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Submission + - Commodore PC still controls heat and A/C at 19 Michigan Public Schools ( 2

jmulvey writes: Think your SCADA systems are outdated? Environmental monitoring at 19 Grand Rapids Public Schools are still controlled by a Commodore Amiga. Programmed by a High School student in the 1980s, the system has been running 24/7 for decades. A replacement has been budgeted by the school system, estimated cost: Between $1.5 and 2 million. How much is your old Commodore Amiga worth?

Submission + - NASA Tests TGALS Glider-Based Satellite Launch System (

Zothecula writes: Recently, DARPA unveiled its ALASA system for launching satellites from fighter planes. Now NASA is upping the ante with its Towed Glider Air-Launch System (TGALS), which is designed to launch satellites from a twin-fuselage towed glider. Under development by NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, it's designed as an economical method for putting spacecraft into low-Earth orbit with the first test flight of a scale prototype having already been conducted.

Submission + - Windows Defender update crashes Windows .. (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has fixed a snafu with Windows Defender that took down thousands of business PCs and servers running Windows XP and Server 2003 .. The only solution to getting affected machines back up was to uninstall the updated signatures ...

Submission + - Fusion "Breakthrough" at National Ignition Facility? Uh, Not Really (

sciencehabit writes: One unintended effect of the U.S. federal shutdown is that helpful press officers at government labs are not available to provide a reality check to some of the wilder stories that can catch fire on the Internet. They would have come in handy this week, when a number of outlets jumped on a report on the BBC News website. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, it reported, had passed a "nuclear fusion milestone." NIF uses the world's highest energy laser system to crush tiny pellets containing a form of hydrogen fuel to enormous temperature and pressure. The aim is to get the hydrogen nuclei to fuse together into helium atoms, releasing energy. The BBC story reported that during one experiment last month, "the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel — the first time this had been achieved at any fusion facility in the world." This prompted a rush of even more effusive headlines proclaiming the "fusion breakthrough." As no doubt NIF's press officers would have told reporters, the experiment in question certainly shows important progress, but it is not the breakthrough everyone is hoping for.

Submission + - NVIDIA and AMD Launch New High-End Workstation, Virtualization and HPC GPUs (

MojoKid writes: "Nvidia is taking the wraps off a new GPU targeted at HPC and as expected, it's a monster. The Nvidia K20, based on the GK110 GPU, weighs in at 7.1B transistors, double the previous gen GK104's 3.54B. The GK110 is capable of pairing double-precision operations with other instructions (Fermi and GK104 couldn't) and the number of registers each thread can access has been quadrupled, from 63 to 255. Threads within a warp are now capable of sharing data. K20 also supports a greater number of atomic operations and brings new features to the table including Dynamic Parallelism. Meanwhile, AMD has announced a new FirePro graphics card at SC12 today, and it's aimed at server workloads and data center deployment. Rumors of a dual-core Radeon 7990 have floated around since before the HD 7000 series debuted, but this is the first time we've seen such a card in the wild. On paper, AMD's new FirePro S10000 is a serious beast. Single and double-precision rates at 5.9 TFLOPS and 1.48 TFLOPS respectively are higher than anything from Intel or Nvidia, as is the card's memory bandwidth. The flip side to these figures, however, is the eye-popping power draw. At 375W, the S10000 needs a pair of eight-pin PSU connectors. The S10000 is aimed at the virtualization market with its dual-GPUs on a single-card offering a good way to improve GPU virtualization density inside a single server."

Submission + - JavaScript The Evil Parts - You Can't Maintain It. (

mikejuk writes: In a recent panel discussion at Lang.NEXT, Anders Hejlsberg claimed that JavaScript programs aren't maintainable. In an attempt to upset the maximum number of programmers we have the following exchange:
Anders Hejlsberg:
  "...a new cross platform language called JavaScript and the typesystem went out with the bath water. Now we can all wonder how we do medium to large scale development.
Erik Meijer:
"...Are you saying you cannot write large programs in JavaScript?"
Anders Hejlsberg:
"No, I think you can, but I don't think you can maintain them."
The laughter at this point is telling of the opinion and attitude of the audience and the panel.
Anders Hejlsberg:
"... I tried a refactor in a big JavaScript program. Is this x the same as this x over there? I'm afraid I couldn't tell you."
From here the discussion goes on to explain that this is the reason Google is creating Dart:
Gilad Bracha:
" can write them (large JavaScript programs) but after that you will be suitably punished."
Erik Meijer:
".. but if you look at JavaScript it was defined independently of HTML"
Gilad Bracha:
  "That's true but combining two bad things does not make them better. "
For Anders Hejlsberg the ideas he expressed in the discussion must be very difficult to maintain in a Microsoft world where JavaScript is now a first-class language alongside the elegant C#. The rest of the video is also quite entertaining!


Submission + - Next Xbox to be powered by Radeon 6000-series? ( 1

RogueyWon writes: "IGN is quoting "sources close to the project" as reporting that Microsoft's next video games console will be use a graphics card equivalent to an AMD Radeon 6670. While substantially more powerful than current console graphics hardware and somewhat more powerful than the forthcoming Wii-U, Eurogamer notes that, if true, this news would suggest that Microsoft intends to prioritise price over performance."

Submission + - Iranian TV shows downed US drone (

loic_2003 writes: "Iranian TV has broadcast footage of an advanced US drone aircraft that Tehran says it brought down using electronic methods to override its controls.
The BBC's James Reynolds watched the footage and said the fact that the drone appeared undamaged provided some evidence to support Tehran's version of events.
The film was captioned "RQ170 — advanced US spy plane" and carried on the Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran Network 1 channel."


Submission + - Firm makes iPhone Geiger counter for worried Japan ( 1

cuckundu writes: A Japanese company Tuesday unveiled a cheap Geiger counter for the iPhone to enable people worried about the March Fukushima nuclear accident to check their environment for radiation. The probe, 14 centimeters long by five wide, connects to the iPhone and the screen displays radiation readings in combination with a special app such as the Geiger Bot.

Submission + - The Cost of US Security

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Atlantic reports that as we mark Osama bin Laden's death, what's striking is how much he cost our nation and how little we've gained from our fight against him. By conservative estimates, bin Laden cost the United States at least $3 trillion over the past 15 years, counting the disruptions he wrought on the domestic economy, the wars and heightened security triggered by the terrorist attacks he engineered, and the direct efforts to hunt him down. "What do we have to show for that tab," ask Tim Fernholz and Jim Tankersley. "Two wars that continue to occupy 150,000 troops and tie up a quarter of our defense budget; a bloated homeland-security apparatus that has at times pushed the bounds of civil liberty; soaring oil prices partially attributable to the global war on bin Laden's terrorist network; and a chunk of our mounting national debt." In 2004 bin Laden explicitly compared the US fight to the Afghan incursion that helped bankrupt the Soviet Union during the Cold War. "We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy," said bin Laden adding that that every dollar spent by al-Qaida in attacking the US has cost Washington $1m in economic fallout and military spending. Considering that we've spent one-fifth of a year's gross domestic product--more than the entire 2008 budget of the United States government--responding to his 2001 attacks, he may have been onto something."

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