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Submission + - Scientific American column: It's Not Cold Fusion... But It's Something

An anonymous reader writes: Scientific American magazine has published a guest column on low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR). The article puts into context the history of what was mistakenly referred to as cold fusion and what happened. The bottom line is that there is compelling cumulative evidence for nuclear reactions taking place, including shifts in the abundance of isotopes, element transmutations, and localized melting of metals. Furthermore, those reactions do not have the characteristics of either nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Despite sharp criticism from much of the scientific community after the 1989 announcement by Fleischmann and Pons, the Department of the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and other reputable organizations continued the research and published many papers.

The column was co-written by the author and editor of a three book series describing the history of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, from 1912 to the present. Lost History describes the early chemical and electrical transmutations observed between 1912 and 1927. Fusion Fiasco tells the story of what happened when Pons and Fleischmann made their astonishing announcement in 1989, and the fiasco that ensued. Hacking the Atom continues the story from 1990 to the present.

Submission + - Skylake Power Management Not Fully Implemented in Linux (

jones_supa writes: One of the reasons why someone might have a laptop to be able to do things like use it on battery, and power consumption is an important part of that. Intel Skylake CPU architecture continues the trend from Haswell of moving to an System on Chip -type model where clock and power domains are shared between components that were previously entirely independent. This means that the system cannot enter deep power saving states unless multiple components all have the correct power management configuration. Well, on Linux they do not, finds out Matthew Garrett. The deepest power saving state he can get into is PC3, despite Skylake supporting PC8. Because of this, he estimates using about 40% more power than should be necessary. Nobody seems to know what needs to be done to fix this, and public documentation on the power management dependencies on Skylake is missing.

Submission + - Intel Layoffs Coming?

cleara writes: According to an Oregonian article ( that is so-far not paywalled; Intel is planning a currently unknown number of layoffs company-wide. The article does have a redacted copy of the layoff letter going to affected employees

Feed Google News Sci Tech: European Space Agency may have found lost Rosetta Philae lander - NY City News (


European Space Agency may have found lost Rosetta Philae lander
NY City News
The European Space Agency announced on Thursday that its engineers say that its Philae lander undoubtedly landed on the comet, prior to becoming inactive because of lack of sufficient batteries. According to information from the European Space Agency,...
Rosetta's Philae Lander Discovered On Surface of Comet?Viral Global News
Has the ESA finally located Philae, its missing comet lander?Morning Ticker
Have We Found Rosetta's Lost Philae Lander?Universe Today
The Standard Daily-Benchmark Reporter-National Monitor
all 98 news articles

Submission + - Leaked details, if true, point to potent AMD Zen CPU ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: For more than a year, information on AMD’s next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed Zen, has tantalized the company’s fans — and those who simply want a more effective competitor against Intel. Now, the first concrete details have begun to appear. And if they’re accurate, the next-generation chip could pack a wallop.

Submission + - SpaceX are looking for help with "Landing" video

Maddog Batty writes: SpaceX recently made the news by managing to soft land at sea the first stage of rocket used to launch its third supply mission to the International Space Station. Telemetry reported that it was able to hover for eight seconds above the sea before running out of fuel and falling horizontal. Unfortunately, due to stormy weather at the time, their support ship wasn't able to get to the "landing" spot at the time and the first stage wasn't recovered and is likely now on the sea bed.

Video of the landing was produced and transmitted to an aeroplane but unfortunately it is rather corrupted. SpaceX have attempted to improve it but it isn't much better. They are now looking for help to improve it further.

Submission + - Is id Software a "sinking ship?"

An anonymous reader writes: All is not well at the house that Doom built. Gamecrastinate reports that a string of comments by current and former employees of id Software reveal long-standing problems with upper-level management. The most recent, made in December, shortly after the departure of id co-founder John Carmack, describes the company as a "sinking ship", one that has lost over a hundred people, including Carmack, in the prior two years. The anonymous whistle-blower lays the blame squarely upon the "incompetence" of id's managers, and their tendency to "re-invent" projects after as few as six months of work. Last year, Kotaku reported on the troubled development history of Doom 4, a game that was first announced in 2008, and one that has been rebuilt from scratch at least once. In February, id began offering beta access to the upcoming game, now simply titled Doom , as an incentive for pre-ordering Wolfenstein: The New Order. When it finally gets here, will it be enough to pull id out of their downward spiral, or is the company going to hell for real?

Submission + - Intel, AMD, NVIDIA Working To Reduce OpenGL Overhead

jones_supa writes: Key OpenGL engineers from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA will be presenting next month at the 2014 Game Developers Conference about reducing driver overhead with OpenGL. They will hold a GDC 2014 presentation called Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL. In this unprecedented sponsored session, Graham Sellers (AMD), Tim Foley (Intel), Cass Everitt (NVIDIA) and John McDonald (NVIDIA) will present high-level concepts available in today's OpenGL implementations that radically reduce driver overhead — by up to ten times or more. The techniques presented will apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. This is certainly very relevant to Linux gamers, and it is also interesting because for months now AMD has been pushing their Mantle graphics API underlining the benefit of low API overhead. The Mantle competition may have accelerated the interest to optimize OpenGL like this. We will find out in just about four weeks what kind of tricks the GPU vendors are doing to combat OpenGL driver overhead with an increasing number of games using OpenGL instead of Direct3D for working towards Linux/SteamOS compatibility.

