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Submission + - New Mersenne Prime Discovered, Largest Known Prime Number: 2^74,207,281 - 1

Dave Knott writes: The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has discovered a new largest known prime number, 2^74,207,281-1, having 22,338,618 digits. The same GIMPS software just uncovered a flaw in Intel's latest Skylake CPUs, and its global network of CPUs peaking at 450 trillion calculations per second remains the longest continuously-running "grassroots supercomputing" project in Internet history. It is almost 5 million digits larger than the previous record prime number, in a special class of extremely rare prime numbers known as Mersenne primes. It is only the 49th known Mersenne prime ever discovered, each increasingly difficult to find.

Submission + - GIMPS Project Discovers Largest Known Prime Number: 2^74207281-1 (mersenne.org)

An anonymous reader writes: On January 7th at 22:30 UTC, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) celebrated its 20th anniversary with the math discovery of the new largest known prime number, 274,207,281-1, having 22,338,618 digits, on a university computer volunteered by Curtis Cooper for the project. The same GIMPS software just uncovered a flaw in Intel's latest Skylake CPUs[1], and its global network of CPUs peaking at 450 trillion calculations per second remains the longest continuously-running "grassroots supercomputing"[2] project in Internet history. See URL below for full story.

Submission + - Largest Known Prime, 49th Known Mersenne Prime Found!! (mersenne.org)

chalsall writes: GIMPS celebrated its 20th anniversary with the discovery of the largest known prime number, 2^74,207,281-1. Curtis Cooper, one of many thousands of GIMPS volunteers, used one of his university's computers to make the find. The prime number, also known as M74207281, is calculated by multiplying together 74,207,281 twos then subtracting one. It has 22,338,618 digits — almost 5 million digits longer than the previous record prime number.

Submission + - Intel confirms Skylake crash erratum (bit-tech.net)

chalsall writes: Intel has confirmed an in-the-wild erratum affecting its latest Skylake processor architecture and causing hangs during certain computationally-intensive operations, with its OEM partners to roll out a hotfix by way of BIOS update sharpish.

Submission + - Renderman Gets Blender Integration

jones_supa writes: Now that Renderman has been available for free for non-commercial use for a while, there has been many requests for integration with Blender. An initiative spearheaded by Pixar now presents the first Blender to Renderman plugin. With the release of PRMan 20, a small group of developers headed by Brian Savery of Pixar have been working on support for using Renderman and Blender together. The plugin is still in early alpha but has had many great developments in the last few weeks. The source code is available in GitHub.

Comment Reverse the data-direction... (Score 1) 124

Here's a radical idea...

Rather than the consumer wearing the RFID chip, the consumer instead carries the RFID reader to find out what the merchant is offering.

The consumer doesn't radiate anything, and the merchant radiates the information the consumer might be interested in (or not...).

This puts the control back into the consumer's hands. As it should be.

Comment Exceptional teachers. (Score 1) 169

In mid-grade school I had a particularly exceptional and progressive teacher who ran experiments like this (Canada)...

Rather than the regular curriculum delivery, each student had a filing box where the entire year's assignments where defined on cards (with references to what pages in what textbooks should be read). The students were allowed to do them as quickly they wished. Once an assignment was completed the card (and the results) were placed back in the box for the teacher to review, grade, and comment on (if needed).

There were almost no "lectures" (read: the teacher standing in front of the classroom talking to the utter boredom of most of the students). In fact, the classroom was broken up into various different areas with partitions upon which the students could stick things -- drawings, notes, etc. There wasn't even line-of-sight from most of the classroom to the blackboard!

Instead, each morning there was a "class meeting" in a common area (with a blackboard) where everyone got to share where they were in their "program", and ask questions or make comments (if they were comfortable doing so). Once a week each student would have a one-on-one "meeting" with the teacher to review progress.

Any student could request additional meetings with the teacher at any time if they were having difficulty with a subject. Often the teacher would then ask a stronger student in a subject to help a weaker student. I was often asked to help in (simple) Maths and (simple) Science. I was often helped in just about all other subjects, like English, Social Studies, etc...

It is interesting how memory works... I had largely forgotten about this exceptional learning environment and experience until this article jogged my memory.

I must try to thank the teacher. He was clearly ahead of his time....

Submission + - Former Director of the ISS Division at NASA Talks About Science Behind 'Elysium' (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: In the new movie “Elysium,” Earth a century and a half from now is an overtaxed slum, low on niceties like clean water and riddled with crime and sickness. The ultra-rich have abandoned terra firma in favor of Elysium, an orbital space station where the champagne flows freely and the medical care is the best possible. Mark Uhran, former director of the International Space Station Division at NASA headquarters, talked with Slashdot about what it would take (and how much it would cost) to actually build a space station like that for civilians. It turns out NASA did a report way back in 1975 describing what it would take to build a Stanford torus space station like the one in the movie: rotation for artificial gravity, a separate shield for radiation and debris, the ability to mine materials from astroids or possibly the moon, and $190.8 billion in 1975 dollars (the equivalent of $828.11 billion today). Looks like the ultra-rich are stuck on Earth for the time being.

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