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Comment More LOFAR info (Score 3, Informative) 49 49

Here is a presentation by Pim Schellaert (referenced in the article) with some more information:
http://www.lofar.org/wiki/lib/...

I've seen a presentation of their more recent results, but that doesn't seem to be public yet, I can't find a link.

One of the coolest things we did recently with the LOFAR telescope was to observe the Solar Eclipse in real time, I think it has never been done with a radio telescope before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

In general you can find a lot of info about what we're doing with the LOFAR telescope here:
http://www.astron.nl/dailyimag...
and here: http://www.lofar.org/wiki/doku...

Comment Re:I doubt Apple will stay in the market (Score 1) 417 417

I think Apple will stay in the desktop/laptop market as long as it's the development platform for their software. I believe it's a core principle of how Apple operates to not be dependent on anyone but Apple. It's why they have all their design and technology in house.
This gives them the immense power to switch suppliers and manufacturing locations and completely control their own future.

Pc-clone manufaturers and brands come and go because the parts are interchangeable. Apple doesn't live in that world and actively tries to prevent it.

Apple might let someone like Samsung, Asus or Foxconn manufacture something for them, but they do all the design themselves to prevent what Compaq did to IBM.

There are a few cracks in that Apple philosophy, in that they use Intel chips and some other PC components for their desktops, but they have demonstrated to be able to successfully switch if need when they moved from Power to x86. They have enormous power because they can believably tell any of their suppliers that they might move. It's why they have their own OS, office suite, cloud, browser, etc.

It gives them long term security and complete independence. This results in a company that is much more agile than it's size and age would let you to believe. It is one of the core reasons Apple is able to do what it does.

Comment Re:Apple may outlive Acer - But will they make PCs (Score 5, Insightful) 417 417

What Apple learned from the PC manufacturers, is to not depend on anyone. They are one of the few companies who keep all design and technology in-house.
It's key to how Apple operates that they can and do switch suppliers and manufacturing locations.

The whole PC-clone industry became possible because IBM and others didn't own the designs or the technology. It is why companies like ASUS, MSI, AMD and many others exist in the PC industry, but there are no equivalents in Apple land.

It is the key difference between the PC and Apple industry. It is also the reason why I think Apple will be making machines for OSX for a long time, at least as long as those are needed to develop software for Apple (iOS or whatever). Apple doesn't want to depend on any one and doesn't want anyone to be easily able to copy them. It is at the core of their business model.

Comment Re:Well done! (Score 1) 540 540

I think you need to blame a system where schools like that exist in the first place.

Dutch schools are funded per student, with extra budget for students with lower language proficiency and similar problems. There's also some extra funding for schools in small villages, monumental buildings, etc.

Secondly, students are put in classes with kids of similar academic achievement (4-5 levels), to allow them to challenge each other. This also separates academic ability from background, although it's not perfect.

Comment Re:You no longer own a car (Score 1) 649 649

230 ppm is quite high.
In general you want your car to run with lower emissions, as it also means that it's using its fuel more efficiently. Those hydrocarbons are unburnt fuel.

And yes, most refineries make even the dirtiest trucks look clean. Follow the money and local ordinances "to keep the jobs in the town". Doesn't mean they're good for your health or the environment though.

Comment Re:Because K9 sucks like most (Score 1) 179 179

Exchange is a given in many a corporate environment.
Not for technical reasons, but for legal and business reasons.
Choices like Microsoft and Oracle are almost a default because of two reasons:
- You can have a nice Platinum contract for same business day support.
- You have a target for your lawyers if things go wrong.* **

Neither of these are provided by the kind of project you mention.

*) I'm talking from Europe, it's probably worse in the USA.
**) I'm talking something that can absorb a €100+ million damage claim.

Comment Re:Everyone loves taxes (Score 1) 173 173

Inflation is an inherent part of our money system. Interest is what creates inflation. 95%+ of this is created by the banks through mortgages.
The other few percent is partially done by governments and is mostly needed to compensate for population and economy growth.
This is true for most economies, only some Arabic ones have a somewhat different system, because return-on-investment is illegal there because of religious reasons. Most of the world used to work that way until the late middle ages.

Most things today depend on interest or other return-on-investment, like mortgages and other loans, credit, pensions, shares and dividend, savings accounts, etc.
It's an integral part of our economy and capitalism in general. Learn something yourself instead of listening to the talking heads on TV.

Comment Re:Anecdotal of course (Score 1) 307 307

Do you smoke or have pets?
It could be something in your environment or the way you use them.
Your story sounds quite extreme compared to my experience with mostly the same brands.
I've had Apple, Acer, IBM/Lenovo, Dell XPS. Out of ten, 9 are still fully functional, in one the backlight of the display has died.

Comment Re:Rolls Royce of cat litter boxes (Score 1) 190 190

I bought a good inkjet printer years ago that wasn't cheap, but had cheap ink. I bought it at the height of Hewlett-Packard's "liquid gold ink - cheap printer" strategy.

I still use it frequently. Individual cartridges are â3.50, a full set of four CMYB is â11.00.

It's the Canon Pixma IP3000. It prints at 4800 x 1200 dpi. It prints double sided from its 150 page paper tray. It does photo prints well when using the correct paper. It can handle envelopes, cardboard, CDs and other materials that can't be bent or folded from it's manual feed. I think it's from 2003 and I still find it a great printer.

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