Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone
Who's the other major software vendor? Microsoft? They spell out their support policies quite clearly. Everyone knew well in advance when Microsoft was ending support for XP, an OS that's been supported far, far longer than anything from Apple. My Intel iMac at home is stuck at OSX 10.6.8. It was built several months too soon and lacked some random bit of hardware related to the BIOS which disqualified it from being a proper 64-bit machine. By the time Apple announced it was dropping support for that version I hadn't seen updates in about a year anyway.
Instead of just criticizing Apple for what they do wrong, there seems to be this compulsion to make everything relative so that Apple doesn't look so bad. I'd argue that in this particular case Microsoft is a lot better than Apple. Apple seems content to sweep things under the rug as long as they can get away with it.
Woman Attacked In San Francisco Bar For Wearing Google Glass
People turn quite irrational at the prospect of being photographed or filmed. I've run into problems overseas, but I almost think it's worse in the US. People seem to take issue with the mere presence of a camera. If you're shooting buildings that are not established landmarks you get odd looks. And I got approached once because I was taking photos of car taillights for a project. They were still suspicious after showing them my shots. The only time you're really not going to have a problem is when you're with friends and your camera is clearly pointed at them.
Google Glass, however, takes this perceived threat to a whole other level because you've got a camera stuck to your head and in the minds of the ignorant you're recording everything you see.
Of course, we don't really know the nature of the incident; if this woman was antagonistic herself, if the other party were resentful of someone flaunting wealth, if theft was the motive, or if they really were just plain stupid. Either way, bars and such tend to attract imbeciles which is why I would never wear something like Google Glass out at night. At least not until the technology became ubiquitous and accepted.
Mt. Gox Gone? Apparent Theft Shakes Bitcoin World
The fundamental reason why humans have developed currency is because no other system is equipped to properly cope with the complexities of goods and services. Bartering already was not feasible thousands of years ago on a large scale, and it's even less realistic a model today.
Let's say you want to buy a car. How do you barter for that? Drive up with a truck load of corn? Or do you take a job at Ford and build your own car? Are you also going to stamp your own steel, mix your own paint, manufacturer your own fastners? What about all the electronics going into that car?
Perhaps someday we'll have some incredible utopia were everyone selflessly works for free and robots do most work for us. But until that day comes we need money.
I'd argue Bitcoin could be as legitimate a currency as anything else, but the problem is that it's pegged to nothing. It's value is entirely defined by being a get-rich-quick scheme. Sure, there are plenty of people playing similar games with legitimate currencies, but they're not the ones defining its value because those currencies are still tied to more tangible things.
Why Is US Broadband So Slow?
First of all, if you think broadband is slow in the US, you clearly haven't traveled overseas. The numbers might look good on paper, but in the experience of myself and others the reality rarely reflects what the numbers promise.
Secondly, the arrangement telcos enjoy overseas is usually even more monopolistic than it is in the US. Usually, there's a single provider who does everything and often that company is partially owned by the government. Mind you, they're still for profit enterprises, their involvement with the government generally involves subsidies and infrastructure investment. The multiple providers you see are really nothing more than resellers. Service overseas isn't necessarily cheaper either, but when it is, that's thanks to those subsidies meaning that what you're saving on your monthly bill comes out of what you pay in taxes.
I'm not saying things are better in the US, but merely pointing out that the grass isn't as green overseas as these articles always imply.
"Microsoft Killed My Pappy"
The perception has little to do with anything Microsoft actually did and everything to do with branding. To one extent or another all the major players in the tech industry have engaged in similar kinds of questionable activities. But Microsoft got associated with boring office drones and Apple, and to a lesser extent Google, are perceived as representing a hip counter culture. That makes the brand a lot more desirable, allowing consumers to be forgiving of shortcomings.
What surprises me is how Apple has been able to hold on to it's reputation this long. But people continue associating product design with innovation. So despite the fact that both Microsoft and Google do more real innovation, Apple is the one that continues to be perceived as the big innovator.
Increasingly, I find people grasping at straws to justify their dislike of Microsoft. There's nothing wrong with having your own preference but it gets to a point where it feels like you're discussing religion or politics.
Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X
Because the short work week in France and long siesta in Spain is doing wonders for their respective economies. Furthermore, the majority of Americans don't work as hard as everyone seems to believe. You don't know what being overworked is until you've been anywhere in Asia; they just don't complain about it like Americans do.
Star Trek Economics
The fundamental difference between our world and Star Trek's is that everyone there is shown to be self-motivating and productive.
I can easily see a scenario where progress and culture stagnate because everyone's needs are provided for. I think all that would happen is the majority spends their life engaged in hedonistic pursuits and doesn't contribute much of anything to society. If you ask me, it sounds a lot like Hollywood and trust fund kids. The problem is that the majority will probably end up bored and restless. And they'll still find ways to stratify society.
I don't think humans have hit that critical cultural shift that could enable a Star Trek-like society.
Foxconn Building Factories In Indonesia
Foxconn is Taiwanese, not Chinese. That's an essential distinction because neither the Taiwanese government nor their businessmen have any allegiance to the People's Republic of China. The fact that they've torn down a lot of barriers to travel and business is primarily due to opportunities for profit.
Taiwan still has a strong manufacturing base and like most other countries shifting manufacturing to China because it was cheaper. The fundamental driver, was cheap labor and overall lower cost of doing business. However, in many cases they retained the expertise for themselves, generally sending Taiwanese over to China to run the factories. This is in contrast to Americans who essentially outsource everything and then leave quality control and factory management in the hands of the locals.
This makes it much easier for Taiwanese to pull out and move their manufacturing elsewhere. They aren't stuck with this knowledge base in China they've invested in. Moving a factory isn't a big deal if there's a good case for it. It's relatively easy to train locals to work at your factory. However, engineers and managers with intimate knowledge of the process and all its nuances is much harder to replace.
The end result is that in the long run China is screwed. Unlike the Japanese, Koreans and Taiwanese, they're still a ways away from establishing their own technological base that enables them to not be reliant on manufacturing. The Taiwanese have had a harder time establishing their own brands, but they've practically cornered the market in high end manufacturing. Their companies are less likely to suffer a conflict of interest, unlike Samsung, and the stuff they make has a high degree of quality.
US Democrats Introduce Bill To Restore Net Neutrality
Net neutrality as it's described here seems like a good thing. Net neutrality as the government would implement it is not necessarily a good thing. From day one I've found the whole thing to be murky and have trouble understanding why it's inherently a good thing. The impression I get is that one group of corporations profits from it going one way and another group profits from it going the other way. If we operate from the assumption that they're all looking out for their own bests interests, then the people are screwed either way.
The ridiculous thing I'm seeing here on Slashdot is the persistent claim that ISPs are exclusively in the pockets of Republicans. They're equally strong supporters of Democrats. Late last year a Comcast executive held a fundraiser for Obama, which he attended and gave a speech at. Doesn't seem like Comcast is a company afraid they won't get their way. And typically contributions fluctuate between whichever party is in power. Only the ignorant masses, who also feel betrayed when an athlete leaves their favorite team, remain fiercely and irrationally loyal. It's fascinating how effective propaganda in America actually is.
The Moderately Enthusiastic Programmer
In my experience when a company says they want someone "passionate" what they mean is that they want someone willing to work overtime on a regular basis. Secondarily, they want someone who doesn't question overtly stupid decisions.
Just do what you're told and be enthusiastic that you have a job.
Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize
Outside of the prizes in science most of the awards have always seemed to be based around reinforcing the ideology of the Nobel committee. The prizes for Obama and Arafat, however, were especially ridiculous because they were founded in wishful thinking, the thought that somehow the Nobel Prize would spur something positive.
Without question, Snowden is more deserving of the prize than they were, even if this is little more than a political statement. However, we've yet to feel the full implications of his leaks and don't really know what the end result will be. I don't think nearly enough time has elapsed for a proper assessment to be made.
Not that it matters much given that the Nobel Prize seems to be slipping into irrelevancy.
IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too
The PCjr was my first computer growing up. If it had a shortcoming it was only the existence of the PC. But before EGA came along it was the only way in the PC world, to enjoy 16 color graphics. Also, with a 3-channel speak it offered a better audio experience than you got out of the IBM PC's speaker. Ours came with two keyboards, the chiclet keyboard everyone complained about and a replacement with conventional keys. As a kid, I preferred the look of the chiclet keyboard, but the keys had too much travel for the way they were shaped. The fact that they were infrared was great, as long as you didn't have a book in the way of the sensor. Or someone didn't come in with a second keyboard and screw with you.
For all the fondness people display towards Apple, by comparison their machines at the time were crap. My school had Apple 2's which weren't good for a whole lot, especially the ones saddled with 2-color displays. We did have a single weird Apple clone that rendered more color. The Macintosh wasn't a consideration given it was so expensive. We got our PCjr for about $1000. The PC was maybe another $500 on top of that. But the Macintosh was easily $2500 and about all it had going for it was the GUI.
Early on my father got an attachment offered by a company called Legacy that doubled the size of the machine but gave us an extra 520k and a second floppy drive. I don't remember now but I think we even got a 20MB harddrive for the machine. We definitely got quite a few good years of use out of that machine.
Although, I'd be lying if I didn't look longingly at Amigas with their fantastic 4096 color displays.
Bitcoin Exchange CEO Charlie Shrem Arrested On Money Laundering Charge
Guys at that level get out of jail by writing a letter to the government stating that they'll be good next time and that they really, really mean it.
Public Libraries Tinker With Offering Makerspaces
Is it me or is the maker movement based around a bunch of hispters patting themselves on the back for doing stuff humans have been doing for eons? They'll spam everyone about a crappy iPhone holder but wouldn't be able to switch out a faulty light switch in their own apartment.
Outside of making 3D printers accessible I'm not sure how libraries could feasibly offer workshops. People don't only work in plastic, and presently 3D printing is a novelty for your average person.
Microsoft Reports Record Revenue
Just because someone has a preference you don't agree with doesn't make them a shill.
Not to mention that you're just resorting to an ad hominem attack instead of arguing a legitimate counterpoint.
Stephen Hawking: 'There Are No Black Holes'
Why is it an aberration? From what I've seen technology and science has resulted in a sort of feedback loop that accelerates progress. It's possible that this rate of progress is not sustainable indefinitely but currently I see no evidence of it stalling.
I think if it does happen it wont be due to reaching a knowledge plateau, but rather because of detrimental social forces. Certainly, total economic collapse or a widespread cataclysm are two scenarios. But marginally more likely is too much of a focus on consumerism and a marked lack of interest in science and technology. Certainly, celebrity culture seems to encouraging such a world. Even then, however, I have difficulty seeing the current rate of progress abate.
Electrical Engineering Lost 35,000 Jobs Last Year In the US
Ironically, Taiwan has off-shored a lot of that work to China. They're caught between trying to take advantage of economic opportunities in China and trying to protect their own industries. But I think the draw of money is winning out and there's this gradual erosion occurring in Taiwan. They're stuck competing on price with Chinese companies. So while unemployment is still very low, salaries have generally stalled for at least a decade.
Code.org: Give Us More H-1B Visas Or the Kids Get Hurt
The proposal is outrageous on its own; train kids for nonexistent jobs that have been outsourced to the lowest bidders.
The suggestion that H1Bs are enabling opportunities to foreigners by providing a path to immigration is equally offensive. The reality is that any individuals interested in immigrating are going to do so via the traditional means, and that's assuming they didn't come here to study first.
