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Comment Interactive daily diagram of sea ice extent (Score 3, Informative) 245

Personally, I love this diagram. I bookmarked it a couple of years ago and I like to show it to people. Climate change is pretty obvious if you hide all the series and then reveal them one by one in chronological order.

(University of Illinois)

Comment Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 1) 1215

Well, what about that lab? What do they do with Windows? I tried a quick Google search but all the results I got were related to cold fusion research and the infamous Pons & Fleischmann affair. That poor department, I bet it must be difficult for them to do proper research nowadays and get it seen in its true light, because it must be constantly drowned by all the (continuing) coverage of that fiasco!

Comment Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (Score 5, Informative) 1215

Yeah, in science, it's usually rare to have serious development done on Windows, except for the occasional data acquisition station or for some control computer attached to a commercial lab apparatus. Just have a look at the Top 500 supercomputer clusters, most of them run a flavor of Linux or UNIX. I've worked for genomics companies and now I'm at a neurological institute, and all the heavy duty HPC pipelines are designed to integrate with such clusters, and the scientists themselves work on Linux desktops. We're shuffling terabytes of medical images back and forth, with large data trees on shared filesystems that are continuously updated by scripts in bash, Perl, Ruby, Python, and Java. If Microsoft had the power to force us to switch to Windows for everything, science would grind to a halt for 15 years while we re-code everything, and even then it would probably still not be as functional as what we have right now. There is great beauty and power in command-line processing, when done well.

Does anyone know of any big science project that's all done on Windows? Really, I'm asking because I'm curious. As far as I know, in physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, medecine etc, any project that requires complex custom HPC pipelines are created on Linux (or UNIX). Windows? Never heard of one. But it might exist, I suppose.

Comment Total energy (Score 2) 284

One megawatt is one million joules per second. The pulse
lasts 100 nsec, or 0.1 millionth of a second. If you multiply
the two, you get the total amount of energy for the pulse... ... 0.1 joule.

That's about the same amount of energy as lifting a 100 g
chocolate bar 10 cm vertically in the air....

Comment How does Sophos do this? (Score 4, Interesting) 133

He tried to open a quarantined file, once with the 'cat' command
and once with vi, as root, and both times Sophos warned him and
prevented him from proceeding. Now, the code for the 'cat'
command is quite simple, it basically just does a open(2)
of the file and then issues a series of read(2). My question
is: Does Sophos actually intercept the system calls in order
to make sure no application opens an infected file? If so,
wouldn't that introduce a HUGE performance penalty on the
everything happening on the machine, since these system calls
are so crucial?

Comment Re:I don't even think it's that well-defined. (Score 1) 597

Hey, are you Peter Seebach? If so, just a few comments above yours, I provided a link
to your insightful (and funny) Hacker FAQ. I've always recognized myself in it.

Have you ever considered reformating it to a more modern HTML document? It's simply
that in its present form, it really DOES look like a text from 1999... it shows
its age. :-)

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