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Hardware

1 Molecule Computes Thousands of Times Faster Than a PC 246

alexhiggins732 writes with this tantalizing PopSci snippet: "A demo of a quantum calculation carried out by Japanese researchers has yielded some pretty mind-blowing results: a single molecule can perform a complex calculation thousands of times faster than a conventional computer. A proof-of-principle test run of a discrete Fourier transform — a common calculation using spectral analysis and data compression, among other things — performed with a single iodine molecule transpired very well, putting all the molecules in your PC to shame."
Government

Submission + - FOSS company sues Govt. for giving 722k$ to MS 2

wackysalut writes: Savoir-faire Linux, a Montreal-based company,sues the Quebec govt. for attributing a ~722,000$ contract to Microsoft, without a call for bids. The RRQ wanted to switch 800 desktops from Windows XP to Windows Vista without ever considering open source, without even enumerating their needs. Here in Canada, the govt. is supposed to do serious verifications and analysis about different available solutions for anything beyond 25k$. Interestingly enough, the trial which is held at the moment in superior court, is followed live on Twitter. That's in Canada, but is the same thing happening in your country ? M. Beraud has an interesting quote up on his blog: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Gandhi.
Linux

Submission + - 1 Second Linux Boot! (embedded-bits.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Less than one second Linux boot! This post/video shows an OMAP3530 capturing video data from a camera and rendering it to an LCD display — the video appears on the LCD display in less than a second from reset.
Television

Submission + - Does 1080p Truly Matter?

adeelarshad82 writes: If you ever wondered whether most people can really tell the difference between a 1080p and 720p, you won't be shocked to find out that they can. However, according to a test consisting of 64 participants and two very similar 42-inch LCD TVs, a LG 42LH20 with 720p display and a LG 42LH30 with a 1080p display, I was surprised to find out that 25% of the people actually preferred 720p. Moreover a considerable percentage of people weren't even able to tell the difference. The real question that rises from this test is that if it is really worth spending the extra money on 1080p HDTV when a large number of people can't even tell the difference or actually prefer 720p.

Submission + - Why don't people use Computers? 3

Tibia1 writes: Many people, mostly older folks or people who don't require computers to live their dailies lives (usually involving heavy amounts of television,) do not use computers. Why not? Is it because when they first heard about computers, they were 1 million times less powerful and useful, not to mention much harder to use. And now, they feel that they cannot overcome this 'intensive learning process' that merely involves learning how to use a mouse, and to read. Some people simply think that they are useless, and because of hearing about 'virus problems' and other small issues that make computers look quite unattractive for an uninformed individual. Or, maybe they are downright against computers, and any other 'technological revolution' they can complain about while lounging in their comfy home that technology has made possible. I estimate that if you forced every person who does not use a computer in the entire world to use a computer for a week, they would have difficulty returning to normal life without that all encompassing aid. So, what's keeping people away from the biggest technological tool of the century that is getting easier to use every single day?

Submission + - How to find Free Software savvy lawyers? 2

dhilvert writes: I've been maintainer of a fairly small Free Software project for the past several years, and have recently been receiving — uh — hints, some of which suggest my time might be better spent on something else. These are occasionally accompanied by subwoofer-equipped cars, flashing lights, or similar, outside whatever place I happen to be sleeping on a night. Needless to say, I find this a bit alarming. Hence, I've decided to follow Slashdot's standard advice and look for a lawyer, and I would prefer one with a strong understanding of Free Software. Unfortunately, I've found that sending a naive query to SFLC or EFF seems to result in rather naive, generic replies. Unfortunately, my understanding of what lawyers do seems to be insufficient for describing the problem effectively. Are there better resources than these that I should be looking at?
Science

Submission + - Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All (sciencemag.org) 1

cremeglace writes: Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up Earth--physicist say that's impossible--and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole. No need to stock up on canned beans for doomsday though--the black holes still require energies vastly exceeding what the LHC is capable of.

Submission + - What FLOSS developers need?

An anonymous reader writes: I am a free software developer, I maintain one relatively simple project written in C, targeted at end users, but I feel that I could contribute something more to FLOSS community than my project. Instead of focusing on another project targeted at end users, I thought that I could spend my time working on something that FLOSS developers need ("Developers, developers, developers, developers!"). The question is: what more do FLOSS developers need from existing development tools? What would attract new developers to existing FLOSS development tools? Which existing development tools need more attention? I can contribute code in C, Python, bash, but I can also write documentation, do testing and translate to my native language. Any hints?
Debian

Submission + - Benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs. GNU/Linux (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Debian Squeeze release is going to be accompanied by a first-rate kFreeBSD port and now early benchmarks of this port have started coming out using daily install images. The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project is marrying the FreeBSD kernel with a GNU userland and glibc while making most of the Debian repository packages available for kfreebsd-i386 and kfreebsd-amd64. The first Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks compare the performance of it to Debian GNU/Linux with the 2.6.30 kernel while the rest of the packages are the same. Results are shown for both i386 and x86_64 flavors. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD may be running well, but it has a lot of catching up to do in terms of speed against Linux.

Submission + - Dealing with moving into open-space offices?

KlaymenDK writes: The team of developers I'm part of will soon be moving into our country headquarters from a branch office. The branch office consists of 2-3 person offices, with more space for managers and meeting rooms. The headquarters, on the other hand, was rebuilt some years ago into the then-fashionable "open-space" format; apart from the print rooms there are now only a few huge 60-80 person open-space offices; even the hallways were included so people must walk right between the tables (talking to one another or into cell phones) and there are no meeting rooms or manager's offices. Of course we have our share of colleagues who are plain noise-makers, or who just happen to have "fog horn" or "buzz saw" voices (poor souls). My awesome boss and team leader have been unable to secure any kind of "quiet space" for us developers.

So I ask: How can we, as developers, best deal with this? (I don't want to quit over it, so that's one suggestion you can skip). I could work from home several days a week, but I really don't have room for a permanent home office in my flat. I am looking into noise cancelling headphones/earbuds (I don't want to drown out noise with more noise (music), I would "just" like a bit of quiet) and even considering DIY egg-carton cubicle partitions. I am also trying to locate some of the studies and reports that debunk open-space offices (convincing management is a reeeaaal long shot, but I have to try turning every stone) so if you know where to find 'em, links please. I fear I'll be the guy who jumps up twenty times a day and shouts SHUT THE HELL UP EVERYONE! I clearly need some help before that actually happens!

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