* Posts by Maryland, USA

179 posts • joined 7 Jan 2008

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Jerry Yang hired as fly on the wall at Lenovo

Maryland, USA
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Lenovo "wants to position its ThinkPad range as an Apple-level premium brand"

That's funny; it already is.

Yahoo! Mail! offers! HTTPS! amid! account! hijack! spree!

Maryland, USA
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Enough! already! with! the! Yahooesque! exclamation! marks!

It! was! funny! the! first! jillion! times!

Big screened quad-core Chinese beasts splash down at CES

Maryland, USA
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Re: Resolution

I like the screen on my Lenovo ThinkPad W500 from 2008:

15.4 inches

16:10

1920x1200

It's not IPS, but the resolution is a thing of joy.

Prisoner found with phone + charger in anal cavity

Maryland, USA
Coat

Job variety

Well, that must have provided a pleasant diversion for the prison proctologist.

Google mingles Drive and Gmail for 10GB attachments

Maryland, USA
Unhappy

great...unless you're firewalled

Great! I'll finally be able to get large video files to collaborators from work. Oh, wait: In the vast organization where I work, all file-sharing sites are blocked.

Microsoft shoots Windows Live Messenger, brings in Skype IM

Maryland, USA

We'll always have Communicator...or WILL we?

What will become of the company's corporate chat client, Microsoft Office Communicator?

We don’t talk any more... on the commute

Maryland, USA
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tapping on a laptop

You're not the only commuter who is annoyed by loud users of portable electronics. Listen to the song "Tapping On a Laptop" in my musical play Tracks the Musical: http://www.tracksthemusical.com/synopsis/ .

OK - who just bought a biz PC? Oh wait, none of you did

Maryland, USA
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Re: they came back in my office

laptop + docking station > desktop

My home setup: four 1920x1200 LCDs (2x2) and an external keyboard, all driven by a ThinkPad W500. Hell, I don't even use a dock anymore; three of the monitors are driven through DVI-to-USB adapters connected to USB 3.0 Expresscard.

Climate sceptic? You're probably a 'Birther', don't vaccinate your kids

Maryland, USA
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Samples of one tell us nothing

Lewis Page doesn't fit the profile of his fellow believers. Well, neither do I. I'm a rare bird: an animal-rights vegetarian who favors nuclear power. But unlike Page, I don't try to claim, "I don't fit your profile, therefore your profile is invalid."

Maryland, USA

an inconvenient truth

Check out The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science - and Reality by Chris Mooney (2012). Disbelief in climate change and its manmade causes correlates highly with belief in conspiracies and distrust of government.

HP throws an extra 2,000 staff onto chopping block

Maryland, USA
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PR drivel

Dear HP:

Fire the flack who wrote this; S/he has made the public hate you more, not less:

"We are working to improve our execution and financial performance and to align our cost structure with our revenue and margin profile," HP stated."

First, Google goggles - now the world gets self-censoring specs

Maryland, USA
Happy

Someone came up with Googly modesty glasses in 2009 (video)

For an augmented reality approach to Modesty Glasses, check out this prescient video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDaXhyXwjkU

Apple, Amazon, close password door after horse bolts

Maryland, USA
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Recently I had to call my credit union to have my password reset. I was asked the most basic of questions, then told, "OK, it's reset." I replied, "Are you kidding me? I don't WANT it to be that easy!" Every site should include challenge questions whose answers not every your twin would know. Paul

PayPal parts company with major China partner

Maryland, USA

PayPal works in China, but...

Two days ago, I bought a smartphone from a Chinese site, using PayPal. I had to pay the 4.5 percent fee. Does Paypal allow Chinese vendors to pass the feel to the buyer? They don't in America.

Will Samsung's patent court doc leak backfire spectacularly?

Maryland, USA
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Gene Roddenberry's daughter learned a similar lesson the hard way

In his will, the late Star Trek creator stipulated that anyone who challenged their inheritance was to receive nothing. Roddenberry's daughter was awarded "only" $10 million and no residuals. She felt she deserved more. Acting on what must be the worst legal advice in history, she challenged the will. The judge wasted no time in awarding her nothing.

Lenovo CEO Yang doles out US$3m bonus to staff

Maryland, USA
Childcatcher

Whitman's samplers? Fast chance

Puh-LEASE, someone, ask Meg Whitman whether she'll be sharing her bonus with HP's Little People, and if not, why not. Oh, and make sure the videocameras are rolling.

Stonehenge WASN'T built by ALIENS - Boffins' shock claim

Maryland, USA

For the true meaning, look no further than "European Vacation"

Stonehenge is "a thing of glory for a million generations to see":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DewEKz9TzmM

Social Network scribe to turn hefty Steve Jobs tome to popcorn-fodder

Maryland, USA
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They picked Sorkin? Really?

Did anyone imagine any other screenwriter would be tapped?

BTW, his teen daughter was the cutest thing at the 2012 Oscars. I'm just sayin...

Real-time drone videos get GPU-tastic

Maryland, USA
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Brilliantly written

As a science writer, I strive to write this lucidly and humanly. Unfortunately, I work for the U.S. government, whose public affairs folks delight in turning science stories like yours and mine into dull press releases. In any case, about once a month I forward a science article to my colleagues as an example of the best science writing. Tag, you're it.

LOHAN's fantastical flying truss menaces kiddies

Maryland, USA
Happy

"Yes, but if you did like cars, what would be your favourite?"

When I was 11, my classmate Jeff came over to play. When he left, my sister, then 7, remarked, "I still don't like boys, but if I did, I'd like Jeff."

Floods really will bring armageddon in 2012, insist resellers

Maryland, USA
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Literally well-done

What a pleasure to see "literally" used correctly:

"PC makers forecast shortages nearer to Christmas as the deadly flooding disaster in Thailand literally wrecked the hard disk supply chain.

Hong Kongers fight for right to stand in line for iPhone 4S

Maryland, USA
Stop

There's a simple way to end queue jumpers

Hand out numbered tickets. When I've found myself in a jumbled queue, I've worked with others in the queue to write numbered tickets on the spot. It worked like a charm.

Results in on why life, the universe and everything exists

Maryland, USA

"Why is there something rather than nothing?"

The question was answered decades ago in a paper in the American Scientist: There's something rather than nothing because "nothing" is unstable.

Drug cops log Nigerian star's 24 bowel movements

Maryland, USA
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Nice pun in the main title

"Drug cops log Nigerian star's 24 bowel movements"--Nice work. I imagine that if the article had been about William Shatner's bowel problems, we might have read, "Captain's log..."

Man charged in nude celebrity hacking case

Maryland, USA
Happy

in his defense...

Er, where can I contribute to his defense fund?

Hard-up OpenOffice whips out begging-cap website

Maryland, USA

I'll take none of the above

It's SoftMaker Office 2012 for me. MS, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice should ask themselves how a small team of 20 Germans could quietly create the best office suite in existence.

Interference-dodging app sidesteps Wi-Fi band-hoggers

Maryland, USA

Nice writing, as always

Great job, Bill Ray. Among the many scribes who aim to clarify the what and why of wireless, "No-o-body does it better."

The amazing shipping container: How it changed the world

Maryland, USA

Yes, "The Box"

By mistake, I recommended a different book. Yours is the title I was trying to think of. I read about 20 pages of it online. It's riveting.

Maryland, USA

There's a book about it

The box that changed the world: fifty years of container shipping - an illustrated history, by Arthur Donovan, Joseph Bonney (2006)

Also, a Scientific American podcast (2007), in audio and transcript: How Cargo Containers Shrank the World and Transformed Trade.

If either of these was your source, give credit where it's due.

Intel promises '20X' power reduction with 'Haswell' chips

Maryland, USA
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It's not about whether I like an expression

Very clear? I think not.

Under your definition, if I write 'reduced it by a factor of two-thirds,' readers will think I mean 'multiplied it by 3/2, making it 50 percent larger.' Do you seriously believe anyone will think that? Is that your intent?

Under your definition--but not under mine--to 'reduced unemployment by a factor of zero' would be impossible, since you can't divide by zero.

Under your definition, if you leave a value unchanged, you're reducing it by a factor of 1 (100 percent divided by 1). by your definition, reducing by a factor of 1 = increasing by a factor of 1 (100 percent x 1). That's jarringly counterintuitive.

Under your definition, if you reduce unemployment by 1 percent, you're

reducing it by a factor of 1.01 (since 1 divided by 1.01 = 0.99). Not at all obvious.

I completely agree with you that journalists who write 'increased by 1%' when they mean 'increased by 1 percentage point' are guilty of ambiguity and worse: stupidity or contempt for accuracy. Ditto for journalists who write '3 times greater' when they mean '2 times greater' or '3 times as great.'

Maryland, USA
FAIL

20 times smaller???

The innumeracy is going from bad to worse.

To quote from 'factor change' at zonelandeducation.com:

'If a speed changed from 40 m/s to 20 m/s, we would say that the speed changed by a factor of 1/2.'

Need further evidence? From Common Errors in English Usage by Paul Brians:

'Mathematically literate folks object to expressions like “my paycheck is three times smaller than it used to be” because when used with whole numbers “times” indicates multiplication and should logically apply only to increases in size. Say "one third as large” instead.'

If Brians is not sufficiently authoritative, there's always the New York Times Style and Usage ('times less, times more'):

'"And do not write "times less" or "times smaller" (or things like "times as thin" or "times as short"). A quantity can decrease only one time before disappearing, and then there is nothing less to decrease further. Make it "one-third as much" (or as tall, or as fast).'

Maryland, USA
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How the hell can something be reduced by a factor of 20?

When something is increased by a factor of 20, it's larger by 20 times, or 2000 percent.

If something could be reduced by a factor of 20, it would be smaller by 20 times, or 2000 percent.

Yet once something is reduced by 100 percent, it no longer exists.

He meant to say that the new subsystem would draw 1/20th the power. In other words, its energy demand would be reduced by 95 percent.

Sprint issues iPhone 5 gag rule to staff

Maryland, USA
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When someone tells me, "You'll have to ask the press officer..."

I reply, "Do you mean I'll have to ask the press officer because you don't know, or because you refuse to tell me?"

The drone then carefully repeats, with surprise and irritation, "You'll have to ask the press officer." To which I reply, "That won't be necessary; you've just answered my question."

Maryland, USA
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Verizon tried that tactic on me

Me: Will Verizon be getting the iPhone next month, as reported in the Wall Street Journal?

sales guy: I've read the same reports. Stories like that are nothing new.

Me: But according to the Journal, Apple has placed an order for millions of CDMA chips. That clearly points to Verizon, wouldn't you say?

sales guy: People have been asking us that for years. Verizon will never get the iPhone.

me: Then if the story turns out to be true, will you personally buy me an iPhone and a two-year plan?

sales guy:

Dell puts gun to Streak 5 tablet, pulls trigger

Maryland, USA

It failed as a phone, not as a tablet

So callers don't want to hold a $500 5-inch brick against their ear. That doesn't mean that a $200 5-inch WiFi tablet, with Android 3.x, would fail.

Microsoft COO: Our greatest enemy is old Windows

Maryland, USA

Will someone please get the message the the U.S. government?

In too many of Uncle Sam's offices, XP remains king, together with Office 2007 (not 2010), Sharepoint 2007, and Internet Explorer 7 (not 8, much less 9).

McAfee head vanishes, replaced by two more

Maryland, USA
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: "I'll be leaving McAfee in great hands"

Four of them, to be precise.

Lenovo Thinkpad X220T 12.5in tablet PC

Maryland, USA
Unhappy

Docks?

The X220 can snap into any of three Lenovo docking stations. Didn't Lenovo provide a dock for this review?

LightSquared faces challenge from the House

Maryland, USA
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Proving a negative

"unless it can prove a negative?" Nice bit of sophistry there, El Reg. The impossibility of "proving a negative" refers to the challenge of proving that something didn't happen, doesn't exist, or never will exist, despite one's limited ability to know. It doesn't refer to proving, analytically and experimentally, that a phenomenon like interference is impossible.

LightSquared shuffles away from GPS bands

Maryland, USA
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Great writing

The paragraph that begins, "One generally talks about radio transmissions being square" ranks among the most brilliantly clarifying technical explanations I've ever read. Few readers can appreciate how much effort, skill, and broad intelligence are required to craft sentences like these.

Data General's Tom West dies

Maryland, USA

Great book

Kidder's book, The Soul of a New Machine, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, and rightly so. Reportedly, the day it came out, many (most?) DG employees called in sick to stay home and read it.

Yahoo! boo-hoo over Alibaba boo-boo

Maryland, USA
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Well! Well! Well!

Look! A Reg article about Yahoo! that contains no gratuitous! exclamation! marks!

Microsoft Skype: How the VCs won and Ballmer overpaid

Maryland, USA

Heard that before

That's what the radio industry once said about TV, what makers of silent movies said about Talkies.

Maryland, USA

3-way videochats

Today, Skype charges $8.50 a month for the privilege of starting a group video chat. If Microsoft offers it for free--on any Skype platform--I'm all for it.

Apple 'outstrips' all brands at box office

Maryland, USA
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It seems everyone in movies uses a Mac

...even working-class stiffs who can't afford them. it makes the filmmakers look like idiots...just as it does when a starlet plays a working-class woman with perfect pearly-white teeth.

New auto-crowd tech writes better articles than pro writers TRUE

Maryland, USA
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Fine, if "good enough" is good enough

When I took a master's level class in Technical Journalism, our professor began by teaching the five Ws (Who, When, Where, What, Why). Your first sentence, he added, must summarize what your story is about.

I asked, "If you were to survey Pulitzer Prize-winning science articles, how many would obey these rules?" Our prof smiled broadly. "You're right, Maryland, USA. These guidelines will help you create serviceable writing. They're not what you'd folllow to pen great writing."

Mexico demands apology for Top Gear outrage

Maryland, USA
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reminds me of the Sarah Silverman shtick

American stand-up comic Sarah Silverman (I'm paraphrasing from memory): "Mexicans are upset that I said I thought they smell bad, So I gently explain to them, "You can't smell yourself."

Scotland bans smut. What smut? Won't say

Maryland, USA
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"I can't define it, but I know it when I see it"

A few years ago, in Virginia (USA), the Washington Post revealed that a boys' baseball league refused to let parents read the game's rules. The league's director claimed, "If we let them see how we make our rulings, they'll quibble with our calls."

Microsoft disputes Apple's 'App Store' trademark

Maryland, USA

Youth speaks

After reading about this yesterday, I asked my 20-year-old daughter. 'Let's do a word association game. When I say, "app store," what comes to mind?'

Without a pause, she replied, 'Apple.'

(Her computer is a MacBook, her MP3 player an iPod Touch.)

Microsoft sucks open source into its WebMatrix

Maryland, USA
WTF?

Kinky name, don'tcha think?

WebMatrix = WebMistress + dominatrix...

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