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Businesses

Thousands Of Disabled People Are Living In 'Virtual Utopias' In Second Life (backchannel.com) 49

"For many disabled residents, who may spend 12 hours a day or more in Second Life, the most important moments and relationships of their lives happen inside the virtual world," reports Backchanel. "For them, the fevered fantasies of a decade ago have become reality: Second Life is where they live." mirandakatz shares this article: Wagner James Au, who has written extensively about Second Life, estimates they may account for roughly 20 percent of users. Some active members estimate the number higher -- at as much as 50 percent... Abundant research shows imagining movement, without actually moving the body, can have positive effects on motor skills, balance, and learning... Studies suggest the therapeutic benefits of virtual reality extend beyond movement disorders -- to chronic pain, cognitive functioning in people with ADHD and PTSD, and social skills for people on the autism spectrum.
The article describes a 90-year-old former nurse, now living in a retirement community, who's spent eight years living in a Second Life archipelago called "Virtual Ability Island" with over a thousand other members. "Watching her avatar hike trails and dance gave her the confidence to try things in the physical world that she hadn't tried in a half decade -- like stepping off a curb or standing up without any help."
AI

Japan Unveils Next-Generation, Pascal-Based AI Supercomputer (nextplatform.com) 108

The Tokyo Institute of Technology has announced plans to launch Japan's "fastest AI supercomputer" this summer. The supercomputer is called Tsubame 3.0 and will use Nvidia's latest Pascal-based Tesla P100 GPU accelerators to double its performance over its predecessor, the Tsubame 2.5. Slashdot reader kipperstem77 shares an excerpt from a report via The Next Platform: With all of those CPUs and GPUs, Tsubame 3.0 will have 12.15 petaflops of peak double precision performance, and is rated at 24.3 petaflops single precision and, importantly, is rated at 47.2 petaflops at the half precision that is important for neural networks employed in deep learning applications. When added to the existing Tsubame 2.5 machine and the experimental immersion-cooled Tsubame-KFC system, TiTech will have a total of 6,720 GPUs to bring to bear on workloads, adding up to a total of 64.3 aggregate petaflops at half precision. (This is interesting to us because that means Nvidia has worked with TiTech to get half precision working on Kepler GPUs, which did not formally support half precision.)

Comment Re: Death To All Jews (Score 5, Informative) 887

Belonging to a group does not make you more credible to comment on an argument. Drop the tribalism and identity politics...

I'm sorry, but were you responding to the parent, or the grandparent, some idiot called x0ra, who wrote:

I guess you forgot that both Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro are respectively of jew descent and practicing jew...

BTW you do know Ben Shapiro no longer works for Breitbart, right? He quit a year or so ago, when Breitbart started defending senior Trump staff when they assaulted Breitbart's own reporters.

Here's Shapiro on the alt-right. Amongst the choice quotes are:

[Bannon] allowed the site to be taken over and used by a bunch of alt-right people who are not fond of Jews, are not fond of minorities.

So FWIW, one of the two people you mention actually strongly supports the notion that Breitbart is controlled by anti-semites. The other, Yiannopoulos, incidentally, isn't proof of anything: he's attacked his own sexuality before, and he's rejected his jewish roots.

Comment Re:For the US, not for a political party (Score 1) 890

Trump's more qualified than some hack of a community organizer. Why do qualifications suddenly matter? Right, he's not on Team Blue.

The only person who's been elected in the last umpteen years who was, at some stage in his life, a "community organizer" was a Constitutional law professor who was later elected a Senator before becoming President. But, as you point out, he was also at one point a community organizer, that is, someone who worked with ordinary people to solve problems through the political process at a low level.

Perhaps it's time right wingers who think this is a criticism actually think about what they're saying.

Comment Re:Uses CDMA. Do not want. (Score 1) 82

Their LTE network uses SIM cards; they can't easily stop you from using SIM cards in a different device without violating enough of LTE to make equipment vendors unlikely to work with them.

Again though, I'd agree that right now, while their LTE network remains at the "being rolled out stage", they should be avoided.

Comment Re:Uses CDMA. Do not want. (Score 1) 82

I wouldn't recommend them for the same reason, but give them time, they're moving to a proper GSM-family LTE network at the moment and they're likely to phase out the old cdmaOne/cdma2000 crap. There almost certainly are non-cdmaOne/2000 LTE phones out there that work with Sprint's LTE network, it's just, obviously, you're going to run into gaps in coverage that are even worse than usual.

Comment Re:Is Google slowly dropping Java? (Score 1) 128

I think they're going more for a language/framework agnostic route. ChromeOS was all about web technologies, but I think a sizable impetus around NaCl was that web technologies were always going to be limited and inefficient.

I don't think NaCl is their long term bet, I just seriously doubt they'll try to get people to write everything in JavaScript. The major issue is that web browsers seem to double in memory requirements every two or three years, and are slower today on modern hardware than they were on low end hardware ten years ago.

Java served a purpose with Android. It is/was relatively easy to write relatively efficient, low bug count, complex applications using Java, in a way not possible with most other languages. At the same time a new generation of programmers were exposed to Java's bureaucracy and other flaws, said "Ew", and have been waiting for a good, Google supported, alternative. I don't think Google has picked a successor yet.

Comment Re:Obviously (Score 1) 382

If it has a battery or diesel engine, it's more of a hybrid and not really what we're discussing here. As for multiple parallel paths, that's not really overtaking, just taking an alternative route that happens to be parallel. The distinction becomes important when a trolleybus needs to overtake something unexpected, such as a broken vehicle (trolleybus or otherwise) in its path.

Comment Re:More Sleight of Hand... (Score 2) 17

You are of course welcome to use whatever you want, as long as you comply with the license. In the case of ProxySQL, that's the GPL. Percona appears to be one person, one René Cannaò, and it looks like he's interested in selling his consulting services. If you are actually making money from using his product, please consider throwing some work his way.

Like I said, Open Source developers should not have to wear hair shirts while their users, sometimes the most profitable companies on Wall Street, rake in the dough.

Bruce

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