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Comment WebView (Score 1) 629

I read that Lollipop will include webview as part of the Google Play Services framework, which is Google's cloud-based framework that they have been moving more and more Android services to.

Unlike app store updates and normal Android system updates, Google Play Services works as a silent push update, so phone providers and manufacturers cannot block the update. I'd hazard a guess and say this may have something to do it.


Comment Re:It doesn't take much (Score 1) 216

NASA is providing incentives -
Understandably these are to meet NASA's requirements (which makes since, since they would be the main customer for the services anyway), so they don't just want to dole it out without a decision process.
There's also stuff like the Lunar X prize, but none of this is in the magnitudes you are talking about (good luck getting that through congress).

Comment Re:How the west wasn't won (Score 1) 216

Sorry -- slightly unhelpful post in that I don't have a link, but according to some interviews I've seen with Elon Musk much of it is to do with modern engineering. One of the examples he gave (which was during a totally non-sciency talk show) was about how they processed and bent a particular type of metal used in the Falcon.

Comment Re:Not sure about the recovery test (Score 1) 125

Believe the purpose of landing it in the ocean was to actually test the deployment of the legs on the rocket (this is the first model where they've included the legs). So basically just launching it, extending the legs out and then testing if the first stage lands in the ocean properly with the legs deployed.

Also perhaps already mentioned in this thread but since they upgraded Falcon to 9 to v1.1 they have continued to offer the old v1.0 payload to customers, reserving the additional payload 1.1 is capable of for testing reusable components.

Comment Re:so the probability of failure is significant (Score 2) 97

In relation to your 'I'd like to see him try' comment - Elon Musk named the Dragon spacecraft after "puff the magic dragon".. because of all of his critics who said his projects couldn't succeed..

Comment It's a problem, but one Google has been working at (Score 1, Informative) 289

Things Google have done recently to combat fragmentation:
- Announced the release of the Android PDK, a preview-esque version of the new OS available to manufacturers before the official release hits source
- Begun de-coupling official Google apps from the OS and therefore from the update cycle (e.g. Google keyboard, IIRC Gmail and Maps, etc)
- From a 'smoke and mirror' perspective, kept the Android codenames the same across Jellybean (4.1 and 4.2)
- Most recently, "updated" Android completely without actually updating it via pushing updates to core apps and services like Play Store, Music player, sync APIs, etc.
- Adding to above: Held off on releasing a numbered Android update to let the natural cycle for replacing handsets to continue (so people with Android 2.1 phones hit the end of their contracts and buy 4.2 phones)
.. and certainly much more. I'm thinking the #1 point on the PDK will be significant as we have yet to see the real effect of this. Previously the source code for new Android versions would be released to both the public and manufacturers at the same time, so you'd have teams like Cyanogenmod quickly port and do their own QA on releases using stock Android, while manufacturers had to update their custom UI's against the new version, go through their own rigorous QA processes, go through telco QA processes and timeframes, etc. The end result was updates being released by community teams (excluding Nexus devices) long before manufacturers did, leading to much discontent.

Comment Re:Gravity? (Score 2) 140

Here is the "official" Mars One answer to bone issues (site seems to be down now so copy and paste from Google Cache):
Prolonged weightlessness causes osteoporosis, which can be reduced by exercise and medicine. Research onboard the International Space Station has led to even better and more effective training programs being drawn up, and new machines being made specifically for astronauts. Conjointly, there have been major leaps forward in medications capable of partially preventing declining calcium levels.

Recent study about 14 ISS astronauts, who were 4-6 month in space, showed a maximum bone loss of 1.5% / month in the most vulnerable (from bone loss point of view) region - the hip. Therefore the bone loss after arriving on Mars, after a 7 month flight, would be in the worst case scenario 10.5%.

When they arrive on a planet with 62% less gravity, they would have 100% more bone density compared to humans under earth gravity.

Google Cache link:

Comment You can already buy them for sub-$2000 (Score 2) 170

It may not be exactly what Gartner envisioned, but there's the RepRap project which aims to be able to fully self replicate. At least check it could print 50% of it's own parts, and they are working on being able to print electric circuitry next -

Comment Some Potential Context (Score 4, Informative) 535

Andy Rubin (Co-founder of Android before Google bought it, and current VP of Mobile) posted this a few months ago in relation to Aluyin OS. (which links to the official Android blog:

It sounds like this modification of the SDK might be another move toward Google defending against this Aluyin OS-style modification of Android. While Android is commonly cited as being "fragmented" due to the %'s of handsets that have older versions of Android on them (see the Development Dashboard); what these links talk about is a very serious, more dangerous style of fragmentation. Currently all Android apps are forward compatible with future versions and most are backward compatible (unless the develop chooses to use a new API and not include any graceful degradation in their app for older versions). But Google's flavor of Android is also sideways-compatible with the likes of Amazon such that if you write an app intended for the play store and later decide to distribute it to an Amazon-flavored device (via their app store or other various means), you can do this.

The implications of allowing such activities to continue are that Android could turn into a true wild-west of operating systems. From a technical standpoint, a budding Chinese developer modifies some core Android source code which work with the apps being developed by his company, but suddenly break every other app developed for their flavor of the Android OS -- and then suddenly developers for that hypothetical OS can no longer pick up their app and take it to Google's (/Amazon's) flavor of Android without resorting to hacks and workarounds. Suddenly that Android Development dashboard needs to represent that data in more than 2 dimensions - and Google's got a world of new problems to deal with.

See this Architecture Diagram for some further context. Basically the various Android OEM's and custom ROM developers such as Cyanogenmod should only really be modifying the blue bits and maybe some of the green (I'm sure ROM developers would argue on the red bits, but in a perfect world..). Seems like Google is trying to stop the messing with of the yellow "Android runtime" section.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972