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Comment: The idiots are going after the wrong consumers... (Score 1) 365

The non-RT surface was never a tablet competitor.
Virtually all the software people run on x86 is primarily designed for desktop use, and the gap between it and tablet universe's UI and software base progress is widening, not shrinking.

Apple killed them for two reasons - Apple understood the fundamental difference between how consumers use tablets and computers and catered to each market appropriately (rather than a half-assed worst-of-both-worlds one-size-fits-all attempt at both)... and (with the relatively recent exception of the screen specs) Apple killed MS on ultrabook hardware - while microsoft was selling Ultrabook (x86, non-RT) surfare with i3, a single USB port, 64-128GB storage and 2-4GB RAM (poorly suited for both desktop use and tablet use), MBA's have been doing i7/8GB/512GB for 3 years now, fit in well with desktop use, with all above-baseline upgrades but the SSD coming at a relatively minor cost increase.

In short, Apple has been selling grown-up computers cleverly disguised as ultrabooks, which people already used for work. Microsoft has been selling not-quite-grown-up computers stupidly disguised as tablets.

More (either more specialised or more under-the-hood) reasons people feel MBA's win out by a landslide -
- Server-grade external I/O - I run an nVidia Geforce660Ti eGPU, on native Windows, on my MBA thunderbolt port. I can game, desktop-hardware-grade, driving a 30'' screen on my MBA. I outperform recent alienware laptops.
Others use that I/O for external storage.
- Internal I/O - An MBA2013 with a 256GB or higher SSD does sustained read/write of ~650-700MB/sec - due to the absence of a SATA controller (raw PCIe storage ftw).
- MBA adds OSX to the list of OS's you can easily run (I personally prefer it for everything but gaming as the native OS and run everything else (windows for work, linux) in VMs)
- If you're on an apple home environment (phones, audio/video-sinks, etc, macs do more).

So now Microsoft matched the CPU/RAM/disk specs of (the now nearly a year old) MBA. Okay.
Not quite so on the I/O, but that's a niche most non-techo consumers neither understand nor care about.
Until Apple release their update, Microsoft is ahead on screen capability (res and touch) and cost. On paper it looks "fair enough".

Sadly for them, it's not as simple as a specs comparison. This isn't a showoff between gaming motherboards on Toms Hardware.

They're still dead though - not having understood what Apple did.
Apple didn't justify producing the MBA in the millions (=MASSIVELY underpricing every ultrabook on the market) by raiding Lenovo's x-series or Sony Vaio ultrabook userbases (which were MUCH, MUCH smaller - tens of thousands rather than millions).
Apple justified it by raiding THEIR OWN MOMENTUM - their very own *existing install base* of cheap macs - the white plastic toilet-seat-cover macbooks.

Back in MS land, what MS's dumbshit marketers don't understand is that the only people who need Surface 3's today are not mac users with MBA's (who are very unlikely to touch a surface... particularly those with a brand new 2013 MBA), most mac users not leaning towards mac products for specs anyway, and those that do (like me..) Microsoft can't really sway because it loses out on those.

The people who need those surface 3's are the HUGE install-base of people with an old desktop PCs, Microsoft's equivalent of the toilet sear covers.
Sadly, Microsoft has NO CLUE how to go to market and reach that userbase with the surface... which is why they'll sell too few surfaces, lose money, not justify the supply chain, not be able to go to scale on their production, fail to woo their partners into making their own (like google did with android) with a credible reference platform, fail to drop prices sustainably... and have Apple eath their lunch for another year.

I would have liked to see better competition.

Comment: Re:Noob BitCoin Question (Score 1) 346

by MikShapi (#45459543) Attached to: Chinese Bitcoin Exchange Vanishes, Taking £2.5m of Coins With It

On the paranoya bit.

I'd actually go as far as saying you're wrong, its not value generated out of /nothing/.

Currency, any curency - whether US Dollars, frequent flyer points, or world of warcraft gold, require a mechanism that puts the trust of a large group of people in the currency. The more trust, the more useable.

The thing people have nailed their stubborn heads to is that there is only one possible source of trust - a big organisation (US Government, American Airlines, Blizzard) saying "TRUST THIS" (fiat currency), or "TRUST THIS, because we'll replace it with gold and silver when you want us to" (gold standard).

Obviously, the US government makes more trust than blizzard, becaues Blizzard needs a relevant MMO for their currency to matter, something nobody knows if they'll have five years from now, but the US government just needs taxpayers and an economy.

