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Comment Re:Python for Scientific use (Score 1) 119

I've heard quite a few people here on Slashdot talk about how useful Python is as a substitute for MATLAB. Honestly, I don't get it.

MATLAB is a great product, and what it does it does well. But sooner or later you grow out of it, depending on how far you need to push it, and how much previous experience you have with real programming languages. When that day comes, Python is there waiting, and its can be sooo refreshing.

Comment devil's advocate (Score 1) 840

Well someone needs to play devil's advocate on this assumption that all transparency is a-priori good.

For all we now, this onslaught of open meetings, financial disclosure statements, freedom of information legislation, budgetary review, audits might well lead to "multiple forms of degradation and humiliation", god forbid of fraudsters and the like.

So thanks to the Pope, for playing devil's advocate.

Comment Re:iPhone vs Desire comparison (Score 4, Informative) 544

My wife was getting jealous of my iphone 3gs (had it for 6 months), so I decided to give it to her and I picked up an HTC Desire (have it for a few weeks now). It was almost half the price of an iphone in switzerland (580CHF vs 1000 CHF), and while I expected it to play better with Linux, it turns out to be waaay better in all respects (except app store sheer size, most apps I need are there tho). By comparison, the iphone sucks, really. I'm really happy I switched. ... battery life seemed initially a little worse than 3gs, but I found the "power managment widget" and now its still fully charged after a day on my desk, reading slashdot and email sync. Now I would say the 3gs has worse battery life.

I like sooo many things compared to iphone 3gs:
- email client, vip list is great, search of "other" mails on server (iphone just does locally loaded if I recall),
- sync to gmail calendar great for linux users ... iphone I was stuck with an on phone calendar.
    - this alone will make me more productive than iphone.
- plays ogg and make ringtones with a push of button in media player.
- appears as disk for linux users to add music, etc. Not bound to itunes.
- optical trackball seemed superfluous to me at first, but it turns out to be great for text editing
- apps from third-party sites like, with easy install by barcode scanning QR code on monitor! No unlock necessary.
- contact management compared to iphone is more felxible, for ex: an ActiveSync and Exchange server in parallel with gmail.
    i.e. linking contacts together from different sources into one person. Very smart.
- I like that u can set schedule for push support, so I don't get pushed spam waking my up at 1am
- General htc sense software stack very mature and much more feature rich ... +1 for over iphone.
- processor is easily as fast as iphone 3gs.
- can swap battery on the road to extend battery life.
- I like the extra keys like "search", "menu" but especially "back" ... make for much quicker navigation than iphone "one button" madness.

Waiting SBB (swiss train service) online e-ticket app. Though an app FahrplanCH gets basic schedule functionality I need. The rest I can do in the browser.

Skype seems to be not available yet, but nimmbuzz seems to be workaround, or one of many SIP clients: use case phoning home on wlan when I'm abroad.

So I'm happy to say good riddance to my iphone 3gs. As a Linux user who wants features and options, I'm much happier with my HTC Desire than my iphone 3gs.


Programmable Quantum Computer Created 132

An anonymous reader writes "A team at NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) used berylium ions, lasers and electrodes to develop a quantum system that performed 160 randomly chosen routines. Other quantum systems to date have only been able to perform single, prescribed tasks. Other researchers say the system could be scaled up. 'The researchers ran each program 900 times. On average, the quantum computer operated accurately 79 percent of the time, the team reported in their paper.'"

Jetman Attempts Intercontinental Flight 140

Last year we ran the story of Yves Rossy and his DIY jetwings. Yves spent $190,000 and countless hours building a set of jet-powered wings which he used to cross the English Channel. Rossy's next goal is to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, from Tangier in Morocco and Tarifa on the southwestern tip of Spain. From the article: "Using a four-cylinder jet pack and carbon fibre wings spanning over 8ft, he will jump out of a plane at 6,500 ft and cruise at 130 mph until he reaches the Spanish coast, when he will parachute to earth." Update 18:57 GMT: mytrip writes: "Yves Rossy took off from Tangiers but five minutes into an expected 15-minute flight he was obliged to ditch into the wind-swept waters."

Submission + - AMD Stream SDK 1.4 released

markovg writes: The release of the AMD Stream SDK 1.4 brings support for multiple GPUs in a single program, and support for the 4850x2 and 4870x2. With the recent release of the MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard sporting 4 x PCI-E x16 slots with support for ATI CrossFireX(TM) Technology, plug in 4 4870x2s and thats 6400 scalar sub-processors for 9.6 TFlops single precision performance in a single system at under 4000$ bucks.

Comment Re:Not too long... (Score 1) 405

"as long as there is a continuous line of people that care, they will be willing to transfer at least the more important stuff to new media..."

Enter P2P. The most robust distributed archive on the planet... if the file is worth preserving. But I find it amazing sometimes what these "data collectors" are personally willing to shell out for drive space for files/media of questionable merit.

So let me rephrase that: The most robust distributed archive on the planet... of South Park, the Evil Dead Film Series, and Conspiracy Theory Movies

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For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken