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Comments

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Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder

N!NJA Re:This is out of control (995 comments)

The amount of media coverage. International press. 24/7 news cycle. The constant lies. "Zimmerman is white". Showing images of Trayvon Martin when he was only 12 and not 17 (and 6'3"). Editing the 911 call from Zimmerman to make him seem racist.

This is all beside the point. He shot an innocent with candies and has not been arrested for it, Mostly because of a complacent police dept. There's an old saying that goes:

After "I-am-sorry" was born, nobody ever got beaten up again.

Apologies won't bring the dead back to life. Zimmerman must be tried for it and, if found guilty, he should be jailed for a lonnnnnng time.

This event is exposing the worst of this country.

Agreed. It's exposing racism and impunity.

more than 2 years ago
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Assessing Media Bias: Microsoft Vs. Everyone Else

N!NJA Big time. (364 comments)

A telephone that can't reliably place or receive calls (thanks to an exclusive partner, AT&T).
An Internet/multimedia tablet that doesn't support Flash. Or has USB/HDMI ports.

Yes, Apple gets away with a lot. Right now, they can sell a fridge to an eskimo.

more than 2 years ago
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Scientists close to entering Vostok, Antarctica's

N!NJA BBC's Horizon (1 comments)

Fascinating story. I first heard of Lake Vostok some years ago when watching an episode of Horizon and I remember how curious I became about the possibility of new and strange forms of life in those waters. Bless the BBC for keeping such an enlightening programme on air for this long.

more than 2 years ago
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MS To Build Antivirus Into Win8: Boon Or Monopoly?

N!NJA Re:Bill was right (748 comments)

Exactly! Mod parent up.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Denies Reports That Airport Scanners Ruin Kindle's e-Ink

N!NJA Re:Nothing here (182 comments)

I think the Archos 5 uses resistive screen. But I agree. It could have been anything else. Even the greater proximity to God.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Denies Reports That Airport Scanners Ruin Kindle's e-Ink

N!NJA Re:Nothing here (182 comments)

I own an Archos 5 IMT, which, although doesn't use e-ink, has a touchscreen. Recently, during my first flight with it, I noticed the screen had become completely unresponsive. I was forced to put it aside. The device was working properly the day before, and was back to normal again when I tried it again at the hotel. While not a sample size as large as yours, it's meaningful to me because my device has always worked properly with the exception of that flight.

There might be some component inside these gadgets that is either:

a) affected by the pre-flight scanners.

or

b) the in-flight instruments.

more than 2 years ago
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HP Slate 2: Brilliant or Bust?

N!NJA HP has hit the iceberg... Intel isn't helping. (235 comments)

Exactly year ago, when HP released the Slate 500 (the predecessor to this Slate 2), there was a lot excitement among Tablet PC enthusiasts regarding the device. the device had been hinted by Ballmer at CES, then touted by HP, then mysteriously killed by the company, then suddenly resurrected by HP. Once released, the device sold out remarkably quick and became a source of frustration to those that awaited months for production to catch up with demand. It was obvious that HP had underestimated the Slate 500's appeal. The device got mostly good reviews from its owners. But at at treat point, HP had already shifted focus to the Touchpad, which got all attention, marketing and resources.

If you needed dual-boot capability, MS Office (or LibreOffice, like me!), Winamp, Notepad++, VirtualBox, Firefox and other Windows apps; and you happened to be into tablet computing; the Slate 500 offered you a platform to both consume media and do real work on the go....with all the amenities of laptops such USB, HDMI, SD Card slot, Bluetooth, etc. Truth be told, not cheap as a netbook, but you'd get a business-grade machine with decent durability, a docking station and a touchscreen.

Fast forward 12 months to this Slate 2. Intel convinced HP to "upgrade" (this word, plus "innovate" have truly lost their meaning) from the original Atom Z540 used on the Slate 500, to the slower Atom Z670. Not only is the CPU inside the "upgraded" Slate 2 quite slower, but its integrated graphics suffers from some crippling driver-induced sickness that prevents the GPU from even performing at the levels of the year-old Slate 500. Not only the new HP Slate 2 got beat by its predecessor from a year ago, but it also arrived too late, as Fujitsu released a slate of similar specs (the Q550) about 6 months ago.

