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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

ozmanjusri Re:They WILL FIght Back (516 comments)

Everybody knows wind turbines are eye sores. They obscure all the lovely smoke stacks.

That's good news, because this story is about rooftop solar.

In many parts of the world, and no doubt in many parts of the USA, rooftop solar is already at parity if subsidies and externalised costs are taken into account. In direct costs alone, the US pays around 50 billion dollars annually to subsidise fossil fuels. Internationally it's close to a trillion dollars.

about a month ago

New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems

ozmanjusri Re:It doesn't work (167 comments)

In addition to dogs children won't get it. If you give two children 4 crayons each, who has more? The answer is always the other does.

As usual, the bible has the answer.

First, "divide the living child in two" (1 Kings 3:25). This will give you four half-children, each with two crayons, and a blissfully quiet household.

about a month and a half ago

Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

ozmanjusri Re:Other prisons are the same (142 comments)

Australia's obviously not a prison anymore; it's not being run by a corporation.

Then why are we being constantly monitored, and why are our laws being written by US and multinational companies?


I don't remember what I did to deserve this treatment, but it must have been fucking diabolical.

about a month and a half ago

LibraryBox is an Open Source Server That Runs on Low-Cost Hardware (Video)

ozmanjusri Re:Do we really need this? (47 comments)

I doubt they have an iphone 6+, and they probably have a candybar nokia, but cheap androids are only getting cheaper and will be in more hands as they do, especially when you have whatever idealist kids going around handing them out.

There's probably still a lot of the candybar phones still around, but it was the Huawei IDEOS 8150 that took on the laptop-killer role in sub Saharan Africa all the way back in 2011. They were a quiet revolution in that part of the world, with locally-developed apps for everything from agriculture to healthcare, from disaster response to business and more. This stand-alone WiFi library would be ideal for those areas.


about a month and a half ago

What People Want From Smart Homes

ozmanjusri Re:Nothing. (209 comments)

Personally I'd be way more open to this stuff if it didn't want an internet connection. Ultimately I see very little practical application for any of this anyway.

I bought and am using a Ninja Block, and use it for keeping an eye on my vegetable garden (soil moisture), remotely controlling appliances, hot water etc when I'm away, home security, and simple stuff like switching on overhead fans from my phone. For me at least, it's a very practical tool.

Mine's connected to the internet so I can get alerts and manage my home from my phone, but I understand they can run air-gapped if you want to keep it off grid. In my case, given it's open hardware and open source, I'll take the risk.

about 1 month ago

Microsoft Enters the Wearables Market With 'Band'

ozmanjusri Re: hmm (135 comments)

Microsoft is too busy shifting merchandise to spy on customers.

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

* Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new Outlook.com portal;
* The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on Outlook.com, including Hotmail;
* The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
* Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in Outlook.com that allows users to create email aliases;
* In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA boasted that a new capability had tripled the amount of Skype video calls being collected through Prism;
* Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".


about 2 months ago

A Library For Survival Knowledge

ozmanjusri Re:100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? (272 comments)

100 year old survival knowledge in PDF files??? That makes zero sense.

Publish the books hard-bound on acid-free paper and then you've got something useful!!

How about publishing it to a free archive in a number of formats so thousands of people around the world can download and copy or print it to whatever medium they choose or find useful? Does that make sense?

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Is Bringing WebRTC To Explorer, Eyes Plugin-Free Skype Calls

ozmanjusri Re:If you can't beat 'em, troll them (66 comments)

ORTC can be seen as a microsoft troll of google,

Not really.

Google is one of the ORTC group members and strongly supports it. If fact, ORTC doesn't erase the work done on WebRTC, it extends it, meaning developers won’t have to rewrite their RTC applications. The expectation is they will gradually transition towards using the ORTC API.

It's possible, though unlikely, that Microsoft's embracing of ORTC now presages their traditional extend/extinguish effort. It's far harder for them to get away with that these days.

about 2 months ago

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

ozmanjusri Re:When you are inside the box ... (289 comments)

but you are obviously blind to the beam in your own.

No, I just didn't mention Australia's troubles in that particular post.

about 2 months ago

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

ozmanjusri Re:When you are inside the box ... (289 comments)

Somewhat true, but really as another Australian it's obvious that our country is being increasing run by the USA

I think it would be truer to say that both the USA and Australia are being run by the same plutocrats. They're aggressively expanding their oligarchy worldwide, with collusion from most of the governments they interact with, including our own exceptionally sycophantic pack.

about 2 months ago

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

ozmanjusri Re:When you are inside the box ... (289 comments)

You mean like how we in the US can see that China and Australia indoctrinate just as much, albeit differently?

Sort of, though someone actually living in the US won't have much visibility of the reality of Australian or Chinese life. It's more valid to say someone from the US visiting or living in Australia or China would have that insight.

about 2 months ago

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

ozmanjusri Re:When you are inside the box ... (289 comments)

You acting superior because you're from somewhere else is equivalent to an American acting superior because he's an American.

It's not about acting superior, it's about being able to see the system with clarity.

People who work within a system for their whole lives adapt themselves to it, and either find workarounds for aspects that restrict them or learn to conform to the restrictions. If they don't, they don't thrive or sometimes even survive. Someone coming from outside, from a culture with different (though sometimes overlapping restrictions) will feel those constraints more strongly, as they haven't adapted so closely to them.

So for an Australian (like me or Assange), or a Chinese (like Taco), the American socio-political constraints are clearer, and the flaws more glaring, not because we're better, but because we've grown up outside them.

TLDR: Sometimes it's easier to see things from the outside.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

ozmanjusri Re:It's great to see so much community feedback (112 comments)

It's great to see so much community feedback

It's almost like they were inspired by somebody.

Is there any other OS that uses a "cadence" release plan? Called unstable, testing and stable, maybe?

about 2 months ago

Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

ozmanjusri Re:Overly broad? (422 comments)

It's far more likely it's the caffeine, but they aren't being specific enough. If it was just sugar, then pretty much everything would be doing it and I wouldn't see how they could possibly have a control group.

Not so likely, given caffeine is widely available in other beverages that don't have the same affect.

Most likely is the phosphoric/carbolic acid content.

The most popular cola available is highly acidic with a pH of about 2.5 (which is why it needs so much sugar to taste good). Healthy digestive systems can buffer the acid so that blood acidosis doesn't occur, but they mobilize calcium phosphate from bones and teeth to do so. Several studies have already shown links between telomere shortening and blood calcium levels, so while there's no smoking gun, there's a known mechanism for the result.


about 2 months ago

FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

ozmanjusri Re:Obama Admin! (284 comments)

Why not "Obama Admin Continues Its Campaign Against Encryption"?

Because they really don't care about the type of encryption Apple and Google are providing. They can get your (meta)data in so many other ways it's irrelevant.

This faux outrage from the FBI stooge has nothing to do with any perceived difficulty in spying on citizens, it's about harm-management for the corporations that've been negatively affected by spying revelations. Nothing but smoke, mirrors, red herrings and misdirection all the way down.

Don't believe a word of it, they've shown repeatedly they're self-serving and untrustworthy. Question everything they say and do, and ALWAYS look for the money trail.

about 2 months ago

Anonabox Accused of Lying About Its Product Being Open-Source On Kickstarter

ozmanjusri Re:Agreed on the moot point (72 comments)

The code is DDWRT, which is already free.

about 2 months ago

Can the Sun Realistically Power Datacenters?

ozmanjusri Re:Obligatoriness Extraordinaire (237 comments)

Storing solar power is an issue in niche applications, and it is an issue in a future fantasy world where 100% of our power is solar.

Very true, and not even a real issue in a 100% renewable scenario. The entire state of South Australia ran on 100% renewable power for a full working day for the first time last week. The bulk of that was wind generation, with rooftop solar adding a significant contribution.

There have been several instances in recent months when wind energy has accounted for all, or nearly all, electricity demand in South Australia. Last Tuesday, however, set a new benchmark – the combination of wind energy and rooftop solar provided more than 100 per cent of the state’s electricity needs, for a whole working day between 9.30am and 6pm. There were several periods in South Australia from Saturday September 27, and over the following days, when wind generation was greater than total state NEM demand.

In reality, renewables contributed well over 100 per cent because they were generating and consuming their own electricity from rooftop solar – the state has 550MW of rooftop solar, with nearly one in four houses with rooftop modules.