What digital currencies like bitcoin offer is an ALTERNATIVE source of trust. This comes from a combination of the following factors:
[a] An algorithm designed to have one big, known weakness.
[b] The weakness being "mitigated" by pitting the computational power of a would-be thief versus the combined grunt of a very large peer-to-peer network.
[c] Every geek on the planet who understands scale and orders of magnitude understanding who wins that one and how that story ends.
This in its own right creates a substantial amount of trust in the currency.

But wait, there's more.

You have a certain level of trust in your government's currency. Even if you picketed at Occupy Wall St, you still have US dollars in your pocket and have some confidence they'll be adequate to pay for your next month's rent.

There are MANY people in the world whose governments and economies are so dysfunctional that the trust barrier they need to pass to trust bitcoin more than they trust their governments currency is much, much lower. Not just Libya and Iran, but also quite a few countries in South America, Asia and Africa. These people often do not have access to alternative government-supported currencies (other than their own pretty messed-up one), or where access to these is legally riskier, or they're being made a killing on by predatory traders on their local neighbourhood US dollar black market.
That's a huge vaccum for bitcoin to fill, so long as its built-in trust-manufacturing and anti-inflation mechanisms work to spec, which they so far have done.

As it becomes more exposed accessible (know-how and technology in the hands of those who prefer it), expect it to grow WAY more.
Hence DEMAND for bitcoin. And demand for a currency is the same as TRUST.

The important thing to understand here is that TRUSTWORTHINESS is a cost component of *any* currency, and "manufacturing" it requires real-world effort.
If the currency itself is a desired product and makes the universe better for someone (and I believe it is and it does), then that real-world effort has value.

As a US citizen you pay the Fed Reserve's costs of "manufacturing the trustworthiness" of your currency (say, using hi-tech paper and hyper-expensive printing techniques etc).

Participating in the mining peer-to-peer network similarly "manufactures the trustworthiness" by making the peer-to-peer network that a thief would need to out-compute to cheat ever so bigger, and the thief ever so less likely to succeed. Bitcoin mining is basically a distributed federal reserve. And just like the Fed Reserve takes a cut and pays its employees (and owners, it's a for-profit), so do bitcoin miners. The trust they make has value, and the coins they "make" compensate them for it.

In their absence, bitcoin wouldn't warrant trust, and people wouldn't use it.

Comment: Re:Why is iPad so much better than iPhone? (Score 1) 471

by MikShapi (#45207523) Attached to: Apple Announces iPad Air

As far as Apple is concerned, NFC is the wrong horse to bet on.

There's a simple strategy behind it (which I, personally, agree with).

They purge all the single-purpose technologies, in favor of multi-purpose ones. Examples:
Ethernet (a plug that only does one thing) - gone. Your ethernet cable goes through an adapter to USB3 or thunderbolt.
VGA/DVI/Display port - (ditto) - gone in favor of a multi-purpose bus.
Flash cards (a slot that only does one thing) - not on the 11'' airs. use USB3.
SATA - why do we need a storage-only bus?

This is why products like the macbook air are what they are - massively powerful beasts in a tiny package. Because they stripped out all the redundant dead weight.

If you're designing the mac that will ship in 2015 right now, explain to me why you need an NFC radio. It's redundant dead weight.
You already have a radio that does this in there. It's called bluetooth 4.

Apple doesn't commit to technologies on a whim. They know which technology will (eventually) end up doing near-field... and are putting one foot ahead of the other to get there their way.

Comment: Re:thunderbolt is only pci-e X4 and needs high cos (Score 1) 1215

by MikShapi (#43956319) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

It's worse than you think and better than you think at the same time.

Why worse:
Thunderbolt is 10Gbit per channel (which is the most you can strap into any specific device).
Using modern (2011-era+) TB controllers, each port (e.g. plug on your computer) carries two channels, one that can do PCIe, and one that's "hardwired" to only ever carry displayport data from your integrated GPU and is not useful for this discussion)
So if you're putting an eGPU on a thunderbolt link, you can get as much as 10Gbits, but if you have a 13'' retina macbook pro with two TB ports and a lot of cash to burn, you can do SLI over them and get 20Gbit working for you.

A PCI express 2.0 (the PCIe controllers vendors put on TB devices are 2.0, not 3.0) lane is 4Gbits.

