Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Software

Electronic Life Makes Evolving Art 54

brilanon writes "Good news! On Sept 4, critterdrug, the a-life lab for the twenty-teens, was updated to make generating a species almost trivial. A new video shows semi-random artificial animals gaining neurons and synapses as they compete to draw a gradient on an animated shared canvas which constitutes 1024 frames spread through time. The canvas is a 10-megabyte digital background for the lossy neural nets that populate the world. What you get are cellular automata run by psychic neural nets that are bound by the rules of a survival contest with physics. Features implementations of telepathy, Rupert Sheldrake's morphic fields and five types of drugs. The key assignments have changed since critterding; check the changelog on the web page for the new ones. Happy hacking!"
Linux

The State of Linux IO Scheduling For the Desktop? 472

pinkeen writes "I've used Linux as my work & play OS for 5+ years. The one thing that constantly drives me mad is its IO scheduling. When I'm copying a large amount of data in the background, everything else slows down to a crawl while the CPU utilization stays at 1-2%. The process which does the actual copying is highly prioritized in terms of I/O. This is completely unacceptable for a desktop OS. I've heard about the efforts of Con Kolivas and his Brainfuck Scheduler, but it's unsupported now and probably incompatible with latest kernels. Is there any way to fix this? How do you deal with this? I have a feeling that if this issue was to be fixed, the whole desktop would become way more snappier, even if you're not doing any heavy IO in the background." Update: 10/23 22:06 GMT by T : As reader ehntoo points out in the discussion below, contrary to the submitter's impression, "Con Kolivas is still actively working on BFS, it's not unsupported. He's even got a patch for 2.6.36, which was only released on the 20th. He's also got a patchset out that I use on all my desktops which includes a bunch of tweaks for desktop use." Thanks to ehntoo, and hat tip to Bill Huey.
Software

10 Oddly Useful Specialty Web Browsers 72

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner looks beyond Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, and IE to uncover 10 alternative browsers that offer specialized advantages for 3-D searching, social networking, easy scriptability, powerful page manipulation, and the like. Each provides a targeted browsing environment, enabling users to browse Web tables into spreadsheets, browse leaner, browser in text, browse socially, browse musically, or browse smarter on the Mac. 'A purist might object that these hybrids are not much different from a standard browser with extra plug-ins. There's some truth to this, but not always — some of the unique capabilities can only be done deep inside the software. In any case, the job of parsing the terms and creating an exact definition of the Web browser isn't as much fun as embracing the idea that there are dozens of alternatives.'"
Math

Physicists Say Graphene Could Create Mass 184

eldavojohn writes "Graphene has gotten a lot of press lately. The Nobel prize-winning, fastest-spinning, nanobubble-enhanced silicon replacement is theorized to have a new, more outlandish property. As reported by Technology Review's Physics Blog, graphene should be able to create mass inside properly formed nanotubes. According to Abdulaziz Alhaidari's calculations, if one were to roll up graphene into a nanotube, this could compactifiy dimensions (from the sheet's two down to the tube's one), and thus 'the massless equations that describe the behavior of electrons and holes will change to include a term for mass. In effect, compactifying dimensions creates mass.' What once would require a massive high-energy particle accelerator can now be tested with carbon, electricity, and wires, according to the recent paper."
Transportation

Heroic Engineer Crashes Own Vehicle To Save a Life 486

scottbomb sends in this feel-good story of an engineer-hero, calling it "one of the coolest stories I've read in a long time." "A manager of Boeing's F22 fighter-jet program, Innes dodged the truck, then looked back to see that the driver was slumped over the wheel. He knew a busy intersection was just ahead, and he had to act fast. Without consulting the passengers in his minivan — 'there was no time to take a vote' — Innes kicked into engineer mode. 'Basic physics: If I could get in front of him and let him hit me, the delta difference in speed would just be a few miles an hour, and we could slow down together,' Innes explained."
Communications

In Florida, a Cell Phone Network With No Need For a Spectrum License 107

holy_calamity writes "Technology Review reports on a cell phone network in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, like no other. Instead of paying to reserve a section of wireless spectrum its owner, xG Technology, uses cognitive radios that steer signals through the unlicensed 900MHz band more normally used by cordless phones and baby monitors. The radios in both handset and base station scan for gaps left by other devices in that band and make dynamic connections that constantly hop frequencies to ensure a good link. The network is designed to show off the tech, which the company says could be used in conventional cellphones to access extra spectrum or white spaces devices."

Slashdot Top Deals

Don't compare floating point numbers solely for equality.

Working...