocket boosters whose dimensions and technology are based on those currently strapped to either side of the shuttle's giant liquid fuel tank. And the shuttle's 30-year-old specifications, design drawings and software are rooted in pounds and feet rather than newtons and meters. ... NASA recently calculated that converting the relevant drawings, software and documentation to the 'International System' of units (SI) would cost a total of $370 million — almost half the cost of a 2009 shuttle launch, which costs a total of $759 million. 'We found the cost of converting to SI would exceed what we can afford,' says [NASA spokesman Grey Hautaluoma]."
The Military

Hitler's Stealth Fighter 582

DesScorp writes "Aviation Week reports on a television special from the National Geographic Channel on what may have been the world's first true stealth fighter, the Horten Ho 229, a wooden design that was to include a layer of carbon material sandwiched in the leading edge to defeat radar. Northrop Grumman, experts at stealth technology from their Tacit Blue and B-2 programs, have built a full-size replica of the airframe and tested it at their desert facilities where they determined that the design was indeed stealthy, and would have been practically invisible to Britain's Chain Home radar system of WWII."
Hardware Hacking

EFF Sues Apple Over BluWiki Legal Threats 242

Hugh Pickens writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed suit against Apple to defend the First Amendment rights of BluWiki, a noncommercial, public Internet 'wiki' site operated by OdioWorks. Last year, BluWiki users began a discussion about making some Apple iPods and iPhones interoperate with software other than Apple's iTunes. Apple lawyers demanded removal of the content (pdf) sending a letter to OdioWorks, alleging that the discussions constituted copyright infringement and a violation of the DMCA's prohibition on circumventing copy protection measures. Fearing legal action by Apple, OdioWorks took down the discussions from the BluWiki site but has now filed a lawsuit to vindicate its right to restore those discussions (pdf) and seeking a declaratory judgment that the discussions do not violate any of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, and do not infringe any copyrights owned by Apple. 'I take the free speech rights of BluWiki users seriously,' said Sam Odio, owner of OdioWorks. 'Companies like Apple should not be able to censor online discussions by making baseless legal threats against services like BluWiki that host the discussions.'" Random BedHead Ed adds ZDNet quotes EFF's Fred von Lohmann, who says that this is an issue of censorship. 'Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It's legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it's legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it's legal for a public wiki to host those discussions.'"

How Tor Helps Both Dissidents and the Police 122

Al writes "Technology Review has a in-depth article about the anonymous networking software Tor and how it is helping dissidents spread information in oppressive regimes such as Syria, Zimbabwe and Mauritania, and opening up the unfiltered web for users in many more countries. In China, for instance, the computers found in some web cafes are configured to use Tor automatically. Interestingly, some police agencies even use the software to hide their activity from suspects. As filtering becomes ever more common in democratic countries such as the US, perhaps Tor (and similar tools such as I2P), will become even more valuable."

Comment Re:Let me be the first one to say it ... (Score 1) 1870

TPB is just linking to material. They don't host it. Yes, they 'make it easier to infringe', but the line between what TPB is doing and what e.g. the roads are doing (helping bank robbers get away, the horror!) is one of degree

I've never agreed with this. This is a horrible argument, and I'm appalled at the people that fool themselves into believing it.

I support drug reform, so I setup a service. All of the local drug dealers have GPS trackers on them so I know where they are and how to contact them. Someone comes to me and asks me where to get weed. I look up the GPS location of the weed dealer, hand the customer the phone number and location. Next guy asks for cocaine. I lookup the coke location, hand the customer the number and location.

This is EXACTLY what TPB are doing. In the above scenario, do you honestly think I wouldn't get any jail time for my service? I mean, I'm not making any money. Some of my clients are medicinal users, so they can legal have the drugs. I'm not offering any drugs myself.

Comment Re:10,000 years (Score 1) 307

Depends. The Mayans did this centuries ago. We seem to think that when their clock runs out in 2012, the universe ends. Some of the more sane among us doubt the apocalypse, but still theorize some cosmically significant event that can change the world. What will the civilization after us think about OUR clock? I can only hope they are sane enough to take it as it is, a random and arbitrary cutoff number.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?