Different vendors put different PCI bridges at the end of the thunderbolt pipe.
Sonnet put a more expensive PCIe x4 controller. Thunderbolt (10Gbit) -> PCIe controller (4x4Gbit) = a 10Gbit bottleneck on thunderbolt.
The good'ol TH05 (that used to cost 180$ inc. cable) had a PCIe x2 controller. TB (10Gbit) -> PCIe (2x4Gbit) = 8Gbit bottleneck on PCI.

So you're not getting "PCIe x4" speed. You're getting somewhere between 8Gbit and 10Gbit, depending on your choice of parts.

Why better:
I actually run this rig (I'm typing this on it). The howto I linked above is mine.
I have a sonnet at home and a TH05 on the go. I use the Geforce660Ti (a 150Watt GPU powered by two relatively portable 12V/7A bricks). I chose a 3GB video ram card so as to have more caching ability on the GPU (and a bit less reliance on the link bandwidth)

The pleasant surprise:
You don't actually need desktop-mobo PCI bandwidth for A-grade titles (CoD, Borderlands, Metro, Skyrim etc) with HDTV res, superb framerates and a flawless experience. Ditto @2560 for most.

TB cables are $50.
With $1500 (original requirement), I can set up a killer macbook mini rig from scratch. with GPU.
Less portable but more powerful.
With maybe $300 more, I can build a macbook-air rig instead.

Comment: Re:Translated: Mac OS X has too much lockdown (Score 1) 1215

by MikShapi (#43951767) Attached to: What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

>> Why has Apple chosen not to make a $1000-$1500 desktop that has desktop video cards, RAM and CPUs, and at least 2 HDD bays?
You need to have your geek license confiscated.

They do. Several computers that fit that bill in fact.
One is called a macbook mini (four cores, 16GB RAM, multiple 5Gbit ports for storage and two 10Gbit ports for desktop video cards).
The other is called a macbook air (two i7 cores, 8GB RAM, up to half a terabyte storage, multiple 5Gbit ports for ext storage and 10Gbit port for desktop video cards).

Yes, desktop video cards on Macbook air.
Games just fine on any A-grade title you can find on steam on any resolution you pick between 1920x1200 to 2560x1600.

Yes, really:
http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2494-macbook-air-11-2012-gtx-660ti-%40-2-2-no-opt.html#post33280

And yes, that macbook comes at well under $1500, and the macbook mini is half that again. Shell out a few hundred on a thunderbolt->PCIe rig, and you're sweet.

So Apple do make EXACTLY what you ask for, even if you lack the tech skills to read a spec sheet, install the right OS and make use of it.

Comment: Re:a couple of problems (Score 1) 353

by MikShapi (#43705307) Attached to: Engineering the $325,000 Burger

You already live in a nanny state. It's just that your nanny state is lobbied by and promotes the interests of those who lace their food with sugar. Which is "only" 70% of food in a rich neighbourhood, and 100% of food in a poorer one. How many choices do the people in those neighbourhoods have? None really.

See this : http://www.youtube.com/playlist?annotation_id=annotation_286965&feature=iv&list=PL39F782316B425249&src_vid=h0zD1gj0pXk
(they only really start saying something in the second bit onwards)

Or the viral lecture if you want more depth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&feature=youtu.be

You already live in a nanny state mate, and the nanny's all but forcing you into obesity. You were saying?

Comment: Re: And? (Score 1, Insightful) 268

by MikShapi (#42666469) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Pro Arrives Feb. 9

Runs fine (uber-res, all bells and whistles on) on myacbook air.
Then again, 2.5 lanes of PCIe 2.0 coming out of its side might have something to do with that.
Never mind the absence of a high-end surdace model (i7/8GB), The surface pro has just one PCIe worth of grown up IO coming out the side. Nice... But sub-standard.

Microsoft can do better in a showcase reference model the OEMs are expexted to copy.

Comment: Oh C'mon (Score 2) 217

by MikShapi (#42407943) Attached to: 'Connected' TVs Mostly Used Just Like the Unconnected Kind

TVs with REAL brains (read: Android or iOS) not out yet.
We know that.

Nobody else (that includes you, Samsung) has either invested heavily in developing a suitable OS, has not published capable APIs, nor have they worn the long hard slog of gearing up an app and app developer ecosystem. The "feature-rich" UI's of current televisions are rubbish.
We know that.

You can attach an android or iOS brain to the TV and do more with it.
A very small subset of the population does this (and we here on this site happen to correlate nicely with it.)
We know that.

TVs with android brains are still rare but forthcoming.
They are (still) (unneccesarily) pitched as high-end and expensive (most people buy the 800$ loss leader unknown-brand 55'' at the isle entry, not the 4000$ samsung).
We know that.

In five years time, there'll be a brain - same brain powering $50 android phones in Asia today - in everyone's TV running Android. That TV will be sold as the $800 loss leader at the entry to the isle in the store.
And I suspect we all know that that's where the harsh competition will lead the industry.

Comment: Someone explain this to me (Score 3, Funny) 184

by MikShapi (#42201013) Attached to: McAfee Arrested In Guatemala

Mcafee got arrested.
A guy who allegedly understands security murders someone (allegedly), and then proceeds to be "on the run" throughout the third world, while stopping twice a day to give the media an interview, tell them where he is and what he's up to, reality TV style.
The surprising twist in the story: The authorities found him.
Who woulda bloody thunk.
This guy should be shot for stupidity even before being tried for murder.

Comment: Quick Israeli-Palestinian Q&A... (Score 1) 560

by MikShapi (#42023119) Attached to: Anonymous Attacks Israeli Websites In Response To IDF Operation In Gaza

This piece originally started with the following question I was presented by a friend a while back -
"Explain the conflict to me".

Knowing me for the verbal guy that I am, he challenged me further - "... in 60 seconds or less".

This is not the 60 second version, but it is nevertheless an undeservedly short one. I will make some generalizations of which I am aware, and for which I apologize in advance. I have avoided making the ones I know are dead-pan wrong.

I will try to give a birds-eye view of the problem, provoke interest and curiosity. I subtly recommend not to buy into any view that makes it sound either too simple, too easy, too biased or too black&white.

Here goes:

1. How many sides are there to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Two. But it's a team sport and each side has several team members.

2. Israelis and Palestinians?

No.
They are the two peoples involved.
They are not, however, the two sides of the conflict.

Here are the real sides of this conflict, a subtlety your favourite news channel will not make clear:

Side 1: Normal people who wish to live a normal, dignified life - have a family, a dog, education for themselves and their kids, career opportunity, and more recently, access to the globalization party.

Side 2: Radicals, who would sacrifice all that for the belief in their gut.

3. And the Palestinians are in...?
Both.

4. And the Israelis are in...?
Both.

5. So the war is between...?
Those two sides. The radicals and the normal people.

6. Who do you define as radical?

I define radically-motivated people as people who
a. Justify violence today with their "historic rights".
b. Do not propose real, holistic solutions to the full, combined set of problems.
c. Ignore the right to exist or the need for human dignity of the other people.
d. Set technically impossible "win conditions" (a-la "pack up the skyscrapers in Tel Aviv and send the Jews back to Europe" or "pack the Palestinians onto trucks and transfer them to some Arab country")
e. Lump other people's entire political spectrum into one big "them", then accuse the lot of wrongdoing perpetrated by just a slice of that spectrum. ("All Muslims are Terrorists!", "All the Jews/Israelis are imperialist bullies!").
f. Would put their own children in the way of physical harm to make a political point.

7. So... which of them are right? (historical right over the land, that sort of thing)
Both are.
Both Israelis and Palestinians have an argument to back what they believe to be a legitimate claim, and firmly believe in the validity of their argument.
Both peoples lived on this land at some point in the past.

Weighing their arguments against one another is a dead end that has burned millions (possibly billions) of man-hours of argument and debate, only to leave everyone exactly where they started.

My empiric observation is that each one of us needs to make a choice.

One can choose to walk down the road of immersion in historic rights, get a lot of warm fuzzies, but do it knowing he will contribute absolutely zero to improving the situation.

Or one can detach from that debate without either losing or winning it, and focus on solving the problems of the present, for the sake of the future of those who live there.

Everyone is right.

8. Then who is wrong? Who is doing the really bad immoral things I see on the news?
Both peoples are.

Some of the bad things both peoples do can be morally justified given their situation.
Some of the bad things both peoples do cannot.

It's not clear-cut.
In every situation claimed immoral, you need to understand what happened from the perspective of both sides, think what you would do have you yourself been born and raised to that side and placed in the shoes of those there, then make up your own mind if the action in question can or cannot be justified.

Remember:
Some of the bad things both peoples do can be morally justified given their situation.
Some of the bad things both peoples do cannot.

