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The Virtual Choir Project 58

An anonymous reader writes "Conductor and composer Eric Whitacre has successfully created a virtual choir using the voices of 185 people who posted their performance on YouTube. The piece that's performed is called 'Sleep,' composed by the conductor himself in 2000. Anyone can join in — all you need is a webcam and a microphone."

Ubuntu LTS Experiences X.org Memory Leak 320

MonsterTrimble writes "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 is experiencing a major memory leak due to patches for X.org. 'An X.Org Server update that was pushed into the Lucid repository last week has resulted in the system being slower and slower as it is left on, until it reaches a point where the system is no longer usable. ... In order to make the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS deadline, the developers are looking at just reverting three of the patches, which brings the GLX version back to 1.2. Ubuntu developers are now desperate for people willing to test out this updated X.Org Server package so they can determine by this Friday whether to ship it with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or doing an early SRU (Stable Release Update). Right now this X.Org Server that's being tested is living in the ubuntu-x-swat PPA.'"

Comment Re:Isn't this Microsoft? (Score 2, Insightful) 551

Microsoft's problem is probably that they are a weird combination of duct tape programmers and architecture astronauts. They create a massive complex architecture which they can't complete and then ship it. Google seem to be able to deliver. But they use Java, Python and C++. All heavily OO. I wonder if they use templates, multiple inheritance etc.

Comment Re:Certainly true for Joels world of market econom (Score 1) 551

Duct tape programmers may be invaluable tools in Joels world of overpervasive market economy and the corporate, but in some areas of application duct tape just does not cut it.

I agree but would add one thing. In mission critical apps, simplicity is extremely important. These guys don't go for the "classes constructed entirely from multiple inheritance from templates" approach either.

Comment Re:There's wind in them thar.... oceans? (Score 1) 679

Obviously our disagreement is really about emphasis. I respect what you are trying to say, I started with your position myself. Nuclear does seem like a panacea. But it realistically takes 10 yrs to build a reactor. And you would have to build something like 400 reactors to just replace the current fossil fuel power stations. You would have to have 800 new reactors or something to have a decent electric economy (electric cars etc). These reactors have to be built and operated by highly trained people. Who don't exist right now. The workforce alone would take five years to train before you could get a decent building program going. Not to mention the stubborn opposition. It seems that when you take it all into account it would be 20 yrs before we had more than a handful of new reactors online. And you have to build electric cars, because you are moving to an electric transport system. And what about the cost of the carbon emissions over those 20 years while we wait.

Contrast this with the alternative. In those 20yrs you could have built an almost infinite number of wind turbines, solar panels insulated houses, ethanol cars etc etc.

Wind turbines, solar, etc can also be built, installed and maintained by people with already existing skill sets (laid off auto and construction workers). They don't require lengthy approval processes. Retrofitting existing houses with insulation, double paned windows etc is even easier. There were 1.4 million houses built in the US in 97 and 18 million cars. Half of that effort can be diverted to these low tech solutions. You can be reducing carbon output today. Ethanol (not corn ethanol...), can be produced by today's farmers right now, can be used to fuel existing cars (ie even 20 yr clunkers) right now with trivial modifications. It is all low tech and easy and genuinely clean (there is no way to dispose of nuclear waste).

Also I don't believe nuclear is any cheaper than wind. For one thing the cost of waste management and the real cost of security is not included in the calculations, and the "time" cost while we wait 20yrs. And there is the finite possibility of a major disaster, which would have the effect of shutting down all the reactors anyway, which I'm sure is not included in the cost.


Comment Re:There's wind in them thar.... oceans? (Score 1) 679

And I believe that we may need more reactors but I am slightly scared by the prospect. I would even concede that the safety systems can probably handle most normal failures. But there is always the "Black Swan".

I have never seen an analysis of say if A.Q. loaded a 737 with 40,000 lbs of high explosive and flew it into a reactor. Ok I haven't really looked..

And the other problem that has not (and never will be) addressed is waste disposal.

So I would really like us to build huge arrays of offshore windmills, solar panels, thermal solar, geo-thermal, insulate houses, re-design cities and transport systems, high efficiency ethanol cars, low loss transmission lines etc etc, before we spend any effort on new reactors. They may be necessary, but they need to be a last resort when all other possibilities have been exhausted. The nuclear lobby should be able to easily prove that they are necessary. I haven't seen a convincing case.

Comment Re:FAAAAAKKKEE (Score 1) 140

All I have to go on is the article, which as you say is hyperbolous. I think we essentially agree. The developers have no doubt worked hard and maybe have made some incremental contribution to robotics AI. But that is hard to judge from the hyperbolous article. Their website has zero information. It looks to me like just another homebrew robot. I would love love love to be proved wrong

A hyperbolous christmas to you.

Comment Re:FAAAAAKKKEE (Score 1) 140

I don't think there is any claim that this device is going to be doing everything tomorrow.

The headline of the article is:-

"The Gundersons get us ready for Basil, the robot of our dreams"

Quite a claim, really, but an "intelligent" table is not the robot of anyones dreams.

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