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IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

bunyip Are they available in the cloud? (113 comments)

IBM touts the virtualization capabilities of Power, but I can't find any IaaS providers where I can rent a slice of one. I looked at the Softlayer site, they're and IBM company, and I couldn't find it there either. So, it leaves me to wonder...

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

bunyip Or even lower... (637 comments)

It really depends on what you want to do. If you're trying to wring the last iota of performance out of an algorithm, then understanding TLB misses and cache protocols can be useful. Even accessing RAM can be an order of magnitude faster or slower, depending on what you do. So, maybe a class on microprocessor design?

OTOH, I find that an ability to understand functional programming, recursion and data structures is very useful. They're the sort of things I quiz people on when I'm looking for really strong developers.


about 6 months ago

Ars Editor Learns Feds Have His Old IP Addresses, Full Credit Card Numbers

bunyip Data sent to airlines (217 comments)

The Travelocity guy avoided telling the whole story. They do provide relevant information, but if the government has the PNR with all the remarks in it, then it likely came from Travelocity or Sabre.

Travel agencies and 3rd-party web sites, such as Travelocity. put all this encoded stuff into the remarks section of the PNR, it's all that "H-" stuff. When the PNR is sent to the airline, NONE of the remarks are transmitted. The airline doesn't receive your IP address, for example. Seat numbers, phone and contact information are transmitted in Special Service Request (SSR) and/or Other Service Information (OSI) fields. One major exception is that Travelocity and AA share the same PNR when booking AA.

Now, the airlines have to send a whole bunch of data about you to the TSA to get clearance for you to board. Look up Secure Flight / APIS / AQQ and you can learn a little bit about it.


about 6 months ago

Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

bunyip Yes, all about the skills - and attitude! (232 comments)

One of my colleagues in in his mid-60s, and happily puttering around in modern technologies and adapting what he knows about systems to the latest tools. Writing prototype code in Clojure, using network databases (neo4j), doing interesting data modeling and generally just making stuff happen. He's learning new stuff every day, having fun - and getting to say no to job offers on a regular basis. I've been in this industry for more than 30 years and I'm currently mucking around with Hadoop, cloud computing and a bunch of the new things.

People talk about time to learn, but it's a question about making time. Would you want to visit a doctor that hasn't updated their skills in 20 years?


about 8 months ago

Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

bunyip Just don't fly out of Europe (144 comments)

You might get lucky and get an empty seat. Hint - pick a center seat in the last few rows, these seats suck. However, if you fly into the US or many other countries, they will have received a passenger manifest electronically from the airline. You'll have fun when you get to customs and there's no record of you...

about 10 months ago

What Would French Fries Taste Like If You Made Them On Jupiter?

bunyip Ig Nobel Prize? (165 comments)

Surely this research is a leading candidate!

1 year,28 days

Upload a Spoof Video, Go To Jail (In Dubai)

bunyip The UAE is not an open society (107 comments)

Don't ever confuse Dubai with an open and modern society. It's a monarchy that needs to hold onto power and does not toerate criticism or free speech of any kind. They walk a fine line between the glamour of business, yet holding onto traditional values and conservatism.

It's also illegal to kiss in public, even for a married couple. People have been arrested, imprisoned and deported for such indecency.

about a year ago

How To Develop Unmaintainable Software

bunyip Write your own language! (211 comments)

Just get a hold of lex & yaxx, antlr or your favoriate tools and write your own language. You could probabyl abuse Lisp macros anough to do this too. I once worked with a company where the lead programmer had invented Hugh-BOL, and that's what they coded in.

Now, I do admit that a DSL it the best approach from time to time, but there is an limit...

about a year ago

FAA Wants All Aircraft Flying On Unleaded Fuel By 2018

bunyip Re:Example: Rotax 912 (366 comments)

Yes, these engines are fine on auto fuel, known as MOGAS. The thing we have to be careful about is the ethanol they add to unleaded gas, so we go to a lot of trouble to avoid it.. Alcohol in the fuel can lead to corrosion. And to high food prices, but that's a whole 'nuther story...

about a year and a half ago

Panda Blood May Hold Potent Assailant Against Superbugs

bunyip How is this good news for pandas? (149 comments)

Panda blood kills microbes. So, how soon before the black market starts selling powdered panda parts?

about 2 years ago

Anonymous Lists Sites. and VoIP Services, Blocked In the UAE

bunyip Skype works in the UAE (42 comments)

How do I know this? I was using it from my hotel room about an hour ago...

more than 2 years ago

High-Frequency Traders Are the Ultimate Hackers, Says Mark Cuban

bunyip A trading tax (538 comments)

The HFT programs would slow down a lot if it cost them, say, one cent per share traded. That would not be a burden to average investors, or even the super wealthy, but it dampens the enthusiasm for shifting millions of shares a day to skim tiny fractions.

more than 2 years ago

Gamer Keeps Civilization II Game Going for 10 Years

bunyip Make him president? (219 comments)

Wow, this guy has some serious management skillz! Maybe he should be running Spain or Greece or the US?

more than 2 years ago

Programmer Admits Stealing US Gov't Accounting Software Source Code

bunyip US Government Accounting (125 comments)

Ummm - am I the only one that would wonder why anybody would want this?

more than 2 years ago

The Engineer Who Stopped Airplanes From Flying Into Mountains

bunyip Re:Make the technology scale down... (237 comments)

This technology does scale down. The SportCruiser LSA that I fly from time to time warns me when I get down to 500ft from the ground. This is a 2-seat airplane. However, there are lot of old GA aircraft out there (often 30+ years old) that do not have modern avionics.

more than 2 years ago

Real-Life Gadgets For Real-Life Superheroes

bunyip Coon and Friends? (391 comments)

Am I the only one thinking of the latest South Park episodes?

more than 4 years ago

Researchers Test Space Beer

bunyip Alcohol forbidden? (113 comments)

How many of the astronauts would be considered flight crew? So long as they're "flying", it would seem they'd be covered by 14 CFR 91.17, which is the 0.04% and 8 hour bottle-to-throttle rule. Oh, IANAL, but IAAP and wondering how many of the FAA regulations apply.

more than 4 years ago

RIM Doesn't Want 200 Fart Apps

bunyip He'll go down in history... (244 comments)

While he may have never actually said it, years from now the world will only remember one thing:

"64 fart apps ought to be enough for anybody"

-- Alan Panezic

more than 4 years ago

Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth

bunyip Double blind study (298 comments)

it's hard to see how a double-blind study could even be designed in this area

In the medical field, it means that both the patient and the doctor evaluating the symptoms don't know who received a placebo.

For this experiment - setup two antennae in front of some seedlings, have a different dude turn one of them on. The person measuring the seedling growth doesn't know which were exposed to radio waves. That's all you need to make sure the study doesn't have some bias in it.

more than 4 years ago

Google Acquires ITA Software, Regulators May Balk

bunyip Re:ITA? Never heard of it (72 comments)

I think ITA made a great deal of hype around their NP proof, but the complexity of the search was known by many and was known before ITA published their results. For example, Tom Holloran (United Airlines) published a paper at AGIFORS in the 1980's that showed the equivalence to a set covering / set partitioning problem.

Sabre's fare search engine was rewritten from scratch in C++ & Java starting about the same time ITA started. The search engine runs on a Linux cluster, and independent benchmarks show that it is the leader in finding the lowest fares. In fact, pretty much *all* the major players in fare search run on x86 clusters. You could look this up online too :-)

more than 4 years ago


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