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Submission + - Taming Superconductors With String Theory (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: String theory was devised as a way to unite the laws of quantum mechanics with those of gravity, with the goal of creating the vaunted “theory of everything.”

Subir Sachdev is taking the “everything” literally. He’s applying the mathematics of string theory to a major problem at the other end of physics — the behavior of a potentially revolutionary class of materials known as high-temperature superconductors.

Submission + - AMD Unveils 64-Bit ARM-Based Opteron A1100 System On Chip With Integrated 10GbE (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: AMD is adding a new family of Opterons to its enterprise processor line-up today called the Opteron A1100 series. Unlike AMD's previous enterprise offerings, however, these new additions are packing ARM-based processor cores, not the X86 cores AMD has been producing for years. The Opteron A1100 series is designed for a variety of use cases and applications, including networking, storage, dense and power-efficient web serving, and 64-bit ARM software development. The new family was formerly codenamed "Seattle" and it represents the first 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57-based platform from AMD. AMD Opteron A1100 Series chips will pack up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores with up to 4MB of shared Level 2 and 8MB of shared Level 3 cache. They offer two 64-bit DDR3/DDR4 memory channels supporting speeds up to 1866 MHz with ECC and capacities up to 128GB, dual integrated 10Gb Ethernet network connections, 8-lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 connectivity, and 14 SATA III ports. AMD is shipping to a number of software and hardware partners now with development systems already available.

Submission + - New open-source peer-to-peer file system: Infinit (infoworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A startup just launched a new file system called Infinit, that has the particularity to aggregate storage resources (local disk, server, NAS, cloud provider etc.) into a single pool from which POSIX-compliant file systems can be created.

The file system seems to benefit from many interesting functionalities such as replication, versioning, fault tolerance, concurrency control, access control etc. everything in peer-to-peer i.e without any server involved.

The company's website indicates the its composing libraries, mostly written in C++, will soon be open source...

Comment Re:Danger! (Score 1) 339

Replace Logical Operators (&&, ||, etc) with words like "and" and "or":

Bless your c-styled bitwise- and logical operators. For example, Pascal uses 'and' and 'or' as suggested. They happen to be bitwise and and or. For true logical operations you have to jump some hoops. So, before you know your code is full of `if ((b=0) and (c<>0))` etc. That's `if ((b==0) & (c!=0))` for the C readers.

You could solve it by indicating logical or bitwise operators. Band (bitwise and) and land (logical and)? bor and lor? That would surely make code more readable.

I love the c-style logical operators. It's obvious what they do. They are very readable as they are not letters, making it much easier to parse for the brains.

To end with a quote: `I would use pascal more frequent if only it had the syntax of C`

Comment Re:Android. (Score 1) 111

Companies that make cheap commodity hardware have little incentive to provide those updates, because they are better off selling replacement hardware.

Not in my experience. The phones they sell you here with a contract rarely get patched, despite the big mobile names from both operators and manfufacturers behind it.

The cheap c-brand android phones i order in China only not offer more value for money, but happily receive regular firmware updates.

At least in Europe many telecoms offer inverse service. Instead of buying extra good service, you pay to get ripped and run outdated inferior firmware.

Their motivation may similar as you suggested though, they prefer selling you a new yearly or two-yearly contract with fresh-new-outdated-phone; instead of the customer having a perfectly fine free phone after a year and gets a cheap pre-paid plan or some.

User Journal

Journal Journal: MSWX update destroys dual boot and deletes partitions. 1

My anti-love for our friends in Redmond has just grown by another order of magnitude today.
Not only did it decide, without asking, if i wanted to run the update now - ignoring any settings regarding updates.

It automatically did so, and left my entire system in an unbootable state.

Comment Re:I'm a bit skeptical (Score 1) 194

To me, expansion is more imaginable if i imagine the `reverse` view:

"The size of the universe is 1 (just mathematical 1). At time of the big bang, and now, and ever. Matter (and all galaxies etc) 'shrink'."

Well, matter not actually shrinks and there's good theory to prove/assume that much, but as concept of imagining expansion, this approach works just fine for me.
 

Submission + - Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 is out, adds support for 16 bit MS-DOS and 64 bit iOS (freepascal.org) 1

Halo1 writes: Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi-compatible Free Pascal Compiler, for OS/2 no less. Two decades and change later, the new Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 release still supports OS/2, along with a host of older and newer platforms ranging from MS-DOS on an 8086 to the latest Linux and iOS running on AArch64. On the language front, the new features include support for type helpers, codepage-aware strings and a utility to automatically generate JNI bridges for Pascal code. In the mean time, development on the next versions continues, with support for generic functions, an optional LLVM code generator backend and full support for ISO and Extended Pascal progressing well.

Comment Re:Sadly.. (Score 2) 352

5 years since development ground to a halt.

Pity really, it was hijacked by a group of people with 'certain ideas' of how everything must be, and no willingness to compromise with the general user base.[...]Compare it with Blender, [..] a continuous flow of real and useful new features

I'm actually happy that the Gimp is resilient to changes just for the sake of changes. I does what it has to do and it does it very well. It has great support for various file formats. Never crashes. Can do all kind of neat tricks and if it can't you can write or download a filter to do it.

And best of all: it doesn't bother me to learn `new improved` interface. The Gimp of 2015 is about the same as 10 years ago, with only minor conservative changes - for better or for worse - to the user interface. While i partly agree that save/export should have been combined in same menu, it's also a very minor inconvenience and actually a good habit to save your work before you export to some format that looses information.

So, if you are happy with an alternative, sure. Not everybody willing to pull a thousand $ for software and a mac. I - and many others - are very happy with Gimp just as it is and regard it as a properly maintained project. It requires some learning to unlock all abilities and know all tricks, but that's with all feature rich software.

Submission + - Mysterious Star May Be Orbited by Alien Megastructures

HughPickens.com writes: Beginning in 2009, the Kepler Space Telescope began looking at approximately 150,000 stars for signs of objects orbiting with some recognizable pattern in an attempt to find exo-planets Now Ross Anderson writes in The Atlantic that scientists who search for extraterrestrial civilizations are scrambling to get a closer look at KIC 8462852, a star that undergoes irregularly shaped, aperiodic dips in flux down to below the 20% level that can last for between 5 and 80 days. “We’d never seen anything like this star,” says Tabetha Boyajian. “It was really weird. We thought it might be bad data or movement on the spacecraft, but everything checked out.” Dips in the light emitted by stars are often shadows cast by transiting planets especially when they repeat, periodically, as you’d expect if they were caused by orbiting objects. Boyajian, a Yale Postdoc who oversees Planet Hunters, recently published a paper describing KIC 8462852's bizarre light pattern and explores a number of scenarios that might explain the pattern—instrument defects; the shrapnel from an asteroid belt pileup; an impact of planetary scale, like the one that created our moon.

SETI researchers have long suggested that we might be able to detect distant extraterrestrial civilizations, by looking for enormous technological artifacts orbiting other stars. Jason Wright says the unusual star’s light pattern is consistent with a “swarm of megastructures,” perhaps stellar-light collectors, technology designed to catch energy from the star. “When [Boyajian] showed me the data, I was fascinated by how crazy it looked,” says Wright. “Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.” Boyajian is now working with Wright and Andrew Siemion on a proposal to point a massive radio dish at the unusual star, to see if it emits radio waves at frequencies associated with technological activity. If they see a sizable amount of radio waves, they’ll follow up with the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, which may be able to say whether the radio waves were emitted by a technological source, like those that waft out into the universe from Earth’s network of radio stations. "In the meantime, Boyajian, Siemion, Wright, the citizen scientists, and the rest of us, will have to content ourselves with longing looks at the sky," says Anderson, "where maybe, just maybe, someone is looking back, and seeing the sun dim ever so slightly, every 365 days."

Comment Other option (Score 0) 392

A car without electronics.

`My` (family owned) car hits 27 years of age, diesel, runs 1:21 to 1:23 (around 51 mile per gallon). And it actually makes that number.

Admittingly it has no fine-dust filter. But i also believe it's far less polluting simply because it's efficiency, and a 1.3 liter engine, which is small for a diesel. It's no speed monster, yet it comfortably reaches 150km/h.

The only electronics in the car is the radio playing my mp3's.

I believe regulations lead to this 'cheating'. We had fine and pretty clean engines 25 years ago! Apart adding catalysators (whats your USA word for it) and dust filters, there's not much to improve on it. Yet, govs want to because they think and believe like economists do: that technology can always improve.

Well, it simply can't. You have to achieve a good combustion. Of course electronic timing and fuel pump control / injection control may help, but it will be very marginal. We had excellent engines without any electronics, and the added electronics will only help improving the last few percent that mechanic solutions can't.

Off-topic: this car was made by VW...

Submission + - The $9 Computer is Shipping Today! (makezine.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The $9 CHIP computer is shipping. According to Dave Rauchwerk, CEO of Next Thing Co., single units will go out to early backers in 5 to 9 days; additional orders will arrive in December. But if you backed the project at the Kernel Hacker Backer level on Kickstarter, you will receive two CHIP computers — the second by mid-October.

Submission + - Can living in total darkness for 5 days "reset" the visual system? (nautil.us)

the_newsbeagle writes: That's what one neuroscientist is aiming to find out. He wants to put patients with a type of amblyopia, the vision problem commonly called lazy eye, into the dark for 5 days. His hypothesis: When they emerge, their brains' visual cortices will be temporarily "plastic" and changeable, and may begin to process the visual signals from their bad eyes correctly. Before he could do this study, though, he had to do a test run to figure out logistics. So he himself lived in a pitch black room for 5 days. One finding: Eating ravioli in the dark is hard.

Submission + - The 2015 Underhanded C Contest has begun (underhanded-c.org)

Xcott Craver writes: The 8th Underhanded C Contest is now underway. The goal of the Underhanded C Contest is to write C code that is as readable, clear, innocent and straightforward as possible, but which performs some malicious function that is not obvious from looking at the source code. This year's challenge is based on a real problem in joint development for nuclear treaty verification, and the prize is $1000.

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