Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


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 Not buying the analogy (Score 1) 172

Sorry, but this doesn't work for me. Floating point operations are perfect for integrating with the CPU because they are instruction-level commands whose results may be used on an instruction-by-instruction basis. Furthermore, there's a pretty hard limit on how many/much of an FPU someone needs: one per core, most likely? (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

With GPUs, there's no limit to how powerful, fast, memory-caching, and power-hungry they need to be. The ceiling keeps rising. It doesn't scale exactly with processing demands, as FPU requirements do/did.

If a resource scales differently for different users, it'll probably never be fully integrated with the CPU. Graphics processors are being added now, because there's a low enough ceiling for what many users want and need. But separate GPUs will probably never disappear. The task they perform is highly unrelated and separate from that of the CPU.

And it's not like this new technology is actually binding the two together (unless I've missed something), it just puts them side-by-side on the same chip so that Intel and AMD can make more money from the bundle. If anything, this trend leads eventually toward preprinted motherboards complete with all features (RAM etc), not CPUs which perform lots of different functions.

Comment Bad change could be good for us (Score 1) 150

The big companies/RIAA/MPAA pushing for stricter copyright enforcement, felony charges for copyright violators, etc. are wrong.

So wrong, in fact, it might just be enough to save us from them.

It was one thing when they targeted poor college students on bittorrent. How many average Americans or other companies are going to stand up for them? It was a great way for the RIAA, for instance, to make a killing. (Off of creative content they never created, by the way -- what's the point of copyright anyway?)

But this is a whole new ballgame. When you try to make showing a music video on youtube illegal (which it would be under these laws, as far as I can tell), suddenly you've turned 90% of America against you. When you stop entrapping people by offering up torrents, and start using the word "wiretapping", you move objections from the underground nerdosphere up into the mainstream. And most importantly, you've stirred up till-now sleeping giants in Google and the other companies mentioned.

The folly of the MPAA etc in trying to extend these bans (surely, if people can't stream movies, they'll start spending thousands more on DVDs!) may have caused them to overstep their bounds just enough to ruin them in the copyright wars. Once other corporations with profits on the line get involved, the playing field evens up a little. When that happens, there's a chance for reasonableness to win out.

So, I'm not saying I applaud these new initiatives by our government, but it's about time copyright law got some negative publicity and opposition by companies with $$. Let's hope some positives come out of this.

Comment Re:big loss (Score 1) 1251

Interesting (albeit, very unlikely that anyone will develop ID to this level), but getting away from the point.

The law states that you cannot discriminate "based on the conduct of research" relating to ID. So if you do any so-called research on the subject at all -- whether it's an in-depth scientific study or a confession on a blog -- it doesn't matter what kind of research or how good or bad -- the quality of your research, as I read it, cannot be a factor in your hiring etc.

The problem isn't about being able to hire/not hire researchers based on topic. It's about being able to judge based on research quality.

Comment Academia vs Industry -- or a matter of standards? (Score 1) 583

I think academia is right to distrust "teaching to the fad" because concepts don't change, and people who know the concepts will be good at picking up the fads. Math -- to a lesser or greater extent, it's arguable -- is one of the concepts.

Analogy: if you'll be programming in Java and Python, why learn C or assembly? Don't "tough" concepts like pointers and managing your own memory turn off a lot of potentially great programmers? Well ... apparently they wouldn't have been so great. Without these concepts, you think you're fine bubbling along in Java till one day you try reading in a 10-MB file by using String str = str + nextLine() and don't understand why it's taking forever.

So -- this is also about standards. What standards a student has for herself, and what standards a school wants to set for its students. You think most of the programmers hired at Google don't know calculus and linear algebra? It's not about whether you integrate functions on a daily basis, it's that (1) you've proven you're smart and those smarts often correlate with good coding, and (2) you have additional tools and a better understanding in many cases. In industry, that pays.

And to be blunt, if someone told me they hadn't had calc or probability, I would distrust their overall understanding of the field of "computer science". Nothing against their programming skills, it's just that a lot of what I call "CS" includes mathematical concepts, and I think that a CS degree should include them.


Submission + - Google fixes Gmail issues, provides explanation (

tincat7788 writes: Remember the little freak accident caused by Google by some users woke up on Monday only to find their Gmail accounts emptied of all their messages? Well, it seems that Google has managed to identify the culprit responsible for the little incident, and has issued a statement describing what actually happened that day. On the plus side, the search giant has also assured users that no data was permanently wiped off the face of the virtual world.

Read on to find out more.


Submission + - Thunderbolt (in new Macbook Pro) to enforce DRM (

bo1024 writes: "This article mentions that Apple's new connection technology, Thunderbolt, will support the same HDCP limitations that its video outs have had in the past.

But Thunderbolt isn't just a video port; it's supposed to replace USB and Firewire as well. Granted it's doubtful Apple will attempt to control simple data transfer anytime soon, but is this a bad sign for the future? Or was it only to be expected from Apple?

Plus, what are your overall thoughts on Thunderbolt?"

Submission + - Does IPv6 Actually Work? (

darthcamaro writes: We've all been hearing for years that we should start looking at IPv6 — and now that IPv4 that seems really obvious, but there is a catch..IPv6 isn't quite ready to be deployed at scale. There are a long list of interoperability issues including problems with DHCPv6, IPv4 to IPv6 transition system mechanisms and oh yeah, web applications too.

"There are still known issues with DNS records, and if you have a AAAA record and an A record, what happens to your application?" Winters said. "You go to the AAAA and if it's not there, your application will hang." AAAA is the IPv6 record type in DNS, while the A record is for IPv4. Winters noted that it is surprising how some applications will only take the top record from a DNS resolver, whatever that record may be. He added that there is an IETF draft called, Happy Eyeballs which attempts to help resolve that issue.

Slashdot Top Deals

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievement." -- Richard J. Daley