I own 2 Tablet PCs (I'm handwriting this from one of them right now), but if you want to try this platform (this is not a toy), do yourself a favor and get a Tablet PC from someone else (the Samsung Series 7 Slate looks good). HP has lost its way.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft's Looming 'Single Windows Ecosystem'

N!NJA Shame on MS & partners. TabletPCs lacked promo (163 comments)

The TabletPC platform failed because of the lack of promotion. Microsoft and the OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, etc) have never -- to this day -- to advertise Tablet PCs. I have never seen a Tablet PC ad anywhere. Ever! Not even in brochures mailed by the aforementioned companies! They don't even appear on the Home Page of those OEMs. They've bastardized the technology from the start. Then they waited for someone with more vision and interest in it to fully capitalize on the idea. This someone turned out to be Apple, who, since Day-1, has made enormous fanfare about the platform. Let's face it, Apple's remarkable marketing machine could convince an eskimo to buy an iFridge. Kudos to them.

Shame on Microsoft and friends for their utter incompetence at showing people that they have had tablets for a decade and what such machines were like. And before someone starts bitching about the Tablet PC's initial reliance on a stylus (pen), know that Apple is currently working on a stylus for a future iPad. Once it comes out, people will think that Apple invented the tablet....and the stylus! Brilliant! :-D

- Proudly owner of TabletPCs (TC1100 and TM2) for 5 years.

more than 3 years ago
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HP Reportedly Cancels Plans for Windows 7 Tablet

N!NJA Re:Dell coming out with Android Tablets (181 comments)

the problem is that a 2-min wait for a boot and a 10-sec wait to launch a browser is not acceptable to many people that have used decent computers before. besides, Flash does not run well on Atom processors. that's a fact. and HP was already bragging about Flash support on the Slate, which, although a nice plus, would leave people with a bitter taste in their mouth when they tried fullscreen playback.

i have the excellent HP tm2 tablet with an Intel SU7300 and 4Gb of RAM running Win7. after tweaking my Services and Startup progs, it still takes it a whole minute to start the tablet and launch IE (takes longer to lauch FF with all my addons. this kind of wait isnt a big deal to me, but the people who have smartphones or have used the iPad, are expecting tablets with 2-sec boots. i would not buy an iPad for the very same reason i would not buy an Atom Slate running Win7: it would be too expensive (HP was planning a $550 price tag) for the half-baked computer experience it would provide.

more than 4 years ago
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HP Reportedly Cancels Plans for Windows 7 Tablet

N!NJA Dell coming out with Android Tablets (181 comments)

Dell seems to have realized http://www.androidcentral.com/dell-looking-glass-tablet-tegra-2-love a lot earlier that Windows 7 would not be responsive enough on a slow processor and made the conscious and responsible move towards an alternative OS before HP. It has taken HP months of tests to realize that an Atom CPU and Win7 aren't a match made in heaven. They even posted videos on their YouTube channel recently! HP should either upgrade the Slate's CPU and stick with Win7 -- which would give them a larger-than-life ecosystem -- or they should go with Android, which, not only is open, but it's also growing in popularity at a great pace http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-features/49518-android-market-hits-50k-app-mark/.

more than 4 years ago
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5 Reasons Tablets Suck, and You Won't Buy One

N!NJA Re:I Have a Tablet, and It's Brilliant! (553 comments)

It's not really ironic that with deep discounts in addition to coupons you can get this cheaply, but it's hardly relevant to the average customer, who gets neither.

the average customer is screwed no matter what. he/she doesnt know the difference between a Pentium II, Pentium Dual Core, Pentium D and a Core 2 Duo. hell, even i would have to look for benchmarks on Tom's Hardware website in order to find out what is what.

more than 4 years ago
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5 Reasons Tablets Suck, and You Won't Buy One

N!NJA Re:I Have a Tablet, and It's Brilliant! (553 comments)

you are not being realistic.

Tablets, by Apple or HP, are designed to be as light as possible and provide a decent battery life because people who buy them, will be carrying them around and will neither put up with electronic dumbbells nor will they be searching for wall outlets to which the device can be connected. therefore, both the CPU and GPU must be relatively "humble" and spare the battery from the stress to which Alienware lappies are usually subject.

there will never be a Tablet with the latest CPU and Graphics plus the biggest HD..... just as there will never be a sports car there will be suitable to both carry the family to the beach, the horse to the vet, and the hottie lover to a restaurant in Monaco.

more than 4 years ago
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5 Reasons Tablets Suck, and You Won't Buy One

N!NJA Re:I Have a Tablet, and It's Brilliant! (553 comments)

i have a TC1100 and will get a tm2 next! :-) i agree with you 100%. i cannot see myself using a regular laptop anymore. a TabletPC covers all bases. and it's great for reading! be it online news, comic books or ebooks!

most of those people dissing the TabletPC have never used one. the only reason why Tablets never got popular is because Dell, HP, Lenovo and Fujitsu never cared (or gave a damn) about promoting the technology! Apple's fanfare over the iPad will payoff with the selling of zillions of units (despite the lack of a real OS or USB!). Apple can sell a fridge to an eskimo!

now it's too late for Dell and the others.... iPads will become synonym of Tablets and no one will ever know that other manufacturers have been making Tablets for more than 5 years.

Apple wasnt the first to make MP3 Players, but they marketed the iPod heavily. on the other hand, Creative, who is one of the pioneers on the field of MP3 devices, has been relegated to oblivion....

the story will repeat itself with the Tablets. being the first to produce something is pointless if no ones knows about it.

more than 4 years ago
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5 Reasons Tablets Suck, and You Won't Buy One

N!NJA Re:Tablets suck (no, they don't!) (553 comments)

i, too, have a TabletPC. it's an old HP TC1100 that shall be replaced with a new HP tm2 sometime this year. when working on it, i only need to switch to laptop mode if i'm coding HMTL or C#. for any other task, i use one of the 2 following features (built-in WinXP Tablet Edition):

- hand-writing recognition (it works very well).
- dictation (works ok coz i'm not a native English speaker).

more than 4 years ago
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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

N!NJA HP tm2t (401 comments)

more affordable?! from Lenovo?! you're are kidding, right? HP has been making Tablets for years and, unlike Lenovo's, they have been truly affordable. compare the tablets below. both are current and have similar specs.

- Lenovo Thinkpad X200 Tablet ($1,500).
- HP tm2t ($950).

and HP is cooking up another Tablet to be released this summer. this new one will be a slate (ie, no physical keyboard). it was briefly showed by Ballmer during the last CES. no doubt the iPad will sell like hotcakes. Apple's hype can sell fridges to Eskimos! however, if there's a company with any chance of competing with Apple on this category, this company is HP! period!

i'm glad Apple got into this market. competition is great. it will lead to cheaper tablets from all manufacturers.

more than 4 years ago
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IdeaPad U1, What We Wanted the iPad To Be

N!NJA Re:LOL! The Standard iPad Damage Control Meme (401 comments)

The iPad is the laughing stock of the computer world.
It has become the poster child for joke overhyped products.
Most of the Apple Hipster Douchebag Starbucks iPhone crowd are distancing themselves from the stench of the epic iPad fail.

agreed. the only tablet worth my money is the HP tm2t! that's a real computer, not an overpriced toy.

more than 4 years ago
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Bono Hopes Content Tracking Will Help Media Moguls

N!NJA Mom, look! That's me! (569 comments)

cut the guy some slack.... maybe all he wants is to keep track of how many times his photo has appeared on the news or on the package of some gadget.

more than 4 years ago
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Lawsuit Claims Top iPhone Games Stole User Data

N!NJA note to Apple (149 comments)

mass-adoption is a security liability. it must be feared as much as holes and bugs in software. how does it feel to be in Microsoft's shoes? go ahead, fanbois. mod me down.

more than 4 years ago
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Comic Books Improve Early Childhood Literacy

N!NJA Re:Uncle Scrooge and Nephews in the 50s (127 comments)

Barks' work has been inspirational for Spielberg and Lucas...

from Wikipedia:

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have acknowledged that the rolling-boulder booby trap in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark was inspired by the 1954 Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge adventure "The Seven Cities of Cibola" (Uncle Scrooge #7). Lucas and Spielberg have also said that some of Barks's stories about space travel and the depiction of aliens had an influence on them.[3] Lucas wrote the foreword to the 1982 Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times. In it he calls Barks's stories "cinematic" and "a priceless part of our literary heritage".

those comics were of a remarkable quality! they expanded both my knowledge of history (Greeks, Romans, Vikings, etc) and vocabulary immensely. it was also through Barks' stories i learned English (painfully translating word-by-word with a dictionary). it's sad that those characters and stories got so over-simplified for the "Ducktales" cartoon.

for more info on Barks works, check out:
inducks.org
BarksBase

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Woz tells Bloomberg that "Jobs" is not entertaining, accurate or fair.

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  about a year ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "In this interesting 15-minute interview to Bloomberg, Woz speaks of his disappointment at the movie, which, covers Steve Jobs first stay at Apple. According to Woz, the movie got a lot of things wrong and was unfair to other people who worked with Jobs at that time. When asked what was the biggest mistake of the movie, Woz answered: "Kutcher has too much of this fan thing — like a cult leader — and could not see that he [Jobs] had a lot of flaws in knowing how to run things and execute to make products that were worthwhile". He also said that the movie over-glorifies Jobs and "it makes it look like he [Jobs] was forced out of the company for no good reason." Woz also said he loved "Pirates Of The Silicon Valley"."
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How Has Windows Search Improved Since Win2k? Hint: It Hasn't!

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  about 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Win2k has a special place in my heart. Sadly, due to planned obsolescence it's no longer possible to use this fantastic operating system with the latest software available (without manual modifications). [...]

If I try to access the network from a Windows 2000 workstation or server it is instant. Try the same on a XP or Win7 system and you'll have to wait patiently. It is almost impossible to understand, especially when you consider that I can type www.techspot.com into my browser, get a DNS lookup and be brought to this site within less than a second. But to access a machine in our own company, which is at most 500 meters away, going through a switch or two and a gateway can take several orders of magnitude longer! [...]

Enter Windows 7 and search has yet again been "improved." Honestly, the search as you type functionality is an obvious usability enhancement, as is the lack of dogs, balloon tooltips and other such nonsense! So what's wrong then? Well, it doesn't work as you would expect. For example, if you have two programs installed, one called UltraVNC and the other TightVNC and you search for it on the start-menu by typing "vnc" into the search box, nothing will be found. This behavior is inconsistent with Windows XP where this search would work. What you need to do is precede the search string with an asterisk, so *vnc does the trick. That's not so bad you might say, but why make the change, and why isn't it consistent? Why can I find vnc if I search for "tight" or "ultra" without an asterisk at the end of the string?"

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HP CEO to frustrated employees: "A sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill."

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "This is a recent article on Fortune that sheds new light on the troubles inside HP. The battles between members of the board of directors as well as the atmosphere between lower management and engineers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A few months after she took over as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) last September, Meg Whitman held one in a series of get-to-know-you meetings with employees. To say the audience, a group of software engineers and managers, was sullen would be an understatement. As Whitman spoke, many of them glared at her. Others weren't making eye contact with their new boss. Their heads were down, and they were tapping furiously on handheld devices.

"Your comments are being live-blogged," one employee told her defiantly. Whitman challenged the man. "You all have taken leaking to a new art form," she said. "It's a sign of an unhappy company. You wish HP ill." The tapping suddenly stopped, and as the room fell silent, the mobile devices were lowered.

The employees' open contempt for the head of the company and Whitman's acknowledgment of their misery were signs of just how dire things had gotten inside the technology titan after a humiliating series of epic stumbles last year. [...]

The saga of HP's 11 months under Léo Apotheker begins in November 2010. To understand it, you need to appreciate what he found and how HP got to that point. The company seemed strong at that moment, its swagger restored during the five years Mark Hurd had been in charge. Earnings per share had quadrupled. The stock price had doubled. HP was No. 1 in PC shipments, No. 1 in printers, No. 1 in servers.

