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Comment Re:Put the onus on financial institutions (Score 1) 168

You can lend friends money. Just not money you would mind losing. It's like gambling basically.

Side note: I once loaned a small amount of money to an annoying "friend" who then apparently fell off the face of the earth. It was worth the money. Although I suppose I could have achieved the same effect by just being a d*ck about his sob story, but that eats at your conscience a little more.

Comment Re:Concurrency? (Score 1) 173

Though I imagine the problem for larger computations could be that you're limited to writing functional-style code, at which point you might be better off using a language designed for it?

Point taken, assuming it has to be fast and there is that much critical code.

What optimizations does gcc actually do on pure functions, having identified them?

Well, it doesn't dispatch them :-) from what I read in the documents, all it might do now is common subexpression elimination.

Image

Magento Beginner's Guide Screenshot-sm 124

Michael J. Ross writes "The shopping cart systems that power online stores have evolved from simple homebrew solutions in the CGI era to far more powerful open source packages, such as osCommerce. But even the later systems are frequently criticized as suffering from poorly-written code and inadequate documentation — as well as for being difficult to install and administer, and nearly impossible to enhance with new functionality and improved site styling, at least without hiring outside help. These problems alone would explain the rapidly growing interest in the latest generation of shopping cart systems, such as Magento, purported to be outpacing all others in adoption. In turn, technical publishers are making available books to help developers and site owners get started with this e-commerce alternative, such as Magento: Beginner's Guide, written by William Rice." Read on for the rest of Michael's review.

Comment Re:Concurrency? (Score 1) 173

they have no mutable variables in the usual sense ... You can't do this in C or Java because it might be necessary for one function to see a variable modified by another.

I think the key word here is "might".

Nothing prevents a C compiler from figuring out "int foo(int a) { return a + 2; }" is pure. In fact gcc can do this to some extent; the relevant compiler flag (enabled by default w/optimization) is "-fipa-pure-const".

gcc also lets you specify the attribute 'const' to declare that a function is pure (in the sense that we're using it here).

Sure, it's coarse, and an afterthought, but it's also flexible.

Hardware Hacking

OS X Update Officially Kills Intel Atom Support 610

bonch writes "After apparently disabling and then re-enabling support for the Atom chipset in test builds of their 10.6.2 update, Apple has officially disabled support for the chipset in the final update. This makes it impossible for OSX86 users to run 10.6.2 on their Atom-based netbooks until a modified kernel shows up."

Comment Re:It's their own fault (Score 2, Interesting) 420

Well, maybe both.

Yes I probably wouldn't enjoy being on a site that went on and on about "Windows Rocks/Linux Sucks" (as much as this site does the reverse, anyway).

But that kind of rhetoric is not really why I read this site. As an example, I found the (apparently) 1st-person accounts about air traffic and ATC procedures yesterday to be one of the most informative and entertaining bits I've read in awhile.

Slashdot has (more than?) its fair share of trolls, and troll articles, but there is (sometimes) a depth here that I haven't really found anywhere else yet; and that includes your local newspaper.

Robotics

Robot Controlled By Human Brain Cells 86

destinyland writes "There's a new experiment from the British researchers who created a robot controlled by cultured rat neurons. They're now using a line of human brain neurons to control robots. The neurons are placed onto a multi-electrode dish that registers the neurons' electric signals. 'Every time the robot nears an object, the electrodes generate signals to stimulate the brain. In response, the brain's output is used to drive the wheels of the robot left and right so that it avoids hitting objects. The robot has no additional control from a human or a computer — its sole means of control is from its own brain.'"

Comment Re:Version Control Systems all have one thing (Score 1) 268

I used ClearCase at my previous job, and the mode of use you mentioned, while interesting (files could change in your source tree as others checked in code, I believe), was impractical for me. Building out of one of those directories was like building out of an NFS-mounted directory ... an order of magnitude slower, too slow to be usable.

ClearCase also supported the typical 'check your workspace ("view"?) out to a local place on your hard drive, rebase it occasionally, make your changes, and check it in' model, and that seemed to work fine.

And yes we had a full-time administrator for the system. Would've been suicide not to.

Comment Re:And if you don't like marshmallows? (Score 1) 105

Well, let's pretend for a moment that the scientists didn't take that into account. If I didn't like something I might actually eat it just to get the experiment over with so I could get out of there and go play with some toys or something. I might hold out for a marshmellow, they're so-so. But if, for example, you gave me a peppermint (which I don't like) ... I would probably give it a "what is the point" look and then eat it.

I mean, the reward for waiting actually needs to be worth something.

Earth

7-Story Wooden Condo Survives 7.5 Magnitude Quake 146

Mike writes "Earthquake news abounds as of late — recently a team of researchers from five universities unveiled an seven-story earthquake-proof wooden building that is capable of withstanding severe earthquakes. Featuring a structurally efficient nail distribution and a 63 anchor tie down system, the wooden condominium survived a test using an E-Defense shake table, which simulated a 7.5 magnitude quake (check out the video!)"

Comment Re:Thottle Capability (Score 1) 341

And for my own personal use, I'd love to be able to throttle a dos 6.22 VM to 486 speeds so some of those ancient programs can be ran for historical purposes. (Without bombing the processor with dummy NOP and other MOSLO crap so we keep our power consumption down.)

I assume you've checked out DosBox and its 'cycles' configuration option/command? It's not precise but it works quite well for me.

Transportation

220-mph Solar-Powered Train Proposed In Arizona 416

Mike writes "An ambitious Arizona company has recently revealed plans for a solar powered bullet train that will streak across the desert at 220 mph, traveling from Tuscon to Phoenix in 30 minutes flat. Proposed by Solar Bullet LLC, the system comprises a series of tracks that would serve stations including Chandler, Casa Grande, Red Rock, and Marana, and may one day be extended to Flagstaff and Nogales. The train would require 110 megawatts of electricity, which would be generated by solar panels mounted above the tracks." Local coverage of the plan takes a harder look, noting that Solar Bullet LLC is two guys who are now asking local governments in the towns at which such a train would potentially stop for $35K for a legal and feasibility study. Total cost is estimated at $27B.
Businesses

Tata Building $7,800 Apartments in Mumbai 242

theodp writes "What do you do for an encore after you've shown the world it's possible to build a $2,000 car? Ratan Tata, head of India's giant Tata conglomerate, now plans to build, 30 miles outside of Mumbai, 1,200 tiny apartments that will sell for $7,800 to $13,400 each. Sure, they're small (floor plans), but keep in mind that you can pay a quarter of a million bucks for a 250-sq.-ft. studio in the East Village. Time reports that Tata has had to beef up security to handle the rush of buyers who want to plunk down their $200 deposits (yes, that's two hundred dollars!). Who would've thought you could make IKEA homes look pricey?" The Businessweek.com article says that the apartments are aimed at someone making $6,000 to $10,000 per year (Time says $5,000). In Mumbai, a call center operator with 10 to 20 years of experience barely qualifies at $6,400 annually. 70% of the country's 1.2 billion people live on 1/20 as much.

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