That meant that “true” demand by consumers on that day, i.e. the amount of electricity being used by consumers, including rooftop solar, was in fact considerably higher than NEM demand — up to 20 per cent according to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute — because of the contribution of rooftop PV to total electricity supply.


about 2 months ago

GNOME 3 Winning Back Users

ozmanjusri Re:Responding to feedback (267 comments)

Gnome should have forked their own product and renamed everything so that Gnome 3 and Gnome 2 could be installed side by side.

That's pretty much what DID happen. You can even run MATE from within Gnome 3.


about 3 months ago

End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

ozmanjusri Re:And yet IBM soldiers on... (156 comments)

Yet that makes what happened even more strange. A long touted advantage of RISC was that because of its simplicity it could be clocked so much faster than CISC that doing less per instruction would still be faster net throughput. Yet what happened was that CISC (in the hands of Intel) could and did do and even outdo all the optimizations of RISC, including clock speed.

As you say, the key advantage of RISC is simplicity and speed, but the tradeoff is software needs to be more complex to work around the simplified instruction set. Intel recognised the risk of RISC to their business early, particularly noting that there would be once-off cost to develop the microcode that would enable the switch to RISC, after which their x86 advantage would be lost.

Cleverly, instead of trying to fight the RISC upstarts, Intel chose to develop the microcode themselves and enable it in hardware. They first implemented the decoder in their P6 architecture, which had the raw x86 instruction set on the surface (lots of complex instructions), but under the hood, it's all RISC with the decoder replacing those complex instructions with series of simpler instructions.

So a x86 CPU works by having a quick and heavy-duty decoder in the frontend, which takes x86 instructions and converts them to an optimized internal format for the backend to process.

What Intel has done is to settle on a fixed, stable CISC instruction format for the frontend, and a decoupled RISC backend they can tweak and modify to their heart's content without fear of losing compatibility. It's not quite the perfect solution, but with today's huge, complex CPU's, the decoder is a relatively small part of the silicon.

about 3 months ago



Supermarket chain Woolworths ditches Microsoft for Google's Chrome OS

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 6 months ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "In what is believed to be the largest such deployment in the world, the Australian supermarket chain Woolworths will begin rolling out 8000 Google Chrome OS devices to replace Microsoft Windows desktop computers in the second half of this year.

Woolworths program director Deon Ludick told The Australian newspaper that they would be replacing a large part of their PC desktop fleet with Chrome OS devices from a number of providers. The company is expected to reveal more details in the coming weeks.

Gartner research director Gunnar Berger said one of the biggest advantages to this approach was that Chrome OS was extremely secure — Google has an ongoing competition that pays large rewards to anyone able to hack the device via the browser. Analysts have said the Chromebook segment was the fastest-growing part of the mobile PC market last year, mainly in North America and in some emerging and mature Asia-Pacific countries such as Malaysia and Australia."

Link to Original Source

AOSP is bigger than iOS

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 10 months ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "ABI Research reported in their Q4 2013 Smartphone OS results that, while Android dominated the market as expected, the runner up was somewhat surprising.

Rather than Apple's iPhones coming in a distant second, the Open Source version of Android (AOSP) not only competed with Google's certified version, but grew much faster than its corporate-endorsed sibling (137% year-on-year).

In fact, Google's Android comprised 52% of the estimated one billion devices shipped while AOSP reached 25% of the market, ahead of Apple's 10%.

Most of AOSP's growth is in China, India, and adjacent markets, possibly because Google does not offer its Play Store in those regions, however the Open Source version looks set to take a big step into other markets when Nokia's Android-based Normandy phone is released later this month."

Link to Original Source

Will Blood Rice shatter the smartphone market?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Chinese phone maker Xiaomi (“little rice” in Chinese) has just released a new Android phone priced at US$130. The phone, called “Red Rice,” has a quad-core MediaTek CPU, 4.7-inch 720p screen (312 ppi) with Gorilla Glass 2, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, Micro SD, dual-sim / dual standby capability, an 8-megapixel rear camera and Xiaomi's MIUI-flavored Android.

  One Chinese commentator said that the pricing was so aggressive and that the phone could do so much damage to competitors and component suppliers that it really should be called “Blood Rice.”

  Currently the phone will be sold in China only. The question is whether it would succeed on the world market, and what it would do to the established players like Apple and Samsung."

Link to Original Source

Australian Communications and Media Authority releases detailed malware data.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "The Australian Communications and Media Authority has published detailed statistics of malware infections identified by their online security team (AISI). The team scans and identifies and compromised computers on Australian IP addresses and reports daily to around 130 participating ISPs.

