Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

eBay Makes Huge Gains In Parallel Efficiency 47

CurtMonash writes "Parallel Efficiency is a simple metric that divides the actual work your parallel CPUs do by the sum of their total capacity. If you can get your parallel efficiency up, it's like getting free servers, free floor space, and some free power as well. eBay reports that it amazed even itself by increasing overall PE from 50% to 80% in about 6 months — across tens of thousands of servers. The secret sauce was data warehouse-based analytics. I.e., eBay instrumented its own network to do minute-by-minute status checks, then crunched the resulting data to find bottlenecks that needed removing. Obviously, savings are in the many millions of dollars. eBay has been offering some glimpses into its analytic efforts this year, and the PE savings are one of the most concrete examples they're offering to validate all this analytic cleverness."
The Almighty Buck

Tax Write-Offs For Free (As In Speech) Work? 198

deuist writes "Several years ago I wrote a book called The Not So Short Introduction to Getting Into Medical School (PDF) and released it online under a Creative Commons license. I have been asked several times to publish the text so that I can make money off of it. The book has become quite famous among pre-med students and is now available from the Princeton Review as a free CD that is given to pre-medical interest groups. My question to the Slashdot community involves claiming this work as volunteering for tax purposes. Have any of you had any success with releasing free software and then writing off your time when April 15 rolls around?"

Generic VMs Key To Future of Coding 139

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister calls for generic VMs divorced from the syntactic details of specific languages in order to provide developers with some much-needed flexibility in the years ahead: 'Imagine being able to program in the language of your choice and then choose from any of several different underlying engines to execute your code, depending upon the needs of your application.' This 'next major stage in the evolution of programming' is already under way, he writes, citing Jim Hugunin's work with Python on the CLR, Microsoft's forthcoming Dynamic Language Runtime, Jython, Sun's Da Vinci Machine, and the long-delayed Perl/Python Parrot. And with modern JITs capable of outputting machine code almost as efficient as hand-coded C, the idea of running code through a truly generic VM may be yet another key factor that will shape the future of scripting."

GM, Utilities Partner To Advance Plug-In Hybrids 582

chareverie writes "General Motors is forming a team with utility companies nationwide to create a charging infrastructure for electric cars. Their goal is to improve the design of charging stations — making them weatherproof and child-proof, for example — in locations such as public garages, meters, and parking lots. They're also working on ways to avoid overwhelming the utilities during peak hours. Their goal is to have these improved charging stations implemented by 2010, when the Chevy Volt is introduced. Everyone recognizes however that a national car-charging infrastructure would be far from complete at that time."

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce