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United Kingdom

Are Roads Safer With No Central White Lines? 150

Press2ToContinue writes: White lines along the center of roads have been removed in parts of the UK, with some experts saying it encourages motorists to slow down. So is it the beginning of the end for the central road marking? You are driving along the road when the dotted white line that has been your companion — separating your car from oncoming traffic — suddenly disappears. One theory is that you will slow down, making the road safer. What could possibly go wrong?

Comment Re:Cores Schmores (Score 1) 123

They didn't, the fastest P4 Xeon outperformed the fastest Athlons, but for any given Athlon the equivalent speed P4 was a lot more expensive. Once the Opterons came out, that changed: if you wanted the fastest x86 chip you could buy, you bought from AMD, especially in multi-socket configurations (quad-processor Opterons wiped the floor with memory-starved quad Xeons until Intel integrated the memory controller on die). Worse (for Intel), if you were willing to recompile your code you could get another 20+% out of the Opterons using the x86-64 ISA (more GPRs and cheaper PIC made a big difference, and a floating point ABI that used SSE exclusively and not x87 could give you a 100% speedup in float-heavy code, where even if the x86-32 compiler was using SSE registers for compute it was still losing performance moving them to and from the x87 register stack for function calls / returns).
Google

Google Working On Wireless Charging For Self-Driving Cars (inhabitat.com) 37

MikeChino writes: New FCC filings suggest that Google is currently installing wireless charging systems for self-driving cars at its headquarters in Mountain View. The documents suggest that the systems will be installed by Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics. Both companies offer technology that can wirelessly charge an electric car via plates that are embedded in the ground.

Comment Re:I am not a physicist but... (Score 2) 163

If memory serves, and google says it does, the temperature of the sun is around 15 million K. I'm not gonna bother googling it, but I'm pretty sure 15 million K is lower (much, much lower) than absolute 0. So the numbers flat out don't work.

A. The reaction rates differ by about 16 orders of magnitude: The sun is going to run about 10 billion years with no refueling. A Tokamak fusion reactor would run for a few seconds or minutes.
2. The sun is using a completely different set of nuclear reactions with completely different fuel. There is no direct comparison anyway.

Comment Re:Why not just call the entire Internet illegal? (Score 2) 74

All hyperbole and kidding aside, is it just me or do these BREIN fools sound like just more politicians, completely devoid of any ability to understand technical things? Their argument is like liberals trying to outlaw firearms: they make a basic assumption that 'guns are evil, therefore get rid of guns' when in reality people kill people, and eliminating guns won't really do a damn thing; someone wants to kill, they'll find a way, gun or no gun.

All hyperbole aside.... if that's how you feel why don't you give Daesh the nuclear launch codes? Surely they want to kill us and surely they'll find a way, so just give up now. Yes, a tool is just a tool. That doesn't mean we're going to stop trying to keep it out of the hands of bad people or find ways to make it less suitable for doing bad things. Even the US has restrictions for convicted felons and fully automatic weapons. So say you're convicted of embezzlement, you've never had any violent history in your life. Does that now mean that you won't ever in your life have a need for self defense? Hell no, but we simply don't trust you.

Now don't get me wrong I don't generally believe people are evil, but a few could be mentally ill, a few driven to madness by malice and a few could be in great distress like a break-up, getting fired and so on. If you gave everyone a gun, there will be school shootings. There will be fired employees going postal. There will be crazy ex shootings. Guns make it easier. Sure you could do it with a knife, but it's a lot less dangerous. If you want to pull this "reductio ad absurdum" then a felon could kill with a knife so since we don't take his kitchen knives away it's pointless. It's not, really it isn't.

Of course there's big problems to some people having guns and some not, but I don't see how you could get away from that. Where would you put the bar on that? Minors? Mentally challenged? Demented elderly? I think only a few Texas die hards really believe absolutely everyone should be allowed to carry a gun. I support gun restrictions the same way I support dangerous drugs being restricted to healthcare personnel, explosives to people working in demolitions and so on, if you have a legitimate need for hunting or sports that's fine. On the streets I'd rather have knives and the cops cracking down hard on gun crime. It seems to be working, your average criminal doesn't carry.

To get at least slightly back on topic with digital it's rather black and white, all or nothing, zero or one. And that's why I feel many analogies fail to make the transition, like in the debate about the iPhone cryptography. If it were a safe, they'd drill it but you can't drill your way through AES256. But this particular case is silly, it's essentially torrents in your browser. If they haven't been able to ban torrent clients, surely there's nothing wrong with this application either. It's just annoyingly convenient for copyright holders, but principally it's no different.

Submission + - Ubuntu Touch Is Being Ported to Fairphone 2

prisoninmate writes: While Canonical employees are working hard these days on the enablement of the Ubuntu Tablet device, it looks like we're getting the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the Fairphone 2 smartphone. Marius Gripsgård, the skilled developer who managed to port Ubuntu for Phones on the OnePlus One smartphone is currently working on porting Ubuntu Touch to Fairphone 2. Softpedia got in touch with the developer to find a few more details about what's going on, what works right now on the device, and what users should expect in the coming months.

Submission + - Are roads safer with no central white lines?

Press2ToContinue writes: White lines along the center of roads have been removed in parts of the UK, with some experts saying it encourages motorists to slow down. So is it the beginning of the end for the central road marking?