Their breakdown shows about infected 16,500 devices are online at any one time. The malware type for all infections is available on the site."

Link to Original Source

Apple's smartphone share in single digits by Sept?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Apple's share of the global smartphone market fell from 23% last year to 17% share this year, the largest year-over-year decline in the iPhone's history. According to Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi, "if Apple does not introduce a new iPhone or lower-priced phone in CQ3 [Apple's fiscal Q4], it is quite possible that iPhone's smartphone market share could drop into the single digits."

So what can Apple do? The iPhone 5S fingerprint reader isn't likely to inspire excitement, and Apple needs something startling to regain the smartphone limelight. Do they have anything else up their sleeves?"

Intel promoting Android devices

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ozmanjusri (601766) writes "Vendors in China have revealed the Intel has begun to promote Android based convertible tablet/notebooks. Intel is concerned that Windows 8 has been unable to stimulate global demand for notebooks, and since global sales of Android tablets have been increasing, they are looking at reducing their reliance on the Microsoft OS.

China-based vendor Lenovo will be first to release Intel driven Android systems in May, while Hewlett-Packard (HP), Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer will launch theirs in the third quarter."

Link to Original Source

A fix for US ISPs who have been strangling YouTube

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Several American ISPs have been throttling their YouTube caches to the extent that the content is almost unwatchable. Many ISPs had caching agreements are in place with Google to improve performance but have chosen to reduce load (and therefore quality) instead.

To fix the problem on Linux, use iptables to reject the throttled cache and go direct to Google servers:

sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j REJECT
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s -j REJECT

While it's possible the throttling happens because caches are bottlenecked or overloaded somewhere in the ISPs' network, complaints to forums have elicited 'We have no problems' responses."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft's information privacy stance questioned by Australian agency

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has questioned whether Microsoft was really committed to privacy, based on a series of privacy summits the company organized last November.

Microsoft proposed rewriting the OECD's "Collection Limitation Principle," from:

"There should be limits to the collection of personal data and any such data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the data subject."


"Data should be obtained by lawful and fair means and in a transparent manner. Data should not be collected in a manner likely to cause unjustified harm to the individual unless required by law. “Harm” may include more than physical injury."

The OAIC is concerned that Microsoft's version would allow considerably broader re-use of data than that allowed by the original OECD version and indeed by Australia’s Privacy Act 1988."
Link to Original Source


Are iPhones for old people?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Several articles have appeared recently suggesting that the iPhone is targeting an older demographic. Anna Scantlin (Phonedog) suggests that it's a consequence of brand recognition.

"The idea of an iPhone to an older person probably sounds more appealing than an Android device. It goes back to my article I wrote yesterday regarding why everything gets compared to an Apple product – it’s still a hugely popular company that can sail off of their brand name alone."

The commoditisation of smartphones is another factor. Just like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, iPhones are a recognisable, competent, middle-of-the-road choice. For conservative middle aged people who aren't interested in tech and don't want to research every last feature, the Apple products are an easy pick.

So what does Slashdot think? Are smartphones now a "solved" commodity? And are iPhones really for old people, or do they still have a place with younger buyers?"

Link to Original Source

Australian Police say don't use iPhone Maps

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Victorian Police have identified that Apple's map application could put people at risk.

“Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the Park and temperatures can reach as high as 46 degrees, making this a potentially life threatening issue,” they say.

The officers have contacted Apple and asked them to rectify the issue, but until it is fixed have suggested; “Anyone travelling to Mildura or other locations within Victoria should rely on other forms of mapping until this matter is rectified.”"

Link to Original Source

Vagina hacks, an Arduino vibrator.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Elizabeth Scott has posted a wonderfully detailed and surprisingly nerdy account of designing and building a hands-free gesture controlled vibrator.

To me, a good sex toy helps form feedback loops. It doesn’t get in the way. A good toy gives you simple ways of exchanging signals with a partner or with your own body. It acts as a conduit. A good sex toy is analog.

In her blog, Scott details her path to convert a good, but not excellent commercial product into her own ideal toy. Worth reading, even for prudes.


Link to Original Source

Of the 17 people line up to buy the first retail iPhone 5, 15 were marketers.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Apple has said that the iPhone 5 had smashed records with more than 2 million people pre-ordered the smartphone in its first 24 hours.

