Science and Technology links (August 11th, 2017)

It looks like the Java programming language might finally get in-language support for vector instructions, these instructions are supported by modern processors and multiply the processing speed… but they often require different algorithms. Language designers have often ignored vector instructions, relying instead on optimizing compilers to “auto-vectorize” the code. Optimizing compilers are very good, but experience shows that language support for performance features pays.

It seems that armies worldwide are toying with the idea of smart full face military helmets. These helmets are bullet proof, have night vision and heat detection, they offer augmented reality. Sounds like something from Star Wars.

Whey is a common byproduct of the transformation of milk. It is cheap. Bodybuilders use whey protein supplements to grow bigger muscles. It seems that supplementing with whey proteins might be a good strategy for all of us, young and old. Personally, I remain somewhat cautious. We don’t know the long term effects of loading up on proteins. It is a popular thing to do, but it does not make it safe.

Parkinson’s is a terrible disease that cannot be stopped or even slowed currently. A diabetes drug called exenatide appeared to have halted the progression of disease in a small trial. If this could be verified, it would be a historical event.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

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