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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 9 declined, 4 accepted (13 total, 30.77% accepted)

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Submission + - Nazi Budda Came from Space (bbc.co.uk)

mattaw writes: "This "Indiana Jones" style story of Nazi's acquiring this ancient historical statue from Tibet began when scientist Ernst Schafer working for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS was commissioned to search Tibet for ancient "Aryan" evidence. Himmler was said to believe the Aryan race originated in Tibet and was keen to recover objects from the area.

The icing on the cake is that the statue is made of real meteorite and that scientists have been able to identify the actual one as the Chinga meteorite that fell in the border region of eastern Siberia and Mongolia about 15,000 years ago."


Submission + - Computing in the new world: Scaling to 1e6+ Cores (blogspot.com) 2

mattaw writes: In my* blog post I describe a system designed to test a route to the potential future of computing. What do we do when we have computers with 1 million cores? What about a billion? How about 100 billion?

None of our current programming models or computer architecture models apply to machines of this complexity (and with their corresponding component failure rate and other scaling issues). The current model of coherent memory/identical time/everything can route to everywhere just can't scale to machines of this size. So where did the scientists** at the University of Manchester (including Steve Furber one of the ARM founders) and the University of Southampton turn for a new model? They took one straight out of their own heads. Quite literally: their brains.

Our brains just don't work like any computers we currently make. Our brains have a lot more than 1 million processing elements (more like the 100 billion), all of which don't have any precise idea of time (vague ordering of events maybe) nor a shared memory and not everything routes to everything else but anyone who argues the brain isn't a pretty spiffy processing system ends up looking pretty silly (assuming they have one). In effect modern computing bears as much relation to biological computing as the ordered world of sudoku does to the statistical chaos of quantum mechanics.

Read the article*** to see a preview of the brain turned into hardware (and of course you will read all the papers from Manchester's website before posting won't you). Who says science is boring?

* Note the subtle declaration of interest. I also work at the University of Southampton, UK.
** I am not and have never been one of these mighty people trying to change the world. I claim no credit. At best I helped some of the PhD students and staff with a few bits and bobs plus the odd ARM development kit.
*** No free lunch here /. You may have to actually read the source article.


Submission + - And I thought it would be cool to Egg M$'s Ballmer

mattaw writes: I thought I would enjoy watching this video clip of Steve Ballmer getting egged, however it was a lot less cool than I hoped. From the article: "Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, was heckled and had eggs thrown at him during a lecture to university students at the Corvinus University in Budapest."

Submission + - British nukes were protected by bike locks (bbc.co.uk)

mattaw writes: From an article in the BBC's Newsnight program: Until 1998 the RAF nuclear bomb was protected by a bike lock.

After the Americans implemented coded arming systems their was an attempt to get these fitted to the British systems however this was rejected by the Navy with the following statement:

"It would be invidious to suggest... that Senior Service officers may, in difficult circumstances, act in defiance of their clear orders".

That's alright then.


Submission + - AMD/ATI's opensource efforts revealed

mattaw writes: Phoronix have revealed in some detail the plan of AMD/ATI to support a community written Radeon opensource driver.

To whit, they are releasing specs and some example code under NDA and an opensource library that connects to the card's BIOS. They already have XOrg developers onboard and have also attracted Jerome Glisse who reverse engineered ATI cards to make the Avivio driver (incidentally probably killing that driver but the new ATI open driver will surely benefit from his excellent work).

While not completely open, this is pretty open for starters, HOWEVER I for one am not certain of things like support for hardware video decoding or extra on board hardware (TV-Out etc.).

Checkout the final comments: "The aim of this open-source driver is not to overtake the fglrx driver but rather is designed for those who just want a working desktop with 3D capabilities and basic video playback. This new driver is ideal for FOSS enthusiasts and those wishing to run the latest development kernels and versions of X.Org."

Still there is no argument that this is a brilliant result.

Submission + - Sanctuary: An example of internet media's future?

mattaw writes: Is Sanctuary for All an example of the way the internet is going to challenge existing media? The future perhaps?

This internet experiment, a proper sc-fi/horror/action/fantasy show, is currently distributed and advertised only via the internet and has gone all out to create and enlist a fanbase via a dedicated website to host fan blogs, fora, fan generated (and officially endorsed) media. They have even suggested fans may be able to influence the show. For example they have provided the theme tune as separate instrumental tracks as an extra and encouraged fan remixes. Sound like a typical network?

Is the internet possibly going to fulfill one of its greatest promises? Interactive mainstream media? Is this the start of fully integrated and responsive media?

Typical network interaction with fans is to ignore them and concentrate blindly on ratings which has resulted in the death of shows such as Firefly that failed to capture the general public's interest while generating huge interest in the sc-fi community. As shows become cheaper to produce are we going to see the obsolescence of the traditional media company?

View the first four episodes for free online via this link.

Submission + - Windows for warships nearly ready.....

mattaw writes: The Register is carrying the sanest and balanced article on Windows deployment in UK warships that I have read to date in the public domain.

As an ex-naval bod myself we have long considered that this is potentially a REAL problem. The main issues are the huge amount of unrelated code that is imported with the kernel and the need for incredibly fast response times.
The Courts

Submission + - SCO bankruptcy is "inevitable" and "im

mattaw writes: From analysis by Groklaw it seems that SCO may owe Novell nearly all the SCOSource licensing fees, and has been hiding the fact for 3 years

Imminent. Inevitable. Bankruptcy.

Those are the words from Novell's lawyers. Perhaps the IBM/SCO case could close earlier than planned? Perhaps we can finally be rid of this specter once and for all?

Submission + - SCO shares collapse after court judgement

mattaw writes: It didn't take the investors long to FINALLY wake up to what the intelligent world was telling them: SCO is worth almost nothing without its IP claims, and they are not based on facts. TheRegister and Yahoo share tracker both tell of the substantial financial damage its suffered after the latest court ruling.

To quote the register: "SCOX dropped 40 per cent to $1.20 per share, at the time of this report. That's well off a 52-week high of $5.23 and light-years away from the more than $20 per share price SCO enjoyed a couple years back. The share price collapse follows a judge's decision to uphold an earlier ruling that nixed 187 of SCO's 294 claims against IBM."

Submission + - Microsoft makes claim on Linux code

mattaw writes: From OUTLAW.COM, "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that every user of the open source Linux system could owe his company money for using its intellectual property. The statement will confirm the worst fears of the open source community." Seems that SCO's backer is willing to take over the fight itself (if you believe that). I am not certain about the backing, but I am certain MS will take advantage of it.

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