But just under the surface was a very different reality: HP was traumatized, its employees disengaged. Internal "voice of the company" surveys revealed that morale had cratered. One top executive told Apotheker she felt "maimed" by Hurd's hard-charging style. A company hailed for its vaunted "HP way" — which emphasized employee autonomy — had stifled creativity to the point where workers now had a rueful phrase to describe the way they tuned out and pretended to be clueless when executives asked them to do something: "flipping the bozo bit.""

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Amazon's Kindle Fire has 54% of Android tablet market. Samsung 15%.

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "While Apple continues to overwhelmingly dominate the tablet space with its one-size-fits-all iPad (albeit with both a new and ‘old', cheaper version concurrently on sale), the multiplicity of Android tablets on the market from numerous manufacturers hasn't yet helped Google to capture a significant chunk of market share.

In an interesting twist, though, it's emerged that Google's Android market share isn't entirely its own, as figures from market analysts comScore (via PR Newswire) reveal that, as of February 2012, Amazon's Kindle Fire had grabbed an impressive 54.4% of Android tablet market share. Why is this significant? Well, the Kindle Fire doesn't use Android in the strictest sense. At its heart, the OS is based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but Amazon ripped out just about everything that it could."

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Pirates drop Xvid in favor of x264. Controversy ensues.

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "A collection of the top pirate groups on Bittorrent have got together and decided to swap from the Xvid video compression scheme to the x264 codec, with the objective of offering higher quality files. [...] However, the move has proved controversial, due to the inability for some standalone DVD players to cope with the MP4 format. Interestingly, a subgroup of pirates has emerged who are taking the new MP4 releases, transcoding them back to Xvid and AVI, and re-uploading them to satisfy this demand.

TorrentFreak quotes several users complaining about the change, including one who wrote: "Please can you revert back to AVI as most DVD players cannot recognize MP4 format and this means I need to do conversion to AVI all the time for my grandmother and it's quite painful.""

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Russians may find new life in Subglacial Lake Vostok

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Those who had the privilege of watching the fascinating documentary The Lost World of Lake Vostok on BBC's Horizon, know that this lake has been buried under 4km (14,000 ft) of ice for millions of years and might be inhabited by never-before-seen species of microbes, fish, plants and animals. More about the lake on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Vostok. Now, the Russian scientists that have drilled towards the lake since the 90's are close to reaching its waters.

After 20 years of drilling, a team of Russian researchers is close to breaching the prehistoric Lake Vostok, which has been trapped deep beneath Antarctica for the last 14 million years. Vostok is the largest in a sub-glacial web of more than 200 lakes that are hidden 4 km beneath the ice. Some of the lakes formed when the continent was much warmer and still connected to Australia. The lakes are rich in oxygen (making them oligotrophic), with levels of the element some 50 times higher than what would be found in your typical freshwater lake. The high gas concentration is thought to be because of the enormous weight and pressure of the continental ice cap.

If life exists in Vostok, it will have to be an extremophile — a life form that has adapted to survive in extreme environments. The organism would have to withstand high pressure, constant cold, low nutrient input, high oxygen concentration and an absence of sunlight. The conditions in Lake Vostok are thought to be similar to the conditions on Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s tiny moon Enceladus. In June, NASA probe Cassini found the best evidence yet for a massive saltwater reservoir beneath the icy surface of Enceladus. This all means that finding life in the inhospitable depths of Vostok would strengthen the case for life in the outer solar system.

"

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Android malware: Symantec's credibility sinks furt

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Not one week after the security group known as Symantec announced that they’d discovered the largest malware attack in the history of Android planted firmly in the guts of the official market, they’ve announced that there is no such infection. In fact, the malware the group said it’d found, Android.Counterclank, is actually just an overly-aggressive adware code. This is in accordance with a report put out by rival security group Lookout whom has essentially “told them so” late last month – always double check! [...] As Symantec notes, this software is only capable of doing a few disagreeable things to your Android device instead of a whole lot, the latter being the one that gets a code into the “malware” category. Instead, we’re only talking about the following:

“In general, it’s changing the home page of the [smartphone's] browser, adding additional shortcuts to the desktop, adding and even removing bookmarks. It took a while for some consensus then about what was adware or spyware, and what wasn’t, but eventually that consensus was reached.”
– Kevin Haley of Symantec
"

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ITC throws out B&N antitrust claims against MS

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Barnes & Noble's primary line of defense against Microsoft's allegations of patent infringement by the bookseller's Android-based devices has collapsed in its entirety. An Administrative Law Judge at the ITC today granted a Microsoft motion to dismiss, even ahead of the evidentiary trial that will start next Monday (February 6), Barnes & Noble's "patent misuse" defense against Microsoft. [...]

Prior to the ALJ, the ITC staff — or more precisely, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII), which participates in many investigations as a third party representing the public interest — already supported Microsoft's motion all the way. The OUII basically concluded that even if all of what Barnes & Noble said about Microsoft's use of patents against Android was accurate, it would fall far short of the legal requirements for a patent misuse defense."

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Forbes: Manufacturing unprofitable to China. Bring

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 2 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "My favourite fact of this past year was the proof that China makes almost nothing out of assembling Apple‘s iPads and iPhones. It’s a favourite because it speaks so directly to one of the great political arguments going on in both the US and the UK. I refer, of course, to this very strange idea that both countries would get (even) richer if only they would do more manufacturing. [...] If you want lots of jobs and lots of high paying jobs then you’re not going to find them in manufacturing. They’re where the money is, in the design, the software and the retailing of the products, not the physical making of them. Manufacturing is just so, you know, 20th century."
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Eric Raymond Defends Stallman Over Jobs Remarks

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  about 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Many have already read on the Internets what Richard Stallman said about Steve Jobs:

"Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died. As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, "I'm not glad he's dead, but I'm glad he's gone." Nobody deserves to have to die — not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs' malign influence on people's computing. Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective."

Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/10/steve-jobs-stallman-dissenting-view.html




Eric S Raymond, the author of Cathedral in Bazaar has come out to defend Richard M Stallman:

"But the Mac also set a negative pattern that Jobs was to repeat with greater amplification later in his life. In two respects; first, it was a slick repackaging of design ideas from an engineering tradition that long predated Jobs (in this case, going back to the pioneering Xerox PARC WIMP interfaces of the early 1970s). Which would be fine, except that Jobs created a myth that arrogated that innovation to himself and threw the actual pioneers down the memory hole."

"Second, even while Jobs was posing as a hip liberator from the empire of the beige box, he was in fact creating a hardware and software system so controlling and locked down that the case couldn’t even be opened without a special cracking tool. The myth was freedom, but the reality was Jobs’s way or the highway. Such was Jobs’s genius as a marketer that he was able to spin that contradiction as a kind of artistic integrity, and gain praise for it when he should have been slammed for hypocrisy."

"What’s really troubling is that Jobs made the walled garden seem cool. He created a huge following that is not merely resigned to having their choices limited, but willing to praise the prison bars because they have pretty window treatments."

Source: http://www.muktware.com/news/2623
"

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HP Hires Goldman to Defend Against Activists/Oracl

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Hewlett-Packard has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser to help defend against potential activist investors or hostile bidders seeking a break-up of the troubled technology giant, people briefed on the matter told DealBook on Wednesday. The hiring of Goldman is not surprising. Analysts and investors have mused for months that H.P. is ripe for an activist investor to arise, demanding even bolder steps to try to bolster shareholder value. Shares of H.P. have fallen more than 44 percent over the last 12 months, closing on Wednesday at $23.19. With the company's stock price hovering near 52-week lows, HP's management and directors have become concerned that agitators may begin amassing sizable holdings, these people said.

On the same topic:

HP Said to Have Been Concerned Over Oracle When Switching CEOs

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-29/hp-said-to-have-been-concerned-over-oracle-when-switching-ceos.html

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Hewlett-Packard Co. directors were concerned that plummeting shares would make the company vulnerable to a bid from Oracle Corp. when they replaced Leo Apotheker with Meg Whitman, two people close to the board said. While Oracle has considered informally whether to approach Hewlett-Packard, it's unlikely to make a bid any time soon, three people close to the software company said. After speaking with several financial advisers, Hewlett-Packard has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help it prepare for any possible moves by activist investors, one person said."

