Ask Slashdot: When Is a Better Career Opportunity Worth a Pay Cut?
"Career opportunities" don't come with pay cuts. They come with pay raises. Run.
Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World
This will have to go down as the best example of a self contained "long con" in the history of separating fools from their money. Certainly the best example that didn't use governmental power to do the separating. And of course, as with essentially all cons, it works by preying on the inherent greed and biases of the mark - in this case, a libertarian fascination with deflationary money.
Are You a Competent Cyborg?
The definitions of "cyborg" and "cybernetic" are in an academic context VERY broad. Really only science fiction has narrowed the concept to a William Gibsonesque "person with machine bits grafted on".
In Norbert Wiener's sense a person holding a phone definitely qualifies. Many scholars would have no problem at all with the "machine" part being something even more disconnected or abstract - perhaps business/social/economic in nature.
GNU Hurd Gets Improvements: User-Space Driver Support and More
User space driver's are one thing, but I'm still waiting for the day whe HURD gets a user.
A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life
You must be those guys who label organic food with "contains no chemicals" and similar nonsense.
Here's a hint: a "group of atoms" difinitively implies one or more chemicals.
Surveillance Watchdog Concludes Metadata Program Is Illegal, "Should End"
While this opinion is in no way binding, it may still be valuable. The courts have not weighed in on the various NSA activities with any finality. One district judge has indicated it's probably constitutional. One has indicated it's not. Public disapproval can still help sway the outcome when this dispute makes its inevitable way to the supreme court.
You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future
No one's "rising through the ranks" because they own the heated seats on their car. Most people who build wealth do so because, when faced with choices like having heated seats or 1/500th of a local business or income property, they repeatedly choose the later.
Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?
We're looking for a CPU that has the following properties:
1) it runs a tight wait loop when idle
2) high CPU clock speeds
3) high number of them in the wild
4) it's not turned off for power management reasons
Now, I'm just guessing, but the winner may be the "waiting for command" loop on datacenter type disk drives. In many implementations it's a tight loop (sometimes empty waiting for command arrival interrupt), the clock speeds are about 400mhz (which while it isn't THAT much leads to millions of iterations per second), there's a CRAPLOAD of them out there, and the datacenter type drives don't generally have power management that turns them off the drive CPU. Whereas laptop drives, system main CPUs, and GPUs all do get power managed.
So disk drive firmware engineers may in fact deserve the trophy.
Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School
My question, very much in general, and not to troll, is: at what point people just get to do what they fancy?
The instant you remove from them the political power to confiscate my money to provide a "safety net" in the event that their fancy proves economically untenable. In the absence of that change, I am sadly forced to care.
Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?
Substantial, certainly. The deep pipe for fetch/decode and the superscalar backend make a big difference. Maybe 10x and 2x or so respectively. They also interact with the memory system (system RAM and caches) very differently so it's hard to make a perfect comparison.
Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?
Knowing what algorithm you want to run in hardware in not even close to enough to estimate gates. You need to know the algorithm, and the required performance, and have a sketched out HW design that meets those goals. THEN you can estimate gate count.
For a simple example of why this is, consider processors. A 386 and a Sandy Bridge i7 implement very similar "algorithms" - it's just fetch->decode->execute->writeback all day long. If you implemented them in software emulation, it would be very similar software with some additional bits for the newer ISA features on the i7. But a 386 is about 280 THOUSAND gates, and the i7 is about 350 MILLION gates/core - three orders of magnitude different. Of course, there's at least a 2 order of magnitude performance difference too - it's not like those gates are going to waste.
Point is, knowing the algorithm isn't enough to get even a finger in the wind guess at gate count. If you need an answer to this question, you need to get competent HW design people looking at it.
Company That Made the First 3D Printed Metal Gun Is Selling Them For $11,900
The 1911 isn't a perfect design by any means - I would flag three issues that can't be corrected via trivial gunsmithing:
1) The extractor has several functional issues, not the least of which that it's supposed to be both a structural element and a spring. It tends to get clogged with crud and be at the wrong tension.
2) The "ski jump" between the frame ramp and barrel throat and general feed geometry is less than ideal.
3) The clearance between slide stop and bullet is far too similar to the clearance between slide stop and mag follower, leading to situations where the slide doesn't lock back when it should or does lock back when it shouldn't.
That said, there are many upsides to the 1911 design as well that subsequent designs have failed to match. The trigger design is such that it's possible to get an excellent trigger in terms of crispness and ability to tune to a desired weight - better than is possible on any striker or double action platform. The barrel to slide lockup is better than any other design because of the tunability afforded by the bushing and barrel link. The 1911 is very thin given the caliber it's chambered in, which makes them excellent concealed carry guns. The 1911 ergonomics just "feel right" in most adult male's hands. The positive action safeties prevent "glock leg".
Personally, it's one of the two pistol types I choose to carry (the other being S&W J-frame revolvers).
Hoax-Proofing the Open Access Journals
The publication process has gone so far downhill it's basically not recognizable as science any more. This is driven by the university tenure process. Being a tenured professorship is a sweet job. The hours are short and flexible and the work is interesting and varied. Pay is less than industry, but once tenured the pay is guaranteed. Benefits are usually top-notch. That's an appealing package for anyone of reasonable intellect, middling ambition, and a desire for ironclad security. Not surprisingly, the supply of would-be professor labor greatly outstrips demand.
