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Comment Re:Twice as fast... (Score 4, Informative) 226

Sorry it wasn't clear. No it is Ruby implemented to run on a Virtual Machine. You write your Ruby code as normal and it gets compiled to byte code that run very fast. This is how Java is fast. Ruby can in principle be as fast as Java. Ruby is not inherently slow just the current implementation is somewhat slow.

Comment Embedded FUD (Score 1) 382

I have high regards for Ashlee Vance and miss his Podcasts he did while he was at The Register. It puzzles me he included this old FUD chestnut. Seems like a throw back from the 90's.

Anne H. Milley, director of technology product marketing at SAS ... adds, "We have customers who build engines for aircraft. I am happy they are not using freeware when I get on a jet."


FreeBSD 7.0 Release Now Available 229

cperciva writes "The first release from the new 7-STABLE branch of FreeBSD development, has been released. FreeBSD 7.0 brings with it many new features including support for ZFS, journaled filesystems, and SCTP, as well as dramatic improvements in performance and SMP scalability. In addition to being available from many FTP sites, ISO images can be downloaded via the BitTorrent tracker, or for users of earlier FreeBSD releases, FreeBSD Update can be used to perform a binary upgrade."

How Do You Find Programming Superstars? 763

Joe Ganley writes "You are a programming superstar, and you are looking for work. I recognize this happens relatively rarely, which is part of my problem. But stipulating that it happens, how do I, as a company looking to hire such people, connect with them? Put another way, how do you the programming superstar go about looking for a company that seems like one you'd like to work for? The company I work for is a great place to work; we only hire really great people, we work on hard, interesting problems, and we treat our employees well. We aren't worried about retention or even about how to entice people to work here once we've found them. The problem is simply finding them. The signal-to-noise ratio of the big places like Monster and Dice is terrible. We've had much better luck with (for example) the Joel on Software job boards, but that still doesn't generate enough volume." What methods have other people used to find the truly elite?

Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than Gasoline 442

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to EE Times, a California-based company called QuantumSphere has developed nanoparticles that could make hydrogen cheaper than gasoline. The company says its reactive catalytic nanoparticle coatings can boost the efficiency of electrolysis (the technique that generates hydrogen from water) to 85% today, exceeding the Department of Energy's goal for 2010 by 10%. The company says its process could be improved to reach an efficiency of 96% in a few years. The most interesting part of the story is that the existing gas stations would not need to be modified to distribute hydrogen. With these nanoparticle coatings, car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving."

Scientists Offer 'Overwhelming' Evidence Terran Life Began in Space 556

An anonymous reader writes "Using data from recent comet-probing space missions, British scientists are reporting today that the odds of life starting on Earth rather than inside a comet are one trillion trillion (10 to the power of 24) to one against. That is, we're not originally from around here. Radiation in comets could keep water in liquid form for millions of years, they say, which along with the clay and organic molecules found on-board would provide an ideal incubator. 'Professor Wickramasinghe said: "The findings of the comet missions, which surprised many, strengthen the argument for panspermia. We now have a mechanism for how it could have happened. All the necessary elements - clay, organic molecules and water - are there. The longer time scale and the greater mass of comets make it overwhelmingly more likely that life began in space than on earth."'" jamie points out that the author of this paper has many 'fringe' theories. Your mileage may vary.

US Opposes G8 Climate Proposals 845

elrond writes "The US appears to have summarily rejected draft proposals for G8 members that would have agreed to tougher measures for controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The BBC reports that leaked documents have indicated the positions of the various world powers, from the timetable-setting of Germany to the US's intractable stance. Red ink comments on the documents hint at the US's irritation: 'The US still has serious, fundamental concerns about this draft statement. The treatment of climate change runs counter to our overall position and crosses 'multiple red lines' in terms of what we simply cannot agree to ... We have tried to tread lightly but there is only so far we can go given our fundamental opposition to the German position.'"

Creationism Museum Opening in Kentucky 1166

Noel Linback writes "A new creationism-espousing museum is opening in the state of Kentucky. According to a New York Times article the museum depicts humans and dinosaurs living together in traditional 'diorama' style exhibit. 'Whether you are willing to grant the premises of this museum almost becomes irrelevant as you are drawn into its mixture of spectacle and narrative. Its 60,000 square feet of exhibits are often stunningly designed by Patrick Marsh, who, like the entire museum staff, declares adherence to the ministry's views; he evidently also knows the lure of secular sensations, since he designed the Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. For the skeptic the wonder is at a strange universe shaped by elaborate arguments, strong convictions and intermittent invocations of scientific principle. For the believer, it seems, this museum provides a kind of relief: Finally the world is being shown as it really is, without the distortions of secularism and natural selection. '"

Submission + - Open Source Drug Regulation?

An anonymous reader writes: Forbes has a story comparing the safety controversy over the diabetes drug Avandia to the open-source movement. Criticism has been leveled by cardiologist Steven Nissen who used Google to find clinical studies on Glaxo's website, then reanalyzed them.

From the article:
"Both houses of Congress are expected to pass laws that tweak the way the FDA monitors the safety of new medicines after they are approved. Many of the most radical changes, like a proposal to restrict TV ads and a push from Grassley to set up a separate FDA division to monitor side effects, didn't make it into the Senate version. But the bill would compel drug firms to make all of their data available on public Web sites. That, in turn, would let academic watchdogs like Nissen troll for side effects more easily.

It's an open source approach to drug safety."
Puzzle Games (Games)

Submission + - Checkers has been Solved

r55man writes: "The Chinook project recently announced that checkers has been solved. Perfect play from both sides results in a draw. From their website:

On May 8, 2007, we were pleased to announce that checkers is now solved. From the standard starting position, Black (who moves first) is guaranteed a draw with perfect play. White (moving second) is also guaranteed a draw, regardless of what Black plays as the opening move. Checkers is the largest game that has been solved to date.
User Journal

Submission + - Polar ocean absorbing less CO2 than expected.

je ne sais quoi writes: The BBC is reporting on a study by an international team due out in Science magazine (subscription required). Their finding is that the Southern ocean may be absorbing less CO2 now than 25 years ago.

Why is this important? About half of atmospheric CO2 emissions go into the carbon sinks such as the Southern ocean and this ocean represents about 15% of the global carbon sinks. The interaction of CO2 with the ocean is pretty complex, but on the time scale of the study, there are two main competing effects: the first is that as oceans warm, they absorb less CO2. (This is why your beer is more fizzy when its warm, it can hold less CO2.) The second is that as more CO2 is absorbed into the ocean, more of it converts to bicarbonate (which incidentally, increases of the acidity of the oceans which will also change CO2 solubility).

Previously, it was known that eventually the first factor would win out, temperature would eventually limit CO2 absorption, but they thought it would happen 40 years from now. If this data is correct, it's happening now.

26 Common Climate Myths Debunked 998

holy_calamity writes to mention that New Scientist is revealing the truth behind the '26 most common climate myths' used to muddy the waters in this ongoing heated debate. "Our planet's climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors. Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increasingly serious consequences."

Submission + - Our Solar System is Perpendicular to Milky Way

eldavojohn writes: "Recent data from the Voyager I & II space craft has revealed that our galaxy is passing through the Milky Way at an angle between 60 and 90 degrees to the disc shape our galaxy forms. From the article, "The findings, detailed in the May 11 issue of the journal Science, suggest the magnetic field in the galactic environment surrounding our solar system is pitched at a sharp angle and not oriented parallel to the plane of the Milky Way as previously thought." The paper in Science explains more about the observations of the magnetic field that exists just outside our solar system and the motivation for drawing this conclusion from it. Definitely revolutionizes the way we thought about our solar system in our galaxy."

Submission + - World's first quantum circuit

Anonymous writes: "NEC, JST and RIKEN have together announced the unveiling of the world's first quantum circuit. The unveiling comes as the third step, after first unveiling the first solid-state qubit and the world's first logic gate between two qubits. This is an important step toward actually using quantum computing for something useful. Previously scientists have only been able to control a single qubit, with good results, but NEC's new circuit makes it possible to use pairs of qubits for computing quantum algorithms and logical functions, and then scale these pairs into a whole quantum computer, sometime in the future."

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