In stark contrast to their announcement, most of the 17 people lined up outside Sydney’s Apple store were there to advertise their brands, with T-shirts, sandwich boards, logos and caps, rather than genuine Apple fans.

According to the Australian Financial Review, one publicist even declined an interview with journalists unless their business name was mentioned.

AFR also described the only two genuine Apple enthusiasts as "two women setting up at the end of line, Xia R Liu and Li Qing.
Signalling “five” with their hands to explain their purpose, they were intent on sleeping the night to buy the iPhone 5 “for my daughter”""

Link to Original Source

Ubuntu for Android

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Ubuntu for Android allows you to install a full Linux desktop on your phone and use it when the phone is docked. According to Ubuntu,

Ubuntu for Android is a complete desktop with a full range of desktop applications including office, web browsing, email, media and messaging. Personal information like contacts, calendars, photo galleries and music can be accessed from both the phone and the desktop interface. SMS texts arrive on your desktop if you are docked when they show up, and calls are handled like VoIP if you want to stay working while you chat. Ubuntu for Android brings the desktop world together with the phone world, seamlessly.

Youtube videos show users loading a full Unity desktop from their docked phone, including MS Office applications via Citrix. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzc0uMXGFBY."
Link to Original Source


Did Microsoft use information about partner products in designing Surface?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes ""Microsoft looked at what the [PC makers] were doing, seeing if it could meet their Windows 8 needs and then took action based on that," according to Patrick Moorhead, president of Moor Insights & Strategy and formerly an executive at Advanced Micro Devices.

Microsoft partners, PC OEMs like Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Toshiba, and Sony are unhappy with Microsoft's actions as the software giant could potentially have used confidential information about their products, pricing strategies, marketing plans and more before deciding to compete with them.

Information like that could potentially be used to Microsoft's advantage."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft's worst nightmare or feature limited toy?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "A company that makes keyboard docks has announced a laptop-like peripheral that uses smartphones for processing and storage.

Since many Android and Apple phones have multi-core processors powerful enough to deliver laptop-level performance, they only lack usable screens and keyboards to be productive for most office work.

ClamCase believes their 13.3-inch 1,280 x 720 ClamBook with keyboard, multi-touch touchpad, and dedicated Android keys will make up for the lack, and turn smartphones into fully-functional laptops.

A device like the Clambook could be a real game-changer for the computer industry. If it succeeds, peripheral makers could build docks which would allow any monitor, keyboard, mouse and storage to be powered by any Android phone. It's a combination which would make BYOD offices very tempting for the corporations who are the Windows/Office combination's remaining cash-cow."

Link to Original Source

Microsoft security vulnerabilities are being leaked, leaving users vulnerable.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Proof-of-concept code for exploiting a recently discovered flaw has appeared on a hacking website after it was shared with Microsoft Active Protections Program partners. The code for the Remote Desktop Protocol vulnerability appears to have leaked from one of the security companies that get advance warnings about security holes in Windows.

The incident brings into question Microsoft's program, which is intended to alert security partners before the patches themselves are released. The idea is to give them time to prioritise and test the fixes, however in this instance, it left their customers vulnerable."

Link to Original Source

US Justice Dept threatens to sue Apple for colluding to inflate eBook prices.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "The US Justice Department has warned Apple that it intends to sue them for colluding with several large publishers to inflate the price of eBooks, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While all parties concerned declined to comment, it appears the lawsuit results from Apple's push to move eBook sales to an "agency model," where Apple would take 30% of the publishers set price. Crucially, Apple also stipulated that publishers could not allow rival retailers to undercut them.

Steve Jobs was quoted as saying of the agreement "You set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway"."

Link to Original Source

Apple takes on Google.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Apple is suing Samsung again. The litigious computer giant is claiming the Galaxy Nexus, co-produced by Samsung Electronics and Google, violates it's slide-to-unlock patent.

While Apple suing an Android vendor is no surprise to anyone, this is the first time they've gone after a core feature of Android 4 itself, and on the strictly stock Nexus line of phones. Apple has filed the claim in the same Mannheim Regional Court Regional Court, which recently ruled Apple was not infringing one of the seven 3G standard-related patents owned by Samsung."