Doing this is hard.
Taking the easy out (blaming whoever it's easiest to) entrenches bias and prolongs the problem.

9. Ok. No easy answers, I get it. Who are the players on the "radical" side?

Israeli "Ideological" settlers in the West Bank.
The Israeli extreme right.
The "Israeli" extreme left (quotes because they are often openly anti-Israeli)
The Hamas and those who willingly follow them.
The current regime in Iran.
Other Iranian proxies, such as Hezbollah or what's left of Assad's regime in Syria.

10. Hamas and the Israeli settlers are on the same side?! what?!

Yes, very. Though they'd never verbalise it, each one MUST have the radicals of the other people to justify its own extremist ideology to the (non-radical) rest of its own people.
The need to survive - as a radical organisation and/or a radical ideology - makes for some very strange bedfellows.

11. Are you suggesting the Hamas and the extremist Israeli settlers have beers together?

No. But their actions and provocations have for decades been squarely aimed at sustaining the other in its radical form.

12. I'll need to marinate on that strange bedfellows bit. Ok, who are the players on the non-radical side?

Israelis who don't ignore either people's problem and treat both peoples with dignity.
Palestinians who don't ignore either people's problem and treat both peoples with dignity.
Most Israeli governments (keep in mind being on this side doesn't imply being either smart or motivated to lift a finger to solve the problem).
The Palestinian Authority (Fatah) of today.
Virtually all developed countries.
A very large part of the Palestinian Street, who was seen protesting recently against the dysfunction of their own government, and have recently started visibly caring more about welfare and day-to-day living conditions than about the conflict.

Also, looking beyond the populistic "show" some put up, about half the Arab countries in the middle east. Namely the pragmatic ones concerned with their own economic prosperity.

13. The Palestinian war for self-definition is justified. Everyone deserves self-definition. Since that's a no-brainer, how can you defend the Israeli stance?

Good observation. Yes, it is very justified. What defines this war is the "win condition" - establishment of a Palestinian state on a subset of the land, the whole of which must ultimately accommodate two peoples with some serious baggage.
This is the war the non-radical palestinians are in for.
It's no less just than the war the Jews fought in 1948 to re-establish their state.
We'll call the war for self-definition "War #1".
The main obstacle in this war are the combined radicals of both sides.

The radicals are in for a different war.
"War #2".

What's the difference?
The "win condition".
Iran's/Hamas's "win condition" for this other war involves being in control of the land graphically outlined at the top of its logo. Yes, that shape is 100% of Israel. The Israeli radicals set the exact same impossible win condition, only with them in control. This "War #2" can neither be rationally justified using any moral code I'm aware of without diving to the depths of hypocrisy, nor can it be won without magically willing away four million Palestinian voters, or several metropolises, an entire first-world economy, a fully-functional state, backed by one of the world's toughest, most experienced armies.
The claim Hamas has to the entire land is right out there with shipping the Australians back to Britain and giving the land back to Aboriginals, or shipping L.A. and New York back to Europe and giving the land back to the Native Americans.

"War #2" cannot be won.

And when radicals don't have enough of it to go on, a proportion of both sides incite new flames through provocation, and the Palestinian radicals take it a step further and fake it for your favorite news channel's appetite for a palywood newsbyte. Radicals need, and will forever need, the war.

14. Doesn't the Hamas know their win condition is not achievable?

Of course they do. The Hamas are not motivated by evil. They're more akin to a drug mafia - a group of people earning top dollar (in this case, coming from serving foreign Iranian interests rather than drugs), who have guns, and are unwilling to relinquish this power.
They cling to power by labeling themselves neccesary to fight a war that can never be won, and brutally suppressing any discussion of national priorities.
They do some of the bad kind of things you'd expect a drug mafia to do, but they are in it for the money and power, not the massacre of Israelis or Jews.
Sadly, clinging to power is... just human.

15. Just how much leeway do the big players have to maneuver to get something fixed?

Like in chess, different movement rules apply to different parties.

Israel is a democracy that lives in a perpetual hung parliament, with small minority parties made kingmakers, holding entire administrations to ransom, else they topple the government and early elections are called. I call this a "minoritocracy", where the minority calls the shots, by design. The big parties have all sworn to fix this broken system. The little parties will topple any government that tries.
This leads to administrations that cannot function for their given term without a small, often extremist, minority party that refuses to change anything.
Sadly, clinging to power is... just human.

