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Comment Re:Speex? (Score 1) 166

From http://www.speex.org/docs/manual/speex-manual/node4.html "Every speech codec introduces a delay in the transmission. For Speex, this delay is equal to the frame size, plus some amount of ``look-ahead'' required to process each frame. In narrowband operation (8 kHz), the delay is 30 ms, while for wideband (16 kHz), the delay is 34 ms. These values don't account for the CPU time it takes to encode or decode the frames." So speex has a higher latency.

Comment Re:Who is going to watch this? (Score 1) 109

There are many myths about quantum computers. The most prevalent myths are that they will break all cryptographic protocols, be exponentially faster, do all calculations simultaneously, and solve NP-Complete problems in polynomial time. These are all untrue to various degrees.

A quantum computer is a computer that uses at least one quantum effect to solve problems. Currently quantum computers are leveraging either superposition or entanglement. A difficult hurdle to scaling quantum computers is decoherence which basically renders qubits inoperable. Decoherence happens when qubits are too close to each other. This is a major problem because currently we scale processors by cramming more and more transistors into a smaller and smaller space.

There is no one-way to build quantum computers. Several models are Gate model, Adiabatic, Measurement Based, and Topological. Several implementations are Ion Trap, NMR schemes, Nitrogen Vacancy, and Superconducting electronics. Some of these such as Nitrogen Vacancy are theoretical at this point since nobody has figured out how to implement them yet.

Basically Quantum computers at this stage aren't envisioned to replace classical computers, but they will be really useful as specialized computers for solving certain types of problems. The problem with classical computers are that they work off of classical physics and so they have a hard time modeling the way the universe really works (ie in a quantum manner). Quantum computers on the other hand behave in a quantum manner (duh) and so they are more ideally suited to solving simulation type problems. Some problems they are ideally suited for are machine learning, pattern recognition, neural networks, and building synthetic brains.

IBM has a 7 qubit machine that can successfully factor the number 15. This is not very impressive computationally but it does serve as a working proof that quantum computers aren't just theory. She showed a picture of a chip that has 128 qubits on it and another picture of a quantum computer that takes up a full room. She predicts we will see a commercially viable quantum computer within the next few years.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

I think the problem is that anything that passes through the political system does not come out the way it is sent in. My main concern with what the FCC is pushing is that it is Net Neutrality plus exceptions. Net Neutrality is great and I fully support it, the question is whether Net Neutrality plus exceptions is going to leave loop holes that businesses can exploit to make the whole thing meaningless.

Submission + - HP buys Palm for 1.2 billion (boygeniusreport.com)

philipborlin writes: BGR reports Hewlett Packard today announced that it is acquiring Palm for a cool $1.2 billion, or $5.70 per share of common stock. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of both Palm and HP, but is subject to regulatory approval. All of the regulatory wrangling is expected to be completed by the end of HP’s third quarter which ends July 31, 2010. Palm CEO John Rubinstein is expected to remain at the company in an undisclosed capacity. From the wording within the press release, it appears as if webOS may live on.
The Almighty Buck

EA Flip-Flops On Battlefield: Heroes Pricing, Fans Angry 221

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."

Comment Puppet (Score 2, Informative) 244

If you are in the unix/linux world take a look at puppet. You provision out a set of nodes (allows node inheritance) and manage all your scripts, config files, etc from one central location (called the puppet master). Changes propagate to all servers that the change applied to automatically. It is built around keeping the configuration files in a versioned repository and is ready to use today.

Comment Duct Tape Marketing (Score 2, Interesting) 131

Before you give up on solo marketing take a look at the book Duct Tape Marketing. It gives you a basic understanding of marketing and is geared towards doing it on the cheap. If you still want to hire out then you will at least be able to talk intelligently and have a better idea what to expect from whoever you hire.
Role Playing (Games)

Further Details On the Star Wars MMO 129

Now that the recent announcement about Star Wars: The Old Republic has had time to sink in, specific details about the game are beginning to come to light. Massively, in particular, has a variety of interviews and in-depth looks at the classes, the combat, and the setting of the game. "When you play like a Jedi from 1 to max, and then decide to start as a Sith, you won't see any content that will be the same." They also discuss the leveling, questing and companion characters. "We want you to think of them as actual companions on your journeys throughout the game. Your actions are going to change how your companion characters develop." Eurogamer is running a preview of the game, and a wiki has sprung up to catalog all of the new information. Other tidbits: support for Star Wars Galaxies will continue; the new game will be PC only; and LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base.
The Internet

The Effects of the Cloud On Business, Education 68

g8orade points out two recent articles in The Economist about the rise of cloud computing. The first discusses how software-as-a-service has come to pervade online interactions. "Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a technology visionary at IBM, compares cloud computing to the Cambrian explosion some 500m years ago when the rate of evolution sped up, in part because the cell had been perfected and standardised, allowing evolution to build more complex organisms." The next article examines how the cloud will force a "trade-off between sovereignty and efficiency." Reader pjones contributes news that the Virtual Computer Lab will be supplementing more traditional computer labs at North Carolina State University, and adds, "NCSU's Virtual Computing Lab and IBM are offering the VCL code as a software 'appliance' for use in schools to link to the program. Downloads are available at ibiblio at UNC-Chapel Hill. The VCL also is partnering with Apache.org to make the software available and to allow further community participation in future development."

Packs of Robots Will Hunt Down Uncooperative Humans 395

Ostracus writes "The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. At least, it did mine. They are looking for contractors to 'develop a software/hardware suite that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject. The main research task will involve determining the movements of the robot team through the environment to maximize the opportunity to find the subject ... Typical robots for this type of activity are expected to weigh less than 100 Kg and the team would have three to five robots.'" To be fair, they plan to use the Multi-Robot Pursuit System for less nefarious-sounding purposes as well. They note that the robots would "have potential commercialization within search and rescue, fire fighting, reconnaissance, and automated biological, chemical and radiation sensing with mobile platforms."

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