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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

Apu de Beaumarchais Good In theory, but maybe not execution (618 comments)

I actually liked the idea of Windows 8 tablet with laptop like power. However due to battery life, cost and reading of hardware reliability issues with different Windows 8 tablets I wasn't confident in buying one. I was doing work one weekend at my parents house on my laptop and some of it I was doing via RDP connected to my desktop at home. I for some reason decided to test RDP access with my girlfriend's iPad and found the picture to be better and the responsiveness of the tablet superior to my aging laptop. In the end I ended up buying an iPad and a bluetooth keyboard case and it is working well for what I wanted a Windows 8 tablet for.

Admittedly such solutions don't work as well for non-technical people, but a lot of them don't need the heavy lifting of a desktop and could make due with a keyboard case and Google Apps or other alternatives if they really were frustrated. All this combined with the fact Windows 8 just doesn't make sense without a touch screen is why Microsoft's been having trouble selling Windows 8.

about a year and a half ago
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Google Seeks 'Do-No-Discoverable-Evil' Patent

Apu de Beaumarchais Not Do No Evil (109 comments)

How hard is it to not confuse "don't be evil" and "do no evil"? They're allowed to do evil as long as they're still "good".

about a year and a half ago
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Living In a Virtual World Requires Less Brain Power

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Its Specialization (89 comments)

As the human species evolves and our technology advances, our ability to be a "jack of all trades" decreases.

Please explain the evolutionary pressure (i.e., natural selection) that, in your opinion, drives this alleged process.

Happy to oblige. By doing what you are most efficient at and trading with those who are doing what they are best at, assuming everyone isn't equally skilled in the same tasks, there is a net gain as opposed to everyone doing everything for themselves. As global trade is made cheaper due to technological advances, and fields become more complex due to greater accumulated knowledge in them, it therefore becomes easier and more useful to tap into those efficiencies.There is an economic term for it known as comparative advantage. I think the link between more production and better chances of survival is obvious. If my explanation does not suffice for you, I suggest you read more on the topic of comparative advantage.

about a year and a half ago
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Netflix Open-Sources "Janitor Monkey" AWS Cleanup Tool

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Torn about Netflix (34 comments)

For what it gives me in exchange for that money, yes. I can get a couple of movies a month for around the same price and as I stated before they'd be higher bitrate than the HD stream on Netflix is even if those were DVD's. Part of why the bitrate is so low is likely because of high bandwidth costs, at least here in Canada. It's not that I find $8 a month, much of a cost. It's just that I don't value their service very highly. It's bad in part because selection is also worse in Canada, it's better now, but was terrible for a long time and still doesn't look great. I also normally see it as a movie worth watching is probably worth watching again in the future, and I'd much rather put my money into licenses I have for a long time than in paying for a service which can easily lose the license to what I want to see.

about 2 years ago
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Netflix Open-Sources "Janitor Monkey" AWS Cleanup Tool

Apu de Beaumarchais Torn about Netflix (34 comments)

I'm rather torn about Netflix. I'm not the biggest fan of their service as I see it as kind of expensive for a low quality rental service. Low quality in terms of their "HD" streams being low bitrate for the resolution they are; unless they changed it I have higher bitrate for my 480p rips to h.264 than their HD stream, because otherwise the quality is diminished.

On the other hand their work on hardening services in the Amazon Cloud is fascinating and the fact they share not just their insights learned from several issues in the Cloud, but also their tools they use to overcome these issues, and now also tools for reducing waste, makes me respect them and consider using the service even though I prefer to license media in the long term.

about 2 years ago
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US House Votes 397-0 To Oppose UN Control of the Internet

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Yea! (297 comments)

It might stop the FBI and ICE from being able to seize domain names used legitimately with no repercussions.

about 2 years ago
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US House Votes 397-0 To Oppose UN Control of the Internet

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:multi-stakeholder (297 comments)

Plus the message is essentially a lie for anyone who cares about using a .com, .net or .org TLD.

about 2 years ago
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Scientists Develop Sixty Day Bread

Apu de Beaumarchais Other Effects (440 comments)

The article doesn't mention whether it has other effects on the food. My main concern would be with the food getting dried out, hard or otherwise unpleasant to eat as can happen when you microwave it. Instead they talk about people being potentially concerned with it not spoiling for so long and cost, but it could easily go the other way since a lot of people are concerned about the effects of preservatives and people understand cooking things makes them safe to eat and having food last a lot longer means it can go a lot further. Especially interesting with bread for me since I love to eat bread, but will only have a few slices most weeks and have to either throw out most the loaf or freeze it and defrost a few slices a week.

Really fascinating though. I hope it proves to be a wonderful way of treating food that gets widely accepted.

about 2 years ago
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Report Says Climate Change Already Evident, Emissions Gap Growing

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Wessa All Gonna Die!!!!!!! (623 comments)

This is so much worse than AGW. Jar-Jar has become a preacher declaring the end of the world.

about 2 years ago
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Report Says Climate Change Already Evident, Emissions Gap Growing

Apu de Beaumarchais Seems Fishy (623 comments)

The only info I saw in the article about the actual evidence they're using is.