Submission + - AMD's Mantle API Benchmarked With Battlefield 4 Versus DirectX (

MojoKid writes: AMD has been working on a new set of drivers which enable their Mantle API and a number of other features as well. AMD's Catalyst 14.1 betas are the first publicly available drivers from AMD that support Mantle, AMD’s “close to the metal” API that lets developers wring additional performance from systems equipped with GCN-based GPUs. The new drivers also add support for the HSA-related features introduced with the recently released Kaveri APU, and will reportedly fix the frame pacing issues associated with Radeon HD 7000 series CrossFire configurations as well. With the first round of benchmark numbers from Battlefield 4, Mantle has a significant impact on performance. On the GPU-bound A10-7850K, when tested with its on-processor Radeon R7 graphics, BF4’s performance increased roughly 10%. Pop in a powerful discrete GPU, however, and the gains are much larger. When the A10-7850K was paired to a Radeon R9 290X, utilizing Mantle resulted in a 28% increase in performance over DirectX. Performing the same test with that Radeon R9 290X installed in the Core i3-4330-based system showed Mantle outperforming DirectX by about 13%. Gaming conditions and systems that are CPU as well as GPU-limited seem to benefit the most, as evidenced by the huge gains seen in Star Swarm benchmarks. What’s also clear is that Microsoft hasn’t done enough to optimize graphics performance on the PC. DirectX has evolved greatly over the years and has enabled developers to create some fantastic looking games. But with overheard so high, there’s too much performance being sacrificed, likely for no good reason.

Submission + - AOL Sells Winamp And Shoutcast Music Services To Online Radio Aggregator Radiono (

VISBOT NETWORK writes: Some more detail on the fate of Winamp and Shoutcast, the legacy digital music services that owner AOL originally planned to shut down but then halted pending a sale. The properties are instead being acquired by Radionomy — an international aggregator of online radio stations headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Submission + - SeaWorld canvasses employees for online poll

Jim Efaw writes: Probably just par for the course these days: Orlando Business Journal held an online poll asking "Has CNN's 'Blackfish' documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?" (a show that was previously discussed on Slashdot). SeaWorld decided to respond by going to "team members" and "encourage them to make their opinions known". 54% of votes cast were from the same SeaWorld IP address. Turns out that even without that IP, less than 10% had said it changed their perception, but no word on whether the other voters were just SeaWorld staff from somewhere else. Since the canvassing story broke, however, the votes have gone heavily towards "Yes". (I don't suppose having it on Slashdot will help, either.)

Submission + - The analyst who predicted the 10% PC decline thinks 2014 will be much better (

mattydread23 writes: Ben Bajarin was more pessimistic than other analysts at the beginning of 2013, believing that the PC market would drop 10% or more. He was exactly right. But he thinks 2014 won't be so bad. Consumers still need one desktop PC at home to sync all those smartphones and tablets they bought, and a lot of those PCs are getting long in the tooth. But he warns that it will just be "a bump," with dire times returning after this refresh cycle is over.

Submission + - Saab wins Brazil jet deal after NSA spying sours Boeing bid ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Brazil awarded a $4.5 billion contract to Saab AB on Wednesday to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets, a surprise coup for the Swedish company after news of U.S. spying on Brazilians helped derail Boeing's chances for the deal.

The contract, negotiated over the course of three presidencies, will supply Brazil's air force with 36 new Gripen NG fighters by 2020. Aside from the cost of the jets themselves, the agreement is expected to generate billions of additional dollars in future supply and service contracts.

The timing of the announcement, after more than a decade of off-and-on negotiations, appeared to catch the companies involved by surprise. Even Juniti Saito, Brazil's top air force commander, said on Wednesday that he only heard of the decision a day earlier in a meeting with President Dilma Rousseff.

Until earlier this year, Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet had been considered the front runner. But revelations of spying by the U.S. National Security Agency in Brazil, including personal communication by Rousseff, led Brazil to believe it could not trust a U.S. company.

Nice work Mr President, members of Congress, FISA court members and General Alexander. You've done the Stasi proud.

Submission + - Exponential Algorithm in Windows Update Slowing XP Machines (

jones_supa writes: An interesting bug regarding update dependency calculation has been found in Windows XP. By design, machines using Windows Update retrieve patch information from Microsoft's update servers (or possibly WSUS in a company setting). That patch information contains information about each patch: what software it applies to and, critically, what historic patch or patches the current patch supersedes. Unfortunately, the Windows Update client components used an algorithm with exponential scaling when processing these lists. Each additional superseded patch would double the time taken to process the list. With the operating system now very old, those lists have grown long, sometimes to 40 or more items. On a new machine, that processing appeared to be almost instantaneous. It is now very slow. After starting the system, svchost.exe is chewing up the entire processor, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. Wait long enough after booting and the machine will eventually return to normalcy. Microsoft thought that it had this problem fixed in November's Patch Tuesday update after it culled the supersedence lists. That update didn't appear to fix the problem. The company thought that its December update would also provide a solution, with even more aggressive culling. That didn't seem to help either. For one reason or another, Microsoft's test scenarios for the patches didn't reflect the experience of real Windows XP machines.

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