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Hardware

+ - Transistor made from cotton yarn, t-shirt computer-> 1

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "Altering the very fabric of technophilic society, a multinational team of material scientists have created electric circuits and transistors out of cotton fibers. Two kinds of transistor were created: a field-effect transistor (FET), much like the transistors found in your computer’s CPU; and an electrochemical transistor, which is similar but capable of switching at lower voltages, and thus better suited for wearable computers. Cotton itself is an insulator, but by using various coatings the team from Italy, France, and the United States were able to make conductor and semiconductor cotton "wires" that retained most of their flexibility. The immediate use-cases are clothes with built-in sensors (think radiation or heart beat monitors), but ultimately, think of how many thousands of interconnections are in every piece of cotton clothing — you could make a fairly powerful computer!"
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Comment: When GPL went to the real world (Score 1) 808

by dr-alves (#38412088) Attached to: GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast

GPL was all about freedom but it turns out software is a for profit business.

GPL was created because someone assumed that if someone creates open-source code, they do it altruistically to share their ideas with the world, and wouldn't want anyone else to profit without giving back.

Both counts are wrong, there are lots more reasons, even profit oriented reasons, to open-source code, like get help with maintenance or increase client base, and turns out that most those reasons already take into account that someone might use without giving back.

Simple example I create a framework to sell tomatoes online, and I sell consulting services on that framework to third parties. I wouldn't want anyone not to use my framework because it forces them to open-source ALL code that interacts with the said framework.

Comment: If any of these apply: (Score 2) 325

by dr-alves (#38339224) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Vs. Closed-Source For a Start-Up

Open the source if any of the cases apply:

- Your code is infrastructure and your value is in the service you provide: Open sourcing in this case allows to form a community around your infrastructure and soften the burden of having to maintain it all by yourself.
- The code is already open-source and you provide consultancy services: Your main revenue comes from maintenance and deployment contracts, open sourcing increases your client base.
- You're creating a new market: if the market is completely new then open-sourcing might raise awareness and increase your client base, but it will also help competitors (if and when they emerge and they will if you're successful); This is usually done on a freemium model, you open source the functionality to raise the client base but close "enterprise features" like scalability/high performance/fault-tolerance/configuration management.

Close your source in any other case and if your case does not fall *clearly* into any of these.

Power

+ - Nuclear Fusion Possible Within 2-3 Years?-> 1

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Even with all the developments taking place in the areas of alternative energy such as solar and wind power, nuclear fusion still remains the holy grail of clean electricity generation. However, after decades of worldwide research costing billions of dollars, the goal of achieving “net-gain,” where more energy is produced than is required to trigger the fusion chain reaction, still remains elusive. Now researchers at Sandia Labs are claiming a breakthrough that could see break-even fusion reactions in as little as two to three years."
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Comment: To whoever wins: Get your act together!!! (Score 1) 1

by dr-alves (#34201176) Attached to: The Coming War Over the Future of Java

People say a lot of things about Java: it's verbose, its old-school, its not fast enough etc....

Although I've been developing in java for quite a few years I might agree with most criticisms...

So why Java? Why not just jump ship to the "cool" new languages (scala,go,python,ruby,etc)?

Two words: community, libraries

The community of java developers is huge which means some (if not most) of the brightest programming is still done in java (or at least in JVM based languages). Access to this body of knowledge allows to grow faster as a programmer and a technician and to solve common problems faster.

There is a huge body of libraries in java to do pretty much everything under the sun. From purely academic stuff to entreprisey stuff through everyday stuff the amount of open-source, free generic java code out there is simply unmatched.

So Oracle: Get a Grip! Wake Up!

What would you do if everyone jumped ship?
Who would use your java enterprise products (that amount to a major share of your income)?

Please please realize that you have a lot more to loose by putting java developers and java based shops on the spot, than you can win from a commercial JVM and and by receiving royalties from all over about your java patents and copyright enforcements.

Don't do it to be nice, we all know you are in the business of making money, do it to make more money on your other products!
A the fastest JVM everywhere will mean your products always run the fastest possible.
A free java language will keep developing for your products efficient and economic as devs are allowed to used the huge community and libraries around.

The path you are leading right now will turn java into the new .NET, i.e., a nice language with some interesting features but with a small open minded community (e.g. non-commercial) and no significant body of open source libraries.

Java

+ - The Coming War Over the Future of Java-> 1

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes about what could be the end of the Java Community Process as we know it. With the Apache Software Foundation declaring war on Oracle over Java, the next likely step would be a vote of no confidence in the JCP, which, if the ASF can convince enough members to follow suit, 'could effectively unravel the Java community as a whole,' McAllister writes, with educators, academics, and researchers having little incentive to remain loyal to an Oracle-controlled platform. 'Independent developers could face the toughest decisions of all. Even if the JCP dissolves, many developers will be left with few alternatives,' with .Net offering little advantage, and Perl, Python, and Ruby unable to match Java's performance. The dark horse? Google Go — a language Google might just fast-track in light of its patent suit with Oracle over Android."
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Google

+ - Google Breaks Internet Traffic Record->

Submitted by sturgeon
sturgeon (1309895) writes "Google is now the second largest ISP on the planet according to a new study by the Arbor Networks. Google generates over 6% of all Internet traffic in the world. From the article, "While its not news that Google is Big, what is amazing is how much bigger Google continues to get. Only one global tier1 provider still carries more traffic than Google (and this ISP also provides a large portion of Google's transit)." The report says Google gained more than 1% of all Internet traffic share since just January. This is a crazy amount of traffic."
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+ - Flexible, Stretchable LED Arrays Created->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created bio-compatible LED arrays that can bend, stretch, and even be implanted under the skin. While this might cause some people to immediately think “glowing tattoos!”, the arrays are actually intended for activating drugs, monitoring medical conditions, or performing other biomedical tasks within the body. Down the road, however, they could also be incorporated into consumer goods, robotics, or military/industrial applications."
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Java

+ - Doug Lea leaves the JCP Java standards body->

Submitted by mccalli
mccalli (323026) writes "Doug Lea, the person behind Java 1.5/1.6's concurrency utils, has decided not to stand for re-election to the Java Community Process execuite , citing Oracle's behaviour regarding standards. Whilst acknolwedging there were issues when Sun controlled it, he states that 'Rather than fixing rules orceasing violations, Oracle now promises to simply disregard them. If they indeed act as they have promised, then the JCP can never again become more than an approval body for Oracle-backed initiatives.'"
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Comment: Re:What the Hell? Sculley dishes on Jobs? (Score 2, Interesting) 417

by dr-alves (#33950222) Attached to: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

Hum, english is not my native language so I might have missed that detail.
Nonetheless I was in doubt so before I posted I checked it (from http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/dish+on):

dish on someone
Sl. to gossip about or slander someone. e.g., Stop dishing on her. She never hurt you! They spent an hour dishing on Wally.

I'll keep that in mind in the future, thanks.

Comment: What the Hell? Sculley dishes on Jobs? (Score 1) 417

by dr-alves (#33948396) Attached to: Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

I know the interview is really long but Sculley does the exact opposite. Sculley may criticize some aspects of Jobs management but mostly Sculley is revering Jobs not dishing on him.

Some quotes (sculley about jobs):

"I’m actually convinced that if Steve hadn’t come back when he did — if they had waited another six months — Apple would have been history. It would have been gone, absolutely gone."
"It's ok to be driven a little crazy by someone that is consistently right"

Comment: Middle Age Universities now?? BAD IDEA (Score 5, Insightful) 380

by dr-alves (#33940314) Attached to: What If We Ran Universities Like Wikipedia?

In the middle ages interested (and I mean wealthy) people would be able to grasp multiple areas of expertise (think leonardo da vinci).

Since then things have gotten a WHOLE LOT more complicated, i.e., Would we want civil engineers building bridges if they could skip structural courses?

Professional expertises are narrower and narrower and with that the margin for freedom in terms of what is required to finish a degree is smaller.

The world is more complex, society is more complex, and while there is certainly some wiggle room for each individual the bottom line is that highly specialized workers require a highly specialized, structured, education.

Data Storage

+ - One step closer to superfast, bootless computers->

Submitted by CWmike
CWmike (1292728) writes "Physicists at the University of California at Riverside have made a breakthrough in developing a 'spin computer,' which would combine logic with nonvolatile memory, bypassing the need for computers to boot up. The advance could also lead to superfast chips. The new transistor technology, which one lead scientist believes could become a reality in about five years, would reduce power consumption to the point where eventually computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices could remain on all the time. The breakthrough came when scientists at UC Riverside successfully injected a spinning electron into a resistor material called graphene, which is essentially a very thin layer of graphite, just like you might find in a pencil. The graphene in this case is one-atom thick. The process is known as 'tunneling spin injection.' A lead scientist for the project said the clock speeds of chips made using tunneling spin injection would be 'thousands of times' faster than today's processors. He describes the tech as a totally new concept that 'will essentially give memory some brains.'"
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Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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