Link to Original Source

Android ICS will require 16GB RAM to compile

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "New smartphones may be lightweight, compact objects, but their OSs are anything but.

Ice Cream Sandwich will need workstations with no less than 16 GB RAM to build the source code, twice the amount GingerBread needed. It will take 5 hours to compile on a dual quad-core 2+GHz workstation, and need 80GB disk space for all AOSP configs.

Android developers are also being warned to be cautious of undocumented APIs

In almost every case, there’s only one reason for leaving APIs undocumented: We’re not sure that what we have now is the best solution, and we think we might have to improve it, and we’re not prepared to make those commitments to testing and preservation.
We’re not claiming that they’re “Private” or “Secret” — How could they be, when anyone in the world can discover them? We’re also not claiming they’re forbidden: If you use them, your code will compile and probably run.

Link to Original Source


The Stealthy Fifth Core

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ozmanjusri writes "Nvidia's next-generation quad core Tegra processor, codenamed “Project Kal-El,” has fifth core that runs at a lower frequency and operates at exceptionally low power. Kal-El completely powers down its four performance-tuned cores for less power-hungry tasks like web reading, music playback and video playback. As computing needs increase, the CPU progressively turns on each of the high performance cores.

The Variable SMP architecture is also completely OS transparent, which means that operating systems and applications don’t need to be redesigned to take advantage of the fifth core"

Link to Original Source



Nobody buying Windows OLPC.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 5 years ago Many Slashdotters will remember that almost exactly a year ago, Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child announced a deal with Microsoft to test thousands of XO laptops running Windows XP. It was a tough time for OLPC, with multiple resignations of senior people and facing a rocky relationship with Intel. Arguably, the project has never really recovered, despite unveiling the promising-looking XO-2.

So after all the effort and cost, how well in the Windows XO selling?

It isn't. According to One Laptop Per Child News, countries that test both versions of the XO are choosing Sugar over Windows XP for their deployments.

Initially country representatives inquire if Windows XP runs on the XO laptop. That doesn't really come as a surprise - for many people Windows is the definition of a computer. However, upon further investigation every country decided to stick to Sugar.

Of course, even though the open source option is finally being revealed as the desktop of choice, it can't be called a win for OLPC. They have wasted a lot of effort making the XO BIOS XP-capable, and lost many very capable contributors as a result their departure from "the culture of learning that OLPC adheres to and promotes, a culture of open inquiry, diverse cooperative work".


Mozilla helps modernise IE

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Ars Technica is reporting that Mozilla developers are trialling a new plugin that adapts Mozilla's implementation of the HTML5 Canvas element for Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Canvas is used many popular web applications but it hasn't gained widespread use because it isn't available in Internet Explorer. Despite this shortcoming, web developers have begun to find workarounds to allow equivalent functionality for IE users. Google had to develop ExCanvas to make their Maps available to IE users, for example. ExCanvas works around the limitations of IE by re-implementing much of Canvas' features using VML, Microsoft's proprietary version of SVG. Mozilla's plugin will make it unnecessary for future web developers to create their own libraries.

Mozilla also has plans to develop a plugin called Screaming Monkey, which will allow IE to use Mozilla's JavaScript engine directly, meaning developers can code to web standards, not IE's proprietary "quirks".

It appears that even if Microsoft can't or won't make Internet Explorer a modern web browser, the computer industry is finding workarounds.


Google sued for US$1 billion over Outlook migration tool.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago A two-count lawsuit filed by Chicago company LimitNone alleges that Google misappropriated trade secrets and violated Illinois' consumer fraud laws when it developed "Google Email Uploader" which competes with LimitNone's "gMove" application.

Google claims its core philosophy is 'Don't be evil' but, simply put, they invited us to work with them, to trust them -- and then stole our technology,

said Ray Glassman, CEO of LimitNone, in a prepared statement.

The lawsuit was filed by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the same commercial litigation group who challenged Google over company's online advertising system.


Safari flaw could allow remote code execution on Windows

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Microsoft is warning that the flaw in Apple's Safari browser which we discussed here can be used to run malicious code on client computers.

Security researcher Aviv Raff used an existing flaw in Microsoft's internet explorer in the exploit, which was demonstrated to tech journalists.

IDG News Service tested Raff's demonstration attack code, which runs Windows Calculator on a victim's system. For the attack to work, a victim must first visit a maliciously crafted Web page with the Safari browser, which in turn will trigger the carpet bombing attack and exploit the IE flaw.

