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Programming

+ - Faster Chips Are Leaving Programmers in Their Dust->

Submitted by mlimber
mlimber (1149251) writes "The New York Times is running a story about multicore computing and the efforts of Microsoft et al. to try to switch to the new paradigm: "The challenges [of parallel programming] have not dented the enthusiasm for the potential of the new parallel chips at Microsoft, where executives are betting that the arrival of manycore chips — processors with more than eight cores, possible as soon as 2010 — will transform the world of personal computing.... Engineers and computer scientists acknowledge that despite advances in recent decades, the computer industry is still lagging in its ability to write parallel programs."

It mirrors what C++ guru and now Microsoft architect Herb Sutter has been saying in articles such as his "The Free Lunch Is Over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software." Sutter is part of the C++ standards committee that is working hard to make multithreading standard in C++."

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PC Games (Games)

+ - First commerical open source game in development

Submitted by LingNoi
LingNoi (1066278) writes "Blender's project Apricot has begun work on creating the first open source commerical title scheduled for release on Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. The project is being funded by the Blender and Crystal Space communities in an effort to address the problems that professionals face in the games industry with regards to using Blender 3d and Crystal Space engine.

Discussions have already begun on improvements that can be made on the blender forums."
Microsoft

+ - Dell: You cannot use MS Vol Lic. on Open Source PC-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dell says you can't use your existing Microsoft Volume Licensing on its line of Open Source notebook computers. They go on to say, "Customers interested in a Microsoft® Windows® solution should purchase a Dell notebook pre-loaded with Windows XP Professional."

What good is volume licensing if you have to buy a computer that already has a license?"

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Windows

+ - Major Vista performance patches made official

Submitted by Brentwood
Brentwood (666) writes "It only took them 6 months, but Ars reports that Microsoft has officially released the long-awaited performance and compatability updates that have been quietly tested the last few weeks. According to Ars, the updates fix some major flaws with Vista, including the notorious slow copy bug. Hibernation fixes and big updates for nVidia cards are included, too. They won't hit Windows Update for another week, but you can grab them from Microsoft directly: the compatibility and reliability update, the performance and reliability update."
Programming

+ - Beautiful Code interview->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Safari Books Online has just posted an interview with Andy Oram and Greg Wilson, the two editors who put together the recent O'Reilly book, Beautiful Code. "Beautiful Code" features 33 different case studies about challenging coding scenarios from some of today's most high-profile developers and OS project leaders. There's also a new Beautiful Code web site based on the book where many of the authors are blogging about their work and coding practices."
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Data Storage

+ - Coming to your laptop -- 1.2TB hard drives-> 1

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "Fujitsu claims they have been able to create ideally ordered alumina nanohole patterns for isolated bit-by-bit recording on a disks, according to Computerworld's Brian Fonseca. The company recently demonstrated it could use a typical head and spinning platter to perform read/write operations on invdividual nanoholes. 'The patterned alumina nanohole media was created via a Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) processes using nano-imprint lithography (enabling discrete distance from bit to bit or track to track), anodic oxidation and cobalt electrodeposition at a density of 100-nanometer-pitch nanoholes suitable to existing head technology.'"
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Software

+ - BitTorrent Closes Source Code->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""There are two issues people need to come to grips with," BitTorrent CEO Ashwin Narvin told Slyck.com. "Developers who produce open source products will often have their product repackaged and redistributed by businesses with malicious intent. They repackage the software with spyware or charge for the product. We often receive phone calls from people who complain they have paid for the BitTorrent client." As for the protocol itself, that too is closed, but is available by obtaining an SDK license."
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GNU is Not Unix

+ - Submit Nominations for 2007 Free Software Awards->

Submitted by gnujoshua
gnujoshua (540710) writes "The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project request nominations for the 10th annual, 2007 Free Software Awards. Last year, the FSF awarded the developers of Sahana the Award for Project of Social Benefit for their free software disaster management system that was created in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami that devistated Southeast Asia. Also, last year, hacker Theodore Ts'o was given the Award for Advancement of Free Software for his many contributions to free software projects, including Linux, Kerberbos, and ONC RPC. More information about the awards can be found at www.fsf.org/awards. Submit your nominations by October 31, 2007."
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Math

+ - An Optical Solution For an NP-Complete problem?->

Submitted by 6
6 (22657) writes "Tobias Haist and Wolfgang Osten have proposed a novel idea for solving the traveling salesman problem...

