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Comment Re:And Lattice wont shut this project down because (Score 1) 107

What is to stop Lattice from simply shutting down this project for an open FPGA toolchain for their FPGAs?

Why and how would they shutdown this project? This project is the FPGA equivalent of writing a open source assembler or compiler for new CPU. They do not publish their bitstream format, but reverse engineering is perfectly legal.

Comment Re:"cure for cancer" (Score 1) 204

For other types of cancers (eg pancreatic) the issue is being able to find it before it causes symptoms, which usually means it's too late.

Well, we could likely detect most of these cancers, if we just do an high res full body MRI scan of everyone every 6 month. But that would not only be very expensive but would likely generate a lot of completely unnecessary surgeries as many things that get detected there would either be completely harmless or get killed by the immune system before they could cause any problems. We do not only need something that can detect cancer, we also need something that will not generate a lot of false positives and is both cheap enough and convenient enough to be used as a periodic test on everyone every few month or maybe even more often.

Comment Re:Reconciling faith with science (Score 1) 305

Unlike Science, Religion does not need to offer predictions nor make falsifiable statements.

Nothing needs to do anything, but it's pretty clear that all significant religions do make falsifiable statements. Practically, any religion that doesn't have an effect on this world isn't worth much.

Some versions of all significant religions are making falsifiable statements. But making a falsifiable statement does not necessarily result in a conflict with science. Many religions are making falsifiable statements that are mostly likely true, such as: Building your house on rocky ground makes it safer from floods than building it on sand.(Matthew 7:24) There is only a problem if a statement is proven false, but people will continue believing it, because their religion says so. If a statement is found to be false, many religions will declare that they must have made a mistake in the interpretation of their holy book and change their interpretation.

Practically, any religion that doesn't have an effect on this world isn't worth much.

I agree, but Religion do not need falsifiable statements to have a effect on this world. Falsifiable statements can be falsified because they describe the world and these descriptions can be wrong. Empirical measurements can be used to show that a certain description of the world must be wrong, because it disagrees with measurable facts. Religions change the world by making statements about how the world should be and believers acting on these guidelines. But it is only possible to measure how the world currently is, not how it should be. Statements about how the world should be are always not falsifiable, but can be extremely powerful in changing the world. Science describes the world as it is, philosophy and religions try to make statements about how the world should be.

Science can make a statement like if we do X, Y will happen. That is a falsifiable statement that can be tested. It does not tell you to do X, it only describes the consequences of doing X. People still need to decide that they do want Y to happen, only then they can derive the statement that X should be done or not done. Deciding if X should be done, depends if you believe that Y would be good or not. Sure, for some Y nearly everyone agrees that this Y should be avoided, and the hard question is not "do you want Y to happen?" but "if you you do X will Y really happen?" But on other questions of moral and ethics it is the other way around. Nearly everyone agrees that (Y=)millions of people dying should be prevented, but not everyone agrees that (X=) it is required to cut down CO2 emission to do so. On other hand everyone agrees that an embryos dies if you have an abortion, but people disagree on the Y question: Is it a bad thing if a embryo dies?

Comment Re:What's that you say? (Score 1) 528

If the return on investment was really that good, then the graduates should have no problem repaying their student loans.

The average return on investment is that good, the individual return on investment can be really bad. Some people are struggling with paying back their own student loan, while others could easily back way more than their own student loans.

I think it also works quite well, because German Universities are not afraid of kicking out already accepted students. No GPA or SAT test is really able to tell if people got what it takes to be a successful engineer. In Engineering almost half of the students usually fail during the first one or two years. It is way easier to kick people out, if they did not already spend >$10K tuition at that point.

Comment Re:Ob (Score 1) 528

You finish school education with at least two foreign languages these days, but they may well be French and Latin. English is common as first foreign language in Germany but not universally so, and the actual regulations don't give it special status over any other foreign language, so there are actually still schools where you can get your college qualification (Abitur) without having taken foreign language classes outside of Latin (as obligatory first foreign language) and (Classical) Greek (as a choice language).

No, that is not true. English has a special status over other foreign languages. It has to be either your first or your second foreign language. If you pick Latin or French as your first foreign language you have to learn English later as a second language. However, being forced to learn English at school does not necessary guarantee that people are really able to speak English. If people do not use a language, they will quickly forget what they once learned.

Comment Re:What's that you say? (Score 1) 528

90% of Germans have free healthcare too.