The vast majority of H1B applications are filed by outsourcing companies in an amusing twist of irony. These companies are realizing that a remote workforce can be problematic. So they've discovered that they've got a cash cow in H1Bs. Apply existing employees for H1Bs and then charge double or triple for the opportunity to ship them over to the US. In most cases they're still cheaper than employing Americans, especially for higher level positions. And if an outsourcing company has someone critical to a client then they've got them by the balls. Pay more to retain that employee or they've already got someone lined up to hire him. I've seen it happen firsthand.
Second, we really need to end this mentality that dumping more money on the inner city is going to fix anything. That money almost always goes to building a beautiful new school to replace the old one to create the illusion of progress and that the government cares. But the same old problems persist. And there's a fundamental reason for this; if the parents don't care and can't be bothered to participate in the education of their children then the kids will never excel.
This is why teacher reviews is such a problem. A poor teacher in a better district is always going to score well. But a good teacher stuck merely trying to keep order on the class in a bad area will always score poorly. Not that the schools in wealthier communities are much better with all the helicopter parents and self-important, spoiled brats.
I haven't even touched on the fiasco that is common core, where they're not only trying to impose what to teach but even how to teach it, oblivious to the variety of teaching techniques and individual personalities. It's typical garbage formulated by management who is completely disconnected from the realities of the situation. The fact that politics plays a factor here only makes it worse.
Fix those fundamental cultural problems and then we can start talking about fixing the schools. But it's next to impossible to even get started when you've got assholes undermining the entire system for their own gain.
The appeal of H1Bs is that it's easier to exploit those workers. What the government should be doing is giving green cards to anyone with a degree or proof that the have a good handle on English and can sustain themselves. But that inevitably means empowered immigrants who are more likely to question the crap offers they're given.
Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'
What you're describing happens primarily with Western companies. If you see an American ex-pat you can pretty much guarantee he's working for an American company. And yes, they're sickeningly generous, but these are also upper management types we're talking about. These individuals don't comprise the typical workforce who are hired locally. And a big factor in why the pay packages are so generous is because the number of people willing to do this is small.
Asian companies, however, are not nearly as generous. It varies quite a bit by company, but generally what gets offered is somewhat higher pay and that's about it. As far as Asian companies hiring foreigners, outside of top executives and major corporations, it's extremely rare for them to do the equivalent of an H1B for Westerners. So rare I don't think it happens at all.
Companies in Asia do hire foreigners, and often times do hire merely for the clout of having a foreigner on staff but they hire from the local work force. This means foreigners already living in the country, often times having previously worked as an English teacher. It's common that they earn a hire income than locals, but it's not a given and the difference is usually marginal.
Some countries there do have the equivalent of work visas but they're more restrictive than what we have here although the goal is the same; to cut costs. Unskilled labor typically comes from Southeast Asia and skilled labor from India. The rules for unskilled labor tend to be incredibly limiting and at times outright exploitative. Get in trouble with the law once and you're on the first plane back home.
Servant staff, however, has it worse than anyone conditions often being outright exploitative. People do go to jail for abuses, but even your average person does things that would make any American blush. I knew someone who employed Filipina woman registered as a nanny, but using her has a maid, who slept in what was basically a big closet.
I'm not saying things are roses in America and I'm not justifying anything. However, I find that people most critical of conditions here haven't seen what things are really like in the rest of the world.
Engineers: Traffic Studies Use Simulation Software, Not Lane Closings
No, the real question is, has politics stooped so low that political staff (and possibly politicians) feel entitled to act like petulant little children and expect to get away with it?
This question has long since been answered. Anyone who follows local politics knows that this sort of thing is a daily occurrence. The difference is that most of these politicians don't have aspirations of being president, they just want all the perks and kickbacks that come with the position. So none of it ever gets the attention it deserves.
If you're stuck in a city or town that has voted in the same party for decades then there's corruption and nepotism on a level you can't even imagine. So the fact that it tricks up to state level isn't surprising at all. Sometimes it makes it all the way up to Federal government, but those guys are operating on a whole other level.