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A few days ago, the USA announced the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. They did not leave empty-handed and took the biometric data of three million Iraqi civilians (it is approximately 10% of the population). For several years, U.S. Marines carried handheld portable optical scanners, which allow quickly collecting the irises and fingerprints from any passer-by in the field.
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xially 22 december 2011, 13:58

Matthew Fisher from Stanford University wrote an interesting article about implementation of a robot on the basis of stream interception API library D3D9 (Microsoft Direct 3D, which is a part of the library DirectX).

According to the author, the robot plays StarCraft 2 (SC2) by intercepting, understanding and reacting to the D3D9 API stream, then sending keypresses and mouse commands back to the game. It is not like other robots made in the SC2 editor using a scripting language, or projects like BWAPI (it works with the original StarCraft only) that works by attaching to the address space of the host application. The robots that are based on these methods often can to bypass several restrictions that the human players must cope with; for example, they can give different orders to different units at the same time, they can see exactly what is happening off-screen at any time, and they do not have to deal with trying to click on ground units that are covered by flying units.

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Siera 21 december 2011, 13:33

Improving performance of the disk subsystem is the most topical issue today. This is caused by the low cost of HDD that takes a leading position in the mass segment. More than a half of the resource-intensive applications have a "vulnerable spot" that are the spindle drives. In this case, everything does not depend on the bandwidth of SATA interface, but it depends on the physical capabilities of the mechanical components of the magnetic disk. The bandwidth of SATA-II and SATA-III interfaces makes 300MB/s and 600MB/s respectively, and the maximum performance that can provide a regular HDD does not exceed 150MB/s. Therefore, the transition to SATA-III-interface will be reasonable only for SSD, but it is not suitable for everyone.

In order to evaluate and to test the effectiveness of different types of disk subsystems were chosen following solutions:

1. OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-E SSD 100Gb

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2. Plextor PX-128M2S SSD 128Gb

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+3
KlauS 15 december 2011, 14:31

MIT researchers have created a new camera that can acquire visual data at a rate of one trillion exposures per second (1 000 000 000 000 = 10^12). That’s fast enough to produce a slow-motion video of a burst of light traveling the length of a one-liter bottle, bouncing off the cap and reflecting back to the bottle’s bottom. The similar devices will be used in medicine and other branches of science in the future.
Tags: camera, MIT, shutter
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Siera 14 december 2011, 15:31

Finally, Nokia has released a really good smartphone. It is my favorite hardware right now, even better than the HTC Desire S with Android that I had before.

The web also has a lot of different reviews of this phone, so anyone interested in it can find them out there.
Here I will just share my thoughts about the Nokia Lumia 800 after using it for some time, which I hope you will be interested in.

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This is a brief summary for those who do not like a lot of reading: The device has awesome build quality, but on the other hand it has its drawbacks.
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xially 10 december 2011, 18:59


Yesterday Twitter unveiled a new version of its interface. Its design is simplified to make it easier, faster, and richer experience. The new design will be the same for Twitter.com and mobile applications. In addition, TweetDeck application is updated and ready for the new version.

Visit fly.twitter.com and find out more details about the upcoming changes.
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Skull 9 december 2011, 17:54

We tested several configurations of disk arrays that are suitable for use in servers.
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We tested the following configurations:
    4 x 300GB SAS2 10K + RAID10 on a PCI-E 2.0 controller (Reference 4 x 300GB RAID10)
    PCI-E SSD 120GB MLC (Inexpensive PCI-E SSD 120GB)
    2 x SSD 120GB MLC + RAID0 on a PCI-E 2.0 controller with optimized firmware (Inexpensive 2 х SSD 120GB RAID0)
    4 x 300GB SAS2 10K + RAID10 on a PCI-E 2.0 controller + SSD MLC 120GB caching I/O (Hybrid 4 x 300GB RAID10 + SSD caching)

+4
Spy 9 december 2011, 5:34

Here are the results of user poll on the SSD reliability that could be useful.

Let us begin with the size statistics.

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The picture shows that the most popular formats are 120, 80 and 60, which are released only by Intel.
It is also noticed that the drives with capacity of 120 / 128 are particularly popular among users of alternative operating systems (including OS X).
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Pirat 7 december 2011, 13:15

Apple company has changed the behavior of the MacBooks in the clamshell closed with an external display in Mac OS X Lion, it was a special modification, which can be judged by the documentation: support.apple.com/kb/ht3131

This change completely canceled the ability to set the sleeping mode in the MacBook by closing its clamshell, if an external display is connected. They left no choice for the user.

Recently, on the forums of Apple has appeared the solution that returns the behavior as in Snow Leopard.

We should do the following in a terminal:

sudo nvram boot-args="iog=0x0"
Tags: lion, macbook
+3
xially 6 december 2011, 12:07

Somewhere was mentioned that Firefox 8 will support the context menus, which were written in HTML5 language. If we update Firefox to version 8 beta, so we can see how these menus will look like. We can get some additional information from an article "Firefox 8 for developers" and follow its hyperlinks get to the corresponding demo page

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It is not difficult to see the context menu of the site that is located just above the usual context menu browser and separated by a horizontal separator from it. Context menu of the site may contain individual items and entire submenus; as well it can be decorated with colored icons.
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BumBum 30 november 2011, 20:04