Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Knuth didn't get anything wrong (Score 2, Interesting) 298

Other then varnish and squid what caching reverse proxy software is there? It looks like Nginx added caching to their core recently, although I'm not exactly sure if its intended to act in the same capacity as squid and varnish or to be more like mod_cache for lighttpd. I guess you could use apache and mod_proxy but that's not exactly high performance. I know my employer looked at the various offerings and we ended up writing our own on top of a webserver called OKWS.


Knuth Got It Wrong 298

davecb writes "Think you've mastered the art of server performance? Think again. Poul-Henning Kamp, in an article at ACM Queue, finds an off-by-ten error in btrees, because they fail to take virtual memory into account. And he solves the problem in the open source 'Varnish' HTTP accelerator, for all of us to see and use."

Submission + - Statistics find the best picture on dating sites (

Cirvam writes: "OkCupid shows what pictures get the best responses on their dating site. Using statistical analysis they show that MySpace angle shots actually result in the best response rate from people and as women get older they post more shots of themselves outdoors. Many well held beliefs about pictures on dating sites are disproved by their data."

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 491

Actually one of the provisions of the federal government taking over passenger rail (aka Amtrak) was that they got priority over freight. This is slowly being enforced more and more so it wouldn't be a factor. One thing I wonder is why the government doesn't just take some of the right of way that they granted the railroads way back when. The Pennsylvania Railroad used to have 4 tracks going clear across the state from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. Since then they have ripped out 2 of them, why not have the government replace them with rail that's rated for high speed operation?

I think a large part of the problem is the regulations associated with running trains faster. I mean if I was a shareholder in the railroads and they could perform upgrades to get stuff across the country in 1 week instead of 2 and thereby beat the trucking industry it seems like it would be a worthwhile investment.


Microbes That Keep Us Healthy Starting To Die Off 260

Dr_Ken writes with a quote from Scientific American: "The human body has some 10 trillion human cells—but 10 times that number of microbial cells. So what happens when such an important part of our bodies goes missing? With rapid changes in sanitation, medicine and lifestyle in the past century, some of these indigenous species are facing decline, displacement and possibly even extinction. In many of the world's larger ecosystems, scientists can predict what might happen when one of the central species is lost, but in the human microbial environment—which is still largely uncharacterized—most of these rapid changes are not yet understood. 'This is the next frontier and has real significance for human health, public health and medicine,' says Betsy Foxman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, each new generation in developed countries comes into the world with fewer of these native populations. 'They're actually missing some component of their microbiota that they've evolved to have,' Foxman says."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Asking US $60,000 For NetBSD 6.0 (

Trollaxor writes: "Hot on the heels of their NetBSD 5.0 release, the NetBSD organization is gearing up for NetBSD 6.0, due in just under a year ("The sixth major release for the six month of 2010!"). To make that happen, NetBSD is asking its industry partners, users, and anyone with spare change to contribute US $60,000. Matt Thomas, of NetBSD's core group, says the money will allow for "network performance improvements and embedded and realtime optimization," meaning NetBSD can finally move onto specialized hardware, something it has struggled with in the past. So far, they have $40. Do Slashdot readers find $60,000 an appropriate amount to sponsor the BSD family's middle child, or does the price outweigh the upgrade?"

Submission + - Speeding up code with GCC's prefetch extension (

birge writes: "In memory-constrained loops where memory must be accessed out-of-order, a relatively little-used extension to GCC can be used to speed up code by as much as several times. Extremely simple to use, the __builtin_prefetch instruction tells the cache mechanism to load a memory location into local chip cache, allowing the programmer to have memory loaded for the next computation in parallel with the current computation."
The Media

Submission + - Traditional News Media Leads Blogs by 2.5 Hours ( 1

Peace Corps Online writes: "The NY Times reports that researchers at Cornell studying the news cycle by looking for repeated phrases and tracking some 90 million articles and blog posts which appeared from August through October 2008 on 1.6 million mainstream media sites and blogs. have discovered that for the most part, traditional news outlets lead and the blogs follow, typically by 2.5 hours. The researchers studied frequently repeated short phrases, the equivalent of "genetic signatures" for ideas. The biggest text-snippet surge found in the study — "lipstick on a pig" originated in Barack Obama's colorful put-down of the claim by Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin that they were the genuine voices for change in the campaign. The researcher's paper, "Meme-tracking and the Dynamics of the News Cycle," (PDF) shows that although most news flowed from the traditional media to the blogs, 3.5 percent of story lines originated in the blogs and later made their way to traditional media. For example, when Mr. Obama said that the question of when life begins after conception was "above my pay grade," the remark was first reported extensively in blogs and though the blogosphere as a whole lags behind, a relative handful of blog sites are the quickest to pick up on things that later gain wide attention on the Web, led by Hot Air and Talking Points Memo. "This is a landmark piece of work on the flow of news through the world," said Eric Horvitz, a researcher at Microsoft. "The study shows how Web-scale analytics can serve as powerful sociological laboratories.""

Submission + - your neighbor springs for your bandwith 1

An anonymous reader writes: a family friend has asked me to install a high speed, low-latency network so he can install video conferencing in his home office. he lives on a private road with about 10 houses on it, and wants to offer his neighbours acceess to the same. the houses are each on 2 acres, on some hilly land, so in total are pretty far apart. what would you suggest for him, and what would you suggest he offer his neighbours ?
United States

Submission + - Steve Fossett Killed By Downdraft (NTSB) (

jd writes: "The NTSB has now released the text of its examination into the crash of Steve Fossett's aircraft on Sept 3rd, 2007. It concludes that downdrafts were the likely cause of the crash, dragging the plane into the mountain with such force that, even at full power, it would have been impossible to escape the collision. Pilots experienced in the area report that those winds can rip the wings off aircraft and Mark Twain remarked that they could roll up a tin house "like sheet music". One must wonder why such a skilled aviator was taking a gamble with such hostile conditions, given that he was looking for a flat stretch of land to race cars on, but that is one mystery we shall probably never know the answer to."

Submission + - Genetic Based Match Making (

Cirvam writes: "According to this article, the online dating site okCupid is now requiring users to submit a blood sample to be matched properly with their new matching system. Supposedly it will provide better compatibility and matching by analyzing your genetic predisposition to the other people on the site. While it is free, it is not an optional service so all new users and all existing users will be required to submit their blood sample. While I'm not sure that this will actually help people match up better it seems like this really forces and other dating sites to up their ante."

Submission + - Seagate Founder Al Shugart Passes Away

xocp writes: Seagate Founder Al Shugart Passes Away

From the press release:
For those who had the rare and wonderful opportunity of knowing him, it's hard to imagine our world without Al Shugart in it to challenge the status quo, say things that were outrageously honest and achieve the remarkable.

He passed on December 12th, 2006.

Slashdot Top Deals

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley