1688 posts • joined Monday 16th April 2007 14:57 GMT
Aeoliosynthesis: don't bother with hydrogen, just make a hydrocarbon from ambient air and water. Simple alkanes are pretty easy but real boffins might aim for synthetic oil which could be used for vehicles as well. Yes, it's poor efficiency but it's great for storage and flexible in use.
I have no problem with TLS & IMAP, well I do because I have a personal certificate and Opera gets confused but IMAP read is fine. Going up on SMTP + TLS on port 465 it looks like the handshake is not happening so I don't authenticate and the server won't relay for me. Only it might, the next time I start Opera. Did pass on the relevant server logs to Opera so a tad miffed on this as I am heavy Opera + IMAP user (6 accounts and counting).
NotScript has been flagged as not working so hopefully that will be fixed soon.
Webp is likely to make it's way into mod_pagespeed which will probably use it if the browser can handle it much like gzip. So, faster browsing for cleverer browser and kudos to Google for having the balls with webm and webp.
When 100% isn't 100%
Webp 100% should be lossless and 4:1 for lossless compression on photos is about par for the course. Note to achieve this you have created a *new* bitmap from the JPEG and then asked webp to save this new bitmap lossly - it isn't working directly with the JPEG.
The need for successful differentiation
applies just as much to Apple as it does to Android Army. Unlike the PC days when companies really did make nearly all of their own machines, all the devices now are being made the various sweatshops in China. But being able to negotiate the most preferable contracts with Foxconn, et al is only part of the equation. Apple built its reputation around the "user experience" and back in the 80s it was pretty easy to convince people how much nicer it was to use an Apple than a PC - usability in Windows was a joke partly because of the kludge introduced by MS (symbols in program manager were not the programs themselves) worried about Apple's "look and feel" legislation. Things are different nowadays with Google and even the manufacturers no slouches at user experience either, which is why Android has caught up iOS so quickly on the phones. At a casual glance it is difficult to tell them apart - yes, I know they are both distinctive in their own ways but they are also extremely similar in the way they do most things. And Google has services like mail and maps that people want to use.
But as long as the market is expanding there is no need for Apple to worry. It still has first mover advantage which adds caché to brand and the volumes give a good hand when it comes to contract negotiations. The excitement around the Xoom and the Samsung 8.9 are indicative of more challenges to come. Yes, Google is still sorting out the code base and whether it really wants a truly open platform (vertical of hardware, software and services must be so appealing) or something you pay to play with but it has some very neat things in Honeycomb, indeed you might call some of them compelling. If the makers can make hardware advances and maintain price competivity with Apple then things will hot up as the market matures. RIM, WebOS and evern MS will also find their niches, initially at least.
And very nice it is too
Webp is compelling in its size/quality over JPEG.
11.10 includes some nice HTML5 goodies and CSS3 stuff.
Unfortunately, a few regressions also slipped in - I have problems with some e-mail services and the NotScripts add-on does not work with this release- but if you don't use TLS with your e-mail you're not likely to notice.
Market not mature
The price is not driven solely by the components but by the ability to package them together: high resolution screen, enough memory and battery power but light enough. Apple currently has a big advantage in this area and the volume to get preferential terms on key components.
As for the figures: if I had a quid for every time Gartner got it totally fucking wrong...
I guess it allows them to share some code between M2 and this service because much of the Opera interface is marked up in HTML. Will M2 be spun out as an extension or widget as a result?
+ lots to Opera for making the service IMAP only and requiring secure connections.
"Why can Facebook do this?"
Because it's been given the money to do it.
Being able to scale hardware efficiently is a very important business which is why everyone is getting into it. Facebook is presumably eyeing the model as well - how to actually earn money from all that "excellent" hardware. Webscale means doing anything to increase margins in a very low margin world.
Become a partner in Goldman Sachs and bet against your customers with their money. If an IPO is ever forthcoming buy options on falling prices or just nakedly short sell - much the same thing.
Other than that: remove your money from any investment that is possibly involved in any other myriad pyramid schemes out there. Yes, your mattress is probably safer than anything other than treasury gilts at the moment, although the yields are being held artificially down by QE. Actually given the inflationary pressures in the UK at the moment, indexed linked papers are possibly the best bet. But what would I know? I don't have a loud stripey shirt!
Financial circles almost never avoid bubbles but are attracted to them like flies to shit. The reason: OPM - that's other people's money they're playing with so nothing can happen to them if things go wrong and they stand to make huge bonuses as long as things are going right. The media play along with all the bowel-wrenching financial commentary of "investors feeling confident", etc. because it's all good when it's good right? Rising asset prices are good and not inflation, right?
And your bank is involved in this game right now. They are taking cheap money from the government and giving it to fuckwits in the hope of discovering the next Geek Pie*.
Nothing wrong with games
Gaming is very social as LAN parties and MMRPGs like World of Warcraft have demonstrated. The platform they run is very uninteresting infrastructure and easily swapped which is why FarmVille runs on an iPhone and could just as easily be plugged into "Ping" as to anything else.
Pinch of salt
Does the report cover the consequences of having so much market share? If Android does go to 2 x the nearest competitor it is going to be extremely dominant.
Will we really still pay as much as USD 300 for handset in a few years? What bits of the smartphones won't have been relentlessly commodified by then given that some Android phones are already available for around USD 100 without contract.
Does it matter that the government is a two-party coalition?
Shirley the advert should just be to do with the government's strategy? The flavour of the government should not matter to a technocrat. Of greater importance: do they have senchua tea? where are the joysticks from and are those minky whales?
Chip density doesn't matter?
Looking at the pics the thing that strikes me is the low chip density per server. I am not an engineer but the approach does not seem to me to be anywhere near the needs of a very high-scale data centre as it is not commodified enough. I would expect much higher chip density on motherboards and very little local disk storage allowing scale in three dimensions: cores, RAM and disk like the HPC stuff. Making the servers higher for better cooling means that the chips are running too hot. Better TDP required. And, of course, air cooling isn't that good. How about keeping the servers in water?
Choose a scientifc report, any scientific report
Meanwhile, in Germany, which is likely to reverse last year's politically disastrous decision to extend the life of nuclear power stations with accelerated decommissioning by the end of the year, the Fraunhofer Institute - the people who brought us MP3's - have decided that wind power is more efficient than previously thought and can easily replace nuclear power. The report, in German, is available on the German wind power federation's website. http://www.wind-energie.de/fileadmin/dokumente/Themen_A-Z/Potenzial%20der%20EE/IWES_Potenzial_onshore_2011.pdf
And, yes, noises are already being made about how to ban the import of nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic.
The world and his dog
Are doing the same. Pretty much all modern drives have very little tolerance for failures given the density of the data. It's just too expensive to engineer the same degree of reliability into individual drives which is why the companies are more than happy to supply replacements but never guarantee against data loss. I would be extremely surprised if any modern drive that gets a reasonable amount of use is still working in ten years even five is pushing it. They know that it is far cheaper for customer to have redundant backup drives than a single but very reliable drive and they know about replacement cycles. And then, of course, the market will accept different levels of quality: cheap but maybe not so reliable, expensive and hopefully more reliable from the same manufacturer.
Slagging off individual manufacturers is like slagging off the various mobile networks: heavily skewed by personal experience.
Keep up at the back!
It was La Deneuve for a good long while once Bardot went out of fashion. One could object to Laetitia Casta on the grounds that she ain't French but the French have rarely nationality get in the way of holding beauty to their bosom.
Watch out for the IMB!
Yes, the International Muffin* Brigade will probably have his name on a list!
* the oven-bottom muffin is the term of choice for this doughy delicacy in some parts of the world and people are surprisingly sensitive to the correct us.
It was the strategy wot was wrong, wont it?
Obviously the mandarins of Whitehall aren't to be blamed for the failure and while they might have been slightly more successful if they'd been issued stylish hardware the real problem was the development paradigm that was employed. Luckily, on my recent gravy plane flight home I read an interesting article about something called "agile" in Rich Fuckers Monthly. The article had a picture of some really rich who said going agile was a transformatory experience and has made everything so much better...
So, now the massive fail whale projects are to be broken up, spliced and diced and distributed into myriad little barracuda projects under no overall control? That will make all the difference! Of course, we need to hire agile gurus from professional companies (they have blue logos as opposed to the last lot who had red) who will show us the ropes and the transformation of DoSaC can begin!
Also nuclear power is largely the victim of its own spin: in the fifties it was the future which is why Wormold memorably sold the "atomic pile" vacuum cleaner. Only the future didn't turn out anything like as rosy as it was promised. The arms race and the stockpiling of nuclear warheads certainly didn't help but after Thee Mile Island it was largely Paradise Lost. An accident that "could never happen" happened and the politicians were forced to respond.
Contrary to much opinion I don't think that mainstream media has got that much worse in the last fifty years: it has become very much more diverse. News programming on networks has taken a knock as Ted Koppel cogently argues in an interview on CNN  with polemic encroaching on investigative journalism but scientific journalism has always been fairly terrible as any Tomorrow's World retrospective shows only too well. There is still excellent journalism out there and I do agree that the BBC's TV news really has slipped - but it is probably reaching more people now than it did back in the 1960s. The Sun, Fox News and other outlets have shown that there is money in story chasing, especially of the emotional kind - "think of the children" is another topic that's great for selling copy and talking heads but this has always gone on.
Hold your horses!
Starsky and Hutch was an okay film but it was not really in the spirit of the of the original.
Remakes can work well if they are neither too slavish nor too tongue-in-cheek - then straight parody à la Bullshitters is better. Examples: Battlestar Galactica and, of course, Life of Mars is essentially The Sweeney reimagined and wonderfully slow. The biggest temptation would probably being too topical and working in too much back story - in medias res is the way to do it.
Where's the film buff icon?
It would be nice just occasionally to see "WNN is the mouthpiece of the nuclear industry" when quoting. Maybe something less polemic but all the same noting who is paying that particular piper.
Check the date
Is 24th March some kind of early April fool in Finland? Love the wordsearch, so very Nathan Barley.
So Nokia drops a distinctive if polarising typeface for another Helvetica look-a-like? Come to our art exhibition and celebrate with us as we burn our brand on a funeral pyre of old logo carved from Finnish pine.
Why hardware matters
Although operating systems promise some kind of hardware independent heaven for application developers the truth is that this is rarely the case. Sometimes you can just recompile and run but often you have to tweak the code a lot to get any real benefit.
The whole reason behind different flavours of hardware is horses for courses and for CPUs this means aligning the software algorithms with the CPU microcode in the compile step as the goal is to get your software running as natively (MMX, Altivec and friends) as possible on the chip with as few calls to the application for rescheduling, run on the integer, fpu and memory allocation. This requires having good tools in the chain (compiler) and good software engineers who know how to tweak the right code the right way for the right hardware.
What customers will pay for
Is not even having to run `make install clean` or `aptitude install`ever again. And you are threatening them that they may have to maintain their own software?
Documentation, replication, pretty chart makers, roadmaps, promises (however vague) and handholding is what many customers are only too happy to pay for. Oracle has good products and excellent sales people who are good are giving customers the warm and fuzzy feeling needed to open corporate wallets.
Much as I like Postgres and it is nice to see Enterprise DB and others picking up business from smaller installs, I don't think Oracle really gives a shit. SaaS is, however, something that does threaten the very core of their licensing business.
Quartz / Display Postscript for handling the UI. Licensed from Adobe but, as with many other things, Apple wasn't prepared to pay the full price - the ODBC manager is another example. Real WYSIWYG.
CUPS for handling printing
KHTML for the bundled browser and help system
But what do you expect in 5 pages? I have two gripes - PowerPC's are probably as suitable now for the desktop as they ever were but IBM wasn't interested in Apple's business. In fact, they have more in common with ARM chips than either have with x86. And each version seemed to be two steps forward, one step back. Snow Leopard has for some been a fairly painful experience in the move to x86_64. Yes Finder has gone native but many of the drivers still have a way to go.
Roll on Lion - will it bring ARM support with an accompanying MacBook Mini release? Or just lock down to the App Store™
Mini is nice
Living on Bada I'm glad to see the update as Mini 5 has had some rendering issues but was always faster than Dolphin and has a better approach to rendering text.
Still waiting for Opera Mobile for Bada but Mini 6 is well worth using. Pity it has to be installed and run from in the games folder.
It's not the numbers
No one cares about how many Sieverts are involved. For better or for worse nuclear accidents are tarred with the "no more Chernobyl" where any form of malfunction is considered to be a threat to life. Everyone "knows" that: radiation is invisible, life-threatening and long-lived. To talk about numbers after that is to play Al Gore to George Bush in the 1999 election campaign.
The perverse consequence of this is, of course, nimbyism with everyone craving cheap energy but wanting at least at arm's length. So, the German government having just extended the lives of its reactors has just unconstitutionally (because the Federal government is not responsible for safety) imposed a 3-month shutdown of 7 nuclear power plants, at least 2 of which will probably not go back into producation, jjust before several important state elections. While this is likely to cost billions in compensation to the power companies it is apparently not endangering the supply of electricity. I haven't currently come any figures as to whether shortfall will be made up by imported power that may be nuclear from France or elsewhere. The editorial in the Economist puts the case rather well: nuclear is pretty much dead in the water in democracies but all the more likely in other countries as the market for power will stay very strong.
An informed debate is required. However, citing WNN is only one side of this. WNN is run by the WNA, a lobby association of vested interests.
You don't have to buy...
... well in some way you probably do - you are bound to be affected by your bank, pension provider who may well be buying into this kind of deal thanks to the money printed by central banks looking for returns above 0.5% no matter how tenuous.
Valued at != value of assets. That said, value and worth are always defined by "what you can get for them" or "what the market will pay". Talking the value up, even tautologically, is perfectly legitimate. The stockmarket seems to go mad over the potential for earnings and especially for the potential for rise in the share price even though evidence tends to suggest that over time dividends are more rewarding than share price growth.
Groupon does seem to offer its customers (advertisers) some value - coupons and discount schemes are a respectable business model - and I was surprised to see a friend of mine who does not jump on the bandwagon (she uses Opera and does not have a Fuckbook account) had recently printed out some kind of groupon coupon (man, that sounds so shit). So there is awareness out there. Internet valuations all seem to be about scale as there is an understanding that margins are paper thin - Google and Amazon can attest to this - but they do exist and having leading market share is damn good way to keep the competition out as you need more than 50% to make any kind of money.
As for the IPO - just hope your bank is on the selling side.
What are MS playing at?
I agree that not backporting some form of IE 9 to XP is a mystery, hardware acceleration is irrelevant. MS is touting its new browser to all and sundry only for them to find out that it "doesn't run on their system". A system which will be supported until 2014... So, the alternatives are for safer browsing are: shell out for software and possibly hardware upgrade or install a free browser. IE 9 is not much of a reason to install Windows 7
Back to the article - nice overview. From what I've seen of Windows 7 I think most Windows users will like it.
It is perfectly reasonable for browsers to mistrust iframes: they are non-DOM aliens allowed to stay for this kind of hack.
But you can
However, this means transcoding to more than one format and, potentially having to pay a lot of money for privilege and more for the hardware. Also, because Safari doesn't play nicely you have to put h264 first with Flash as a fallback.
In other news: Opera 11.10 beta, like Chrome, now supports the webp bitmap format based on the work done for webm. The new format allows for better compression (my tests show webp bitmaps being 25% the size of an equivalent jpeg) than JPEG and degrades much better making it suitable both for photographs and images with large blocks of colour or text.
Also missing from the list
Smartdraw and Micrografx. Haven't touched Visio in years but I remember having to write a script to turn tab-based layouts into something that Micrografx could munch because Visio was such a pain to use. I would hope it's improved. However, if working with data then it is hard to beat Graphviz. Data + Graphviz -> SVG is pretty damn good.
For simple charts and sitemaps Slickmap is a nice approach - give it <ul>s and it does the rest.
DNLA does it all already and isn't limited to Apple hardware.
Not just for developers
Quite a lot of stuff on MacPorts requires xCode to build - anything that uses Coacoa I think. Obviously, we're not supposed to be using none-Jobsian tools, though I for one like up to date posix stuff (openssl, etc.).
USD 4.99 probably just covers billing for this so it's difficult to work out the logic behind it - just enough to piss people off so that the servers are not hammered or part of a more elaborate strategy around building up the garden walls. Are the days of `make install clean` on Mac OS numbered?
