Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you seen Pandorum?

Have you seen Pandorum? If so is it worth watching?

Here is the trailer

In PANDORUM, Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, The Express) and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Alpha Dog) join Cam Gigandet (Never Back Down, Twilight), Cung Le (Tekken, Fighting), newcomer Antje Traue, and director Christian Alvart (Antibodies) to tell the terrifying story of two crew members stranded on a spacecraft who quickly – and horrifically – realize they are not alone.

Two astronauts awaken in a hyper-sleep chamber aboard a seemingly abandoned spacecraft. It’s pitch black, they are disoriented, and the only sound is a low rumble and creak from the belly of the ship. They can’t remember anything: Who are they? What is their mission?

With Lt. Payton (Quaid) staying behind to guide him via radio transmitter, Cpl. Bower (Foster) ventures deep into the ship and begins to uncover a terrifying reality. Slowly the spacecraft’s shocking, deadly secrets are revealed…and the astronauts find their own survival is more important than they could ever have imagined.

It has that Alien kind of feel. Leave me a comment if you enjoyed this movie...I am relying on the wisdom of the crowds here :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

The British government has officially apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing in the post war era

Thousands of people have signed a Downing Street petition calling for a posthumous government apology to World War II code breaker Alan Turing.
Writer Ian McEwan has also backed the campaign, which already has the support of scientist Richard Dawkins. In 1952 Turing was prosecuted under the gross indecency act after admitting to a sexual relationship with a man. Two years later he killed himself.

It finally happened, the British government has officially apologized for the treatment of Alan Turing in the post war era

Below is the statement

2009 has been a year of deep reflection - a chance for Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred in us that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British experience. Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to honour the service and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches of Normandy 65 years ago. And just last week, we marked the 70 years which have passed since the British government declared its willingness to take up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two. So I am both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists, historians and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and celebrate another contribution to Britain’s fight against the darkness of dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that, without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ - in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence - and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison - was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.

I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue.

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united, democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in living memory, people could become so consumed by hate - by anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices - that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.

Gordon Brown

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Placebo button, now you know why that button doesn't do anything

If this is true then this is hilarious!
From wikipedia's placebo button entry
A placebo button is a push-button that appears to do something, but actually has no effect, like a placebo. They exist to give the user an illusion of control.
Many walk buttons at pedestrian crossings in New York City were once functional, but now serve as placebo buttons. Many door close buttons in elevators are placebo buttons. Office thermostats may also function similarly.

Hey at least you don't have to ever fix these buttons since they don't 'work anyway :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AMD aims to stay in the race with Magny-Cours 12-core CPU

Saw this story in my Google Reader. Very interesting, I have a quad core CPU at home right now and never get above 30% CPU usage,I wonder what would happen with one of these 12 core CPUs on it. Here is a blurb from the article
At Hot Chips this past week, AMD unveiled more details of the upcoming 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor that it hopes will help it stay competitive in the server game. Due in 2010 on AMD's 45nm SOI process, Magny-Cours uses the same basic core microarchitecture as the current Shanghai quad-core server processor, so if there's any improvement in per-thread performance it will have to come from better system design.

The basic idea behind Magny-Cours is simple: take two six-core Istanbul processors, downclock them a bit to reduce power, and squeeze them into a multichip module (MCM) so that they can fit into a single socket. By using an MCM, AMD will be able to fit 12 cores into the same thermal and power envelope as Istanbul.

Read the rest here:

I wonder how many years it will take before we see 64 cores on the desktop and maybe 32 cores on a laptop? This reminds me of razorblades....first we had one blade, then we have long before we have ten blades in those?

Walt Mosspuppet review videos

Walt Mosspuppet, a fake video blog starring a puppet version of the technology reporter, this is just awesome :-)

You can see more videos here: like this gem: Walt Mossberg: "I am Responsible for Apple’s Success"

Is Gmail down for you too?

I am getting a 502 server error when trying to get to Gmail. IS it also down for you? The cloud is not cooperating right now :-(

The Apps Status Dashboard has a status of Service Outage

We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 4:53:00 PM UTC-4 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

Oh well, I am adding that Beta label back to gmail the moment it comes back up :-)

I will use smoke signals those are real clouds ;-)

Google released an apology detailing what happened
Here’s what happened: This morning (Pacific Time) we took a small fraction of Gmail’s servers offline to perform routine upgrades. This isn’t in itself a problem — we do this all the time, and Gmail’s web interface runs in many locations and just sends traffic to other locations when one is offline.

However, as we now know, we had slightly underestimated the load which some recent changes (ironically, some designed to improve service availability) placed on the request routers — servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response. At about 12:30 pm Pacific a few of the request routers became overloaded and in effect told the rest of the system “stop sending us traffic, we’re too slow!”. This transferred the load onto the remaining request routers, causing a few more of them to also become overloaded, and within minutes nearly all of the request routers were overloaded. As a result, people couldn’t access Gmail via the web interface because their requests couldn’t be routed to a Gmail server. IMAP/POP access and mail processing continued to work normally because these requests don’t use the same routers.

The Gmail engineering team was alerted to the failures within seconds (we take monitoring very seriously). After establishing that the core problem was insufficient available capacity, the team brought a LOT of additional request routers online (flexible capacity is one of the advantages of Google’s architecture), distributed the traffic across the request routers, and the Gmail web interface came back online.