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Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

WilliamBaughman Re:LLVM byte code (230 comments)

That may just be Google's goal with ART (a new Android runtime). Details are scarce but it seems that ART compiles to machine code at install time for better power/performance and especially better start times than Dalvik. It's still experimental but if Android starts to support two flavors of ARM, x86, and MIPS, this type of runtime could be the future.

about 3 months ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

WilliamBaughman Re:Toyota's fine was not just about pedals (394 comments)

Correction: the fine mentioned by the summary is actually because of two different pedal related defects. Toyota and suing parties are still in court-ordered negotiations over the software-related problem. I thought this was a case of the article not recognizing the software defects (and it doesn't) but there was another, separate, also pedal-related problem which was new to me. I still think it's important to bring up the software-related problems as they are underrepresented but the article isn't actually wrong.

about 5 months ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

WilliamBaughman Toyota's fine was not just about pedals (394 comments)

Toyota's fine was not just about sticking pedals (and initially making deceptive statements about the safety of those pedals). Toyota's fine was in part for claiming that sticking pedals were the sole cause of unintended acceleration when in fact multiple defects in Toyota’s engine software directly caused at least one (decided by a jury) other crash.

An Update on Toyota and Unintended Acceleration Barr Code

U.S. Fines Toyota $1.2 Billion but Defers Criminal Prosecution Over Vehicle Safety Deceit - IEEE Spectrum

This is an important safety (and technology) issue that has flown mostly under the radar. I believe that is in part because journalists and the public believe they got their answer years ago, when in fact new evidence, expert testimony, and court verdicts have come to light. I think the issue is important enough that this misconception should be corrected whenever it's reported.

My opinion, not my employer's.

about 5 months ago

EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

WilliamBaughman Re:Perhaps (177 comments)

Have you visited the Stasi museum in Leipzig? I've been and I recommend it. I think those people you know have good reason to be outraged at the spying revelations and cancel their trips beyond the fear that the TSA will confiscate their property, intrude on their documents, or abuse them.

about 8 months ago

Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional

WilliamBaughman Welcome to the Gun Debate (934 comments)

Where all the trolls are insightful, sense is uncommon, and rationality is fallacious.

about 8 months ago

Yeti Bears Up Under Scrutiny

WilliamBaughman Tibetan blue bears have been called "Yeti", too (104 comments)

I guess this isn't entirely surprising considering that "Yeti" fur has been identified as coming from the Tibertan blue bear as well. It is very interesting how closely and recently related the brown bear is to the polar bear, though, and to these mountain dwelling species as well. I did not know that. The Tibetan Blue Bear has only been rarely sighted since it was documented in the 1850s. It's not out of the question that there are other, non-classified bear relatives in the high mountains.

The Tibetan sand fox and other fox species contribute to the Yeti legend as well. They occasionally make human-like cries. Snow leopards do to. I've heard a snow leopard cry at a the Central Park Zoo; it sounded like a child shrieking only much louder and more piercing. If you heard one of these animal species during a blizzard, especially combined with certain related optical phenomena (or actually seeing a sub-species/relative of brown bear), you could get the strong impression that there was another person out there. Or something like a person but definitely not. You certainly wouldn't find a person after it had been snowing, the animal having moved on, burrowed, or appearing only as an animal.

My view's - not my employer's. I wonder when Microsoft will take a stance on the Yeti question...

about 10 months ago

Nintendo Announces 2DS Handheld — Plays 3DS Games In 2-D

WilliamBaughman Re:Numbering .. (156 comments)

It's a sequence. What is the next number in the sequence? 1,3,2... the correct answer is 4. From this we can deduce that Nintendo has a 4 dimensional game device in the works, and that it will require inter-dimensional space travel to play.

Hoenn Confirmed!

1 year,3 days

Nintendo Announces 2DS Handheld — Plays 3DS Games In 2-D

WilliamBaughman For self-trading Pokémon? (156 comments)

Is this for all the Pokémon fans who want to run X and Y at the same time? I know I was thinking about buying a second Gameboy for when X and Y hit so I could self-trade and "catch them all". Then again, Nintendo could be trying to compete with smartphone gaming.

1 year,3 days

Kernel Dev Tells Linus Torvalds To Stop Using Abusive Language

WilliamBaughman Much is being made of Sarah's gender (1501 comments)

Sarah Sharp is not asking the LKML to change its behavior for her own benefit but rather for the benefit of the developers that use it. It seems like a totally reasonable request from a long-time kernel maintainer (and Linus treats it as such) unless you make the assumption that's she's only asking because she's a woman. I think too much of the commentary here is based on that assumption and the "corollary" that her comment means she can't "take the heat".

Disclaimer: I know Sarah Sharp professionally. These are my views, not my employer's (I just started as MS a few months ago).

about a year ago

Apple Hires Former Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, Destroyer of iPhones

WilliamBaughman It's about iBooks and YouTube replacement (209 comments)

Everyone is fixated on Adobe's obvious failings and not their past strengths. The only thing Adobe has done competently is make tools and content distribution tools (video hosting servers with DRM) that come with vendor lock-in. Apple want to make it's iBook SDK really good so developers use it, and difficult to port away from so consumers continue to buy iPads. Apple may also want to start pushing QuickTime again as a YouTube competitor now that YouTube is entering the paid content market. On my iDevice, I get most of my video content through YouTube and HTML5 tags, both of which are probably too available to Android devices for Apple's taste.

about a year and a half ago

Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm, Star Wars Episode 7 Due In 2015

WilliamBaughman Now my wife's costume makes sense! (816 comments)

I made my wife a Darth Vader helmet with car ears and whiskers for Halloween. Before it was amazing because of the absurdity, now she's practically a canonical character!

about 2 years ago

48-Core Chips Could Redefine Mobile Devices

WilliamBaughman Re:intel-lectual propaganda (285 comments)

Intel spends a lot of money and manpower on good will, advertising, and mind share, but sometimes their strange and ridiculous announcements (Intel Pledges 80 Core Processor in 5 Years - six years ago) turn into products (Intel To Ship Xeon Phi For "Exascale" Computing This Year) that actually get used (TACC "Stampede" Supercomputer To Go Live In January). It may just be because I was so skeptical when I first heard of the processor that eventually became "Knights", but I'm hesitant to shout "that's impossible" when they come out with these announcements now.

about 2 years ago

Is Microsoft's Price Model For the Surface Justifiable?

WilliamBaughman I still think of it as iPad 2 + iWork (417 comments)

When I look at the surface, I see a tablet with the screen and SoC of a $400 tablet (iPad 2 or Asus Transformer Prime), bundled with software (Office instead of iWork) that costs $30 in Apple's app store. So in my mind, it should cost $430. That said, people must be ordering it, because the basic version is sold out and new orders are shipping later. Of course, Microsoft could just have thrown up that statement to attract attention. Even if they have sold many, we don't know how many. We're just going to have to wait 90 days and look at MS's financials.

about 2 years ago

Iran Running Out of Physical Currency, Satellite Broadcasts Dropped in Europe

WilliamBaughman Re:Self-stabilizing system (480 comments)

AC is not quite correct. Banks are required to have currency reserves, though they can borrow overnight from the Fed in certain circumstances. It's been a long time since AP econ, I can't remember exactly how the required currency reserve and the overnight lending are related, but if I recall correctly, there's a connection.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

WilliamBaughman Re:FAIL ! (521 comments)

Looks like I was wrong on one count, the basic model of the Surface has sold out and new orders are shipping later. But Microsoft doesn't think HDMI is needed on an entry level tablet, either: their HDMI adapter costs $39.99! That's actually 99 cents more than Apple's adapter, for what it's worth :-D

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

WilliamBaughman Re:FAIL ! (521 comments)

In my experience, consumers compare hard drive offerings based on storage. They compare tablets and computers based on entry-level price. Entry level, for what a tablet does, doesn't need USB, doesn't need SD, and doesn't need HDMI.

The iPad 2 is over a year old, yes, and its SoC still beats the pants of the Tegra 3. It still has a really good screen, battery life, weight, etc. It doesn't have worse "specs" than Surface in any way that I see except those 16 GB of storage. It doesn't need the latest features of iOS to do what a tablet does, it launched fairly complete.

I would say that people buying the iPad 2 (and not the 3) are price conscious, but saying that they must also be image conscious is a stretch too far. The iPad 2 is a really, really good tablet, there are reasons to buy it beyond image even if its competition (Asus Transformer Prime) is also really good.

If someone is in the market for a tablet that can:

  • Browse the web.
  • Read and send email.
  • Synchronize with Exchange.
  • Open and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents.
  • Play movies.
  • Read ebooks.

then the iPad 2 with iWork does it well at $430. I guess we'll find out if consumers think that the Surface does it so much better that it can command a price premium.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Surface Pricing Goes Toe-to-Toe With Apple iPad

WilliamBaughman Re:FAIL ! (521 comments)

So, you're looking at the MS Surface ($500) and the iPad 3 ($500) and declaring that the Surface is $100 cheaper because it has 16 GB more storage? The "equivalent" iPad is the iPad 2, with iWork, for $430.

about 2 years ago

The Story of Nokia MeeGo

WilliamBaughman Re:I need a new phone soon (125 comments)

If what you want is a good, unlocked Linux phone, get a Galaxy Nexus. It's $349.00, it's unlocked, it runs Linux (wrapped in Android but allowing you to build your own kernels), and it's actually a good phone. If you're not in the US market, and you don't want the N9, consider the Razr i, which also has an unlocked boot loader. Me? I'm happy with my iPhone 4S, I'll just keep iOS 5, thank you very much ;-)

about 2 years ago

Why One Person Thinks Raspberry Pi Is Unsuitable For Education

WilliamBaughman Get off if / cry harder (133 comments)

Bill Gates learned to program on a computer he didn't own though a terminal and look how damaged he is, from that terrible experience. Or not. The point of Raspberry Pi is not to teach children how to build computers, the point is to teach them how to use computers and development scripts, software, and websites, while giving them access to the educational and social benefits of the Internet, inexpensively. Using a binary blob doesn't diminish that.

about 2 years ago


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