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Comment Re:I'd like a 64-bit OS (Score 4, Informative) 87

Actually you get quite a bit of advantage. The instruction set for 64 bit mode is quite a bit more efficient even when you're not doing 64 bit arithmetic, not least because there are twice as many registers. Code that can be optimised using the SIMD instructions also gets twice as many SIMD registers, which can make a big difference for many graphics, signal processing and mathematical tasks. Most floating point code will be more efficient in 64 bit mode too.

Furthermore the 64 bit address space is useful even with only 1GB of RAM since it allows you to mmap files that are bigger than 4GB. Programs like MongoDB mmap their database files and when running on 32 bit processors MongoDB actually limits processes to a total of 2GB of data in the database, irrespective of how small the working set is. With a 64 bit address space the limit goes from below typical storage sizes to far beyond any plausible storage you'll ever connect to a Pi.

Submission + - Cycle doping, with motors not drugs

nickovs writes: The New York Times is reporting an increasing amount of evidence that pro cyclists are adding tiny, hidden electric motors to their racing bikes in order to get an advantage. They cite Stefano Varjas, a Hungarian who claims "his crank-assist devices could produce more than 250 watts, the amount of power a professional rider might typically average during a four-hour race" while being sufficiently light that the bike can still maintain the cycling union’s minimum weight.

Comment "Ethical Motivations" (Score 5, Informative) 95

The idea that "the fact that only companies and labs have access to this technology can represent a threat" is patently absurd. Theano, Caffe and Torch are all open source and even Google has open-sourced its Tensor Flow platform which makes it easy to build new tools and run then, fast, on all the GPUs you can find. If you need to do this at scale and you're not the size of Google or IBM you can use Amazon's Machine Learning for AWS. There are many, many higher level toolkits out there that are available under licenses that are much less restrictive than GPLv3.

Comment It's always worth learning a new way of thinking (Score 3, Insightful) 267

Even if you never make use of the new programming language it is almost always worth getting your head around a new way of thinking about problems. You may not ever need to write code in Lisp but understanding what a functional language is and isn't good for is helpful in other languages. If you're building flight control systems then Python might not be the language to do it in but getting deep into it and start understanding why you'd want a metaclass in the first place can help you stricture your code better. There aren't a ton of job openings for Erlang programmers but there are lots for people who understand High Availability and Disaster Recovery and the background knowledge will stand you in good stead.

In short, yes, it's worth learning all the languages your brain can handle. Even if you forget the details the concepts will stick around and help you later.

Comment UniFi Video Camera (Score 1) 263

Ubiquiti Networks make some decent cameras with a whole bunch of decent features including fetching a snapshot with an HTTP request. They are designed to send their video output to their DVR software (which is actively supported on Linux) but in practice if all you need is to access still images over HTTP and video over RTSP then you can set up the control software on your laptop, fire it up once to configure the camera and then switch it off and the camera will continue to run without the DVR.

Of course, as other posters have pointed out, the right answer is to brew your own with a Raspberry Pi and a Pi Camera.

Comment Re:It's required (Score 1) 170

Firstly, if you can facilitate multi-way calling then it is clearly technically feasible to support a wire tap. Secondly, unlike many other snooping regulations, CALEA explicitly obliges telecommunications companies to modify their systems and equipment in order to facilitate "lawful access" (sic). Verizon are a telco, not an app company, so they are bound by CALEA in ways that people like Silent Circle or CellTrust are not.

Comment (Score 2) 73

If I was publishing an article talking about how huge numbers of eyeballs solves security problem I'm not sure that I'd choose to publish it the day after it was announced that the X window server code has had some serious security bugs for 25 years that have only just been discovered. Clearly open source code can have serious security holes that go unnoticed for a very long time.

Comment Environmental ROI? (Score 5, Interesting) 195

This begs the question whether mining for BitCoins is more damaging to the environment than mining for precious metals, for a given value of return. The EPA emissions factor for electricity is about 0.69 tons of CO2 per megawatt hour, so producing the electricity used by this datacenter is, on average, dumping into the atmosphere 331 tons of CO2 per day or about 120,000 tons of CO2 per year. While there are many other forms of environmental damage from gold mining, a quick search suggest that the greenhouse emissions from gold extraction run to about 11.5 tons of CO2 equivalent per kg of Gold. At this rate 120,000 tons of CO2 yields of 10.5 tons of gold, worth nearly $500 million at today's price. Will this datacentre yield more than half a billion dollars worth of bit coins each year?

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