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Comment: ARC (Score 1) 616

by Kostya (#37132962) Attached to: C++ 2011 and the Return of Native Code

With ARC, there really isn't a need for a garbage collector. I've used both, and the only things that happen in ARC that bite you are things that happen in Java, et al. I.e. you can still use a null pointer and such and get an error.

The only place I have been truly surprised is that some of the Foundation stuff can perform weird or unexpectedly. That's more that ARC is fully Cocoa ready and that you need to tread carefully when using toll-free stuff. But then ARC warns you, and then you need to just follow some simple rules of thumb about giving ARC a hint about how you plan to use the Foundation object. I suspect that might get resolved later.

All in all, I am *very* impressed with ARC. It makes life so much easier, and it gets you almost all the advantages of GC--or at least all the ones that matter or people really use.

Hardware

Thermal Nanotape Promises Cooler, Healthier Chips 48

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what's-wrong-with-grease dept.
Blacklaw writes "A team of researchers comprised of members from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and Stanford University has developed a new thermal nanotape which it claims will lead to chips that run cooler and last longer. The thermal nanotape, constructed of binder materials surrounding carbon nanotubes, promises to lead to the creation of semiconductors — including CPUs and GPUs — that don't suffer from the rigors of frequent temperature changes, known as thermal cycling."
Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment: Third Party JVMs (FROM TFA) (Score 1) 451

by Kostya (#33973750) Attached to: Apple Deprecates Their JVM

From the release notes linked to in the article:

Third Party JVM Support and Locations

Java Preferences now shows all discovered JVMs in a single list in the General tab. This list shows the name, vendor, architecture, and full version of each JVM (8146434). It also coalesces multiple versions of the same major platform version from the same vendor and architecture into the same line. Clicking on the version at the end of the line shows a popup menu which chooses between these multiple versions.

People who *actually develop* on Mac have always complained about the JVM being behind, and it sounds like Apple is opening up the JVM hooks so that third parties can write JVMs for the Mac and get the full integration. So Apple is really giving everyone what they wanted: a stock JVM maintained by the Java Source (Oracle/Sun) just like all the other platforms.

Sheesh, paranoid much? Everyone on Slashdot is so convinced that the Mac App Store is the coming of the apocalypse that they are jumping to some insane conclusions.

Comment: Mobile Java, Carriers, Licensing--Oh My! (Score 5, Informative) 342

by Kostya (#33875230) Attached to: Oracle's Newest Move To Undermine Android

Oracle is trying to claim that Dalvik, Android's virtual machine infringes on mobile java patents. Mobile java was not included when Java received it's current "open" licensing.

And I'm sure part of the reason why Mobile Java wasn't in the "open licensing" was the carriers. That is, Sun had already extracted some money out of the carriers and met with a very nice bit of success there. Remember, before Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, JavaME was a big success in offering advanced features (that sucks compared to today's offerings). It was a big success for Sun licensing wise--something the original Java was not.

But with that money came a very, very hefty price. They had to bend over backwards to give the carriers what they wanted in order to "add value". One of those was charging developers $500+ a pop to be able to release applications for their network. Another for the developers to pay extra to access certain features (location). And another still was for companies like Verizon and Sprint to just flat out turn off certain features.

Which is why Apple didn't do JavaME (I remember being pretty bummed when they didn't)--they wanted complete control, and they would never get that with JavaME.

And Google had similar needs--but also didn't want to pay the licensing costs everyone else did.

JavaME was a money maker for Sun (unlike the standard Java VM), but the process of making money off of it made it a nightmare to deploy apps on. Development--writing code--was ok, but getting it to work on multiple headsets (nevermind multiple carriers) was a huge headache. And it was a huge headache because of all the compromises Sun made to get the carriers on board. And that nightmare (in addition to licensing costs) is why Google came up with their own VM implementation.

I used to be a big Java proponent for mobile development. I'm not anymore. But it is interesting to see how all those bad decisions (I cursed Sun weekly as I tried to wrestle another carrier or headset down) played out into what we have now.

Google didn't want to pay the money. Microsoft (via Miguel) likes to say they would have been better, but they are just as bad on the licensing (see HTC and now Motorola). Sounds to me like Google got used to their free ride on Java and balked at the idea of giving anyone a slice of their work and money on Android.

I'm not saying Ellison is not squeezing them (he definitely is), just that Google is kind of getting a bucket of cold water in their face about how the tech companies "collaborate" in new tech fields. Not "fair", but it is kind of predictable.

Comment: Mac Creative Suite Users Ever Where Twitch (Score 3, Insightful) 520

by Kostya (#33830630) Attached to: Against Apple, Ballmer Floats Microsoft Merger With Adobe

It's bad enough Mac users still have to install MS Office because it won't really interoperate with things like iWork or open office. Now imagine all those Mac creative types experiencing the pain of a MS-owned and focused Adobe.

I have to say, this is a crazy time to be in IT, software, and the mobile space. It's almost reminiscent of the chaos of the dot-com days: constant tech churn, companies rising and falling, etc. Hopefully we can avoid the bubble part ;-)

Comment: Re:Oh teh ironies! (Score 1) 279

by Kostya (#33773824) Attached to: Genetically Altering Trees To Sequester More Carbon

Actually, again, you need to read the links I posted, because he does bring economics to bear on the problem.

No, the mods aren't reading the links either. Oh well--wouldn't be the first time :-)

His supposition is that the primary solutions of the environmental movement are both damaging to the economies of the world while producing little benefit. He doesn't say burn the earth, he champions applying resources to both solve the problem AND not squander the resources we have. His point isn't that we shouldn't do something, but that simple economic analysis shows that some solutions are just going to have more impact--unfortunately he's not too kind to Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth".

He's not arguing profitability, he's arguing "biggest bang for buck". I.e. let's get some results. So he's not the enemy of the environmental movement, he's just slaughtering sacred cows and then asking us to be serious about the problem.

So again, I stand by my comment: you should have read the links (or just googled it) before making statements about how "he couldn't have meant economics". Again, he's an economist--I think he knows what he means :-)

Comment: Re:Trolling for funding (Score 1) 279

by Kostya (#33771602) Attached to: Genetically Altering Trees To Sequester More Carbon

I've heard of this solution before via people like Dyson (his infamous book review; see my earlier comment). I'm not sure this is proposed as a "just keep abusing the world and make super trees"--although I'm entirely sure there are some who would do just that. It's been more championed as an elegant hack to the big issue: yes, we can alter our behavior, but if the models are right we are screwed, screwed, screwed because CO2 is going to cook us all.

Again, I'm sure there's some loon who thinks we should burn down the rain forest for cattle grazing, burn coal unfiltered, AND use genetic trees to make it all "ok" ... but I think this is more of a solution for the carbon sequestering problem. I believe there may also be some people making some unpopular suggestions (like the economist Lomborg) who might see this as a more efficient solution to carbon with a more orthogonal approach to human behavior (such as raising people out of poverty and stabilizing emerging economies--because that actually lowers pollution while stabilizing/improving the human populace). But again, I'm not sure anyone but the loons are saying "Burn it all down and replace it with super-trees."

Doesn't mean we shouldn't change our behavior AND consider radical carbon sequestering--but I think getting the science/facts/research right might be the best no matter what solution(s) we choose.

Comment: Re:Oh teh ironies! (Score 2, Interesting) 279

by Kostya (#33771564) Attached to: Genetically Altering Trees To Sequester More Carbon

(No... didn't click your links... and I'm certain my response just doesn't make sense either... but only if 'economics,' wasn't a poorly chosen term).

Yeah, actually he DID mean economics ... cuz he's an economist.

Cripes, man, I gave you links. You could have even googled the name and gotten articles. I suppose you at least admitted you were so dead-set on saying your bit that you wouldn't want to be bothered actually getting informed about what you were responding to ...

