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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

mikael Re:No big red button? (154 comments)

Unfortunately for Airbus, it didn't quite work out when an airshow decided to have an aircraft do a low fly-pass in front of the crowds. The combination of low altitude, low speed with flaps and landing gear lowered made the AI think that the pilots wanted the plane to land. So the flight control system cut the engine power in preparation for landing.

about an hour ago
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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

mikael Re:No big red button? (154 comments)

The problem is that blast furnaces aren't simply switched on and off, but have feedback software systems that adjusts fuel feeds, cooling systems and exhaust extraction to achieve the desired temperature while minimizing fuel consumption, cooling and pollution. Much the same way as electronic car ignition. The operating temperature would have to be ramped up and down slowly to avoid any damage through thermal stress.

It's the hardware overrides that would allow the cooling system to be reduced or switched off while the fuel feeds remain on.

http://www.acspit.com/papers/d...

3 hours ago
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The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

mikael Re:We're so far from that now! (115 comments)

Back in those days, start of the art technology in CPU's were "restricted exports". The USA wanted to show that Communism didn't lead to as many advancements in technology as Capitalism, so they restricted exports on technology such as chip design software, CPU's and other chip logic (remember the A-team trying to block smugglers exporting flip-flop chips? It was that serious). This led to the Eastern European countries doing various work-arounds. They could get gray imports through third-party countries that weren't part of the Western trade block, and weren't part of the USSR either. Or they could set up fake companies in the host country that would export the technology.

Another strategy was to make their own logic chips. However, yields for complex logic such as CPU's, wasn't that good, so they ended up with CPU's with missing instructions. But that wasn't a problem, mathematician/software engineers figured out ways of emulating broken instructions using other instructions. If JMP was broken, then use CLR; BCC. Arithmetic operations like ADD could be replaced by NEG and SUB, and so on... So they ended up with an abstraction layer using assembler macros that provided a set of functioning instructions.

5 days ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

mikael Re:Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (156 comments)

In Norway, you can just go online to the bank website, use an authentication system based on a username, password and your mobile phone.
Then you just use the IBAN/SWIFT system to transfer the money to the account anywhere else in the world, and you can download your transaction history as a spreadsheet file.

Other banks in the UK require you to go into a branch, and have a clerk use a quill pen to fill out an entry in a giant leatherbound ledger book.

about a week ago
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Govt Docs Reveal Canadian Telcos Promise Surveillance Ready Networks

mikael Re:Encryptorama (74 comments)

But where do you start encrypting? You have to secure your PC against keyloggers and screen-grabbers even if your disk drive and communications are encrypted. And how would be sure that no man-in-the-middle intercept didn't have the processing power to crack the encryption?

about a week ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

mikael Re:Just let them test out! (307 comments)

It was the dot-com boom era. Established companies (bricks and mortar) were slow to catch onto the the internet presence, so there were thousands of startups which tried to fill that niche (Peapod who did online groceries, companies who get your bills redirected, so they could be opened and scanned in, so all you had to do was write the cheque to the utility company, and Amazon). The people that jumped into the CompSci courses at this time, were referred to as gold-diggers who were only interested in the money from knowing some HTML and scripting,

about a week ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

mikael Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

From the job descriptions available now, a software developer, software engineer or senior software engineer will consult with clients and other engineers, write design specifications, write, design and implement unit tests using Microsoft or Google Test frameworks, do task breakdowns, provide accurate time estimates, implement software modules, provide code reviews, keep bug lists up to date, mentor software engineers through techniques such as pair or extreme programming, participate in Agile and Scrum meetings. Depending on the field of work, it's either going to be "Big Data" with R, Scala, Hadoop, Java, "Embedded Systems" with C, embedded C, assembler, IOS or Android; or "Desktop Systems" with C#, Java. In every case, they wil five years or more experience.

about a week ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

mikael Re:Duh (454 comments)

Then the employer would only consider hiring H1B's from other companies and not do the petitioning themselves.

