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Comment: Re:Will it have the same garbage CPU? (Score 4, Insightful) 141

by mnmn (#48345453) Attached to: Raspberry Pi A+ Details Leaked
It is garbage because a very closed CPU is used as an educational platform without datasheet availability.

This Broadcom SOC is great for mass-produced routers, bad for sharing with people trying to learn how Linux boots, learning assembly and possibly advancing to their own RTOS. I'm aware of the measly peripheral datasheet sections that are available online, but for Atmel and NXP chips one has to read a LOT more to make basic hardware level programs (how are the VICs nested, timing and boot issues/settings, other exceptions made by Broadcom i their ARM11 implementation etc).

Consistency is unimportant if youre giving people a board with the OS pre-installed, the kernel can handle different CPUs while users use different programs. But if you want to learn a bit more and go lower level (for example from Arduino), you're screwed by Broadcom SOC's severe lack of documentation. And forget about learning to code for the GPU.
The Almighty Buck

In Canada, a Government-Backed Electronic Currency 248

Posted by timothy
from the taxes-built-in-to-this-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Secure chips have already made it into our credit and debit cards. Next up, they could replace pocket change.The Royal Canadian Mint has been pushing forward with its "MintChip" prototype, a digital cash replacement aimed at transactions under $10, since it surfaced a year ago. The Crown corporation is factoring in developer feedback, hiring a product manager and consulting with the financial sector."

Biological Computer Created at Stanford 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the meat-machine dept.
sciencehabit writes "For the first time, synthetic biologists have created a genetic device that mimics one of the widgets on which all of modern electronics is based, the three-terminal transistor. Like standard electronic transistors, the new biological transistor is expected to work in many different biological circuit designs. This should make it easier for scientists to program cells to do everything from monitor pollutants and the progression of disease to turning on the output of medicines and biofuels."

Ask Slashdot: Actual Best-in-Show For Free Anti Virus? 515

Posted by samzenpus
from the good-and-cheap dept.
First time accepted submitter paperclipman writes "I'm on the college student budget and want to make sure that my recent investment in an Acer laptop will last me a good long while. I like to think of myself as a reasonably competent CPU user so I'm no adventurous link-clicker, but I do download some music as a recent SoundCloud devotee. My Kaspersky antivirus will be expiring shortly and I don't particularly care to renew with that steep of a fee — any advice from fellow thrifts?"
The Military

Nukes Are "The Only Peacekeeping Weapons the World Has Ever Known," Says Waltz 707

Posted by Soulskill
from the especially-when-we-drop-them-on-people dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Famed academic Kenneth Waltz for years has argued that more nukes around the world create peace. Why? Because the more nukes are around, the more people are afraid to start a war with a nuclear-armed state. Peace seems assured with a gun to the world's head. In a recent interview, he argues that Iran gaining nuclear weapons would be a good thing. He points out that 'President Obama and a number of others have advocated the abolition of nuclear weapons and many have accepted this as both a desirable and a realistic goal. Even entertaining the goal and contemplating the end seems rather strange. On one hand the world has known war since time immemorial, right through August 1945. Since then, there have been no wars among the major states of the world. War has been relegated to peripheral states (and, of course, wars within them). Nuclear weapons are the only peacekeeping weapons that the world has ever known. It would be strange for me to advocate for their abolition, as they have made wars all but impossible.'"

US Unhappy With Australians Storing Data On Australian Shores 386

Posted by Soulskill
from the tough-noogies dept.
Fluffeh writes "The United States' global trade representative has strongly criticized a perceived preference on the part of large Australian organizations for hosting their data on-shore in Australia, claiming it created a significant trade barrier for U.S. technology firms. A number of U.S. companies had expressed concerns that various departments in the Australian Government, namely the Department of Defence had been sending negative messages about cloud providers based outside the country, implying that 'hosting data overseas, including in the United States, by definition entails greater risk and unduly exposes consumers to their data being scrutinized by foreign governments.' Recently, Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner Anthony Bendall highlighted some of the privacy concerns with cloud computing, particularly in its use by the local government. He said the main problems were the lack of control over stored data and privacy, in overseas cloud service providers."
The Almighty Buck

Do You Really Need a Smart Phone? 851

Posted by timothy
from the all-depends-on-the-context dept.
Roblimo writes "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone." I stuck with a dumb phone for a long time, but I admit to loving the versatility of my Android phone, for all its imperfections.

Comment: Re:Strange (Score 1) 395

by mnmn (#36165674) Attached to: When AIM Was Our Facebook
I was thinking the same thing. AIM was the first feeling of being online? Hell no! It was 9600 baud modems, BBSes and the first live chat for a lot of us was IRC.

I know I know unix has a chat thingy too, but it was IRC that connected the world, in strange little dungeon chatrooms, where you had to smell the bots before trying to download mp3s from them :)

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 1486

by mnmn (#35750294) Attached to: Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?
When the first-ever reactor was being setup by Fermi, he know exactly how to build it and what the results will be. No human had ever built one before. And yet it was 'science' before the first reactor.

More than being 'testable', science gives you results rather than emotional satisfaction. There is much of science not testable (immediately) such as time travel and the likelihood of intelligent aliens in nearby galaxies.

A different definition might be:

- Science is the most likely truth given the observable

- Religion is usually the least likely truth, but one that emotionally appeals to us.

It was religion that claimed the world is flat, and sits on the back of a giant tortoise and a few other animals piled up. Science claimed the world was round before it was directly testable. It because testable when people sailed around the world. Yet there are still people in the 21st century who believe the world is flat, and they're being lied to.

Intel Unveils 10-Core Xeon Processors 128

Posted by timothy
from the you-may-now-kiss-the-cores dept.
MojoKid writes "Intel announced its new E-series of Xeon processors today, claiming that they will deliver nearly unparalleled advances in CPU performance and power efficiency. It has been just over a year since Santa Clara released its Nehalem-based octal-core Beckton processors. Whereas Beckton was focused entirely on performance and architectural efficiency, these new Xeons are more balanced. The new chips boost the core count to ten (up to 20 threads with HT enabled) and will be offered at a wide range of power envelopes. The new E7 series incorporates the benefits of the Sandy Bridge architecture, its support for new security processing instructions, and its improved power management technology. Intel has also baked in support for low-voltage DIMMs, which allows vendors to opt for 1.35v products."

Comment: Re:Or ... (Score 1) 223

by mnmn (#35283684) Attached to: Earth's Inner Core Rotation Slower Than Estimated
Holy assumptions in the original article. It links the core's relative rotation to the magnetic field. The magnetic field exists because a huge mass of ferroelectric material rotates.

Now which do you think affects the magnetic field more, the cores RELATIVE rotation speed (a few degrees in a million years?) or the overall Earth rotation (roughly 365 degrees in a day)? This is like putting a magnet in a plastic cup, rotating the magnet, and rotating the cup SLIGHTLY slower, and saying the resulting magnetic field is due to the cup rotating SLOWER.

Are Tablets Just Too Expensive? 549

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-wait-for-them-to-come-out-with-subtablets dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Over at PCWorld they're asking a simple but valid question: Are tablets just too expensive? They point out that, weight-for-weight, pure silver is cheaper than most tablets, and that, like jewelery, tablets are highly thievable. The worst thing might be that the nascent tablet platform gets written-off as a high-priced niche for people with more money than sense."

'Universal' Memory Aims To Replace Flash/DRAM 125

Posted by Soulskill
from the runs-on-vapor dept.
siliconbits writes "A single 'universal' memory technology that combines the speed of DRAM with the non-volatility and density of flash memory was recently invented at North Carolina State University, according to researchers. The new memory technology, which uses a double floating-gate field-effect-transistor, should enable computers to power down memories not currently being accessed, drastically cutting the energy consumed by computers of all types, from mobile and desktop computers to server farms and data centers, the researchers say."

Which Shipping Company Is Kindest To Your Packages? 480

Posted by samzenpus
from the handle-however-you-want dept.
Ant writes "Popular Mechanics mailed a bunch of sensors on an epic journey to find out which American shipping company is the most careful with your packages. From the article: 'One disheartening result was that our package received more abuse when marked "Fragile" or "This Side Up." The carriers flipped the package more, and it registered above-average acceleration spikes during trips for which we requested careful treatment.' Here's what they found."

What To Load On a 4-Year-Old's Netbook? 742

Posted by samzenpus
from the besides-plants-vs.-zombies dept.
nostrodecus writes "I have a nephew who is very young, but who has the techie gene — he found the Gruffalo on YouTube before anyone knew he could spell. Now he's almost 4, and I was thinking of giving him my netbook (Acer running XP), which I hardly use any more. So, of course, I will be deleting all the porn, but what should I load up on it? Are there tools/apps that I can load up on it to protect it and him from things he shouldn't see until college? Also, what apps or games could I load on it that a 4-year-old will get some use out of?"

A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done. -- Fred Allen