So who gets that cushy seat? Well, it's all based on publications and grant money. Grant money is based mostly on publications. So what you, would-be professor, need is a pile of publications. This is a huge change from the scientific publications of yore, which were by and large written for the benefit of the reader. These papers are written for the benefit of the WRITER, and that makes all the difference.
Most are on insanely obscure topics. The writer needs novelty (which is easiest achieved by obscurity) to get past peer review and no one cares if anyone else actually wants to know about the topic. Organization and clarity are for the birds - as long as the reviewers can't prove you're wrong per say it will get accepted somewhere eventually, especially at a pay journal. Reproducibility is actually undesirable - the last thing you want is scrutiny. It can't get you another publication, but it could force you to retract one. The problem being addressed by a given paper is typically very easy, but made to look very hard. Solve a hard problem, get one paper. Solve an easy problem that looks hard, get one paper. It's a no brainer.
Think these papers won't get past peer review? Think again. Mostly the journals don't REALLY read them. Just sort of skim. Think tenure committees will evaluate the papers on their merits? Think again. They don't have time, and in most universities the ultimate arbiter of tenure is the whole body of professors, most from different fields. TAre they're going to parse your obscure minutia? Heck no. They weigh it.
This can't be changed by fixing the journals. The real problem is that many of those publishing are doing so in bad faith. Right now scientists have exactly the journals they deserve.
How I Compiled TrueCrypt For Windows and Matched the Official Binaries
4K Ultra HD Likely To Repeat the Failure of 3D Television
4K is unnecessary for TV due to viewing distance and lack of 4K content, but it's GREAT for certain applications as a monitor. Basically anything where large amounts of screen real estate is required.
The Seiki 50" 4K TV is only $1000 and looks very good as a monitor once sharpness is set to zero. It's basically the equivalent of having a quad rack of 25" monitors but there's no bezel in the middle and the video card requirements are easier to meet. For applications like coding and finance, that's exactly what you want and not any more expensive than an equivilent monitor rack. It's not so good for gaming or anything where you want to look at the whole screen at a single time.
The "retina" distance where the pixels disappear is about 30-40", which is just about right for a huge monitor.
Scientists Induce New Hair Growth In Balding Men
I hate to break it to you, but plenty of bald men date without any particular difficulty. Buzz cuts work wonders.
Being poor or socially awkward is a much bigger inhibitor to dating than baldness.
Scientists Induce New Hair Growth In Balding Men
Imagine what we could do if we applied the same level of effort to problems that mattered...
Why Does Windows Have Terrible Battery Life?
I used to be fairly familiar with this problem, and the answer is that there isn't one answer. There are lots, which is why it's such a hard problem for MSFT to tackle.
Some of it is hardware choices - Windows is a pretty heavyweight OS, so the tendency is to use Intel instead of ARM, higher CPU clock speeds and larger (S|D)RAMs to make it feel at home. Plus of course the apps are a bloatfest. The result is higher power consumption.
Some of it is Windows thinking it owns the idle time to do whatever it wants (defrag, virus, search indexing, etc.). On other mobile OSs, the idle time is owned by power management first and foremost.
Some of it is crappy drivers that don't bother to take advantage of power management features present in the hardware.
Some of it is Windows not having APIs to make apps power aware from the beginning. As a result lots of things you'd like to do break old apps, and backwards compatibility is viewed as key.
Some of it is irrationality in the Windows hardware logo testing procedures that cause HW vendors to do bass ackwards stuff to make Microsoft happy.
Some of it is that Microsoft didn't push power to the WinTel HW vendors very hard in the past, and it's hard to change directions on a dime.
Some of it is that Windows applications don't really have an API for sporadic updates out of idle timed by the OS (mail fetch etc) and instead have a tendency to set timers and go do things on their own schedule. Since the schedules aren't coordinated, the device isn't idle much.
Add all those problems up, and you have a structural gap that's basically impossible to fix by changing any one thing.
USS Zumwalt — a Guided Missile Destroyer Running On Linux
The various advanced anti-ship missiles usually have one or more of four features:
1) low altitude
2) supersonic cruise or a supersonic sprint at the end of their trajectory
3) low radar profile
4) high/random maneuverability during approach
The Russian missle discussed in that article has 2 and 3.
All four features are pretty well known and understood, and have been addressed in the most recent block upgrades of the CIWS, RIM-116 and SM-2. The SM-2 got improved target finding logic (helps with 1 and 3) and a tweaked IR seeker (helps with 3). The RIM-116 is in the process of getting the block 2 upgrade which will help with 3 and 4. CIWS blocks 1A and 1B help with 3 and 4 (1 and 2 were never a problem).
Five years ago you could plausibly argue there was a missile gap. Now, probably not.
Will Cloud Services One Day Be Traded Just Like Stocks and Bonds?
This would actually be useful if it worked, but it faces the same problem as most would-be futures contracts: fungibility.
Fungibility is the property of one thing being like another, which allows them to be traded without worrying about which of the two you get. Stocks and bonds are fungible - you don't care what the serial # on your share of INTC stock is. They're all the same. But it's not clear that blocks of cloud computing or storage are fungible - is an hour on a Azure VM worth the same as an hour on a Amazon Web Services VM? Probably not.
This problem seems fatal to me.
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