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Comment Cloning diplays with different resolutions (Score 2) 144

In all these years of Linux usage I still have not been able to do clone a display while having different resolutions. Is this actually possible?

I want to present slides on a presentation monitor, which is connected to my Thinkpad (nvidia, binary driver) via VGA cable. At the same time, I want to see the slides on the notebook screen during the presentation. So the screen has to be cloned.

However, the native resolution of the notebook and second (big) monitor differs. For instance, the notebook is 1600x900, the external presentation monitor is 1920x1080. Is there a way to produce the signal in 1920x1080 on the second monitor, and at the same time clone the screen on the notebook screen in another resolution?

Comment Re:Samuel R. Delany (Score 1) 1130

You actually got me interested in reading something from Delany, I have never heard of him. His wikipedia page lists Nebula/Hugo awards or nominations for his books, what book would be one of his masterpieces to start with?

Randomly I clicked on Babel-17 and its description about the language of somebody forming the way he perceives reality is already very promising.

Comment Re:Stanislaw Lem (Score 2) 1130

For a US-centric Sci-Fi audience (as here on /. with a more ... libertarian crowd) you might be right, in continental Europe Lem is quite known. I also read that the English translations of his books are quite bad and no his literary work no justice. This might be an additional reason why his books are not as highly valued as they should be in the US.

Lems texts contain a heavy dose of philosophy (mostly epistemology), mathematical theory and statistics and also sometimes sociology and psychology and medicine, he was a polymath with a very interesting biography. Also, often he is often able to include a witty sense of humor into these sometimes dry topics that make it a delight to read for somebody familiar with the corresponding scientific background.

His works in both Polish (of course) and in German are top-notch, it would be quite hard to find a writer similar as to how he wrote, maybe the Strugatsky brothers, and a little bit of Gene Wolfe, Umberto Eco and Jorge Borges.

My favorite novels of him are actually non Sci-Fi books:

A Perfect Vacuum: Lem reviews non-existent books (that also cannot really exist physically the way they are described).
The Investigation: A detective is tasked with solving murders and uses statistical theory and philosophical metaphysics during his investigation.
The Cold: Another murder series to be solved, involves again statistics and chaos theory.

Comment First off, a rant (Score 4, Informative) 446

First off, a rant. Either your Computer Science program/dept does not truly deserve the name or you did not fully attempt to master the curriculum as it is intended. I know it sounds harsh, I am mostly annoyed by the constant misconceptions about CS that pop up here on /. from time to time.

A masters degree in Computer Science builds upon the basics of theoretical CS (theory of computation, languages, grammar, logics, discrete math...), technical CS (microcontroller, assembly) and applied CS (functional, OO and logic programming) from a undergraduate CS degree and extends it with topics about Networks (Sockets, Protocols, OSI Layers, Routing), AI (both classical AI with logic, planning and formal systems as well as machine learning), Operating Systems (for instance reimplementing parts of and studying Tannebaums Minix, Filesystems), Databases (Tuple relational calculus, OO databases, inductive databases, knowledge discovery) and also, and this is what I think you definitely missed out on, Software Engineering. This would involve developement models (V-model, Waterfall, extreme programming), UML, testing, maybe software verification, refactoring and so on.

Note that there is not much hacking (in a positive or negative sense) involved here. Great hackers do not necessarily need to be computer scientists, and competent computer scientists definitely do not need to be or leave the university as any from of hackers (be it some low level C pointer wizards or some OS file system experts).

I think what you meant to say is that the university did not teach you how to code in an industrial/enterprise setting. And rightfully so, thats the job of a vocational/trade instituion, but not of an university.

However, let me give you some pointers that helped me to grasp a bit more beyond purely academic programming.

1. Patterns. As some others have pointed out, this pretty much a must to grok in any OO project. The Gamma book is good, if you are looking for some really good intermediate more applied Java book about this, Effective Java by Joshua Bloch (he developed, among other things, the Java Collections).

2. Revision control management. One word: git. Anything beyond toy problems should not be touched without revision control. Watch the video with Linus Torvalds (the creator) to get motivated:
A pretty good git tutorial that I like can be found here:

3. Read competent peoples code of the language of your choice! github and gitorious are a real treasure. The more you do it, the more you will discover more efficient approaches of how to implement certain concepts. And you will also see a lot of bad code and learn how to spot it.

4. Testing. JUnit is pretty basic to grasp. Some people swear by TDD (test driven development, write the test case first and then the implementation of what to test), I find this a bit extreme, however unit testing is a must to know.

5. Program yourself! Pair programming can be very helpful if your mentor is knowledgable and able to teach, otherwise do it yourself. Do not hack for the hell of it (although it can be fun), but focus instead on clean and clear concepts that you want to implement and improve upon. And document your code (doxygen or javadoc are your friends).

Comment Re:Grub2? (Score 1) 125

After reading the Fedora 16 release notes and the info that Fedora 16 uses GPT (GUID Partition Table) instead of the old MBR style, i am rather confused.

It seems that on all non-UEFI systems (like my Thinkpad T510), a separate, small 1 MB "BIOS Boot Partition" needs to be created, which is not the same as a partition on /boot.

Is this extra "BIOS Boot Partition" partition really necessary on non-UEFI machines? Why cant we use /boot for that?

Comment PAC Learning (Score 1) 61

Almost all comments here on /. are about nobel prices or about the summary but not about Valians research in CS. What gives?! On the other hand, this is /. after all, silly me ...

To contribute something to the topic: So he invented PAC learning, I took a Machine Learning course a while back, we studied this concept in Tom Mitchell's "Machine Learning" book, but quite honestly, I cannot remember this that well.

Does anybody know some good online resources (class slides etc.) about PAC learning? I mean there are plenty of examples for this online, but if somebody also took a ML course or knows some course slides that are of great quality (or can write some lines with explanations), I would really appreciate this.

Comment Where is warehouse number 8? (Score 1) 56

I absolutely agree. It is astonishing how much attention Yu Suzuki and his team put into all the details that make Shenmue such an experience. It would be nice to see it ported to modern consoles.

The Yakuza series is probably the best that we can get in the meantime and Yu also posted that he has been working on Shenmue City for Mobage-Town of Yahoo! Japan.

Hopefully we will see Shenmue III one day.

Classic Games (Games)

Crazy Taxi Arrives For PSN, XBLA Version Coming Soon 56

Today a remake of the Dreamcast classic Crazy Taxi launched on the PlayStation Network, with the Xbox Live Arcade release coming November 24th. The graphics have been updated to 720p, but licensing issues for the soundtrack and some in-game locations resulted in noticeable changes. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The Offspring, along with Bad Religion, provided the game's soundtrack in the original release. These songs, along with the sound of that announcer, went a long way toward creating the game's mood. In the new version, they have been replaced by completely forgettable pop-punk tracks, and it's a downgrade. ... That's not the only thing that's missing. The game originally featured licensed locations. Customers would need to be dropped off at the Pizza Hut, for instance. These companies didn't spring for the advertising in the game's rerelease, but the buildings weren't updated to look like anything else; the result is a game that looks like its filled with closed-down fast food restaurants. ... this is an interesting look at what went on to become a cult classic. Still, this is no replacement for my original copy."

Submission + - Canada to grant Amazon's 1-click patent (

ciaran_o_riordan writes: More than twelve years after filing its application, Amazon is going to get it's one-click shopping patent in Canada. The application was shot down in court last year because of Canada's "tradition" of excluding business methods from patentability. However, on appeal, a higher court has ruled that this tradition doesn't exist and the patent's subject matter is valid. The patent office still has to re-examine the application, but given that it's been already approved as novel and non-obvious, and it has now been ruled to be patentable subject matter, the approval is just a formality. A bad decision for software and web developers in Canada.

Comment Re:buyer of the GNU/Linux business will be WMWareI (Score 1) 3

I agree with VMWare being a likely candidate, as they recently strengthened their partnership with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware(R) earlier this month:

I wonder what this means for the future of OpenSUSE, as VMware has a rather proprietary range of software products.

Submission + - Arguments for and against a fixed release schedule

JamaicaBay writes: I am trying to get my organization to move to a fixed release schedule for its desktop software, versus the approximately timed releases we do now. Here's what now happens: we aim for a year or so between releases. But getting close to the end of the year, we realize there are important features that must get included in the release, and so it slips. But wait, it gets better! The schedule slips have been so common for so long, that we try to put even more in releases, realizing we won't be releasing again any time soon. The net effect is that we've long since abandoned routine releases and just aim for something not terribly more than a year — terribly more being within two years.

With a fixed release schedule, I feel that the pressure to throw everything in will be lessened, since the next release won't be so far away anymore. And so we will get features to market faster. I also figure that we'll prioritize better, first pushing out what's most important. But I also suspect that fixed schedules will improve morale and even increase our productivity — the efficiency of work just seems to increase around release time, even if people AREN'T working overtime to make the release happen.

The problem I'm having is that I searched around the web and haven't find anything to support my crusade. I'd like to know what slashdotters have to say, and to relate any experience they've had with fixed versus flexible release dates.

Comment Re:Ostrich algorithm (Score 1) 382

Only that what we are interested in here are not (solely) opinions but rather arguments and their refutation.

You can take a look at the links to and koji for yourself, and the launchpad situation described by Parent cannot be easily dismissed.

Although, somehow I think your reply should modded Funny if it is a clever pun on the "opinion" status in launchpad.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Machine Learning Links

Some notes on machine learning software

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Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast?