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Comment Re:It's terrible! (Score 1) 705

We aren't talking about Microsoft Certified Whatever People here.. the Civil Engineering PE licensing process is actually pretty good at testing for knowledge and expertise in the subject area. Civil Engineering is a relatively straightforward discipline to test knowledge on with agreed upon best practices, etc, PE is a professional license which requires a degree in the field, years of practical experience and then a pretty extensive exam process.

Did I mention it's a license? You don't just lose your piece of paper if you fuck up, you are held personally liable. You can go to jail for it.


Submission + - Chinese Censor Going Mad, Coutering Tools Rise (

hackingbear writes: Hong Kong newspaper Mingpao Daily reports that the number of words being censored by Chinese authority has mushroomed and a new software tool known as Online Anti-Harmonizer has rapidly gaining popularity. The software claimed to contain a dictionary of over 10,000 words censored by the infamous Green Dam software and and will automatically insert random punctuations to your online post to get it pass through the automated filtering algorithm. The Chinese censorship effort, known as Harmonization, has gone mad. Not only it censors politically sensitive words such as June 4, Liu Xiaobo but it starts blocking words that are far or completely unrelated. The newspaper reported earlier that the words empty chair has been blocked because it becomes a symbol of Liu Xiaobo's absence in the Nobel Peace Price ceremony; the last name Liu, one of the most common Chinese last names, is also blocked. The name of the current Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is blocked (probably because they reason that no comments with his name can be good.) Even worse, because of the lack of word separator in Chinese, topics not having the censored words are being blocked. For example, "(Chinese currency) Yuan Being Manipulated" is blocked, not because the topic is blocked, but because first two characters of the the words "being manipulated" in Chinese, i.e. "bei cao" in "bei cao zhong", means "being fucked" in Chinese.

Submission + - Apple's Long Road to $300 (

itwbennett writes: Apple shares inched over $300 for the first time Wednesday, nearly 30 years after Apple's initial public offering in December 1980. But it hasn't been a steady climb. In fact, says blogger Chris Nurney, 'Apple's stock history can be divided into two clear periods — the early years, from the IPO through Steve Jobs's long absence from the company after losing a power struggle in 1985, and the modern Jobs era, which began on September 16, 1997.' The bottom line: 'If you had purchased $10,000 of Apple stock the same month that Jobs again began leading the company, your shares would be worth $554,000 today. Not a bad return on the investment.'

Comment Re:Great news (Score 1) 324

The 3 ghz clock applies only to parts of the processor die. And not the entire thing at that.

The PCIe clock rate is by default 100mhz. Engineering motherboard traces to do much more than that is a real pain because noise becomes a problem. Incidentally, dealing with noise is a large part of why PCIe uses multiple serial connections rather than one large parallel connection to increase bandwidth. Still, there's a physical limit to how many traces you can put on the motherboard.

PCIe is pretty damn fast, but there's a lot of overhead and lag to getting data from main memory out to the card and back. Once you set up the transfer though, it's fast. The problem for a lot of software developers is redesigning your software to deal with that lag.

Comment Re:x86 (Score 1) 187

Very true. There are other limitations to GPUs as well. They don't handle branching well at all, some scatter/gather operations are slow, etc.

But don't get me wrong; you'd have to pry my dual ATI (AMD) Radeon 5870's from my cold, dead fingers. And hopefully soon I'll get my hands on a GTX 485... :)

Comment Re:x86 (Score 4, Informative) 187

GPUs are highly parallel processors, but most of our computing algorithms were developed for fast single core processors. As we figure out how to implement new solutions to old problems to take advantage of these highly parallel processors, you'll continue to see stories like this one. But, there's a limit to how good they can be at certain types or problems. Read up on Amdahl's law.

Basically, traditional x86 processors are good at lots of stuff. Modern GPUs are great at a few things.

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