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Submission + - askslashdot: is it worth upgrading an old GPU to a newer one for OpenCL support?

genik76 writes: I currently have a Radeon HD 3870. For research purposes, I downloaded and tested oclHashcat-plus, only to notice that my GPU doesn't support it (no OpenCL support). I considered upgrading my GPU to something supporting OpenCL, but it is not worth it just to use one program.

Is there any advantage in having a GPU supporting OpenCL in normal home computing usage? Besides browsing and word processing I do some occassional image processing, programming (Eclipse) and video processing.

Submission + - Microsoft Research Presents - Sword Fight With Phones! (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: What will Microsoft Research think of next? After giving us the Kinect it has now invented a way to allow us to play sword fighting with nothing more than standard mobile phones. You start the game and each player thrusts a mobile phone as if it was a sword. If you get close enough to you opponents phone while pressing the screen then it's a hit.

How do the phones know that they are close? The basic method is simple enough the phones beep at each other and time how long it takes the pulse to arrive. They then swap data and both compute the distance that they are apart. The difficulties in getting it accurate and fast enough make this a big signal processing problem.
However they seem to have solved it well enough to get a 2cm accurate position 12 times a second — which is enough to play SwordFighting or ChaseCat (don't ask).
Is this a good idea?
It only needs standard phones and no extras and Microsoft Research think that it could be the basis of a whole new genre of games — Motion Mobile Games (MMGs). They don't seem to have learned the lesson of the flying WII controller however and is seems reasonable to predict lots of broken phones due to advanced sword play...


Submission + - In Vast Effort, F.D.A. Spied on E-Mails of Its Own Scientists (nytimes.com)

jvillain writes: The FDA went on a spying expedition against some of it's it's own scientists. Predictably disaster ensues. Emails sent to congress, lawyers third parties etc were collected and read. Wistle blowers are intimidated. Of course it only comes out in the when the contractor hired to do the spying posts the messages on a public web site.

While outrage ensues in Congress and the White house, down the hall they are both making plans to make more of this possible.


Submission + - Biodegradable, biocompatible "Shrilk" is a potenti (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: Arthropods — that's spiders, insects and crustaceans, have provided inspiration for a new material that is cheap to produce, biodegradable, and biocompatible. Its creators say the material, dubbed "Shrilk," has the potential to replace plastics in consumer products and could also be used safely in a variety of medical applications, such as suturing wounds or serving as scaffolding for tissue regeneration.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas