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* Posts by Ammaross Danan

991 posts • joined 23 Sep 2009

Fresh Apple lawsuits target 15 Samsung gadgets

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Shame really....

No one really looks at the "total cost of ownership" for Apple devices. Sure, the device may be of similar price ($500 iPad2 for instance), but when you tack on extra costs (+16GB internal flash due to not having a microSD slot, +$100-$200), cost of HDMI adapter dongle (~$50), i-branded docking stations/speakers/carkits/etc (outrageous), they start to lose their appeal.

The only thing levied against Android in TCO was user time (to root the phone, flash CyanogenMod, etc etc as desired). Personally, it works* out of the box for 99% of people, as does the iPhone

* for varying degrees of "works" (functionality, capability, appearance, universality and connectivity)

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Boffins quarrel over ridding world of leap seconds

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Time

Unix StarDate 57429.29....

That is all....

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X Prize: Build a Star Trek 'tricorder' and win $10m

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Camera

"Depending on the MPs they could have a range of STDs to choose from..."

Dunno about you, but I can think of several STDs (not to mention skin diseases) that are easily identifiable with a simple smartphone camera....Can I haz the $10mil?

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Tape lives on: Sony to squeeze out LTO-6

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Decimal places

You may want to check your decimals. I come out with 4.2328hrs to write the whole tape, assuming the top speed of 210MB/s is consistant (and assuming it doesn't need a read pass for verification or the like)

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Foreign sabotage suspected in Phobos-Grunt meltdown

Ammaross Danan
Coat

It happens

Shows what happens when you cut funding (or simply don't provided enough cash in the first place) for a space agency: you get expensive duds rather than results. I wonder if the USA is watching this and learning....likely not....

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DIY virtual machines: Rigging up at home

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Reader

Apparently, you don't read Reg articles: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/06/remotefx/
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Doomsday Clock ticks one minute closer to annihilation

Ammaross Danan
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Lingo

"Fukishima had a catastrophic meltdown that didn't kill anyone" Doesn't it have to be a catastrophy to be "catastrophic"? Last I checked, Fukishima was a partial meltdown, but no where near a "catastrophy" such as Chernobyl.... As for climate change, the polarization is whether humans are causing it or not. Perhaps the argument should be "no significant [human-caused] warming." Just because our models are flawed (they don't take into account all environmental factors, so you can't say they are not), doesn't mean they're wrong; just inaccurate. It's the fact that our current temperatures are not where they were projected to be that should be more conclusive.
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Intel demos transparent-lid hybrid PC

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Close'n'go

I frequently close'n'go with my laptop. So much so that I tell the "close lid" action to "do nothing." Makes it readily available when I get to the near destination, no need to wait for wireless to rehook, DHCP to resolve, sleep to resume, etc. The ability to see what that email bloop was without having to awkwardly open the laptop is an added bonus. Unfortunately, it sounds like it needs to run Windows 8 to get the featureset....

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Apple patent stashes passwords in chargers

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Legit

"Looks like a legit patent filing from Apple as well."

I must say, it is a legit patent idea from Apple, for once. The reason no one else thought of it first? They did, but it's obviously a terrible idea, as noted in the article. Lose the adapter with the PC (carrying case anyone?) and you're toast. This may make more sense for a USB-charged phone (as you can have many USB cables, but only one wall-wart USB adapter that is toted around in a bag, but your phone is usually separate in a pocket on one's person. Then again, how many people actually lock their phone with anything harder than 1234 or a 1379 swipe?

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Astronomers map largest ever zone of dark matter

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Clouds

"Astrophysics are just a bit messed up because we've evidence for things that act in certain ways (for example dark matter and dark energy) but we've not got much evidence yet for what they are"

Galactic dust clouds without an illuminating source.

/mines the one with the flashlight in the pocket

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Think twice before moving to SaaS office

Ammaross Danan
Coat

SaaS

SaaS makes sense for small biz email, since the internet for the SaaS service is more likely to be up than the small biz. However, I've worked with businesses that utilized SaaS email (most of them just didn't pick the right one) which ended up with a POP3-type service and thought they were good to go because it "worked." At least, until the first computer died. Switching them to a local Exchange server gave them additional functionality, as well as reduced internet load (due to those favorite 4MB attachments not going outside the org anymore).

As the software stack goes up and becomes more complex (real-time links to databases for instance) the performance just gets worse and worse. This is most painfully noticed on software that was designed to run on LANs, but is getting shoe-horned into a "Cloud" server because it looked cheaper on paper. Of course, SaaS like a timecard system or modern web-based software makes more sense. Still, depending on the implementation or data load, it can be lethargically slow. Short of having a P2P T1 (or better) to the SaaS provider, your experience will be at the mercy of your ISP.

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Lenovo outs Ice Cream Sarnie telly

Ammaross Danan
Trollface

Kinect

Just hook your Kinect up to it. It can do anything!

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Marvell updates hybrid NAND/disk controller

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Woot!

"Users can, with the aid of a GUI-based management system, force particular files and folders to be fixed ("pinned") in either flash or on disk."

I would buy one of the devices using this for this feature alone. No matter how good your detection algorithms are, it is nothing like the intimate knowledge the ACTUAL USER has on how they use their data. Pass the power to them and let them reap the benefits (or dig their grave) as they see fit.

Read my past comments. I called for this feature some 6 months or more ago.

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Chrome beta promises super-fast URL loads

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Nah

IE group-sources a file's malicious intent, just as much as Chrome likely will. Several tools and installers (php5 win32 installer for instance) get flagged as "not often downloaded" and you have to overwrite the system by using "Actions..." rather than the default DELETE button. As annoying as this may be, I am willing to bet it's saved countless computards from installing crapware since they can't figure out where the "Open" button is now. Looks like Chrome is just following suit. Just means less money for us free-lance virii cleaners....

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Broadcom uncloaks zippy '5G WiFi' chippery

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Simples

Don't buy the cheapo kit.

ISP-supplied router/modem/All-in-Ones usually have such cut-throat hardware that it likely can barely process a single computer connection to the internet, and only if you're just surfing a minimalist website.

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Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Daft

Sounds like you think that 80MHz is the frequency the wifi was specced to run at, rather than the bandwidth of the wifi in the 5GHz range. Hopefully your reading comprehension is better in whatever line of work you do.

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Google grabs yet more patents from IBM war chest

Ammaross Danan
Coat

I wonder

I wonder at what point the scales will tip and Microsoft will start making more money from their licensing on android handsets than from WinPhone sales....

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Ammaross Danan
Coat

Upside

"a method of playing audible advertisements to mobile users before they make a call"

There's an upside: it may make the kiddies NOT actually want to make that call to their friend, especially if it is a 30sec advert.

I'd get one simply to give the kids for simple "call me when the movie is over" comms. Beats having to do an extra cell phone on a family plan (price-wise).

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Xbox 720 to double-up as a DVR

Ammaross Danan
Coat

HTPC

One would wonder huh? Would be funny to see MS sue an HTPC company using Windows as the "interface" that integrates a DVR viewer (Windows Media Player) with a gaming console (think having Steam open in another window would count?).

The miracle would be if they make the nextbox power-efficient enough in "off"-but-DVR-mode to keep your front room ambient temp lower than the 80*F the XBox360 makes it....

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Microsoft de-cloaks Windows 8 push-button lifesaver

Ammaross Danan
Coat

List of Apps

"Providing a list of desktop apps that were installed and allowing you to choose which ones to reinstall would be better than ditching all of them though."

Not if that list has "Windows Antivirus 2011" or other such malware in it....Users were fooled enough to think it was a good program when ransomed to pay for it, what makes you think they won't think it's a good app upon refresh?

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PCIe flashers bash storage networks

Ammaross Danan
Coat

"CPU cycles as the most precious data centre resource..." again

The OP still missed it. CPUs are cheap. The Author's slight sounded like a stab at Virtualization, where apparently his mantra is "squeeze every bit out of the CPU as we can!". This is false. Businesses don't virtualize to drive up CPU utilization; they virtualize to reduce hardware count. Sure, a 10-core CPU goes mostly wasted being a mail server with 15K SAS disks. Stuffing PCIe flash won't improve the matter any. However, treat the SERVER as the most precious data centre resource, stack it high with VMs to utilize the CPU and RAM, you'll need something with high IOPS (be it remote or local storage) since hosting 10 VMs all doing various loads of sequential and random access will look like a bunch of random access requests (think, two sequential reads will have to interleave the segments, causing the heads to jump across the disk swapping back and forth, unless it prioritizes a whole file ahead of the other, which disk access doesn't really do). This is why high IOPS is in demand in virtualized environments. Each server is doing its own thing. If a server was I/O bound as bare-metal, think of how behind it gets when stacked with 6 other (even occassionally) I/O bound VMs.

The one good mark I can give is that the Author stressed that NAS/SAN isn't dead, but that they just need flash too, and that there are limits to the benefits of DAS. Unfortunately, that's about all of the topic the author seems to grasp.

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Virtual sanity: How to get a grip on your home PCs

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Crosses Fine

Just the other day, I restored a Clonezilla image of a Win7 box from Intel SNB hardware to a Core2 system (both HP biz fortunately). Runs fine. Took the hard drive out of an AMD AM2+ mobo system and plopped it in a AM3 mobo system. The only glitch was the nVidia drivers needed to be removed beforehand so the AMD Radeon vid card switch-in wouldn't toast the OS on load (still was able to remove the vid drivers by swapping the old vid card into the new system, remove the drivers, then pop the Radeon back in). Simples.

Win7 isn't as bad off as XP when it comes to underlying hardware change. You can even move from SATA IDE emulation mode to AHCI with a one-liner registry change.

Trevor, your setup sounds quite extravagant, and I do hope your SNB $750 HTPC runs well hosting the 3 or 4 XP VMs that you allocate for "all your computing needs except gaming." However, I for one know that it would not work for most tech-savy users, as my web-browsing alone takes up over 750MB of RAM (yes, I have lots of research threads open, usually 6 or 7 separate browser windows with multiple tabs each). Hope you decked out that SNB with 16GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD, which is the only way it would be tolerable if both you and your family are using it concurrently.

Something you might want to look into is an nCompute setup. Works like RDP, but is a separate physical thinbox client. It's more seamless than a Wyse or the like, and gives you a more-native view than an RDP session. Also would save you having to run your i5 w/ an nVidia power-sucker just so you can tote around the internet in an RDP session.

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UK's solar 'leccy cash slash ruled unlawful

Ammaross Danan
Coat

PV

PV has promise, even in the climate of the UK. However, wind power is way more expensive, and requires ongoing maintenance to sustain, and it relies on how regular the wind is. Keep the subs in PV, reduce funding for wind farms.

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Apple land-grabs fuel cells for mobiles

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Side-effect

Perhaps they should patent iDiapers for handling the consequent by-product of fuel cells....

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AMD claims 'world's fastest GPU' title

Ammaross Danan
Coat

GPU

Based on the cursory overview provided, it actually sounds like a nice GPU. Granted, with the performance improvement in "performancy/sq mm", it leads me to think there's only a small 110% speed bump over the last-gen 6970. Even so, the feature set will be nice. If their ZeroCore works as one would hope, perhaps we'll have a GPU that fair better than 120W at "idle" (rendering desktop only). Incorporating Turbo Boost is an interesting ploy too, as it allows that OCers may have been doing manually/semi-automatically for some time: cranking the GPU into OC mode during game play, and reverting to normal/underclock for desktop use (especially considering that the GPU in some cases sucks more watts than the rest of the computer combined). Wasn't that the point of leaving the Intel HD gfx core on Sandy Bridge strapped to your monitor with a bit of Virtu magic to (hopefully, but didn't work very well) put your gfx card in idle outside of games?

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Apple wins skirmish in HTC-Google patent war

Ammaross Danan
Coat

6310

Not just the 6310, but blackberries have been doing this since day one. Same with Palm devices.

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Android gets 'flashy', 'social' holiday treats

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Missed....

The call to developers was due to the API bump for ICS, not flash. The flash 11.1 update was just a headliner. Try reading past the first paragraph.

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Blast at Apple gear factory hurts 61

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Bah

"The fruity firm gets many of the components for its iPhones and iPads from Chinese suppliers..."

Such a juicy line, and then you beat me to it Jedit: ".. it was the battery overheating, right?"

Was gonna say "They must be making iPhone batteries...." or somesuch :(

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Parody is illegal, say barmy bureaucrats

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Satire

"...and the strange notion that parody and satire are illegal in the UK."

Perhaps you should restrict your speaking on "works of satire" to music and media. If not, you should read a good piece of satire named "A Modest Proposal," which is satire of a different sort from what you're writing about.

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Swiss-based Balesio takes the knife to PDF files

Ammaross Danan

Garbage collection

Ever try saving a Word doc as html? There are <font> and style tags around EVERY block of text, not to mention the style tags in each <p> or <td>. Simply removing these for a top-level CSS style would save space. Likely it is these type of tricks that are employed in "native format optimization" since, by definition, they can not use 3rd party compression methods.

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Seagate matches and raises WD disk warranty cuts

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Dying

The only thing dying about Seagate is likely the company itself due to a bad reputation on hard disk failures. HDDs won't be killed by SSDs anytime soon as SSDs are limited by the die-size of the cells (currently dropping to around 22nm). Once they hit a point of diminishing returns (7-12nm likely), they'll have to start going to 3-level MLC or higher, and likely have to stack chips to up their density. Regardless, HDDs still have a higher bit density and easier/lower cost to manufacture. Furthermore, we know that NAND flash is running the end of its era and that other flash technologies will be stepping in within the next 3 years, hopefully yielding better densities and economies of scale, but we know there are similar "new" techs being developed by HDD companies (BPM, HAMR, etc) that will allow HDDs to easily reach 10TB with only 3 platters in the next 5 years.

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WD slashes warranty periods on Blue and Green drives

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Works better than Seagate

That is all

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OCZ wheels out lower octane SSD for Sunday drives

Ammaross Danan
Coat

That is all

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=MTBF+testing

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Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Other People

"The pickup was then struck from behind by a school bus, which was plowed into by a second school bus. Two people were killed and 38 were injured.

...In addition, the driver of the first bus had been distracted by a motorcoach that had pulled to the side of the road, and the driver of the second bus was faulted for following the first bus too closely."

I'm glad the article continued to quote and included the excuses of the two bus drivers. However bad the texting lad (who died) was doing, the two bus drivers (who were not using PEDs per their statement) STILL ran into him. PEDs are killers for sure, but no worse than DUI, makeup, smoking, playing with the radio dials, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, texting while driving is about as enforceable as DUI, but instead of a breathalizer, they need a laptop with your cell records.

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Cosmic Cannonball snapped blazing a bloody trail of star guts

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Overthinking....

X-ray imaging works by looking at a shadow, since what we're looking at (bone and the like) doesn't normally emit enough x-rays to get a good image. HOWEVER, gas clouds, supernovae, and the like DO emit x-rays and thus would be quite detectable by someone who's vision worked in the x-ray band rather than in the "visible light" band. Basically, your vision would work the same, just objects would likely have a different "brightness" to them.

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Winamp mends trio of old-school security holes

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Still Good

joejack: "But yeah, if I'm on win7 I still use winamp. I don't install video or modern skins or a lot of the other crap. Stays out of the way, low footprint, syncs playlists to portables, good hotkey support, great for ripping/reencoding, all the old plugins still work"

Which is exactly why I still use it. Global Hotkeys work great, even in full-screen ancient apps (think Diablo 2). The thing to love is startup time, low CPU use, and next to no memory footprint. Compare this vs Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, or (ugh) iTunes (to name a popular trio) and you feel better about running old-school.

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Greenland 'lurched upward' in 2010 as 100bn tons of ice melted

Ammaross Danan
Coat

99%....

99%? Let alone ones not using the ficticious data coming from a certain major climatology centre...?

Anyway, "might accelerate massively in a runaway positive feedback loop if global temperatures climb, and so become a major problem"

The world will quake in fear at a whole 2mm (guess based on only 0.25 coming from a major melt of Greenland) sea-level rise annually. Perhaps in 10 years, that one whole inch worth of extra sea-level will cover my sand castle....

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Survey: Apprenticeships will fix IT skills gap

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Experience

5 years experience in 1yr-old tech is HR slapping their "minimum requirements" stamp on a job position, which is half the problem to begin with...

HOWEVER, the job posting usually lists experience in A CRAP TON of various softwares and (sometimes) languages, which sometimes is mutually exclusive in a workspace (VMWare, KVM, and Xen for instance). Then, of course, is the wage of 25-35k/year. So very much peanuts.

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Google's Schmidt strikes Carrier IQ off Xmas card list

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Open Source

The great thing about Open Source is that carriers could inject code directly into the kernel if they so deemed. Perhaps Carrier IQ already has such a patch readily available to their customers....

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Netflix set to make your video history public

Ammaross Danan
Coat

"think anyone gives a crap about what you are watching/listening to"

Twitter became a booming business for a reason, as gut-wrenching or mystifying as such a feat may be...

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Intel, Micron double single-chip flash capacity

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Packages

"Intel says that one-terabit densities can be achieved in "a single fingertip-size package" consisting of eight of the new parts"

Question is, does this mean a flash chip that hosts 8 dies (as opposed to the practice of 4 dies in current 512GB+ drives)? Surely, since 4 dies per chip causes interleaving bottlenecks to the dies, dropping 8 dies on a chip could cause similar (worse?) issues if the controller isn't striping the data efficiently? Perhaps an upgrade to channels from the controller is in order...

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IMFT exposes its incredible shrinking NAND

Ammaross Danan
FAIL

Missed

"The last time I read on the subject, SSD's built from current chips were expected to last many decades based on about 100,000 P/E cycles for commercially produced NAND chips"

There's a difference between referring to a "chip" as a whole, and what the OP to your comment was referring to: the erase-endurance of a particular 2-bit NAND cell, which does have 3000-5000 erase cycles at 25nm. However, when you take the whole drive into account (say 120GB), with decent wear leveling algorithms and such, it would take many years to burn through those erase cycles even pushing 7GB/day of data writes. And, of course, if you're using an SSD to edit uncompressed video or the like, you likely are a numpty or have enough money to toss your SSD once a year.

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US military pays SETI to check Kepler-22b for aliens

Ammaross Danan
Go

Faster Than Light Communication

Apparently, we already have. They likely did to...

http://www.universetoday.com/33752/device-makes-radio-waves-travel-faster-than-light/

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Ice Cream Sandwich

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Adverts

"Not that there's any difference between Google and MS and Apple. Except Apple will take $hundreds of you first and then extract advertising revenue from your data."

Apple doesn't really make much in adverts (yet). However, they do gouge the heck out of developers, which you then must pay for in (semi)inflated prices. Or you do could do what Apple intended all along and just use their sources (iTunes, iBook, The Daily).

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iOS 5.1 name-checks next-gen iPad, iPhone

Ammaross Danan
Coat

"J33 is something altogether new: Apple's own-brand television""

If the J33 is an Apple-branded TV, it's likely a 33" only because "you don't need any other size." (like the iPad's set size).

Of course, I don't partake the fruit of a company that tries to dictate how I use my device(s). (Yes, there are more than just Apple, but they're quite famous for draconian control)

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Apple pulls games subs app DAYS after approving it

Ammaross Danan
Coat

iBooks

Per title. Need I say more?

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It's ALIVE! Broken Russian Mars probe finally answers calls

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Yep

"this is the first signal Earth has received from the probe since it launched on November 9"

Perhaps it was just running Windows and finally finished booting on the Atom processor they sent up in it.

Knew I should have put it on an SSD....

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Superhero oil-burping algae will save the world

Ammaross Danan
Coat

@dr2chase: Problem

"but it's a heck of a lot easier to cover out consumption if we first cut it by 50 or 75%"

The problem with people saying "we should just cut our usage in half!" doesn't understand why the automobile industry is growing. It's not that people's cars break down and they discard them to junk yards. It's that their children come of driving age and require a vehicle now as well. We've quite likely DRAMATICALLY reduced our consumption of various Bad Things (tm) on a per capita basis, but population growth likely shrouds such cut backs. Perhaps someone should give us per capita energy use, polution, etc, etc and trend that out rather than just spouting how many Googl-tons of CO2 pumped out by the human race each year....

/Mines the one with the bike lock key in the pocket.

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3m iPad 3 'retina' screens sent to Apple by month's end

Ammaross Danan
Coat

TV Resolution

TV resolution has been lagging behind for quite a while. NTSC or PAL has had sub 640x480 quality since inception, however, most computers have had minimum of 640x480 since 1990. It wasn't until 720i and the like rolled along that we got anything better. The nice thing was the push for TVs to be 1080p (and LCD) that killed CRTs and improved computer resolution for the mainstream from the old 1280x1024 (at best) to a more default 1366x768 (cheapos) or the 1920x1080. Still not the optimal (for now) 1920x1200, but it is still better than what we had just in 2001.

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Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Ammaross Danan
Coat

Rooted

The Fire has been rooted. Install base Android on it. Easy.

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