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Submission + - Open-source GPU could push computing power to the next level

Theovon writes: For quite some time now, "open hardware" enthusiasts have had access to a number open source CPUs, including OpenRISC. However, it wasn’t until recently that there has been any kind of open source GPU. In 2014, the Vertical Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced MIAOW. MIAOW is in many ways a clone of the AMD Southern Islands architecture and can even run some of the same binary code. Unfortunately, MIAOW is missing some key components such as video and memory systems, making it not currently possible to implement fully in hardware. For this, Nyuzi comes to the rescue. Nyuzi (formerly Nyami) has been in development since 2010 and is a fully functional open source GPU inspired by Larrabee. Although architecturally different from the SIMT architectures from AMD and Nvidia, researchers at Binghamton University and several other places have already used it to conduct research on GPUs. A paper was published in March 2015 about this processor (one of the authors was the original founder of the Open Graphics Project), and Nyuzi (homepage) can be downloaded from github.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Any really good texts on evolutionary details? 3

Theovon writes: To me, that we evolved from earlier life forms is a straightforward conclusion. We have mountains of evidence, and current theories are sound given that data. But I'm not a biologist, so I find it a challenge to get access to much of that data. I'm looking for a single coherent tome (or maybe multivolume set) of biological data used to develop specific theories of evolution of many ancient and modern family trees. I don't want mere drawings of fossils in sequence like in a high school textbook. I want to see photographs of the original fossils, along with data about geologic strata, measurements of numerous morphological features, and explanations of the lines of reasoning that lead to particular conclusions. Sections on DNA analysis would be great too, along with any other interesting lines of evidence. The conclusions that scientists draw are fascinating, and I'd like to dig deeper into the data they started from. Would the slashdot crowd be able to help me find a top example of such a resource?

Submission + - 'Something is deeply broken in OS X memory management' (

Theovon writes: Ever since Apple released Lion, countless users have been complaining about performance problems, even on top-of-the-line hardware. OSX point releases have been coming out, but this issue has remained completely unaddressed by Apple, as per their usual "it's not our fault" approach to their mistakes. Well, some researchers have been investigating this. Perhaps Apple will finally take notice. The original article is here, and the OSNews article is here.

Submission + - Pampers Dry Max diapers, chemical burns

Theovon writes: Despite the self-deprecating jokes, many of us slashdotters do indeed have the social skills to find mates and have children. This is why articles like the recent one on delayed umbilical cord cutting are of interest to us. Well, here's another one for us parents, something my week-old daughter is experiencing first-hand. Procter and Gamble is putting their heads in the sand and denying all responsibility in response to a spate of reports that the most recent version of their "Dry Max" diapers are causing severe rashes that appear to be chemical burns. There are articles all over the place, with questions and blogs and even P&G's lame response trying to suggest that it's a mere coincidence that rashes are increasing at the same time that their new diapers came out. The feds are investigating, and hopefully, there will be a recall soon. My little girl's rash isn't quite as severe as what I've been reading about, since we caught it early and are using liberal amounts of Desitin. We're accustomed to seeing corporate greed stand in the way of product quality, every one of us who is forced to use Microsoft products. But it's one thing to lose some work. It's entirely another when helpless babies are physically injured by a product that we're supposed to trust, and even worse when the manufacturer tries to tell us that we're the ones at fault.

Submission + - Linux Not Quite Ready for New 4K-sector Drives (

Theovon writes: We've seen a few stories recently about the new Western Digital Green drives, including this one on slashdot. According to WD, their new 4096-byte sector drives are problematic for Windows XP users but not Linux or most other OS's. There's an article on OS News that suggests that Linux users should not be complacent about this, because not all the Linux tools like fdisk have caught up. The result is a reduction in write throughput by a factor of 3.3 across the board (a 230% overhead) when 4096-byte clusters are misaligned to 4096-byte physical sectors by one or more 512-byte logical sectors. The author does some benchmarks to demonstrate this. Also, from the comments on the article, it appears that even parted is not ready since by default, it aligns to "cylinder" boundaries, which are not physical cylinder boundaries and are multiples of 63.

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