The flaw, which was originally reported the IE flaw to Microsoft more than a year ago, is rated as a moderate vulnerability, as is that of Safari. When combined however, they produce a critical flaw which allows remote code execution.


SPB makes Windows Mobile work.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago In news that will be a great relief to the many smart phone users who have struggled with the foibles of Windows Mobile, software house Spb has showcased its iPhone-like Mobile Shell at Australia's CeBIT tech conference this week.

The new shell, which overlays Microsoft's drab offering, is targeted at carriers, and Spb will happily customise the software to "strictly adhere to, and enhance, a carrier's unique identity and brand"

ITWire, who carried the story, asked the question "Why isn't Microsoft doing this?" What does Slashdot think?


Vista DRM actually works.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The Electronic Frontier Foundation is investigating an incident when Microsoft Vista Media Center computers blocked the recording of some NBC television shows.

When Vista Media Center users tried to record American Gladiator or Medium, a prompt informed them that the copyright holder prohibited recording. It seems that Vista has honoured NBC Universal's broadcast flag, despite a court ruling that software and hardware makers are not required to do so.

It remains to be seen whether this is an example of Vista being defective by design, or implementation.


Living leather jacket is killed.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Victimless Leather, a small jacket made from mouse stem cells was killed when it outgrew its life support system. It was made to be one of the central works in an exhibition "Design and the Elastic Mind" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

The jacket, a creation of Australian artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, was intended to raise questions about our exploitation of other living beings.

The exhibition includes a number of exhibits examining the ways people interact with technology.


OpenMac: A high-end Mac for a quarter of the price?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The OpenMac is a whitebox computer built to run an unmodified OS X Leopard kernel. Made by the Psystar Corporation, it would be substantially cheaper than any upgrade-capable Apple Mac.

The base model OpenMac with Intel GMA graphics sells for $399. It remains to be seen how long Psystar survive under the onslaught of Apple's legal team.

Update: The Psystar site is already down. Google cache here


The "Free Public WiFi" problem.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Have you ever been at an airport or hotel and clicked on a "Free Public WiFi" SSID?

If so, you were likely disappointed to find the connection didn't give you free access to the internet. You might also be surprised to know you're now part of an increasing viral phenomenom caused by Microsoft's Wireless Zero Configuration tool.

In a very strange design decision, Microsoft structured the tool so when Windows connects to a wireless network, it retains the network's SSID, and if the original network is no longer available, broadcasts it as an ad hoc network. The result is the beguiling, but ultimately frustrating invitation so many computer users are now experiencing.


Legal counsel: "Don't trust OOXML patent pledge"

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago A legal analysis of Microsoft's Open Specification Promise (OSP), which was purportedly written to give developers protection from patent risk, says the promise should not be trusted. According to the Software Freedom Law Center,

While technically an irrevocable promise, in practice the OSP is good only for today.

On the back of a chaotic ISO meeting to resolve outstanding specification problems which was described as "Complete, utter, unadulterated bullshit. This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen." by Tim Bray, this advice throws more doubt on OOXML's suitability as an international document standard.

Despite these considerable doubts, countries like Australia and New Zealand have not committed their votes, and it's still not clear how the race will run at the March 29 deadline.


Microsoft's new generation

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The finalists in Microsoft's Next-Gen PC Design Showcase have been announced.

As is usual with design competitions, practicality is not high on the list of requirements, though one of the key selection criteria is;

Windows Software: How does this design enhance or expand the users experience with Windows?

Entries of note include;

Sadly, there's no indication whether the Momenta "enhances the users experience with Windows" by detonating a charge of C4 if WGA decides their collar hasn't been activated recently.

Although the finalists have been chosen, Public's Choice Voting is open until March 15th 2008, so interested Slashdotters can vote for their favourite future PCs. Please try not to elect Skynet.


Low cost Linux laptops leading the charge.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago The world's third largest computer seller said today that it will offer a new, low-cost laptop similar to Asus' Eee PC. The American manufacturer Everex is already producing the Cloudbook Linux compact notebook for retail giant Walmart.

Acer had previously said it would not compete in this field, but changed its mind following Asus' success.

"I believe it's necessary for the company and they cannot let go of such an opportunity since it's where the industry trend is going," said Daiwa Institute of Research analyst Calvin Huang.