about a month ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mikael Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

t I was trying to explain that there was a vast number of applications using classic supercomputer type technology, ranging from academic research down to multiplayer games. A modern game console now uses multiple cores, vector processors, vector chaining, kernels (if you consider vertex, fragment, geometry shaders as kernels), client-server communication to update players moves. Even geometry data is streamed across the network as some game MMORG worlds are so vast, all the data couldn't be stored on one disk drive. Then there are techniques of "sharding" games world so that the same geometry can be used, but with different groups of players.

about a month ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mikael Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

Those numeric and simulation libraries were optimized in conjunnction with the Fortran compiler to take advantage of the hardware. The most obvious example; having fixed sized multi-dimensional arrays as global variables. For regular grids, the compiler can then decide which way to slice that data block up so that every processing node gets assigned a chunk of data. Since each function is not more than a few loop counters reading previous and current state for each grid cell, those get optimized into parallelised for-each calls. Once the scientists and engineers started writing and sharing numeric and simulation libraries and building on top of them, there isn't any need to change.

about a month ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mikael Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

That's why many simulations are still written in Fortran - the compilers were optimized to handle multi-dimensional grid arrays, which is what fluid dynamics and other solvers use.

about a month ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mikael Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

The number of floating point operations (FLOPS) performed by a next-generation game console outranks early days supercomputers like the Cray.

Cray-2 = 1.9 GFLOPS
http://www.dcemu.co.uk/vbullet...
Dreamcast | CPU: 1.4 GFLOPS | GPU: 0.1 GFLOPS | Combined: 1.5 GFLOPS
PS2 | CPU: 6 GFLOPS | GPU: 0 GFLOPS | Combined: 6 GFLOPS
Xbox | CPU: 1.5 GFLOPS | GPU: 5.8 GFLOPS | Combined: 7.3 GFLOPS
Wii | CPU: 60 GFLOPS | GPU: 1 GFLOPS | Combined: 61 GFLOPS
Xbox360 | CPU: 115 GFLOPS | GPU: 240 GFLOPS | Combined: 355 GFLOPS
PS3 | CPU: 218 GFLOPS | GPU: 1800 GFLOPS | Combined: 2018 GFLOPS
PS4 | CPU: 102.4 GFLOPS | GPU: 1843 GFLOPS | Combined: 1965 GFLOPS

Console games are getting to the point of having 2 TeraFLOPS of 32 floating-point performance

about a month ago
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US DOE Sets Sights On 300 Petaflop Supercomputer

mikael Re:Ehhh Meh (127 comments)

Supercomputers are designed to be unlimited in scalability (super-scalar). Everything is duplicated from the cores on a single chip die to the boards, racks, rack-frames, aisles of rack-frames and interconnect fabric. The only limits to the size of a super-computer are financial; component cost, office space lease and electricity bills. Usually, it's the last one that's the problem. The slowest proocessing nodes can be pulled out and replaced with more powerful ones as time goes by.

about a month ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

mikael Re:100 Year old (81 comments)

Fourier analysis was first developed in the 1800's. It took 80 years for the first programmable mechanical hardware to appear in the form of weaving looms in the 1880's. Then the development of mechanical analysis systems like this happened another 20 or 30 years later. Another 70 years, and we can play music on our home PC's and see funky animated digitial audio equalizers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J...

about a month ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

mikael Re:Feature extraction != Cognition (91 comments)

There was the concept of the "Perceptron". You have your camera that takes live video. This feeds into the perceptron. At the lower levels, edges, arcs, corners and dots are detected. Then at a higher level, shapes like circles, squares and triangles are detected. Higher still, objects like faces, cats, and balls are detected.
The brain seems to generate a set of hypotheses about what something could be then pick the closest match.

about a month and a half ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

mikael Re:Oh Please Edge Detection and Motion Detection (91 comments)

Human retinas have a resolution of 100 million neurons each. But there are several layers to the retina that detect spots, edges, color opposition (blue vs. yellow, red vs. green, white vs. black). All of this information gets compressed down to around 1000 chunks of data which then go through 10 million neurons in each optic nerve.

about a month and a half ago
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fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

mikael Re:analog computer (91 comments)

You have neurons, which are arranged into "cortical units". These in turn are arranged into wide striate layers (for increased resolution) and pyramids (for higher levels of cognition). With human vision, the neural pathways follow the topology of the retina.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

With human audio, the neural pathways follow the frequency of sound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonotopy)

