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Comment Parallel programming is hard, film at 11. (Score 5, Informative) 626

The /. summary of TFA is almost exquisitely bad. It's not Window or Linux that's not ready for multicore (as both have supported multi-processor machines for on the order of a decade or more), but rather the userspace applications that aren't ready. The reason is simple: Parallel programming is rather hard, and historically most ISVs have haven't wanted to invest in it because they could rely on the processors getting faster every year or two... but no longer.

One area where I disagree with TFA is the claimed paucity of programming models and tools. Virtually every OS out there supports some kind of concurrent programming model, and often more than one depending on what language is used -- pthreads, Win32 threads, Java threads, OpenMP, MPI or Global Arrays on the high end, etc. Most debuggers (even gdb) also support debugging threaded programs, and if those don't have enough heft, there's always Totalview. The problem is that most ISVs have studiously avoided using any of these except when given no other choice.

--t

Software

Sun Exec Backs GPLv3 94

Hyperbeth writes "Sun's chief open-source officer Simon Phipps said that existing work towards GPLv3 had been 'extraordinary and effective' and he said he is 'frankly amazed by the criticisms'. The article notes that Mr. Phipps' comments are somewhat surprising, given that the recent open-sourcing of Java went forward with GPLv2." From the article: "I am frankly amazed by the criticisms that have [been] levelled at the GPLv3 process. They seem to ignore the incredible and positive way it is evolving and just find fault with things that are already the subject of work... I would be very surprised if the final GPLv3 was not an effective tool for some of the communities Sun sustains or will initiate in the future."
Google

Submission + - Google helping DoD track certain searchers

jcaruso writes: "Blogger Mark Gibbs says he was searching on Google for "binary explosives," and Firefox popped up a warning that a Web site certificate involved in the transaction couldn't be verified — the certificate was issued to the Department of Defense. Writes Gibbs: "So, it looks like the Department of Defense with Google's help is tracking me because I used a suspicious search term. It also looks like either the DoD aren't really good at stealth or they want me to know that they are watching. Definitely lame either way.""
Politics

German Minister Seeks Jail Time For FPS Players 383

GamePolitics has the somewhat unbelievable news that German Minister of the Interior Gunther Beckstein is seeking jail time for violent game developers, publishers, and players. MSNBC has further coverage of the issue, which has pro gamers in Germany quite worried. From the article: "The draft law, a reaction to a school shooting that shook German public opinion last month, will come before the upper house of parliament next year. But it is already sending shockwaves through the 2m-strong German online gaming community. 'We have among the most drastic censorship rules for games,' said Frank Sliwka, head of the Deutsche E-Sport Bund, an umbrella federation for German online gaming teams. 'Now we are being labelled as a breeding ground for unstable, dysfunctional and violent youngsters.'"
Java

Submission + - JSF and Ajax: Web 2.0 Made Easy with RAD V7

IdaAshley writes: Creating and integrating an Ajax application is not an easy task, but the release of IBM Rational Application Developer (RAD) V7 provides Ajax functionality for the JSF components to make the task much easier. This article explains how to use Ajax and JSF together in RAD V7 and walks you through an example of adding Ajax support to an existing application.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Yet another trip to the synchrotron 1

The first week at a synchrotron facility is always the worst, especially if things aren't going that well with the end station where the experiments are carried out.

Fortunately we've managed to fix all the problems and are getting some good data, but I've been working 12-16 hours per day since Monday and it is starting to take its toll.

Microsoft

Submission + - Ecma Approves OOXML - What Does it All Mean?

Andy Updegrove writes: "As expected, Ecma, the European-based standards body chosen by Microsoft to fast-track its Office Open XML standard to ISO, voted today to adopt OOXML. The vote was 20 to 1, with IBM casting the only negative vote. Is this vote a big deal or not? The answer is yes and no. No, in that everyone knew that Ecma was going to approve OOXML. After you write up a working group charter that says, and I quote, "The goal of the Technical Committee is to produce a formal standard for office productivity applications within the Ecma International standards process which is fully compatible with the Office Open XML Formats," you haven't left much to chance. But yes, in the sense that there were other members of the working group (e.g., Intel, the British Museum, Apple, and so on), so there was a group effort in packaging the standard. still, that would have provided impact mostly at the process level rathan than an opportunity to assert any real technical influence. The biggest significance of today's vote will be that Microsoft can now say that OOXML has been "approved by a standards organization." Most people have no reason to know the details, so a statement that "OOXML has been approved as a standard" will go a long way in the marketplace, for PR purposes. As a result, you can expect that Microsoft will make the most of today's event. http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/articl e.php?story=20061207053332191"

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