Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Other factors can ease parenting "instinct" in men (Score 3, Interesting) 291

I had the luck of finding a husband who cared about me keeping my job. That meant sharing of the parental duties, except the obvious ones like breastfeeding. I noticed that not only his parental instinct was at least as developed as mine -- and getting better with each subsequent child, but also that he is more comfortable than me in this parenthood thing. The reasons being:

1 - he's more sure of himself than I am, because society taught him to.
2 - he gets less hen-pecking and judging that I do. With our first-born, family would let me know that I "was doing wrong", and I'd believe it (see number one). But a caring father is like a super-hero here and does not get that much crap. And also can find better company (but that's just here where I live I guess as I heard horrible things from other dads). Also random people compliment him for being so involved with our kids.
3 - he can lift 2 kids at the same time

Comment Re:Programmability? (Score 1) 208

I wonder how nice these will be to program. The "just recompile and run" promise for Knights Corner was little more than a cruel joke

I tried recompiling and running some OpenCL code (that previously was running on GPUs). It was "just recompile and run" and the promises about performances were kept. But still, OpenCL is not what most people consider "nice to program".

Comment We are undergoing this at my company (Score 2) 249

Once, managers were alpha technicians who got promoted. In the last couple of years, someone had the idea of adding a layer of non-technical management. This led to red tape and processes be shoved down the technicians' throats. The newly hired managers are so non technical that they cannot recognize a skilled technician and choose appropriate experts when facing a problem. So, they hire external consultants. Also, they are those people that were the nerds' bullies in middle school. A mix of technical incompetence and past personal history made the engineers turn against them.

Now, those managers report to the CEO (they are his experts) and shield him from the technicians, as is should be, but due to their technical incompetence, their reports are incomplete. So, the technicians are starting to bypass all the red tape and the managers and address the CEO directly (or the CEO is contacting engineers, I did not follow).

We had a big meeting lately where the engineers mumbled "can't you just let us do our job in peace".

The situation was bad before, but has worsened with the introduction of non-technical managers. We have reached a point of disruption, and the best engineers threatened to quit so loud that the CEO may reverse course. Next year will be interesting.

Comment More measures & better data representation (Score 1) 79

I would have preferred graphs with lines, logarithmic scale and comparison with the theoretically attainable performances.

Moreover, some more popular benchmarks should be run: HPL, NERSC Trinity benchmarks, or even real applications like Quantum Espresso which has some standard benchmark tests.

Power consumption should be measured when running any benchmarks as it may vary depending on the type of application (CPU bound, memory bound).

Nice project on the electrical and electronic engineering part, could benefit from the insight of someone from the scientific computing field.

Comment Girlfriend - Voyager (Score 1) 634

I think the most appealing to a girl would be Voyager, because of the fair amount of good female character in lead roles and the fact that men and women are treated as equal, up to the uniform. I personally think it's pretty impressive of how women have lead roles and are not just sidekicks (like in Doctor Who).

That, if she's not the pretty princess type of girl, of course.

Comment Swiss languages (Score 1) 297

Coming from Switzerland and having so fun every time I go to a different canton having to adjust to a new dialect, I wonder where he got the data for the FTR. From my experience:

- there is no Swiss German (or maybe he's talking about Zürich German)
- Swiss Italians speak regular italian, with a strong accent, and they don't know how to use verbs (some even to the extent of just using present, 2 pasts, and conditional)
- Swiss French differs from French only in minor ways

And a link for you to listen to a song in different languages (mostly German variants): http://www.bodowartke.de/liebesliedgenerator/llg_flash_2009.php

Comment As a Tier-3 manager... (Score 2, Interesting) 53

I can say that the article doesn't explain it very well. Since CERN has been calling the sites "Tier", this terminology has become a buzzword, and everything is a Tier (the managers call their services "Tiered" just to make them sound important).

Tier0 and Tier1 are well described by the article. Tier2 are mostly computing clusters, with of course big storage, but they're mainly for analysis. Tier3 are like Tier2 but not really. They are "uncertified" Tier2 in the sense that they do not strictly adhere to the Tier2 standards in terms of middleware and configuration and policies.

Tier4... never heard of that, I think the buzzword Tier backfired and they're calling their desktops Tiers. When I started managing the Tier3 we did not even call it like that... it was just a cluster.

Comment Re:What about the rest of it ? (Score 4, Informative) 64

TFA says they use 48RU, and each cabinet uses 14.4 kW (60A) which in my opinion is not that impressive: you just need 3 phases at 20A, 240V.

As for cooling, you can easily get away with no water-cooling if your hot aisle confinement is well done. From the pics it is just Dell's 1U servers, and if you fill one 48U rack with those you do get to 14.4kW. But not all racks are for number-crunching, you have racks for storage, control and network, and those make less than 8kW.

The problem is not powering those things, but more cooling. With a good hot-aisle or cold-aisle confinement you can go up to 15kW/rack, but depending on the air volume, you're quickly screwed up if the cooling fails.


Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment European plugs all wrong... (Score 1) 1174

I have been traveling in Europe and especially in Italy and I can tell you the plugs are not really like that:

- what they call the "Euro Plug" is not a standard for real equipment. You'll never find for example a desktop computer with that plug. You can find mobile phone chargers and small equipment. There is no wall socket for this plug (except maybe still in Italy), as it fits the "real" Euro socket and the Swiss and some more.

- the real Euro plug is like the French, Czech or Italian for example (like this one: http://www.more-shop.co.uk/images/EUpccable.png). Of course some Countries in Europe do not comply (Switzerland for example: http://www.travelplugs.co.uk/products/uk/sw/sw1_200x150.jpg)

- the Italian plug they mention is not in use anymore and is being replaced by the above European plug. So Italy has 2 types of sockets (used to have 3).

- they forgot to mention that "hybrid" wall sockets exist in Europe. For instance you can accomodate both a Swiss plug and a (real) Euro plug, or in Italy, all the 3 types of plugs onto the same socket (it has both a ground pin and hole).

Article is mostly chauvinistic crap. I've been living in Europe, working there, in strict contact with electricians in several Countries. It is a mess and the standards change in space and time, you cannot just google "Euro plug" and pretend you know.

Comment PS2 compatibility (Score 1) 616

Actually most of the PS3 games take advantage of the PS2 emulation -- not that they would run on a PS2, of course.

The PS3 appears having only 6 SPUs when the Cell really has 8. The 7th is used as a hypervisor to run PS2 games efficiently and the 8th is "disabled". The hypervisor is what saves games developers -- they can take the shortcut but are not fully using the GFlops. But: consoles get sold, and part of this money is invested in developing new chips which are not only used in newer consoles but also in supercomputers like this one.

Slashdot Top Deals

"All we are given is possibilities -- to make ourselves one thing or another." -- Ortega y Gasset