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Comment Re:I want more RAM Slots (Score 3, Interesting) 74

The Sandy-Bridge-E (X79) motherboards have eight RAM slots each of which can hold an 8G module, which gets your 64GB. Of course, Sandy-Bridge-E is a Xeon in the same way that Socket-1366 Nehalem was a Xeon.

There are real electronic-engineering problems with getting lots of RAM slots attached to a single memory controller - you have to run the memory more slowly than you would if there were less of it. Cisco have a chip which pretends to be a very large slow DDR3 module by connecting together four large fast DDR3 modules, but it's sold only in expensive Cisco servers.

Comment Re:will it hurt if it is 20 years from now (Score 1) 134

There is already a prodigious amount of money going to cancer research, because marginally effective chemotherapy drugs can be sold for quite large sums of money and truly-effective chemotherapy drugs could be sold for ludicrous sums of money; it's not clear that there's that much marginal gain to be had from another five billion.

The US stopped funding the SSC, and the result was that the scientists went to Europe to work on the LHC there. If they stop funding space observatories, I will rejoice happily as a whole load of the best astronomers in the world come and move to European universities, and the best students make a habit of coming to European universities to work for them - and, since there aren't that many astrophysics jobs around even in Europe, they'll probably stay and set up startups in Europe. But it's not clear this will do anything terribly good for the United States.

Comment Re:Heat issues (Score 2) 262

There has been billions of dollars of research into drill bits over the twenty years since the Kola project stopped, drilling deep holes in rock under awkward conditions being more than somewhat useful for the oil industry - the mud-motors that Kola is described as pioneering are now reasonably routine. But whilst 400F is something that people deal with now, 600F is still quite a problem.

The drilling fluids probably will be fairly horrible, and simply getting electronics to work at those temperatures is hard (NASA have done some work in silicon-carbide-substrate semiconductors, since it would be fantastic to be able to run a robot on the surface of Venus, but I don't think they've met with much success).

Comment Comparison with contemporary oil and gas drilling (Score 1) 262

6km is a deep hole, but not an enormously deep hole by the standards of the off-shore drilling industry; there are deeper holes drilled for oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and for gas production in Sakhalin and the Persian Gulf. The post-salt oil prospects in Brazil require 5km depth to get past the salt layer.

(annoyingly, oil-drillers appear to use 'depth' to describe the length of holes even when they are not pointing vertically downwards, and some of the things described as 'deepest' appear to be drilled mostly horizontally. Some articles also measure depths of oil deposits from the top rather than the bottom of the water)

However, 4km of water is rather deeper than it seems anyone's done oil-drilling to date; there are wells in 2800m water in the Gulf of Mexico (the one that exploded last year was in 1500m) but there doesn't seem to be anything much deeper.

Comment Re:Can Joe Sixpack be trusted to install RAM? (Score 1) 161

Computer components are designed to be installed by untrained labourers who left their parents' farm in Hunan province last week to seek their fortune in the factories of Shenzhen. Connectors are keyed, connectors with different purposes are keyed differently, and almost everything has locking tabs so you don't knock things out unintentionally.


Google Caffeine Drops MapReduce, Adds "Colossus" 65

An anonymous reader writes "With its new Caffeine search indexing system, Google has moved away from its MapReduce distributed number crunching platform in favor of a setup that mirrors database programming. The index is stored in Google's BigTable distributed database, and Caffeine allows for incremental changes to the database itself. The system also uses an update to the Google File System codenamed 'Colossus.'"

Criminal Photoshops Himself Into Charity Photos In Bid For Leniency 108

38-year-old Daryl Simon decided it would be a good idea to submit fake pictures of himself at charity events, and forged letters of support from various charitable organizations to the court before he was sentenced for credit card fraud. Unfortunately for Daryl, he is as good at Photoshop as he is at credit card scams, and Judge Stephen Robinson was not amused. Simon was sentenced to 285-months in prison — 50 months more than the maximum under sentencing guidelines. From the article: "Daryl Simon's bald-faced move included sticking a picture of himself into a shot with a physical-therapy patient, then flipping the image and placing it next to a teen student. 'Evidence that his image was inserted and flipped can be seen by examining the single detail on his shirt above his fingers — that detail appears on the left side of the shirt in the top photograph, and on the right side of the shirt in the bottom photograph,' prosecutors wrote."

Chinese Companies Rent White Foreigners 145

The job market may look bad here, but if you're in China, and you happen to be white, all you need is a suit and tie. An increasing number of Chinese companies are willing to pay any price to have a few fair-skinned faux employees walking around. From the article: "'Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself,' said Zhang Haihua, author of Think Like Chinese. 'Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner.' Or rent one."
XBox (Games)

An Early Look At Halo: Reach 107

KatanAlpha writes "Based on all the information coming out about Halo: Reach, it seems that Bungie's basic philosophy has been: 'The sequels to the first Halo sucked. Let's fix that.' We've already seen a little bit of this with Halo: ODST, wherein Bungie returned to some of the core elements of Halo gameplay and ditched many of the changes introduced in Halo 2 and 3. Reach seems to continue this idea while trying to invigorate the franchise by introducing greatly improved graphics and additional gameplay mechanics."
PC Games (Games)

EA Shutting Down Video Game Servers Prematurely 341

Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"

Building Left 4 Dead Maps With Google Sketchup 44

notthatwillsmith writes "If you're a fan of Left 4 Dead and you've ever wanted to build a zombie-filled map of your hometown, office or grocery store, Maximum PC just posted a how-to that shows you how to convert photos of real-world locations into ready-to-play L4D 1 or 2 maps. It's everything you need to know in order to kill zombies with your friends — in the comfort of your own backyard."

Comment Re:Decaying CPU business? (Score 1) 215

I've deliberately bought several Intel integrated-graphics motherboards; they display an 80x25 text mode fine as you install Debian, and my compute servers only have a monitor attached when they're failing to boot.

I wish Intel didn't oblige you to buy a super-SLI-gamer motherboard just to run a Core i7 CPU; I bought the chip for the main-memory bandwidth.

Comment Re:The Message Is Clear (Score 2, Insightful) 528

The UK government has acted against SHAC in the way that governments are good at: the people who committed the harassment will be in jail for some time.

I find it very difficult ever to justify confiscating servers, because of the huge other-nonoffending-use argument; I'd be entirely at ease with a court order requiring the cooperation of the sysadmin with the police in investigating the origin of the illegal posting while keeping the machine up, but taking the machine away seems a disproportionate impact on everything else hosted there.

You don't tend to demolish the building in which a murder was planned.

The Internet

Submission + - Livejournal under Russian DDOS

Tom Womack writes: "Over the last 24 hours, people have been noticing that no packet containing the character sequence DPNI is getting through to Livejournal have announced that this is a side-effect of blocking a DDOS against them, presumably (DPNI being a Russian anti-immigrant party) by Russian interests."

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