You are driving along the road when the dotted white line that has been your companion — separating your car from oncoming traffic — suddenly disappears.

One theory is that you will slow down, making the road safer.

What could possibly go wrong?

Submission + - Skylake Breaks 7GHz In Intel Overclocking World Record (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel's latest generation of processors built on the Skylake architecture are efficient as well as seriously fast. The flagship, Core i7-6700K, is an interesting chip as it's clocked at a base 4GHz, and can peak at 4.2GHz with Turbo Boost. Of course, as fast as the 6700K is, overclocking can always help take things to the next level, or at least temporarily explore future potential. In Chi-Kui Lam's case, he did just that, and managed to break a world record for Intel processors along the way. Equipped with an ASRock motherboard, G.SKILL memory, and a beefy 1.3KW Antec power supply — not to mention liquid nitrogen — Lam managed to break through the 7GHz barrier to settle in at 7025.66MHz. A CPU-Z screenshot shows us that all cores but one were disabled — something traditionally done to improve the chances of reaching such high clock speeds.

Submission + - Company tracked Iowa caucusgoers' phones 1

schwit1 writes: Who needs exit polls when you can track caucusgoers' phones?

That's what one company did. Dstillery, which has been called "Picasso in the dark art of digital advertising," turned its intelligence-collection capabilities to the Iowa caucuses last week.

The company used location data to identify more than 16,000 devices at caucus locations across the state.

"We can take a population in a discrete location — in this case a polling, a caucus site — and sample that population and go and then look at characteristics of that population that no one's been able to discern before, because we have this incredibly rich behavioral view of American consumers based on all the digital behaviors we observe," Dstillery CEO Tom Phillips said in an interview.

Comment Re:Flash won already (Score 1) 167

The clock is ticking on spinning drives. HDD are still viable, but only for large backups. However, if all you look at is price, then you get what you pay for.

Sure. But apart from the personal content that you should have backed up in multiple+offsite copies for safekeeping and usually just consumes a little bit, for most people the HDD is a n'th level cache of the Internet. For many people that's even true of the SSD content, if you lose your Steam games folder or Spotify offline playlists well you can just download it again. And when it comes to digital media quantity is king, it's a lot easier to have three copies with 95% reliability than one with 99,99% because you could always get a lemon.

Comment Well, duh (Score 1) 41

If we knew what they were trying to communicate, we'd probably find they have different languages too. Same as with people, without long distance travel/communication there's no reason to believe they'd share a language. We've seen this both on the macro scale through colonization wiping out many local languages and on the micro scale through building bridges to islands, linguists found that dialects became much less distinct. And with mass media and the Internet I'm sure we're converging even stronger now. Wolves have none of that so I'm sure a US wolf wouldn't understand much of what a EU wolf was howling, but I'm sure they'd quickly work out the basics.

Comment Stupid complicated pricing, limited choices (Score 1) 63

CenturyLink just put in fiber optic internet in my neighborhood and offers up to 1 Gbps speeds, but doesn't support static IPs. I've been using Comcast business and mostly don't mind what I pay for business class to get a /29.

I've been toying with the idea of switching to CenturyLink and running a pfsense instance on a cloud provider somewhere. Most generic Internet traffic (TV streaming, web, etc) would go out the CenturyLink dynamic IP and server traffic would get routed via IPSec to the pfsense instance to the cloud-based public IP addresses. This worked technically when I tested it with a virtual lab.

The Amazon cost estimator makes it seem mostly reasonable for compute and transit -- my actual server traffic is trivial, and even with generous CPU usage estimates it looked kind of reasonable.

The downside is that Amazon is very Linux oriented. There's a marketplace AMI for pfsense, but they want $500/year and creating your own is non-trivial. There are some FreeBSD AMIs but turning one into a working pfsense would be non-trivial as well.

I'd be tempted to try this just to kick the tires and see if the idea executed well in real life (like, no absurd latency or CPU utilization with the IPSec tunnels, etc) but I hate Netgate's AMI pricing so much I'm not even willing to shell out the $20 it would cost to run it for a week.

I'm sure there's a better place offering this or letting you install it yourself, but I can't easily find it.

AI

Wolves Howl In Different 'Dialects,' Machine Learning Finds (vice.com) 41

derekmead writes: Differentiating wolf howls with human ears can prove tricky, so researchers have turned to computer algorithms to suss out if different wolf species howl differently. They think that understanding wolf howls could help improve wolf conservation and management programs. In a study published in the journal Behavioural Processes, a group of international researchers describe using machine learning for the first time to analyze 2,000 wolf howls gathered from both wild and domesticated wolves and their subspecies from around the world.
Oracle

Java Installer Flaw Shows Why You Should Clear Your Downloads Folder (csoonline.com) 49

itwbennett writes: On Friday, Oracle published a security advisory recommending that users delete all the Java installers they might have laying around on their computers and use new ones for versions 6u113, 7u97, 8u73 or later. The reason: Older versions of the Java installer were vulnerable to binary planting in the Downloads folder. 'Though considered relatively complex to exploit, this vulnerability may result, if successfully exploited, in a complete compromise of the unsuspecting user's system,' said Eric Maurice, Oracle's software security assurance director, in a blog post.

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