The report said the cost of damage caused by extreme weather events had increased from 9bn euros (£7bn) in the 1980s to 13bn euros in the 2000s. One of the report's authors, Andre Jol, head of the EEA's vulnerability and adaptation group, added: "We know that the main increase in damage costs from natural disasters has not been from climate change, as such, but more as a result of an increase in wealth, people and infrastructure in risk areas."

They make no mention of inflation so if we assume they didn't factor that in then even ignoring the increase in wealth, the damage has decreased over that period. They either neglected to account for it or failed to indicate they accounted for it. Bad reporting either way I see it.

about 2 years ago
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Canadian Copyright Reform Takes Effect

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Some good, but adds restrictive digital lock ru (103 comments)

More than unfortunate, it's outrageous. As a Canadian who does a lot in my spare time with Media Centers (most recently creating an HTML5 prototype that works with the XBOX 360) and has a large legitimate collection of DVD's, I am extremely annoyed. It's even tougher to enforce than dealing with online downloading, but it's a morale stab at consumers with no real gain.

more than 2 years ago
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Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Huh? (816 comments)

Could be a Hallowe'en prank considering how this seems to terrify some people. I'm shocked Lucas is giving it up, but cautiously optimistic about what Disney can do with the franchise.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's SmartGlass For Android Reviewed

Apu de Beaumarchais Not perfect, but a good start. (107 comments)

My cheap XP machine that I was running my media center in my bedroom died last Monday and I didn't want to go out and replace it right away. I wrote a media center specifically tailored to work in IE on my 360 in the bedroom. It's still rough around the edges, but the smart glass app for my android helped to make it a little easier to use.until I have time to make it controllable with my media center remote. It makes it easy to launch IE and then control it like a mouse. I haven't figured out how to bring up a keyboard in the mouse in the IE control section though, if it's possible, which would be nice for using some key bindings.

more than 2 years ago
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Motorola Seeks Ban On Macs, iPads, and iPhones

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:What goes around comes around... (446 comments)

Are you implying that Tim Cook is secretly leading Google into attacking Apple to somehow give himself more power and will eventually issue an order to the retail people to kill off the members of the board and other shareholders so there's noone left to oppose him? If so I find your ideas interesting and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

more than 2 years ago
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Bring On the Decentralized Social Networking

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:All very fluffy (238 comments)

The idea is certainly interesting and I was even looking into the source and debated contributing to it when it first came out. I was not impressed with what I saw and when I thought about the concept I saw a few major issues with the idea of creating a decentralized network which weren't easy to overcome and the Diaspora developers weren't ready to tackle.

  1. Cost: Anything costs money to run and it would be inevitable that one pod would grow to be substantially larger than the others and would have to be able to scale up to meet the demand so money would have to come from somewhere. It would be difficult to put ads up when your software is open source so others can set up their own pod easily and criticize your use of ads. I also believe most people wouldn't donate.
  2. Trust: This is probably the biggest issue with decentralization. Most people won't just trust some random person who would be very difficult to find and sue if they screw up. The main node is currently the most popular to my knowledge and it would be difficult to convince companies people trust like Microsoft, Google, etc. when it's difficult to differentiate themselves, there's risk of being undercut easily and they can make a lot on advertising on proprietary alternatives that aren't as easy to compete with.
  3. Development effort: The decentralized nature means it's a lot more work to develop new features since they have to behave nicely with other nodes. One of the big difficulties is adding new features or overhauling existing ones because they either have to not be decentralized, be designed to be backwards compatible with other less up to date nodes, or can not use these features with nodes that don't yet support them. It also means much greater potential for bugs when nodes with various versions of the software communicate and then it's a lot more work debugging than if you controlled the whole software / hardware stack.

In the end my fiancee and I created our own social network. We plan to open source it if it ever gets any popularity, but we want to keep it centralized with potential communication via versioned APIs and OAuth. We have way more features, including a mobile app, than Diaspora despite receiving no money and doing it all in our spare time and we're quite happy with where it's going.

more than 2 years ago
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New Type of Chemical Bond Predicted To Exist In White Dwarfs

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:105 Tesla isn't that strong a field... (97 comments)

We'll get quantum computers... yet in the end they'll be used to play silly games... and watching porn, of course.

Quantum states of entertainment and arousal... interesting.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Introduces 'Napa' Toolset For Cloud App Model

Apu de Beaumarchais Napa or Nappa? (33 comments)

What does the scouter say about the cloud's power level?

more than 2 years ago
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Why Facebook's Network Effects Are Overrated

Apu de Beaumarchais Re:Data ownership (183 comments)

I would really like to know what you think makes a real alternative. I have created my own social network and I'm working towards providing the same features that Facebook has and has much greater ability to customize it, and I'm planning for a lot more, but I'd be interested in what you think creates a real alternative to Facebook.

more than 2 years ago
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60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016

Apu de Beaumarchais It would be nice (293 comments)

It would definitely be nice, but it's probably as likely as getting 1TB holographic discs before then.

more than 2 years ago

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