The combination of compact hardware matched to lightweight but functional Linux software seems to be hitting a sweet spot with customers. Asus says it intends to sell five million Eee PCs this year, while Acer has ordered an initial one million compact notebooks from a contract manufacturer.

While has a very different focus from these mini-notebooks, it looks like Nicholas Negroponte's development of the XO has opened up an entire new market, one which will make his dream of a sub $200 laptop even more ubiquitous than he intended.



ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago "Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.

For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.

A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.

A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.

A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.

A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.

A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia."

Prime Minister of Australia
Kevin Rudd


Open source developers have more sex and earn more money.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 6 years ago Australian open source developers typically earn triple the national median salary and are likely to be in a relationship, according to an Australian Open Source Industry and Community census.

The self-selected online survey suggests 57 percent were hobbyists who don't get paid to work on open source, 24 percent were working on open source in their paid job part of the time, while 10 percent worked on open source full time. Interestingly, the highest paid group was those working full time on open source projects.


Norway Mandates ODF

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 7 years ago In another step towards universal free and open electronic documents, the Norwegian government has mandated the use of open document formats from January 1st, 2009.

Three formats have been chosen for all documentation between authorities and users/partners:

  • HTML for all public information on the Web.
  • PDF for all documents where layout needs to be preserved.
  • ODF for all documents that the recipient is supposed to be able to edit

While government offices may publish in other formats, they must always also publish in one of these formats, so information will be available to people who do not wish, or cannot afford to use expensive proprietary software.


Ballmer foils bank robbery.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 7 years ago A bank robbery in Salt Lake City was foiled Friday when an unidentified man, believed to be Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, threw a chair from a second-story balcony, striking the would-be bandit.

The unidentified person grabbed a chair and hurled it off the balcony, striking the suspect in the back and knocking him to the ground, while yelling "I'll f****g kill bank robbers. I've done it before and I'll do it again!".


Australia ratifies Kyoto

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 7 years ago There was spontaneous applause as the new Australian government ratified the Kyoto treaty at the Bali climate change conference today.

Many of the world's top climate change scientists, and delegates from 180 nations, applauded as the conference noted Australia's decision to abandon its long-held opposition to Kyoto.

This move leaves the United States as the only major world economy which has failed to ratify the UN climate pact.


Native Win32 on OSX?

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  about 7 years ago Coders working on Wine for Mac have found that the Mac loader has gained its own undocumented ability to load and understand Windows Portable Executable (PE) files

They found PE loading capabilities in Leopard that weren't there in Tiger. Further dissection showed that Apple is masking references to *Win* and *PE* in the dll, which means it's not an accidental inclusion.

Is Apple planning native PE execution within OSX? The ability to use existing Windows software on OSX machines would dramatically lower the barrier to switching, and there's no doubt that there's considerable interest in alternative operating systems since Vista's less than inspiring debut.

There's unlikely to be a better time for Apple to make a grab for the OS market. Maybe 2008 will be the year of OSX on the desktop.


Linux ultraportable this year's must-have.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 7 years ago Several large online stores, including Amazon and CNET are billing the Linux-powered ASUS Eee PC as America's most wanted Christmas gift among notebooks products.

The Eee PC's US success is reflected in strong demand worldwide.

"In places such as Taiwan, US and Hong Kong, it seems like the Eee PC is sold out as soon as it appears on the market," Said Sunny Han, Director of ASUS Global Brand Center.

Despite the strong sales of the Linux device, Asus announced a version of the compact PC which would be available with Microsoft Windows pre-installed . Microsoft have agreed to lower the price of Windows to below $40 for Eee PC customers.


Outlook 2007 not so good.

ozmanjusri ozmanjusri writes  |  more than 7 years ago Microsoft has released details of the new Outlook mail client, and revealed that they will be using the MS Word rendering engine to display HTML email messages.

That means the Outlook will inherit the same HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) support as Word 2007. Some of the limitations that will bring include;

* no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
* no support for forms
* no support for Flash, or other plugins
* no support for CSS floats
* no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
* no support for CSS positioning
* no support for animated GIFs

While many Slashdotters will question the value of any HTML email, let's remember that choice has already been made by most non-technical email users, and keep this on-topic.

More details on Kevin Yank's Sitepoint blog

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