Which kind of proves my whole point: people aren't having a conversation or even discussing this stuff, they are just talking at each other. Like you just did :-)

Comment: Oh teh ironies! (Score 2, Insightful) 279

by Kostya (#33771422) Attached to: Genetically Altering Trees To Sequester More Carbon

I would deeply, deeply love to see this pan out and become a viable approach with scientific evidence to back it up, if only so the rabid Climatology factions would have to eat crow and maybe apologize to Freeman Dyson (you might remember the outrage from the Climate Change community over his book reviews: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/jun/12/the-question-of-global-warming/ ). Not because I'm for super-trees, but just because I hate the fanaticism being brought to this whole issue.

He was metaphorically burned at the stake for those comments, but honestly, it made sense--*if* the science backed it up. And I mean "made sense" in that it's a huge issue and that would be an elegant hack to solving some of the key problems we are having. It might even open up other possible solutions--better solutions--but those ideas were dismissed out of hand.

The whole affair reminded me of the outrage over Lomborg (http://www.ted.com/talks/bjorn_lomborg_sets_global_priorities.html) who basically pointed out that the economics of the the environmental solutions espoused by the Climate Change community just didn't make sense. Or that you could have larger impacts in terms of changing society and the global community by putting your money into other "apparently orthogonal" solutions.

While it has been debated about whether these guys are "climate change deniers" (I think that's a red herring from fanatics), they are pointing out alternatives or uncomfortable facts. Let's do some science, some research, and some testing to make sure they don't have a point. If it's that important to address Climate Change, why are not ALL solutions on the table (as opposed to ones that fit a particular agenda or world-view)?

Comment: Sure about that? (Score 1) 396

by Kostya (#33271656) Attached to: How Can I Make Testing Software More Stimulating?

"I know I'm not that lazy, as I can spend hours on end writing software, but there's something about testing that makes my mind constantly want to wander off and think about something else."

Well, actually, that is kind of lazy :-)

Seriously: you do the parts you enjoy and you skip the parts you don't. That, my friend, is lazy. Or at least undisciplined. And if you are getting paid to do it ... well, that's just unprofessional.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's just that I have been at this for 15 years, and I constantly run into people who don't bother to test. It pays off in the long run, it makes for better software, and it makes you a better developer ... you just have to have some professional pride and buckle down. I mean you know that you need to, you know it would make better software, and yet you can't seem to find the interest/sel-interest/professional pride/whatever to do it? Don't you see a problem there?

Comment: Re:History repeats (Score 2, Insightful) 497

by Kostya (#33234846) Attached to: The Coming Onslaught of iPad Competitors

Are you seriously comparing the OLPC XO Sugar interface to iOS and the iPad?

I own both. While I have always loved the OLPC for what it represents, the total experience is not even in the same league as an iPad. Not even remotely close. I'm not dissing OLPC--I love mine. But it isn't even fair to put the two in the same ring and say they are the same kind of polish or experience.

I agree with your points about Macs vs. PCs--Apple has somehow cast the conversation about the OS and the UI and then magically extended that to the hardware. But your comparison of Sugar and iOS is ... wow.

Comment: Uh, Exclusive Deal (And GSM)? (Score 2, Informative) 251

by Kostya (#32738100) Attached to: Verizon iPhone Rumored For Early Next Year

How can anyone post this when we have the exclusive deal confirmed? http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/10/confirmed-apple-and-atandt-signed-five-year-iphone-exclusivity-de/

And the other is that the last time I checked, Verizon doesn't have GSM. Why would Apple manufacture two different devices, and one that can't be used in all the other world markets? I'm not trying to start a GSM/CDMA holy war, just acknowledging that Apple is doing just fine with AT&T and GSM. Why would they go through all that trouble just to get Verizon customers?

Especially since Verizon seems to insist on branding all phones they offer--I don't see how Steve would accept that either.

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