This research paper covers the evolution of the human brain when compared to reptiles and other mammals:

http://people.sissa.it/~ale/an...

about a month and a half ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

mikael Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (262 comments)

Many of the cities in the Bay Area were originally agricultural. Retirees moved there for the sun, peace and quiet and cheap rents. Then the tech industry started to grow. For every 100,000 square foot office block built, that's 1000 employees who want 4000 square foot lots for their homes. All the land got used up rapidly for roads, homes, offices, schools, hospitals and clinics. And those came at a cost. Retirees suddenly saw their property taxes go up and up to pay for all these services that they didn't use. The cities then get round this by granting permission for a company to build a new campus on the edge of their city, leaving the housing, schools and transportation access to their neighbors. The same retirees opposed high-rise apartment blocks because they lost their sunlight, and MVA (market-value assessment) meant their home was assessed the same value as the six unit triplex block next door. So they brought in a tax Proposition to grandfather in property taxes and block the construction of high rise concrete apartment blocks (also due to earthquake risks).

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Tony Benn, MP has died

mikael mikael writes  |  about 9 months ago

mikael (484) writes "The famous Labour MP, Tony Benn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Benn) has died at the age of 88. In his career which included Minister of Technology, he was responsible for the creation of ICL (International Computers Limited) and involvement in Concorde"
Link to Original Source
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Flu Pandemic may lead to websites being blocked

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "While corporations and businesses have been advised on how to allow employees to work remotely from home, there is still some uncertainty on how ISP's would be able to handle the extra flow of traffic. The Department of Homeland Security is suggesting that ISP's be prepared to block popular websites in order to prioritize bandwidth for commercial use."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists discover how DNA is folded within the n

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "Sciencedaily.com is reporting that scientists have discovered how DNA is folded within the nucleus of a cell such that active genes remain accessible without becoming tangled. The first observation is that genes are actually stored in two locations. The first location acts as a cache where all active genes are kept. The second location is a more denser storage area where inactive genes are kept. The second observation is that all genes are stored as http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/3d-genome.html ">fractal globules which allows genes that are used together to be adjacent to each other when folded, even though they may be far apart when unfolded."
Link to Original Source
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Volunteers recover Lunar Orbiter 1 photographs

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The LA Times is reporting on efforts of group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960's. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of Nasa Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater was recovered."
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Cities plan to replace street lights with LED's

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Pasadena Star News is reporting that a couple of cities including Pasadena and Los Angeles are planning on replacing sodium based street lighting with LED's. The new bulbs use between 40 percent and 60 percent energy and last four times as long. Los Angeles plans on replacing 14,000 street lights with LED's, while Pasadena aims to spend $528,000 to achieve this goal."
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Microsoft doubles reward for missing teenager

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Toronto Star is reporting that Microsoft has doubled the reward for information about a missing teenager to $50,000. Brandon Crisp went missing since Thanksgiving Day after a dispute over a video game. Over 400 volunteers are helping in the search."
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London seeks own internet domain

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The Times is reporting that along with Wales and Scotland, London is seeking their own three letter domain (.ldn) in advance of the Olympic games in 2012. Could we see the start of every city getting their own domain?"
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National Library of Belarus

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mikael (484) writes "In June 2002, the president of Belarus commissioned the construction of a new national library, which was completed June this year. Constructed in the shape of a spherical diamond and covered by reflective glass and chrome, it has gained the nickname of the "Death Star". Another feature of this building is that it is completely covered by colored lights on every side, which allows for some amazing animations. Perhaps they should offer programming competitions for the best animation. EnglishRussia has some photographs of the building in Summer and Winter, along with a timelapse video. Although, some residents would have preferred the money spent on a shopping mall rather than a national library."
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Nikko introduces R2-D2 entertainment droid

mikael mikael writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mikael (484) writes "The register is reporting that a Japanese company Nikko is producing an integrated projector, DVD player, iPod connection, and media card reader, all combined into the shape of an R2-D2 robot. http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/07/25/r2-d2_mult imedia/ http://www.youtube.com/v/N1h6onXX0dM No mention if they are going to provide a C3PIO unit to serve cold drinks and popcorn."

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