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Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 712

They've been doing that for years and have it down pretty well (though far from perfect). I upgraded my Ubuntu desktop with every new release since Feisty until earlier this year when I switched to LMDE, which is a rolling release and much less of a hassle. Each new update brought along a few problems (especially with ALSA/PulseAudio and WiFi) but they were all trivial to fix. Upgrading Windows is such a PITA that it's better to just format your hard drive and do a fresh install. All in all, it's probably going to be a lot more trouble to upgrade Windows every year than to upgrade Ubuntu twice every year. I could also say that nothing's to stop you from sticking with the LTS releases and only upgrading once every eighteen months, but considering that almost every PC at my office still runs Windows XP, I have to concede that barring some wird policy shift in the future regarding backwards-compatibility and updates, Microsoft has the advantage in that area.

Submission + - Smartphone reads mood, suggests activities (northwestern.edu)

garthsundem writes: "A new smartphone by researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine "harnesses all the sensor data within the phone to interpret a person's location, activity level (via an accelerometer), social context and mood."

The phone learns your usual patterns of calls and text messages, and then if it senses you are isolated, it will send you a suggestion to call or see friends. In a pilot study, the technology reduced symptoms of depression."


Submission + - Google+ Personalized Search Gets Too Personal (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "Most users with Google+ accounts have started to notice "Google+ Your World" search resuls, which post little thumbnails of your friends above search results that are tailored based on your social network. That's all well and good when you're looking up neutral terms like 'baseball,' but you friends might be uncomfortable knowing that you're seeing their mugshot over terms like, say, 'syphilis'."

Submission + - Engineers boost hetereogeneous CPUs by 20% (extremetech.com)

MrSeb writes: "Engineers at North Carolina State University have used a novel technique to boost the performance of an AMD Fusion APU by more than 20%. This speed-up was achieved purely through software and using commercial (probably Llano) silicon. No overclocking was used. To achieve the 20% boost, the researchers basically reduced the CPU to a fetch/decode unit, and the GPU becomes the primary computation unit. This works out well because CPUs are generally very strong at fetching data from memory, and GPUs are basically just monstrous floating point units. In practice, this means the CPU is focused on working out what data the GPU needs (pre-fetching), the GPU’s pipes stay full, and a 20% performance boost arises."

Comment Re:Proving something negative is impossible (Score 1) 324

I don't follow you. Assuming time-travel were possible, then, what would happen if I went back and shot my grandparents? Or rather, what I really want to know is, what's wrong with the logical process that leads me into the assumption that it would somehow be impossible to do that?

Comment Re:They do allow non-humans to compete (Score 1) 257

I didn't mean to restrict the meaning of "abuse" to addiction. It also happens that most of these pro athletes do not use performance enhancers in doses or with a frequency so high that it ruins their health. Any one of these factors can constitute abuse, but most athletes don't fit in that description, even though some of them obviously do.

Comment Re:They do allow non-humans to compete (Score 1, Insightful) 257

Substance "abuse"? It's just substance use - athletes using chemical aids, steroids and hormones to improve their physical performance. I can't imagine why you'd qualify it as abuse in any way, shape or form - it's not like the athletes are hooked on steroids. They use these substances as a means to an end, not as an end in themselves.

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