We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP-complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non-polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment."

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Space

+ - Black hole seen swallowing star (and belching)

Submitted by
mcgrew (sm62704)
mcgrew (sm62704) writes "New Sceintest reports that the Swift satellite has detected GRB 070610. From the article:

A black hole has been spotted belching out a burst of gamma rays after gulping down part of a nearby star, something never seen before. Such violent burps may actually be the most common type of explosive "gamma-ray burst" in the universe.

Astronomers led by Mansi Kasliwal of Caltech in Pasadena, US, traced the burst to a star system in our own galaxy, where a black hole and a star slightly less massive than the Sun are orbiting each other.

Observing this black hole outburst from nearby would be a risky prospect. "If you were as close to the black hole as the [companion] star, things wouldn't be pretty," Kasliwal told New Scientist. "I don't think you'd want to be near it."
Raise shields, Mr. Sulu!"
Wireless Networking

+ - Why We Need a $200 Linux Notebook in the US->

Submitted by
thomasLNX
thomasLNX writes "Yes, a $200 Linux notebook is great for third world countries, but according to Matt Hartley, cheap PCs that run Linux are also great for the United States. Just because we are in the West, it doesn't mean we are ready to shell money for PCs that we can have for a very reasonable price. He continues, "Speaking on behalf of solutions for all income levels, I'm sincerely hoping to see the 3ePC, among other solutions yet to be released, being offered to first world nations. The belief that if you live in Europe or North America and you are able to afford a computer is insane, and it would be nice to see the manufacturers of these projects understand this. Some might argue that it just takes time. I, on the other hand, feel strongly that we have given the creators of alternative hardware plenty of time. Real people in our own countries need options now — today. Not 'someday.'"
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Books

+ - New Explanation for the Industrial Revolution->

Submitted by
Pcol
Pcol writes "The New York Times is running a story on Dr. Gregory Clark's book "A Farewell to Alms" with a new explanation for the Industrial Revolution and the affluence it created. Dr. Clark, an economic historian at the University of California Davis, postulates that the surge in economic growth that occurred first in England around 1800 came about because of the strange new behaviors of nonviolence, literacy, long working hours and a willingness to save. Clark's research shows that between 1200 and 1800, the rich had more surviving children than the poor and that this caused constant downward social mobility as the poor failed to reproduce themselves and the progeny of the rich took over their occupations. "The modern population of the English is largely descended from the economic upper classes of the Middle Ages," Clark concludes. Work hours increased, literacy and numeracy rose, and the level of interpersonal violence dropped. Around 1790, a steady upward trend in production efficiency caused a significant acceleration in the rate of productivity growth that at last made possible England's escape from the Malthusian trap. Why did the Industrial Revolution first occur in England instead of the much larger populations of China or Japan. Clark has found data showing that their richer classes, the Samurai in Japan and the Qing dynasty in China, were surprisingly unfertile and failed to generate the downward social mobility that spread production-oriented values."
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Portables

+ - Lenovo to sell, support SLED on ThinkPads->

Submitted by Pengo
Pengo (666) writes "Lenovo has announced that they will begin selling T-series ThinkPads with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 preinstalled beginning sometime during the fourth quarter. In addition to supplying the hardware support, Lenovo will also handle OS support for ThinkPad customers, with Novell providing software updates. 'Unlike Dell, which has targeted its Linux offering primarily at the enthusiast community, Lenovo's SLED laptops are targeted at the enterprise. Whether they are running Ubuntu, SLED, or some other distribution, the availability of Linux preinstallation from mainstream vendors increases the visibility of the operating system and gives component makers an incentive to provide better Linux drivers and hardware support. If Lenovo is willing to collaborate with the Linux development community to improve the Linux laptop user experience, it will be a big win for all Linux users, not just the ones who buy laptops from Lenovo.'"
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