Unlike in Turkey and Mubarak-era Egypt, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is not, and never was, a political player itself. It is an accountable, obedient instrument of the Israeli State devoid of political agenda - other than bigger budgets of course.

Like any accountable army made up of humans in any war on record, they mostly do their job, and occasionally make bad decisions that hurt the wrong people which they later regret (homework: listen to Dr Abuelaish from the link above and see if his remarkable perspective - from the Palestinian side - resonates with this article). Like any accountable army, the IDF have an internal prosecutor unit with teeth tasked with maintaining a razor-sharp balance between personal accountability, media exposure thereof and troop morale. I would not like to have their job, because it is hard.

Like any army involved in any conflict ever, the IDF takes pride in achieving their mission, not always in what they had to do to achieve it. War is never pretty.

There have been multiple instances of ultra-leftists (Israeli, Palestinian and foreigners) provoking IDF soldiers whose job was to guard a line in the sand, while blaming the soldiers personally for the mission their government sent them to do. These ultra-leftists sometimes get hurt.
I hold the perpetrators belong squarely in the radical camp - they offer no holistic solutions, they bias themselves to one side, thereby ignoring 50% of the problem. They have no sound advice to offer to make the situation better. And the behavior they display is no different to abusing a parking inspector or harassing a policeman for doing his job.

The best way to explain a soldier's job is to think of, say, Australian troops in, say, Afghanistan. I may not agree with sending troops there. And there are ways to voice that disagreement on a platform of national priority debate. But if I choose to voice that disagreement by trying to march across a red line troops actively get tasked to guard, say a gate to a military base in Afghanistan, I will get hurt.
Israeli courts uphold that the military is a legitimate arm of the government, does not indict them for doing what they were asked to do (morality of the task itself - say, guard an illegal settlement, being largely irrelevant), and holds protesters responsible for the harm they incur upon themselves.

Moving on, in the West Bank, the Fatah runs the Palestinian Authority and manages a collection of pockets of land, where they are attempting to build a democracy.
The Fatah has earned a notorious reputation for being corrupt, but allowed reasonable freedoms and has been setting up somewhat functional institutions and cooperating on security with Israel.
Its ability to change stuff is limited in part by the mandate given to it by the Palestinian street, in part by terms set by its financiers (the PA is not economically self-sufficient and relies heavily on funding by the US, Europe and Arab patrons), and in part by its own corruption and inability to get stuff done.

In Gaza, the Hamas have created a very efficient oppressive police state where voicing an opinion not aligned with Hamas places the life of you and your family at risk. People critical of Hamas policies have plain-clothes thugs come to their homes, they can be jailed, beaten, in some cases killed.

The US State Department calls Hamas a terrorist organisation, and their direct involvement in numerous terrorist attacks on civilians is well established. But they are not merely that. Hamas now run a state and all manner of institutions - education, healthcare, a judicial systems, etc. They've been building up these institutions for decades, since long before they came to power.

Their take on "serving Palestinian interests" involves taking Iranian money and using it to build and run these institutions. This money, however, comes with strings attached. These institutions must subsequently be used to promote an Iranian-sanctioned curriculum, and teach children from infancy to think like a victim and blame and hate the west.

While the Hamas is arguably at liberty to pursue any policy it chooses, pursuing one that will upset its Iranian patron may:
a. Cut Iranian funding
b. Cut the ideological "need" of the Gazans for such a radical organisation,
c. It will mean they must at some point cede their guns and ability to operate a private army (and plain-clothes secret police) to an accountable Palestinian defense force.
and
d. It will mean 1.5 million Gazans will judge Hamas on the merits of what Hamas has done for them in the time it has been in power. Which is not an awful lot.

So far, the Hamas have not seen this as a particularly attractive proposition. Go figure.

Comment: Re:I think it's a falsified information. (Score 1) 560

by MikShapi (#42023109) Attached to: Anonymous Attacks Israeli Websites In Response To IDF Operation In Gaza

I'm happy to announce that the ultra-orthodox moron who said that - a guy who happens to have exploited israel's perpetual hung-parliament system that keeps making kingmakers out of minorities - is NOT a good representation of the rest of the Israeli administration. He himself is an ape that represents a middle-ages minority - religious orthodox fruitloops who openly still advocate homosexuality is a disease.

The important thing to understand here is that neither "Palestinians" nor "Israelis" are made out of the sane stuff.
Israel has no war with the Palestinians. It helps palestinians, provides palestinians humanitarian aid, power - and until now - telephone infrastructure too.
It has a war with the Hamas, who are a subset thereof.

In the same way, some minorities in Israel are "the bad guys" - this (non-settler) ultra-orthodox neandarthal arguably being a mild one, but that doesn't incriminate all of Israel anymore than Hamas's targeting schools or pulling up footage of Syrian atrocities and claiming them Israeli incriminates all palestinians.

Comment: My reply to Soulskill (Score 2) 469

by MikShapi (#41814361) Attached to: Is Silicon Valley Morally Bankrupt and Toxic?

See here:
http://viableawesomism.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/viable.html

Silicon valley solves problems. It may not solve the ones you want, but it solves many of them, and with cutthroat efficiency.
Why? because it allows people to take risks with new ideas. I'd transport you 100 years back, or maybe 700 years, and let you try acting out new ideas back then.

Some of them may be world-changing. Others may be fart apps.
But the important thing is that there are many, and there can be many, because the risk is not all worn by government or the taxpayer or some planning comittee of old farts who care more about their seat than about what they can use their power to fix. In Silicone Valley risk is worn by the people who consciously choose to take it.

I find this "war" between people who want to fix the world and people who want to make money one of the dumbest ideas ever concocted.
If you don't like east-coast MBA's being taught that money is the single important product of any business - good on you. neither do I. Money is a byproduct, albeit an important one. The real product of any organisation we build should be the awesome it creates, whatever that may be. If you agree - prove that old-school profit-over-everything MBA culture wrong. Go and DO something awesome.

And why can't you do something awesome for the world AND make a killing?
Money is important. If awesome organisations don't make money, if they don't have a built-in economic engine, it's like giving birth to a child without a heart, who will need to spend the rest of his life carrying around a life-support machine. I'd rather that life-support machine comes built in.

Our societal life support machinery (charity, government funding) is limited and finicky. You want to build organisations that will die the second someone closes a tap? go ahead. I'd rather see us create things with the resilience of Google.

You think Facebook and Google aren't awesome?
Suggest you take your head out of your ass, because you can't perceive the change these technologies made to places elsewhere in the world, outside your nice comfy American bubble. Compare Hama, Syria - 30 years ago and today. Compare India, China or Brazil back then and now. What do you think technology has done to these people? Given a lot of them more hope and dignity and prosperity than they every had in history.
Recognize you are not alone in the world - there are 7 billion of us now. And things that were possible when there were 10 times less people may no longer be possible when there's this many vying for the same amount of resources. If your idea is going back - it's a bad one. If your idea is going somewhere new - stop bagging the existing system and start being very specific about how you want to make it better.

Last, I sense a big disillusionment with "money". Money is not merely a vacation or a new plasma. It's not just a gold star. Money is power to change. Succeeding in Silicon Valley (and anywhere else in the world as an entrepreneur) is about convincing people of ideas and obtaining the resources to make what you can imagine happen. Money gives power to do that. You're not going to change anything by whinging or waxing ethical theories. You need to get off your bum, figure out a vision to do /something/ better, figure out how to connect a "power source" to that vision in the form of an economic engine so your idea isn't a public liability, and go build this organisation that does awesome.

As a society we have a list of problems as long as the eyes can see. Quit wasting people's time by ranting. Society as it hangs together today is stacks better than anything else we ever tried. If there's things you don't like about it - start fixing them, or get the fuck out of the way of those that are doing just that.

Yes, that's a dare.

Comment: Your desktop is an app (Score 1) 625

by MikShapi (#41600835) Attached to: Will the Desktop PC Live Forever?

Anyone using a mac to do any work already knows this.
He knows this because he's running Parallels or VMWare Fusion with Windows (and MS Office for windows) in it.

Back in 2006, before the iPhone launched, a phone was a device. Today - irrespective of whether you're using Android or iOS, it's an app.
A music player was a device too. Today, it's an app.
A GPS was a device. Today it's an app.
A camera was a device. For more and more people who approach photography casually, it's an app.

