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Modularity Finally Approved For Java 9

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 4:34pm
An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld:With a new round of voting completed this week, the Java Community Process Executive Committee passed by a 24-0 vote the Java Platform Module System public review ballot, the subject of Java Specification Request 376. In May, the same group, citing concerns over the plan being disruptive and lacking consensus, voted the measure down, 13 to 10... Red Hat, which voted no on the previous ballot but abstained from the latest one, said there were still several items in the current proposal that it wanted further work on. "However, we do not want to delay the Java 9 release," Red Hat said. Getting "real world" feedback on the modularity system will be key to determine where further changes need to occur, Red Hat said. The Eclipse Foundation, Hazelcast, and Twitter, all of which voted no previously and yes this time around, cited sufficient progress with modularity. Java 9 is still slated for release on September 21st.

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Tylenol May Kill Kindness

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 3:34pm
Long-time Slashdot reader randomErr writes: In research published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience scientists describe the results of two experiments conducted involving more than 200 college students.Their conclusion is that acetaminophen can reduce a person's capacity to empathize with another person's pain. "We don't know why acetaminophen is having these effects, but it is concerning," senior author Baldwin Way, an Ohio State University psychologist, said. One of the studies has half the group consume a liquid with acetaminophen while the other group received a placebo. The group that drink the acetaminophen thought that people they read about experiencing pain was not as severe as the placebo group thought. The Washington Post notes that acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the United States, adding that "about a quarter of all Americans take acetaminophen every week."

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California Has So Much Solar Power That Other States Are Paid To Take It

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 2:32pm
"On 14 days during March, Arizona utilities got a gift from California: free solar power," reported the Los Angeles Times. Mic reports: California is generating so much solar energy that it is resorting to paying other states to take the excess electricity in order to prevent overloading power lines. According to the Los Angeles Times, Arizona residents have already saved millions in 2017 thanks to California's contribution. The state, which produced little to no solar energy just 15 years ago, has made strides -- it single-handedly has nearly half of the country's solar electricity generating capacity... When there's too much solar energy, there is a risk of the electricity grid overloading. This can result in blackouts. In times like this, California offers other states a financial incentive to take their power. But it's not as environmentally friendly as one would think. Take Arizona, for example. The state opts to put a pin in its own solar energy sources instead of fossil fuel power, which means greenhouse gas emissions aren't getting any better due to California's overproduction. The Los Angeles Times suggests over-construction of natural gas plants created part of the problem -- Californians now pay roughly 50% more than the rest of the country for power -- but they report that power supplies could become more predictable when battery storage technologies improve.

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Linux 4.12 I/O Scheduler Tests With A HDD & SSD

Phoronix - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 2:22pm
Earlier in the Linux 4.12 cycle I delivered a number of I/O scheduler benchmarks from a solid-state drive while for this article are some fresh I/O scheduler tests using a slower SSD as well as a conventional HDD. Schedulers tested were CFQ, Noop, deadline, MQ None, MQ Kyber, MQ BFQ, and MQ Deadline.

All the (IT storage) News That's Fit to Print

El Reg - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 1:55pm
Your essential guide to latest developments in enterprise-grade silos of bits and bytes

We have here another seven days' worth of scintillating storage news that didn't manage to make the daily news cut in this crowded week of June 26.…

HP Answers The Question: Moore's Law Is Ending. Now What?

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 1:28pm
Long-time Slashdot reader Paul Fernhout writes: R. Stanley Williams, of Hewlett Packard Labs, wrote a report exploring the end of Moore's Law, saying it "could be the best thing that has happened in computing since the beginning of Moore's law. Confronting the end of an epoch should enable a new era of creativity by encouraging computer scientists to invent biologically inspired devices, circuits, and architectures implemented using recently emerging technologies." This idea is also looked at in a broader shorter article by Curt Hopkins also with HP Labs. Williams argues that "The effort to scale silicon CMOS overwhelmingly dominated the intellectual and financial capital investments of industry, government, and academia, starving investigations across broad segments of computer science and locking in one dominant model for computers, the von Neumann architecture." And Hopkins points to three alternatives already being developed at Hewlett Packard Enterprise -- neuromorphic computing, photonic computing, and Memory-Driven Computing. "All three technologies have been successfully tested in prototype devices, but MDC is at center stage."

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Realtek ALC215 / ALC285 / ALC289 Support Coming To Linux 4.13

Phoronix - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 12:07pm
Among the sound changes coming for Linux 4.13 is supporting some new Realtek audio codecs...

A Few OpenCL Benchmarks With Radeon Vega Frontier Edition On Linux

Phoronix - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 11:48am
Phoronix reader "Yoshi" has graciously allowed me remote access to his newly-minuted Radeon Vega Frontier Edition workhorse paired with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor...

SDL2 Brought To QNX 7.0

Phoronix - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 11:09am
For fans of the QNX operating system, SDL2 mainline can now run on QNX 7.0...

AMD Firms Up It's Releasing Radeon RX Vega At SIGGRAPH

Phoronix - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 11:04am
Just in case you had any doubt of AMD launching the Radeon RX Vega graphics card later this month at SIGGRAPH, they've now made it publicly clear...

Central Bankers Warned Of Possible Economic 'Robocalypse'

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 10:24am
An anonymous reader quotes the Seattle Times: At an exclusive gathering at a golf resort near Lisbon, the big minds of monetary policy were seriously discussing the risk that artificial intelligence could eliminate jobs on a scale that would dwarf previous waves of technological change. "There is no question we are in an era of people asking, 'Is the Robocalpyse upon us?'" David Autor, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told an audience Tuesday that included Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and dozens of other top central bankers and economists... [A]long with the optimism is a fear that the economic expansion might bypass large swaths of the population, in part because a growing number of jobs could be replaced by computers capable of learning -- artificial intelligence. Policymakers and economists conceded that they have not paid enough attention to how much technology has hurt the earning power of some segments of society, or planned to address the concerns of those who have lost out... In the past, technical advances caused temporary disruptions but ultimately improved living standards, creating new categories of employment along the way... But artificial intelligence threatens broad categories of jobs previously seen as safe from automation, such as legal assistants, corporate auditors and investment managers. Large groups of people could become obsolete, suffering the same fate as plow horses after the invention of the tractor. "More and more, we are seeing economists saying, 'This time could be different,'âS" said Autor, who presented a paper on the subject that he wrote with Anna Salomons, an associate professor at the Utrecht University School of Economics in the Netherlands. Ultimately we'll just have to wait and see, Autor concluded. "I say not Robocalpyse now. Perhaps Robocalpyse later."

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While Chrome Dominates, Microsoft Edge Struggles To Attract New Users

Slashdot - Sun, 02/07/2017 - 7:14am
An anonymous reader quotes Neowin's report on the newest browser-usage figures from NetMarketShare: Microsoft Edge only commands a market share of 5.65% -- which is an increase of only 0.02 percentage points compared to last month... it only grew by 0.56% year-over-year. On the other hand, Google Chrome has continued its dominance with a market share of 59.49%. As a point of reference, this is a sizeable growth of 10.84 percentage points year-over-year... Data from another firm, StatCounter, depicts an even more depressing situation for Microsoft. According to the report, Edge sits at 3.89%... Chrome is the king of all browsers according to these statistics as well, with a market share of 63.21% -- a decrease of 0.14 percentage points compared to last month. Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari command 14%, 9.28%, and 5.16% respectively. The firm also calculates that when it comes to desktop operating systems, Windows has 91.51% of all users, followed by MacOS at 6.12 and Linux at 2.36%.

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