Healthcare is not free in Germany. If you are making less than around $50k per year, you need to be insured by one of the compulsory health insurances. They will not charge you based on individual risk, but will charge you a little bit over 15% of your wage. This also includes health insurance for your children and spouse. This is a really good deal for people with low incomes or people with pre-existing conditions, but on other hand it is a bad deal if you a healthy single with a good income and no kids.
If you are making more than around $50k per year, you can either stay voluntarily in this health insurances and you rates will get caped. Or you can go for a private health insurance, they will insure you based on personal risk, you will have to pay to insure your childern and spouse. They will pay higher rates to the doctors, so doctors will treat you nicer. But if you fail to pay their rates they can kick you out and if you are too old, you can end up without health insurance. If you went for a private health insurance once, the compulsory health insurance will only accept you back if you are still young and employed. If you are either unemployed or old you need to go for a private insurance and in Germany they are still allowed to charge you a huge premium or even exclude you if you have a pre-existing condition.

Comment Re:What's that you say? (Score 2) 528

Most universities in Germany offer a wide choice of recreational sport activities. People will not get any credits for joining these activities. People are doing it for recreation and there are no official sport teams formed by the university. Universities in Germany do not really care if their students are successful at competitive sports.

Comment Re:What's that you say? (Score 2) 528

Which do you prefer? Freedom, Higher risks and higher reward? No risk, less freedom, but a lower standard of living?

It is not a binary choice. Rewards for doing well are still high in Germany. It not "no risk" but lower risk. Average standard of living is almost the same in Germany and the US: Where-to-be-born Index You will have a lower standard of living if you are doing well and earning a lot, but on other hand your are not doing that well, maybe because of an illness or because of a few bad choices that you have made, then your standard of living will be a lot higher in Germany.

Socialism has made many promises it cannot keep. Capitalism promises nothing, but can generate much more wealth.

Germany is not trying to establish socialism. Its system is called "social market economy", it is basically capitalism with some regulations and some redistribution of wealth. But it is not even that different from the US. Germany is spending 25.8% of its GDP on these programs, while the US spends 19.2% of its GDP on these programs. There is not a huge difference. There is a slight difference in how the two systems are adjusted but it is not huge.
Statistics from the OCED

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. And to in my experience end up giving up liberty AND security.

How are people in germany giving up "essential liberty"? Since when is paying 35% instead of 25% taxes giving up "essential liberty"?

Comment Re: 23 down, 77 to go (Score 0, Troll) 866

There's no reason to be religious in this modern world. People who are religious are idiots and should be treated like second class citizens.

And you are proving that "Religiophobia" can be a religion on its own. You apply exactly the same kind of mechanism that has caused religious wars and other crimes: You want to treat people as second class citizens because you disagree with their world view. You overgeneralize and make a whole population group responsible for the problems caused by some of their members.

Comment Abolish the random lottery, sort by wage! (Score 4, Insightful) 612

The first thing they should do is to abolish the random lottery for H1B visas and grant the visas within the cap to the applicants with the highest salaries. That would help to stop companies that are abusing H1Bs for driving wages down and at the same time would make sure that if a company really really needs the skills of a specific foreigner, they could get a visa for him or her by paying a very high wage.

Comment Education Tool for Cluster Programming (Score 1) 68

The PI uses 4 watts, so a cluster of 64 PIs will use around 256 Watt. A NVidia GTX960 will provide 2,308 GFLOPS at 120 Watt or around 20 GFlops per watt. GTX980 is even better with 28 GFLOPS per Watt. Adapteva Epiphany-IV is supposed to do 100 Gflops at 2 Watt.
Tegra X-1 can do 512 GFlops at likely something between 5-10 Watts.

But even if you would build a Tegra X-1 cluster, for many applications it would still be less power efficient than a smaller number of more powerful machines with a good interconnect:
Even most parallel applications need some communication and exchange of results between the different threads. This will be very slow on the rasberry cluster.

But a rasberry pi cluster should be a good educational tool to teach cluster programming. Processing speed is slow, communication is also slow but the ratio between communication bandwidth and processing speed is likely quite similar to real clusters. So the skills that you learn when mapping small problems to a rasberry pi clusters can also be applied when mapping big problems to real clusters. And at the same time building one of these clusters is around the same price as a single compute node in a real cluster. So you can easily give students access to such a cluster.

You could solve the small problems way more efficiently using a single GPU, but if you want to solve the big problems a single machine is not going to be enough and you will have to deal with the limted communication bandwidth between the nodes.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel