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Comment Re:Swiss Francs baby (Score 1) 868

Evidence please?

Until 2008 it basically tracked the Euro and mostly climbed since against the USD, EUR etc but had a couple of big wobbles due to govt. policy. Before the Euro's existence it closely tracked the major currencies that made up the Euro. If/When Europe settles down it'll adjust downwards very quickly as people move out of the 'safe-haven'. Do you want to bet exactly when?

Comment Re:Future of Programming (Score 2, Interesting) 326

It's quite something isn't it, how so few people on even slashdot seem to get this. Old habits die hard I guess.
Years ago a clever friend of mine clued me into how functional was going to be important.

He was so right and the real solutions to concurrency (note, not parallelism which is easy enough in imperative) are in the world of FP or at least mostly FP.

My personal favourite so far is Clojure which has the most comprehensive and realistic approach to concurrency I've seen yet in a language ready for real world work.
The key thing to learn from it is how differently you need to approach your problem to take advantage of a mutli-core world.

Clojure itself may never become a top-5 language but they way it approaches the problem surely will be seen in other future FP langs.


Comment Re:Just build nuclear power plants already... (Score 1) 393

"It is only expensive because of the NIMBY crowd and the ear of government that they have."

This isn't true. Construction costs are by far the greatest costs. See this actually quite good summary

I'm not against nuclear power per-se but every time I read about the economics of it I remain unconvinced.

The only people who estimate figures we could live with are the people who build them. Then the costs of every single real world project blow up. There are, as of yet, no good arguments to believe this will change.

Submission + - GCC 4.5.0 released. (

jamesswift writes: "The GNU project and the GCC developers are pleased to announce the release of GCC 4.5.0.
This release is a major release, containing new features (as well as many other improvements) relative to GCC 4.4.x."

The changes are too numerous to list but the additional C++0x work is particularly encouraging.


Submission + - 450,000 iPads sold but how many returned? (

Kitkoan writes: From the article:

Apple announced that it had sold 300,000 iPads by end of day Saturday, and now we’re hearing that more than 450,000 have been sold. What’s most interested about that stat, though, is that I heard from a source that there’s a tremendous amount of buyer’s remorse with the iPad, and people are coming in droves to return them.


Submission + - Maybe the Aliens are Addicted to Computer Games

Hugh Pickens writes: "Geoffrey Miller has an interesting hypothesis in Seed Magazine that explains Fermi's Paradox — why 40 years of intensive searching for extraterrestrial intelligence have yielded nothing: no radio signals, no credible spacecraft sightings, no close encounters of any kind — all the aliens are busy playing computer games. The aliens "forget to send radio signals or colonize space because they’re too busy with runaway consumerism and virtual-reality narcissism," writes Miller. "They don’t need Sentinels to enslave them in a Matrix; they do it to themselves, just as we are doing today." Miller says the fundamental problem is that an evolved mind must pay attention to indirect cues of biological fitness, rather than tracking fitness itself and that although evolution favors brains that tend to maximize fitness (as measured by numbers of great-grandkids), no brain has capacity enough to do so under every possible circumstance. "The result is that we don’t seek reproductive success directly; we seek tasty foods that have tended to promote survival, and luscious mates who have tended to produce bright, healthy babies. The modern result? Fast food and pornography," writes Miller. "Once they turn inwards to chase their shiny pennies of pleasure, they lose the cosmic plot." Miller adds that most bright alien species probably go extinct gradually, allocating more time and resources to their pleasures, and less to their children until they eventually die out when the game behind all games—the Game of Life—says “Game Over; you are out of lives and you forgot to reproduce.”"

Google to Open Source the VP8 Codec 501

Several readers noted Google's reported intention to open source the VP8 codec it acquired with On2 last February — as the FSF had urged. "HTML5 has the potential to capture the online video market from Flash by providing an open standard for web video — but only if everyone can agree on a codec. So far Adobe and Microsoft support H.264 because of the video quality, while Mozilla has been backing Ogg Theora because it's open source. Now it looks like Google might be able to end the squabble by making the VP8 codec it bought from On2 Technologies open source and giving everyone what they want: high-quality encoding that also happens to be open. Sure, Chrome and Firefox will support it. But can Google get Safari and IE on board?"

Comment What's in the minds of the mods around here? (Score 1) 691

I don't mean to antagonise the parent, but I have to remark how it's fascinating to watch the parent post go from +5 Insightful to +5 Interesting and all the while I and other posters have provided citations showing that the parent post is, in fact, neither Insightful nor Interesting.

I'd love to see time series graphs of mod points for these posts.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 4, Funny) 691

M: I came here for a good argument.
A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
A: It can be.
M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
A: No it isn't.
M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
A: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!

Input Devices

Sony's PS3 Motion Controller Gets Demoed and Named 116

itwbennett writes "In a 45-minute press conference at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony announced its motion controller, officially named the Playstation Move. The Move consists of the Eye Toy (a camera pointed at the player) and a wand-like controller with a lighted ball at the end and a range of buttons on the shaft, writes blogger Peter Smith. 'Alternatively games can use two of the wands, or one wand and one "sub-controller" that has an analog stick (the camera is always required),' says Smith. 'If this is sounding very much like the Wii's Remote and Nunchuk well, you aren't far off (though at least there's no cable between the two parts to smack you in the face when things get heated).' Here are Smith's thoughts on the demo: 'All in all, the demos seemed OK, but I, at least, wasn't really blown away by any of them. That said, it's always hard to tell how well these systems work without actually trying them for yourself. You need to feel the connection (or lack thereof) between what your hands are doing and what's going on on-screen in order to be sure. For example, in the boxing demo the player did a quick spin move that led to a roundhouse punch. It's hard to say if his motion triggered a pre-set action (a 'combo') or if the system was able to track the controller that accurately, and was able to 'connect the dots' from when his body briefly occluded the wand to when it reappeared.'"

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