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Brazil's $12 bln iPad deal is in trouble - sources

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "The proposal to build Apple's sleek tablet computers in Brazil was first announced in April by President Dilma Rousseff during an official visit to China. Senior officials hailed the deal as a sign of growing economic ties with Asia, and proof that Brazil was moving up the value-added manufacturing chain as its economy grows.

Yet the idea for a "Brazilian iPad" prompted immediate skepticism back home, where factories have struggled for years with high taxes, an overvalued currency and a lack of qualified workers due to poor education and a tight labour market.

The expected start date for production was first set for July, then delayed to November. Now, it is unclear whether the project will ever get off the ground, at least in the form that it was originally envisioned, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

"The talks have been very difficult, and the project for a Brazilian iPad is in doubt," one official said. "(Foxconn) is making crazy demands" for tax breaks and other special treatment, the official added."

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Brazil House OKs Tax Breaks For Media Tablets

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "This is an interesting development in technology industry of Brazil. The government is pushing what they call "digital inclusion", which aims to give its citizens easier access to technology. They recently approved a tax break that will make media tablets (iPad and Android only, I believe) 30% cheaper. The problem with this idea is 2 fold: 1) media tablets are more expensive than cheap laptops/netbooks and only the rich Brazilians would be able to afford them. If the majority of the population won't benefit, that isn't real "inclusion". 2) media tablets lack the basic features of actual laptops, so the level of empowerment they provide is comparatively lower. I'm curious to the what fellow Slashdoters think about it.

So here's the scoop:

"Brazil's lower house in a voice vote Tuesday gave approval to a measure offering tax breaks for national production of tablet computers. The bill, which still must gain final approval in the Senate, would offer manufacturers full exemption from the country's PIS and Cofins tax. According to government estimates, the tax breaks could help reduce the final cost to consumers by more than 30%. The measure was introduced by the government as part of a series of incentives to attract foreign tablet manufacturers to the country. In addition to exemption from the PIS and Cofins taxes, the government has also pledged reductions in the IPI industrial products tax and the II import tax. Of a total of 12 million computers produced in Brazil last year, only 100,000 were tablets."
-- Wall Street Journal"

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Apple patent eyes Mac OS X tablet

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "A patent application published on Thursday reveals how far Apple has progressed on melding iOS's multi-touch interface with Mac OS X, and hints that the Mac operating system's multiple-workspace feature, Spaces, may find its way onto the iPad.

Rather than manipulating Spaces using your keyboard or mouse as Mac OS X now requires, however, the filing envisions using multi-touch, multi-finger gestures to summon the Spaces view, move windows from workspace to workspace, and select which one to fill the display.

"Why bother?" you might ask. Well, according to Apple, using a mouse or keyboard to manage Spaces is "cumbersome and inefficient", requiring "selecting an icon or other small graphical user interface object with a cursor," or "remembering unintuitive keyboard shortcuts". Such actions are not only "tedious and create a significant cognitive burden", they also "wast[e] energy" which is "particularly important in battery-operated devices"."

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Ballmer at CES, 10 Reasons Why He Needs to Go

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show last week amid anticipation from both critics and supporters. The critics were hoping he would go on-stage and deliver the same old, boring discourse on why Microsoft is tops in software. The supporters were hoping that Ballmer would talk about the impact Windows 8 will have, why Windows-based tablets are the future, and how Microsoft will spend the next year overcoming pressures from Google and Apple. Unfortunately for those supporters, Ballmer did little of the sort. Instead, he and his colleagues spent time talking about Xbox, one of Microsoft's strongest achievers in the past year; Windows Phone 7 and how the company will improve the OS in the coming year; and Windows 7. He also mentioned that the next version of Windows will support ARM Holdings architecture. But that was about it."
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iPhone & Android apps breaching privacy of use

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name — even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off. These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps" — games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones — showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders. Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. [...]

"The great thing about mobile is you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie," says Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. "That's how we track everything." Ms. O'Holleran says Traffic Marketplace, a unit of Epic Media Group, monitors smartphone users whenever it can. "We watch what apps you download, how frequently you use them, how much time you spend on them, how deep into the app you go," she says. She says the data is aggregated and not linked to an individual. [...]

