Why Run Linux On Macs?
...the Apple trackpads are limited to two fingered use
what rubbish... every Mac track pad is multi-touch... and will recognise and track each finger you put and move/swipe/pinch/press on it individually and collectively as a gesture.
China's Engineering Mega-Projects Dwarf the Great Wall
Some economists worry that China might eventually be mired in enormous debt
While any country can over stretch itself and find itself mired in unsustainable debt, it is hard not to roll one's eyes when one reads the report's really, really, really, remote scenarios for how China could get itself into such a situation. Given the current global geo-economic reality, spending as much time as the report does on the likelihood of this scenario coming to pass almost discredits the rest of what is actually a great report.
Chinese foreign reserves are almost US$4 trillion (as at September 2014) - more than the combined total foreign reserves held by the next 7 largest holders of foreign reserves (i.e.Japan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Russia, Brazil and Republic of Korea). The United States foreign reserves, by comparison, are a paltry US$134 billion
At the other end of the scale, United States foreign debt stands at a staggering US$18 trillion - about US1 trillion of that borrowed from the Chinese - more than that of the United Kingdom and Germany combined.
The report then nonchalantly skims over the distinction between the mega-, giga-, tera- projects around the world and lumps them together as if they all pose the same systemic risks to each respective economy. This may serve the purpose of highlighting the manic pace of development taking place in China, but the author's US corollary to China's mega airports, rail infrastructure, city expansion, ports, malls, urban housing (albeit many of which still lie empty), are what I would call vanity mega-projects, such as the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program, the International Space Station, etc.
If I were worried about a major global economy (and the US and China now the two largest economies in the world, by a long shot) "eventually being mired in enormous debt", it would be the one that is spending trillions of dollars on projects that cannot be used to further grow the country's economy in future. Spending billions on improving the county's economic efficiency (such as rail infrastructure, ports, airports, housing for migrant workers, renewable energy, manufacturing, education, etc.) cannot be equated to spending billions on improving the efficiency with which one can obliterate one's adversaries from the sky.
It's Time To Revive Hypercard
Why couldn't a new incarnation of something like Hypercard be cross platform.
I am not familiar with Hypercard (my entry into programming was via Basic first on the ZX Spectrum and later on the Apple IIe), but I would argue that if is was as great at easing lay peoples entry into programming as some claim, then we should rather exert more effort in making a new incarnation of Hypercard that is cross platform, rather than in trying to convince people that second best is better because it is cross platform.
Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay
Yup... our bank has issued Tap and Go + Chip and PIN cards that do not have a mag stripe. MasterCard fought us every step of the certification way... but we got it through - no fall back to mag stripe. You can do contactless payments up to a certain threshold and chip and pin transactions after that.
Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices
You couldn't be more wrong... the point made by Anonymous Coward (no, not you... the first Anonymous Coward) is valid and is informed by legal precedent set during the Microsoft anti trust case.
- 1. Apple has a less than 15% market share... they may be very influential, but I hardly doubt that anything that they do could be construed to be abuse of market share.
- 2. Apple can only dictate iOS requirements to itself since it is the only OEM using iOS. If they make decisions that are bad for the only iOS OEM, Apple are the only OEM to pay the price, not Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi or Motorola.
- 3. Google should be able to dictate how Android is configured for its Nexus line of handsets; but, just as Microsoft was accused of bulling tactics for insisting that Windows OEM licensees had to make Internet Explorer the default browser to maintain their most treasured partner statuses, Google finds itself in a similar position for insisting that OEMs must pre-install Google services (even when the OEM has its own competing alternatives) or risk losing access to high value Google services that are not easily substitutable. By having such an overwhelming market share such that OEM's have very few alternative options, Google could be attracting the same attention that Microsoft attracted when they did the same thing with their market share.
So, just to set the record straight... if Jonny Ive and Craig Federighi decide to screw Dan Riccio over by making onerous demands that the hardware engineering team much comply with in order to qualify to run the next version of iOS, the worst that could happen would be that Apple could have no new hardware to ship their fancy new operating system on next year. There would be howls of protest from investors, mobile network operators and customers... but Apple would be the biggest loser... not their competitors.
What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?
I think that the question makes more sense in geographies that have ubiquitous and reliable bandwidth. For those of us in other parts of the world, the question might be better rephrased as "What percentage of your media consumption is downloaded?". For me, the answer would be over 90%.
Oracle Buying Micros Systems For $5.3 Billion
This article may help you understand why Oracle continues to grow (they just surpassed IBM in revenues from enterprise software sales).
To summarise it quickly for you:
- Worldwide software revenue totalled $407.3bn last year
- Microsoft continues to be the unquestionable enterprise software giant
- Oracle which narrowly overtook IBM is in second place
- Oracle's strong showing was thanks to trends such as big data and analytics.
- The software industry is in the middle of a "multiyear cyclical transition"
- Cloud is driving the bulk of this change
- Pure cloud player Salesforce.com is now the tenth largest enterprise software vendor
Many of the top 10 enterprise software companies are not sexy brands, and most do not even have any consumer products or services. Names that dominate this list include Oracle, IBM, SAP, EMC, CA Technologies and Salesforce.com.
Starbuck's Wireless Charging Stations Won't Work With Most Devices
Mmmm... now that is an interesting angle that I have not seen expressed in any of the other comments.
Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?
And what, exactly, were his options...
... joining Bradley Manning (aka Chelsea Manning) in Extreme Solitary Confinement that has been described as cruel, inhuman and degrading by the United Nations and many others such as this very detailed report on The Torture Of Bradley Manning by Andrew Blake, or this article by Jesselyn Radack that catalogues exactly How the US Military Tortured Bradley Manning
Russia is the last place that I would have thought of seeking refuge... but I think that we must all trust that Snowden probably knew better than all of us which countries would have succumbed to US pressure to hand him back and which would have taken great pleasure in not doing so.
Now, if Snowden is a true patriot, he will fight for the right to come back home and have a fair hearing before a jury of his peers... and seek to be recognised and judged as a whistleblower.
Sony Overtakes Rival Nintendo In Console Sales
I think that it is worth noting that the sales comparison is not lifetime sales, but sales for 2013 only. So, Nintendo's 2012 sales would not have been included.
The fact that the Wii U has been available for longer makes the PS4 2013 sales look even more lacklustre. All the consoles have their best sales immediately after launch (which is why having a good launch catalogue is critical). The Wii U was launched in late 2012, and it is unlikely that 2013 saw the kind of sales that it had in the first few months after launch. However, the PS4 was launched in 2013. So, when you compare sales data for 2013, you are comparing sales data of the latest and greatest that Sony has to offer with the sales performance of a console that most had already panned as being not worth the purchase.
New Car Can Lean Into Curves, Literally
Mercedes says it's not design for increasing cornering speeds, but increasing pleasure for the driver and passengers.
...but is drivers discover that the new Mercedes has superior cornering ability that will be purely coincidental... honest...
HP (Re-)Announces a 14" Android Laptop
I guess this was inevitable... After this strategy worked for Samsung in differentiating itself from Apple's iPhone, someone was bound to try to see if the same strategy would work against the iPad.
I think that what HP missed in Samsung's game plan was that they built their G-series phones as premium devices... size alone was not enough
Selling a whole bunch of cheap devices will get one more market-share, and very little else.
SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule
Maybe the small matter of getting the thing into space using a rocket engine is why they still need the Russians.
The most powerful rocket engines are made by the Russians... and the US buys several a year to launch its biggest payloads into space (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-military-national-security-agencies-vexed-by-dependence-on-russian-rocket-engines/2014/05/30/19822e40-e6c0-11e3-8f90-73e071f3d637_story.html)
SpaceX is developing some pretty powerful launchers, but until they can match the power and reliability of the Russian RD-180, I don't think that NASA or the Pentagon (who are the biggest buyers of the RD-180) will be turning their backs on Russian engines.
From the linked article: "Long-term U.S. plans to produce a domestic cousin to the RD-180 never got off the ground. The aerospace sector discovered that it was comfortable with the workhorse Russian engines when it came time to launch sensitive missions like spy satellites. The Atlas V rocket has made more than 50 consecutive successful launches using the RD-180. NASA and other government agencies rely on the Atlas V for some of their scientific payloads."
I have no doubt that the Dragon capsule will live up to its billing... So far, Elon Musk and SpaceX exceeded expectations on virtually everything. But, until then, the rickety, but dependable Russian Soyuz will continue to be the preferred choice of most astronauts for getting to and from the space station.
However, the real reasons that astronauts like Chris Hadfield et al think that the Russian Soyuz will be hard to replace are hard to fit into a single post.
- Consider, for instance, that the Soyuz TMA-M can hang around the space station for 6 months, and be ready for use to return astronauts safely back to Earth, without a maintenance crew having to go and check every nut and bolt - a feat that even the Space Shuttle could never muster (for the record, the Space Shuttle had a mission duration of about 12 days - a few Columbia missions went up to 16/17 days).
- Another example is that it takes the Soyuz just 6 hours to go from launch to docking with the space station (for comparison, it took the space shuttle almost 3 days to reach the space station after launch).
- There are many other little things like these that are not cool or sexy, but make the ruthless efficiency and effectiveness with which the Soyuz executes and fulfils its purpose is second to none. It will take a lot more than a larger tin-can and a more comfortable ride to convince astronauts to put their lives in SpaceX's hands.
German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring
Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do
Sounds eerily like the same thing that dictators have been saying for years when citizens organise themselves on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Heck, it was just two short years ago that we were hailing the ability for the common folk in Arab countries to organise themselves on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, outside the watchful eye of state agencies, and plot the often violent overthrow of an unpopular government.
Surely if organising violent protest action on social networks was good for the Arab Spring, it should be good for the European Spring
So... what has changed... have the roosters come home to roost!?
WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan
No, I am saying the direct opposite of that:
...we should instead seek to bestow upon the people of Afghanistan the very same freedom, liberties and values that we treasure and hold dear
I know it is a bit of a long read, but it is in the same paragraph that you have selectively quoted from.
WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan
Most of us can live with the fact that our security and secret agencies sustain our way of life, maintain our security and liberties, preserve our freedoms and protect our and values by denying others (often in far flung lands) of the same as long as we are not forced to confront the morality of that reality or explain to those whose rights, freedoms and liberties the preservation of our own tramples upon why they are not worthy of the very values, liberties and freedoms that we are willing to go to such lengths to protect and preserve?
The activities of spy agencies of every country are conducted in secret for a reason. Often we, the tax payers in whose name those agencies conduct their business, do not want to know the price that some innocent person in some part of the world that we barely know of may have paid for the preservation of our own way of life. We would much rather believe that they deserved to have their rights trampled upon, their liberties denied, their freedom curtailed and yes, if necessary, their life snuffed out; so we grasp at the justifications that our security agencies give us to help us sleep at night: Afghanistan is a cesspool of terrorists... they want to destroy our way of life... etc, etc.
So, it seems that the NSA is monitoring every cell phone call in the Bahamas, Afghanistan and probably every other country that uses US made telecommunication equipment. This revelation should not be a surprise, and we, the tax payer that pays for this should, be relieved to see confirmation that our spy agencies are using our tax dollars to detect threats to our freedoms, liberties, and general way of life before they materialise on our shores...
Our feigned disapproval comes not from finding out the details of what our spy agency has been up to in our name, but rather from the internal conflict that we all must confront at discovering the true price of our way of life.
Here is a reality check for all of us: our freedom, liberties and way of life often come at at the cost of denying someone else of their freedom, liberty and sometimes their life. So, instead of pretending to be surprised at the discovery of what the NSA has been up to in Afghanistan, we should instead seek to bestow upon the people of Afghanistan the very same freedom, liberties and values that we treasure and hold dear, so that hopefully one day, they too can attain the same levels of property that we enjoy and drive out the terrorists who not only threaten us, but threaten them and their ability to prosper as well.
Jury Finds Apple and Samsung Infringed Each Other's Patents
I think that scenario has already played out before a South Korean court.
The summary from the Wall Street Journal:
The Seoul Central District Court rejected all of Samsung's claims against Apple, including a request to pay 100 million won (about US$95,000) in damages. It noted that the two patents are invalid because they can be easily developed using existing technologies.
You can read about it here: http://online.wsj.com/news/art...
In 2012, a Korean court had found that Apple did infringe on 2 standards essential Samsung patents. This is what got Samsung into trouble with the European Union regulators, because you cannot volunteer your technology to become part of a standard and then later hold the industry (or competitors in the industry) to ransom by selectively refusing to license that technology on FRAND terms - this is the same reason that Obama overturned the iPhone ban, by the way.
Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?
"...and I've hidden a spare mobile phone and house key in a box in a nearby field."
Is this for real or is this just for laughs... Are you really expecting such a massive catastrophe that none of your neighbours would have a phone... not even a passer-by... not even a fireman attending to the catastrophe!? Given the scenario you have just described... what would you use the hidden key for... "the smoldering (sic) lock" lying in a pile of ash?
I obsess over old family photographs that are yet to be digitised, certificates, awards, children's memorabilia, etc.... basically stuff that no amount of money or insurance could ever replace. Things like passports, identity documents, some data backups with bank and insurance details, etc. are in a fire proof safe... but I still do not have a solution for those bulky irreplaceable items.
DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software
Firstly, it is DARPA... so we are not just talking about civilian applications (although that will surely follow) but we are talking about the wide scale military and civilian application of technologies that various military and aeronautical platforms (think Space Shuttle) have possessed for years.
Secondly, it is DARPA... so we are talking about spending billions of tax payers money to duplicate civilian efforts in the hope that the military industrial complex can trickle down these benefits to civilian applications faster and more efficiently than the commercial efforts can.
Finally, because it is DARPA... we are all hoping that this is not the start of yet another road that leads to yet another F-22 or F-35 project that will cost the tax payer hundreds of billions and fall far short of what was promised.
So... yes, this announcement is different in many ways
This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions
Paging through that magazine reminded me of why I got into computer engineering to begin with... I remember looking forward to each magazine, for the various programming quickies... I remember waiting for my first PCB etching kit so that I could design my own circuit boards...
When men were real men and computer engineers were real engineers.