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Open Source

Linux 2.6.37 Released 135

diegocg writes "Version 2.6.37 of the Linux kernel has been released. This version includes SMP scalability improvements for Ext4 and XFS, the removal of the Big Kernel Lock, support for per-cgroup IO throttling, a networking block device based on top of the Ceph clustered filesystem, several Btrfs improvements, more efficient static probes, perf support to probe modules, LZO compression in the hibernation image, PPP over IPv4 support, several networking microoptimizations and many other small changes, improvements and new drivers for devices like the Brocade BNA 10GB ethernet, Topcliff PCH gigabit, Atheros CARL9170, Atheros AR6003 and RealTek RTL8712U. The fanotify API has also been enabled. See the full changelog for more details."

New Ebola Drug 100% Effective In Monkeys 129

TrisexualPuppy writes "A team of scientists at Boston University has created a cure for the Ebola virus, first discovered in 1976. After setting the correct dosages, all monkeys tested with the vaccine survived with only mild effects. No tests have been performed on humans yet, as outbreaks happen infrequently and are difficult to track. Quoting NPR: '[The drug] contains snippets of RNA derived from three of the virus's seven genes. That "payload" is packaged in protective packets of nucleic acid and fat molecules. These little stealth missiles attach to the Ebola virus's replication machinery, "silencing" the genes from which they were derived. That prevents the virus from making more viruses.'"

Inventor Demonstrates Infinitely Variable Transmission 609

ElectricSteve writes with this excerpt from Gizmag: "Ready for a bit of a mental mechanical challenge? Try your hand at understanding how the D-Drive works. Steve Durnin's ingenious new gearbox design is infinitely variable — that is, with your motor running at a constant speed, the D-Drive transmission can smoothly transition from top gear all the way through neutral and into reverse. It doesn't need a clutch, it doesn't use any friction drive components, and the power is always transmitted through strong, reliable gear teeth. In fact, it's a potential revolution in transmission technology."

Millennium Prize Awarded For Perelman's Poincaré Proof 117

epee1221 writes "The Clay Mathematics Institute has announced its acceptance of Dr. Grigori Perelman's proof of the Poincaré conjecture and awarded the first Millennium Prize. Poincaré questioned whether there exists a method for determining whether a three-dimensional manifold is a spherical: is there a 3-manifold not homologous to the 3-sphere in which any loop can be gradually shrunk to a single point? The Poincaré conjecture is that there is no such 3-manifold, i.e. any boundless 3-manifold in which the condition holds is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere. A sketch of the proof using language intended for the lay reader is available at Wikipedia."

Graphene Transistors 10x Faster Than Silicon 170

Asadullah Ahmad writes "IBM has created transistors made from carbon atoms, which operate at 100 gigahertz, while using a manufacturing process that is compatible with current semiconductor fabrication. With silicon close to its physical limits, graphene seems like a viable replacement until quantum computing gets to desktop. Quoting: 'Researchers have previously made graphene transistors using laborious mechanical methods, for example by flaking off sheets of graphene from graphite; the fastest transistors made this way have reached speeds of up to 26 gigahertz. Transistors made using similar methods have not equaled these speeds.'" The other day we discussed what sounds like similar research by a group of scientists at Tohoku University; that team did not produce transistors, however.

$25,000 of Communications Gear In a $500 Car 215

In perhaps one of the finest displays of technological excess in automotive communications gear, one "enthusiast" has managed to cram over $25,000 worth of gear into a $500 car. The car is rigged for just about every conceivable communications band including FM, UHF, VHF, HF, and WTF. What other amazing displays of technological excess have others seen? "The equipment seems to cover an amazing array of technologies, many of which seem to be redundant. For instance, just how many handheld 144 MHz radios do you need? It seems like the owner of the Ham Car is capable of listening to every police/fire/ems/military channel in the world. Simultaneously. There's a laptop and we assume there's some form of cellular or satellite communication setup for that, too."

The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."

Ryan Gordon Ends FatELF Universal Binary Effort 549

recoiledsnake writes "A few years after the Con Kolivas fiasco, the FatELF project to implement the 'universal binaries' feature for Linux that allows a single binary file to run on multiple hardware platforms has been grounded. Ryan C. Gordon, who has ported a number of popular games and game servers to Linux, has this to say: 'It looks like the Linux kernel maintainers are frowning on the FatELF patches. Some got the idea and disagreed, some didn't seem to hear what I was saying, and some showed up just to be rude.' The launch of the project was recently discussed here. The FatELF project page and FAQ are still up."
Desktops (Apple)

Submission + - Apple Snow Leopard Kernel defaults to 32 bit (

bulled writes: CNET reports that OSX 10.6 will boot into a 32 bit kernel by default unless the user holds the '6' and '4' keys down during startup. The same report notes that machines with a 32 bit EFI chipset will be prevented from booting the 64 bit kernel. No reason was given for the latter decision.
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Computer wins game of 9x9 Go against 9-Dan

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time, a computer program won an official game of 9x9 Go against a top-ranked human player. The game against Zhou Junxun, a professional Go player with the highest possible Go rank of 9 Dan, took place at the Human vs. Computer Competition of the FUZZ-IEEE 2009 conference. This is a milestone in Computer Go and a big success for the new Monte-Carlo tree search algorithms, which revived the Computer Go scene after a decade of stagnation. Computer Go expert Olivier Teytaud says: "Everybody considers the win of Fuego [the name of the program] in 9x9 as very good. No error from the pro, just a perfect play by the computer." The second game was won by the human. Oh, and did I mention it? Fuego is an open source program, so you can sudy the code yourself. Although you might not have an 80-core cluster, as was used in the competition. Now the question is: how long will it take, before the computer beats a human 9-Dan on the 19x19 board?

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