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Comment: This sentence from TFA says it all (Score 2) 74

by PapayaSF (#47979293) Attached to: Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

In 2009, Dell caught headlines with its premium Adamo slim laptop, which was considered a competitor to the MacBook Air at the time.

Yes. "at the time." And remember the Dell competitor to the iPod? There are several problems for Dell here. 1) They are a maker of commodity hardware trying to move upmarket. But the fewer units they sell, the worse their economies of scale, so how to really make something special, without having to charge too much? Apple doesn't have that problem, in part because they sell 6-8 figures of even their high-end products. 2) Sure, Slashdot readers may be an exception, but most people who want Android and Windows machines rarely want expensive ones. So most of their target market will either want a cheaper Android tablet, or, if they want to spend more, they'll get an iPad.

I think the best Dell can hope for is to be a niche player, a slightly bigger version of their subsidiary Alienware. 15 years ago, Dell and Microsoft both seemed unstoppable, but both have repeatedly stumbled since then. My, how the mighty have fallen.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile (Score 1) 191

by PapayaSF (#47978571) Attached to: CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

But how many people in the U.S. acquire HIV or AIDS in a hospital setting? That's a much better comparison for how Ebola is transmitted.

Not at all. HIV is relatively hard to catch for various reasons. Ebola you can get from a cough or sneeze from an infected person (a small bit of saliva doesn't count as "airborne," apparently), or by touching something an infected person sweated on. It only takes a few virus particles. I read about reporters given a tour of a hospital in one infected country, and they were told "Don't touch the walls!"

Comment: Re:Endemic would be really bad.. (Score 1) 191

by PapayaSF (#47978253) Attached to: CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months
Plus, even Ebola survivors can spread the disease: I've read that the semen of Ebola survivors can transmit Ebola for months after their clinical recovery. And what about symptomatic carriers? AFAIK there have been none reported, but what if there's even one "Typhoid Mary" of Ebola?

Comment: Re:Meanwhile (Score 3, Insightful) 191

by PapayaSF (#47978197) Attached to: CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

There's a great idea, let's put a highly infectious virus with a 50% kill rate into a hospital and not quarantine those known to be infected.

And note that even in the US, about 75,000 people a year die from infections they acquire in hospitals, and that's just pneumonia, C. difficile, MRSA, and other things much less scary that Ebola, which you can get from touching something with just a few virus particles in it. I think the people who are claiming Ebola is only a problem in Africa due to ignorance and substandard medical care are fooling themselves: if it gets to the U.S., the hospitals here are unlikely to perform up to the standards required.

Plus, every new infection means more chances for Ebola to mutate, possibly into an airborne form.

Comment: Re:Just the warm-up (Score 3, Informative) 48

by PapayaSF (#47831873) Attached to: Intel Unveils MICA "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" Smart Bracelet

Some technologies just don't make sense. At least with our current battery and silicon constraints.

A nice tablet at $500 didn't make sense... until the iPad came out. (Some early speculation had it priced at @$1,000). An expensive smartphone without a keyboard didn't make sense... until the iPhone. A laptop that is .68 inches thick (and gets thinner from there) didn't make sense... until the MacBook Air.

Apple has a track record of pushing limits, and of not releasing products that aren't highly refined. If they come out with an "iWatch," I'd bet it will be something special. And the following iterations will only improve it.

Comment: Re:Just the warm-up (Score 1) 48

by PapayaSF (#47831797) Attached to: Intel Unveils MICA "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" Smart Bracelet

This time there is no SJobs.

True, but I think that's overrated as a problem for Apple. Jobs was there long enough to leave his mark, and he knew for a while that he was dying. He taught a lot to many people there, including starting the little-talked-about Apple University. Apple now (and for a long time) has been far more than Jobs. I think they'll be a bit different than when Jobs was in control, but those differences are more likely to be positive than negative.

Comment: Just the warm-up (Score 4, Funny) 48

by PapayaSF (#47831677) Attached to: Intel Unveils MICA "My Intelligent Communication Accessory" Smart Bracelet

Let's admit it: all these smart watches are like MP3 players, pre-iPod: early pioneers, but destined to be forgotten. Once Apple enters the field, the category will take off. You don't have to be an Apple fanboi to see that coming.

Also predictable: Apple's entry will not be cheap, will be criticized for lacking features and openness, but buyers won't care. Samsung will rush a copycat revision of their entry, and the press will laud various "iWatch killers," but they won't be terribly successful.

iPod, IPhone, iPad: we've seen this story before.

+ - Stars Exposed in Massive Nude Photo Leak

Submitted by PapayaSF
PapayaSF (721268) writes "Nude celebrities, bitcoins, and Apple: it's a story seemingly designed to stir up the entire internet. Scores of private photos of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kirsten Dunst, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have been leaked (allegedly from Apple's iCloud), and posted on 4chan in exchange for bitcoins. A list of 100+ names has appeared, but pictures have not yet appeared for many names on the list (including Kate Bosworth, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Kaley Cuoco). Victoria Justice claims the photos of her are fake. Twitter accounts are being shut down. The story is still developing, so grab your popcorn."
United States

Feds Want Nuclear Waste Train, But Don't Know Where It Would Go 258

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-that-anywhere dept.
mdsolar writes with news of a plan to move radioactive waste from nuclear plants. The U.S. government is looking for trains to haul radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Too bad those trains have nowhere to go. Putting the cart before the horse, the U.S. Department of Energy recently asked companies for ideas on how the government should get the rail cars needed to haul 150-ton casks filled with used, radioactive nuclear fuel. They won't be moving anytime soon. The latest government plans call for having an interim test storage site in 2021 and a long-term geologic depository in 2048. No one knows where those sites will be, but the Obama administration is already thinking about contracts to develop, test and certify the necessary rail equipment.

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia 579

Posted by timothy
from the busy-doing-real-stuff dept.
Andreas Kolbe writes Wikipedia is well known to have a very large gender imbalance, with survey-based estimates of women contributors ranging from 8.5% to around 16%. This is a more extreme gender imbalance than even that of Reddit, the most male-dominated major social media platform, and it has a palpable effect on Wikipedia content. Moreover, Wikipedia editor survey data indicate that only 1 in 50 respondents is a mother – a good proportion of female contributors are in fact minors, with women in their twenties less likely to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation efforts to address this "gender gap" have so far remained fruitless. Wikipedia's demographic pattern stands in marked contrast to female-dominated social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest, where women aged 18 to 34 are particularly strongly represented. It indicates that it isn't lack of time or family commitments that keep women from contributing to Wikipedia – women simply find other sites more attractive. Wikipedia's user interface and its culture of anonymity may be among the factors leading women to spend their online time elsewhere.

Comment: Possible related factors (Score 1) 128

by PapayaSF (#47753567) Attached to: Why Do Humans Grow Up So Slowly? Blame the Brain

There are other related factors that seem to fit.

  1. Humans also have a lot more to learn than other primates: e.g. language and culture. It makes sense that we evolved with extended childhoods to give us time to learn things.
  2. Neoteny: It's well-known that humans have an innate attraction for the general proportions of children: small, with big eyes and a large head. The longer kids look like kids, the more likely parents and other humans are likely to nuture, protect, and teach them.

Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico 233

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-debate-onshoring dept.
hackingbear writes: According to a new Cost-Competitiveness Index, the nations often perceived as having low manufacturing costs — such as China, Brazil, Russia, and the Czech Republic — are no longer much cheaper than the U.S. In some cases, they are estimated to be even more expensive. Chinese manufacturing wages have nearly quintupled since 2004, while Mexican wages have risen by less than 50 percent in U.S. dollar terms, contrary to our long-standing misconception that their labors were being slaved. In the same period, the U.S. wage is essentially flat, whereas Mexican wages have risen only 67%. Not all countries are taking full advantage of their low-cost advantages, however. The report found that global competiveness in manufacturing is undermined in nations such as India and Indonesia by several factors, including logistics, the overall ease of doing business, and inflexible labor markets.

Comment: Re:BarbaraHudson is an absolute idiot (Score 2) 89

by PapayaSF (#47700453) Attached to: Blackberry Moves Non-Handset Divisions Into New Business Unit

Time to throw in the towel when it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Why the fuck would BlackBerry want to do that?

Because it's the first time in years the company is making a profit? Won't that mean they'd get more for it?

Yes, people have been predicting doom for Blackberry for a while, but it's hard to see some big turnaround on the horizon, with millions of people abandoning Apple and Android.

(My, how times change. The first iPhone came out a little over seven years ago, to widespread mockery: "It has no keyboard!" "It's too expensive!" "Businesses and government will never abandon their Blackberries!" And now Blackberry is a shadow of it's former self, and we're arguing whether they're totally doomed or not....)

"What man has done, man can aspire to do." -- Jerry Pournelle, about space flight