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Comment IMSAI 8080 (Score 1) 857

This Z-80 machine had a 2MHz/4MHz switch, a pair of 2K RAM boards, and most of the interaction was via the switch panel on the front. Later, we got a keyboard, a printer, and a paper tape reader/writer. Then we got 4K RAM boards, a TV Dazzler and Microsoft 4K basic. SPACEWAR and LIFE were great fun to play!

Submission + - Five examples of mastery learned from YouTube (

Michael Tiemann writes: Michelle Nash and Miguel Endara profile five examples of people who used YouTube videos as their principal (if not only) source of instruction to achieve world-class proficiency in widely diverse practices: dubstep dancing, percussive guitar, opera singing, robotics, and jiu jitsu.

Usman Riaz couldn’t find an instructor for percussive guitar in his hometown of Karachi, Pakistan, but was able to reach such a level with the Internet as his teacher that he has become one of the youngest TED fellows ever. Amira Willighagen's story is even more amazing. As the story goes, "[she] knew she wanted to learn to sing opera when she was seven. She wasn’t old enough to operate a computer, but with her brother’s help, she watched YouTube video after YouTube video of her favorite opera performers, singing along, and mimicking their body and lip movements. By nine years old, and without a single music lesson, she had mastered opera singing, not only taking the Holland’s Got Talent stage, but winning the entire competition." And if you want to see artistry in motion, check out the moves of 12 year old Adilyn Malcolm, from Littleton, Colorado, who packs the moves of Michael Jackson and Lil Buck into her pint-sized frame.

Perahps The Diamond Age is closer than we think...

Submission + - Studio Ghibli software going open source? (

Michael Tiemann writes: Digital Video, the makers of TOONZ, and DWANGO, a Japanese publisher, announced today they have signed an agreement for the acquisition by Dwango of Toonz, an animation software which was independently developed by Digital Video (Rome, Italy). Digital Video and Dwango have agreed to close the deal under the condition Dwango will publish and develop an Open Source platform based on Toonz (OpenToonz). Effective Saturday March 26, the TOONZ Studio Ghibli Version will be made available to the animation community as a free download.

Not yet clear is which existing open source license will be used for the software, if any. If it is properly licensed as open source software, then we should all celebrate this event by drawing unicorns and rainbows. If not, many will be dis-spirited away.

Comment Re:Supercomputers are very workload specific (Score 1) 150

May be I am wrong, by I will try compare results. There is some data and from topic starter

Xeon Phi for 50 time steps
grid size - 90^3 - 175^3
best time - 200s - 1500 s

Hectors 4 core of AMD 2.8GHz dual-core Opteron 5 time steps
grid size - 100^3 - 200^3
time - 795s - 8800 s

Hectors 1024 core of AMD 2.8GHz dual-core Opteron 40 time steps
grid size - 200^3
time - 1490 s

So, single Xeon Phi card for OpenFOAM is compatible with 1024 core cluster (for this benchmark)

Comment Supercomputers are very workload specific (Score 2) 150

You mention you are interested in CFD. Intel Phi processors have been known to do well here: . In that linked story, a single Intel Phi processor beats a 1024 core cluster. Moreover, Thinkmate is literally giving away Intel Phi processors: . But not all workloads fit the Phi, so you really need to do some benchmarking before you buy.

Submission + - Not in my ZIPCODE: Fracking increases hospital visits (

Michael Tiemann writes: An article published in PLOS One finds increased hospital admissions significantly correlated to living in the same ZIP CODE as active fracking sites. The data comes from three counties in Pennsylvania, whose ZIP CODEs mostly had no fracking sites in 2007 and transitioned to a majority of ZIP CODEs with at least one fracking site. While the statistical and medical data are compelling, and speak to a significant correlation, the graphical and informational figures flunk every Tufte test, which is unfortunate. Nevertheless, with open data and Creative Commons licensing, the paper could be rewritten to provide a more compelling explanation about the dangers of fracking to people who live within its vicinity, and perhaps motivate more stringent regulations to protect them from both immediate and long-term harm.

Comment AI might save us from the Koch Brothers (Score 1) 688

When billionaires pay thousands of feeble-minded minions to act like millions of the American mainstream, democracy can be subverted:

In this case, can AI as an equalizer between moderately-funded NGOs like the Sunlight Foundation and plutocrats like the Koch brothers.

The question of whether AI kills, saves, or creates jobs thus can be reconsidered in the light of "who gets to choose what it is used for?" Capitalism's extremists will always prefer to maximize return on capital, despite whatever the short-term disruptions or long-term costs may be. AI in their hands is just as bad as any other technology. Those who are more socially, community, and humanity-minded will doubtless find ways to increase the agency of the individuals and groups they care about, just as they have with other technologies.

Comment Déjà Vu: the first christmas tree on the (Score 3, Interesting) 333

Anybody remember this: ?

"Thousands of Internet tourists used their computers to tap into a central computer at Cygnus Support, a software company in Mountain View, Calif., to see the "xmastree." (The name itself is a joke to cyberspace insiders, who regularly use programs with names that start with "x," as in xterm or xwindows.)

"Two programmers at Cygnus had wired a real, 7-foot Christmas tree directly to the company's internal computer network, using simple controllers that enabled people on Cygnus Support's office network to turn the decorations, bells and lights on and off without leaving their computer terminals. The 6,000 or so outsiders who peered in from the Internet could view a simple computer rendering of the tree and check a status report to see which doodads were on and which were off, but only the people on Cygnus's local network could play with the switches."

Comment Polynomial time no big deal (Score 1) 98

The /. summary says "The computational complexity of this task is such that the time required to solve it increases in polynomial time with the number of images in the training set and the complexity of the "learned" feature." Moore's Law is such that any polynomial time problem will be trivially solved by the exponential advances of Moore's Law. If this problem were exponential in nature, not polynomial, then quantum computing might be our only hope. But polynomial-time problems are not the sweet spot for quantum computers.

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