fons writes "Dutch Python hacker/artist Stani took part in a contest organised by the Dutch Ministry Of Finance to design a 5 euro commemorative coin. And he won, using only free software: 'The whole design was done for 100% with free software. The biggest part consists of custom software in Python, of course within the SPE editor. For the visual power I used PIL and pyCairo. From time to time also Gimp, Inkscape and Phatch helped quite a bit. All the developing and processing was done on GNU/Linux machines which were running Ubuntu/Debian. I would have loved to release the coin under the GPL, which could maybe solve the financial crisis. However for obvious reasons I was not allowed to do that.'"
single-threaded writes: Tilera, a startup out of MIT, has announced that it is shipping a 64-core CPU. Called the TILE64, the CPU is fabbed on a 90nm process and is clocked at anywhere from 600MHz to 900MHz. From Ars' coverage: 'what will make or break Tilera is not how many peak theoretical operations per second it's capable of (Tilera claims 192 billion 32-bit ops/sec), nor how energy-efficient its mesh network is, but how easy it is for programmers to extract performance from the device. That's the critical piece of TILE64's launch story that's missing right now, and it's what I'll keep an eye out for as I watch this product make its way in the market. Though there are any number of questions about this product that remain to be answered, one thing is for certain: TILE64 has indeed brought us into the era of 64 general-purpose, mesh-networked processor cores on a single chip, and that's a major milestone. '