After banning other runtimes are other GUI toolkits next on the list for Mac OS X?
Try reading the directive
Cookies that "are essential for the technical service" are excepted from the directive. However, I think this excludes cookies just being set by the application server. .NET and other environments will have to be patched not to set cookies when they are not required.
Link to the directive (woefully missing in the article) http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/information_society/l24120_en.htm
Note: the directive considers cookies and data retention as separate issues. User tracking is likely to be pretty much impossible if countries that implement the law in this form.
Also worth noting that the UK is not the only country likely to be late in implementing the directive in national law but this is quite common with directives. Initially this just means a rap on the knuckles for naughty member states with fines to follow - many countries are often years late on legislation. Problems for sites and users will arise once the first country does legislate because anything dealing with countries outside the EU will be handled by the Commission.
It's not all about addresses
IPV6, if done correctly, provides the basis for a more reliable and, in theory at least, a safer (for a a given value of safe) infrastructure. As this requires network admins who know what they're doing I'll agree that this is promise is unlikely to be fulfilled.
Anyway, botnets are the way forward. With or without quadrillions of addresses you can't rely on blacklists for them.
There are no technical solutions to social issues
Anyway any problem is less in the consumption of porn than its production.
I, for one, welcome our new Pornosaurus lords.
PS. Pornography is literally dirty, "dirty writing" if memory serves correctly. Whether this includes erotica and violence is a matter of mass debate.
Deal with the devil
He's handled the media brilliantly until he tripped over this. Now he's spat out his dummy and resigned from parliament. Whether this was out of pique or before he faces any criminal charges is not known at the moment. Personally, I think resigning your seat at parliament a gross abdication of responsibility to your constituents.
I don't think he was forced to resign - his popularity is such that he probably could have survived even being done for plagiarism. Well, except that he's also responsible for the two army universities.
But he did piss off a seriously large bit of the intelligentsia by trying to relativise his crime. Which is why Schavan said that she would have been "ashamed" and Norbert Lammert is not generally known for being gung-ho but quite early on was against Betrugenberg. There is still the matter of whether parliamentary service was used to write the thesis.
He flew high so he had harder to fall. His tv appearances and solidarity with the troops on the frontline did not necessarily endear him to the rest of the army and his protests about working so hard on the army reform is a load of shit that de Maiziere is going have to deal with, and put himself in pole position to replace Merkel if he pulls it off.
But back to the main point of the article the amount of slacktivists signing up to recall the minister. Hopefully this will hope to highlight how little effect such pages have and how little they have to do with democracy.
Open testing required
Android can probably make a virtue out of this by implementing some kind of testing infrastructure that checks applications automatically. An open process should allow best practice to be implemented quickly. We can only guess that Apple tests as much for non-Apple backdoors as they do for unsuitable content or stuff the just don't like.
Eyeballs, eyeballs, eyeballs
While repetitive the stories are usually entertaining and I assume popular enough with those readers who can see ads that advertisers like them so it makes sense to write more.
I, for one, welcome our our tongue-in-I'd rather-not-say overlords. But I also can't wait for the first head-to-head reviews of Xoom versus iPant.
You forgot to mention
Opera added hardware support for Windows, drivers permitting, in a labs build on 28th February.
WebGL isn't likely to set the world on fire just yet unless Hollywood insists that webm 3d is the only way to go but hardware support for Open GL will make some things like overlays work a lot better.
Rosetta will probably still be available at least for the plethora of devices that (Canon, Oki, etc.) than package drivers with it. Otherwise a fuck of a lot of people will either not pay out or not read the small print and be fucking angry. Quite possible that a restricted set of Rosetta will still be around and available for download.
Some nice things in there but given that Snow Leopard was apparently only a minor update (with things like Grand Central and CUDA) and this will be two years after Snow Leopard I can't help thinking that something is missing. Support for the ARM toolchain is probably the elephant in the room so that "compliant" applications can be easily cross-compiled for Mac OS and iOS.
Mac OS is still a really nice platform to work with so I don't feel any pressing need to jump ship but I will be installing PC-BSD 8.2 on a separate partition and probably buy some kind of Android 3 based notebook once the teething troubles are solved.
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