Some developers feel pressure to release more data about people. Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope Android app, says ad-network executives encouraged him to transmit users' locations. Mr. Binshtok says he declined because of privacy concerns. But ads targeted by location bring in two to five times as much money as untargeted ads, Mr. Binshtok says. "We are losing a lot of revenue.""

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Live-action Yamato film finally hit Japans Cinemas

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 3 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "The movie debuted to Japanese audiences December 1st.
Official site: http://yamato-movie.net/en/
Trailer with English subs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH9XY8Z7I7c&annotation_id=annotation_353743&feature=iv
Making of: http://io9.com/5702635/activate-wave+motion-gun-new-documentary-takes-you-inside-the-live+action-star-blazers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Blazers
Star Blazers is an American animated television series adaptation of the Japanese anime series, Space Battleship Yamato I, II & III. Star Blazers was first broadcast in the United States in 1979. Significantly, it was the first popular English-translated anime that had an over-arching plot and storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order. It dealt with somewhat more mature themes than other productions aimed at the same target audience at the time. As a result, it paved the way for future arc-based, plot-driven anime translations.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ff20101126a1.html
"Space Battleship Yamato" is accordingly one of the biggest domestic releases this year. Quite often, the pressure of pleasing the various constituencies of a project like this, from fans to corporate sponsors, results in an overblown mess. But Yamazaki, working with scriptwriter Shimako Sato (a director in her own right who also happens to be Yamazaki's wife), has made a film that is good, uncomplicated fun for kids, and with plenty of CG spectacle and thrills (if not in the ever-more common 3-D). At the same time, "Space Battleship Yamato" is not only packed with references to the original "Yamato" series, but also contains various thematic elements, from old-fashioned patriotism to contemporary eco-consciousness, that give older fans more to chew on than the usual kiddy popcorn fare.

http://www.scifijapan.com/articles/2010/11/24/space-battleship-yamato-triumph-and-tragedy/
Takashi Yamazaki’s SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO begins on familiar ground for fans a barren Earth surface with planet bombs raining down upon it. Captain Okita, played with the requisite dignity called for in the role by Tsutomu Yamazaki., is locked in a raging battle against the Gamilas that results in the death/disappearance of Mamoru Kodai (Shinichi Tsutsumi). Five years later, the year is 2199 and Earth’s population lives underground, escaping from the radiation released by the deadly planet bombs. Mamoru Kodai’s brother Susumu (Takuya Kimura) has quit the military, leaving his career as a top notch pilot and squadron leader, and becomes a scavenger and junk collector on Earth. When he sees a mysterious capsule fall from space, it leads him on a journey back to the military and eventually the captain’s chair of the mighty Space Battleship Yamato as it leaves Earth in search of the planet Iscandar and its promise of a device that will free the Earth of its deadly radiation and turn the surface habitable again."

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Steve Ballmer's claim: Android isn't really free

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 4 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "from CNN:
The Microsoft (MSFT) CEO says that Google's (GOOG) mobile OS isn't without a cost in an interview with Jon Fortt.

from me:
too bad he didn't try to sell me on why MS phone was better."

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Who makes the most reliable laptops?

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 4 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "Warranty firm SquareTrade has just released a research paper analyzing the failure rate for 30,000 laptops comparing brands and hardware categories--and the results might surprise you.

The headline news is that over three years, one out of three laptops will fail, and that Asus and Toshiba laptops have the lowest failure rates, while Acer, Gateway, and HP have higher than average failure rates. Additionally, two-thirds of those problems are hardware malfunctions, while the final third are classified as accidental damage."

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Intel killing USB 3.0 in favour of Light Peak?

N!NJA N!NJA writes  |  more than 4 years ago

N!NJA (1437175) writes "At the Intel Developer Forum, the eponymous chipmaker is showing off Light Peak, its ultra-fast, multi-purpose, optical interconnect. Interestingly, Intel appears to be trying to kill USB 3.0, without actually saying so. There's still no USB 3.0 chipset support from Intel, and not even any published plans."

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