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Comment: Re:is it me or is it 30 years too late? (Score 1) 141

I certainly believe that there are new things under the sun. I just don't believe that there are as many of them as our trendsetting media would like us to think. Come to think of it, I'll bet that the truly new things under the sun are seldom well covered. I guess Sturgeon's Law applies.

+ - Google's Baseline Study for defining Healthy Human.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Google’s research division "Google X" has started another moonshot project named as "Baselne Study".

The baseline study project will collect anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people and later thousands more to create the complete picture of what a healthy human being should be.

The baseline study will help researchers detect killers such as heart disease and cancer far earlier, pushing medicine more toward prevention rather than the treatment of illness.

According to Google, the information from Baseline will be anonymous and its use will be limited to medical and health purposes. Data won't be shared with insurance companies."

+ - Potentially Immortal Single Cell Life form Eats, Breathes, Electrons ->

Submitted by retroworks
retroworks (652802) writes "University of Southern California, Los Angeles researchers are studying forms of bacteria, found on the sea bed, which can feed directly on electrons from electric current. Unlike any other living thing on Earth, electric bacteria use energy in its purest form – naked electricity in the shape of electrons harvested from rocks and metals. NewScientist reports on cells which make ATP, a molecule that acts as an energy storage unit for almost all living things. This life form needs no sugar or protein, it can consume electrons, from electricity, directly.

"To grow these bacteria, the team collects sediment from the seabed, brings it back to the lab, and inserts electrodes into it. First they measure the natural voltage across the sediment, before applying a slightly different one. A slightly higher voltage offers an excess of electrons; a slightly lower voltage means the electrode will readily accept electrons from anything willing to pass them off. Bugs in the sediments can either "eat" electrons from the higher voltage, or "breathe" electrons on to the lower-voltage electrode, generating a current. That current is picked up by the researchers as a signal of the type of life they have captured.""

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Comment: Re:And the dirfference is? (Score 1) 226

by dpilot (#47486973) Attached to: X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

There's the snarky answer, and what I suspect is the real answer.

First, systemd and everything associated with is just so kewl and shiny that's it's a privilege to even use any of it, which makes it all the more amazing that they're actually welcoming us to do so, instead of making us fight for a place in line.

Second, X11 goes way back before anyone was really concerned with security. I suspect from a core competence point of view, the X11 coders are far more comfortable and far more engaged with the graphical display code than the input side. I get the impression that a lot of effort was spent in properly cleaning and separating the root-requiring functionality. I know I've read of KMS and DRI work for years now. It's been a long road, and I believe it may have only been in the past year that the display side has gotten to the point where they could think about going rootless.

I also suspect that the input device part is not their core competence - they'd like events coming in from "elsewhere" and get back to their graphics work. So along comes systemd, saying, "We'll handle the gnarly details of console access and security for you," and X said OK, if only in the spirit of modularity and going back to their graphics work. (Graphics work includes processing the inputs, not just drawing outputs - I think they'd just like the inputs to be clean and handed to them.)

Comment: Re:How many? Hard to say (Score 1) 272

by dpilot (#47484077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Many Employees Does Microsoft Really Need?

I've also found that sadly enough, there are plenty of people around a big company who are really good at appearing essential, while really doing nothing themselves and in fact are very good at creating work for others. Unfortunately they also tend to get retained through job cuts, because they appear so essential.

Though I work in a big company we generally manged to have a small, well-focused team. That makes it a good place to work, as long as you can keep your head down, have fun, and not see the chaos and decay around you.

Comment: Re:X, systemd, and priveleges? (Score 2) 226

by dpilot (#47476243) Attached to: X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

Are you able to explain more?

My impression is that there were 2 issues with non-root X - mode setup and input device management. KMS and DRI2/DRI3 take care of the former, and I'm under the impression that systemd-logind takes care of the latter. But ultimately these are all just kernel interfaces - if systemd-logind has a root-helper and makes a series of kernel calls to manage the input devices, then that same job could be done by some other piece of software.

Again, do you understand the base mechanism at work here?

Comment: Re:The crackpot cosmology "theory" Du Jour (Score 4, Insightful) 214

by dpilot (#47474655) Attached to: Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

As we better understand the universe, we find gaps between reality and our understanding. We then try to extend our understanding to better match reality, and that means filling in those gaps. Sometimes it takes many tries to fill in a gap, or at least make it smaller.

Negative mass is one of those attempts, and it's worth noting that they aren't clinging to the concept, they're simply suggesting that it's one possibility that can be tested. In other words, they actually are using Occam's Razor. In this realm, nothing is simple, which makes the Razor harder to use.

Comment: Re:PowerPC worked out for Apple ... (Score 1) 126

I'm thinking of the code-morphing, similar to Transmeta. From where I learned about it, the runtime translation target was called micro-ops. We have different definitions. Someone I once knew referred to micro-ops (my definition) as "caveman primitives."

Still, it's an internal CISC->RISC translation, and the retirement unit hides that when it's all done.

+ - Higgs boson: easy! Now, the underlying reason fr it.

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Physicists at the CERN's Large Hadron Colider (LHC) ATLAS experiment have been looking through the data, and have found enough of the extremely rare "W boson" (proton-proton) collisons that they can now declare their results; They have found why/how the Higgs does its job of imparting mass to other particles. This article tells how it works.

"Only about one in 100 trillion proton-proton collisions would produce one of these events," said Marc-André Pleier, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory who played a leadership role in the analysis of this result for the ATLAS collaboration. "You need to observe many [collisions] to see if the production rate is above or on par with predictions," Pleier said. "We looked through billions of proton-proton collisions produced at the LHC for a signature of these events—decay products that allow us to infer like Sherlock Holmes what happened in the event."

The analysis efforts started two years ago and were carried out in particular by groups from Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Michigan, and Technische Universität Dresden, Germany."

Comment: Re:PowerPC worked out for Apple ... (Score 1) 126

I suspect you're confusing micro-ops with microcode.

Current architectures (not all, but not just Intel) decompose the user-visible instruction set into a stream of micro-ops, (more primitive instructions) and send that stream to a dispatch unit. The dispatch unit resolves dependency issues and as requirements are met, sends the micro-ops to one of a series of execution units. As micro-ops complete, their results are sent to the retirement unit. Note that between dispatch and retirement, the architectural registers have effectively disappeared, and are reassigned at retirement.

Microcode is a completely different thing - usually the opcode is translated into a subroutine entry point, and a (typically) classic Harvard-style computing engine interprets the user-visible instruction set. But it's all in lock-step, not the controlled chaos of micro-ops.

Comment: Re:Its even worse than we thought (Score 2) 552

by dpilot (#47458607) Attached to: The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Me too. I'd just rather postpone that day as much as possible, and have a good time while getting there.

On an achy day, my mother used to say, "Never grow old." However upon further consideration, I think growing old is usually preferable to failing to.

(Many caveats apply, "Growing old" is meant in the physical sense, of course making lifestyle choices to retain capacity. "Growing old" in the mental sense is also something of a choice.)

+ - The Latest Climate Change Denial Fact Twisting->

Submitted by bizwriter
bizwriter (1064470) writes "A new report from libertarian think tank Heartland Institute claims that new government data debunks the concept of global climate change. However, an examination of the full data and some critical consideration shows that the organization, whether unintentionally or deliberately, has inaccurately characterized and misrepresented the information and what it shows."
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