A desktop is headed that way too. To make a desktop app run on your pocket device, here is what needs to happen:
1. Technical barrier 1 - enough oomph. That's 4+GB RAM and enough CPU cycles. It's virtually there.
2. Technical barrier 2 - wireless peripherals. Bluetooth keyboards and mice abound. Displays are a couple of years away.
3. IT Security & usage pattern barrier - to many workplaces, an employee's /in/ability to carry his computer out of the office is a benefit - less data security headache. These guys will be the laggards in adopting this. It's not a value proposition to them.
Others who give you a laptop will split between those who want to equip you with a full workstation (so you can fire up visio in an airport) or that will assume an employee shouldn't need to buy his own wireless monitor at home - they will still give you a laptop.
And those that give you blackberries and their like today. They will give you a phone that can become a desktop.
4. the x86 legacy - running an x86 VM on an x86 is cheap. running an x86 VM on ARM is resource-consuming. This will go away.

Microsoft aims Windows RT to be an OS with a windows OS kernel for ARM, with all the theoretical capability of being a grown-up desktop OS if it needs to. Your visual studio will have an ARM compile target, and your favorite app vendor will give you an ARM binary. Legacy stuff will get emulated (remember rosetta?)

Apple can compile to either target but will not let you use the "wrong" device for the wrong task, and have a clear idea of what should work on ARM and what should work on x86.

Intel are pushing the atom to compete with ARM on power-use and turn it around, allowing your phone to just run a straight x86 OS.

Android has a major risk here - on-boarding a grown-up desktop OS into a phone-based VM can be a killer app if done right, and Google have no grown-up desktop OS. Nobody is employing 50 people in an office who do their daily tasks on either Android or Chrome. If Microsoft leverage their inertia with legacy offices running XP/win7 on black dell boxes sitting under a monitor to drive in their mobile platform, Nokia may hurt Google a bit. That's a lot of intertia.

There's a lot happening. It pays to pay attention.

Comment: Stop Feeding the Iranian Trolls (Score 1) 279

by MikShapi (#41433415) Attached to: Iran Set To Block Access To Google

I wrote about this last week: viableawesomism.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-loudest-voices.html

The biggest trap is using the word "They". "They" are not all cast with the same brush.
By lumping everyone in Iran or in any other Muslim culture together and accusing them of what their extremists do,
you're giving the nutjobs fuel and eroding the sane people (sane Iranians in this case) who oppose them.

Iran is a Dictatorship.
The people who live in it have little say until they get the guts to start walking into the way of bullets. (Again.).
Recognize that Muslims, Iranians and The Iranian Government are not synonyms.

Comment: You're selling FEATURES. Users buy BENEFITS. (Score 1) 1154

by MikShapi (#41265981) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop?

Users, clients, consumers, whatever you want to call them, do not buy features.
The only ones that do so are the geek 1% of the population we belong to do.
This is why we will be the only ones to adopt a linux desktop platform.

Users buy benefits.

To a user, there is no benefit to using a Linux desktop.
The benefit to using windows is that it's the least-brainfuck frugal way to get started using a computer, and it's the same set of computer skills they usually need at work.
The benefit to using OSX is that it's the least-brainfuck way to use apple hardware.

To the non-geek, Linux has no benefit. There is *NOTHING* that that desktop will do for them that Windows, OSX, or OSX with Windows in fusion/parallels won't do equally well, with less effort, upfront and ongoing, capex and opex.

And no, in the case of most people, the brainfuck, time & opportunity cost of learning a new OS far outstrips the $100 of OEM Windows 7 license fees it has the potential to save (and in the case of macs, the 2-figure OS cost is silently lumped into the 4-figure cost of what is essentially a luxury computer).

The Linux desktop is not broken per-se. It's simply an also-ran that didn't reach escape velocity with the large market, and has no benefit-driven propulsion system to ever help it reach that. No, I can't think of what benefits it would bring. I can only think of a lot of features that any lean-startup-driven process that looks at what's been happening there over the past 10 years would identify as waste (e.g. stuff that fails to get more people to use the platform) in 20 minutes flat.

It's like "Ever since the invention of the car, we use less horses, and therefore need less whips. Quick, everyone. Think of ways to get everyone to buy whips again! What can we do to 'fix the whip'?"

In the absence of benefits, you can't "fix" it.

Benefits, people. Either think up of some, or stop wasting everyone's time with this stuff.

All the talent that is going into this /dev/null would better benefit us all if it went to solving real problems, bring people real benefits, and help the universe go forward, not back for the sake of some anachronistic religious goal (which this is, to some). We've gone from 10% of the world consuming like Americans to nearly 50%. Every natural resource in the world is under supply stress. India, China, SE Asia and Brazil gave birth to middle classes. There are so many real problems out there to fix.

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

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