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Switzerland's Mega Tunnel Sets Record

anderesa Re:I'd love to see (163 comments)

Actually, only 60% got drilled, the rest was rock blasting as some engineer pointed out today on Swiss tv.


more than 4 years ago

All Humans Are Mutants, Say Scientists

anderesa Re:so females evolve faster? (309 comments)

anything on a single X becomes FAR more important to the men then it is to the women.
It is only things that are on BOTH X chromosomes that are important to women.

Correct and that's the reason why we only speak of "Duchenne Boys" and not girls when referring to the devastating form of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy caused by a mutation on the X-chromoson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchenne_muscular_dystrophy


more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Rebrands Live Search As "Bing"

anderesa What does Wolfram Alpha know about Bing? (443 comments)

Q : What computational answer does Wolfram Alpha return about Bing as input?
A : Language spoken by 1200 people in Papua New Guinea.


more than 5 years ago

Scientists Reverse Muscular Dystrophy In Dogs

anderesa Re:Great News (143 comments)

Dear Andrew,
as a daily reader of Slashdot and also father of four young kids, two of them having Duchenne, I'm surprised that this terrible desease is discussed among this community.

Unfortunately, the discussion doesn't go very deep with few interesting threads. I cross my fingers for your family. My wife also is a carrier but my two sister-in-laws. In fact, we found out that my wife got the defect (3 Exons are deleted on one X-chromosom) from her mother but she's been the only one among five kids to inherit the defect X-chromosom. I've also read in several places that the odds of being a carrier are 66% if one of your kids has the genetic defect

Last, I'd like to point you to some great reports about latest research incl. exon skipping techniques. They are all written in easy language understandable by parents and other people without a PhD in biochemistry.

Take care

more than 5 years ago

Cringely: OS X on Intel

anderesa 1985 Gates memo re. licensing of Mac technologies (707 comments)

I'm wondering why the '85 memo by Gates hasn't been mentionned on this thread. NB: I agree mostly with those folks who can't see much benefit to Apple's business through licensing OSX for Intel platforms, but I'd understand if Apple kept on working secretely on this project as an option for the future (sort of risk management). But this comment is not about my personal opinion, but simply to quote the 1985 memo by Gates.

In 1985, Bill Gates sent a secret memo to John Sculley proposing to act as a broker to license the Mac OS to Microsoft's hardware clients. I will copy and paste the memo text from a Wired (Nov. 97), that is itself excerpted from the book Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Plunders, by Jim Carlton, published at the same time.

The memo

Bill Gates sent the following 3-page memo to Sculley dated June 25, 1985, entitled "Apple licensing of Mac technology":

Apple's stated position in personal computers is innovative technology leader. This position implies that Apple must create on new, advanced technology. They must establish a revolutionary architecture,which necessarily implies new development incompatible with existing architectures. Apple must make Macintosh a standard. But no personal computer company, not even IBM can create a standard withouth independent support. Even though Apple realized this, they have not been able to gain the independent support required to be perceived as a standard. The significant investment (especially independent support) in a "standard personal computer" results in an incredible momentum for its architecture. Specifically, the IBM PC architecture continues to receive huge investment and gains additional momentum ... The investment in the IBM architecture includes development of differentiated compatibles, software and peripherals; user and sales channel education; and most importantly, attitudes and perceptions that are not easily changed. Any deficiencies in the IBM architecture are quickly eliminated by independent support ... The closed architecture prevents similar independent investment in the Macintosh. The IBM architecture when compared to the Macintosh, probably has more than 100 times the engineering resources applied to it when investment of compatible manufacturers is included. The ratio becomes even greater when the manufacturers of expansion cards are included.


As the independent investment in a standard architecture grows, so does the momentum for that architecture. The industry has reached the point where it is now impossible for Apple to create a standard out of their innovative technology without support from, and the resulting credibility of, other personal computer manufacturers. Thus, Apple must open the Macintosh architecture to have the independent support required to gain momentum and establish a standard. The Mac has not become a standard! The Macintosh has failed to attain the critical mass necessary for the technology to be considered a long term contender:

  1. Since there is no "competition" to Apple from Mac-compatible manufacturers, corporations consider it risky to be locked into the Mac, for reasons of price AND choice.
  2. Apple has reinforced the risky perception of the machine by being slow to come out with hardware and software improvements (e.g. hard disk, file server, bigger screen, better keyboard, larger memory ...)
  3. Recent negative publicity about Apple hinders the credibility of the Macintosh as a long-term contender in the personal computer market.
  4. Independent sofware and hardware manufacturers reinforced the risky perception of the machine by being slow to come out with key software and peripheral products.
  5. Apple's small corporate account sales force has prevented it from having the presence, training, support, etc. that large companies would recognize and require.
  6. Nationalistic pressure in European countries often force foreign consumers to choose local manufacturers. Europeans have local suppliers of the IBM architecture, but not Apple. Apple will lose ground in Europe as was recently exhibited in France.


Apple should license Macintosh technology to 3-5 significant manufacturers for the development of "Mac Compatibles:" United States manufacturers and contacts: ideal companies - in addition to credibility, they have large account sales forces that can establish the Mac architecture in large companies:
  • AT&T, James Edwards
  • ... (list goes on

Apple should license the Macintosh technology to US and European companies in a way that allows them to go to other companies for manufacturing. Sony, Kyocera ... are good candidates for OEM manufacruing of Mac compatibles. Microsoft is very willing to help Apple implement this strategy. We are familiar with the key manufacturers, their strategies and strenghths. We also have a great deal of experience in OEMing system software.


  1. The companies that license Mac technology would add credibilty to the Macintosh architecure.
  2. These companies would broaden the available product offerings through their "Mac-compatible" product lines:

  3. they would each innovate and add features to the basic system: various memory configurations, video display, and keyboard alternatives, etc.
  4. Apple would lever the key partners' abilities to produce a wide variety fo peripherals, much faster than Apple could develop the peripherals themselves.
  5. customers would see competition and would have real price/performance choices.

  6. Apple will benefit from the distribution channels of these companies.
  7. The perception of a significantly increased potential installed base will bring the independent hardware, software, and marketing support that the Macintosh needs.
  8. Apple will gain significant, additional marketing support. Every time a Mac compatible manufacturer adverises, it is an advertisement for the Apple architecture.
  9. Licensing Mac compatibles will enhance Apple's image as a technological innovator. Ironically, IBM is viewed as being a technological innovator. This is because compatible manufacturers are afraid to innovate too much and stray from the standard.

Personal comment: reading the rather sound line of argumentation, isn't it somehow funny to see Bill Gates 17 years later opposing the same arguments in his attack on Open Source development?

more than 12 years ago


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